September 24, 2010 In many Jewish communities, people are celebrating the festival of huts by erecting small tents. In this conversation, host Michel Martin learns more from Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld about the rituals of the festival.
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September 17, 2010 Today marks one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar, and host Michel Martin talks about atonement with Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld. In the taped interview, the Rabbi explains the need for the faithful to fast and pray so that they can find spiritual fulfillment.
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September 10, 2010 Breaking the Ramadan fast on the holiday Eid-al-Fitr is an opportunity to enjoy sweets. One dessert that many non-Muslims enjoy in African-American neighborhoods nationwide is the bean pie. Documentary filmmaker Hassanah Thomas-Tauhidi took a look at the pastry in her short film, "Bean Pie, My Brother?"
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September 10, 2010 Millions of Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan. But here in the United States, the holiday comes amid a number of contentious debates that have raised the profile of anti-Muslim sentiment. Most recently, Florida Pastor Terry Jones planned to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday, the 9th anniversary of September 11. Yesterday, he suspended the book-burning. Host Michel Martin talks about anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States with Congressman Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indiana and one of two Muslims serving in the U-S Congress. Also joining the conversation: Alan Cooperman from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and Professor Edward Curtis, author of "Muslims in America: A Short History."
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August 20, 2010 New York City isn’t the only place in the country where people have protested the building of an Islamic community center and mosque. Murfreesboro, Tennessee is home to a similarly-planned construction. Host Michel Martin speaks with Saleh Sbenaty about the opposition against building a new mosque there. He is also a member of the Planning Committee for the new Murfreesboro mosque.
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August 13, 2010 Across the world, Muslims are partaking in Ramadan, when the faithful fast from sunup to sundown, abstaining from food and water. The time is spent in spiritual reflection. But the month-long religious tradition is also spent enjoying unique foods that are only served during this reverent time of year. Abdulah Fawass, executive chef of the Mediterranean bakery and Cafe in Alexandria, Virginia, and Abbas Ammar, manager of the Al-Ameer Restaurant in Dearborn, Michigan, talk about the delicacies of Ramadan.
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July 30, 2010 Israeli law prohibits women from reading the Torah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, one of Judaism's most sacred spots. Anat Hoffman wants to change that. She's the chairwoman of Women of the Wall and a leading figure in the Reform movement in Israel. Earlier this month she was arrested for carrying the Torah at the wall. Hoffman tells guest host Rebecca Roberts about the incident and why she is so steadfastly working to upend the gender-based restrictions.
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July 23, 2010 A proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in Manhattan is stirring up anger and cries of bias in and around New York City. But this debate is not limited to New York; there's growing opposition to mosques in communities across the country. Host Michel Martin talks to Rich Harwood about how to engage a community in meaningful conversations about these sorts of hot button issues. Harwood is the founder of the Harwood Institute, a non-profit group that encourages people to improve their communities by breaking down barriers.
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July 16, 2010 Women have long fought to shatter the so-called "glass ceiling" in society and culture at large yet in matters of faith and religion, similar gains aren't always realized. Host Michel Martin talks with Maureen Fiedler, author of "Breaking through the Stained Glass Ceiling: Women Religious Leaders in Their Own Words," about where the female faithful are going in their quest for equality in churches, mosques and temples.
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July 9, 2010 The Catholic Church recently announced that the Cuban Government will release 52 political prisoners following organized hunger strikes. Host Michel Martin talks to Juan del Aguila, associate professor at Emory University and an expert in Cuban Politics, about the decision.
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June 18, 2010 Host Michel Martin talks to two faith leaders in the Gulf region about how they are responding to the oil spill. The Rev. Tyrone Edwards of the Zion Travelers Baptist Church in Phoenix, La., says he is calling on men in his community to stand up to BP and support families affected by the spill. And Father Mike Tran, who leads Our Lady of the Isle parish, in Grand Isle, La., says he is looking toward scripture for guidance to help his parishioners survive a disaster with no end in sight.
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June 11, 2010 Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, plans to address a gathering of Hispanic Baptists this weekend. Land willl tell the group that his denomination supports a path to U.S. Citizenship for illegal immigrants, a message that may test member loyalty within the conservative denomination. Richard Land says his message may not be popular, but needs to be said.
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Former megachurch pastor Ted Haggard, who fell from grace amid a sex scandal, talks about the new church that he is starting up during a news conference in Colorado Springs, Colo. With him is his wife, Gayle.
June 4, 2010 Ted Haggard, once the leader of an evangelical megachurch in Colorado Springs, Colo., stepped down from his post in 2006 after being accused of buying sex and drugs from a male prostitute. Now he and his wife are back in Colorado and have announced plans to start a new church.
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May 28, 2010 For centuries, African-American culture has been significantly influenced by the black church and the Christian faith. So being both black and atheist can be a lonely and isolating experience for some. But, the largest-ever gathering of African-American atheists was recently held in Washington, D.C. Participant and journalist Jamila Bey shares her experience, and is joined by Norm Allen, executive director of African Americans for Humanism, which hosted the conference. Bey recently wrote about being an atheist for the online magazine TheRoot.com.
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May 21, 2010 Before he became a star, he endured a hard-knock youth: abandonment by his parents, struggles in school, teen parenthood and drug abuse. Now, he's offering his life lessons for overcoming tragedies and setbacks in a book: The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life's Storms.
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