Tag Archives: Muslim communities

United Congregational Church plans to sell its brick Georgian-Revival style church to the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center

In Europe we find that many Christian Churches which have not enough members any more to fill their churches and to cover their costs for keeping those churches open have to close them down and sell them. Many Christian churches in Holland are sold to private owners to give them different apartments or shops, or are finding a new use as community centre, library or theatre.

Perhaps in the States the churches are also facing a similar problem. One of the oldest and historic Christian Churches in Bridgeport, CT, The United Congregational Church said Monday it plans to sell its brick Georgian-Revival style church, built in the 1920s, to the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center for $1 million.

The two groups will also form a partnership to provide community programs including soup kitchen and a homeless shelter from the site of the current church.

In recent years, more Muslim communities across the U.S. have begun to engage in the types of fundraisers and social-service projects that Christian congregations and Jewish synagogues often host or organize, said David Grafton, professor of Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn.

“As the national landscape has become much more suspicious of Muslims, and as Islamophobia has become more common, Muslim communities have consciously engaged in the process to normalize—or become part of the religious landscape of organizing into voluntary associations that form the bedrock of American civil and religious life,”

he said.

The lineage of the United Congregational Church dates back to colonial days. It was first established in 1695 and called the Ecclesiastical Society of Stratfield. It later merged in 1916 with another congregation to form the United Congregational Church.
Rev. Sara Smith said the Bridgeport church had 3,000 members when the main structure was built, but the numbers have now dwindled to 300. She said it made financial sense for the congregation to look for a new home.

UnitedCongregationalChurchBridgeport.jpg

877 Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut – United Congregational Church: a historic large brick Georgian Revival structure designed by architects Allen & Collens and built in 1925-26 for a congregation with nearly 300 years of history

The United Congregational Church will be renting space in another part of Bridgeport till they find a new space to buy, Rev. Smith said.

“We are not dying, we are just moving,”

she said.

It has been a challenge for Muslim organizations to find real estate for mosques or other religious uses since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that challenge has become more difficult in recent years, said Reza Mansoor, president of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.

“The Muslim community has had to reach out to places of worship to buy their properties in Connecticut towns and cities like East Hartford, Avon and New London,”

Dr. Mansoor said.

Ahmed Ebrahim, the leader of the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center, said his organization bought the church because it had the space needed for prayers and was zoned for religious use. About 1,000 families in the greater Bridgeport region are expected to use the mosque.

“It’s a perfect fit for our needs,”

Dr. Ebrahim said.

The main sanctuary will be used as a prayer space, Dr. Ebrahim said. The congregation from the United Congregational Church will help prepare the space by removing a cross from the altar and modifying the stained-glass windows in the church.

Ellen Carter from Fairfield, Conn., says her family has been a member of the church for 11 generations.

“It’s sad”

we are moving locations, Ms. Carter said.

“On the other hand, it’s necessary, and we are happy it’s again going to be used as a house of worship.”

The closing of the sale is scheduled for May 1. The church was designed by Allen & Collens, the architectural firm that also designed the Cloisters Museum in Manhattan and the Central Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. {Source: The Wall Street Journal}

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Swallowed in the Sea but belonging to earth

The response to the refugee crisis so far has also raised profound questions about a failure of European principles, a trembling of the pillars on which the bloc was founded more than 20 years ago.

The European Union’s reputation, and its faith in Brussels, have suffered in the past few months, with sharp and vocal divisions among member states and continuing doubts about Greek economic sustainability.

The migrant crisis “risks bursting the E.U. at its weak seams,” said Stefano Stefanini, a former senior Italian ambassador now based in Brussels.

“It’s more dangerous than the Greek drama and more serious than the euro, because it challenges fundamental European accomplishments and beliefs.”

Refugees enter a registration camp after crossing the Greek-Macedonian border on Nov. 11. (Robert Atanasovski/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

A translator by degree, who loves writing, thinks that every day we have a choice but that some others do not have a choice. Talking about the refugees he writes

every single day we have so many decisions and choices to make or take, but not them. {Swallowed in the Sea but belong to Earth}

English: Water of the mediterranean sea

Water of the mediterranean sea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

though he forget that they made a very important life changing choice, which was for most of them not so easy to make. though it is true

When they’re in the middle of the sea, where nobody can hear or see them, except for the lord, their choices are, to get lost or get found, to get safe or swallowed by the sea. {Swallowed in the Sea but belong to Earth}

they shall be very limited in their choices, but not without.

Those who might fear those refugees coming to their regions should wonder why those people left their families and their country of birth. for many of them there not only shall be the confrontation with totally different people, a total different culture, but also a grey air, cold and wheat region. How they would not long for their sunny country which nice temperatures?

We should not be angry on them, but should be cross whit those fighters and human smugglers. We should look at the politicians and figures behind the scenes.

Syria is considered the tragedy of the century, and it has been swallowed by the sea of war for the past five years, therefore the Mediterranean Sea will never be an exception. {Swallowed in the Sea but belong to Earth}

Those confronted with an ongoing war had to make the hard choice to leave everything behind what they loved. They made the choice to go to unknown places or to place where they heard from and got some information about. But what were the sources which fed them and what was the reason of those sources to bring them to certain countries, like Germany. Can it not be that they are just used as pawns in a game of ‘Stratego’ or ‘Chess’ to destabilise a part of the world where some states are trying to make one strong Union to be able to stand strong in the stream of the Great Powers, the United States of America and Russia, and to be able to cope with the growing powers of the East, India and China. Could it be that ISIS is a product of American in-action or a product of direct action?

