U.S. Nuns Break Silence: News Roundup

In the news: U.S. nuns respond to Vatican, struggling with Ramadan as an Olympic athlete, and other news stories.

The largest umbrella group for U.S. nuns on Friday broke weeks of near-silence on a stinging Vatican report that they had undermined Roman Catholic teaching, saying the inquiry was "flawed" and based on "unsubstantiated accusations" that were causing pain throughout the church.
 
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious had been considering for six weeks how they should respond to the Vatican findings, which accused them of promoting "certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith," while failing to emphasize core teaching on abortion. The Vatican ordered a full-scale overhaul of the organization overseen by three American bishops, a decision that has led to an outpouring of support for the nuns nationwide. Kansas City Star
 
For far too long, the story of American Muslims has been told by others; rarely do American Muslim men emerge as protagonists of their own narratives, representing their religion or depicted in a way other than as violent extremists, misogynists, and irrational, angry, bearded brown men. That situation is changing with the release on June 1st of "All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim." San Francisco Chronicle
 
Recently, the HuffPost Religion section put a call out on Paganism that those interested in the varied strands of Paganism should read.
 
The result is a list of 27 books that range from introductory to scholarly in nature and cover the entire gamut of Pagan religions — Witchcraft, Wicca, Shamanism, Asatru, Druidism, Egyptian and Hellenic.
 
These books grapple with issues of sexuality, tell personal stories of faith, and provide information on the various Pagan religious rites.  Huffington Post
 
When the Qatari sprinter Noor al-Malki makes her debut at the London Olympics, she will not be among those contending for a medal. Breaking her own national record in the 100 meters will be enough of a prize.
 
But even this modest goal presents a challenge.
 
Al-Malki, 17, whose oil-and-gas rich country is sending women to the Olympics for the first time, knows she will need all her energy and strength to run a fast race. To do that, however, might require her to break the fast during Ramadan.
 
Muslims are required to abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk during the 30-day holy month, which begins on July 20 and overlaps with the Olympics. But al-Malki and the 3,500 other Muslim athletes expected to compete in London may look to ancient Islamic tenets that allow exemptions — for travelers, the sick and others — out of concern that not eating or drinking, even water, throughout the day could put them at a competitive disadvantage. Huffington Post
 
Education is the weapon of choice for a Chicago area Islamic leader in his fight against the radicalization of Islamic youth and the discrimination of American Muslims.
 
Dr. Sabeel Ahmed, 36, is the director of the Gain Peace project, an Islamic outreach program based in Chicago. Ahmed blames misinterpretations of the Quran and Islam for the dual extremes of Islamophobia and violent Islamist radicalism. He sees education as the way forward to both break down stereotypes and counter terrorist groups looking to recruit Muslim-Americans to commit acts of violence.
 
Ahmed’s organization sparked controversy five years ago after erecting a billboard near O’Hare Airport that asked “Why Islam?” But the Indian-born medical doctor insists education and peace are his goals, not conversion. Medill Report