Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The fastest growing religion

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The fastest growing religion


In the last 50 years from the year 1950 until the year 2000 Islam has increased by 235 percent!! (World Almanac and Book of Facts 1992 pg 725, U.S. News and World Report Oct 8, 1990, Encyclopedia Britannica 1989 vol. 22) .
Over 1 in 5 people in the world today are Muslims!! Islam is the second largest religion with Christianity being first followed by Islam and then Judaism.
During the 1991 Gulf War 7000 American soldiers embraced Islam!    Because of the large number of service personal embracing Islam, the United States government


 was inclined to incorporate Muslim chaplains or Imams as they are called, as part of their service personal. An Imam is the counterpart of Christian pastors, Catholic priest and Jewish Rabbi. They also allowed these new Muslim service personal time on Fridays to attend the Jummah Prayer, which is the counter part to Christian Sunday service or the Jewish Sabbath services.  
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States. Within the last few years alone, we have seen an astonishing number of Americans converting to Islam. Covering every sector of society, economic background, profession and race, they are choosing Islam.
Another interesting aspect is that the women in America embracing Islam are holding more academic degrees than the men who embrace Islam! In other words, more women with Bachelors, Master's and PhD's. Why would such educated women embrace a religion that is suppose to regulate them to the status of a second class citizen?
Recognition & Social Acceptance
This last Ramadan we saw Capitol Hill hosting its first ever Iftar (breaking of the daily fast during the month of Ramadan) dinner attended by Congressmen, congressional staffers, 130 elected officials, American Muslim leaders, as well as ambassadors from Islamic nations. Rep. John Conyers in his welcoming remarks said that they plan to do this on yearly bases.
Retailers are also sitting up and taking notice of the ever growing Muslim population. This year IKEA highlighted the month of Ramadan with a month long campaign showing women wearing the Islamic head scarf (hijab) and South Asian dresses, photos of Makkah, sweet trays used for the end of fast celebrations and a text explaining the religious meaning of the holiday. Although this is not as yet a nationwide mail-out campaign it is on their web site
www.ikea.ca. It is a first for IKEA and part of a trend by retailers to acknowledge a minority celebration. Other retailers such as the Hudson's Bay Company for the first time this fall included Ramadan greetings in flyers for The Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitters, plus posters and door signs. It will do the same for the Jewish Chanukkah, Christmas and other holidays. Hallmark greeting cards is also adding a new line of cards for Ramadan and Eid celebration. For the second year running the U.S. Postal service has produced a stamp commemorating the Eid Celebration just as they do for Christmas and Chanukkah.
A handful of Public Schools across the nation which in the past has closed for Christmas and Jewish holidays have now included the Muslim holiday Eid. Frank Belluscio, a spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association said about his district, "We are diversifying and I am sure this is something we'll see other districts doing in the future."
Some Public Schools have even set aside a small room where Muslim high school students can go to pray in keeping with the fulfillment of their religious duty to pray 5 times a day. This is in keeping with Christian students holding prayer meeting and part of the First Amendment of freedom of religion.
While these are only small first steps in the acceptance of the Fastest Growing Religion in the United States and the world, we must remember that every minority whether people or religion: German, Irish, Italian, Jews, Spanish speaking people,  Japanese, Chinese, Viet Names, Hawaiians, Blacks, Native American Indians,  Catholic, Mormons, Hara Krishna's, Christian sects, denominations and Occults have all at one time or another experienced suspicion, hatred, prejudice, and persecution and yet these have never made the impact on society that Islam is making. In the very near future Islam and Muslims will be such a part of grassroots America as to hardly be noticed. Islam does not belong to an Arab country, but is a religion that is in every country of the world. The United States is not one race of people but a blending of all nations and religions of the world and is truly a Christian, Islamic, Judeo society.
                                                     WELCOME TO ISLAM


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