Islam

As Afghan refugees celebrate Islam's holy month, church gives Ramadan lessons

April 1, 2022

Even before the family of 10 Afghan evacuees arrived in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, earlier this year, volunteers from eight local churches pitched in to prepare a home for them, painting and sanding and ripping out old carpeting. When the family arrived, the volunteers drove them to medical appointments and helped the children sign up for sports and the parents set up utilities.

But as Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of prayer and fasting, approached, the volunteers of Gettysburg’s Refugee Resettlement Partnership weren’t sure what they could do to help their new neighbors, who are...

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Where Breaking the Ramadan Fast Includes Caribou

March 29, 2022

Last week, Maleika Jones was still waiting for a package of Ramadan decorations. In her preparations for the monthlong holiday, which in the United States begins on Saturday, she ordered festive lights and trimming to hang up for her family’s celebrations as they break the fast each night.

“Of course, even though it’s an Amazon order, it takes several weeks to get here,” she said.

Ms. Jones lives in Anchorage, home to Alaska’s only mosque —...

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South Asian Americans face a complicated relationship with the swastika

March 25, 2022

During Nikhil Mandalaparthy's senior year of high school in 2015, the local Hindu temple in his hometown was vandalized. Spray-painted in red on the outside of the Bothell, Washington, worship and cultural center were the words “Get Out” — alongside a symbol that was almost familiar to the temple’s patrons: a swastika. 

But the mark used to terrorize Mandalaparthy’s community was different than the swastikas he had grown up seeing in religious contexts. It was sharp and at a 45-degree angle, what he recognized immediately as a mark of Nazism and white supremacy. ...

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3 Muslim Americans sue over religious questioning by officers during international travel

March 24, 2022

Three Muslim Americans filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that U.S. border officers questioned them about their religious beliefs in violation of their constitutional rights when they returned from international travel.

The three men from Minnesota, Texas and Arizona sued Department of Homeland Security officials in a federal court in Los Angeles. The lawsuit was filed in California because some of the questioning allegedly occurred at Los Angeles International Airport.

In the lawsuit, the men claimed that U.S. border officers at land crossings and international...

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Prayers for peace in Ukraine

March 14, 2022

A variety of religious traditions assembled Sunday evening to pray for one thing: peace in Ukraine.

The meeting at North Presbyterian Church was assembled by the Williamsville Interfaith Clergy Association and was led by two Ukrainian clerics, one Catholic and one Orthodox. Joining them were Presbyterians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha'i, Sikh and Unitarian Universalists.

North Presbyterian Pastor Bill Hennessy said the array of clergy was deliberate.

Source:...

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How members of three religions experience workplace discrimination differently

March 11, 2022

Members of three major world religions face discrimination in the workplace, but each experience it in different ways, according to new research.  

Researchers from Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program (RPLP) drew their conclusions from an analysis of 194 in-depth interviews with Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and non-religious employees to determine how members of each group perceived their experiences with workplace discrimination.  

“...

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People of all faiths flock to U.S. Ukrainian churches in acts of solidarity

March 8, 2022

The diverse group showed up, one after another, so that when the pews were full, people spilled into the aisles at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Parma, Ohio.

“It was a standing-room crowd that came to pray and show unwavering solidarity,” said Lee C. Shapiro, regional director of the American Jewish Committee’s Cleveland chapter.

Since the...

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'Becoming Muslim' podcast asks converts, what happens after you see the light?

March 9, 2022

Conversion stories are an American tradition.

The stories are often the same, no matter what religion is involved. Someone was lost, then they were found. Or they were wandering in the dark and then, as Hank Williams Sr. once put it, they saw the light.

But what happens next? On the day after? And the day after that? And the year after that?

Source:...

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Supreme Court sides with FBI in suit brought by Muslim Americans on spying

March 4, 2022

A unanimous Supreme Court on Friday dealt a setback to three Muslim Americans who are trying to sue the FBI for religious discrimination over surveillance in their place of worship after 9/11.

The narrow opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, reverses an appeals court ruling that would have allowed the suit to move forward over...

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US bishops back high school football coach in Supreme Court prayer case

March 3, 2022

The U.S. bishops’ conference had a friend-of-the-court brief filed on its behalf on March 2 in support of a former high school football coach who sued a school district after he lost his job in 2015 for refusing to stop kneeling and praying on the fifty-yard line after games.

Joseph Kennedy, the coach, eventually sued the Bremerton School District in Washington State in 2016 over its stance that he couldn’t continue his post-game ritual. The Supreme Court agreed to take up the case, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District on Jan. 14.

“The...

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Do schools respect student-athletes' modesty and religious freedom? Resolution encourages uniform accommodations

February 24, 2022

Inspired in part by the Norwegian beach handball team — which protested requirements that they wear bikinis as uniforms — the Utah House passed a resolution to recognize modesty and religious freedom rights for student-athletes.

Utah first lady Abby Cox and Muslim Civic League executive director Luna Banuri joined HCR16...

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Doug Emhoff highlights Black interfaith contributions as new project launches

February 24, 2022

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff lauded the interfaith work of Black religious communities for “saving lives” through distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations and for continuing efforts to get out the vote when he spoke at a midweek Black History Month event.

“Over the past year, Black faith communities have been working as trusted voices in their communities and getting the right facts and information out to their neighbors,” he said in remarks Wednesday (Feb. 23) at an online event co-hosted by the White House and the Black Interfaith Project. “This has led to millions upon...

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Health care provider pays $75,000 in 'scrub skirt' religious bias suit

February 2, 2022

A Tennessee-based health care provider will pay $75,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit involving an Apostolic Pentecostal nurse who wanted to wear a “scrub skirt” to work. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said the company denied the nurse’s right to religious accommodation.

Wellpath LLC hired Christian nurse Malinda Babineaux in 2019 to provide health services at Central Texas Correctional Facility in San Antonio. After accepting the Texas job offer, Babineaux informed the company’s human resources team that her religious beliefs required her to...

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