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NEWS OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE AND CONFLICT DURING 2001-SEP

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Sponsored link.

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We also have a list of religious tolerance news for this month. 
Sad to say, these are usually much shorter lists.

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2001-SEP-1: Canada: Muslims complain about reporter: According to CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, National "Post reporter Stewart Bell, who CAIR-CAN says has a 'vendetta' against Muslims in Canada, has contacted the employers of those who wrote letters to the editor using their company's email accounts." The National Post is a conservative, nation-wide newspaper. 5,12

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2001-SEP-2: WV: Assistant attorney general teaching police about hate crimes: Paul Sheridan, assistant attorney general in West Virginia, teaches a course in hate crime to police officers throughout the state. Kevin McCoy, leader of the Fundamentalist Christian West Virginia Family Foundation (an affiliate of the American Family Association) is distressed by the course and is concerned that it could eventually muzzle clergy. Some of his complaints are:
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The course mentions that some hate groups have added homophobia to their list of targeted groups, along with Jews, communists, the federal government, etc.

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Some hate groups (e.g. Christian Identity, KKK, etc) "include apocalyptic Christianity in their ideology and believe we are in, or approaching, a period of violence and social turmoil which will precede the Second Coming of Christ." This is a comment found also in FBI and CSIS documents. McCoy interprets this to mean that because some hate groups believe in an imminent, violent end of the world, that anyone who believes in a violent end of the world is a member of a hate group. That would include all Fundamentalists and most other Evangelicals.

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If a police officer expresses hatred against minority groups, (presumably including gays and lesbians) they might not gain promotions. 13

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2001-SEP-3 & 4: Northern Ireland: Catholic children terrorized by Protestants: Pictures that recalled memories of black children entering previously segregated schools in Alabama were shown on prime time TV. This time, it was Catholic children passing through Protestant enclaves in Belfast's Ardoyne area on the way to their school. Demonstrators shouted insults, threats and vulgarities at the children. One mother escorting her daughter was injured. One policeman suffered a broken collarbone from a home made grenade. It all makes for great press. But two factors were generally overlooked in the media: The mothers had a choice to take or send their children by another, safe route that bypassed the Protestant enclave. But they wanted to make a point by walking directly through the Protestant area. Also, the Protestants said that their harassment of the Catholics would end as soon as the Catholics stopped attacks on the Protestant homes.

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2001-SEP-11: New York City, Pennsylvania & Washington: Terrorists hijack four planes: Four sets of terrorists, totaling about 18 people, hijacked four jetliners, and piloted them towards the White House, Congress, and the two World Trade Towers. The first plane was unable to find the White House and made a kamikaze run at part of the Pentagon. Control of the plane which headed towards Congress was apparently retaken by the passengers; it crashed into the ground south-east of Pittsburg. The remaining two jetliners destroyed the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. About 5,000 lives were lost. More details

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2001-SEP-11: USA: Jerry Falwell attacks Pagans, holding them responsible for the terrorist attack: Explaining that "God will not be mocked," noted Fundamentalist Christian tele-minister, Jerry Falwell, said on the 700 Club that certain individuals and groups were responsible for helping the terrorist attack happen. This included "Pagans" -- an ill-defined term; we are not certain to whom he was referring. He also blamed the American Civil Liberties Union, abortion providers, People for the American Way, gays, feminists, and lesbians. Pat Robertson, host of the 700 Club agreed. It is not clear whether Falwell is attacking the 750,000 Neopagans in the U.S. or is using the term "Paganism" in some other way. It is a term that has multiple meanings. We requested a clarification from his organization; they have not yet replied. Complete details

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2001-SEP-15: USA: Hundreds of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab attacks: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported in excess of 200 attacks on innocent Muslims since the terrorist attack. Mosques have been vandalized and shot at. Many Sikhs have been attacked as people have mistaken them for Muslims. A Hindu temple in Toronto ON Canada suffered fire damage, perhaps by an arsonist who mistook it for a mosque.  More details.

