Tag: Religion


Why Not Call ISIS What It Is?

Much has been made about the Obama administration’s intent on identifying ISIS and others as “murderous extremists,” rather than “Islamic extremists.” The President sees ISIS and the variety of regional al-Qa’das, the al-Nusra Front, al-Shabaab, the al- Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, Boko Haram and the dozens of other brutal organizations (every one of which claims to be true expressions of Islam) as evil criminals. His narrative about ISIS amounts to: power-hungry psychopaths cynically using Muslim ideology to plunder and conquer. Meanwhile, his reluctance to label these terrorist groups as interpretations of Islam has......

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Joyful Jobs, Interfaith Unity and Staying Weird: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (February 23-27), we celebrated a Hollywood insider’s plea to “weird” outsiders, a job made joyful by Mother Nature, a U.S. veteran’s exemplary self-awareness, a young Muslim’s civil rights and the unique acclaim earned by Birdman. And we also thank guest writer Michael Bernstein, whose post revealed new insights about a famous peace demonstration in Europe. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   Norway’s Beautiful Ring of Peace -?Michael Bernstein What does it mean to build a holy place......

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Can American Companies Refuse to Hire Women in Hijab?

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case brought by a young Muslim from Tulsa, Okla., against retail giant Abercrombie & Fitch; a ruling is expected later this year. Samantha Elauf’s attorneys claim that when she applied for a job at age 17, she was discriminated against because she wore a hijab (in violation of the storewide “look” policy). Was there really no way for the company to innovate a solution that incorporated Elauf’s right to religious expression? Watch my video below for......

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Norway's Beautiful Ring of Peace

What does it mean to build a holy place around us? In Oslo, Norway, the true power of building a holy place together was on display this weekend as hundreds of Muslims responded to a call to surround the central synagogue with what organizers dubbed a “Peace Ring.” The Peace Ring was a symbolic act, to show that these Muslims and the many volunteers who participated with them are committed to protect their sisters and brothers who are Jews, and to do so in the name of Islam, the faith that inspires......

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How Do We End Religious Extremism?

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: World leaders met at a recent conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss how best to address the dangerous rise in religious extremism. But we’d be wise to take a cue from ordinary citizens who understand religious peacemaking, and don’t sit idly by while governments debate what to do: “The Muslim community of Oslo, Norway, are building what they call a ring of peace around the central synagogue.”? Watch my video below for more insight and discussion. For more from The Wisdom Daily about the......

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Shock in Chapel Hill: Should We Call It Terrorism?

On Wednesday morning the world woke to the tragic news of the Chapel Hill, N.C., shooting of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; Yusor Mohammad, 21; and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. A 46-year-old neighbor who turned himself in was subsequently arrested. As of this writing, police are saying the killings may have been related to a dispute over parking spaces, although the father of one of the victims has told reporters that the shooter had harassed them before because of their Muslim faith. My first response to this news is grief. I imagine myself......

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Religion, Violence and High Horses

When I’m wrong, I admit it — at least, I try to. My first gut reaction to President Barack Obama’s controversial remarks at last week’s National Prayer Breakfast was both right and wrong; so was Mr. President. I’ll explain what I mean. My first response was unreservedly positive, both off the air and when I appeared on NewsmaxTV to offer commentary. But I was wrong not to challenge the warning that we shouldn’t “get up on our high horse” criticizing the horror of radical Islam. The President is certainly correct about this......

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Looking Back at 'Charlie Hebdo' Reactions, from Press to Protests

For three weeks since the Islamic terrorist murders of 12 people at the?Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, the world has been reacting. When it comes to the publishing (or reprinting) of cartoons “defaming the Prophet,” I’ve parsed our seven different responses.   1. YES! YES! YES! More than six million copies were published, in some 16 languages, of the new edition of Charlie Hebdo, depicting the Prophet Muhammad showing solidarity with the victims of the radical Islamist attack. This defiant doubling down, affirming the absolute non-negotiability of freedom of expression, was met......

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A Girl Named Swastika

This week, I was asked a number of questions regarding the use of the swastika. And while it might surprise some of you, it’s not as simple as telling the questioner that they’re crazy to even ask. In fact, a 17-year-old girl from India named Swastika recently told me she was worried about studying abroad in the future, given her name. Don’t forget that the swastika was not always a Nazi symbol. It appeared in Hindu culture (as a symbol of God, from an even older use as a symbol of the......

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Who Should Be Person of the Year?

The 2014 Person of the Year according to Time magazine is “the Ebola fighters.” Do you agree? It’s hard to argue with recognizing the men and women who have fought, and continue to battle, this terrible disease for which there’s no established cure. These people genuinely put their lives on the line. They run into the burning building, so to speak, as most others are running out. And if that isn’t worthy of recognition, what is? And yes, that praise also extends to firefighters, cops and all first responders who do the......

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