Religion

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Saudis’ Anti-Terror Window-dressing

Saudi King Salman meets with President Barack Obama at Erga Palace during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Faced with greater public awareness of its role promoting Sunni jihadist terror, Saudi Arabia has announced a 34-nation “anti-terrorism coalition,” but it may be just window-dressing for Riyadh’s anti-Shiite agenda, not a serious move against extremism, an issue addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Complex Legend of Frank Sinatra

Frank-Sinatra

Frank Sinatra was a complex and flawed individual – known in his later years for alleged mob ties and angry outbursts – but he also was an extraordinary artist who spoke out against racism and bigotry at a time when such stands were controversial and risky, as Michael Winship recalls.

Israel’s Moral Erosion

A section of the barrier -- erected by Israeli officials to prevent the passage of Palestinians -- with graffiti using President John F. Kennedy's famous quote when facing the Berlin Wall, "Ich bin ein Berliner." (Photo credit: Marc Venezia)

Amid global anger over militants citing the Koran as a defense for terrorism, less attention gets paid to Israel citing God’s will as expressed in the Bible as the moral justification for stealing Palestinian land, an ethical crisis that is eroding Israel’s world standing, writes Alon Ben-Meir.

The Religious Element of Terrorism

The Qu'ran

The history of religions – especially monotheistic ones such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam – are rife with examples of cruelty, war and even genocide done in God’s name. So should people avoid the phrase “Islamic terrorism,” asks William Blum.

The Incredible Shrinking President

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Oval Office about terrorism on  Dec. 6, 2015. (Image from Whitehouse.gov)

Exclusive: Trying to soothe American fears about “terrorism,” President Obama glossed over the dangerous contradictions in his own policy, particularly the fact that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other “allies” have been helping Al Qaeda and ISIS, notes Daniel Lazare.

When Mass Killings Aren’t ‘News’

The MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft. (Photo credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Lt Col Leslie Pratt)

The 24/7 coverage of the San Bernardino mass killing, perpetrated by a Muslim husband and wife, has alarmed and frightened Americans, but there is next to no mainstream interest in disclosures about far worse mayhem carried out by the U.S. government’s lethal drone program, writes David Swanson.

Ben Carson and the ‘War on Christmas’

Ben Carson, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination who opposed a Muslim being elected president.

An absurd but popular complaint on America’s Christian Right is that Christmas is under attack – despite the nation’s extraordinary month-long birthday party for Jesus. But, ironically, one Christian Right favorite, Ben Carson, may oppose this celebration of Christmas, as Nat Parry notes.

The Real Thanksgiving Day

Original Thanksgiving as depicted by Jennie A. Brownscombe

From the Archive: On Thanksgiving Day, the United States celebrates the tradition of Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down together in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621 to celebrate each other as friendly neighbors. But the reality was not so pleasant, as historian William Loren Katz recalled.

Delinking Terrorism and Islam

President Barack Obama in his weekly address on Sept. 13, 2014, vowing to degrade and ultimately defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (White House Photo)

Exclusive: President Obama has faced sharp criticism from the Right for refusing to link Islam to acts of terrorism. He argues that to do so plays into the hands of violent criminals who wrap their brutality in the cloak of a great religion. But who has the better side of this argument, asks Jonathan Marshall.

Reform Judaism’s Israeli Critique

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with his generals to discuss the offensive in Gaza in 2014. (Israeli government photo)

Israel’s nearly seven decades of repressing Palestinians has soured many ethical Jews on the idea that the Jewish state should get unqualified support for its behavior, including now Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the leader of U.S. Reform Judaism, as Lawrence Davidson describes.