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The Takeaway

A Closer Look at France's Burqa Ban

Thursday, April 07, 2011

In just a few days, a new law goes into effect in France, banning any veils that cover the face. Effectively a "burqa ban," the law was passed last fall by the French senate with a vote of 246 to 1. But it’s not just the French senate that’s in favor of the ban. The Pew Global Attitudes Project found in a survey last year that only one in four French people are opposed to the ban.

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Micropolis

Pro-Muslim Groups and Critics Mount a 'Propaganda War' (VIDEO)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A few weeks ago, Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch and one of the most outspoken critics of Islamic groups, said the debate among Muslim organizations, their allies and their opponents was to a large degree "a propaganda war in the information battle space."

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WNYC News

NYPD Asked to Explain Alleged Screening of Anti-Muslim Film

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Muslim groups and elected officials are calling on the NYPD to explain why it allegedly screened a controversial documentary known as "The Third Jihad" for trainees.

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WNYC News

Judge Hears Arguments to Block Park51 Islamic Center Near Ground Zero

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A State Supreme Court judge heard arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit meant to block development of Park51, the proposed mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero. But he often seemed skeptical of arguments made by the plaintiff and suggested he did not want to challenge the authority of city administrators who had cleared the way for the controversial project.

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The Takeaway

Some in Bahrain Parliment Call for Martial Law

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Saudi-led military force crossed into Bahrain on Monday to offer assistance to King Hamad’s government. Shiite Muslims are trying to rid themselves of two centuries of autocratic rule — but the potential fall of the Sunni-backed monarchy is worrying neighboring Gulf leaders. We talk with Christopher Davidson, scholar in Middle East politics at Durham University for context on the recent events. The BBC's Keith Adams reports from Bahrain.

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WNYC News

Protesters For And Against Brooklyn Mosque Converge on Sheepshead Bay

Sunday, March 13, 2011

About 120 demonstrators gathered in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, to protest a proposed mosque that opponents argue will dramatically alter the quality of life in the neighborhood. The protest, organized by about 80 supporters of the mosque, was within shouting distance of a counter-protest and drew locals and nationally prominent critics of Islam.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Hearings on Muslim Radicalization

Friday, March 11, 2011

Faiza Patel discusses her new report, "Rethinking Radicalization", on how law enforcement officials try to deter "homegrown" terrorism in the United States. Ahmed Nasser, detective and Muslim community affairs representative for the NYPD, weighs in on radicalization and on yesterday's hearings in Washington D.C. on radicalization within the Muslim American community. And Arun Venugopal, WNYC reporter who covered the hearings, describes what happened in Washington yesterday.

Hear Audio, Read a Recap and Join the Conversation at It's A Free Country

The Takeaway

In Support of Hearings on the 'Radicalization of Muslims'

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Congressman Peter King's (R-NY) controversial hearings, which begin Thursday, on the radicalization of American Muslim youths, is being met with tremendous anger from Muslims nationwide. But one Muslim American who is in favor of these hearings is Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. He believes whatever we have done to battle the radicalization of Muslim youth in America has not worked, and says "we need to figure out a new strategy."

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The Takeaway

Debate Over Congressional Hearing on Muslim Radicalization

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

This week, the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on what they are calling the radicalization of American Muslims. The hearing, hosted by chairman of the committee, Representative Peter King (D-NY), is tasked with investigating the threat posed by homegrown Muslim terrorists. "At this stage in our history, there is an effort to radicalize elements within the Muslim community," Rep. King said on CNN's "State of the Union" this weekend. There has been an outcry by Muslim Americans criticizing the congressional committee for signaling out the Muslim community as posing a threat to the country. Is it a worthwhile exploration of the issues or a witch hunt?

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WNYC News

Group Linked to Park51 Cancels Play With September 11 Survivors

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

An organization linked to Park 51, the controversial Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero, suddenly cancelled a Wednesday night performance of a play featuring September 11 family members.

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The Takeaway

Sowing the Seeds of Democracy in Islamic Countries

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

It’s been fifteen days since the protests in Egypt began and even longer since voices of dissent erupted in Tunisia. Across the Arab world, there have been unrelenting calls for democratic reform. However, some claim that Islam and democracy are too incompatible to function together. Can an Islamic state embrace democracy?

