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Sunday Open Thread | 15-8-10 | Obama’s Iftaar speech & CNN’s Ramadan special

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It’s been a busy week with so much going on in the past few days. Ramadan has begun and a hearty Ramadan kareem to all of you. Routines have undergone major upheaval, the daily food menu’s have changed and, for some, the sleep cycle has become a little messed up. But despite all that, Ramadan brings joy and reinvigorates you from within and that’s because this is the one time in the year when the majority of us Muslims actually, consciously, thinks about its Creator and worships Him with a special veneration. May Allah help us to worship Him as He ought to be worshiped and may He accept from us our Ibadah! Ameen.

A lot of what’s been up lately has to do with Muslims being in the news. For once, it’s actually been positive coverage. Let’s see what’s been happening…

Obama’s Iftaar Speech

The White House upheld its annual Ramadan tradition on Friday when President Obama hosted prominent Muslim-Americans, many members of his cabinet as well as Congressional legislators. In his speech, Obama touched on the contributions Muslim have made to American progress, both, in the past and present day.

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“Islam, as we know, is part of America,” Obama said. “And like the broader American citizenry, the American Muslim community is one of extraordinary dynamism and diversity – with families that stretch back generations and more recent immigrants; with Muslims of countless races and ethnicities, and with roots in every corner of the world.”

“Indeed, the contributions of Muslims to the United States are too long to catalog because Muslims are so interwoven into the fabric of our communities and our country. American Muslims are successful in business and entertainment; in the arts and athletics; in science and in medicine. Above all, they are successful parents, good neighbors, and active citizens.” See the transcript of the speech here.

It should also be pointed out that, following up on his speech, the President backed the right of the Cordoba House mosque project (better known as the “Ground Zero” mosque) to go ahead, touting it as a major indicator of freedom of religion in America.

“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country,” Obama said. “That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.”

CNN’s Ramadan Focus: “Muslim in 2010”

This year, CNN is running a special series of programs and interactive iReports focusing on Ramadan. One feature is the special coverage, “Muslim in 2010”, on CNN International’s daily news program “Prism” broadcast from Abu Dhabhi throughout the month.  Also on board is CNN’s iReport section where Muslims across the world have been encouraged to send in  pictures or short videos on the theme “Muslim in 2010”. The best submissions will be showcased on the ‘Inside the Middle East’ website and on air during “Prism”.

It looks like a great opportunity for Da’wah and positive engagement with the mainstream media. The chance to have your personal thoughts and feelings on what makes Ramadan special for you, telecast across the world, shouldn’t be missed. Who knows, someone might be inspired to learn more about Islam and Muslims upon hearing upon your Ramadan experience! :) Cool!

Muslim Matters on CNN

For those of you who missed it, some of our senior staff writers were recently featured in a report by CNN’s Deborah Feyerick. The report comes at a time when mainstream moderate Muslims are calling for more balanced and positive coverage of Muslims in the media, instead of the easy airtime that negative messages get. It’s a positive step and we’ve encouraged you to send a short note of appreciation to Ms Feyerick via CNN.

Share your views about what’s been happening lately as well as anything else that’s on your mind and you’d like to tell us and other readers about!

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Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Ameera is a final-year medical student and blogger based in Karachi, Pakistan. Having been born and raised in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, her approach towards her Deen has always been rooted in a basic understanding from authentic sources, which was further polished during a three-year weekend course at Al Huda Institute. Her interests, though, seem to know no bounds and range from a passion for the culinary arts and travelling, as well as following current affairs and global happenings. She feels being able to be part of MuslimMatters is one of the major blessings of Allah(swt) upon her, for it has given her a chance to learn and grow. She also maintains her personal blog at http://duskanddawn.wordpress.com.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Pingback: “Obama Hosts Ramadan Dinner (PHOTOS)” and related posts | Today News Update

  2. Pingback: “Obama Hosts Ramadan Dinner (PHOTOS)” and related posts | Today Hot News

  3. Amad

    August 15, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    Beautiful: MUSLIM BROTHER AND SISTERHOOD: FROM PALESTINE WITH LOVE TO PAKISTAN: The brothers in Gaza want to help their brothers and sisters in Pakistan … please help them: http://www.help-initiative.org/permanent_project.php?id=16

  4. AsimG

    August 15, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Ok, I know many of us hate politics, but the Republican platform seems to be fermenting on anti-Islam hysteria. I think it’s time we call our Republican representatives and find out their position.

    My evidence: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41076_Page2.html

    In Illinois, many of these republicans serve over a large Muslim constituency. We need to start calling these politicians out now before they jump on the hate for votes train.

  5. Asim

    August 15, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    • Muslim

      August 16, 2010 at 3:29 AM

      That’s what politicians do. They try to please both sides so they can get as much support in order to stay in office and advance their careers and connections. They also do this just in case they need to jump to one side quickly in the future, when they don’t know which side to jump to.

      Also, all this republican craziness about the Masjid on Ground Zero will most likely end come November when elections will also occur. Its all hype to get people to vote for them.

    • BostonMuslim

      August 16, 2010 at 9:14 AM

      I was not commenting, and I will not comment, on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there,” Mr. Obama said. “I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about.”

      How is this taking back what he said?

      • Amad

        August 16, 2010 at 10:05 AM

        I have similar sentiments… i think the media likes to play the “backtracking” because the “liberal” bias wants them to preserve the prez in the face of a majority that is against the mosque.. wallahualam..

      • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

        August 16, 2010 at 12:42 PM

        It is not literally contradicting anything he said but it is backtracking from the impression many took of his remarks at the iftar that he “supported” the project in New York.

        Most of the most vocal racist and Islamophobic opponents of the mosque have all said that there is a legal right to build the mosque/Islamic Center so if that is all Obama is saying his position is not different from theirs.

        • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

          August 16, 2010 at 1:27 PM

          Glenn Greenwald on the backtracking:

          On the whole, it’s still preferable for Obama to say what he said rather than say nothing. The notion that Muslims enjoy the same religious freedom as everyone else and are not to blame for Terrorism are always nice to hear. But by parsing his remarks to be as inoffensive as possible, and retreating from what was the totally predictable way his speech would be understood, he has reduced his own commendable act into something which is, at best, rather pedestrian and even slightly irritating

  6. Anony

    August 16, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    MashaAllah, survivors of the flood have amazing strength and faith.
    http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2010/08/12/sayah.pakistan.flood.ramadan.cnn.html

  7. BostonMuslim

    August 17, 2010 at 8:29 AM

    but come on, we can all debate if it was wise to build the mosque there – but we have the right to do it. I think the Cordoba initiative made a lot of mistakes and that’s why this decision does not seem to be as wise to a lot of people but because of where we are – we all fully support it even if they should have done a lot of things differently and without being the president’s spokesman, i believe that’s the point he was trying to make. Whatever people say, the only lingering headline is that he supports building the mosque – whether the majority of Americans agree with him or not

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41134.html#comments

    • Ameera Khan

      August 17, 2010 at 3:18 PM

      You can check out other posts MM has put up on this topic for more active debate on the issue…

  8. hayat

    August 22, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    jezakellah jenna nice article

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