Tim Townsend 05-25-2012
RNS photo by Andrea Useem

Deidre "Nusaybah" Ritchie demonstrates how to prepare Muslim bodies for burial at conference. RNS photo by Andrea Useem

Muslim communities in Kansas City, Columbia and Jefferson City maintain small funeral facilities, often inside mosques, for washing bodies of the deceased. But until now, many Muslims buried their loved ones in Muslim sections of Christian cemeteries, relying largely on non-Muslims to guide them through the process of death.

As the Muslim population of the U.S. has grown -- the number of mosques grew 74 percent in the last 10 years, according to a 2011 survey -- so has the need for Muslim-specific services like funeral homes and cemeteries.

Jay Hardy, the owner of Jay B. Smith Funeral Homes in Maplewood, Mo., and Fenton, Mo., said that in the 1970s, he handled one or two Muslim burials a year. Today that number is up to three or four each week, he said.

the Web Editors 10-04-2011

A truck bomb has killed at least 70 people in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, including a crowd of young students applying for scholarships to study abroad.

Lydia A. Morton 07-29-2011

In the wake of the tragic bombing in Norway this past weekend, we are left with an unsettling picture of the state of anti-Islamic sentiments in the United States. There were broad attempts to blame the bombings on Islamic terrorism before all of the facts of the attack were out, and even after the attacker became known as Anders Behring Breivik, a self-proclaimed Christian extremist, the discussion focused on Breivik's statement that he was responding to the threat Muslims pose in Europe.

Hannah Lythe 07-28-2011

Bamiyan is a central Afghan town, home to two monumental Buddha statues carved out of sandstone cliffs. In a zealous attempt to purge anything considered un-Islamic, the Taliban targeted these historic statues a decade ago when they occupied and controlled Afghanistan. The defamation of non-Islamic monuments and sites caused a global response. The efforts of national leaders failed, and the Taliban destroyed the statues in March, 2001. The world community -- from Russia to Malaysia, from Germany to Sri Lanka -- expressed horror at the Buddha's demolition.

Sitting over the Bamiyan Valley since the early sixth century, one of the Buddha figures stood nearly 180 feet tall and the other 120 feet. Before their destruction, these statues were the largest Buddha carvings in the world. They were once a major tourist attraction, but the decades of conflict drove away tourists years before the Taliban blew up the statues.

Eboo Patel 05-19-2011
Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and high-profile conservative intellectual, announced that he is officially in the running for the Republican nomination for president.
Aaron Taylor 04-13-2011

A friend of mine pointed out on his Facebook page that 45.9 percent of Americans blame Muslims for the Christian immigration out of the Holy Land, while only 7.4 percent of Americans cite Israeli restrictions as contributing to Arab Christian immigration.

Becky Garrison 02-16-2011
Duke Divinity School is hosting an inter-faith conference on torture from March 25 to 26, with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), the Duke Human Rights Center, and the North C
Duane Shank 01-03-2011
Every day as I review the news, I'm conscious of stories relating to religious faith.
Amy Barger 09-22-2010
On a muggy Memphis night last week, Tiffany Kelly and Imani Phipps, both juniors at local high schools, sat at the top of the historic Levitt Shell amphitheater as chants of "One Memphis, One Love"
Geoff Tunnicliffe 09-14-2010
When the story of the fringe Florida pastor and his proposed burning of the Quran broke back in July, we intentionally decided not to give oxygen to the story.
Jim Wallis 09-09-2010
This Saturday, we commemorate the ninth anniversary of 9/11.
LaVonne Neff 08-23-2010
Here's an idea for people who are unhappy about having an Islamic Center near the site of the World Trade Center, especially if those people are Bible-believing Christians and/or defenders of the U
Jim Wallis 08-05-2010
There is one thing the opponents of the Cordoba Initiative (that plans to build an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero) have in common with the Cordoba Initiative's leadership: their clear con
Julie Clawson 06-08-2010
I've become used to seeing images of protests on the news recently.
Tony Campolo 05-19-2010

I recently returned from a speaking engagement at the Bethlehem Bible College; and what I witnessed firsthand sent chills up my back. Listening to the horror stories told to me by oppressed Palestinians elicited feelings ranging from indignation to compassion.

Heather Wilson 01-29-2010

Reported in a recent Times article, leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs), speculate that the militarization of aid in Afghanistan blurs lines between military and humanitarian responses, jeopardizing the success of projects and the lives of staff, wanting a return of all aid work to NGOs.

Sondra Haaga 01-27-2010

America, dominating the global economy, imports more goods than it exports. What is less tangible, but possibly more important, is how America exports its values to a rapidly interconnecting global society.

What if the soul of the world had an alarm clock and it began ringing
Aaron Taylor 10-07-2009
A few days ago I received a mass e-mail from the ACLJ. For those who don't get their daily dose of Christian talk radio, ACLJ stands for the American Center for Law and Justice.