Archive for Prayer

Pastor who gave controversial Senate prayer bought anti-Muslim ads

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2011 by loonwatch

There is no problem with anyone calling to their Faith, or trying to win converts, that is part of Freedom of Religion. Unfortunately both Rep. Arlon Linder and Pastor Campbell have crossed the boundaries of interfaith harmony and peace in to the territory of bigotry. Imagine if this were a Muslim Imam and Rep. Keith Ellison saying such words, you would never hear the end of it from Islamophobes. We would be inundated with threats that our Constitution was being desecrated and that the evil Mooslims were trying to take over and must be stopped.

Pastor who gave controversial Senate prayer bought anti-Muslim ads

By Andy Birkey

The Associated Press reports that a Christian prayer on the Minnesota Senate floor on Monday made non-Christian members of that body uncomfortable. Pastor Dennis Campbell’s prayer was highly Christian, as opposed to the nonsectarian prayers that were commonplace under DFL control. It’s not Campbell’s first controversy; last summer he took out ads in the St. Cloud Times that were viewed as anti-Muslim.

“We pray, lord, that you help us show reverence to the Lord Jesus Christ,” Campbell prayed. “Jesus said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ our savior, we pray.”

That prayer sparked non-Christian members of the Senate to cry foul, the Associated Press reports.

The controversy mirrors that of one in 2000, when the Republicans last took over the Minnesota House. Previously, the DFL has allowed non-sectarian prayer in the House, but when Republicans took control, many of the chamber non-Christians protested the overtly Christian prayers.

Rep. Arlon Lindner, instead of acquiescing, instead attacked those members.

“You know, we’re told there’s one God and one mediator between God and man. That man is Jesus Christ. And most of us here are Christians. And we shouldn’t be left not able to pray in the name of our God… And if you don’t like it, you may have to like it. Or just don’t come. I don’t come sometimes for some prayers here… We have that privilege, and you need to exercise it. But don’t impose your irreligious left views on me.”

Following that statement, an ethics complaint was filed against Lindner, one of many in his career in the Minnesota Legislature.

Pastor Campbell came under fire for religious intolerance last summer when his church took out ads in the St. Cloud Times.

“What happens when Moslems take over a nation?” asks Campbell in the ad. “They will destroy the constitution and force the Moslem religion on the society, take freedom of religion away, and they will persecute all other religions.”

The ad also said, “Moslems seek to influence a nation by immigration, reproduction, education, the government, illegal drugs and by supporting the gay agenda.”

He later said he is not a racist and that he was simply trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.

Pilots lock down cockpit after 3 passengers perform Jewish prayer on flight

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2011 by loonwatch

You have to wonder if the ignorant passengers or crew thought these Orthodox Jews were Muslim?

Pilots lock down cockpit after 3 passengers perform Jewish prayer on flight

LOS ANGELES, CALIF.—Pilots on an Alaska Airlines flight locked down the cockpit and alerted authorities after three passengers conducted an elaborate Orthodox Jewish prayer ritual during their Los Angeles-bound flight.

Airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan says the crew of Flight 241 from Mexico City became alarmed Sunday after the men began the ritual, which involves tying leather straps and small wooden boxes to the body.

FBI and customs agents, along with police and fire crews, met the plane at the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.

Airport police say two or three men were escorted off the plane, questioned by the FBI, and released. No arrests were made.

France plans nation-wide Islam and secularism debate

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on February 17, 2011 by loonwatch

Maybe its time for Freedom fries again?

France plans nation-wide Islam and secularism debate

(Reuters)

France’s governing party plans to launch a national debate on the role of Islam and respect for French secularism among Muslims here, two issues emerging as major themes for the presidential election due next year.  Jean-François Copé, secretary general of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party, said the debate would examine issues such as the financing and building of mosques, the contents of Friday sermons and the education of the imams delivering them.

The announcement, coming after a meeting of UMP legislators with Sarkozy on Wednesday, follows the president’s declaration last week that multiculturalism had failed in France. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron have made similar statements in recent months that were also seen as aimed at Muslim minorities there. France’s five-million strong Muslim minority is Europe’s largest.

Copé said the debate, due to start in early April, would ask “how to organise religious practice so that it is compatible in our country with the rules of our secular republic.”

UMP parliamentarians said Sarkozy told them they had to lead this debate to ensure it stays under control. The far-right National Front, reinvigorated with its new leader Marine Le Pen, has recently begun a campaign criticising Muslims here.

