Belief Beat

Ramadan 2011 is underway, with Muslims around the world fasting and praying accordingly.

As promised, I met up with Aman Ali (in hat) and Bassam Tariq, the “30 Mosques in 30 States” guys, when they stopped in Seattle during Day 2 of their 30-day Ramadan roadtrip. (Not counting flights to Alaska and Hawaii — it would be hard to drive there, even on a full stomach!) Aman and I briefly overlapped as reporters at The Journal News, a daily newspaper outside New York City, so I got a kick out of seeing the reporter become the reported. Here’s the link to my interview with them.

Speaking of friendship, a new poll reports that U.S. Muslims are the “most loyal American religious group” (in terms of supporting the country and president), strongly against al Qaeda and share common values with Jewish Americans.

At the same time, there’s been another uptick in stories about Shariah, partly fueled by a New York Times story about David Yerushalmi, a Hasidic Jew behind the scenes of the anti-Shariah movement. (The story is written by Andrea Elliott, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her series on an Egyptian imam in America.) As I noted over at GetReligion, I’d love to see more reporting on how the Christians and Jews who object to Shariah, which is Muslim law, reconcile this with defending their own religious legal systems in America — Jewish bet din and “get” divorces, Catholic canon law, etc. It’s a slippery slope, which is presumably why “Yerushalmi’s legislation has drawn opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union as well as from Catholic bishops and Jewish groups.”

Here are some other interesting stories about Ramadan, Muslims and Islam from the past few days:

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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