Eid part of US tapestry of traditions: Obama

Updated 18 August 2013
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Eid part of US tapestry of traditions: Obama

OHIO: Muslims across the US celebrated Eid on the same day to everyone’s joy and relief. Mosques overflowed with happy worshippers who stood as one ummah in prayer and thanksgiving, enjoying the mild weather, treats and spiritually motivating sermons of the day.
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle also sent their warmest greetings to Muslims celebrating Eid Al-Fitr around the world, calling it "part of a great tapestry of America's many traditions."
"Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to Muslims celebrating Eid-Al-Fitr in the United States and around the world," Obama said in his message.
"For millions of Americans, Eid is part of a great tapestry of America's many traditions, and I wish all Muslims a blessed and joyful celebration. Eid Mubarak," Obama said.
There was some difference of opinion the night before on the sighting of the Shawwal moon. Many mosques in Maryland, Ohio, and other states, announced that the moon had been sighted in Chile therefore Eid would be celebrated on Thursday. Organizations like Chicago Hilal rejected Chile as not fulfilling their criteria and said that Eid would be on Friday. Late reports of moon sightings in Arizona and California settled the score.
Delivering the second khutbah on the topic of ‘Future Muslim’ at Masjid Noor, which was being telecast live on the internet and Guide us TV, Sheikh Yusuf Estes shared some interesting facts. He said that of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world only 12 percent were Arabs. He emphasized therefore importance of learning Arabic so the future Muslims would understand the Qur'an and follow it.
He said a lot of the young children had beautiful recitation but they did not know what they were reading. Referring to a recent recitation competition, Sheikh Estes said only one child knew the translation of what he was reciting. Islam he said was the fastest growing religion in the West but the future Muslims needed to learn it so they could practice it and be good ambassadors for it.
Talking about the word Shariah (which is highly misunderstood and often misquoted by Islam phobes) Sheikh Yusuf Estes shared an anecdote related to a seminar that he had attended in California. The audience was asked if Shariah was something good or bad. Everyone, including some Muslims, thought Shariah was bad. When asked the same thing about the Torah, everyone said Torah was something good. Nobody knew both words meant the same thing, ‘the law of God.’
Ray, a newly reverted Muslim, was overwhelmed with happiness as he celebrated his first Eid. “I can’t believe how full the mosques are and how the families are close to one another and everyone is so welcoming and kind.” Ray said that since he had become a Muslim he had been exposed to many plates of biryani and had fallen in love with it and was going to have it again for Eid.
Afshan who was offering Eid prayers for the first time in a mosque said she missed her family in Multan very much but she enjoyed the diversity that Eid offered in the US.
“Can you imagine I even met a Saraiki speaking person. It was such a joy to hear the sweet Saraiki words after such a long time," she said.
Many Muslims were seen buying cakes and sweets at grocery stores. One confectioner asked this reporter if 'EID' was an abbreviation for something. She said she had received several cake orders with requests to inscribe, ‘Happy Eid.’


France charges two ex-spies with passing secrets to ‘foreign power’

Updated 9 min 58 sec ago
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France charges two ex-spies with passing secrets to ‘foreign power’

  • Two former French spies, one of whom was reportedly posted in Beijing, have been charged with passing intelligence to a “foreign power,”
  • French media reports, citing sources close to the inquiry, said China is suspected

PARIS: Two former French spies, one of whom was reportedly posted in Beijing, have been charged with passing intelligence to a “foreign power,” a disclosure that has rocked the country’s intelligence services.
Defense Minister Florence Parly, who oversees the country’s General Directorate for External Security (DGSE), said Friday that she was not in a position to identify the country which recruited the agents, who were discovered and indicted in December.
“Two French agents in our service and probably one of the spouses of these agents are accused of serious acts likely to be considered acts of treason, on suspicions of delivering information to a foreign power,” Parly told CNews television.
“I can’t say much else,” she added.
“France has partners but we live in a dangerous world, and unfortunately these types of things can happen.”
French media reports, citing sources close to the inquiry, said China is suspected.
Parly said the agents were “quite likely” still in service at the time but investigators were still determining how long they had been passing along intelligence.
She also declined to specify the nature of compromised information, nor to reveal if the two agents were working together.
A judicial source told AFP late Thursday that two of the three suspects are being prosecuted for “delivering to a foreign power information that undermines the fundamental interests of the nation” and “compromising the secrecy of national defense.”
“One of them has also been charged for direct incitement to the crime of treason,” the source added.
The third person — believed to be the wife — has been indicted for “concealment of treasonable crimes” and placed under judicial control, meaning they are subject to certain constraints pending trial, according to the same source.
The armed forces ministry said: “These acts of extreme gravity have been detected by this service, which has brought these facts to its knowledge to the Paris prosecutor.”