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NEWS OF RELIGIOUS CONFLICT & INTOLERANCE,

2003-SEPTEMBER

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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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bullet

2003-SEP-9: Church marquee displays hate speech: The marquee of the Faith Baptist Church in Avon, IN, displayed a sign: "Sunday sermon 10:30 am. 'Islam: America's No. 1 Enemy." Pastor Marc Monte allegedly told the Indianapolis Star that: "I want to stir interest, not alarm, but Islam is a false religion, dangerous and hate-promoting. If I were a pastor who read KKK literature or Hitler's 'Mein Kampf,' I would hope the members of my church would head to other churches. It is awful stuff. I repudiate it, and I put Islam in the same camp." Sayyid M. Syeed, director of a nearby Islamic Center of North America, is reported as saying that Monte's views were inflammatory and dangerous to society. Syeed told the newspaper: "Whether it is a pastor in Avon or Osama bin Laden, it is religion spoken with the same language – to incite others and provoke violence. It is the same treatment of religion; extremists think a lot alike." Monte met with Syeed shortly after 9-11. Monte is quoted as saying: "I met with Syeed, and it got me very curious. In this personal conversation, there were things that struck me as odd. I opened the Quran and smelled a stinking, bloated, dead rat on every page." 11

bullet2003-SEP-17: Canadian hate propaganda law expanded: A private member's bill, C-250, was approved by Parliament to amend Section 318 -- the existing hate crime legislation. It defines "sexual orientation" as an "identifiable group" protected from hate speech. Many conservative Christian groups are alarmed because they fear that they might be charged with a criminal offense if they attack homosexuality as a grievous sin, or even if they simply read the six or so biblical passages on homosexuality. Almost ignored in the furor is that this amendment will protect persons of all sexual orientations, not just bisexuals and homosexuals. Also religious hate speech and propaganda is specifically exempt from the provisions of the law. More details.
bullet2003-SEP-24: Canadian private school ejects student: Irene Walseem, 6, was a student at Charlemagne College -- a private secular school in west-end Montreal, Canada. Like many young Muslim women, she decided to start to wear the hijab, an Islamic headscarf that covers her hair. School officials said that the scarf violated the school's dress code, which bans head coverings of all types; they expelled her from the school. Her parents filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission. A spokesperson for the Commission said that they will issue a ruling quickly to prevent the student from missing too many classes. Irene said "I didn't do anything wrong...I became more devout this summer, so I decided to wear [the hijab] for my last year of school...I really miss my friends." She is now enrolled at another private school. Ironically, the motto of Charlemagne College is: "Open to the World." They have refused to comment to the media about the case. 12

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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. 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
  3. Reuters is "the world's leading financial information and news group. Their web page is at: http://www.reuters.com/ 
  4. 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
  5. EWTN News carries Roman Catholic news from Catholic World News, Vatican Information Service, ZENIT, CWNews.com. See: http://www.ewtn.com/news/ 
  6. 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 
  7. 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/ 
  8. 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/ 
  9. AANEWS is distributed by American Atheists.
  10. CNSNews.com -- Cybercast News Service -- is a conservative news source. Their home page is at: http://www.cnsnews.com
  11. "Church sign: 'Islam – America's No. 1 enemy.' Baptist preacher defends placard some call message of hate," WorldNetDaily, 2003-SEP-9, at: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/
  12. Brian Daly, "Student expelled over hijab," The Toronto Star, 2003-SEP-24, Page A23.

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Copyright © 2003 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-SEP-9
Latest update: 2003-SEP-24
Author: B.A. Robinson

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