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Creating tolerance and understanding of Islam in Minnesota

Recently, the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans has witnessed “anti-Sharia” legislation introduced in several states that are a threat to religious freedom in the United States. In Minnesota, Senate File 2281, which was aimed at targeting Sharia Law, was recently introduced, then withdrawn during the 2012 MN Legislative Session.

In response to such legislation, Lori Saroya. President of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Minnesota has stated, “Across the nation, similar anti-religious freedom bills are being used by Islamophobic extremists to demonize Islam and marginalize American Muslims.”  Overall, these recent developments signify the need to build more awareness around the topic of Shariah Law.

SF 2281, and bills like it, represents a fear and misunderstanding of Shariah Law and Islam that has been prevalent across America. A mind captured by fear often times resorts to committing injustice through blind assumptions. To tackle this problem, it is crucial to research some basic facts about Shariah Law for maintaining tolerance and for meaningful discussions on this issue. For a quick overview, Qasim Rashid has an article on the Huffington Post titled, “Shariah Law: The Five Things Every Non-Muslim (and Muslim) Should Know.”

Later this week, there will be a public forum to openly discuss Shariah Law:

“Shariah Law: Myths & Facts” by Odeh Muhawesh

WHERE:

Ridgedale Regional Center, Robert H. Rohlf Room

12601 Ridgedale Dr., Minnetonka, MN 55305

WHEN:

Saturday April 21, 2012 12:00-3:15pm

Free and open to public,*RSVP requested*

Sponsor: Islamic Media, 612-216-2478, islamicmediamn@gmail.com, http://www.islamicmediamn.org

Sharia Law Q and A

 Prayers on the Prairie showing on April 26th!

Prayers on the Prairie: Muslim in Minnesota

Men praying at Al Rahman Muslim Community Center.

Photo by Alex Nok Phasy

It is estimated that 150,000 Minnesotans are Muslim, yet their religious traditions are little understood by the mainstream. Join us over lunch for a brief introduction to Islam, background on the Prayers on the Prairie: Asian-Pacific Minnesotan Religious Practices project, and conversation about what it means to be Muslim in Minnesota.

When:  Thursday, April 26, 2012 from Noon.-1:15 p.m.

Where:  Minnesota Humanities Center, 987 Ivy Avenue East, St. Paul (map)

Intended Audience: Everyone welcome!

Cost:  $15

For information on the speaker Zafar Siddiqui and to learn more about this Lunch and Learn event, please visit our website.

Register online!

This event is part of the Lunch and Learn programming that amplifies collaborative work with partners. Each presentation features a leader from the community who engages participants in learning and discussion around this collaborative humanities work over the lunch hour.

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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Community news, Press Release

 

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Prayers on the Prairie to air on SPNN

Prayers on the Prairie: Asian-Pacific Minnesotan Religious Practices, an orginal documentary jointly produced by the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans and the Minnesota Humanities Center will air on SPNN this November and December.  This project is funded with money from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Asian-Pacific Americans make up 4% of Minnesota’s population (210,000 per Census 2010).  Minnesota is home to the largest Tibetan, Karen, and urban Hmong communities in the United States.  They are small in numbers, and they are an important part of Minnesota.  Their stories and history are Minnesota’s stories and history.  They share in many of the same values and traditions that make Minnesota great.  And they are also different – the biggest difference being religion.  While many Asian-Pacific Minnesotans have strong Christian traditions and church communities, others have different religious traditions that are too little known and understood by others.

Prayers on the Prairie: Asian-Pacific Minnesotan Religious Practices is an attempt at bridging this gap in knowledge and understanding.  The project features an educational documentary and accompanying Informational Booklet. The documentary features segments detailing five religious traditions of Asian-Pacific Minnesotans: Ancestral Worship, Animism and Hmong Shamanism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. The segments introduce and draw on the experience and expertise of experts and practitioners describing how differing religious communities are able to thrive, practice, and live out their religious tenants in the land of blue skies, prairie lands, and 10,000 lakes. The Informational Booklet supplements the documentary by providing background information and, in some cases, further illuminations on some of the tenants of the religions.

The program is scheduled on Channel 14 in St. Paul, the multi-faith channel.

The initial playback dates are:

  • 11/29/2011 1:00 pm CH14
  • 12/1/2011 2:30 pm CH14
  • 12/4/2011 9:00 am CH14
  • 12/4/2011 2:30 pm CH14
  • 12/10/2011 8:00 am CH14

If you would like more information or copies of the DVD and an Informational Booklet please contact us at capm@state.mn.us

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in CAPM news

 

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