Former all-girl Catholic academy now home to Long Island’s first Islamic school

  Photo: Newsday / Alejandra Villa Details from Newsday:  In classrooms where Catholic girls once studied the Bible and prayed the Our Father, young Muslims now study the Quran and pray in Arabic. The girls no longer wear uniforms of skirts and blazers, but traditional Muslim floor-length dresses called jilbabs, with hijabs covering their heads. [Read More...]

Pope Francis writes to Muslim leader, expresses respect for Islam and calls for mutual understanding

Details: The Al-Azhar University in Cairo – considered one of the most important centres of Sunni Islamic learning  – has announced that Pope Francis has sent a personal message to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al Tayyeb. The most important Catholic website in Arabic,www.abouna.org, published the communiqué issued by Al-Azhar, which mentions that a [Read More...]

Must-see video: making the homeless smile in NYC

This is pretty great:  A group of young Muslim YouTubers took a break from making prank videos to spread a message about giving to those in need, and it’s quickly becoming one of their most viral videos to date. The True Story ASA team — named for it’s three members: Adam Saleh, Sheikh Akbar and Abdullah Ghuman [Read More...]

Report: wife of Boston bomber converted to Islam over Catholic sex abuse scandal

Details from the Irish Times:  A search for a religion with ‘more morals’ than the Catholicism she was raised in led Katherine Russell, 24, the widow of Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to convert to Islam, her husband’s former friend has revealed. According to the Boston Globe, retiree Donald Larking, 67, commenced an unlikely friendship with Tamerlan in 2011 when the [Read More...]

Pope sends greetings to Muslims at close of Angelus

Details from Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis spoke to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square about how God’s love is our greatest treasure. He said today’s gospel reading from St Luke talks to us about our desire for a meeting with Christ, calling it a key aspect of human life. All of us, [Read More...]

In Connecticut, an interfaith celebration of Ramadan

Photo: Keila Torres Ocasio This will certainly be of interest to Bridgeport’s new bishop.  Details:  It was like those cartoon moments when a light bulb appears to symbolize the spark of a new idea. A staffer at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, accepting the synagogue’s correspondence from a mail carrier, asked the man if he wanted water. [Read More...]

Pope Francis to Muslims: “We are called to respect the religion of the other…”

The Vatican has just published Pope Francis’s message to Muslims for the close of Ramadan:  To Muslims throughout the World It gives me great pleasure to greet you as you celebrate ‘Id al-Fitr, so concluding the month of Ramadan, dedicated mainly to fasting, prayer and almsgiving. It is a tradition by now that, on this [Read More...]

Report: More Hispanic Women Converting to Islam

Details:  For Zainab Ismail, a Bronx-born Hispanic woman, the turning point came in March 2009 after a wedding ceremony at a Catholic church. “For some unknown reason, obviously now I know it was Allah–God–putting that thought and feeling in my heart, I no longer wanted to be Catholic. I didn’t know what I wanted to be but [Read More...]

Another Religious Holiday Commercialized: Ramadan

An interesting development, courtesy Huffington Post: Growing up in a mostly Christian neighborhood in southern Virginia in the 1970s and 1980s, Raana Smith remembers feeling “lacking” around the holidays. While friends frolicked at Easter Egg hunts and got giddy over the presents under their Christmas trees each December, her Muslim family’s traditions didn’t translate well [Read More...]

Meet the Muslims Keeping the Peace at Christianity’s Holiest Site

Who knew? Details:  If you follow the boisterous groups of cross bearers and prayer-humming nuns who weave through the narrow streets of Jerusalem’s Old City, you’ll eventually end up in a rare clearing that holds one of Christianity’s holiest buildings: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Orthodox and Catholic Christians consider the complex to be [Read More...]


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