April 6, 2011 |
In this digital age, speech has been globalized just as surely as commerce. That's one of the lessons to be taken from the troubling sequence of events in which a tiny Florida church's distasteful publicity stunt of burning a Koran triggered five days of protest and mob violence across Afghanistan. Through Tuesday, more than 20 people had been killed, and the hand of our Taliban antagonists has been strengthened. Terry Jones, you may recall, is the anti-Islam pastor of a Gainesville fundamentalist church with a congregation of about 30, who gained international notoriety and hours of press attention last fall by threatening to burn a Koran on the Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2010 |
Fathi Osman, an Egyptian American expert on Islam who was a forceful voice for modernism in the Muslim faith, died Saturday at his home in Montrose. He was 82. The cause was congestive heart failure, said his daughter, Ghada Osman, a professor of Arabic studies at San Diego State University. Osman wrote more than 25 books in Arabic and English, including "Concepts of the Quran" (1996), a unique English-language commentary on the Koran that presents the challengingly subtle and discursive text in a format organized by topic.
November 7, 2010 |
He calls Islam a "totalitarian ideology. " He compares the Koran to "Mein Kampf" and wants it banned. He says that millions of Muslims who have settled in Europe ought to be deported, taking their "retarded" culture with them. Such statements have made Geert Wilders the most controversial politician here in the Netherlands and a provocative figure abroad. But do they also make him a criminal? For months, Wilders, 47, has been at the center of a messy legal fight that has forced the parliament member to defend himself in an Amsterdam courtroom against charges of inciting hatred and insulting an entire class of people.
September 11, 2010 |
Everyone with a television camera or a notepad seemed to be converging on Florida this week to ask Terry Jones: Will you burn the Koran? Better questions might have been: Does God embrace bigots? Is there at least an ounce of shame in distracting the world from its real business? And when does Yosemite Sam get his mustache back? That last one because woolly-whiskered Jones' TV appearances this week unreeled like some madcap cartoon. The harrumphing, huckstering faux man of God growled threats at Islam, then purred about his hope for compromise, then growled again.
September 10, 2010 |
As a candidate, Barack Obama passionately defended the importance of religion in his life and in the nation's politics. As president, Obama on Friday called for a renewal of religious tolerance and a cooling of tempers against Muslims as he tried to defuse the furor over plans to build an Islamic prayer center and mosque in New York and threats to burn copies of the Koran in Florida. Obama, a Christian whose Muslim name inflames some of his fringe opponents, didn't have to get involved in either dispute.
August 6, 2009 |
Ethel Khurshid Gil gingerly held out the charred Bible she pulled from the rubble of her home, using a swatch of cellophane to keep the scorched pages from scattering in the hot wind. "Look how they've destroyed our Bibles!" the 47-year-old Christian Pakistani cried out.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 27, 2011 |
At the pulpit of an inner-city Chicago mosque, the tall blond imam begins preaching in his customary fashion, touching on the Los Angeles Lakers victory the night before, his own gang involvement as a teenager, a TV soap opera and then the Day of Judgment. "Yesterday we watched the best of seven.... Unfortunately we forget the big final; it's like that show 'One Life to Live,' " Imam Suhaib Webb says as sleepy boys and young men come to attention in the back rows. "There's no overtime, bro. " The sermon is typical of Webb, a charismatic Oklahoma-born convert to Islam with a growing following among American Muslims, especially the young.