California’s Muslims persist during Ramadan despite COVID-19 pandemic

Food is distributed to those in need outside of a mosque and cultural center in the United States during Ramadan on April 24, 2020 in New York City. (AFP)
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Updated 26 April 2020

California’s Muslims persist during Ramadan despite COVID-19 pandemic

  • In the spirit of Ramadan, the mosque is accepting donations that will benefit programs that have been providing meals and groceries to those in need since day one of the pandemic

CALIFORNIA: In order to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the holy month of Ramadan, the only people who will have access to mosques will be imams. But for the many Muslims in California, worship will still be accessible via online prayer services.
“There will be a daily program around Isha time where people can hear the adhan of Isha online,” said Saad Elarkandegwy, imam and director of the Islamic Center of San Diego East County.
“There will be a daily short talk, a daily prayer, where people can say ‘aameen’ and connect with the imam and each other online. And after that, we will also encourage the community members as families to go ahead and pray Taraweeh prayers on their own.”

 


The idea is to help the Muslim community throughout the state keep both their spiritual practices and connections to one another strong and thriving, despite being confined to their homes.
“This coming Ramadan is going to be totally different. So the mosque will be still closed,” said Imam Taha Hassan. “There will be no community iftar. There will be no Taraweeh prayer. There will be no Qur’an competition as there usually is. It’s going to be very hard for people in our community to adapt to accept the situation, but at the same time we are trying to replace this program with a virtual one.”
In the spirit of Ramadan, the mosque is accepting donations that will benefit programs that have been providing meals and groceries to those in need since day one of the pandemic.
“As Muslims, our duty is to extend our hands and help everyone, especially at this moment,” Hassan continued. “And we will keep doing this as long as we receive donations from the community members we will keep serving people as long as we can.”

 


France’s foreign ministry spoke to Turkish envoy to refute “inaccurate, bias” claims

Updated 59 min 57 sec ago

France’s foreign ministry spoke to Turkish envoy to refute “inaccurate, bias” claims

  • Turkey accused France of favoring eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar

PARIS: France’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it had spoken to Turkey’s envoy to refute “inaccurate and bias” claims he made during a hearing with French senators on Wednesday.

In the hearing ambassador Ismail Hakki Musa accused France of favoring eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar and said French warships had been aggressive during an incident with Turkish warships on the Mediterranean last month.
“We wanted to make the necessary clarifications with him regarding the reality of the facts, omissions and inaccurate and biased information that he brought up during this hearing” Foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a statement.
She added that the envoy had been reminded of “the unacceptable character of Turkish behavior.”