Islam

Sri Lankan Muslim woman looks at camera in scorched building

Sri Lankan Authorities Arrest Policeman, Monk for Violence Against Muslims

June 22, 2017

After ongoing accusations of inaction, Sri Lankan authorities have arrested four Buddhists for promoting and perpetuating violence against Muslims.

For years, Muslim Sri Lankans—who make up nearly 10 percent of the country’s population—have been targeted in spates of religious violence. In 2014, a series of anti-Muslim riots on Muslim homes, shops, and places of worship displaced more than 10,000 people. More recently, Muslims in Sri Lanka have reported at least 16 incidents of hate crimes against Muslims since April 16.

Read more about Sri Lankan Authorities Arrest Policeman, Monk for Violence Against Muslims

Donald Trump

Widespread Condemnation from Faith Groups After Trump Announces Paris Accord Withdrawal

June 9, 2017

On Thursday, June 1, Donald Trump announced his plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, a 2015 global accord designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The long-term goal of the agreement is to keep global warming from exceeding the “tipping point” of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.

During his announcement speech, Trump said that the accord placed a disproportionate burden on the United States.

“The rest of the world applauded when we signed the Paris agreement. They went wild. They were so happy,” Trump Read more about Widespread Condemnation from Faith Groups After Trump Announces Paris Accord Withdrawal

Trump sits with King Hamed bin Issa

In Riyadh Speech, Shift in Trump’s Tone on Islam

June 6, 2017

May 21, during his first trip abroad as US president, Donald Trump spoke to Saudi Arabian leaders about their shared burden of rooting out “Islamic extremism.” Many watching anxiously awaited to see what terminology the president would use to refer to religiously-motivated terrorism. Trump had previously criticized President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for their refusal to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” but declined to use the term himself Read more about In Riyadh Speech, Shift in Trump’s Tone on Islam

Up-close shot of couple holding hands during wedding ceremony

Christie Strikes Child Marriage Bill, Cites Religious Freedom

May 18, 2017

Last week, New Jersey governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed a bill banning child marriage without exception—a bill which would have been the first of its kind in the United States. Christie cited religious freedom as a key reason for his refusal to sign the bill.

Although the legal marriage age is 18 across the U.S., every state has options for underage youth to wed. In New Jersey, children 15 and under need judicial approval to marry, while children ages 16 and 17 need only a parent’s consent Read more about Christie Strikes Child Marriage Bill, Cites Religious Freedom

Protesters gather with signs at March for Science

At March for Science, Debate Over Anti-Evolutionists

April 27, 2017

Last Saturday, tens of thousands gathered in cities around the world to advocate for the value and ongoing necessity of science for human progress.

With the largest group congregating on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., March for Science protesters had a decidedly political aim: to speak out against “policies that ignore scientific evidence and endanger both human life and the future of our world.”

Protesters particularly targeted the current administration with criticism. Signs decried President Trump’s Read more about At March for Science, Debate Over Anti-Evolutionists

Ben Lee

Hindu Singer-Songwriter Ben Lee Releases Album on Islam

March 24, 2017

On March 3, award-winning singer-songwriter Ben Lee released an album that diverged significantly from his earlier work. In his self-explanatory new album “Ben Lee Sings Songs About Islam for the Whole Family,” Lee branches into the world of child-friendly, educational music.

The album is just the beginning of a five-part project. Lee hopes to release an album about five of the major world religions: Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism. Raised Read more about Hindu Singer-Songwriter Ben Lee Releases Album on Islam

Gravestone

Muslim Americans Raise Funds for Vandalized Jewish Cemetery

February 28, 2017

After over 150 gravestones were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri in mid-February, American Muslims have jumped to the Jewish community’s defense. In the wake of the vandalism, Muslim activists Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi set up a LaunchGood.com fundraiser to help the Chesed Shel Emeth Society restore the damaged gravestones.

“Muslim Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish-American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration against the Chesed Shel Read more about Muslim Americans Raise Funds for Vandalized Jewish Cemetery

Muslim and Jewish man shake hands and smile

Pew Reports Americans Warming Toward Most Religious Groups

February 21, 2017

Americans’ perception of religious groups has increased nearly across the board over the past two years, according to a Pew Research Center report published Wednesday.

