Over at the Texas Observer, I interviewed groundbreaking lesbian feminist theologian Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward. Her new book unpacks the deep historic and modern ties between Christianity and white supremacy, and explains why Christians—and everyone who benefits unconsciously from white supremacy—needs to act more.
A megachurch in Alabama could soon begin hiring its own cops.
Approved by the Alabama Senate on April 11, civil liberties experts are warning that the move will mark a major escalation in the growth of the American police state if, as expected, it’s also approved by the House and Governor Kay Ivey.
Briarwood Presbyterian Church, located near Birmingham, isn’t just one of those oversized churches with a bunch of giant flat screen TVs and its own coffee shop. With 4,100 members, and 2,000 students in its own K-12 school, church officials claim neither deputies from two nearby communities nor private security are enough to keep their religious community safe.
British and French prisons may soon employ controversial methods like solitary confinement and ‘terrorist-only’ units in an effort to curb radicalization efforts in prisons and to keep inmates from turning to terrorism.
Compared to their overall populations, England, Wales and France disproportionately imprison Muslims. A study conducted in March 2015 found that the number of Muslim prisoners in English and Welsh prisons increased 122 percent between 2002 and 2014, while the total number of prisoners only increased 20 percent over the same time period.
And although French laws prevent an exact count of Muslims in prison, it’s estimated that as many as 70 percent of the country’s 67,500 prisoners are Muslim.
On Saturday, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America became the ninth Christian denomination in the United States to vote for divestment from Israel.
The resolution, which the ECLA calls a “memorial,” requires the church to end its current investments in companies that support Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and to rigorously screen all future investments as well.
It’s another major victory for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement, now over a decade old, which faces growing opposition even as it makes further inroads into American society.
In 2012, after centuries of tension, Myanmar’s Buddhist majority began oppressing the nation’s Muslim minority, forcing them into concentration camps and carrying out widespread murder and genocidal acts.
But more than racism and bigotry have inflamed tensions in this South Asian country, as the United States and its allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel enable the atrocities through their foreign aid and military power.
In June, The Economist called the Rohingya “the most persecuted people on earth,” noting that their suffering has intensified since 2012. That year, “140,000 Rohingyas were forced into squalid refugee camps after the local Buddhists turned on them,” and since then, “their situation has been especially dire.”
While the mainstream media showers attention on any crime with even the slightest hint of a connection to ISIS or other Muslim extremists, less attention is being paid to a growing number of threats against everyday Muslims in the United States despite the FBI raising the alarm.
The FBI issued an intelligence bulletin in May, warning that “militia extremists” are increasing their violent rhetoric against Muslims and even potentially making concrete plans to target them for violence. “The FBI makes these assessments with high confidence on the basis of a large body of source reporting generated mainly since 2013,” noted the bulletin. This marks a change from the militia’s usual targets, the agency notes, which typically include the government and any group perceived as a threat to Second Amendment rights.
Few mainstream media journalists seem to have reported on this bulletin or the concrete threats that it outlines, but some members of the independent media have analyzed its contents. Writing for the Electronic Intifada, Rania Khalek, a journalist whose work focuses on the underclass and oppressed populations, highlighted one incident: