For the Record (June/July 2002)

Indonesian Taliban?

A group calling itself the Taliban Brigade is part of a network seeking to overthrow Indonesia’s secular legal system and replace it with sharia, or strict Islamic law. Islam first came to Indonesia 700 years ago. Now Indonesia boasts more Muslims than any other country. Source: Washington Post Foreign Service, May 4, 2002 Chicks come home to roost?

The United States spent millions of dollars supplying Afghan schoolchildren with militant, violent Islamic textbooks as part of its anti-Soviet resistance in the 1980s. The primers included text on jihad, and the mechanics of war. While U.S. foreign aid workers are purging references to killing from some 10 million textbooks being trucked into Afghanistan, they are retaining the Muslim content. The U.S. Agency for International Development is barred from advancing religion and may only finance programs with a secular purpose’ that do not Òresult in religious indoctrination.’ The University of Nebraska in January was awarded $6.5 million to develop more textbooks and teacher training-kits for Afghanistan.

Sources: Washington Post / [Minneapolis] Star-Tribune, March 23, 2002 Religious nurse wins. A federal jury in May ordered a public health clinic in California to pay damages to a born-again Christian nurse fired for refusing to give patients morning-after’ pills. Michelle Diaz claimed dispensing the contraceptive violated her religious beliefs. Source:, May 30, 2002 Votes for sale?

I’m a white guy. I’m a Republican. But I’ll deliver,’ promised Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Robert Ehrlich, a member of the U.S. House, in announcing a federal grant to a black church in Baltimore.

Source: Washington Post, May 5, 2002

Gay prom win. A Canadian teen won a court injunction permitting him to take his gay date to a school prom at a Catholic high school in Oshawa, Ontario, over the objections of Durham Catholic School Board. Source:, May 10, 2002 ÒDrowning of Stephan Jones’ unbanned. A committee in Horry County schools, S.C., voted to restore to high school library shelves The Drowning of Stephan Jones.

The book, based on the true story of a murder of a gay man by devout teenagers, is written by Foundation member Bette Greene. It will be allowed in middle school libraries with certain restrictions. A Southern Baptist minister on the panel voted to censor the book. Source: The Sun News, May 10, 2002 Creationism permeation. The American Academy for Liberal Education denied accreditation to Patrick Henry College, Va., founded two years ago to cater to home-schooled students. The Christian college requires professors to sign a statement of creationist faith specifically that all courses be taught with the understanding that God created the world in six 24-hour days. Source: Washington Post, May 11, 2002 Religious territorialism. Rallies attracting unhappy Russian Orthodox-worshippers were held on Sunday, April 28 in 26 Russian cities. As many as 1,500 people massed in Moscow to protest the Vatican’s decision to recognize four full dioceses in the country. Source: Associated Press, April 28, 2002 Antiabortion website nixed. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in May that an antiabortion terrorist website is not free speech, but constitutes a threat.

The court reversed its decision last year upholding the website, saying it violates a 1994 federal law against inciting violence and threatening abortion physicians. It also ordered a lower court to reduce punitive award damages to four physicians suing over the ÒNuremberg Files.’ Source: New York Times, May 16, 2002

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