American Muslim Woman Killed in Potential Hate Crime: News Roundup

In the news:  An American Muslim woman is killed in California, thousands protest threats to religious liberties, and other stories 

An Iraqi-American woman who used to live in Dearborn was found beaten to death at her home near San Diego in what might possibly be a hate crime. A note calling her a terrorist and saying she should go back to her country was left next to her body, according to friends and family members.
 
The death on Saturday of Shaima Alawadi, 32, after three days in the hospital has prompted an intense outpouring of anxiety and outrage from some, especially among Arab-Americans and on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Some drew comparisons with the killing of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teen shot dead last month in Florida. Detroit Free Press
 
Across the country, thousands of people protested what they saw as a threat to religious liberties in the United States.
 
The protesters' specific complaint was the birth control mandate in the new health care law, but the discontent runs far deeper. NPR
 
The latest Gallup Poll finds Mississippi is the most religious state, with Vermont and New Hampshire ranking as the least.
 
Overall, Gallup says, "America remains a generally religious nation, with more than two-thirds of the nation's residents classified as very or moderately religious."
 
But "dramatic regional differences" highlight and underscore the nation's deep divisions, which spill over into politics and culture. USA Today
 
What would prompt a 23-year-old man, born and raised in France, to chase a small, terrified Jewish girl into a school courtyard, look her in the eye and shoot her in the head?
 
The very idea brings back memories of the 1940s, of an era that many Europeans have worked diligently, with considerable success, to put behind them. But the echoes of history should not be silenced. The tragedy of Toulouse is a call to take another look at that crucial fight against the poisonous prejudice that ultimately devastated Europe in the middle of the 20th century.
 
I believe an honest examination will reveal a blind spot among those fighting prejudice that has allowed the ancient Jew hatred that infected Europe for centuries to survive. The blind spot is this: When the prejudice — and even the call for murder — is made in connection with the Palestinian cause, people look the other way and give it a pass. CNN
 
The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday released records it obtained from the FBI that it said showed the bureau's San Francisco division used its Muslim outreach efforts to collect intelligence on religious activities protected by the Constitution.
 
Under the U.S. Privacy Act, the FBI is generally prohibited from maintaining records on how people practice their religion unless there is a clear law enforcement purpose. ACLU lawyers said the documents, which the organization obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, showed violations of that law. Wall Street Journal