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Civil rights groups to feds: Purge your anti-Muslim training materials

(RNS) Civil rights and religious groups say efforts to rid federal agencies of anti-Muslim bias have faltered and prejudice against Muslims persists, particularly in the training of anti-terrorism officers. On Thursday (Aug. 14), 75 groups — including the Council on American-Islamic R...
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US must ‘destroy’ Islamic State, say religious conservatives

(RNS) A coalition of more than 50 religious leaders, led by mostly conservative Catholic, evangelical and Jewish activists, is calling on President Obama to sharply escalate military action against Islamic extremists in Iraq. They say “nothing short of the destruction” of the Islamic St...
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Islamic State accused of capturing Yazidi women and forcing them to convert, or else

(RNS) Senior leaders in Iraq’s minority Yazidi community say their wives and daughters, forcibly held by Islamic militants, are being given a choice: Convert to Islam and marry jihadists — or else. Mirza Dinnayi, a senior Yazidi leader and a former adviser on minority affairs to the I...
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Some Nigerians call for banning the hijab to prevent female suicide bombers

(RNS) In northern Nigeria, mounting fears of militant female suicide bombers have raised calls to ban the hijab, or the veil that covers the head, chest and, in some cases, the entire body. Last week, four women believed to be members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram carried o...
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Richard Dawkins: Atheism’s asset or liability?

(RNS) It may go down as one of the shortest-lived peace accords on record. Late last month, two heavy-hitters within organized atheism, activist Ophelia Benson and scientist Richard Dawkins, reached a detente of sorts about online debate and posted it on their separate websites. “Di...
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Islamic extremist impose reign of terror on Iraq

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. BAGHDAD — Police cars have been repainted to say “Islamic police.” Women are forbidden from wearing bright colors and prints. The homes of Shiite...
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COMMENTARY: Is anyone answering Iraqi Christians’ cries for help?

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. (RNS) Iraq’s Christians are begging the world for help. Is anybody listening? Since capturing the country’s second largest city of Mosul in ear...
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State Dept. should act on Pakistan’s religious freedom violations, watchdog group says

(RNS) An independent religious freedom watchdog panel has welcomed the State Department’s annual religious freedom report and its list of the world’s worst offenders, which had laid dormant for three years. The list of “countries of particular concern” had remained unchanged since 200...
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COMMENTARY: China’s grim religious freedom problem

(RNS) While last month marked the 25th anniversary of China’s silencing freedom in Tiananmen Square, this month China has been cementing this grim legacy — particularly regarding religious freedom. From repressing Muslims to bulldozing churches and tearing down crosses, Chinese offici...
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Survey: Most Americans say U.S. should shelter, not rush to deport, child migrants

WASHINGTON (RNS) Most Americans say the waves of children crossing into the United States from Central America are refugees fleeing danger at home. And they say the United States should support these children while reviewing their cases, not deport them immediately. These largely symp...
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