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Why the post-racial label only perpetuates racism (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) The shooting of Michael Brown and the failure of a grand jury to indict the shooter, Darren Wilson, are symptoms of a wider malaise. It is part of a deep-seated illness that infects our body politic: racism. The sad reality is that so many people believe we live in a post-raci...
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Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat, left, and Rabbi Bruce Kahn at a summit of Washington, D.C. area rabbis and imams on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. The group aimed to ease tensions between Muslims and Jews, especially in light current violence in the Holy Land. Religion News Service photo by Lauren Markoe
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Sorry, Mr. President. You’re wrong on Exodus and immigration (COMMENTARY)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (RNS) President Obama is drawing on Exodus 23:9 to make his case for shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation: “You shall not oppress a stranger; you know the heart of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Some object, but is t...
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Can Jews and Muslims get along? 60 imams and rabbis meet in Washington to try

(RNS) Frustrated by dangerously high tensions between Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land, 60 imams and rabbis gathered Sunday (Nov. 23) to hatch concrete plans to bridge the gulf between their communities, minus the kumbaya. The “2014 Summit of Washington Area Imams and Rabbis,” its or...
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Kenyan city of Mombasa tense after mosque closures

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) Christian and Muslim leaders fear more violence in the coastal city of Mombasa after the government indefinitely closed four mosques over suspected terror activities. On Friday (Nov. 21), religious and political leaders united to urge the government to reopen the...
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Austrian bill would ban foreign funding for mosques, imams

VIENNA (RNS) Austria’s Muslim community is incensed over the government’s plans to amend the country’s century-old law on Islam. The new bill, championed by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Integration Sebastian Kurz, forbids foreign funding of mosque construction or of imams working...
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The ‘Splainer: blood libel and the synagogue massacre

The ‘Splainer (as in “You’ve got some ‘splaining to do”) is an occasional feature in which Kimberly Winston and other RNS staff give you everything you need to know about current events to hold your own at a cocktail party. (RNS) Hours after two Palestinians, armed with guns and hatch...
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Four killed in Jerusalem synagogue terror attack

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in USA Today. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the USA Today byline. JERUSALEM (RNS) At least four worshipers, three of them U.S.-born, were killed in an attack on a west Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday (Nov. 18) by tw...
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Why Peter Kassig was the Islamic State’s greatest threat (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) With each bloody act, Islamic State militants demonstrate their need for self-importance overrides any moral, ethical, or religious boundary. Peter Kassig’s beheading is a microcosm of all the Islamic State wants, and religion is not high on that list. Kassig converted to Islam...
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The delicate politics of school holidays (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) The decision by the Montgomery County (Md.) Board of Education to remove religious names from school holidays, scrapping “Christmas” for “Winter break,” may be a smart political move, but it nonetheless postpones a more substantial conversation. The board’s vote was based on the...
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