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2001-SEP-17: USA: James Dobson also attacks Paganism: At about 13 minutes and 40 seconds into his Focus on the Family daily radio program, Dr. James Dobson said: "I also pray that the Lord will bring a national revival that will sweep through our nation and pull us back from the wickedness and the Paganism that's engulfed us in recent years." It is not clear whether Dobson is attacking the 750,000 Neopagans in the U.S. or is using the term "Paganism" in some other way. It is a term that has multiple meanings. We have requested a clarification from the folks at Focus on the Family. They have not yet replied. Complete details

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2001-SEP-25: Georgia: Municipal government in Ringgold posts Decalogue: In a move that is bound to offend non-Judeo-Christians, the town of Ringgold has posted the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer and an empty picture frame. Councilman Bill McMillon explained that the blank frame "is for those who believe in nothing." He hopes that the display will bring back "good Christian values.'' He is not concerned about offending non-Christians "because we don't have any of them here.'' The measure passed the town council unanimously. 14

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References:

  1. DayWatch is a daily service of Maranatha Christian Journal. It provides "a daily summary of news headlines with a Christian perspective..." The newsletter is free on request. Their web site is at: http://www.mcjonline.com 
  2. Newsroom is a service of Worldwide Newsroom Inc. Their articles are written by "a network of journalists, scholars and other professional contacts in country." You can subscribe to their free service from their website at http://www.newsroom.org/ 
  3. ReligionToday™ provides free newsletters to which you can subscribe at: http://www.ReligionToday.com. These summaries are part of GOSHEN.net, which also includes LiveIt.net, Devotionals.net, ChristianShareware.net, ChristianClassifieds.net, ChristianMessageBoards.net, BibleStudyTools.net, MediaManagement.net, WorldNewsToday.net, WebCastGuide.net, and ChristianCollegeGuide.net
  4. Reuters is "the world's leading financial information and news group. Their web page is at: http://www.reuters.com/ 
  5. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): E-mail: cair1@ix.netcom.com
    URL: http://www.cair-net.org To join CAIR-NET, CAIR's read-only mailing list: Send subscribe cair-net in the body of a message to majordomo@cair-net.org
  6. EWTN News carries Roman Catholic news from Catholic World News, Vatican Information Service, ZENIT, CWNews.com. See: http://www.ewtn.com/news/ 
  7. Ecumenical News International (ENI) in Geneva Switzerland distributes news free religious news highlights to subscribers. They can be contacted at PO Box 2100, CH - 1211, Geneva 2, Switzerland. Telephone: (41-22) 791 6087/6515. Fax: (41-22) 788 7244 Email: eni@eni.ch. Their web site is at http://www.eni.ch 
  8. ZENIT.org is "an International News Agency based in Rome. Our mission is to provide objective and professional coverage of events, documents and issues emanating from or concerning the Catholic Church for a worldwide audience, especially the media." Their web site is at: http://www.zenit.org/english/ 
  9. Anglican Communion News Service provides information from an Anglican perspective. See: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/index.html A companion Episcopal News Service is at: http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/ens/ 
  10. AANEWS is distributed by American Atheists.
  11. CNSNews.com -- Cybercast News Service -- is a conservative news source. Their home page is at: http://www.cnsnews.com
  12. "National Post seeks to 'punish' Muslims for letter to editor: Islamic groups says Post writer promotes Islamophobia using distortions and disinformation," CAIR news release, 2001-SEP-1
  13. Mannix Porterfield, "Quietly...an assistant attorney general has been...teaching police...a course in hate crimes," The Register-Herald newspaper at Beckley, WV. See: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?
  14. "Ga. Town Posts Ten Commandments," Assocaited Press, 2001-SEP-25, at: http://news.findlaw.com/ap_stories/other/

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Copyright © 2001 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2001-SEP-2
Latest update: 2001-SEP-26
Author: B.A. Robinson

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