Reverts say Islam brings them peace

Like two young girls relating tales of their first love, Siti Sara Phang Abdullah and Nur Balqis Elaine when recounting their conversion into Islam. This month of Ramadan, the two recent converts are also excited about fasting.

Raised in a Christian home, Sara, 19, was at first fascinated by Muslim culture. She was enamoured by traditions like head scarfs, and how her Muslim friends all seemed to have a prayer constantly on their lips – like right before eating or going to the bathroom.

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Muslim victims of September 11th 2001

This is something which has never been mentioned in the Western media. There were at least 62 Muslims who died during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Despite this often overlooked fact, Muslims are often disparaged and their religion demonised and held “responsible” for this tragedy. That there were Muslims who had lost their lives in this tragedy clearly shows that such actions are the work of an extremist few, and has nothing to do with the religion of Islam.

For a list of the Muslim victims, see this page.

Obama backs NY mosque project

President Barack Obama backed construction of a proposed mosque and Muslim cultural centre near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York — a project opposed by U.S. conservatives and many New Yorkers.

“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country,” Obama said at an event on Friday attended by diplomats from Islamic countries and members of the U.S. Muslim community.

“That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances,” he said.

Earlier this month a New York city agency cleared the way for construction of the center, which will include a prayer room, two blocks from the site of the Sept 11 attacks, popularly known as “Ground Zero.”

“This is America and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable,” said Obama, who has made improving ties between the United States and the Muslim world a cornerstone of his foreign policy.

Obama was speaking during an Iftar dinner he hosted at the White House. Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims break their daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

He said the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution had established the freedom of religion “and that right has been upheld ever since.”

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