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Muslim Groups to Survey 600 U.S. Mosques

leading this survey and worked on the last one, in 2000.

The survey will again provide figures for the number of U.S. mosques and the number of Muslims associated with those and attempt to ascertain the status of women in them.

Muslim American organizations have launched what they say will be the most comprehensive survey of mosques in the United States in a decade.

“This is the biggest mosque survey since 9/11,” said Ihsan Bagby, an Islamic studies professor at the University of Kentucky, who is

The survey is sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America and six other Muslim groups.

Researchers intend to call leaders of 600 mosques with questions between this month and September.

Final results are expected in February.

India, US sign Counter Terrorism Cooperation Initiative

India and the United States signed the India-US Counter Terrorism Initiative, the text of which was initialed on the sidelines of the visit of the Prime Minister of India to the US in November, 2009. Union Home Secretary, G.K. Pillai

signed for India whereas Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer signed on behalf of the USA.

The India-US Counter Terrorism Cooperation Initiative, signed in New Delhi, seeks to further enhance the cooperation between two countries in Counter Terrorism as an important element of their bilateral strategic partnership.

The initiative provides for strengthening capabilities to effectively combat terrorism; promotion of exchanges regarding modernisation of techniques; sharing of best practices on issues of mutual interest; development of investigative skills and promotion of cooperation in forensic science laboratories. Besides, it seeks to establish procedures to provide mutual investigative assistance; enhancing capabilities to act against money laundering, counterfeit currency and

financing of terrorism; exchanging best practices on mass transit and rail security; increasing exchanges between Coast Guards and Navy on maritime security.

Exchanging experience and expertise on port and border security; enhancing liaison and training between specialist Counter Terrorism Units including National Security Guard with their American counter parts are part of the agreement. Meanwhile, Union Home Secretary recalled that during the visit of the Union Home Minister to the US during September, 2009, several areas for Counter Terrorism Cooperation between India and US, beyond the existing instrumentalities, were identified and which find full reflection in the agreed document. He described the MoU as an evidence of successful cooperation between India and US in Counter Terrorism and as being based upon the solid foundation of mutual benefit. Union Home Secretary also acknowledged the key role played by Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer in bringing the proposal to successful fruition. IRNA

Passion Islam I August 2010

Anti-Islamic websites to be banned in Turkey

Turkey’s Dianat (religious affairs) Department has been given the right to seek to ban anti-Islam websites according to a bill passed by the parliament, internethaber reports. According to the new law, all the websites with anti-Islamic and sacrilegious contents will be blocked. This also includes websites which put Quranic publications online without permission from the publishers.

The Dianat Department can sue the websites’ owners and the court will give orders to block the websites.

Some secular parties have criticized the law claiming it is against Turkey’s Constitution and would lead to political and religious censorship.

Frankfurt University to introduce Islamic studies program

Frankfurt’s Goethe University is to begin a three-year Islamic studies program this winter semester. The bachelor’s program is to focus scientifically on religious, cultural and historical aspects of Islam.

The scientific success of the Islamic studies program will be reviewed by the university in three years.

Germany announced plans earlier this year to set up institutes for Islamic studies to train new generations of Muslim clerics and religious teachers more attuned to western society, and to exert subtle control over how the country’s growing Muslim population is taught about its faith.

The government has welcomed a proposal by its academic advisory council to create centers of Islamic theology at two or three state-run universities.

Germany has long-established faculties for Christian and Jewish theology, but no centers for Islamic studies, even though it has four million Muslims, the largest Muslim population in Europe after France. Until now, the only German university training Muslim teachers is located in the western city of Muenster. IRNA

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