Research Report

American Muslim Music (2007)

Islamic worship is rooted in oral and aural experience. Qur’an in Arabic means recitation; the literal word of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad is not a text to be read silently, but a text to be recited and listened to by believers. The first pillar of Islam is the shahadah, an oral testament to the Oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, and the only necessary action to become a Muslim. The second pillar of Islam is salah, ritual prayer five times a day. Salah commences with the athan, a call to prayer, and consists of reciting and...

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Use of the Wiccan Pentacle on Military Memorials (2007)

For several years, efforts to have the Wiccan Pentacle inscribed on the markers, plaques, and headstones of American Wiccan veterans have met with no response from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Despite official requests to follow the wishes of veterans and soldiers killed in action, the VA has not added the Pentacle to its list of acceptable emblems of belief for government markers.

Pagans have been in the American armed forces for many years. Since 1978, the Army Chaplain’s handbook has listed ways to accommodate Wiccans. The...

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Racial Diversity and Buddhism in the U.S. (2006)

When we speak of Buddhism in the United States, we are speaking of a cultural movement that has brought to this continent ancient Indian, East and Southeast Asian, and Tibetan spiritual teachings and practices. For the first time in history, these teachings have arrived in a land that is racially heterogeneous. At the same time, they are taking root in a society that was founded, by a white majority, on the unwholesome seeds of colonialism, genocide and slavery. In this meeting, the values of community, interdependence, and collaboration come face-to-face with the values of the pursuit...

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The History of Islamic Communities in Rhode Island (2006)

By the 1990s, Muslims had established more than six hundred masjids (mosques) and centers across America.[1] The approximately six thousand Muslims in Rhode Island are a dynamic and vibrant subset of this larger Muslim-American community.

Muslims began meeting in the 1960s and 70s in the student's union building at the University of Rhode Island and surrounding smaller communities to pray and develop a community for worship and socialization.[2] This small group of Muslims would often...

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Religious Pluralism in Indonesia (2006)

Indonesia is well-known as a country with diverse ethnicities, religions, and races. Although 80 percent of the population is Muslim, Indonesia is not an Islamic state. Indonesia recognizes five religions, which are Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Indonesia's constitution assures the right for all persons to worship according to his or her own religion. Indonesia has a strong history of coping with its diverse religions. However, incidents that involved religion have nevertheless occurred. The closure by force of more than two dozen churches in West Java by the...

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Interfaith and Faith-Based Peace Organizations (2013)

This set of links represents a sampling of religious and inter-religious communities that have taken peace activism as one of their missions. The links include both interfaith peace organizations and peace organizations based in a particular tradition. Our inclusion of a link does not necessarily indicate our support of the views expressed. The initial version of this research report appeared in 2006, was updated in 2008, and again in 2013. If you have suggestions for organizations to be added to this list, please e-mail the name of the organization and its website to

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Progressive Faith Bloggers Convention (2006)

Exploring a New Means of Interfaith Connection

The increase in Internet use brings with it increased representation of American religious diversity. Most centers listed in the Pluralism Project directory, for example, have a website with contact information, and many groups use email newsletters to communicate. In July 2006, a group of online writers met to discuss a particular aspect of religion on the internet: the rise of weblogs, which speak about faith from an individual, rather than an institutional, perspective.

This group of bloggers was...

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Malaysia, Truly Asia? Religious Pluralism in Malaysia (2006)

The slogan “Malaysia, Truly Asia” is commonly heard around the world as part of a large and expensive advertising campaign sponsored by the Malaysian government. It is an attempt to attract foreign visitors to this country of 22 million people which boasts of a highly diverse ethnic and religious composition (Embong 2000, p.59). 51 percent of the population is Malay, all of whom are Muslim. [1] Chinese make up 26 percent of the population, most of whom are Buddhists combining Taoist and Confucian practices, while a small number identify as...

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Minority Faith Involvement in the Immigration Debates (2006)

In recent months, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu immigrants have organized to make their presence known and to vocalize their faith commitments to American ideals at stake in the national immigration reform debates. They have added poignant personal stories, diverse religious opinions, and budding political voices to the debate, offering a view of America seldom spotlighted. The unique combination of experiences and faith commitments these first, second, and third generation immigrants bring to the public square both challenges and supports America's national identity at a fundamental level....

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Young Global Leaders Summit (2006)

"Long before our differences, we are human." – Andrea Bartoli, Director, Center for International Conflict Resolution, Columbia University


On July 8, 2006, a Young Global Leaders Summit, sponsored by Americans for Informed Democracy (AID), was held in New York City, to debate and discuss the future of U.S.-Muslim World relations. The Summit was attended by 250 individuals from across the country, representing universities such as Columbia, Yale, and Harvard, and fields including law, finance, education, policy, and others. The heart of...

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Women in Buddhism in the U.S. (2006)

Since Buddhism reached American shores in the nineteenth century, women have been a part of the transmission of the dharma (Buddhist teachings) as students, lay people, teachers, nuns, academics, artists and activists. Women from a wide array of backgrounds and interest areas continue to shape the face of Buddhism in the U.S. - from women who encountered Buddhism during the women’s movement in the 1960s, to ordained women founding temples for large immigrant populations, to young women using Buddhism and art as a tool for changing the world, to women carving out a space for...

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