News briefs for week of November 9, 2009

Ghadafi hosts a soiree with hundreds of Italian women in an attempt to convert them to Islam, The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh held its second annual Women’s Conference, six American Muslim men in the military discuss complications Fort Hood raises for Muslim soldiers, and Afghan mullahs attend a workshop on birth control.
Times Online reports that while Colonel Muammar Ghadafi was in Rome attending a UN summit on world food security, he invited 500 attractive but soberly dressed Italian women for an evening during which he encouraged the women to convert to Islam. Each guest received a copy of the Qu’ran, Ghadafi’s Green Book on the Libyan Revolution, and a pamphlet on how to be a Muslim.

The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, held its second annual Women’s Conference on Saturday to address issues of domestic abuse, raising spiritual awareness in children, and diversity among contemporary Muslim women. The conference was open to the public and welcomed women of all faiths.

Dallas News reports the complications Fort Hood poses for Muslims in the military. Six U.S. military men express their loyalties as Muslims to their country and worry how post-9/11 tensions may be further heightened due to the Fort Hood shootings.

New York Times reports a surprisingly receptive group of Afghan Mullahs at a workshop on birth control, birth spacing, and breast feeding in Mazar-i-Sharif last month. Although children are a blessing from God, birth control is not prohibited in Islam. According to one distributor, in 2009 alone, sales of birth control pills nearly doubled to 11,000 in September from 6,000 packs in January. Some women do, however, take the pills in secrecy from their husbands.
Shazia Riaz is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah

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