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The Human Test of Violence – Between Honor and Cowardice

We choose the articles for our issues months in advance. It is a sad twist of fate that our January issue features a review of a children's book, "The Grand Mosque of Paris." The book is about Muslims in Paris saving Jews from Nazis in the 1940s – and today history repeats itself as a Muslim employee saved Jewish shoppers from a monstrous killer.

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I felt exhausted trying to write yet another message of shame when the kidnapper in Sydney was reported to have asked for an ISIL flag. “How many more times am I supposed to discredit such violence?” my inner voice cried. I looked at that act of violence and thought, “this is not my Islam!” I was upset and tired – until I stumbled upon the news coming from Pakistan: 148 people, most of them students and teachers, violently killed. The attack was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, which, it is reported, is planning another hit. I felt that my soul had been gutted. The despair was so powerful, I couldn’t move my fingers on the keyboard. And now comes the violent attack in Paris, killing 12.

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Honorable Mention to The Fountain

The Fountain has won an honorable mention in The 2014 Eddie and Ozzie Awards. The winners were announced on December 11 at the Yale Club in New York City. Justin Pahl’s “My Brother’s Plum Tree” competed in Consumer – Single Article – Religious/Spiritual category and was awarded honorable mention. We congratulate Justin Pahl and expect him to produce many more winning titles in his writing career.

The Eddie and Ozzie is the largest awards competition in magazine publishing, garnering more than 2,000 entries and bestowing more than 140 awards. There were 2,800 entries this year.
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Fethullah Gulen published an ad in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times, condemning the ISIS violence in the Middle East. His ad reads as follows:

As a practicing Muslim deeply influenced by the tenets of my faith, I strongly condemn the brutal atrocities of the ISIS terrorist group. Their actions are a disgrace to the faith they proclaim and are crimes against humanity. Religion provides a foundation upon which to establish peace, human rights, freedoms, and the rule of law. Any interpretations to the contrary, including the abuse of religion to fuel conflicts, are simply wrong and deceitful.

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The positive impact of fasting on your health

Once again, with a heart not yet healed, we remember and honor the victims of September 11th. Despite the new atrocities occurring all around us, we will not give up hope for a more peaceful world. Even as it grows darker, our hopes for an approaching dawn grow larger, and our resilience to work for peace and human dignity is stronger than ever.

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Tea in Turkish Culture

Some sources mention that Turks traded and consumed tea as early as 400 BC, but tea only became commonplace in Turkey after 1900. Turkey is currently among the world's top five tea-growing countries, producing about 6 percent of the world's tea. Most of this is consumed domestically. In Turkey, tea is consumed all day long, starting with breakfast and continuing right on thorough bedtime. Tea is a must for common breakfasts, accompanying black olives, cheeses, bread and sometimes "simit" (Turkish version of bagels).

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