The scenario might have seemed unlikely: prominent Muslims and Jews from the United States trekking across the Atlantic in mournful, spiritual solidarity to visit two Nazi concentration camps—and doing it together.
Could President Obama have avoided incurring the mistaken views of a surprising number of Americans who say in surveys that they think he is a Muslim? How to account for others polled saying they do not know what faith he follows?
The political-moral spin from online bloggers and television opinion-makers is enough to make citizens dizzy, if not profoundly unsure of where U.S. public opinion is headed. The controversies relating to religious views have put the nonpartisan Pew polls in the spotlight.
I used to sit on the front porch with my grandmother, otherwise the
gentlest, most unconditionally loving person in my young life, while
she regaled me with stories about what was going on under the dome of
the Roman Catholic cathedral one block away. They're storing guns in
the basement, Grandma assured me, and I imagined that the windows in
the dome were gunports through which "they" planned to fire on the rest
of the city.
Christians and Muslims need to recognize that they are "spiritual siblings," said speakers at a recent global Baptist congress in Hawaii, even as they warned fellow Baptists against the signs of Islamophobia displayed in Western countries.
Against a background of mounting anti-Muslim rhetoric and violence,
Baptist and other religious leaders spoke out Aug. 30 against
Islamophobia and urged federal officials to take a more proactive role
in safeguarding Muslims’ civil rights.
After years of enduring harassment and violence, Egypt’s Christians, the Copts, have seen their situation improve in recent months. The media have become more friendly to Christianity, and plans are being made to purge school textbooks of their hate messages.