Car bombs and crisis in Iraq: Top 5 news stories

Car bombs kill scores in Baghdad, in sign of crisis in Iraq • Muslim Boy Called ‘Terrorist,’ Booted From Bus After Reciting Arabic Prayer: Lawsuit • Of Gods and Cubicles: Religion, the Office and the Law • Supreme Court to consider religious prayer at government meetings • Dozens of Saudi Arabian women drive cars on day of protest against ban

Last week’s top news, from our perspective:
Car bombs kill scores in Baghdad, in sign of crisis in Iraq

Nearly two years after the U.S. troop withdrawal, Iraq is in the midst of a deepening security crisis as an al-Qaeda affiliate wages a relentless campaign of attacks, sending the death toll soaring to its highest level since 2008.

In the latest violence, nine car bombs tore through markets and police checkpoints in Baghdad on Sunday, killing dozens of people.

The bloody campaign has virtually erased the security gains made in the past five years. More than 5,300 Iraqis have been killed this year.

A Muslim boy was reportedly called a “terrorist” and was booted from a bus in New York City after the driver overheard him reciting an Arabic prayer.

The incident happened back in October 2012 when the 10-year-old boy was getting on the B-39 bus on his way home from school in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, the New York Post reported. While attempting to board, the boy is said to have become flustered when he couldn’t find his MetroCard and said a prayer in Arabic — “I start in the name of God, the most merciful, the most beneficent” — to help him find it.

Although he eventually located the card, the bus driver allegedly called him a “terrorist” and forced him off the bus before closing the doors.

Of Gods and Cubicles: Religion, the Office and the Law

An evangelical Christian opposes biometric hand-scanning at his mine where he works, citing a Bible passage about hand marks given by the antichrist; two Muslim truck drivers objects to delivering alcohol. What do these people have in common?

They filed recent religious-discrimination complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, part of a rising tide of such grievances over the last several years, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday

The EEOC received 3,811 religion-based complaints, known as charges, in fiscal 2012, the second-highest level ever and just below the record of 4,151 in 2011.

Supreme Court to consider religious prayer at government meetings

In a case that could determine restrictions on expressions of faith in the public square, the Supreme Court on Wednesday (Nov. 6) will consider religious prayers that convene government meetings.

At issue in Greece v. Galloway is whether such invocations pass constitutional muster, even when government officials are not purposefully proselytizing or discriminating.

Dozens of Saudi Arabian women drive cars on day of protest against ban

More than 60 Saudi women got behind the wheels of their cars as part of a protest against a ban on women driving in the kingdom, activists have claimed.

A Saudi professor and campaigner, Aziza Youssef, said the activists have received 13 videos and another 50 phone messages from women showing or claiming they had driven, the Associated Press reported.

Despite warnings by police and ultraconservatives in Saudi Arabia, there have been no reports from those who claimed to have driven of being arrested or ticketed by police.