TOLEDO,OH–A historic building in Toledo which once served as the first mosque in the city and the ninth in the United States will once again hear the call of azan. The former Toledo Islamic Building was first dedicated as a mosque in 1954 but was shut down after the congregation moved to to Perrysburg Township in 1983, reports the Toledo Blade.
The building was vacant for many years and had earlier been used as a youth treatment center and a government office.
The local Muslim community hadnâ€™t forgotten the importance of the building and the Toledo Masjid al-Islam recently bought it for $60,000. The 3800 square foot facility is now being renovated.
End of Oregonâ€™s Ban on Hijab Welcomed
PORTLAND,OR–The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has praised the signing into law of legislation that will end Oregonâ€™s ban on teachers wearing Islamic head scarves or the religious attire of other faiths.
The lifting of the 87-year-long ban will go into effect after the 2010-11 school year and follows a February vote of 51-8 in the Oregon House of Representatives. To become law, the bill had to be signed by Governor Ted Kulongoski.
â€œThis change in the law protects the rights of educators of all faiths,â€ said CAIR national communications director Ibrahim Hooper.
He added that his organization has consistently defended the right of Americans of all faiths to wear religious attire in the workplace, in schools, in courtrooms and as customers in public venues such as banks.
Currently only Nebraska and Pennsylvania prohibit their teachers from wearing religious clothing at work, and CAIR has called on their legislators to â€œfollow Oregonâ€™s example of respect for religious freedom and diversity.â€
In addition to the Muslim organization, a number of interfaith groups, civil rights groups and bar association organizations, including The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, have joined in the appeal.
Usury Free Conference Held in Toronto
TORONTO,CANADA-A two day conference on exploring usury free financial products was held in Toronto last week. Organized by the Usury Free Association of North America it attracted a large number of scholars from across North America and abroad.
Canadaâ€™s first Shariah-compliant credit card, the iFreedom Plus MasterCard, was also launched at the conference.
A recent report for Canadaâ€™s national housing agency said Islamic mortgages and other Shariah-compliant financial products would pose no problems with civil law. Representatives from mainstream banks, politicians, and government officials also attended the conference to learn about Islamic finance.