Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

From the Dept. of Who Knew?: Some Swedes think dancing is sinful (actually, I knew that) and there are Muslims living above the Arctic circle (didn't know that) whose Ramadan fast never ends.


  1. It should be kept in mind that Orthodox and some Conservative Jews pray on a regular basis for the Temple to be rebuilt. But that generally is understood as something to happen in the Messianic age, when world peace has come to all. That’s what’s behind the poll: of course we want a rebuilt Temple. The people who would today bulldoze the Dome of the Rock and erect a Third Temple are viewed by the majority of Jews around the world as heretical, mentally unbalanced or worse.
    As for MK Calderon, whom I admire, she would’ve been well-served to remember the experience of Bill Clinton and Haircutgate: the first few months of your tenure are not the time to use the trappings of state to focus on your own vanity.

  2. It is my understanding that the prominent structure on the rock formerly known as Zion is not a mosque, but the equivalent of a shrine. There is a mosque attached to it, off to one side. But the Big Gold Dome over the ancient but very famous Rock is not the mosque.

    Also not only does the sun not set above the Arctic Circle, it also never quite rises. So they might have to fast for WEEKS! I know when I worked for and Islamic family in Maine one June many years ago, their fast lasted a very very long time, making them rather cranky (with good reason).