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  • New England mosque marks 50 years


    SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- CAIRO –Marking fifty years of success in the community, the Islamic Center of New England holds a ceremony and a banquet on Saturday, November 22, to celebrate decades of serving the fast growing American Muslim community.

    “Islam is not shooting, killing and arguing,” Ahmed Berikaa, a Houghs Neck resident and the vice president of the Islamic Center of New England, told the Patriot Ledger on Friday, November 21.

    “We want to teach the next generation that Islam is not ISIS and al-Qaida ideology. Islam is a religion of peace.”

    Berikaa's remarks, about the recent crimes by militants in the name of Islam, were made during his sermon about the vital role played by the decades-old mosque in Massachusetts’s Quincy.

    Founded in 1964, the Islamic Center, which started with only seven families, has more than 1,000 member families from all over the South Shore and Greater Boston hailing from 36 different nationalities.

    The mosque, which started with a $50,000-structure in Quincy Point, has expanded to two mosques that include schools.

    Between 1990 and 2003, the mosque has faced many challenges including arson fire.

    Serving the new generations of the US-born Muslims, $1.5 million expansions are proposed for the Quincy mosque along with a $6 million-plus expansion for the Sharon mosque.

    “The community is growing significantly, and we’re looking to accommodate the people,” Nasr said.

    The United States is home to a Muslim minority of between six to eight million.

    A survey, published last August, found that American Muslims are the most moderate around the world.

    It also shows that US Muslims generally express strong commitment to their faith and tend not to see an inherent conflict between being devout and living in a modern society.

    An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their ...

    In Hungary teachers protest against education cuts


    SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Thousands of Hungarian teachers have staged an anti-government protest in the capital Budapest to call for dialogue on education reforms and a halt to funding cuts.

    Some 2,000 teachers said on Saturday that the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban has excluded them from talks on an overhaul of the country’s education sector since he took office four years ago.

    The Teachers' Union of Hungary (TUH), which was the protest's main organizer, also urged parliament not to accept the proposed 2015 budget which will be put to vote next month.

    Gallo Istvanne, TUH head, said the spending cuts in the budget would eventuate in “mass layoffs, school closures, and less children staying in school.”

    Andris Kovesdy, a secondary school teacher, also said that if the reforms and cuts carry on, he would not send his two children to school, adding, “No one from headmasters to parents has any say on anything anymore. Everything is centralized.”

    Hungary has been the scene of a series of anti-government protests since October when tens of thousands marched to demand the drop of a proposed tax on internet usage.

    The government scrapped the plan, marking Orban’s first major policy retreat since 2010.

    Massive protest rallies have taken place since then against corruption in Hungary's Tax Authority and against Orban's policies generally.



    Source: PressTV



    US must change attitude in Iran nuclear talks: Official


    SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says the US should change its attitude toward the ongoing talks about Iran's nuclear program so that the negotiations could bear fruit.

    Larijani told reporters upon arrival in Djibouti on Friday that the Iranian team is offering proposals that the other side should take into consideration so that the two sides could reach a successful deal.

    Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program resumed for the fifth day in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Saturday as a November 24 deadline to clinch a final accord is approaching.

    On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said there were still serious gaps in talks over Iran's nuclear work.

    Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers - the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – are negotiating to work out a final deal aimed at ending the longstanding standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.

    Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block in the way of resolving the Western dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all the bans imposed on the country, and not the number of centrifuges or the level of uranium enrichment.

    Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while Washington, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions should remain in place.



    Source: PressTV



    Official: Iran continues its support for Afghanistan


    SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN has attended the session on Afghanistan at the UN General Assembly in New York.

    Speaking today at the UN General Assembly session on the situation in Afghanistan, Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Gholam-Hossein Dehqani said, “the Islamic Republic of Iran wishes a secure and developing Afghanistan, and since the stability in that country directly and indirectly affects the security in the region, Iran will not hesitate to make endeavors to bring about peace and stability in that country.”

    Dehghani, while hailing Afghan people for their participation in the recent presidential election of their country and the formation of a national unity government in spite of the terrorist threats, maintained, “Iran calls on all political parties in Afghanistan to cooperate within their country’s Constitution to strengthen the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan.”

