Since last summer, there has been a sometimes violent standoff between students at the University of Puerto Rico and the government over an announced budget cut and an increase in tuition fees, but that may just be part of a wider pattern of First Amendment violations. Jennifer Turner, a Human Rights Researcher at the ACLU and Rosie Perez, who just returned from a fact-finding mission in Puerto Rico, describe how authorities have dealt with students, striking workers, journalists, and civilians in recent months.
One of the five pillars of Islam, “zakat,” is the giving of a small percentage of one’s income to a Muslim charity. President Obama, in his Cairo speech, said that he is "committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat." The practice of zakat came under scrutiny under the Bush administration, when seven charities were closed down and jailed leaders accused of helping fund terrorist organizations abroad. Many Muslims fear that if they give to a religious group, they may be accused of funneling money to terrorists. What steps are needed to make it easier for Muslims to practice this important part of their religion?