SPRINGFIELD,IL–Democratic Illinois Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias said that he supports the proposed Cordoba center in New York City. During a visit to the Illinois State Fair in Springfield he urged Americans to stand up for freedom of religion even when it is difficult.
He says he sympathizes with those who lost loved ones in the attacks, but pointed out that includes Muslims and some emergency personnel at the disaster were Muslim.
Giannoulias says the world is watching how America responds and says â€œAre we going to talk about tolerance, talk about freedom of religion or are we actually going to practice it?â€
Santa Clara approves minaret
SANTA CLARA–The Santa Clara Commission voted unanimously to let the Muslim Community Association (MCA) build a 64 foot minaret at its existing facility, ABC 7 News reported.
The decision came after some public opposition. â€œOur opposition is not based on anybodyâ€™s right to be here or their right to worship,â€ said Tom Scott.
Scott is opposed to the 64 foot tall minaret, or tower, the Muslim Community Association wants to build on top of its existing facility. â€œWhat weâ€™re concerned about is the incompatible architecture,â€ said Scott. â€œWe think the same concerns would apply whether a Muslim Community Association, some other type of mega church, which are popping up in various communities in California.â€
The area is zoned for light industrial use. The MCA moved in across from Scottâ€™s building 15 years ago. Recently, a city sub-committee approved the centerâ€™s plan to build the minaret, but Scott filed an appeal. â€œItâ€™s just a tower and it no disturb any people,â€ said Juliana Daohar, an MCA attendee. â€œIt is weird because what bothers them?â€ asked Khaliq Zulkifly, a Muslim Community Association attendee.
Montrealâ€™s Muslim soccer league
MONTREAL,CANADA–Montrealâ€™s only soccer league that accepts hijab-wearing teens wrapped up its season this past weekend,CTV news reported.
The Muslim Youth Soccer League was created when players were barred from FIFA-sanctioned tournaments because the sportâ€™s governing body ruled that hijabs posed an injury risk to players. Raghad Abu-Thuraia was one player who found herself excluded after the ruling.
â€œTheyâ€™re like â€˜maybe because pins could fall off,â€™ and I was like â€˜I can tuck this in Iâ€™m wearing like two pieces,â€™ and theyâ€™re like â€˜Iâ€™m sorry,â€ said Raghad. When his sister could no longer play for Pierrefonds, Musab Nabil Abu-Thuraia created the MYSL. â€œWe started with 50 players and right now we have 250 players ages five and up,â€ said Abu-Thuraia.
He says that over the past two years, the league has helped unite Montrealâ€™s Muslim community. â€œKeep our differences aside, bring our cultures, learn about each other and unite as one community as Muslim-Canadians,â€ said Abu-Thuraia.
Players like Basma Salame say as a way of meeting other Muslims, the league is very effective. â€œI met new people from here and you donâ€™t know how many Muslims there are until you join a community that brings them all together,â€ Salame said.â€It was all about having fun.â€
However the league is inclusive, and open to all players, Muslim or not. Jessica Avalos plays in the league, and says there is nowhere else sheâ€™d rather play. â€œNo oneâ€™s telling you youâ€™re not allowed to do something,â€ said Avalos. â€œI really like it, itâ€™s free, open.â€