    Dehghani added Iran stands by the Afghan people’s decision in regard to the new government and that the international community should lend its full support to the Afghan government as well.

    In regard to security arrangements, he said, “any step taken after 2014 in support of education, equipment, financing and promotion of Afghan National Security Forces must be consulted with and approved by the Afghan government. The resolution adopted today at the General Assembly has also stressed on this important issue.”

    While noting that Iran has welcomed three million Afghan immigrants in the past thirty years, he said, “at present, the Afghan immigrants in Iran are enjoying public education and higher education opportunities, as well as health care and social security. In 2014 alone, more than 320,000 Afghan students and over 7,000 college students have been provided with educational facilities.”

    Dehghani asserted that Iran and Afghanistan will continue bilateral cooperation on security issues, combating ...

    Our role in the time of occultation and the great reward of whom waiting


    SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- At lots of time, loyal faithful person ask him self about his roles and duties during the age of occupation of the 12th infallible Imam Almahdi May Allah hasten his holy re-appearance. Also what is the preference of the loyal during the time of occultation over other people? The answer to this question even though it's absent from many people minds and thoughts but the Householders AS didn’t leave this question with out an answer. Their noble traditions and pure stories mentioned with details a group of a detailed set of functions and roles every Mukalaf (Muslim adult) must be adhered to and act upon them. Later we will present a group of this functions and roles limited with the important once taking into account to make them brief and simple to make them easier to the reader to understand and work according to them.

    1: The holy narrations of the infallibles AS confirmed the importance of waiting for relief by the loyalists, and not despair. Waiting for the Imam is counted in some traditions as one of the best of worships also other traditions considered those waiting to the relief of their Imam as the best people of every age even better than those who lived with the greatest prophet PBUH and his companions.

    2: to be loyal to the Imams and disavow their enemies

    3: to be one of the people of piety and diligence in good deeds. Also should reform him self before others.

    4: to be assured of his deeds being exposure to the Messenger of Allah PBUH and the Imam AS so he should only do what pleases and satisfy them.

    5: should fight his-self and do Jihad against his desires and being patient to do what pleasure Allah ...

    PressTV/ Bahrain holds legislative vote amid Shia opposition boycott


    SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Bahraini voters are taking part in the country’s first parliamentary and municipal elections since a 2011 popular uprising despite a boycott by the Shia opposition that led the pro-democracy movement.

    Some 350,000 eligible Bahrainis went to the polls on Saturday to choose 40 legislators from among 266 mostly Sunni candidates. A second round of voting will be held next Saturday.

    However, Shia opposition groups boycotted the elections, saying the vote is an attempt to establish "absolute rule".

    The polls are being contested without a compromise between authorities in the Manama regime and the opposition, including the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.

    Anti-government protesters blocked roads in several towns by setting fire to tires while hundreds of security forces have been deployed across the kingdom to disperse the protesters.

    Al-Wefaq and four other opposition groups have dismissed the electoral process as a "farce" and called for an elected prime minister who is independent from the ruling al-Khalifa monarchy.

    Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary general of Bahrain’s al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, on Friday called for an end to the power “monopoly” in the country, warning that the ruling Al Khalifa regime’s refusal to relinquish power could cause an “explosion” of violence.

    Observers and political analysts say the boycott means the polls with whatever outcome will not end the anti-regime protests in the country.

    Since mid-February 2011, thousands of protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to give up power.

    Bahrain has been severely criticized by human rights groups for its harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters, which has claimed the lives of scores of people so far.


    Source: PressTV



    The benefits of having Imam Mahdi (A.S) in occultation


    SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- If the Imam is the leader of the people he should be present among them. What is the benefit of having an Imam who lives an invisible life? What is the use of having an Imam who lives in the state of occultation for centuries without fulfilling any of the functions that he normally under takes: such as propagating religion, solving the problems of society, responding to the attacks of his opponents, commanding the good and forbidding the evil, helping the poor and redressing the wrongs committed against the downtroddens upholding the ordinances of God by instituting proper penalties and explaining the lawful and the unlawful to the people, and so on.