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The Takeaway

American Muslim Women Take on More Leadership Roles

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Female Muslims in America have achieved levels of success and prestige unmatched elsewhere in the world, according to a story by our partner, The New York Times, on the growing presence of Muslim women in America. Muslim women's roles have become more and more prominent since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Will America's political environment allow for Muslim women to be leaders for their faith?

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WNYC News

Two Men Charged in Alleged Hate Crime

Friday, December 10, 2010

Two men are facing charges of robbery and assault as hate crimes for allegedly attacking a Muslim man on a subway platform near Canal Street Wednesday morning.

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The Takeaway

Preparing for the Hajj: More Than Packing Your Bags

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today marks the third and most important day of the Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage that has drawn as many as three million Muslims to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The four-day trip is arduous, packed with rituals and prayers. Most pilgrims begin planning for the trip up to six months in advance and set aside around $2,000 to make the journey. Some are encouraged to get in good physical shape, build their immune system, prepare a will, and go through counseling so they are mentally prepared.

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The Takeaway

Homeland Security Reaching Out to Muslims in America and Beyond

Friday, November 12, 2010

In his speech in Jakarta earlier this week, President Obama addressed Muslims across the world, seeking to reassure them that they are not the enemy. "America is not," he said, "and never will be, at war with Islam." But while President Obama reaches out to Muslims across the world, the federal government is trying to make sure Muslim communities here at home get the same message.

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Micropolis

President Bush on Park 51: No Comment

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Former president George W. Bush was on the Today Show with Matt Lauer, promoting his new book, Decision Points, and he was pushed to take a stand on Park 51, the Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero. As you may recall, at the peak of the controversy this summer, a number of supporters of Park 51 called on him to speak up, in hopes that he would voice support for the project and perhaps chide the most virulently anti-Islamic speakers.

He didn't then, and he refused to today, saying he didn't want to have his words on the issue -- or any other issue -- constantly compared to those of President Obama. Lauer tried to elicit some response, any response on the issue, but didn't get very far.

LAUER: Well, without saying whether they should build the community center or not, are you disappointed by the increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric in this country that we’ve seen recently?

BUSH: I think most Americans welcome freedom of religion and honor religions. I truly do. And the problem with the arena today is a few loud voices can dominate the discussion and I don’t intend to be one of the voices in the discussion.

See this video clip of the interview, from Think Progress.

The full interview is also worth watching, if only to see Kanye West apologize for calling Bush a racist, once upon a time. I think we need to impose an immediate moratorium on Kanye West apologies.

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The Takeaway

President Obama's Jakarta Speech: Reactions

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

President Obama continues his Asia trip this week with a stop in Indonesia, to emphasize American ties with the Muslim country. In a speech to Indonesians last night, the President sought to highlight those bonds; he did so by recalling his time growing up in Jakarta. Did Obama succeed in reaching out to Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world?

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The Takeaway

Obama Speaks to Two Muslim Worlds from Indonesia

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

As a part of his 10-day tour in Asia, President Barack Obama delivered a very personal speech at the University of Indonesia Wednesday morning. Echoing some of themes he raised in his famous speech in Cairo in 2009, Obama spoke about the need for mutual respect among Muslims and the importance of a joint effort to combat extremism. Indonesia is home to the largest population of Muslims in the world, and Muslims in Southeast Asia tend to practice a more moderate form of Islam than those farther west. Did President Obama navigate those differences in his speech? 

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The Takeaway

President Obama Addresses World's Most Populous Muslim Nation

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

President Obama is poised to give his highest profile address to the Islamic world since his speech in Cairo a year ago. On Tuesday night, the president will speak in Jakarta, Indonesia, home to the world's most populist Muslim nation.

The president will speak before an estimated six thousand people at the University of Indonesia, where he is expected to hold up the country as a model for the values of democracy and diversity.

We're asking: if you're Muslim, what do you want to hear from President Obama tonight?

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Micropolis

Halloween: Do Muslims Celebrate?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

As a kid, my parents didn't have an issue with my going out on Halloween and trick-or-treating. They didn't even hassle us much about bringing home too much candy. Their main concern was probably the same one my sisters and I had: what if we bit into an apple with a razor blade into it?? That was the fear much of America seemed to have in my day -- as if kids of our generation actually had an iota of interest in healthy apples when presented with so many other, more decadent options.

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