17 Stories

Media World Freaks Over Newsweek Cover

Editor Tina Brown does it again

(Newser) - Chalk up one more for Newsweek in the magazine cover wars: Their latest headline, "Muslim Rage," runs in big black font over a photo of furious Muslim protesters. The cover article by activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali recounts her tale of emancipation from Muslim fundamentalism, but also makes an... More »

How We 'Know' the World Will End on May 21

Pastor Harold Camping explains his totally logical theory

(Newser) - As you may have heard, the rapture is coming on May 21, 2011 . Self-taught radio and Internet preacher Harold Camping is sure of it, and he’s got iron-clad logic on his side. See, by examining carbon dating, tree rings, and other highly scientific data, he’s concluded that Noah... More »

Judgment Day Is May 21: Christian Group

Second coming almost here...

(Newser) - All right everybody, empty those pension funds, quit your jobs, and repent, because the end times are so nigh you can mark them on your calendar. Apparently, the second coming is scheduled for May 21, 2011, according to Harold Camping, the leader of independent Christian ministry Family Radio Worldwide. He’... More »

Hitler Broadcasts Fueled Rise of Radical Islam

Anti-Jewish messages broadcast in Arabic during WWII

(Newser) - Arabic-language Nazi propaganda broadcast during the World War II fueled the rise of radical Islamic views, a new book claims. In Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, professor Jeffrey Herf uses 6,000 newly-released radio transcripts to show how hate-filled radio broadcasts exacerbated anti-Jewish sentiment in the Arab World. A... More »

Afghanistan Legalizes Starving Wives Who Refuse Sex

(Newser) - Afghan lawmakers have passed a new law requiring women to submit to their husbands' sexual demands or be starved, reports the BBC. The new law is an amended version of a bill that forced women to have sex with their husbands at least every four days, and completely removed a... More »

Holy Hell: Churches Squeezed by Economy

(Newser) - The hallelujahs are strained in US churches these days as donations plunge at the same time demand for aid is skyrocketing, reports the Wall Street Journal. Congregations across the nation are slashing budgets and even laying off staff, including pastors. Churches and synagogues usually weather downturns well, but not this... More »

Indian Women Fight Extremism With Underwear

Journalist wages campaign in response to group that beats women

(Newser) - A group of Indian women is fighting back against Hindu fundamentalism with an unlikely weapon: pink underwear, the Times of London reports. The “Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women,” a protest group, has encouraged women to send their pink underwear to the leader of the Sri Ram... More »

Fatwa Against Rushdie Set Off Self-Censorship

Edict brought Muslim culture war to the West: Hitchens

(Newser) - When Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens knew what it meant: "This was not just a warning of what was to come,” he writes in Vanity Fair, “it was the warning.” A global culture war, between Muslim fundamentalists and everyone else, had... More »

Sect Style: Flamboyant Modesty

Women's uber-modest fashion clearly sets polygamists apart

(Newser) - The women’s clothes from the Texas polygamist compound call to mind both Little House on the Prairie and prison garb. Yet there’s something elaborate, or even flamboyant, in the carefully crafted styles that set these women so distinctly at odds with modern culture, writes Robin Givhan in the ... More »

Texas Officials Justify Splitting Sect Families

Child-welfare authorities cite need to break 'code of silence'

(Newser) - Texas family-services officials today defended their decision to separate the mothers and children removed from a polygamous Mormon sect last week as the only way to get at the truth about alleged child abuse, the Houston Chronicle reports. Fifty-seven of the 139 mothers were forced to leave the group of... More »

Moms Return to Polygamist Ranch

Texas moves their kids to new shelter, plans legal battle

(Newser) - Nearly 140 women from a polygamist sect returned home today as officials moved their kids to a new shelter, the AP reports. The mothers had joined 416 children who were seized by Texas troopers 2 weeks ago and taken to a historic fort. Today officials moved the kids to a... More »

Polygamist Moms Beg Governor for Help

Claim state is 'traumatizing' their kids

(Newser) - Mothers from a polygamist Texas sect are appealing to the governor to investigate the welfare of their children in state custody, AP reports. Three moms sent a letter claiming that several of the 416 kids seized in a raid on their compound because of suspected child abuse have been hospitalized,... More »

534 Taken From Polygamist Ranch

Cops arrest one for interfering with evacuation

(Newser) - Texas officials have removed 534 people and arrested one in an ongoing raid of a polygamist ranch near Eldorado, the San Angelo Standard-Times reports. But the man they collared is only charged with obstructing the 4-day raid, not committing the rape that sparked it. Meanwhile, at a nearby historical fort,... More »

Texas Pulls 52 Kids From Sect Compound

Rape charge sparks move at Warren Jeffs' polygamy site

(Newser) - Texas authorities pulled 52 kids from the compound of a polygamous sect today after a girl said she was raped there, the Houston Chronicle reports. Eighteen of the children were bussed out by court order, based on claims of abuse or neglect, and put into temporary custody. State troopers are... More »

Fundamentalists Appeared After First English Bible

Having book in a common tongue allowed readers' own interpretations

(Newser) - The first English translation of the Bible led to the rise of fundamentalist interpretations of scripture, a Harvard professor writes in a new book. In Burning to Read: English Fundamentalism and its Reformation Opponents, James Simpson writes that once the general public no longer had to rely on clergy to... More »

'Geeky Hip' New Billy Graham Grabs Next Generation

Masses won over by Bell's 'Letterman' style

(Newser) - Bible-thumper Rob Bell wears geeky-hip glasses, once aspired to be David Letterman, and was momentarily poised for rock stardom, reports Time magazine. And he may be "one of the most important 21st Century Christian leaders," according to one biblical scholar. Nine years ago, Bell founded a nontraditional church... More »

Iran Frees Murderous Vice Squad

Convictions overturned for hardliners who killed "morally corrupt" citizens

(Newser) - Iran's Supreme Court has exonerated a group of Islamic hardliners earlier convicted of the vigilante killing of Iranians they considered "morally corrupt,"  the Times reports. Six members of the Basiji force, an elite paramilitary group, were originally convicted of murdering five people, including an engaged couple walking... More »

17 Stories