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Mosque

PRI's The World

This architect says the most important feature of a mosque is its sustainability

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mosques have huge variations in their designs and decorations. But when it comes to designing new mosques in the US, one architect wants to focus on sustainability instead of ornate designs and big chandeliers.

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PRI's The World

The US has a wide variety of mosques, and these two guys have seen a lot of them

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Aman Ali and his friend Bassam Tariq know how diverse the Muslim community is- a couple years ago, they criss-crossed the US and visited a different mosque every day for a month. Aman says the Muslim communities he met with are as diverse as America itself- and the mosques are just as unique.

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PRI's The World

Alaska's first mosque prepares to open its doors

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Muslim community in Alaska is larger than you might think. And now, after years of fundraising, they have a place of worship.

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The Takeaway

NYPD Uses Jails to Recruit Muslim Informants

Monday, May 12, 2014

According to documents obtained by our partner The New York Times, a team of NYPD detectives have been going through the city's jails looking for Muslim immigrants in order to turn them into informants.

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The Takeaway

Paris Opens Europe's First Gay-Friendly Mosque

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Despite a long tradition of condemning homosexuality in Islam, Europe's first gay-friendly mosque opened last week in Paris. Similar efforts have also begun in the United States. Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed is the founder of the mosque.

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Transportation Nation

12 Hours Behind the Wheel in NYC, With No Food Or Drink

Thursday, August 09, 2012

(photo by Kathleen Horan)

If you're traveling by taxi this summer, chances are your driver is hungrier than usual. Nearly half of licensed drivers in the city are Muslim—and they’re not eating because they’re observing Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and reflection. That means thousands of cabbies are working 12-hour shifts without food, water or caffeine.

Muslims break their daily fast at sundown. One recent evening, the West 29th Street curbside in Manhattan held so many taxis that the street glowed yellow. This commercial district in Manhattan has free evening parking, a boon for drivers.

Around 8 p.m., as the day's light faded, cabbies rushed into a mosque called Masjid Ar-Rhahman. A mountain of their shoes rose in the vestibule. Soon their sung prayers emanated from a loudspeaker at the top of the mosque. Outside, vendors selling prayer books and sweet treats waited patiently for the cabbies to emerge from inside.

Driver Lansana Keita was one of the first ones out. He smiled as he ate his first food of the day, a sweet rice concoction that resembled rice pudding. "You need something soft after fasting all day, to help your metabolism to digest,” he said.

Keita said his biggest obstacle during Ramadan is keeping up his stamina during a shift that typically features mind-numbing traffic, the threat of parking tickets and the never-ending drone of the TV in his backseat. He said driving on an empty stomach while dealing with the daily guff from passengers becomes a spiritual exercise.

"When someone cusses on you, you have to let it go," he said. "When someone wants to have drama with you, you have to let it go--those are the principles of Ramadan.”

Drivers who chose not to eat in the mosque huddled on the sidewalk in small groups to consume their long-awaited meals.

"I love this: it’s called pakora, samosa and chana,” said Mohammed Tipu Sultan, a driver of 10 years, about his Bangladeshi meal. Sultan made the food disappear in a hurry, like anyone would after fasting for 16 hours.

(photo by Kathleen Horan)

Driver Yehya Abdeen was on his way to get his first caffeine fix at a local cafe before resuming his night shift. He said a purpose of Ramadan is to teach patience—a trait city cabbies aren't always known for.

"I try to be nice all the time, but we try to be more nice during Ramadan," he said, before joking, "But it’s hard when you don't take your coffee, you know?"

During Ramadan, Muslims are required to pray more than the usual five times a day. So you may see drivers stopping to kneel in the direction of Mecca on squares of cardboard or small rugs in the back of bodegas and restaurants.

(photo by Kathleen Horan)

Or at JFK airport. At the airport's taxi lot, hundreds of drivers were lined up awaiting a fare to Manhattan. About two dozen drivers made use of a makeshift prayer area, bowing and kneeling next to a pair of public restrooms.

Tely Diallo, a tall driver in a gingham shirt, was about to jump into his cab again. He paused to complain that it’s hard to make enough money when you're pulling over to pray an extra two hours a day.

"You can't really do what you've got to do," he said. "You can't pray on time. I was supposed to be praying a long time ago but I couldn’t because you're always in a rush, you want to get the lease money."

(photo by Kathleen Horan)

Cabbie Mohammed Waheed said it helps that so many other drivers are fasting with him during the holy month. "The fifteen of my friends who are cab drivers—they all fast," he said.

Muslims, including many New York taxi drivers, will be observing Ramadan this year until the weekend of August 18, when the fasting ends and the completion of a month of self-control is celebrated.

