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Join us in DC on Jan. 12 – Celebrate Religious Freedom and Business

Dear Friends,

On January 16, 2016, the United States will celebrate religious freedom. Each year, the President declares this date as Religious Freedom Day and calls upon Americans to observe this day through appropriate events and activities.
In advance of Religious Freedom Day, on Tuesday, Jan. 12th at 10:00am, we invite you to a high level event on business and religious freedom at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Gordon H. Smith, President & CEO, National Assoc. of Broadcasters, will give the keynote.
Please join Tanenbaum, the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and the Religious Freedom Center to discuss how businesses can successfully negotiate religious freedom and workplace issues. In an era when millennials are especially concerned for fairness and equality for all, respecting the religion and beliefs of employees is not only fair and good policy, but is also good for business.
Click here to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you there!
In friendship,
Mark Fowler,
Managing Director of Programs
ReligiousFreedomCenterEvent

Some American Muslims Pushing for Progressive Islam: News Roundup

In the news: progressive American Muslims reshape Islam, a mass shooting at a CA Korean-Christian college, the NYPD ups security at Jewish sites, and other stories.

Recently, members of Muslims for Progressive Values, a nascent American reformist organization, had gathered from around the country to celebrate a milestone: In four years, the group had grown from a few friends to a thousand members and spawned a string of small mosques and spiritual groups that stretched from Atlanta to Los Angeles.
 
Today, as America's Muslim leaders debate controversial topics like political radicalism inside mosques and states' attempts to ban Shariah law, this growing network of alternative mosques and Islamic groups is quietly forging a new spiritual movement.
 
They're taking bold steps, reinterpreting Islamic norms and re-examining taboos. While far from accepted by mainstream clerics, these worshippers feel that the future of the religion lies not solely with tradition but with them. Women are leading congregations in prayer, gay imams are performing Islamic marriages, and men and women are praying side by side. Huffington Post
 
An atheist-themed festival drew hundreds of people to an Army post in North Carolina on Saturday for what was believed to be the first-ever event held on a U.S. military base for service members who do not have religious beliefs.
 
Organizers said they hoped the "Rock Beyond Belief" event at Fort Bragg would spur equal treatment toward nonbelievers in the armed forces and help lift the stigma for approximately 295,000 active duty personnel who consider themselves atheist, agnostic or without a religious preference. Reuters
 
A California college where authorities say that seven people were shot dead on Monday is a religious school that caters to the burgeoning Korean American Christian community.
 
The number-one objective of Oikos University, in Oakland, California, is "to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the Bible and an understanding of Christian doctrine," according to the school's website. Its number-two objective: "To develop an appreciation for the Korean and Korean-American church denomination heritage." CNN
 
The New York Police Department is beefing up security at the city's synagogues and other Jewish sites this week for the Passover holiday in the wake of a deadly attack on a religious school in France last month.
 
Authorities stressed that there have been no specific threats reported in the city for the weeklong holiday. Huffington Post
 
Hazem Salah Abu Ismail is an old-school Islamist.
 
He wants to move toward abolishing Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and cites Iran as a successful model of independence from Washington. He worries about the mixing of the genders in the workplace and women’s work outside the home. And he promises to bring extraordinary prosperity to Egypt, if it turns its back on trade with the West.
 
He has also surged to become a front-runner in the race to become Egypt’s next president, reconfiguring political battle lines here. His success may help explain why the United States offered signs of tacit approval over the weekend when the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamic group, broke its pledge not to field its own candidate. NY Times
 
The moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which leads Tunisia’s government, will not back calls by conservatives to make Islamic law, or sharia, the main source of legislation in a new constitution, a senior party official said on Monday.
 
“Ennahda has decided to retain the first clause of the previous constitution without change,” Ameur Larayed told Radio Mosaique. “We want the unity of our people and we do not want divisions.” The party has not formally announced its final position. Reuters