Friday News Roundup: Ongoing Violence in Nigeria

There were a few hard-to-miss-stories this week: the ongoing violence in Nigeria, the New York flight diverted to Philly after someone mistook a fellow passenger’s tefillin for a potential explosive device, the scripture-inscribed gun barrels.  There were also some lesser-picked up stories, like the religious schoolteacher whose actions are dividing his Ohio town. And there was – as always – a study.

The violence in Nigeria didn’t let up this week, and the media dug into the story, trying to understand the motivation for the killing:

  • CNN reports on the situation itself.
  • The National urges us to “look beyond the sectarian motive.”

In Philly, a plane made an emergency landing after passengers and flight staff became concerned that a  passenger’s tefillin – a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Bible, connected with leather straps that are wound around the arm/hand and head – were an explosive device. Look for our statement in an upcoming SHRM article, or learn more about the incident in the Philadelphia Inquirer or the New York Daily News. Also big in the news this week was the discovery that U.S. military weapons had been inscribed with “secret” Biblical references by their manufacturer; ABC News reports.

In other news, John Freshwater is causing quite the stir in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Reports The New York Times:

Mr. Freshwater, an eighth-grade public school science teacher, is accused of burning a cross onto the arms of at least two students and teaching creationism, charges he says have been fabricated because he refused an order by his principal to remove a Bible from his desk.

CBS News also picked up on the story.

And finally, a study – a depressing one. A new Gallup poll finds that:

More than 4 in 10 Americans (43%) admit to feeling at least “a little” prejudice toward Muslims — more than twice the number who say the same about Christians (18%), Jews (15%) and Buddhists (14%).

The Washington Post analyzes the study, with some articles generating heated debate in the comments.

Caity will be back with you next Friday; until then, enjoy your weekend!