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Perspective for A New Vision

Stranger Than Fiction#2:Which Way Islam?

The religion of Islam has been in news often and is on trial in both the court of public opinion as well as the courts of the United States.  The mosque controversy in New York City is just the proverbial “tip of the iceberg”.  As mentioned in my previous articles, since 2009 the number 13 has been featured prominently in news stories involving Muslims.

The following story deals with the actual direction Muslims are facing to pray but on a symbolic level it represents the various forces challenging Islam and the direction it should take.

The challenges facing Islam are three fold:

  • Within its own ranks there is a debate on what Islam should be and how best to implement these changes.
  • There is pressure from Western powers on all of  Islam to conform to Western standards. An example of this are the measures France are implementing to ban forms of Muslim articles of clothing.
  • An engergized intellectual movement that has not yet become mainstream but is challenging Islam at its core. This new scholarship raises questions on the actual existence of Muhammad and other elements of the Muslim canon.

In reference to the story cited below it is interesting that when the USA has its first president of African ancestry, who lived in Indonesia and whose father is from Kenya; Muslims in the country that Barack Obama formerly lived in would “by error” be praying in the direction of  Africa.

The following article is from the World News Network:

“Jakarta: People in the world’s most populous Muslim nation have been facing Africa — not Mecca — while praying.

Indonesia’s highest Islamic body acknowledged on Monday it made a mistake when issuing an edict in March saying the holy city in Saudi Arabia was to the country’s west. It has since asked followers to shift direction slightly northward during their daily prayers.

“After a thorough study with some cosmography and astronomy experts, we learned they’ve been facing southern Somalia and Kenya,” said Ma’ruf Amin, a prominent cleric of the Indonesian Ulema Council, or MUI. “We’ve revised it now to the northwest.” 

He said Indonesians need not worry, however: The miscalculation did not affect God’s ability to hear their prayers.

“God understands that humans make mistakes,” he said. “Allah always hears their prayers.”

Indonesia is a secular nation of 237 million people, 90 percent of whom are Muslim, most of them moderate. The influential Ulema Council often issues fatwas, or edicts, including several controversial rulings against smoking and yoga. 

Many devote Muslims follow such decrees, because ignoring them is considered a sin.”

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2 Responses to “Stranger Than Fiction#2:Which Way Islam?”

  1. this is awesome man

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