Author Topic: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams  (Read 3680 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« on: January 14, 2013, 07:19:21 PM »
According to the report “The American Mosque 2011” by University of Kentucky professor Ihsan Bagby, half of all mosques in the U.S. have no full-time staff, and only 44 percent of imams work as paid, full-time leaders.

In Spokane, the Muslim community has been seeking a leader for 18 months and counting.

“It’s hard for a small mosque like ours to compete,” said Mamdouh El-Aarag, who serves on the mosque’s board.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 07:22:50 PM by Jetavan »
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Offline JamesR

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 07:56:36 PM »
Sounds good to me. The Americas are probably the only continents that Islam hasn't fully infected to some degree.
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Offline biro

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 08:00:23 PM »
Maybe we can interest them in a priest, instead?

Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 10:27:12 AM »
Do they get dental?
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 10:46:31 AM »
Only a temporary state I'm sure. Out of the huge Muslim enclaves of Detroit they will home-grow some imams.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 10:53:40 AM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 11:06:49 AM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.
"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides

Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 11:11:12 AM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

Less than 2% and depending on who you ask probably around 1.3%.
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2013, 11:14:26 AM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

Less than 2% and depending on who you ask probably around 1.3%.

So? Still "part of America".
"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides

Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 11:14:45 AM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

Remember that huge Pew study?



http://religions.pewforum.org/reports
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2013, 11:15:54 AM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

Less than 2% and depending on who you ask probably around 1.3%.

So? Still "part of America".

Learn something about rhetoric while you "struggle" with something as facile as Greek.
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2013, 11:17:49 AM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

Less than 2% and depending on who you ask probably around 1.3%.

So? Still "part of America".

Learn something about rhetoric while you "struggle" with something as facile as Greek.

Nice try. My Greek is fine. How's yours?
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Offline primuspilus

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2013, 11:31:56 AM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

Less than 2% and depending on who you ask probably around 1.3%.

So? Still "part of America".

Learn something about rhetoric while you "struggle" with something as facile as Greek.

Nice try. My Greek is fine. How's yours?
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« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 11:32:54 AM by primuspilus »
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Offline orthros

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2013, 11:46:21 AM »
I'm more worried about the 12.1% who declared they are "nothing in particular".  IIRC, that percentage has doubled in the past several years and continues to climb.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2013, 12:01:02 PM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

I live in a suburb of Detroit, and have been many times to Dearborn. ....and heard the "call to prayer" over the speakers.

...and yet, my church can't have bells, because they disturb the peace.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2013, 12:03:02 PM »
According to the report “The American Mosque 2011” by University of Kentucky professor Ihsan Bagby, half of all mosques in the U.S. have no full-time staff, and only 44 percent of imams work as paid, full-time leaders.

In Spokane, the Muslim community has been seeking a leader for 18 months and counting.

“It’s hard for a small mosque like ours to compete,” said Mamdouh El-Aarag, who serves on the mosque’s board.

How is that different from Christian churches?

We don't have a "full time" staff....and many priests I know do not get paid, but, hold a secular job to pay the bills.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2013, 01:33:10 PM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

I live in a suburb of Detroit, and have been many times to Dearborn. ....and heard the "call to prayer" over the speakers.

...and yet, my church can't have bells, because they disturb the peace.


You two might want to consider checking out sampling bias.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2013, 01:34:55 PM »

We are simply expressing what we have seen in the areas where we live.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2013, 01:36:02 PM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

Less than 2% and depending on who you ask probably around 1.3%.

So? Still "part of America".

Learn something about rhetoric while you "struggle" with something as facile as Greek.

Nice try. My Greek is fine. How's yours?
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PP

Knowing you two don't have much to offer is enough. Oh, do you have anything to add to thread or did you just stop by to vent your feelings about me?

Go back through the thread.

I am right.

The guy with Greek letters is wrong.

I offer content. He offers anecdotal conjecture.

I call it teaching.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2013, 01:39:31 PM »

We are simply expressing what we have seen in the areas where we live.


The skies are gray today.

What's the point? Either one is making an observation that doesn't hold weight. Or one is suggesting one's observation makes some point.

What are you suggesting? Or the Greek Letter Guy?

I can only infer one point which would be salient. And it holds little merit.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2013, 01:43:17 PM »
I'm more worried about the 12.1% who declared they are "nothing in particular".  IIRC, that percentage has doubled in the past several years and continues to climb.

