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A project of the Manship School of Mass Communication, LSU


Virgin Mary Facebook page enrages users

By Donovan Longo
(Aug. 7, 2013 | Latin Times) - Facebook's policies regarding offensive content on their social media site are being tested. Devoutly religious followers are claiming that a community page is targeting Christianity with direct hate speech. A group of Christian activists from a Wisconsin-based ministry are lobbying Facebook to remove the community page, “Virgin Mary Should’ve Aborted,” stating that it violates the website's policies against hate speech. Read more

Religious leaders’ views on radical life extension

(Aug. 6, 2013 | Pew Forum) - No religious group in the United States has released an official statement on radical life extension. However, here are brief summaries of how some clergy, bioethicists and other scholars from 18 major American religious groups say their traditions might approach this evolving issue. Read more

Islamic smartphone readied for launch

(Aug. 3, 2013 | GMA News) - Practicing Muslims may soon go high-tech with the upcoming launch of an Islamic smartphone that claims to reconcile the Koran with modern science. Dubbed the Peace Mobile, the phone is a customized Android device that features Islam-oriented apps and content and is priced at $240, Arab News reported. Read more

The global battle over free speech and religion on the Internet

By Jacob Mchangama (Summary by Debra Mason)
(Fox News | May 31, 2013) - Recent years have seen increasing demands from governments and individuals that free speech should be limited – both in the West and in international law, in order to protect religious sensitivities.

In a global world this conflict has become explosive as cartoons published in Denmark and videos uploaded in America have led to violent riots from Cairo to Karachi. The outcome of this battle will have profound consequences for the ability of people everywhere to freely express themselves and follow their beliefs. Read more

8 Hackerspaces Changing the Arab World

By Aline Mayard (Summary by Debra Mason)
(Wamda | April 2, 2013) - Lately, it seems as though we often hear about a revolutionary new DIY idea like the Raspberry Pi Do-it-Yourself computer, or a successful crowdfunding campain to commercialize an affordable tool like the 3Doodler printing pen; essentially, we’ve been hearing a lot about the hacker/maker movement.

Now, with makerspaces cropping up across the Arab world, hopefully we can expect to see of these stories coming out of the region. Many that have launched in the past two years claim an agenda to make the world a better place by letting anyone, of any age, profession, or background, use a 3D printer and make their own electronic circuit. Read more

Sikh Caucus formed in U.S. Congress: A "historic landmark"
Sikh Caucus in U.S. Congress
Photo Credit: The Times of India

By Chidanand Rajghatta

(April 26, 2013 | The Times of India) - With their distinctive, colourful turbans, their storied industry, and their expansive presence all over the world across a range of professions, Sikhs are easily India's most prominent ethnic community.

On April 25, the community that has also given India its 13th - and first Sikh Prime Minister, established its voice on Capitol Hill, seat of the US legislatures, with the formation of the Sikh Congressional Caucus aimed at ensuring they get a fair hearing in a country where they began settling more than 100 years ago. Read more

Boston bombing: U.S. Muslims react with fear, frustration, and new resolve

By Husna Haq

(April 25, 2013 | Source: Christian Science Monitor) - When the bombs at the Boston Marathon exploded a week ago Monday, a familiar chain of events and emotions unfolded for many in the American Muslim community: shock and grief, followed by an unspoken dread that the perpetrators could be Muslim; condemnation of the attack; fear of reprisals – and of being conflated with the acts of violence; and quietly, an inward examination of what went wrong. Read more

For Indonesian atheists, a community of support amid constant fear

By Sara Schonhardt

(April 26, 2013 | New York Times) - Karina is an atheist, but her friends jokingly call her “the prophet.” That is because she is helping nurture a community for unbelievers in predominantly Muslim Indonesia, where trumpeting one’s disbelief in God can lead to abuse, ostracism and even prison. Read more.

Religion-related stories:
Iraq's government suspends licenses of Al Jazeera and 9 other TV channels

Islamists in Russia: The Boston bombs have put new focus on Russia’sIslamist republics

Contributed by Debra Mason

"Stereotypes of Muslims and support for the War on Terror"

By John Wihbey | Journalist's Resources

(April 22, 2013) - Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, a Pew Research Center survey painted a complex portrait of Muslim-Americans living in the United States.

Among adults, 63% were born abroad and a quarter of the entire population — an estimated 2.75 million in all — had arrived since 2000. Of those surveyed, 60% feared the rise of Islamic extremism in America; 21% believed there was support for extremism among Muslims in the United States; and opinions were split between those who believed the “War on Terror” was a sincere effort to combat terrorism versus those who felt it had other motivations. Read more

"Bridge building"
Cross-cultural program between Jewish and Turkish Muslim teens in South Brooklyn
Jewish-Muslim Cultural Bridge in Brooklyn
Jewish and Turkish Muslim members of Young Peace
Builders at a joint religious and educational program
(Photo via The Jewish Week).

By Steve Lipman
(April 10, 2013 | The Jewish Week) - Hayrunnisa Kalac, a teenager from northern New Jersey who attends high school in southern Brooklyn, stepped into a taxi outside of Port Authority Bus Terminal Sunday morning and told the driver her destination: the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Battery Park City. Read more

"Jewish New Yorker campaign against anti-Islam ad"

By Voices of NY
(March 11, 2013 | Voices of NY) - For the grandson of Holocaust victims, the anti-Islam posters in subway stations last fall triggered a call to action: starting the crowd-funded advertising campaign “Talk Back to Hate.” Read more

Original article posted on the Jewish Daily Forward
"Talking Back to Anti-Muslim Subway Ad"
By Michael Kaminer

Understanding the feminist perspective
of Islam
Arab American Association participants reflects
Feminist perspective of Islam, a talk organized by Arab American Association in N.Y.
Photo Credit: Amplifyer

By Amplifyer Webmaster
(Jan. 7, 2013 | Source: Amplifyer) – Before beginning my internship at Arab American Association of New York (AAANY), I was nervous because I was unsure what to expect. Would I be judged as a “bad Muslim”? Would I be labeled as useless because of my inability to speak the Arabic language? Would I even have a meaningful experience? Read more

First Hindu in Congress

(Nov. 7, 2012 | Source: Tulsi Gabbard) -
Democrat Tulsi Gabbard won the race for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District on November 7. With this victory, Tulsi has become the first Hindu to be in the U.S. Congress.

Related Stories
- Hawaii Democrat poised to be first Hindu in Congress
- Religious symbols not allowed at LSU

Mormon media watchdog group outs bias, bigotry in media

By Debra Mason
(Nov. 5, 2012 | FAIR) - An independent Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) group has stepped up its visibility as a media watchdog group. The Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR) was founded in 1997, but has been reinvigorated by the attention paid to the church as a result of Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. FAIR works to defend the Mormon Church and its teachings in the media and online forums.

Related Story
Religious symbols not allowed at LSU

This Missouri pastor's speech on homosexuality ends with a twist

Source: MSN Now

Related Story:
Oct. 24: Northwest NAACP urges Washingtonians to support marriage equality

Muslim-Americans decry media portrait of followers of Islam

By Nadra Kareem Nittle
(Source: Maynard Institute | Oct. 4, 2012) - Irrational. Violent. Fanatics. Members of the Muslim-American community say mainstream media in the West use these words consistently to portray followers of Islam. Read more

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