Islam is a diverse religion with sects ranging from liberal to ultra-conservative. The media often roughly divides Muslims in those who follow a so-called ‘moderate Islam’ from those who condone, promote and/or engage in acts of violence and terrorism on behalf of Islam.
Like other religions Islam also has cults — movements whose teachings violate one or more of the essential tenets of Islam.
The vast majority of Muslims are people who have been born into the religion. Leaving Islam — in favor of another religion or of atheism — is difficult, as those who do so usually are rejected by family, friends and the larger community. In Islam, apostasy is punishable by imprisonment or death.
• Research resources on Islam
Wednesday September 5, 2012 Blasphemy • Islam • Pakistan:
An unexpected twist in the Rimsha Masih blasphemy case appears to have paved the way for her freedom from apparently false charges of desecrating the Quran.
In the meantime, the case has triggered a debate on how Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws are being used to settle personal scores and vendettas.
Monday June 4, 2012 Hate Groups • Islam • RNB's Religion News Blog:
A Danish court has found four Muslim terrorists guilty for planning a bomb attack on a newspaper for its publication of satirical cartoons of Muhammad.
At a prayer service in Denmark before their arrest, the men were heard on a surveillance tape saying “when you meet the infidels, cut their throats.”
Thursday May 31, 2012 Islam • Nigeria • Religious Persecution:
In Nigeria’s Plateau state, Christian leaders said more Christians have died at the hands of Muslim extremists than the 35 that the military reported thus far in May.
The Nigerian president took pointed criticism for the government’s handling of Muslim extremist violence against Christians.
Friday May 18, 2012 Exorcism • Islam • RNB's Religion News Blog:
A court in Brussels opened the trial of six people charged in connection with the 2004 murder of a young Muslim woman in a deadly act of exorcism
, a practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person believed to be possessed.
The woman was reportedly deceived into believing that she could not have children because she was possessed and that she had to undergo a practice of exorcism.
Friday May 4, 2012 Islam • Malaysia • RNB's Religion News Blog:
Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times changed an anti-Scientology speech by Australian Senator Nick Xenophon into an anti-Islam speech by switching the terms.
Amid concerns for his safety, the senator says the paper’s apology is too little, too late.
Saturday April 28, 2012 Hate Groups • Islam • Religious Persecution • Sudan:
Christians faced increased hostilities in Sudan over the past few weeks, culminating in an attack on a Christian compound in Khartoum by a throng of Muslim extremists armed with clubs, iron rods, a bulldozer and fire.
Breaking down the compound wall with a bulldozer, the assailants set fire to the Gerief West Bible School and the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) building; they also damaged three other places of worship and other buildings in the same compound.
Monday April 23, 2012 Islam • Religious Persecution:
A recent “reconciliation meeting” between members of a Muslim mob that attacked a Christian-owned school in Egypt and school administrators was nothing less than an attempt at legalized extortion, the director of the school said.
In exchange for peace, members of the sword-wielding mob that stormed the school last month without provocation – and held two nuns hostage for several hours – initially demanded in the meetings that the school sign over parcels of land that include the guesthouse the Muslim extremists attacked.
Friday April 13, 2012 Islam • Pakistan • Religious Persecution:
The mother of a 6-month-old girl has been wrongly jailed for more than a month, as Pakistani authorities have failed to file a charge sheet within the mandatory 14-day period against the young Christian woman falsely accused of “blaspheming” the prophet of Islam, her attorney said.
Friday April 6, 2012 Free Speech • Human Rights Violations • Islam • Religious Persecution:
In a show of partiality to Muslims who go unprosecuted for like offenses against Christianity, a juvenile court in Egypt sentenced a Coptic Christian teenager to three years in prison for allegedly insulting Islam.
The court claimed that he posted cartoons on his Facebook account in December that mocked the Islamic religion and its prophet, Muhammad.
Tuesday April 3, 2012 Hate Groups • Islam • RNB's Religion News Blog:
A group of Islamic radicals have been charged with planning to kidnap a French judge.
The head of France’s Central Directorate for Domestic Intelligence (DCRI), Bernard Squarcini, said on Saturday that those arrested the previous day were French nationals involved in “warlike training, linked to violent religious indoctrination”.
Tuesday March 13, 2012 Islam • Pakistan • Religious Persecution:
A young mother has been falsely accused of “blaspheming” Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, because she rebuffed attempts by relatives who had converted to Islam to force her to renounce her Christian faith, family members said.
Speaking ill of Muhammad in Pakistan is punishable by life imprisonment or death under Pakistan’s internationally condemned blasphemy laws
Tuesday March 6, 2012 Egypt • Islam:
Tensions remain high in an Egyptian village where as many as 5,000 mostly Salafi Muslims went on a rampage over a false rumor that a church was holding a girl against her will in order to convert her back to Christianity.
The 14-year-old girl’s father, an ethnic Copt who converted to Islam, had stirred them up on the mistaken notions that his daughter had converted to Islam and that Christians had kidnapped her.
Thursday March 1, 2012 Hate Groups • Islam:
While a Ugandan pastor was fighting to retain sight in his remaining eye after an acid attack, Muslim extremists this month were shooting at his close friend, a leader of another church.
Doctors at Sheba Hospital in Tel-Aviv, Israel, are still not sure what kind of chemicals Muslim extremists cast on Bishop Umar Mulinde of Gospel Life Church International outside of Kampala last Christmas Eve, but they know that the acid is threatening the vision in his remaining eye.
Tuesday February 28, 2012 Blasphemy • Christianity • Islam • RNB's Religion News Blog:
The BBC director general Mark Thompson has claimed that Christianity is treated with less sensitivity than other religions because it is “pretty broad shoulders”.
He suggested other faiths had “very close identity with ethnic minorities” and as a result were covered in a more careful way by broadcasters.
Monday February 13, 2012 Islam • RNB's Religion News Blog • Sexuality:
Wearing a full-length black niqab — with only her brown eyes showing through narrow slits — Widad Lootah does not look like a sexual activist.
Yet this conservative Muslim is one of the best known — and most outspoken — marriage counselors in the United Arab Emirates.