January 7, 2011
I ONCE had a client who had been granted asylum because she made the mistake of falling in love with a Christian. For most people, that's not a problem. But a Muslim woman living in a country that follows sharia law risks being stoned for such an error in judgment. So "Soraya" fled Algeria for the U.S., where we tend to frown on the Sharia Rules of Dating Etiquette. And she never went back. (Probably a good thing because her sons, who attended Catholic school in Philadelphia, might be killed as apostates if they'd ever traveled there.
September 21, 2010
Muslim leaders urge faith dialogue NEW YORK - Leaders of prominent U.S. Muslim groups called Monday for a national week of interfaith dialogue to combat religious intolerance and said they supported the right to build an Islamic center near ground zero. "We stand for the constitutional right of Muslims, and Americans of all faiths, to build houses of worship anywhere in our nation as allowed by local laws and regulations," the leaders said in a statement at the site of the proposed center and mosque, to be called Park51.
November 9, 2007 |
Sam Hornish Jr., the three-time Indy Car Series champion, will move to NASCAR in 2008, joining the mass exodus of open-wheel stars to America's most popular racing series. Hornish, 28, told the Associated Press yesterday that he will drive the No. 77 Dodge next season for Penske Racing, with Mobil 1 as the sponsor. Hornish will join Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti and Jacques Villeneuve as former Indianapolis 500 winners and IndyCar series champions racing in NASCAR's top series.
October 27, 2001 |
UNDERSTANDING contemporaryl Islamic fundamentalism, as distinguished from moderate strands of Islam, helps illuminate our predicament. But mining the Quran for incendiary quotes is essentially pointless. Religions evolve, and there is usually enough ambiguity in their founding scriptures to let them evolve in any direction. If Osama bin Laden were a Christian, and he still wanted to destroy the World Trade Center, he would cite Jesus' rampage against the money-changers. If he didn't want to destroy the World Trade Center, he could stress the Sermon on the Mount.
September 21, 2001 |
Pledging the sort of unity that will be crucial to the country in the coming days, top area Roman Catholic and Jewish officials signed an agreement of understanding last night. The pact, billed as just the second of its kind in the United States, was a decade in the making, officials said. "Wherever there are means of us working together, we will seek to do so," Alan Respler, executive director of South Jersey's Jewish Community Relations Council, said yesterday. The document was signed by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Camden, Michael Partnow, president of the Jewish Federation of South Jersey, and others, with a celebration at the Katz Jewish Community Center.
November 5, 2001
There was a venomous hatefest in the nation's capitol on Halloween night. It was hosted by Malik Zulu Shabazz of the militant New Black Panther Party. Deadly rhetorical spores of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism permeated the air for more than four hours. But there has been no uproar. If this event had been an anti-Muslim rally, the story would be front-page news. Editorialists and academics would be decrying racial and religious intolerance. Left-wing celebrities and MTV veejays would be hectoring us about the need for unity and harmony.
May 2, 2006 |
I MISSED the privilege of knowing Rotan Lee and so have no personal remembrance to add to the eloquent eulogies of many others. His sudden passing, however, leads me to reflect on the recent death of a great man with whom I did have a brief acquaintance. In college, I spent a week with the Rev. William Sloane Coffin at Riverside Church. Swarthmore runs an "externship" that places sophomores with wildly interesting people for spring break in order to expose students to life outside the academic cloister.
August 31, 2005 |
Pro-Syrian generals quizzed in assassination The United Nations yesterday named four pro-Syrian generals and a former legislator as suspects in the February assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri - the first major break in a crime that transformed Lebanon. U.N. investigators were interrogating the men at a hilltop hotel overlooking Beirut after searching the generals' homes. The Lebanese government, at the request of the U.N., detained three of the suspects; a fourth surrendered for questioning and a fifth returned from Syria, promising to cooperate.
October 10, 2000 |
Everything is lost in the Middle East - peace, respect and religious tolerance. As an American of Middle Eastern descent, I am appalled at the violence, at Palestinians' attack on the tomb of Joseph (the Biblical patriarch revered by both Jews and Muslims) and at Israel's bombardment and killing of innocent Palestinian children. When people play the religious card everything goes. The Palestinian and Israeli leaders bear much of the blame: Ehud Barak for allowing the provocative visit by Ariel Sharon, leader of the opposition Likud party, to the Haram al-Sharif (Holy Sanctuary)
July 14, 1995
President Clinton offers a wise and useful way of welcoming religious expression without coercion. Yes, some political calculation was involved. Yes, some risk of runaway misinterpretation was taken. But President Clinton's speech Wednesday on religion and public schools was constitutionally sound in content, refreshingly measured in tone and very welcome. As he has so often promised and too rarely done, the President provided leadership from the center - on an issue fraught with potential for painfully divisive demagoguery, from the left and right.