Check out their method and methodology. It might shine some light no what that statement means. I think it is an interesting statement, but I haven't read what it means in the Pew study.

But to your point, why do you find that problematic? Would a decrease in that response along with an increase in the number of say Scientologists be better? This isn't rhetorical. I'm curious.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2013, 02:08:08 PM »

Well, if we've seen them in our cities, the claim that "Muslims, make no part of America" is incorrect, because they do.  They are part of our piece of America.



Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2013, 02:14:13 PM »

Well, if we've seen them in our cities, the claim that "Muslims, make no part of America" is incorrect, because they do.  They are part of our piece of America.





Rhetoric Liza, rhetoric. I expect Greek Letter Guy to understand that a little since he studies the language of people who wrote about such things. If he used those weird Latin letters for his name, I would be very disappointed.
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Offline orthros

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2013, 02:32:19 PM »
I'm more worried about the 12.1% who declared they are "nothing in particular".  IIRC, that percentage has doubled in the past several years and continues to climb.

Check out their method and methodology. It might shine some light no what that statement means. I think it is an interesting statement, but I haven't read what it means in the Pew study.

But to your point, why do you find that problematic? Would a decrease in that response along with an increase in the number of say Scientologists be better? This isn't rhetorical. I'm curious.

Well, Scientology wouldn't be a huge step up, but an erosion in organized religion in general is a troublesome trend.  If the % of "nothing" increased to say, 25% in 2020, I wouldn't expect that to be a positive sign of societal health.  Of course, one could make the argument that anything other than an increase in their particular brand of Christianity is a bad sign. 

I guess I was reacting to my belief that an increase of hyper-individualism in spiritual matters is usually bad.  Folks who belong to an organized faith tend to be more charitable, volunteer more, are more likely to take part in social events that assist the poor & neglected, etc.  It's hard to help the poor if you aren't connected societally and don't know who the poor are.

Offline primuspilus

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2013, 02:39:09 PM »
Quote
Knowing you two don't have much to offer is enough. Oh, do you have anything to add to thread or did you just stop by to vent your feelings about me?
Fair enough. If you live in Dearborn (30% Muslim population) you might think that Muslims are everywhere. They might make up a small percentage in the US, but there are larger concentrations in some parts of the area. So, Aris is not wrong. He made his comments based on observation in his area. Just as you make observations in yours.

Quote
I am right.
Oh, that settles it  ::)

Quote
The guy with Greek letters is wrong
This comment and a quarter will buy you a cup of coffee.

Quote
I call it teaching.
You forgot your quotation marks around it.

PP
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2013, 02:43:49 PM »
Quote
Knowing you two don't have much to offer is enough. Oh, do you have anything to add to thread or did you just stop by to vent your feelings about me?
Fair enough. If you live in Dearborn (30% Muslim population) you might think that Muslims are everywhere. They might make up a small percentage in the US, but there are larger concentrations in some parts of the area. So, Aris is not wrong. He made his comments based on observation in his area. Just as you make observations in yours.

Did you read my posts?

I am not relying on my observations to make my point. Perhaps you want to look at sampling bias as well, although you do seem have some general grasp of it after having learned about it from reading my post.

You're welcome.

And I don't know who Aris is.

This might be a "teachable" moment.

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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2013, 03:10:37 PM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

Less than 2% and depending on who you ask probably around 1.3%.

So? Still "part of America".

Learn something about rhetoric while you "struggle" with something as facile as Greek.

Nice try. My Greek is fine. How's yours?
He has no requirement to know anything Aris, only to belittle those who do.

PP

Knowing you two don't have much to offer is enough. Oh, do you have anything to add to thread or did you just stop by to vent your feelings about me?

Go back through the thread.

I am right.

The guy with Greek letters is wrong.

I offer content. He offers anecdotal conjecture.

I call it teaching.

I think I am still the traffic cop, moderator, facilitator, referee, etc.. on this forum. I will ask for help when I need it.

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2013, 03:30:18 PM »

We are simply expressing what we have seen in the areas where we live.

You do not have to explain your VALID opinion to him or make any apology.
"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides

Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2013, 06:26:46 PM »

We are simply expressing what we have seen in the areas where we live.

You do not have to explain your VALID opinion to him or make any apology.

You sure you know Greek? You are being somewhat redundant.

Maybe you do understand Greek and I now understand why you are contributing nothing of substance to this thread.

