September 5th, 2010
07:54 PM ET

American Muslims nervous about Ramadan's end coinciding with 9/11

For Muslims, the end of the holy month of Ramadan is typically cause for celebration, with three days of feasting and socializing after a month of daytime fasting.

This year, though, many American Muslims are greeting Ramadan's end with a measure of worry, as the holiday coincides with the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

"Most Muslim communities will be reluctant to have something that's perceived to be celebratory on 9/11 even though we're not celebrating 9/11," said Ibrahim Hooper, National Communications Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"There's a whole cottage industry of Muslim bashers now who would seize on that," he said. "Unfortunately, these are the times we live in."


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Holidays • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Islam • Mosque • Ramadan

September 5th, 2010
02:59 PM ET

Opinion: Authentically black and truly Catholic

Editor's note: Dr. C. Vanessa White is assistant professor of spirituality and the director of the Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. She is the co-editor of "Songs of Our Hearts and Meditations of Our Souls: Prayers for Black Catholics." Next week in the "Pulpit" series: Shaun King, a preacher known as the "Facebook" pastor, shares how social media is transforming his church. CNN's "Almighty Debt: A Black in America Special" premieres October 21.

By C. Vanessa White, Special to CNN

I come from a family with diverse religious traditions: Baptist, Methodist, Apostolic, Buddhist and nondenominational. My mother was a spiritual seeker, and when she became Catholic, I was baptized into the Catholic faith as a young child.

Growing up, I attended a parish with Irish, Polish and black Catholics, and observed that the spiritual gifts of black Catholics were often diminished. When it was suggested that we include a gospel song in the liturgy, we were told that was not Catholic. "Ave Maria" was sung, but not "Mary had a Baby," a Negro spiritual. I learned about St. Theresa the "Little Flower," but not St. Benedict the Black. A Kwanzaa table was a no-no.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Black issues • Catholic Church • Opinion • Race

September 5th, 2010
02:49 PM ET

Pope may intervene in 'brutal' stoning case in Iran

Pope Benedict XVI is monitoring the case of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning and has not ruled out getting involved through diplomatic channels, the Vatican said Sunday.

As he has in the past in humanitarian cases, the pope would intervene if asked by authorities in another country and would do so through proper diplomatic channels, not publicly, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Iran • Middle East • Pope Benedict XVI

About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.