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August 11th, 2010
09:37 PM ET

August 11th, 2010
04:31 PM ET

International Muslim leaders join Ramadan webcasts on Mohammed

Some of the world's most prominent Muslim leaders are joining a series of webcasts highlighting the life of Prophet Mohammed during the fasting month of Ramadan, which begins Wednesday.

The effort, called the Celebrate Mercy project, was started earlier this year to combat negative media portrayals of Mohammed. The group produced its first webcast in February, which it says reached 5,000 people in 78 countries.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Islam • Ramadan

August 11th, 2010
03:48 PM ET

Opinion: Is U.S. still beacon of liberty for Muslims?

By Sharjeel Kashmir, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Sharjeel Kashmir is an investment banker who works on financial derivatives and banking strategy in New York City. He also works with international microfinance institutions on developing their corporate and governance strategies. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School.

It's a beautiful August morning in Jersey City, New Jersey. I have just finished my regular jog around Liberty State Park. No matter how often I stand here at my favorite spot to stretch, I can only marvel that this is actually my neighborhood and my view.

In front of me, the Hudson River lies at the feet of the New York skyline. To my right, the Statue of Liberty basks in the glory of a thousand gazes from the first tour boat of the day.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • Muslim • Opinion • Religious liberty

August 11th, 2010
03:12 PM ET

Controversial New York Islamic center will not relocate to public land

CNN's Alona Rivord filed this report:

Developers of a Muslim community center near the site of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York Wednesday declined an offer by Gov. David Paterson to relocate the project.

Paterson had suggested Tuesday that state-owned property could provide an alternative building site for the controversial project.

"If the sponsors were looking for property anywhere at a distance that would be such that it would accommodate a better feeling among the people who are frustrated, I would look into trying to provide them with the state property they would need," Paterson told reporters.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • New York • Politics • United States

August 11th, 2010
03:11 PM ET

CNN poll: Most oppose mosque near Ground Zero

A proposed mosque to be built two blocks from the World Trade Center has little support nationwide, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll suggests.

According to the new survey out Wednesday, nearly 70 percent of all Americans oppose the controversial plan to build the mosque just blocks away from the solemn site in lower Manhattan while just 29 percent favor the construction.

Read the full story on the Political Ticker

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Politics

August 11th, 2010
02:51 PM ET

7 apps for observing Ramadan

From our partner Mother Nature Network:

The dates of Ramadan can differ among Islamic communities around the world, but in North America, many Muslims will mark the first day of Ramadan today. It's a holiday that has been observed around the world for thousands of years. This year, all of that history will meet modern technology, as Muslims utilize the multitude of software and iPhone apps that have sprung up to aid in Ramadan observations.

If you want to read a verse from Qur`an, there’s an app for that. If you want to be reminded of the five daily prayers, there’s an app for that. And if you need to know what direction to face when it’s time to pray, there’s an app for that, too. Here are 7 of the top apps for celebrating and observing Ramadan:

1. iPray: Offers a beeping reminder of requisite prayer times throughout Ramadan. There's also iPray Lite, similar to iPray, this app includes a program that simulates the clicking sound of prayer beads or the turning wheel of a handheld metal counter Muslims use to keep count of prayer repetitions.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Islam • Ramadan • Technology

August 11th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

U.S. to send imam in ground zero debate to Middle East

Some lawmakers have urged the State Department to rethink plans to sponsor the imam behind a controversial mosque on a trip to the Middle East.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is at the center of efforts to build a mosque near the site of the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York. He is going to the Middle East on a trip funded by the State Department.

Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Peter King (R-NY), the ranking members of the Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees, called the State Department's funding of Rauf's trip "unacceptable," and said American taxpayers should not have to subsidize his tour.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • Muslim • Politics

August 11th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

My Faith: Navigating the land of grief since my son's death

Editor's Note: Joe Sterling is a News Editor for The CNN Wire.

By Joe Sterling, CNN

Nearly 11 years ago my wife and I entered the world of grief when we lost our teenage son.

This week, we will again confront the never-ending anguish and heartache of this unfathomable death by dutifully participating in religious rites of mourning. And we will spend yet another year grappling with the sorrow just by ourselves.

When the anniversary of the death of our son (pictured) arrives this week–the 2nd of Elul on the Jewish calendar, which is tonight–we'll be headed to our synagogue to recite the Kaddish, the mourner's prayer.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Death • Judaism

August 11th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My take: Ramadan as a season of service and dignity

Editor's Note: Karim Amin is a domestic programs coordinator and humanitarian aid worker for Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Virginia.

By Karim Amin, Special to CNN

"I didn’t think anyone knew we were out here,” said the elder from the Crow Creek reservation as she humbly accepted a bag of food and clothing from me. “But you come back every year.”

She is known as “Grandma” on the Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Grandma is one of many Native Americans living in dilapidated conditions as joblessness and poverty continue to plague Crow Creek and many other reservations across the country. FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Opinion

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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