I've offered apologies here, the only among us which make sense and are valid.

By the way, the skies are a little more gray here.

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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2013, 11:04:58 PM »

We are simply expressing what we have seen in the areas where we live.

You do not have to explain your VALID opinion to him or make any apology.

You sure you know Greek? You are being somewhat redundant.

Maybe you do understand Greek and I now understand why you are contributing nothing of substance to this thread.

I've offered apologies here, the only among us which make sense and are valid.

By the way, the skies are a little more gray here.



I recognize the English idiom but cannot fathom this rambling inanity. Run along, sonny boy. Annoy someone else.
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2013, 11:30:42 PM »
At the risk of being labelled hateful, I can't help but wonder if they might be seeking something that their religion is not naturally amenable to, according to the caption below the photo that accompanies the story: "The Spokane Islamic Center wants something mosques all across the country are seeking and can’t seem to find: an educated, bilingual, experienced imam who understands American culture."

Offline Jason.Wike

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2013, 02:16:46 AM »
Does it really matter? Muslims don't necessarily need imams for any thing. They have no sacraments, rituals or anything else that only imams can do.

Offline Alpo

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2013, 02:52:10 AM »
Does it really matter? Muslims don't necessarily need imams for any thing. They have no sacraments, rituals or anything else that only imams can do.

It doesn't really matter even if imamhood is theoretically speaking an unnecessarry institution. It's part of all Islamic cultures. Therefore they need imams for quite a lot of things.

That said, you're wrong. They need imams at least for getting married.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2013, 06:08:13 AM »
Good news, at least for the time being----too many terrorists among the imams probably is the problem.
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2013, 08:29:25 AM »
Does it really matter? Muslims don't necessarily need imams for any thing. They have no sacraments, rituals or anything else that only imams can do.

Good question. It did cross my mind with this 'clergyless' religion.
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Offline primuspilus

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2013, 08:48:48 AM »
Quote
I am not relying on my observations to make my point. Perhaps you want to look at sampling bias as well, although you do seem have some general grasp of it after having learned about it from reading my post
I didnt learn anything from your posts. If you were making your comment based on no observation, as what Aris and Liza said then maybe you should follow their lead then.

Quote
And I don't know who Aris is
Then maybe you should not criticize anyone's Greek. However, as I said before you dont need to know anything, but criticize people who do. Nothing new here.

Quote
This might be a "teachable" moment.
Judging by your comments, you are correct. It is a teachable moment, but I think you should be the recipient.

PP
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"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker

Offline Santagranddad

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2013, 09:06:45 AM »
If you lived here in the English Midlands you might feel mosques and Moslems were a very significant (I've lost count of the mosques in Birmingham). Areas of Londonistan would also give the same impression but this is not necessarily reflected across the whole country. What is certain is that their families are much larger in most cases than among the 'host' population. Mosques too are often more frequented than most churches.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 09:07:31 AM by Santagranddad »

Offline Alpo

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2013, 06:45:04 AM »
I hope they are able to find from backwoods of their old countries some traditional imams to fulfill the need instead of Saudi-educated ones.
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the people on this forum have to stop taking themselves so seriously. None of us are some modern-day Athanasius, we all just have nothing better to do.

Offline Santagranddad

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2013, 08:38:48 AM »
The British newspaper The Daily Mail reports today on vigilante hooded Muslim Patrols patrolling Waltham Forest in London and taking alcohol off passers by and challenging women about their dress saying this is a Muslim Area. They have uploaded a video on YouTube 'Muslim Patrol'.

The video shows a young Moslem hijab wearing woman challenging their behaviour to no avail.

My take having done some research on the relationship historically between Moslems and non-Moslems is that this sort of problem is but one example of a challenge likely to be repeated across the Western world. And so-called multiculturalism is in my mind is a form of sleep walking into disaster. A disaster funded too often by our ally Saudi Arabia. But Saudi funding is but one part of a complex problem

But to the contributor who writes that Moslems are part and parcel of American society, I respectfully suggest you consider whether your view is too simplistic.

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2013, 09:23:00 AM »
But to the contributor who writes that Moslems are part and parcel of American society, I respectfully suggest you consider whether your view is too simplistic.
Muslims were certainly part of the early American nation, surviving until the mid-1800s. Then the immigration from the Middle East around 1900 re-vived the Muslim presence.

