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Author Omar Sacirbey

(RNS) A recent spate of campus controversies involving professors who made provocative statements about Muslims shows one of two things: a decreasing tolerance for inflammatory speech, or how easy it is for academics to get into trouble.  Or, perhaps, a little bit of both. The incidents have forced university leaders into the uncomfortable role of […] Read More

LUEBECK, Germany (RNS) Yelizaveta Paliy arrived in this northern port city from Ukraine in 1995 on the second day of Hanukkah. After years of celebrating the Jewish festival of lights behind drawn curtains in her homeland, Paliy went to Luebeck’s historic synagogue and lit the candles in freedom for the first time. “I cried like […] Read More

(RNS) The cast and producers of “All-American Muslim,” a reality-TV show that has been a lightning rod for controversy, said Wednesday (Dec. 14) they are helping change negative perceptions of Muslims, and rejected criticisms that the show is propaganda that sugarcoats Islam. “These are our lives. This is what we’ve been doing for years,” said […] Read More

(RNS) Lowe’s, the national hardware chain, has pulled commercials from future episodes of “All-American Muslim,” a TLC reality-TV show, after protests by Christian groups. The Florida Family Association, a Tampa Bay group, has led a campaign urging companies to pull ads on “All-American Muslim.” The FFA contends that 65 of 67 companies it has targeted […] Read More

(RNS) Gay and Muslim groups say they are relieved after a Michigan lawmaker agreed to drop a provision in an anti-bullying bill that would have carved out an exemption for religious or moral beliefs. State Sen. Rick Jones, a Republican, inserted a carve-out for a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” in the Senate […] Read More

(RNS) Reports last month that Iran plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S. have enflamed animosity between the two Muslim powers, and raised concerns that violence could mar this year’s hajj pilgrimage that starts on Friday (Nov. 4). More than 1.7 million pilgrims have already arrived in Mecca, the Saudi city where Islam […] Read More

(RNS) A Muslim civil rights group is accusing the FBI and other federal agencies of “bad policing” and flaunting the Constitution in a 56-page report released to mark the 10th anniversary of the Patriot Act. The Tuesday (Oct. 25) report by Muslim Advocates, “Losing Liberty: The State of Freedom 10 Years After The Patriot Act” […] Read More

(RNS) Radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki may be dead, but the power of the Internet means he won’t soon be forgotten. And that, experts say, could make him just as dangerous dead as he was alive. Counterterrorism experts say al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone in Yemen on Sep. 30, either influenced or […] Read More

(RNS) As a federal appeals court in Denver considers whether Oklahoma voters had the right to ban Islamic law in state courts, a coalition of Muslim groups say they don’t want to live under Shariah law in Michigan or anywhere else. An umbrella group called the American Islamic Leadership Conference recently announced its support for […] Read More

(RNS) An amendment to Oklahoma’s constitution that bans state judges from considering Islamic law will face its next legal hurdle on Monday (Sept. 12) when a federal appeals court considers its constitutionality. Just weeks after it was approved by 70 percent of Oklahoma voters last November, U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled it unconstitutional, saying […] Read More