The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Posts Tagged ‘islam

the morning cram [Mawage. Mawage is what brings us together today edition]

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It seems people are less interested in taking part in what Twain called the “the supreme felicity and tragedy of life”.

NPR reports the marriage rate in the country is at an all time low: Buttered Popcorn flavored jelly beans have a higher approval rating and those things are nasty!

Kentucky~ Beshear says it’s time to start working together.

Illinois~ Mississippi River  study underway. Tax breaks are now on the books! EPA says Illinois air quality is getting worse.

Tennessee~ National Guard starts suicide prevention services. Lawmakers don’t want you to know about their closed-door-conversations.

Missouri~  Senator Roy Blunt edges out other GOP big dogs to take the GOP vice chairmanship.




Women Coming Together in Afghanistan

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The U. S. Military in Afghanistan is hopeful about moving forward social systems, including the role of women.

A story released today from the Bagram Media Center details the first meeting of women leaders in Nangarhar Province. The following is a summary:

This week in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, the U. S. Military hosted a shura for women in the province. A shura is a coming together of people, according to U.S. Army Maj. Jocelyn Leventhal.

Women leaders from the Nangarhar Province and its 22 districts were brought together during a provincial women’s shura held at the governor’s compound in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Oct. 14.

According to the Asia Foundation, less than 13 percent of women in Afghanistan are literate. Reaching women and providing them with information, opportunities and education can be a challenge. The purpose of the shura was to establish a communication network between the women of Nangarhar and to bring together women of all entities. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Angela Hatton

October 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

Pastor Responds to the Rumor Mill Around a Mosque in Mayfield

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Last Tuesday, the Mayfield zoning board denied a request for a conditional use permit to open a mosque in the city’s downtown because of limited parking. It’s expected the petitioners will file another application for a different site, but a location has not yet been determined.

Later that same week, Mayfield Mayor Arthur Byrn, City Planner Brad Rodgers, and the local Pilgrim’s Pride plant manager met with some Graves County pastors to help dispel rumors connected to Somali Muslims who live and work in the county.

Joe Farrone, pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Mayfield, has been processing the conversation. He said, “I think they [city officials] called us together because they see pastors as communicators to the community. Congregations are a large part of the community.” Farrone said that some congregants, though none from his church, have raised questions about the Somalis, many of whom work at Pilgrim’s Pride. “One of the rumors was that Pilgrim’s Pride was bringing the Somalis in,” he said. “Rumor was some Hispanic workers were let go because they were illegal.” Allegedly, the Somalis were recruited as replacements for these workers.

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Written by Angela Hatton

August 31, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Our Peculiar History of Religious Tolerance

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by Todd Hatton

The vote has been taken and Mayfield, Kentucky will have no mosque, at least not yet, and certainly not in any location with so little parking.  What should have been decided in a formality was rejected on a technicality, but I can’t say that the lack of transparency with which Mayfield’s zoning board first decided to approve the mosque’s conditional use permit is ever a good thing.  On the other hand, it’s difficult to see how anyone can vote their dissenting conscience under the reproving glare of a roomful of one’s neighbors.

Whether or not the results of the zoning board’s vote surprised anyone, or whether or not we approve of the result, it is of a piece with our history of dealing with religious minorities.  I’m a big fan of the notion that we can’t understand our present without understanding our past, and when the controversy over a mosque in Mayfield began to appear, I went back to a book I’d read over a year ago after hearing an interview with the author on Krista Tippett’s Speaking of Faith program.

Steven Waldman is the author of Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty and the CEO of, the largest faith and spirituality website.  The book, in the main, is about the development of the First Amendment, religious freedom, and today’s contention over the separation of church and state.  Waldman, however, begins his book by painting a picture of religion in early America.  It is at once alien to our modern sensibilities and a little too familiar.

For instance, government officials in one state blocked the building of place of worship for one religious minority.  They were responding to what was perceived as an existential threat by a sect that had, in the past, committed atrocities, fought them in wars, and, it was believed, behind the actions of foreign governments against them.

This wasn’t New York or Mayfield in 2010, it was Maryland in 1700.   Read the rest of this entry »