This is our archive of news items tagged hijab.

 memo You'll find articles about that subject in each of the items listed, even if the term does not necessarily occur within the headlines or descriptive text.

Mormon Purge * Scary Scientology * No More Hijab

bullet The Mormon Church is not just theologically a cult of Christianity, but sociologically it often acts like a cult as well. Its members face church discipline, up to possible excommunication, just for speaking out on certain issues.

This has prompted Religion News Service reporter Jana Riess, herself a Mormon, to take an in-depth look at every individual excommunicated by Jesus Christ in scripture.1

Earlier this month Riess wondered whether we’re looking at a Mormon purge, and said

If that’s what is coming for me, so be it. I would be terribly sad to be disfellowshipped or excommunicated from my church — excommunication meaning, literally, out of community.

I’ve been a Mormon for more than twenty years. This is my home, and Mormonism is part of my core identity. I love it.

If the point of these pending excommunications is to strike fear in the hearts of other Latter-day Saints who love the Church but do not always agree with it on matters of social justice, then it has already failed. For Zion’s sake, and for my own, I will not keep silent.

Over at Mormon Coffee — a Christian blog about everything Mormon — Sharon Lindbloom provides more details on the situation, and says that Riess has planted her flag, “choosing freedom of thought and expression over allegiance to the Church.”

Noting that in 1993 there also was a Mormon purge, when a number of people were booted from the church “for publishing scholarly work against Mormon doctrine or criticizing Church doctrine or leadership,” Lindbloom says

If the Church’s current disciplinary actions cause hundreds or thousands of Mormons to more closely examine the Church, its history, and its doctrines, I pray that these people come to find they must abandon the false system of Mormonism. I pray that as they turn away from the Mormon Church they will find love and acceptance in Jesus as He waits for them with open arms.

bullet The Roman Catholic Church is the most activist church in America, the 2012 National Congregations Study finds.

bullet Ex-Muslim Hiba Krisht, 25, adhered to the Islamic dress code throughout her childhood and young adulthood in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

But when she came to the U.S., two years ago, she abandoned the hijab.

Last week she started “The Ex-Hijabi Fashion Photo Journal” on Tumblr, “Celebrating body and fashion for those who have broken away from Islamic modesty norms. Because bodies are a joy and not a shame.”

It’s getting lots of attention.

bullet The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — described by the New York Times as “a historic mainline Protestant denomination that spans a broad spectrum from liberal to conservative evangelicals” — has voted at its General Assembly to change its constitution’s definition of marriage from “a man and a woman” to “two people,” and to allow its ministers to perform same-sex marriages where it is legal.

The denomination has ordained openly gay ministers since 2010, but has debated its approach to homosexuality for about three decades.

[As an aside: Why are there so many different churches and denominations?]

bullet The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at its General Assembly also voted (310 to 303) to divest from three multinational corporations — Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard — that it said supply Israel with products that promote violence in occupied Palestinian territories.

The Huffinton Post reports

There was an audible gasp on the floor in at the COBO Center in downtown Detroit after the motion passed. “In no way is this a reflection of our lack of love for our Jewish brothers and sisters,” Heath Rada, the church assembly’s moderator, told the assembly afterwards.

But opponents described it as exactly that.

Paul HaggisbulletPaul Haggis, the Hollywood film director who resigned from the Church of Scientology in 2009 after 35 years as a member in protest against its opposition to gay marriage, to-date is disturbed as ever about the way those who leave the cult are treated.

In a conversation with the Huffinton Post, Haggis says his personal interactions with former Scientology members has been emotionally troublesome.

“It was chilling to see how scared they were about speaking out or leaving. Just leaving. Just letting people know they’d left, they were scared,” Haggis said. “Well-known people come to me who have been in secretly and have left secretly and just don’t want anyone to ever know.”

In our view the Church of Scientology is a hate group, as well as a destructive cult. Its unethical behavior is based on the writings of the cult’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard — who came up with such policies as ‘Dead Agenting‘ and ‘Fair Game.’

Here’s the classic New Yorker piece by investigative journalist Lawrence Wright on Paul Haggis vs. the Scientology gang. Wright later published his acclaimed book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.

Our tweets-thief is taking a break for a couple of days, but that’s OK since you can get all of @religionnews‘s tweets directly:


Notes:

  1. Note that the Jesus of the Mormon Church differs significantly from the Jesus of Christian churches. The Mormon Church also uses scriptures rejected by Christian churches.

‘Satanic’ Craigslist killer; The prophecies behind Syria conflict

Also inside: Why do Newsweek’s new owners try to hide their ties to a controversial ‘Christian’ preacher? Is this a good television moment for atheists? Plus: In Iran, not wearing the ‘proper’ veil can get a woman arrested by the country’s religious police. Yes. Religious police.

