Muslims caught in reality show crossfire struggle to understand controversy

Kevin Allen |

DEARBORN, Mich. (RNS) When Fordson High School football coach Fouad Zaban was asked to be on a reality show about Muslim family life, his impulse was to decline. “It doesn’t seem like it now, but we kind of like our privacy,” Zaban said. “We are simple people. We don’t do crazy things. … Quite honestly, […]

COMMENTARY: Objects in the rearview mirror were as big as they appear

A. James Rudin |

(RNS) Here are my picks for the top 10 religion stories from 2011: 1. Islam and Muslims dominated the news in 2011 with the “Arab Spring” rebellions; the electoral success of extreme Islamic parties in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco; Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal crackdown on his people; and Iran’s ominous steps to develop a […]

Muslim reality show, under fire, denies charges of extremism

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) The cast and producers of “All-American Muslim,” a reality-TV show that has been a lightning rod for controversy, said Wednesday (Dec. 14) they are helping change negative perceptions of Muslims, and rejected criticisms that the show is propaganda that sugarcoats Islam. “These are our lives. This is what we’ve been doing for years,” said […]

Companies pull ads from Muslim reality TV show

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) Lowe’s, the national hardware chain, has pulled commercials from future episodes of “All-American Muslim,” a TLC reality-TV show, after protests by Christian groups. The Florida Family Association, a Tampa Bay group, has led a campaign urging companies to pull ads on “All-American Muslim.” The FFA contends that 65 of 67 companies it has targeted […]

It’s the most wonderfully holy time of the year

Nancy Haught |

(RNS) A quick glimpse at a calendar is one way to see how religiously diverse the United States has become. This year, December, a month that encompasses the Christian and Jewish celebrations of Christmas and Hanukkah, includes spiritually significant days for Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans and Zoroastrians. Yes, Zoroastrians: Scholars estimate there are 6,000 followers of […]

Beijing eyes Buddhist resurgence

Calum MacLeod |

SERTHAR, China (RNS) Breathless but beaming, Sheng Zisu sounds confident after five months in a maze-like Buddhist encampment high on the eastern Tibetan plateau, nearly 400 miles from the nearest city. “Look around. They could never find me here,” Sheng, 27, said of parents so anxious about their only child’s turn to Tibetan Buddhism that […]

A popular analogy that doesn’t always work

David Gibson |

(RNS) Is legalized abortion akin to the Nazi Holocaust? The analogy is a standard talking point among abortion opponents, and a new half-hour video by a prominent Christian apologist has gone viral by making the comparison more explicit and graphic than any anti-abortion sound bite on the evening news. But the success of the video […]

Girl’s death prompts moral soul-searching in China

Calum MacLeod |

BEIJING (RNS) Road inspector Guo Mingyi donates his modest salary to the needy and has given blood 79 times. He’s worked five years’ worth of overtime during the past 16 years and arrives two hours early to his job at a state-owned mining firm. Guo says his “Good Samaritan” approach to life reflects the attitude […]