    The people are surely deprived of the benefits that you have enumerated during the occultation. However, the benefits of the Imam's presence are not limited to these. In fact, there are other benefits that are available during the occultation. The following two are among those many other benefits that you have not enumerated:

    First, in accord with all that we have said previously and the proofs that were derived from the writings of Muslim scholars, including the hadith reports that spoke about the necessity of the Imamate, the existence of the Imam as a perfect and unique embodiment of humanity serves as a link between the material and the spiritual world. If the Imam is absent the human species will be extinct. If there is no Imam then God cannot be known or worshipped perfectly. Without the Imam the link between the material and the spiritual become severed. The heart of the Imam is like the source of electricity that distributes light to numerous lamps.

    The illumination and energization of the hidden universe first mirrors on the heart of the Imam and then ...

    Dress & clothings (For Muslims in the West)


    SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Wearing clothes made of natural leather is a real problem for Muslims living in non-Muslim countries. Muslims are used to buying leather products in their own countries without any problem at all because they know that they are made from leather that comes from animals that are slaughtered according to Islamic laws. So they wear them, pray in them, and touch them with their wet hands without any problem or hesitation.But in non-Muslim countries, the reality is completely different.

    Leather products are impure (najis) and salãt in them is not permissible, if we know that they have been made from the hide of an animal not slaughtered according to Islamic laws. Such products are considered pure and salat in them is permissible, if there is a probability that they were made from skin of an animal that is essentially halãl and was slaughtered according to Islamic laws. Salãt is not permissible in leather products made from skin of predatory animals like lion, leopard, tiger, fox, and jackal. Similarly, based on obligatory precaution, salat is not permissible in leather products made from non-predatory animals whose meat is forbidden to us like monkeys and elephants even though their hide could be considered tãhir if they certainly were (or there is a probability that they were) killed according to Islamic laws.

    In all these cases of probability, wearing a belt and things like that made from leather is allowed [in salãt], provided that they are not big enough as to conceal the private parts. If there exists no probability that it was slaughtered according to Islamic laws, and, on the contrary, we are sure that it comes from skin of an animal that was not slaughtered according to Islamic laws, then it is najis and salãt in ...

    Bubonic plague kills 40 in Madagascar


    SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- An outbreak of bubonic plague has killed 40 people and infected over 100 others in Madagascar, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced.

    The data was recorded between August when the first known case in the outbreak was announced and mid-November, according to the WHO report.

    The situation is worsened by high levels of resistance among fleas to a leading insecticide, population density and poor sanitation, the WHO added.

    The disease is transmitted by fleas, which often reside in the hair of rats and other rodents.

    The most infamous symptom of bubonic plague is an infection of the lymph glands (lymphadenitis), known as buboes, which become swollen and painful.

    Within 3 to 7 days of exposure to plague bacteria, Y. pestis, the bacteria becomes localized in an inflamed lymph node and the flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, chills and weakness appear in the infected person.


    Source: PressTV



    Taliban claim shot down US drone in Afghanistan


    SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Taliban militants claim to have shot down a US spy drone in eastern Afghanistan, PRESS TV reports.

    Zabihollah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said on Saturday that the unmanned aircraft was downed while conducting a surveillance mission in Rodat district of Nangarhar province.

    Afghan and American officials have not yet commented on the incident, but the United States regularly uses drones for assassination strikes and spying missions in Afghanistan, as well as in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt near the Afghan border and also in Yemen.

    Washington claims the targets of the drone attacks are militants, but facts on the ground show that civilians have been the main victims of such raids over the past few years.

    Meanwhile a U.S. drone strike killed six suspected militants in northwestern Pakistan, security officials said on Friday. Two missiles struck a house in Mada Khel village of the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border on Thursday night, said a security official based in the area.

    Six people were killed and three wounded, he said, citing intercepts of Taliban conversations.

    Also on Thursday, al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) spokesman Usama Mahmoud said two al Qaeda men were killed in a drone strike last week.Mahmoud identified one of two on Twitter on Thursday as Major Sheikh Adil Abdul Qadus, a former Pakistani army major who owned the home where top al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was arrested.

    Also the Pakistani Taliban on Saturday claimed responsibility for an attack on a political party camp in the southern city of Karachi which wounded at least 15 people.

    Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman for the Jamatul Ahrar faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, said the attack was in revenge for the arrest and killing of Taliban members in Karachi.

    Also on Friday a bomb attached to a motorcycle struck an ...