May be updated throughout the day…

Miranda Barbour, a 19-year-old woman who told a reporter she has murdered upward of 22 people in several states, was in a Pennsylvania court yesterday for a pre-trial hearing.

She and her husband, Elytte Barbour, 22, are accused of killing 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara, who police say responded to a “companionship” ad placed by Miranda Barbour on Craigslist.

She is accused of repeatedly stabbing LaFerrara while her husband, who had been hiding on the backseat floor under a blanket, restrained him with a piece of television cable around the neck.

In a second jailhouse interview Barbour, referred to in the media as the “Craigslist killer,” says that other men also responded to her ad but escaped death when they failed to show up. But she also said she has murdered “some people” locally — a claim local police say is hard to believe since there aren’t that many missing person cases, and no other evidence has been found.

The woman has also claimed that at the age of 13 she joined a Satanic cult. In response The Church of Satan released a statement on what they say is Miranda Barbour’s claimed involvement in their church, saying it has no record whatsoever of any contact with Miranda and her husband.

Miranda’s father says his daughter is the most manipulative person he knows and is a liar. Ashley Dean, her sister, concurs. She told Pennsylvania newspaper The Daily Item that Miranda is using her fascination with television serial killer “Dexter” to embellish her own story.

“She is lying,” Ashley Dean said of her sister, Miranda Barbour. “She is a master at lying. She takes a lot of truths and puts the lie in the middle so when people talk to her they see all these truths and then they believe the lie.

A prison guard who supervised the initial visit of Daily Item reporter Francis Scarcella says details related to Barbour’s claim of having killed “under 100 people” made her sick to her stomach.

Law enforcement agents have found no evidence to support Barbour’s claims.

At Tuesday’s hearing Judge Charles H. Saylor deferred ruling on a defense motion to throw out the mitigating circumstances that would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty if she’s convicted of murdering LaFerrara.

Would you be surprised to learn that the conflict in Syria was all foretold in 7th Century prophecies?

For Muslims the hadith, the collected sayings of prophet Muhammad and his companions, are the most important sources of authority in Islam after the Quran itself. These sayings include accounts which refer to the confrontation of two huge Islamic armies in Syria, a great battle near Damascus, and intervention from the north and west of the country.

After Mohammad died, in 632, Islam split into Sunni and Shi’ite sects during a war over the succession of the faith’s leadership.

In the minds of many Westerners, Shiite became synonymous with radical Islam after the 1979 Revolution in Iran. In reality, there are extremist strains among both Shiites and Sunnis, which do not necessarily represent the views of mainstream Muslims.
Muhammad’s death precipitated Sunni-Shia rift

Reuters notes that Shi’ites, who represent about 10% of the Muslim population,

are drawn to the war because they believe it paves the way for the return of Imam Mahdi – a descendent of the Prophet who vanished 1,000 years ago and who will re-emerge at a time of war to establish global Islamic rule before the end of the world.

In August 2013, IBT Media bought Newsweek. At the time, Christianity Today and Buzzfeed pointed out that IBT has links to “the Community,” a Christian sect led by a charismatic — and controversial — Korean pastor named David Jang.

Now Mother Jones wants to know why Newsweek’s owners are so anxious to hide their ties to Jang.

Ben Dooley’s report is the result of a multi-year investigation.

Among other thing, Dooley point out that Jang sees Community-affiliated media organizations as an essential part of his mission to build the kingdom of God on Earth.

David Jang Newsweek

In case you hadn’t noticed, this is a “relatively good moment for atheism and skepticism on the small screen,” says Alyssa Rosenberg, who writes on culture and politics for the Washington Post.

Beard-cutting-cult leader Sam Mullet is challenging his hate-crimes conviction that netted him a 15-year prison sentence for orchestrating a series of beard-chopping attacks on other Amish he disagreed with.

In Iran, a volunteer citizens’ militia, the Basij, together with what are called the “guidance” police, patrol the streets to monitor whether people are properly observing Islam’s many do’s and don’ts.

The experiences of a friend, who was pulled off the street and held at a police office for not wearing a proper veil, Hossein Fatemi — an award-winning Iranian documentary photographer who splits his time among Afghanistan, Iran and the United States — to put together this art project.

Why Muslim women wear the veil

By the way, did you know that religious police can be found in nearly one-in-ten countries?

countries with religious police

As of 2012, at least 17 nations (9% worldwide) have police that enforce religious norms, according to a new Pew Research analysis of 2012 data.

Religion News Blog brings you expert-selected, hand-picked religion news articles with a focus (though not always exclusively so) on cults, religious sects, world religions, and related issues (think anything from alleged brainwashing to human right issues, and from abusive churches to offbeat news)

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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. [Read more...]

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. [Read more...]