Conference Reading Materials

During the Faith in Media conference, program participants were encouraged to read a variety of publications from print and online news outlets to prepare them for the workshops. Below are the list of reading materials that serve as an invaluable resource for covering Islam and other religions.

Ky. atheists want God out of homeland security
FRANKFORT, Kentucky - A group of atheists filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to remove part of a state anti-terrorism law that requires Kentucky's Office of Homeland Security to acknowledge it can't keep the state safe without God's help. Read More...

Covering Islam and politics
Muslims’ engagement with government and politics is becoming more prominent in the United States and abroad on issues ranging from immigration and terrorism to charities and civil rights. This guide lists research centers, organizations and scholars with expertise on the growing role of Muslims’ interactions with government and politics. Read More...

African-Americans and Islam: Growth and Change
In a post-9/11 world, the American face of Islam is most often associated with that of an immigrant, usually from the Middle East or Asia. But American Islam is much more diverse than a single ethnicity or nationality. Today, African-American Muslims are among the fastest-growing segments of Islam, accounting for about 30 percent of all American Muslims. Read More...

Covering Islam 101 Source Guide
Fifty-eight percent of Americans say they know little or nothing about Islam’s practices. And what they know is sometimes wrong. Meanwhile, 32 percent of Americans say the media are the biggest influence on their perception of Muslims. This edition of ReligionLink is a journalist’s guide to covering Muslims and Islam in America. It is a complement to a Religion Newswriters webinar presented on March 11, 2008. Read More...

Covering Islam 101 Webinar
From schools and workplaces to government and entertainment, Muslims are influencing life in America as their numbers grow. Whether you report on the war, politics, religion or a metro area, this seminar will help you develop sources, generate story ideas, add context to stories, and report with insight and balance. Read More...

How the News Media Covered Religion in the General Election
Religion played a much more significant role in the media coverage of President-elect Barack Obama than it did in the press treatment of Republican nominee John McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign, but much of the coverage related to false yet persistent rumors that Obama is a Muslim. Read More...

Speaking of Faith The Sunni-Shia Divide and the Future of Islam
Interview on the Sunni-Shia divide from NPR's Speaking of Faith. Read More...

Crisis in the Middle East
The United States continues its diplomatic push for a renewal of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, presently at a standstill over tensions in Gaza. Carnegie experts in Washington and the Middle East offer commentary and online resources—in English and Arabic—to provide context on the current issues facing the region, including...Read More...

Speaking of Faith
Many Americans received a violent introduction to Islam in September 2001. And yet, only one quarter of Americans told pollsters then that they considered Islam itself to be more likely than other religions to encourage violence in its believers. In the last two years, that figure has almost doubled. The specter of violence committed in the name of Islam has become as routine as it is shocking, especially at present in Iraq. Read More...

Short Cuts
If you live in an American swing state you may have received a copy of ‘Obsession’ in your Sunday paper. ‘Obsession’ isn’t a perfume: it’s a documentary about ‘radical Islam’s war against the West’. In the last two weeks of September, 28 million copies of the film were enclosed as an advertising supplement in 74 newspapers, including the New York Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Read More...

A Post-Evangelical America: The religious building blocks of Obama's victory.
Just as "race" has a whole new meaning in America this week, so, too, does "faith." For at least four decades, white evangelicals have been the religion-and-politics story in this country. Their power, their rhetoric, their numbers, their theology—all have been so dominant that many of us in the media had forgotten that religious faith could be expressed any other way. Read More...

Moved by a Crescent
Colin Powell had been bugged by many things in his party’s campaign this fall: the insidious merging of rumors that Barack Obama was Muslim with intimations that he was a terrorist sympathizer; the assertion that Sarah Palin was ready to be president; the uniformed sheriff who introduced Governor Palin by sneering about Barack Hussein Obama; the scorn with which Republicans spit out the words “community organizer”; the Republicans’ argument that using taxes to “spread the wealth” was socialist when the purpose of taxes is to spread the wealth; Palin’s insidious notion that small towns in states that went for W. were “the real America.” Read More...

Muslims In America
Shariq Abdul Ghani was watching Meet the Press at his Richmond home Sunday morning when he suddenly froze with a cup of Nescafe halfway to his lips.

On the TV screen, former Secretary of State Colin Powell was telling host Tom Brokaw he was disturbed that some Republicans have been spreading rumors that Barack Obama is a Muslim. Read More...

Ten Misconceptions About Islam
In this article, we will try to clear up many of the misconceptions that are prevalent about Islam. Before jumping into the list of misconceptions directly, it is important to give a little interesting background about the source of Islam. Read More...

Keeping friends in the Muslim world
Covering developments in Pakistan in recent weeks, I've been struck by how many Pakistanis blame the United States for the disturbing turn their country is taking. Standing inside the gutted Islamabad Marriott late last month, some eyewitnesses saved their most bitter remarks not for the suicide bomber, but for Washington. Read More...

Media Expert Elaborates on Election 2008 Arab and Muslim Stereotypes
The 2008 presidential election is forcing many Americans to deal with issues pertaining to Arab and Muslim culture. How has traditional media outlets handled the issue and what can we learn? Read More...

Empowering Women in Afghanistan
In the province of Bamian, women are uprooting traditional gender roles by taking up leadership positions. Read More...

Economics of Islam
Islam is a complete way of life. Allah, the Creator of humanity, has given us guidelines affecting many different aspects of our lives, including the economic aspect. There is a great deal of information in the Qur'an and Sunnah which describes how Muslims are to engage in economic transactions. Just as Muslims are obligated to obey the rules of Islam regarding prayer, fasting, etc., they are also commanded to obey the injunctions regarding interest for example. Read More...

Contentious clerics
Just as far-right groups in Europe call for an anti- Islamicisation conference with obvious racist overtones, a battle has erupted in our midst, led by Sunni clerics reacting to a perceived Shia threat. Read More...