The inhabitants of Europe should realise that they were formed by generations of mixed people coming from one or the other place in Europe and having built a culture over the years which many of them do find in danger,but when they would be strong enough believers they should not fear. The people behind ‘Islamic State‘ are very well aware that those living in Europe have become victims of capitalism and are mostly people who have no strong believes any more. For the ones who want to create a big caliphate it seems best to polarize Western society — to “destroy the grayzone,” as it says in its publications. Islamic State is pushing at an open door to divide Europeans. The group hopes frequent, devastating attacks in its name will provoke overreactions by European governments against innocent Muslims, thereby alienating and radicalising Muslim communities throughout the continent.

The last few years we have seen several attacks by individuals are small groups. Last weekend attack are different in the way that they were very organised and well managed. They are a proof that ISIS is getting better organised in Europe as well as in their battle fields.

Since January, European citizens fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have provided online and material support to lethal operations in Paris, Copenhagen and near Lyon, France, as well as attempted attacks in London, Barcelona and near Brussels. Islamic State fighters are likely responsible for destroying the Russian airliner over the Sinai. These attacks are not random, nor are they aimed primarily at affecting Western policy in the Middle East. They are, rather, part of a militarily capable organization’s campaign to mobilize extremist actors already in Europe and to recruit new ones. {The Islamic State’s trap for Europe}

Some of those who entered Europe by the Mediterranean sea had also some other goals than the ones who were really hoping to find a better life in Europe. Those are also the ones we do find complaining about not having the right food or doing things which we consider not acceptable, like peeping in women’s shower cells or fighting with Afghans or others. They are in for their own selfishness and for stealing from the others. Their actions undermine the politicians their strategy to bring the refugees into different villages and to get them integrated. Such revolts against the people who are giving them a roof above their head makes the civilians angry and giving them a wrong picture of the Muslims and the refugees in general.

writes in her opinion piece for the Washington Post

Unfortunately, elements of European society are reacting as the Islamic State desires. Far-right parties have gained strength in many European countries. France’s National Front is expected to dominate local elections in northern France this winter; on Saturday, Marine Le Pen, its leader, declared “those who maintain links with Islamism” to be “France’s enemies.” The Danish People’s Party gained 21 percent of the vote in national elections in June on a nationalist, anti-Islamic platform. The anti-foreigner Sweden Democrats is steadily growing in popularity. {The Islamic State’s trap for Europe}

The Syrians had to make a choice and had to bear the sea. Now the Europeans have to be careful not to be swallowed by an equally dangerous sea of treason and hate, by making the wrong choice.

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Preceding articles:

Israeli leaders delight in Europe’s cruelty toward refugees

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

Poster: Please help the refugees

Real progress leaves nobody behind

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Additional reading:

  1. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  2. If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for
  3. State of Europe 2015 – Addressing Europe’s crises
  4. Schengen area and Freedom for Europeans being put to the test as never before
  5. Can We Pay The Price To Free Humanity?
  6. ISIS a product of American in-action or a product of direct action
  7. Complaining and fighting asylum seekers not giving signs of thankfulness
  8. bORDER-Gastrofest
  9. The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties
  10. Asylum seekers crisis and Europe’s paralysis
  11. Britain’s position in an age of increasing globalisation
  12. French Muslims under attack
  13. Syrian but also Belgian connection to French attacks
  14. Islamic State pushing at an open door to divide Europeans

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Further reading:

  1. US, French Defense Ministers Discuss Campaign Against Islamic State
  2. The Nihilistic Assaults On Paris – OpEd
  3. Ordinary peace-loving person tries to make sense of terrorism
  4. The Liberal Islam Problem
  5. The France theater Attacks
  6. Paris attacks: What we know so far about the victims
  7. In Photos: As France mourns, Europe holds moment of silence in honour of Paris victims
  8. Post About it, Be About it: thoughts on social media activism
  9. Terrorists Infiltrated Europe Disguised as Refugees
  10. Reuters: Islamic State threatens attack on Washington, other countries
  11. Making ☮ : Where does the peace symbol come from?
  12. Paris, Pussies And Pinterest
  13. A Moment of Silence
  14. Passport found near Paris suicide bomber shows few security checks exist for migrants in the Balkans
  15. Facebook defends using Safety Check after Paris attacks
  16. “We The People Speak” Marketing Campaign
  17. When Compassion Imperils our Security
  18. TV Quiberon 24/7 WORLD – Minute’s silence for Paris victims
  19. I’m with you
  20. Celebrities mourn Nick Alexander, merch manager killed in Paris attack
  21. Anonymous declares war on Islamic State after Paris attacks
  22. BidenJam Returns: Lame-Duck VP Brings L.A. Road Closures Monday & Tuesday
  23. A Message About The Paris Attacks, And Also Peace
  24. French fighter jets bomb ISIL capital in Syria as ‘massive’ retaliation for Paris attacks
  25. Make no mistake, the Paris attacks were a result of Religious Fundamentalism
  26. Paris attacks deepen Republican opposition to Syrian refugee influx
  27. On the attacks in Paris.
  28. Disturbing comparisons
  29. Investigation on Paris attacks continues as authorities look for suspects

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