“Our party, and then parliament, must take on this subject,” they quoted Sarkozy as saying. “I don’t want prayers in the streets, or calls to prayer. We had a debate on the burqa and that was a good thing. We need to agree in principle about the place of religion in 2011.”

France has sought to keep religion out of the public sphere since it officially separated the Catholic Church and the state in 1905. The growth of a Muslim minority in recent decades has posed new challenges that lead to sometimes heated debates. The government banned headscarves in state schools in 2004 and outlawed full face veils in public last year. But there are no rules about halal meals in schools, for example, or whether Muslims can pray in the streets outside an overcrowded mosque.

The French government held a country-wide debate on national identity in 2009-2010 that preceded the full face veil ban. Many Muslims criticised the debate, saying it turned into a forum to stigmatise them and let people air biased views about Islam.

Marine Le Pen, daughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, stole a march on the UMP in December when she compared Muslims praying in the streets to the wartime Nazi occupation. “Marine Le Pen is getting ratings higher than her father, so at 18 months before the presidential election, you can see why it’s getting urgent (for the UMP) to debate the place of Muslims in France and how they practice their religion,” said RTL radio commentator Marie-Bénédicte Allaire.

When journalists asked Copé if the UMP’s Islam debate would only give credence to Le Pen’s campaign, he said: “Marine Le Pen highlights problems but doesn’t work too much on solutions.”Copé said the UMP would invite “numerous civil and religious personalities (for) broad debates about this absolutely major question. It would be wrong not to deal with this.”

According to the daily Le Figaro, Sarkozy asked the UMP deputies for concrete suggestions within a few months for solving disputed issues about religion in the public sphere.

According to a 2009 Gallup poll, 80 percent of French Muslims said they were loyal to France, but 56 percent of the general public doubted their Muslim neighbours were loyal to the country.

 

Maltese man called “Muslim Terrorist” Turned out to be Christian

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2010 by loonwatch
 

Flying while Muslim can be dangerous even if you aren’t actually a Muslim.

‘Muslim terrorist’ on Air Malta plane turns out to be Caribbean Christian

by Noel Grima (Malta Independent)
The story that made the rounds of the world that a Muslim man was apprehended on an Air Malta plane when he persisted in praying out aloud in the aisle just as the plane was taxying to take off at London’s Heathrow Airport, now has to be revised. 

It was a Caribbean Christian man, Maria Busuttil who was on the plane with him, told The Times. And the prayer he was chanting was the ‘Our Father’.

Yet even yesterday on In-Nazzjon, Brian Grech who had a hand in restraining the man, still insisted the man was an Arab Muslim.

Writing on The Times comment pages yesterday, Ahmed Sain wrote: “For all of you who made a comment yesterday on this subject, I think you got it all wrong regarding this man’s religion. Now you guys ask for forgiveness.”

Meanwhile, unbeknown to most Maltese, comments on foreign papers were not all unanimously in favour of the crew’s action to remove the man from the plane. Many said that in a multicultural society, a man might be allowed to pray as his religion orders him to do.

Thus, a Max from Amsterdam wrote on the Der Telegraaf comment blog: “This often happens. Even before 9/11. Then it was no problem. The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen to leave for New York: a Muslim and a Jew side by side were praying. If you’re afraid you must stay home.”

And another person, LLW from Amsterdam too, wrote: “Let the man pray! That was an exaggerated response from the passengers. I hope the praying gentleman can go home again soon.”

And in a comment that in the light of the new developments is particularly interesting, a writer wrote on the comment pages of the German paper Tagespiegel: “The incitement of fear of Islamic terrorism, now makes innocent, devout Muslims into terrorists, when they probably have nothing to do with it.

“Moreover, it is not Islam, it is the man in his interpretation, acting out very, very strange.

“Had another passenger, from another religion, crossed himself several times, and recited the ‘Our Father’ would such panic have broken out among the passengers or would this behaviour have seemed as normal, because that is how the civilised West felt?

“Here there is a lot of ignorance among our leaders, and this results in this fear, which is many times deliberately fomented. It serves a purpose, to justify a war.

“Among the many blind people, the one-eyed man is king. It follows that for 200 Christian passengers, this man must be a Muslim terrorist, he must be. Simple.”

 

West Bank: Muslims, Jews and Christians Pray for Rain

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2010 by loonwatch

We all need rain.

Holy Land Jews, Muslims and Christians Pray for Rain

BY JUDITH SUDILOVSKY (Ecumenical News Wire)

Unseasonably dry weather in the Holy Land region, with no predictions of rain in the near future, has led a group of about 60 local Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, plus one Christian, to join in praying for rain.

