Mormon Purge * Scary Scientology * No More Hijab

Among the items in this issue of Religion News Briefs: Criticizing the Mormon Church can get you excommunicated. Leaving the destructive Scientology cult is scary (and wise).

Also: After three decades of debate on homosexuality, the Presbyterian Church has changed its definition of marriage. Plus: the Ex-Hijabi Fashion Photo Blog.

‘Satanic’ Craigslist killer; The prophecies behind Syria conflict

Miranda Barbour
Want to understand what’s going on in Syria? You need to be familiar with some 7th century prophecies.

“Craigslist killer” Miranda Barbour, who claims she was a Satanist and has killed “under 100 people,” has had her first court appearance.

Also: In some countries, not wearing a proper veil can get you arrested. By the religious police.

The beard-cutting-cult leader is back in the news. Plus more…

Elusive cult member spotted * JWs & blood * Muslim veils

Catherine Grove
A 26-year-old woman who joined a cult-like church after ‘running away from home’ has been seen in public.

Doctors are not liable for the death of a Jehovah’s Witness who refused a blood transfusion.

Do Muslims prefer to see — or not see — a woman’s face while she is out in public?

Hijab Outcry * Interfaith Movement’s Status * Pastor or Cop?

Religion News Blog
An arrest warrant has been issued for Matt Pitt — pastor of one of America’s most popular youth ministries — for impersonating a police officer. Also: A look at the state of America’s interfaith movement.

Here’s why non-Muslim women in Sweden are donning headscarves. And how do you forgive a crime like murder?

Despite Moon’s promise: a power struggle in the Unification Church

Religion News Blog
The late Sun Myung Moon, a fantasist who claimed to be the Messiah, once said that after he died, “I will continue to lead the church from the spirit world.” If that’s so, why is the cult going through a power struggle?

Muslim cleric Yousuf Badri is belligerent and rude during a television interview, but the female hosts puts him in his place.

And we go back to the Seventies, with the Source Family.

Dutch government Going ahead with Burqa Ban

Burqa People wearing burqas, balaclavas or all-in-one motorbike helmets in public in the Netherlands will soon face fines. On Friday, government ministers voted to outlaw all clothing which covers the face.

“People must be able to look each other in the face and be recognisable to one another. The wearing of face-covering clothing does not fit in with the Netherlands’ open society, in which participation in social traffic is actually crucial,” the cabinet said Friday.

Catholic schools in Kenya prohibit Muslim head covering

headscarves Muslim leaders in Kenya say they will continue to oppose a decision by Roman Catholic bishops, announced on 19 August, that students in Catholic schools may not wear the hijab, or head covering, worn by many devout Muslim girls and women.

The bishops cited long-existing church tradition, discipline and philosophies when announcing the rule.

French full veil ban goes into force

niqab A law banning the wearing of garments that cover the face in public has today come into force in France — the first European country to impose such a ban. Penalties for forcing a person to wear a burqa are part of the law.

The ban is seen as primarily affecting Muslim women who wear the niqab or burqa.

British schools where girls must wear the Islamic veil

Islam Hundreds of girls are bring forced by British schools to wear the Islamic veil in a move which has been heavily criticised by mainstream Muslims.

Islamic schools have introduced uniform policies which force girls to wear the burka or a full headscarf and veil known as the niqab.

Moderate followers of Islam said yesterday that enforcement of the veil was a “dangerous precedent” and that children attending such schools were being “brainwashed“.

Disneyland OKs headscarf for Muslim employee

A Muslim woman who said Disneyland wouldn’t let her wear a religious headscarf on her job as a vacation planner or ticket seller – the second such complaint in recent weeks – has reached an agreement with the Southern California theme park and is now wearing a Disney-provided blue scarf and beret-style hat to work.

The park worked with Abdallah to design a covering to match her costume and meet her religious needs, Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said. She’s been wearing a blue scarf topped with a beret since early this month.

“Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has a long history of accommodating a variety of religious requests from cast members of all faiths — with more than 200 accommodations made over the last three years and this instance was no different,” Brown said in a statement.

However, the woman in question is not Imane Boudlal, the hostess at Storyteller’s Cafe in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, who was part of a media dust-up last month after she refused management’s offer to either remove her hijab or take a job working out of public view.

French parliament adopts full face-veil ban

Niqab The French parliament passed a law Tuesday prohibiting wearing a full-face veil in public, meaning a ban will come into force early next year if it is not overturned by senior judges.

The Senate passed the bill by 246 votes to one. The bill already cleared the lower house in July, and will now be reviewed by the Constitutional Council, which has a month to confirm its legality.

MP wants British ban on Islamic veil

Islamic veils A British lawmaker is refusing to meet female Muslim constituents who wear face-covering veils and has proposed a law banning the practice altogether, he said on Saturday.

The MP, Philip Hollobone, says “God gave us faces to be expressive. It is not just the words we utter but whether we are smiling, sad, angry or frustrated. You don’t get any of that if your face is covered.”

Widespread Support for Banning Full Islamic Veil in Western Europe; Most Americans Disapprove

Burqa On July 13, members of the lower house of the French parliament are expected to vote on a bill that would make it illegal for Muslim women to wear full veils — those that cover all of the face except the eyes — in public places.

Majorities in Germany (71%), Britain (62%) and Spain (59%) would also support a similar ban in their own countries. In contrast, most Americans would oppose such a measure; 65% say they would disapprove of a ban on Muslim women wearing full veils in public places compared with 28% who say they would approve.

Iranian extremist Muslim clerics lash out on veiling

Iran’s hard-line Muslim clerics are determined to reverse the trend of what they regard as “badly veiled women” — those who wear looser, less strict head scarves and tight overcoats. These Muslim extremists believe they are holding up “the law of God, which is above human rights.” Small wonder that many western countries are taking […]

France to fine women who don full-face Islamic veils in public

Niqab The French government decided Wednesday to impose a $185 fine on women who wear a full-face Islamic veil in public, pushing ahead with a controversial ban despite signs of tension between France’s Muslims and the Christian-tradition majority.

President Nicolas Sarkozy said his government was forwarding the legislation to parliament because it had a “moral responsibility” to uphold traditional European values in the face of an increasingly visible Muslim population, estimated at more than 5 million, the largest in Western Europe.

France moves closer to a ban on full-face veils

Islamic veils The French parliament unanimously approved a resolution that would declare the full facial veil known as a burqa as an affront to French values, paving the way for a full-fledged ban on the garment worn by a small minority of French Muslim women.

If the bill becomes law, France would be the second country in Europe after Belgium to prohibit the wearing of the full veil in public.

Woman fined $665 for wearing a niqab in northern Italy

niqab Italian police fined a woman $665 for wearing an Islamic face veil, the first punishment of its kind in Italy but the latest in a wave of sanctions against the niqab in Europe.

Representatives of the Islamic community in Italy warned that the issue was a delicate one, but agreed that police in Novara were simply following the rules and said the issue was not a religious one.

French Muslim: I have mistresses; not multiple wives

Lies Hebbadj and his wife A Muslim butcher who could be stripped of his French passport over allegations of polygamy hit back on Monday, insisting that he had not broken the law.

Lies Hebbadj, an Algerian-born 35-year-old, has been at the centre of a political storm since last week when his wife complained that she had been fined for driving while wearing her “niqab” full-face veil.

Furor over French Muslim woman fined for driving veiled

niqab The case of a French Muslim woman fined for driving while wearing a full-face veil — a garment the government wants to ban in public — raised a furore Friday over human rights and led a minister to challenge her husband’s status in France.

The Nantes incident took on another political dimension when France’s interior minister, Brice Hortefeux, wrote to ask his colleague Eric Besson in immigration to look into the woman’s husband, who he alleged may belong to a radical group and may be a polygamist with four wives and 12 children.
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