Coming together for their faith


Boys in front with their arms folded across their waists, girls in back with scarves covering their hair. This arrangement fell into place as naturally as if the classroom where they had gathered were a mosque. Fourteen Muslim students were ready to begin their midday prayers.


Surrounded by desks, books, maps and slide projectors, the group paid no attention to the classroom chaos, nor to the racket outside the door. It was lunchtime at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, and the campus was buzzing. More important for these boys and girls, it was Ramadan, the sacred monthlong period during which Muslims are required to fast from sunup to sundown. This year, these students, ages 14 to 18, are determined to stand up for their faith through prayer in this quiet yet public way...

 

Chicago Muslims to build minaret display


Chicago Muslims plan to mark the current holy month of Ramadan by building a minaret display at Daley Plaza in early December, joining Christians and Jews as they decorate the public square for their holidays.


The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago has preliminary approval to build a 30-foot reproduction of the tower used to call Muslims to prayer and an illuminated crescent moon affixed to a dome. The display will stand alongside a Hanukkah menorah and Christmas manger scene...

 

US plans TV station to rival Al-Jazeera


An Arabic-language satellite television station financed by the US and aimed at winning hearts and minds in the Muslim world could shortly become a reality. President George Bush has been told of Initiative 911, which would put half a billion dollars into a channel that would compete in the region with al-Jazeera and would be aimed specifically at younger Muslims who are seen as anti-American.


Senator Joe Biden, the Democrat chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, is the driving force behind the scheme, which goes beyond the current radio broadcasting initiatives. It represents a new phase of the propaganda war and would be a third prong for the US in the media battle along with a beefed-up Voice of America and a new Radio Free Afghanistan...