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October 16th, 2013
11:38 AM ET

In Syria, Muslims struggle to celebrate holy day

By Saad Abedine. Hala Gorani and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

(CNN) - Muslims throughout the world have been marking Eid al-Adha, but in war-torn Syria there is nothing to celebrate. Most people are struggling to meet the most basic of needs: food, water, and shelter.

Their plight has been highlighted by Arabic media reports which cite a fatwa, or religious ruling, by a local imam which allowed people who are desperately hungry to eat dogs and cats.

Eating dog, cat or donkey is forbidden under Islamic dietary laws.

The imam in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in the capital, Damascus, reportedly said at a mosque Friday that dog, cat and donkey meat could be eaten "after reaching a desperate need and the stores of food were inadequate to feed the population under the siege."

Yarmouk has been besieged for months by Syrian government forces seeking to flush out rebel fighters.

During the Eid al-Adha holiday, considered one of Islam's most revered observances, many Muslims around the world sacrifice a sheep and share the meat with the poor. It corresponds with the height of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that annually draws 2 million Muslims.

Outside Syrian, Muslims held more plentiful Eid al-Adha celebrations.

MORE ON CNN: Photos: Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha

FULL STORY
- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Eid al-Adha • Faith • Food • Holidays • Islam • Islamic law • Islamic law • Middle East • Muslim • Syria • Traditions

It's Yom Kippur, and this goat wants your sins
The force behind eScapegoat is G-dcast, a San Francisco nonprofit working to making Jewish learning fun.
September 13th, 2013
10:46 AM ET

It's Yom Kippur, and this goat wants your sins

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Calling all Jews! Your confessional clock is ticking.

With Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement - starting at sunset Friday (and ending the following night), this is your last chance to wipe your slates clean of the wrongs you’ve committed over the past year.

Oh, sure, you’ll be able to participate in a communal confession of sins Saturday in synagogue. But we know as well as you do that your community won’t hear everything you did.

It’s time to fess up. FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Holidays • Judaism • Social media

September 10th, 2013
02:22 PM ET

Who gets to judge Anthony Weiner?

Opinion by Jeffrey Weiss, Special to CNN

(CNN) - A day before the start of the Jewish High Holy Days, New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner was out asking voters to judge him favorably in Tuesday's election.

He ran into a bit of unwelcome moral judgment, as well.

One of the city's best-known Jewish politicians got into a heated religious argument at the Weiss Kosher Bakery in an Orthodox neighborhood of Brooklyn.

The argument - replayed and reported on cable news - raised questions about how the Jewish tradition deals with transgression, judgment, repentance and rebuke.

Those are all prime concerns for the days around Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Repentance, which begins Friday night.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Holidays • Judaism • Opinion • Politics • Sex • Sexuality • Sin

September 4th, 2013
04:47 PM ET

Iranian president's surprising message to Jews

By Daniel Burke and Mitra Mobasherat, CNN

(CNN) - Marking a sharp shift from his Holocaust-denying predecessor, new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday appeared to wish "all Jews" a "blessed Rosh Hashanah" on his English-language Twitter account.

Rosh Hashanah, of course, is the Jewish celebration of the new year. As Rouhani mentions, it began Wednesday at sundown. The image in the tweet is reportedly taken from a synagogue in Tehran.

FULL POST

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Foreign policy • Holidays • Holocaust • Iran • Iran • Judaism

August 9th, 2013
02:00 PM ET

'No Muslim parking' signs spark outrage

From CNN affiliate KPRC

Houston - New signs posted outside a mosque in Spring Branch, Texas, have sparked outrage from Muslims nationwide.

In black letters, the signs reads, "No Muslim parking in the Westview Shopping Center. Your car will be towed."

The posters lined the street near the El Farouq Mosque, where Muslims heading to worship services said they were were offended.

"I feel sorry for the person who wrote it," Ahmed Hassan told CNN affiliate KPRC. "This is what comes to mind because obviously he has a lot of hate."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Discrimination • Eid al-Fitr • Holidays • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • Ramadan • United States

August 6th, 2013
06:26 PM ET

Islam's `Night of Power' and the terror alert

Opinion by Hussein Rashid, special to CNN

(CNN) - During Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, there is a night that I look forward to every year.

This night is called Laylat ul-Qadr, which translates as the “Night of Power” or the “Night of Destiny.”

It is the night when Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammed received the first revelation of the Quran. He was in a cave, praying, when he hears the angelic voice of Gabriel speaking to him, bearing him a revelation from God.

CNN's Peter Bergen thinks that this night has symbolic meaning for al Qaeda, and perhaps it does.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Holidays • Islam • Opinion • Ramadan • Religious violence • Terrorism

August 4th, 2013
09:49 AM ET

For some Muslims, Ramadan fasting poses risks

By Slma Shelbayah, CNN

(CNN) This Ramadan, Amina Jabbar faced a difficult decision.

The University of Toronto medical student’s rotation at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre began around July 9, the start of the Muslim holy month.

That meant working unpredictable shifts for as long as 26 hours while fasting from eating and drinking during the day.

The fast-paced hospital environment was already challenging Jabbar’s ability to keep up with colleagues and patients. As a new physician, she felt more “error prone” and said fasting would increase her anxiety on the job.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Faith & Health • Holidays • Islam • Islamic law • Ramadan

July 15th, 2013
02:50 PM ET

Behold, the six types of atheists

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - How many ways are there to disbelieve in God?

At least six, according to a new study.

Two researchers at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga found that atheists and agnostics run the range from vocally anti-religious activists to nonbelievers who still observe some religious traditions.

“The main observation is that nonbelief is an ontologically diverse community,” write doctoral student Christopher Silver and undergraduate student Thomas Coleman.

“These categories are a first stab at this," Silver told the website Raw Story. "In 30 years, we may be looking at a typology of 32 types.”

Silver and Coleman derived their six types of nonbelievers from 59 interviews. We're pretty sure we've spotted all six in our comments section.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Holidays • Lost faith • Nones • Spirituality • Trends • United States

July 11th, 2013
05:27 PM ET

Muslims' mixed views on TSA Ramadan advisory

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - The Transportation Security Agency has issued an advisory about the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, telling its workforce and passengers that they may observe Muslims fasting, carrying prayer beads and whispering prayers on planes and in airports.

Ramadan begins this week, though the exact date varies depending on locale. It is the holiest month of the year for the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, during which many fast during daylight hours and dedicate more time than usual to praying and reading the Quran.

"Whenever the TSA is trying to create an environment of understanding, we welcome that," said Haris Tarin, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council's Washington office. "At the same time, it highlights certain actions that can make the American Muslim population seem almost alien."

FULL POST

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: 9/11 • Discrimination • Faith • Islam • Muslim • Prejudice • Ramadan • Terrorism

March 26th, 2013
12:31 PM ET

Burning Passover's 'garbage of the soul'

(CNN)– In the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Sha'ari, Joe Liebovitz explains why Jews burn bread for Passover.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Judaism

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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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