Like many hajj traditions in a pandemic year, Zamzam water gets a reboot


(RNS) — Mementos of making the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all able Muslims who can afford the trip at least once in their lifetime, can draw from ancient tradition — as in the prayer rugs many hajjis bring home — or from latest fads — a selfie in front of Mecca’s Grand … Read more

Maryland Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha with a farm-focused carnival


(RNS) — Summer for many Americans means country fairs. And, with this year’s Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha falling on Tuesday (July 20), a Muslim organization in Washington, D.C., is combining the two traditions.   “This (is the) perfect opportunity for us to bring the Muslim story of Eid to the American venue of a farm,” … Read more

Sikhs, finding religious freedom on the road, take outsize role in American trucking


(RNS) — More and more of America’s truck drivers are wearing turbans, as a growing community of Punjabi-born drivers, the majority of whom are Sikhs, play an increasingly outsize role in one of America’s fastest-growing industries.  The trucking industry has attracted generations of Americans by offering good salaries for work that allows drivers to essentially … Read more

Arizona candidate’s claim that he’s a military chaplain draws investigation


(RNS) — “My name is Alex Stovall. I am Republican. I am 26. I am a Chaplain,” wrote a 24-year-old U.S. Army lieutenant in a tweet in late May, announcing his campaign for an Arizona congressional seat. Stovall went to proclaim himself “pro-second Amendment” and an America Firster who is “running for Congress to take … Read more

Former Canadian spy claims her Muslim faith led to suspicions from her own side


(RNS) — A former intelligence officer has accused Canada’s top spy agency of discrimination. Huda Mukbil says she was discriminated against while a member of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service because of her Muslim faith and said the treatment posed a national security threat to Canada.  ”It’s the reason why individuals in the Muslim community … Read more

Hilton hotel to be built atop demolished Uyghur mosque


(RNS) — Plans for a Hilton hotel to be built in China upon the former site of a Uyghur mosque, demolished by order of China’s Community Party, have been met with outrage and condemnation from various Muslim groups. As first reported in the Telegraph, the grounds of the demolished Duling Mosque in Hotan, part of … Read more

Colorado memorial draws religious freedom concerns


(RNS) — A memorial honoring veterans in a cemetery in Monument, Colorado, has attracted national attention due to its reference to Jesus Christ. Organizations ranging from the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation have called for the marker to be removed.  “Only two defining forces have ever offered to … Read more

With fashion shows and internships, Muslim women calm tensions with police and FBI


LOS ANGELES (RNS) — It’s not every day an LAPD officer gets invited to speak at a fashion show. But in 2018, Michael P. Downing, then the department’s commanding officer of the counter-terrorism and special operations unit, happily accepted the unexpected role of guest of honor at a swank event focused on South Asian fashion … Read more

Halimi and Oubaali: Boxing champions united by different faiths


(RNS) — Both men are known for wearing their faith, if not on their sleeves, then on the biggest platforms they commanded in their respective time periods: For Alphonse Halimi, a French bantamweight boxer of the 1940s and ’50s, it was a Star of David stitched on his boxing trunks. His countryman and fellow bantamweight … Read more

Ebrahim Raisi poised to sweep into Iranian presidency despite weak religious credentials


(RNS) — Ebrahim Raisi seems poised to emerge victorious in Iran’s presidential elections later this week, thanks to the support of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei more than Raisi’s strength as a candidate. “Raisi is the weakest in terms of the substance of the presidential candidates and is therefore favored by Iran’s ruling elite,” said Babak … Read more