This week Central Michigan University was visited by a buddhist nun, Venerable Thubten Chodron. She’s among the first generation of nuns from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and has started a Buddhist abbey in Washington State.
Residents and representatives in the Clare Gladwin county are trying to find the right balance between religious freedom and personal safety after a series of Amish buggy collisions culminated in a death this past December.
Governor Rick Snyder says he would veto a Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act if the Legislature sends it to him. Continue reading
The state House is poised to vote tomorrow (Wed.) that would allow faith-based adoption agencies in Michigan to turn away couples based on a religious objection to their lifestyle
Legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to work with LGBT couples or anyone else based on moral or religious grounds is headed to the floor of the state House. Continue reading
Protestors rallied at the state Capitol on Tuesday against a bill to create a Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Supporters of a religious freedom bill in the state Legislature are pushing back against recent criticism. The legislation is meant to protect religious practices against state and local government interference.
This semester some students at Central Michigan University are taking a class with some real “meat on the bones”. Continue reading
Drivers on some Michigan highways may have noticed billboards offering the chance to “Gain Peace,” discuss Islam, and obtain a free copy of the Muslim holy book. It’s all part of an Islamic outreach group’s attempt to change the conversation about the religion.
Dr. Sabeel Ahmed is the director of the Gain Peace campaign, which he said is not about trying to convert anyone, but simply an educational effort.
“We want to make sure that we work on the commonalities that there may be between Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and other faiths,” he said. “If they are activists in the church or in the synagogue, we would like to work with them for the betterment of the society.”
Gain Peace is a national organization supported by the Islamic Circle of North America. In addition to the billboards, the group has taken out newspaper, television, and radio ads in different parts of the state.
Ahmed said that, despite Michigan being home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the country, there are still many misconceptions about the religion and what he described as a certain degree of “Islamophobia” in the state. He said the response to the campaign has been largely positive.
“Not only (do) we have our Christian friends and our Jewish friends calling, we’ve also had a few atheist people who are calling, and they want to know who is doing this, and they want to engage with us about discussing topics within Islam,” he said.
According to FBI statistics, hate crimes against Muslims nationally jumped 50 percent in 2010 and remain at what the Bureau calls “relatively high levels.”
On The Web:
Gain Peace Campaign: www.GainPeace.com
This story was produced by Mona Shand with the Michigan News Connection.
Like many schools, Central Michigan University is home to many different student groups.
One that’s been re-activated this year, after an eight-year hiatus, is the Muslim Student Association. Continue reading