RNS photo by Omar Sacirbey

Bosnian Muslims thrive in U.S. despite unease over homeland

BOSTON (RNS) Despite their relatively short time in America and the traumas of war, Bosnian Muslims are thriving in American society. Success, however, hasn’t diminished the sense of injustice that many feel over how the bloody war ended, or concerns that their trials could be too easily forgotten. By Omar Sacirbey.

RNS photo courtesy Jonathon Narvey / via Flickr

Activists say religion is key in combating female genital mutilation

(RNS) Because of its severity and prevalence, female genital mutilation is arguably one of the most important human rights issues in the world. But the practice remains poorly understood, both by supporters who assert it is mandated by Islam, and opponents who, according to some activists, do more to sustain the practice than end it. By Omar Sacirbey.

Religion News Service 
photo courtesy of Saudi Information Office, Washington.

Pork-free vaccine wins cheers from Hajj pilgrims

(RNS) The nearly 3 million Muslims who will make next week’s annual hajj pilgrimage to the sacred Saudi Arabian city of Mecca are required to be vaccinated against meningitis. Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis claims to have developed, in 2010, the first anti-meningitis vaccine without pork, which Muslims are forbidden to consume under Islamic law. Many religious authorities have already certified the Menveo vaccine as “halal,” or permitted under Islamic law. Not all Muslims, however, believe the vaccine is truly halal. Anti-meningitis vaccine was developed in the 1930s, and pork derivatives were and remain an important part of the compound today.

RNS photo by Omar Sacirbey

Muslim women bridge differences to help refugees resettle in U.S.

LYNN, Mass. (RNS) Iman Shati and Ayfer Abed Aljabar come from two different countries, two different cultures and even two different sects of Islam. Yet they're working together to help Iraqi refugees adjust to life in the U.S. by obtaining health insurance, driver's licenses and even laptops with Arabic letter keys. By Omar Sacirbey.

RNS photo by Omar Sacirbey

Shiite Muslims quietly establish a foothold in U.S.

QUINCY, Mass. (RNS) Until recently, the overwhelming share of U.S. Muslims were Sunni. That's changing as Shiite Muslims flee persecution in their homelands and set up mosques in the U.S., presenting another face of American Islam and bringing overseas tensions within Islam to U.S. shores. By Omar Sacirbey.

Shariah or not, Muslim divorces can get tricky

(RNS) Islamic marriages typically include a basic marriage contract — but when it comes time to divorce, some judges see the dowry as a simple contract, others as a prenuptial agreement, and others as a strictly religious matter in which they don’t want to get involved. By Omar Sacirbey.

RNS photo by Omar Sacirbey

Muslim parents wrestle with passing on Islamic values

BOSTON (RNS) Muslim immigrants frequently worry whether their children will be able to maintain their Islamic identity in a country reputed to be rampant with vice and promiscuity. Muslim family experts advise parents to help their children make Muslim friends, and fully participate in American culture without compromising their Islamic values. By Omar Sacirbey.

RNS photo courtesy Mazen Basrawi

Can you be a good Muslim and still have a dog?

(RNS) It's “Walk your Dog In Front of a Mosque Day,'' and it's not meant as a joyous occasion. Muslims’ alleged canine-phobia is often cited by critics of Islam as an example of how Western values and the faith are incompatible. Yet many Muslims the world over have dogs, and dogs figure prominently is some Islamic countries. By Omar Sacirbey.