RAP Sheet

Trump Promises to Work With NATO to Defeat Islamic State

posted on August 16, 2016

Reuters’ Ginger Gibson reports that in a speech in Ohio on Monday Donald Trump said he plans to work with NATO allies to defeat ISIS. Trump’s promise represents a significant reversal from his criticisms of the military alliance earlier this summer. Gibson writes, “While Trump appeared to claim credit for prodding NATO to focus more on the threat of terrorism, the 28-nation alliance has been grappling with the issue for more than a decade.”

Read at Reuters

Humayun Khan Isn’t the Only Muslim American Hero

posted on August 16, 2016

Robin Wright of The New Yorker writes, “I went to Arlington National Cemetery this month to visit the grave of Humayun Khan, the Muslim soldier killed in Iraq whose father spoke at the Democratic Convention.” Though Muslims have served in the armed forces since the Revolutionary War, they have faced distrust from their peers and a systematic indifference to their religious needs. Wright writes, “Isolated attacks by lone wolves have shaped public perceptions far more than the military service of thousands of Muslims.”

Read at The New Yorker

Is America Any Safer?

posted on August 15, 2016

In The Atlantic, Steven Brill reports that since 9/11, the United States has spent more than $1 trillion to protect itself from terrorism. Americans have also had to navigate a newfound fear of domestic terrorism. Brill writes, “That this is still a debate in an election season 15 years after the 9/11 attacks is evidence that although we’ve made progress, we’re still a long way from adjusting—politically and psychically—to this new normal, where, unlike during the Cold War, there is no relying on deterrence for protection.”

Read at The Atlantic

IS Recruits Have Poor Grasp of Faith

posted on August 15, 2016

Aya Batrawy, Paisley Dodds, and Lori Hinnant of the Associated Press report that the majority of ISIS recruits know little about Islam. Leaked recruiting forms show that 70 percent of new members claimed to have only basic knowledge of Shariah. Batrawy, Dodds, and Hinnant write, “The group preys on this religious ignorance, allowing extremists to impose a brand of Islam constructed to suit its goal of maximum territorial expansion and carnage as soon as recruits come under its sway.”

Read at Associated Press

Police Question Man in Killing of Muslim Cleric in New York

posted on August 15, 2016

Reuters’ Chris Prentice and Laila Kearney write that officers are questioning a man in the murder of an imam and his associate in Queens on Saturday. Police identified the man as a suspect but have not charged him in the killings. Prentice and Kearney write, “Police have yet to establish a motive behind Saturday’s murders and have said there was no evidence the men were targeted because of their faith but nothing was being ruled out.”

Read at Reuters

How Mentally Ill Hasidic Women Slip Through Cracks in the System

posted on August 15, 2016

At VICE, Allie Conti writes that often ultra-Orthodox Jewish women with mental illnesses are unable to seek proper help because of their faith. Instead, they are sent to unlicensed life coaches who are not required to inform the city or state of New York of neglect or abuse. Conti writes, “The informal and often inadequate mental health system is just one of many ways that Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox are isolated and insulated from the systems of government and law enforcement that run the rest of the five boroughs.”

Read at VICE

The Many Meanings of Rio’s Massive Christ Statue

posted on August 10, 2016

The Washington Post’s Michelle Boorstein writes that the meaning of “Cristo Redentor,” the 125-foot statue overlooking Rio and the Olympic games, varies among Brazilians. Boorstein writes, “Some see it as a tribute to Catholicism while others consider it a salvo against secularism. Still others in the rapidly diversifying country consider it a general symbol of welcome, with arms open wide. One of its original creators called it a ‘monument to science, art and religion.’”

Read at The Washington Post

Clinton Campaign Plays Down Appearance at Rally by Orlando Gunman’s Father

posted on August 10, 2016

At The New York Times, Matt Flegenheimer writes that Seddique Mateen, the father of the man who killed 49 Americans at an Orlando nightclub in June, attended a Hillary Clinton rally in Kissimmee, Florida, on Monday. Clinton disavowed Mateen’s endorsement Tuesday. An email Clinton’s campaign sent supporters read, “This individual wasn’t invited as a guest and the campaign was unaware of his attendance until after the event.”

Read at The New York Times

States of the Union

Writers tell us stories about where they discovered religion and politics in their states.


A French Teacher Lives Among the Cajuns.

By Max Perry Mueller

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