Mecca Mean Time? World’s biggest clock ticks in Islam’s holiest city

August 12, 2010

clock saudi 1

A giant clock on a skyscraper in Islam’s holiest city Mecca began ticking on Wednesday at the start of the fasting month of Ramadan, amid hopes by Saudi Arabia that it will become the Muslim world’s official timekeeper.

Hardline Islam steps out of the shadows in Algeria

August 12, 2010

algeria salafi (Photo: Books by ultra-conservative Salafis are increasingly available in Algeria, 2 August 2010/Louafi Larbi)

In a bookshop in an eastern suburb of the Algerian capital, visitors can stroll in off the street and pick up titles such as “Our fight against the West,” and “Jihad according to Salafist principles.”

Stock markets in Muslim countries usually rally during Ramadan-study

By Reuters Staff
August 9, 2010

datesRamadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar marked with fasting and prayer, is also an uplifting time for stock markets in predominantly Muslim countries, according to a study by the University of New Hampshire.

Planned New York Islamic center near Sept. 11 site wins approval

By Reuters Staff
August 3, 2010

A New York city agency denied “landmark” status for an old building near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks, clearing the way for the building to be torn down to make room for a Muslim cultural center which has spurred heated debate.

Sonorous black Saudi cleric rescinds objection to fatwa against singing

By Reuters Staff
July 29, 2010

saudi singerAn imam whose voice helped him become the first black Saudi to lead prayers at Mecca’s Grand Mosque said he was wrong to speak against a fatwa prohibiting singing, in the latest spat between reformist and conservative clerics in the kingdom.

Saudis say Muslim women exempted from wearing face veils in France

By Reuters Staff
July 27, 2010

saudi niqabTwo Saudi clerics have declared Muslim women are exempt from wearing full veils in France, which is planning to ban them, but added they should avoid visiting it as tourists.

The perils of eating fire in Saudi Arabia when religious police disapprove

By Reuters Staff
July 21, 2010

fire eaterSaudi artist Maher al-Luqman is always nervous when he goes on stage to eat glass and fire or to walk on nails, for fear the country’s religious police will disrupt his show.

from The Great Debate UK:

Interfaith centre at New York 9/11 site sparks controversy

July 16, 2010

- Mark Kobayashi-Hillary is the author of several books, including ‘Who Moved my Job?’ and ‘Global Services: Moving to a Level Playing Field’.  The opinions expressed are his own. -

CNN fires veteran Mideast editor over tweet on respect for Fadlallah

By Reuters Staff
July 9, 2010

fadlallah picCNN has fired a senior editor for Middle East news after she published a Twitter message that said she respected a Lebanese Shi’ite cleric branded a terrorist by the United States, U.S. and British media said on Thursday. The Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, one of Shi’ite Islam’s highest religious authorities and an early mentor of the militant group Hezbollah, died in Beirut on Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands mourn Lebanon’s Grand Ayatollah Fadlallah

By Reuters Staff
July 7, 2010

fadlallah burial (Photo:  Lebanese Shi’ite Muslims carry coffin Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut, July 6, 2010/Sharif Karim)

Lebanon’s Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah was buried on Tuesday, mourned by hundreds of thousands who paid homage to an early mentor of Hezbollah who became one of Shi’ite Islam’s highest authorities.