Islam

Islam is one of the three main monotheistic Abrahamic religions, along with Christianity and Judaism. It was spread by the Prophet Mohammed in the 7th century A.D. The Islamic holy book is the Quran, and according to Islamic tradition it entails the direct word of God as spoken to the Prophet. Islam is centered around five pillars which detail the five duties incumbent on every Muslim. The first is the Shahada, the Muslim profession of faith. The second is prayer: A practicing Muslim must pray towards Mecca five times a day. There is also Zakat, the alms-tax, according to which Muslims must share their wealth with those in need. Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is the fourth pillar, and Hajj, the mandatory pilgrimage each Muslim must make at least once in their life, is fifth. The Ka’bah sanctuary in the city of Mecca is the most holy Islamic site, and the destination of the Hajj pilgrimage. The second most holy site is the prophet Mohammed’s mosque in the city of Medina. Third in line is Jerusalem, where, according to Islamic tradition, Mohammed ascended to heaven. Adherents to the Shi’ite school of Islam also regard Karbala in Iraq and Meshed in Iran as holy sites. The two main Islamic schools are the Sunni and the Shi’a. The differences between the two originated with the Prophet’s death in 632 A.D, when disputes arose as to who would be Mohammed’s rightful heir. Some worshippers thought that only a direct descendant of Mohammed should lead the movement, while others thought that a leader should be chosen by consensus. Those who supported a direct descendant wanted Ali to become caliph, but they lost out. When Ali eventually became caliph years later, he was massacred along with many of his followers in 680 at Karbala. Those who supported him eventually became Shi’ites. Since then, the two doctrines have evolved. They now contain disagreements and differences while still maintaining agreement on many essentials of Islam. In addition to the Sunni and the Shi’a, there are also additional branches of Islam such as the Druze and Alawi. Though they identify as Muslims, other Islamists often do not consider them proper followers of the faith. Other religious groups like the Baha'i are split-offs from Shi’a Islam. Sufi Muslims, a spiritual sub-sect of Islam, can have either Sunni and Shi’a backgrounds. Islam is the fastest growing major religion in the world. Its devotees make up the majority of the population in over 50 countries and number over 1.8 million. Over 85% of these Muslims are Sunnis, who are spread throughout the Arab world, as well as Indonesia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Pakistan and more. Most Shi’ites are centered in Iran, Iraq and Bahrain. The majority of Muslims in and around Israel are Sunnis. Islam recognizes two holy days (Eids) each year, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha marks the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca. The dates of the Eids differ according to the Gregorian calendar because the Islamic calendar, like the Jewish one, is based on the lunar year.

TAU course on Islam ranked one of 50 best online courses of all time

So far, over 20,000 students from 155 countries around the world have enrolled in the course.

Two men arrested in Switzerland for visiting the Vienna attacker in July

Swiss authorities have said the two men were "obviously friends" of the attacker and had met in person, but did not say when.

By REUTERS
08/11/2020
Athens' first mosque in nearly 200 years opens for Friday prayers

The city has not had a formal mosque since 200 years ago.

By REUTERS
06/11/2020
French President Emmanuel Macron visits Lebanon, September 2020
Palestinian Islamic scholar: Emmanuel Macron promotes 'Zionist agenda'

"It has been said that his wife is 20 years older than him, and that she is a relative of Rothschild, the richest Jew."

Gunfire exchanges in Vienna
Vienna: What we know about the killer

The Vienna criminal court sentenced Kujtim Fejzulai to 22 months in prison in April 2019 for being a member of a terrorist organization and for spreading propaganda.

By REUTERS
05/11/2020
 Father Franklin Parmentier greets people ahead of a mass on Sunday at Notre Dame Basilica to pay tr
There is no right to not be offended

There is no human right, nor legal right in France, to not be offended. What is a human right, and a legal right, is freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

 Demonstrators gesture to protest cartoon publications of the Prophet Muhammad in France and comment
The expansionism of the Salafi threat in Europe

The emergence of extremist groups that supported jihad was overshadowed by Islamic movements that advocated for similar causes, but through social and political activism instead.

By CARLO J.V. CARO
03/11/2020
End ties with France in 24 hours, Bangladesh Islamist group tells gov't

France has allowed displays of the cartoons, which are considered blasphemous by Muslims.

By REUTERS
02/11/2020
French President Emmanuel Macron visits Lebanon, September 2020
French Dilemma

“President Macron faces a tough dilemma: stand firm and implement the measures he outlined with respect to radical Islamism in France, or reassess that policy," - int'l affairs expert.

Police officers stand near Notre Dame church, where a knife attack took place, in Nice, France Octob
French Jewish leader: Islamists have declared war on France

Gil Taieb, the vice president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, made the comments Thursday in reference to the beheading of one woman and the fatal stabbing of two others.

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ/JTA
30/10/2020
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