RAP Sheet

Takeaways from the Republican Debate

posted on February 8, 2016

The Los Angeles Times‘ Noah Bierman reports on the Republican Presidential debate in New Hampshire, where candidates abandoned social policy discussions in favor of talk on the economy and foreign policy. Instead of appealing to evangelical voters before the state’s primary, potential nominees focused on pandering to the Republican establishment in the least religious state in the nation. “In America, conservatism should mean not only that some rise with conservative principles, but everybody has a chance to rise regardless of who they are,” said Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Read at The Los Angeles Times

Cover Story

posted on February 5, 2016

At The New Yorker, Elif Batuman writes on her personal experiences with headscarves in modern Turkey. Although not particularly pious herself, she discovers the sense of unity with Muslim women that comes from wearing a headscarf. “I realized that no young women had met my eyes or smiled at me in Urfa till then,” Batuman writes. “As I walked on, I felt a rising sense of freedom, as if for the first time I could look wherever I wanted and not risk receiving a hostile glance. So I kept the scarf on.”

Read at The New Yorker

Obama at National Prayer Breakfast: “Faith Is the Great Cure for Fear”

posted on February 4, 2016

CNN’s Laura Koran reports, “President Barack Obama addressed the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, speaking about the need to overcome fear through faith, just one day after making a historic visit to a Baltimore mosque where he delivered a message of religious inclusivity.” Koran writes, “Obama has spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast every year since he took office in 2009.”

Read at CNN

Obama, in Mosque Visit, Denounces Anti-Muslim Bias

posted on February 3, 2016

The New York Times‘ Gardiner Harris reports, “President Obama reached out to Muslims in the United States on Wednesday in an impassioned speech, embracing them as part of ‘one American family,’ implicitly criticizing the Republican presidential candidates and warning citizens not to be ‘bystanders to bigotry.'” Harris writes, “Citing Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who he said had had their own copies of the Quran, Mr. Obama reminded his audience that Muslims had been a part of the United States since its founding.”

Read at The New York Times

IS Victims’ Advocate, Pontiff among Nobel Peace Prize Names

posted on February 3, 2016

Mark Lewis of the Associated Press reports, “A woman who champions the rights of Islamic State rape victims, Pope Francis and the Afghan women’s cycling team are among the known candidates for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize as the nomination window was set to close Monday.” The pontiff earned his nomination for his contribution to sustainable development and religious toleration. Desmond Tutu, a nobel laureate, also backed Pope Francis for the award.

Read at Associated Press

President Obama’s Mosque Visit Will Spotlight a New Generation of Muslim Americans

posted on February 3, 2016

Michelle Boorstein of The Washington Post writes about President Barack Obama’s first visit to an American mosque. Muslim leaders have pressed the White House for more than a decade for a presidential visit in order to challenge the stigma that exists around their community. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said, “I think the president is quite interested in making sure that we’re affirming the important role that Muslims play in our diverse American society, and certainly affirming their right to worship God in a way that’s consistent with their heritage.”

Read at The Washington Post

ISIS, but Buddhist

posted on February 3, 2016

At The Atlantic, Nick Danforth writes that although the rise of ISIS may seem sudden, it is not unparalleled in history. In the 1920s, Russian Baron Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg used his nation’s civil war to radicalize Buddhism, a religion known today for its commitment to peace. “Civil war provided the context in which both ISIS’s leaders and Ungern-Sternberg came to rely on systematic and highly visible atrocities to consolidate their rule, at a moment when years of savage, disorganized violence had desensitized populations,” writes Danforth. “Like ISIS, Ungern-Sternberg harnessed this violence to establish a modicum of order.”

Read at The Atlantic

Zika Tests Catholic Position on Birth Control

posted on February 3, 2016

At CNN, Elizabeth Cohen reports, “Zika-infected mosquitoes aren’t just causing medical problems, they’re creating a theological conundrum for the Roman Catholic Church.” If a pregnant woman contracts Zika, it greatly increases the probability that her child will have a developmental delay and a short lifespan. Although the Catholic Church has forbidden nearly every type of birth control, South American medical officials are recommending women do not become pregnant. “They’re going to have to really thread a fine theological needle,” said Daniel Ramirez, professor of history at the University of Michigan,

Read at CNN

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