RAP Sheet

Jimmy Carter, Seeing Resurgence of Racism, Plans Baptist Conference for Unity

posted on May 24, 2016

The New York Times‘ Laurie Goodstein reports that former President Jimmy Carter is using his Baptist faith to address racial issues within churches and between congregations. Carter expressed his frustration at the use of racial language toward current President Barack Obama and concern about the ability of Donald Trump to tap into racist sentiments during the Republican primaries. “I don’t feel good, except for one thing: I think the country has been reawakened the last two or three years to the fact that we haven’t resolved the race issue adequately,” Carter said.

Read at The New York Times

Muslim Lawmakers Fear Trump, What He’s Tapping Into

posted on May 24, 2016

At The Hill, Julian Hattem reports that Muslim congressmen are speaking out against the extreme attitudes fostered by Donald Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail. Representatives Keith Ellison and André Carson, the only two Muslims in Congress, stated that while they fear the anger stirred by Trump, they are hoping it will push more Muslims to become involved in American politics. “The people who promoted this kind of hateful behavior are going to wish they had never done it, because they’re awakening a group of loyal, dedicated Americans who love their country and appreciate the democracy that we have and are going to rededicate themselves to it,” Ellison said.

Read at The Hill

Donald Trump Moves To Win Over Wavering Evangelical Christians

posted on May 24, 2016

At Religion News Service, David Gibson reports, “Donald Trump is moving quickly to rally the evangelical base of the Republican Party as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee pivots toward a general election contest where the conservative Christian vote will be crucial to his chances for winning the White House.” Although many evangelicals harbor doubts over Trump’s commitment to their causes, they are unwilling to back a Democratic candidate. “We are looking for a way forward,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “The main thing here is this is to have a conversation.”

Read at Religion News Service

How Kosovo Was Turned Into Fertile Ground for ISIS

posted on May 23, 2016

The New York Times‘ Carlotta Gall reports on the transformation of Kosovo from a tolerant Muslim society into a hotbed of extremism. “All around Kosovo, families are grappling with the aftermath of years of proselytizing by Saudi-trained preachers. Some daughters refuse to shake hands with or talk to male relatives. Some sons have gone off to jihad. Religious vigilantes have threatened — or committed — violence against academics, journalists and politicians,” Gall writes. “The Balkans, Europe’s historical fault line, have yet to heal from the ethnic wars of the 1990s. But they are now infected with a new intolerance, moderate imams and officials in the region warn.”

Read at The New York Times

Afghan Taliban Meet on Succession as Obama Confirms Leader’s Death

posted on May 23, 2016

At Reuters, James Mackenzie and Matt Spetalnick report, “Senior Afghan Taliban figures were meeting on Monday to agree on a successor to Mullah Akhtar Mansour, the leader of the militant movement who U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed had been killed in an American air strike.” While the Taliban have yet to comment on the death of Mansour, senior officials confirmed that they are meeting in order to prevent the terrorist group from fragmenting. “The Taliban should seize the opportunity to pursue the only real path for ending this long conflict – joining the Afghan government in a reconciliation process that leads to lasting peace and stability,” Obama said.

Read at Reuters

Methodists Postpone Debate of Gay Issues that Could Split Denomination

posted on May 19, 2016

Religion News Service‘s Emily McFarlan Miller reports, “Amid protest, song and fears of a denominational breakup, United Methodists at their quadrennial General Conference decided yet again not to decide anything regarding LGBT rights. But in a groundbreaking move, the delegates from the U.S. and abroad voted 428 to 405 on Wednesday (May 18) to allow the church’s Council of Bishops to appoint a commission to discuss whether to accept same-sex marriage or ordain LGBT clergy.”

Read at Religion News Service

Dying GOP Senator Apologizes to Muslims for Donald Trump

posted on May 19, 2016

The Daily Beast‘s Tim Mak reports that as former GOP Senator Bob Bennet was dying, he wanted to apologize to Muslims on behalf of his party. “’I’d love to go up to every single one of them to thank them for being in this country, and apologize to them on behalf of the Republican Party for Donald Trump,’ Bennett told his wife and son, both of whom relayed this story to The Daily Beast.” Mak writes, “The Tea Party wave that ousted Bennett from the Senate in 2010 was one of the first signs of popular discontent that has arguably led to the tsunami of support for Donald Trump. As that initial wave receded, it swept away many of the values that Bennett cherished: bipartisanship and concern for vulnerable refugees among them.”

Read at The Daily Beast

Chibok Girls: “First Kidnapped Girl Found” in Nigeria

posted on May 18, 2016

BBC reports, “One of the missing Chibok girls has been found in Nigeria, activists say, the first to be rescued since their capture two years ago.” More than 200 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram, the Islamist group that has terrorized the country through child kidnapping and violent attacks since 2009. The girl was found by a member of the Civilian Joint Task Force, a vigilante group created to help fight Boko Haram.

Read at BBC

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