The Republican Party admits to sending mass mailings to Arkansas and West Virginia residents warning that “‘liberals’” seek to ban the Bible as part of its effort to mobilize religious voters for President Bush, reports David Kirkpatrick of The New York Times.
An Islamic scholar from Virginia, Ali al-Timimi, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he urged a group of Muslim-American men to join a holy war against the United States in the days after 9/11. A group of convicted Washington-area men known as “the paintball terrorists” — because they used paintabll games as training — identified Timimi as their spiritual leader. Timimi says the charges are unfounded.
“‘They had this idea the blacks or the so-called slaves cannot be equal to their masters, even in terms of religion. So if it is a slave mosque, they can always destroy it.’” Sudarsan Raghavanof The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the Arab attacks in Sudan on black African mosques and the assassination of black Muslim leaders. Human-rights say the attacks on black Muslims by pro-government Arab militias called Janjaweed support the allegation that genocide is occurring in Darfur. Sudanese officials, who deny they control the Janjaweed, say they are defenders of their faith, not its assassins.
A Florida case involving a brain-damaged woman kept alive against her husband’s will, and Gov. Jeb Bush’s active support for the woman’s parents — Roman Catholics, like Bush, who adhere to Pope John Paul II’s statement in the spring that people in vegetative states must be fed — is close to resolution. Florida’s state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Bush’s order to have the woman’s feeding tube reinserted violated the separation of governmental powers. The court wrote that “Terri’s Law,” hastily passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature after intensive lobbying by religious conservatives last fall, was “‘an unconstitutional encroachment on the power that has been reserved for the independent judiciary.’”
A local paper gives a snapshot-photo of American belief: Ohio farmer, Jay Power, has painted a Ten Commandments mural on the side of his barn as an effort to earn back God’s blessing on the nation. “‘We do silly things,’” said Power. “‘We go to Iraq saying it’s to get rid of the terrorists who attacked us on our land. If we go back to God’s word, he’s our wall. He protects us…He’ll keep us safe, as he always did before.’”
After a heated and emotional debate, the House of Representatives voted yesterday to approve an “Under God” bill that would prevent federal courts from hearing cases challenging the Constitutionality of that phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance. Democrats claimed that Republicans were forcing the vote to highlight a “wedge issue” six weeks before the election. Supporters of the bill said it was needed “to protect an affirmation of religion,” to limit court’s authority and keep judges from “‘emasculat[ing] the very heart of what America has always been about.’” This is the second bill in three months that seeks to limit judicial review of legislation.