Community News, Vol. 8 Iss. 45

November 2, 2006 by  


Voorhees mosque rises despite initial opposition

VOORHEES,PA—The Muslim community in Voorhees finally realized their dream to open a mosque last month. Despite initial opposition from neighbors and others in 2001, the Muslim community persisted and used it as an opportunity to reach out to the wider community.

Last week many supporters and community members turned out for an open house at the mosque. With the construction of this mosque, the number goes to a total of eight in South Jersey and about 80 across the state.

The Rev. Joseph Wallace, director of ecumenical and inter-religious affairs for the Camden Diocese, called the open house a “happy day.”

“This is a milestone especially after the initial resistance they encountered,” said Wallace, pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church in Haddonfield.

Other groups added their support, including the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish-based group with members of many faiths; the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, a nonprofit public-policy group; and the Interfaith Freedom Foundation, a Fremont, Calif., civil-rights group advocating for many faiths.

Texas mosque vandalized thrice in a month

LUBBOCK, TX–A Lubbock Mosque has been vandalized thrice in a month, reported the Channel 6 television. Last week vandals spray painted the misspelled word “Redemption” on the building. Earlier in the month the vandals have also trampled the mosque’s flower beds and smashed exterior lights.

Lubbock police Sgt. Marian McGuire said no suspects have been identified.

Mosque officials say they are considering updating its security system and installing digital security cameras

Lubbock is home to between 500-700 Muslims.

Lexington mosque to launch Boy Scout troop

LEXINGTON,KY— The Bilal Mosque announced that it is going to launch Boy Scout Troop 610 from this month.

“Our community is a relatively young community, and youth is a priority,” Imam Ihsan Bagby said. “The Boy Scouts offer a wonderful combination of emphasis on moral teachings and patriotism, and that fits very well with what we’re about.”

Non-Muslims are welcomed to join the troop, Bagby added. The mosque also hopes to launch a Girl Scouts group.

The Boy Scouts of America members promise to “do their duty” to God and country, to be reverent and “morally straight,” but they aren’t required to embrace any particular religion.

Nationwide, 160 various faith groups have organized Boy Scout troops, including Buddhists, Hindus, Bahais and Jews.

Currently, 89 mosques and Islamic cultural centers have Scout charters. So far, about 1,300 young people and 478 adults are affiliated with Islamic troops.

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