Religion Today Daily Headlines - July 9, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - July 9, 2012

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Muslim Congressman: U.S. Schools Should Be Modeled After Madrasas with Quran as 'Foundation'
  • Chinese Family Forced to Abort Files Criminal Charges
  • Facebook Adds New Icon to Represent Gay Married Couples
  • British Hotel Replaces Gideon Bibles With Kindles Carrying Scriptures


Muslim Congressman: U.S. Schools Should Be Modeled After Madrasas with Quran as 'Foundation'

video posted July 5 by RealClearPolitics depicts U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-Indiana) saying America's schools should be modeled after madrasas -- Islamic religious schools -- with their "foundation" as the Quran. "America will never tap into educational innovation and ingenuity without looking at the model that we have in our madrasas, in our schools where innovation is encouraged, where the foundation is the Quran," Carson said May 26 at the annual convention of the Islamic Circle of North America. "We need an educational model that is current, that meets the need of our students. America must understand that she needs Muslims." According to at least one State Department report, madrasas have been accused of fostering anti-American, terrorist sympathies, with one report singling out the Pakistani educational system, where madrasas are common. "Hosting over 10,000 madrasas, Pakistan's religious and public educational infrastructure are of ongoing concern in the United States," the report said. "In recommending increased U.S. attention to 'actual or potential terrorist sanctuaries,' the 9/11 Commission's final report singled out 'poor education' in Pakistan as 'a particular concern,' citing reports that some madrasas 'have been used as incubators for violent extremism.'"

Chinese Family Forced to Abort Files Criminal Charges

A Chinese man whose wife was forced to have an abortion has filed criminal charges against the officials responsible, CBN News reports. In June, Deng Jianmei's wife, Feng, was forcibly aborted at seven months of pregnancy. The couple already has one child and could not afford the $6,300 fine for violating China's harsh one-child policy. Feng told NBC News that family planning officials dragged her out of her relatives' house and into a hospital, where she was blindfolded and injected with an abortion-inducing drug. Since the abortion, she has been hospitalized with health problems, her sister-in-law said. The Chinese government apologized, and two officials responsible for the incident were fired and five more sanctioned, but the family's attorney wants them to face criminal charges as well.

Facebook Adds New Icon to Represent Gay Married Couples

Facebook has added a new icon to accommodate gay married couples, which will appear in the "marriage" timeline event pop-up and can be changed between an image of two male or two female partners, the Christian Post reports. According to the Christian Post, "Users still cannot choose a non-standard icon without linking their spouse's Facebook account, which means that if one person in a couple does not have an account, the other user will be stuck with the old design." The new icon comes just a year after the social media network began allowing gay and lesbian couples to list themselves as being in a "civil union" or "domestic partnership," and the timing was not surprising since one of Facebook's co-founders, Chris Hughes, married his longtime partner, Sean Eldridge, last weekend, making him one of the first people able to take advantage of it. Facebook recently became the first social media company to be given a media award by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for its longtime support of the LGBT community.

British Hotel Replaces Gideon Bibles With Kindles Carrying Scriptures

A hotel in Newcastle, England, has replaced copies of the traditional Gideon Bible placed in each of its 148 rooms with a Kindle pre-loaded with the Bible, the Christian Post reports. Hotel Indigo made the change in its policy beginning Monday, claiming to be the first in Britain to offer such a service. Adam Munday, the hotel's general manager, explained the decision: "In the 18th century, Newcastle was one of the largest print centers in Britain and we're in Grainger Town, close to the Literary and Philosophical Society. We wanted to reflect this literary history in a very contemporary way, so are offering guests the use of cutting-edge Kindles pre-loaded with the Bible, instead of the more traditional hard-copy Gideon Bible that they would expect to find in a hotel." The hotel is also allowing guests to download a copy of any other religious text costing up to 5 pounds (approximately $11), and after July 16 will make a decision on whether to retain the policy or introduce it to more of the chain's 44 hotels around the world.

Publication date: July 9, 2012