Quote
Diouf finds that Muslim slaves included a disproportionate number of the intellectual elite in West Africa, men far better prepared than the average farmer to sustain their faith. Being Muslim helped them to do well in the horrifyingly difficult circumstances of American chattel slavery: "There is ample evidence that the Muslims actively used their cultural and social background and the formation they had received in Africa as tools to improve their condition in the Americas." The signs of this success were easy to see, even if slightly contradictory. On the one hand, Muslims rose to the top of the slave hierarchy (in at least one case, the slave kept his master's plantation records in Arabic), were manumitted more often, and returned to Africa more frequently. On the other hand, Muslims had a disproportionately large role in establishing maroon communities and leading slave rebellions, sometimes (most especially the great Bahia rebellion of 1835 in Brazil) dominating their planning and leadership. "Islam was an excellent organizing force," Diouf notes. In addition to the communal solidarity it imbued in Muslims, knowledge of Arabic at times served as a common and secret language for those planning revolts .
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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2013, 11:07:55 AM »
Much of the African slave trade can be attributed to the religion of peace:  http://africanhistory.about.com/od/slavery/a/IslamRoleSlavery01.htm
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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2013, 11:21:48 AM »
But to the contributor who writes that Moslems are part and parcel of American society, I respectfully suggest you consider whether your view is too simplistic.
Muslims were certainly part of the early American nation, surviving until the mid-1800s. Then the immigration from the Middle East around 1900 re-vived the Muslim presence.

Quote
Diouf finds that Muslim slaves included a disproportionate number of the intellectual elite in West Africa, men far better prepared than the average farmer to sustain their faith. Being Muslim helped them to do well in the horrifyingly difficult circumstances of American chattel slavery: "There is ample evidence that the Muslims actively used their cultural and social background and the formation they had received in Africa as tools to improve their condition in the Americas." The signs of this success were easy to see, even if slightly contradictory. On the one hand, Muslims rose to the top of the slave hierarchy (in at least one case, the slave kept his master's plantation records in Arabic), were manumitted more often, and returned to Africa more frequently. On the other hand, Muslims had a disproportionately large role in establishing maroon communities and leading slave rebellions, sometimes (most especially the great Bahia rebellion of 1835 in Brazil) dominating their planning and leadership. "Islam was an excellent organizing force," Diouf notes. In addition to the communal solidarity it imbued in Muslims, knowledge of Arabic at times served as a common and secret language for those planning revolts .

Interesting. Had no idea.
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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2013, 11:23:10 AM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

Remember that huge Pew study?



http://religions.pewforum.org/reports

If I read the chart correctly, and understood you correctly (is that even possible for mere mortals??), then your conclusion that Muslims are not part of America applies equally to Orthodox Christians, yet you make no comment about that.  Are you an Orthodox Christian?  Do you live in America?  Is where you live part of America?  Are *you* part of America?
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2013, 11:26:41 AM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

Remember that huge Pew study?



http://religions.pewforum.org/reports

If I read the chart correctly, and understood you correctly (is that even possible for mere mortals??), then your conclusion that Muslims are not part of America applies equally to Orthodox Christians, yet you make no comment about that.  Are you an Orthodox Christian?  Do you live in America?  Is where you live part of America?  Are *you* part of America?

Orthodoxy is irrelevant in America. Again, it is called rhetoric.

If I heard some tirade against Orthodoxy, I could easily say: calm down, Orthodoxy is no part of America.
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Re: U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2013, 11:39:51 AM »
Everyone realizes that Muslims make up no part of America?

Calm down.

Yeah, right... ::)

Care to come visit my neighborhood here in Pittsburgh? It's still part of America.

Remember that huge Pew study?



http://religions.pewforum.org/reports

If I read the chart correctly, and understood you correctly (is that even possible for mere mortals??), then your conclusion that Muslims are not part of America applies equally to Orthodox Christians, yet you make no comment about that.  Are you an Orthodox Christian?  Do you live in America?  Is where you live part of America?  Are *you* part of America?

Orthodoxy is irrelevant in America. Again, it is called rhetoric.

If I heard some tirade against Orthodoxy, I could easily say: calm down, Orthodoxy is no part of America.



Rhetoric?  What is the "it" that you are calling rhetoric?
Quote

Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations.[1] As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western tradition.[2] Its best known definition comes from Aristotle, who considers it a counterpart of both logic and politics, and calls it "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetoric

At what point does something become "part of America"?
"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)