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Features

Park 51 Opens Renovated Space with Photo Exhibit of NYC Immigrant Children

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The developers of the Islamic community center near Ground Zero will open the controversial space to the public for the first time Wednesday night. The community center will showcase a 169-image photo exhibition by Danny Goldfield entitled “NYChildren” in the newly renovated space.

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WNYC News

New Push to Build a Mosque Near Ground Zero

Monday, August 01, 2011

Despite the worldwide controversy that erupted last year over Sharif El-Gamal’s plan to develop a mosque and Muslim cultural center near the World Trade Center site, El-Gamal is spearheading a new effort to make the proposal a reality.

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WNYC News

Protesters For And Against Brooklyn Mosque Converge on Sheepshead Bay

Sunday, March 13, 2011

About 120 demonstrators gathered in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, to protest a proposed mosque that opponents argue will dramatically alter the quality of life in the neighborhood. The protest, organized by about 80 supporters of the mosque, was within shouting distance of a counter-protest and drew locals and nationally prominent critics of Islam.

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WNYC News

Imam Shake-Up at Islamic Center Near World Trade

Friday, February 04, 2011

A Muslim scholar recently named as the new senior imam at the Islamic center being built near the World Trade Center parted ways with the project less than a month after being named to the position.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Big Book of New York: Places of Worship

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Learn more about the city Thursdays in December with the editors of The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition. This week, editor Kenneth T. Jackson and executive editor Lisa Keller discuss the city's places of worship. 

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WNYC News

New York City Mosques Open 'A Week of Dialogue'

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mosques around the city are opening their doors to those interested in learning about the Muslim faith this week. More than 40 leaders from the five boroughs kicked off the "Week of Dialogue" at Brooklyn's Mosque At-Taqwa on Monday.

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Micropolis

A Big Mosque Goes Up in Brooklyn, and No One Objects

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Just when we were led to believe getting a mosque built in New York was guaranteed to cause controversy, here's an article in the Brooklyn Eagle that says otherwise. This $2 million project in Brighton Beach, meant to serve a community of about 5,000 Turkish-Americans, is set to be Brooklyn's largest mosque, but hasn't generated opposition:

After nearly a decade of fundraising and construction, the four-story American-Turkish Eyup Sultan Cultural Center on Brighton Third Street is scheduled to officially open in early December.

The mosque opened temporarily in August for Ramadan, and unlike the controversial Ground Zero cultural center, received very little attention. The Turkish cultural center also escaped the scrutiny of the Bay People, the Sheepshead Bay organization that has feverishly protested a proposed mosque on Voorhies Avenue.

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Micropolis

Park51 Renderings Unveiled

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The developers behind Park51, the Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, have been conspicuously low-key about the project. But they've finally given us a slightly better sense of what they're planning, with the release of 3 renderings: one exterior shot and two interiors. All in all, the images suggest a highly contemporary visual aesthetic, dominated by an outer shell that could best be termed web-like or exoskeletal. The architectural firm is Soma.

 

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WNYC News

Muslim Leaders Propose 'Week of Dialogue'

Monday, September 20, 2010

National and local Muslim leaders held a one-day summit on Park 51 Monday, voicing support for the proposed mosque and Islamic community center. The group released a statement, saying its signatories "stand for the constitutional right of Muslims, and Americans of all faiths, to build houses of worship anywhere in our nation as allowed by local laws and regulations."

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Muslims in America: The View From the Rest of the World

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ros Atkins, presenter of World Have Your Say on BBC World Service radio & BBC World News television, discusses how people in the rest of the world are responding to the current heated discussions around being Muslim in America.

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Politics

Where New York Leaders Stand on the Islamic Cultural Center

Friday, September 10, 2010

The issue of whether or not there should be an Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center is one of the most politically contentious issues of this election season. The opinions of New York's public figures run the gamut from strong support to solid opposition.

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WNYC News

9/11 Anniversary Brings Islamic Center Supporters and Opponents to the Streets

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Both supporters and opponents of the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero plan to take to the streets this weekend as Saturday marks the ninth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.

The proposed development, known as Park51, has brought about significant controversy in New York City and across the country.

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The Takeaway

The World Responds to Mosque Near Ground Zero

Thursday, September 09, 2010

This summer, city-backed plans to build an interfaith community center and mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero sparked an international debate.  Although there are nuances to the arguments, one side clearly feels that building a mosque near the site of the September 11th attacks is an affront to the victims; on the other hand, supporters say that there is no reason to block the plans, beyond simple “Islamophobia.” 

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Micropolis

Park51: Muslim Leaders Make Their Stand

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A group known as the Majlis Ash-Shura of Metropolitan New York, aka the Islamic Leadership Council, braved the furious heat (remember, observant Muslims aren't even drinking water these days) and the questions of a sizable press contingent as they tried to reframe the story of the planned Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero.

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