Rabbi Yehuda Stolov of the Interfaith Encounter Association, which helped organize the gathering, said that the prayers on Nov. 11 were not only a plea to God for much-needed rain but also showed the commonality that the residents of the region shared.

The Christian involved was a Roman Catholic priest from Bethlehem.

“They are joint needs. They [the people] need the same things, and they ask for them from the same God,” Stolov told ENInews.

The prayers were said at a natural spring in a valley between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which lie close to one another, and near the village of Wallajah, whose land is under threat during the expansion of an Israeli-built separation barrier, which juts into Palestinian-held land.

The joint prayer occurred after a group of rabbis had visited the West Bank village of Beit Fajjar, where they met Bethlehem governor Abd Al Fattah Hamayel several weeks ago, after Israeli settler were accused of vandalizing a village mosque.

“It [the joint prayer session] was a very emotional experience,” said Rabbi Elchanan Nir, coordinator of the Abraham’s Tent group, which brings together rabbis and Muslim sheiks for monthly meetings.

Nir said it was the first time such a joint prayer for rain had been held in the Holy Land with rabbis and sheiks, and added, “It was a very strong prayer. We saw them pray, and they saw us pray. I hope it will bring rain, and that it will bring unity.”

Stolov commented that the presence of media representatives prevented a true meeting between the worshippers, which was one goal of the event, but they were able to witness each others’ prayer, “which is something to be valued.”

A speech by Bethlehem governor Al Fattah began the proceedings. Then, a Jewish prayer for rain was recited, after which the sheiks recited their regular afternoon Islamic prayers, plus a prayer for rain.

“The purpose of this joint prayer gathering was to break the boundaries between Jews and Muslims,” Ibrahim Embawi, the Muslim coordinator for Abraham’s Tent, told ENInews. “We both inhabit the same land, and need the same water. We all pray to the same God. If it does not rain, we both will be in trouble.”

 

Catalan Mayor Shuts Down Mosque and says “Go pray at home”

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by loonwatch

European Loonieness on the march. Catalan mayor believes that a mosque is “too popular” and has chosen to shut it down. I guess in Catalan Enlightenment values equal repression of religious freedom.

Catalan mayor closes ‘too popular’ mosque, tells Muslims to ‘pray at home’

(via. Islamophobia-Watch)

A Spanish mayor has told Muslim worshippers to “pray at home” and closed the town’s mosque because it was too popular. Angel Ros, the socialist mayor of Lleida, in the northeastern region of Catalonia, complained that the mosque was too full and closed it on Wednesday until further notice.

The building, a former garage used to service trucks, was often filled with crowds exceeding a thousand people, the council said, when the authorised limit for the venue is 240. A new mosque is under construction on the outskirts of the town but work had been stalled because of a lack of financing during the economic crisis.

“The municipality has no obligation to provide places of worship,” Mr Ros said in response to complaints from the town’s Muslim population over the closure. “Those that wish can pray at home, as I do,” he added.

The move follows a recent ban on women wearing the burka or niqab in municipal building in the Catalan town. In June Lleida was the first town council in Spain to introduce a ban, which has since been adopted by half a dozen other councils, including Barcelona, the capital of the region.

Abdelwahab Houzi, the local imam, said the mosque closure had added to the Muslim community’s sense of “persecution” by authorities.

Daily Telegraph, 23 July 2010

 

Minnesota: Woman asks Forgiveness for Election of First Muslim

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by loonwatch

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Amidst prayers for the entertainment industry a woman asked God to forgive Minnesota for electing the first Muslim to Congress.

Religious right leaders ask God to forgive Minnesota for electing first Muslim

Religious right leaders from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., on Saturday for “May Day 2010: A Cry To God For A Nation In Distress.” Topics addressed from the podium ranged from decrying the evils of Dakota Fanning to praying for God to take over Hollywood. But then the prayer turned to Minnesota — and a state woman’s call for repentance after electing a Muslim to Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison.

The unidentified Minnesota woman took to the microphone to pray: “And father, we repent that we have not used godly wisdom when we have elected officials into elected positions in our state and nation, father, and that it has opened the door, that Minnesota holds the responsibility for placing the first Muslim in Congress, and, for that God, we repent.”

The organizers selected speakers for every state in the union to pray at the event. The event website, however, doesn’t list the name of speakers from Minnesota.

Here’s some video of the prayer rally, courtesy of People for the American Way:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xxWWRrCjlg&feature=player_embedded#! 350 300]