Madonna and her Muslim boyfriend, visiting Haghia Sophia and Sultanahmet Mosque in Istanbul

Four points about Madonna’s interest in Islam

How are we to make sense of Madonna’s interest in Islam? It’s about a number of factors, ranging from Islamophobia to the entertainment industry to racial privilege. And the Islamic ethical tradition might have something to offer us here.

(Left) RNS photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/courtesy U.S. Secretary of Defense via Flickr (  (Right) RNS photo by Katherine Cresto via Flickr (  *Note - due to copyright laws, RN

Jewish voters still favoring Obama

(RNS) For all the efforts by the Romney campaign to court Jewish voters, Obama's campaign is expressing growing confidence that they have been able to keep them in the Democratic fold. By Aamer Madhani. 

RNS photo courtesy Tim Pierce / Flickr (

Federal appeals court rules against gay marriage ban

(RNS) A federal appeals court in Boston has ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, setting up a potential showdown over same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court and providing another culture war issue for the already contentious presidential campaign. By David Gibson.

RNS photo courtesy Anat Hoffman

Israel agrees to recognize non-Orthodox rabbis

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Israeli government's decision to pay the salaries of 16 non-Orthodox rabbis has thrilled Reform and Conservative Jews both in Israel and abroad. At the same time, it has instilled fear in the country's ultra-Orthodox, who say non-Orthodox Judaism isn't Judaism at all. By Michele Chabin.