Venice - A 16th century copy of the Holy Qur'an, believed to be the first printed copy, was discovered from the St. Michele Library in Venice, Italy. The copy of the Holy Qur'an was found among other old books that were kept without officials knowing about it.
Professor Sergio Noia of the Arabic language and literature at Milan University said the Qur'an was probably printed in 1537 by an individual named Peganino Dei Peganini in Venice. Before this discovery, the oldest printed copy of the Holy Qur'an dated back to 1604, printed in Hamburg, Germany.
Cairo - The world Muslim population has reached 1,225 billion, according to an official at the International Islamic Center for Population Studies in Al-Azhar University of Cairo. Dr. Imam Abdurrahim said about 800 Muslims were living in Asia, approximately 309 million in Africa, 16 million in Europe, 5 million in America, and about 1.5 million in Australia. - Reported by Ashraq Al Aswat.
Jeddah - A total of 2645 people from 39 different countries embraced Islam during the last four years, according to a study conducted by the faculty of Social Science at the Imam Muhammed Ibn Saud Islamic University.
Of the sample survey conducted, 83% were Christians before embracing Islam. The remaining 17% consisted of Hindus, Buddhists and other minority religions. The survey also reflected, 41 % embraced Islam through colleagues, 34% embraced through one of their friends who themselves embraced Islam at some point in life and 12% embraced Islam through one of their family members.
Reading Islamic books led to the embracing of Islam by 40%, while scenes of the prayers at mosques and performing of the pilgrimage at Mecca observed on television convinced 13%. Seminars and lectures conducted by the Islamic organizations all over the world led 30% to Islam. - Reported by Al-Muslimoon.
It is unfortunate that some teachings of Islam have been distorted and misrepresented in the West and the Communist world. The main distortions relate to the status of women, marriage, divorce, Jihad (holy war), the authenticity of the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), and the distinctions between the Holy Qur'an and the Ha'dith.
Shabbir Mansuri, a Muslim educational reformer from California, is working diligently in conjunction with other Muslims to change the image of the Muslims in the United States. Muslims are misrepresented by stereotyping them as terrorists, as Bedouins, and quite other negative images in the American school books, movies, newspapers and the marketplace. Such negative images are fueled not only by the main events, like the gulf war, but also by an abiding ignorance of the Muslim culture.
Scott Easton of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington D.C. said, "We are concerned now about more subtle forms of discrimination that have been there all along, like the anti-Arab jokes on the radio. The 25,000 member civil rights organization marked the start of the holy month of Ramadan by petitioning the U.S. Secretary of Education for a task force on the treatment of Islam and the Arab world in the elementary and the secondary school system in United States.
Former teacher Audrey Shabbas of Berkeley believes the war opened a "window of opportunity" to learn more about Islam and the Middle East. Books on the Middle East are selling briskly, enrollment in a UC-Berkeley class on Muslims in America is 50 percent, and calls requesting information flood in to nonprofit groups like Arab World and Islamic Resources in Berkeley and Muslim mosques like our Islamic Center.
See also The S.F. Examiner Sunday March 31, 1991 Page B-1.
The Islamic Bulletin
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