New French laws on Islam
New laws are being prepared in France to "protect women from (Islamic) fundamentalism," Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin announced Friday.
"The legislative decision that we will choose will be good if it protects all women from all the constraints of fundamentalism," Raffarin told his Union for a Presidential Majority party congress in the town of Villepinte.
The right of Muslim women to wear scarves in state schools, and for women to choose their own husbands, has become a hot political topic in France, where close to 10 percent of the total population of 60 million are Muslims, mainly of North African extraction.
At the same time, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said he was about to name France's first Muslim Prefect, a senior state-appointed administrative post dating back to Napoleon's era that is akin to a U.S. state governor.
Taken From: http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20031128-121412-4755r.htmKids learn about Islam at LI Children's Museum as holy month of Ramadan ends
Muslims on Long Island and around the world celebrated the end to their holy month of Ramadan this week. At the Long Island Children's Museum in Uniondale, youngsters of all faiths came together to learn more about the Islamic holiday and its traditions. From sun up to sun down during the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking every day for an entire month. At the museum on Friday, children learned about the virtues of fasting and charity as well as other Islamic traditions.
Celina Ilham, education coordinator at the Long Island Children's Museum, believes there is too much negativity in the world when it comes to Islam. She says the workshop was a nice opportunity to share the positive aspects of the religion and an opportunity to teach kids about some values of Islam.
Organizers held workshops all day long on Friday, and they say about 60 people turned out to participate in the learning experience.
Taken From: http://www.news12.com/LI/topstories/article?id=95781Finland: Cemetery land granted to Muslims
The government of Finland has granted its Muslim community a piece of land that is to be used as a cemetery, which is to be built at an estimated cost of Finnish Marks 5,000,000, according to Finland’s ambassador accredited to Egypt, Hanno Intivar.
He said Muslims in Finland now account for 16,000, as per the 2002 statistics, and added that the piece of land has already been handed over to the Muslim League of Finland.
The official religion in this country is Christianity, whose Lutheran members account for 90 percent of the population, while the Orthodox account for one percent, and around eight percent to not belong to any religion, in a total population of eight million.
Finland is Europe’s fifth largest country, in terms of area, though ten percent of its land area is covered by water, and there are 188 islands and islets, while 65 percent is covered by forests and eight percent only is arable agricultural land. The official language is Finnish, though Swedish is also spoken.
The ambassador said that in 1987 his government gave recognition to the Muslim League of Finland, which has built an Islamic Center next to its headquarters, on a piece of land measuring 5,000 square meters, that was granted to it by the government of Finland. He said the first Islamic school was set up 2001, after a nursery had been established in 1995.
Taken from; http://www.islamicnews.org/english/en_daily.html