The survey ran from January 9 to January 23 of this year. 4,248 adults were asked to rank a variety of religious groups on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100. Although the survey revealed notable differences in perception of religious groups across lines of race, religious identity, and Read more about Pew Reports Americans Warming Toward Most Religious Groups

Muslim woman and child hold a candle at a vigil after the Quebec shooting

After Attack on Mosque, Canadian Muslims Push for Systemic Change

February 16, 2017

Amidst public memorials and religious services following the January 29th terrorist attack on a Quebec mosque, Canadian Muslims are pushing for more lasting structural change.

It has been several weeks since a gunman shot and killed 6 mosque attendants during Sunday evening prayers at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center—and injured at least 8 others. While some have described the perpetrator—27-year-old university student Alexandre Bissonnette—as a “lone wolf” attacker, Canadian prime Read more about After Attack on Mosque, Canadian Muslims Push for Systemic Change

Child refugee

New Executive Action from Trump Targets Refugees, Muslim Immigrants

January 27, 2017

This Wednesday, several major news outlets received a draft of an upcoming executive order instituting a temporary ban on all refugees and on immigrants from some Muslim nations.

Many perceive the order as an amended version of the “Muslim ban” U.S. President Donald Trump proposed in 2015. Because the executive order includes exceptions for individuals who are “a minority religion” in their homeland, Read more about New Executive Action from Trump Targets Refugees, Muslim Immigrants

Sikh U.S. Army captain wearing a camouflage turban

U.S. Army to Permit Religious Turbans, Beards, and Hijabs

January 15, 2017

The United States Army will now allow soldiers to wear turbans, hijabs, and other religious markers, according to a new policy issued last week.

The new uniform regulations come after years of petitions from Sikhs, whose religious beliefs mandate them to grow their hair long and keep their heads covered with a turban. Army grooming standards compelling men to be clean-shaven particularly restricted Sikh men from enlisting, because to do so would require them violate the precepts of their faith.

In March, the United States Army determined that their standards—which allowed Read more about U.S. Army to Permit Religious Turbans, Beards, and Hijabs

Little girl in swim cap leans on edge of pool

Swiss Court Rules Against Coed Swim Exemption for Muslim Girls

January 12, 2017

On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Switzerland’s public schools can enforce mandatory mixed-sex swim classes, even if parents object on religious grounds.

The ruling was the final step in a years-long legal battle waged by Turkish-Swiss couple Aziz Osmanoglu and Sehabat Kocabas. In 2008, when Osmanoglu and Kocabas’s daughters were 9 and 7, the couple refused to send them to mandatory school swim lessons.

Their objection was rooted in their Muslim faith. Although both girls were pre-pubescent and thus not yet beholden to the Quran’s requirements for Read more about Swiss Court Rules Against Coed Swim Exemption for Muslim Girls

Two children stand on crumbling wall overlooking Aleppo

Religious Communities Respond to Violence in Syria

December 16, 2016

As a years-long standoff between factions in Syria comes to a head this week, religious communities abroad have questioned how to respond.

The Syrian civil war began in the form of escalating protests against the state’s authoritarian president, Bashar al-Assad. In 2011, a group of adolescents that wrote anti-state graffiti was arrested and tortured by the regime, sparking immediate civilian backlash. Over the following half-decade, violence has mounted Read more about Religious Communities Respond to Violence in Syria

Muslim and Jewish man pose together for picture at an interfaith gathering

Prominent Advocacy Groups Form Muslim-Jewish Alliance

November 17, 2016

Less than one week after Donald Trump was elected President, two prominent Jewish and Muslim advocacy groups launched the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council to promote partnership and safety for American Jews and Muslims.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) have been planning the coalition for over a year, in response to a sharp increase in anti-Muslim sentiment Read more about Prominent Advocacy Groups Form Muslim-Jewish Alliance

Man holds sign reading, "We the people declare Donald Trump morally bankrupt. You are fired!"

A Divided American Populace Elects Donald Trump

November 15, 2016

From Britain’s June vote to exit the European Union to Colombia’s recent rejection of a peace deal with the FARC guerilla movement, 2016 has seen a series of large-scale voting upsets with global consequences.

Last Tuesday night, in what was hailed by The New York Times as another “shocking upset,” Republican nominee Donald Trump overcame unfavorable polls to clinch the office of President of the Read more about A Divided American Populace Elects Donald Trump

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