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Turkey: Headscarf Decision Published

(Oct. 27, 2008) On October 21, 2008, Turkey's Constitutional Court announced the reasoned decision of its ruling issued on June 5, 2008, that reversed recent parliamentary legislation that would have allowed Islamic headscarves to be worn on university campuses. The decision was published in the country's OFFICIAL GAZETTE [Resmî Gazete] on October 22, 2008 (No. […]

Malaysia: Woman May Return to Buddhism

(June 2, 2008) News media agencies have reported that the Sharia court of the Malaysian State of Penang has ruled that a Malaysian woman who converted to Islam may return to being Buddhist. The court ruled that Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah may return to Buddhism following the cessation of her marriage to a Muslim man […]

United States: Native American Ordered To Stand Trial For Shooting Bald Eagle

(May 2, 2008) On May 8, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that notwithstanding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”), a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming can be criminally charged for shooting a bald eagle without a permit. An individual named Winslow Friday shot an eagle in […]

Canada: Ontario Judge Rules Sikh Not Exempt from Helmet Law

(Mar. 2, 2008) In a decision released on March 6, 2008, that has not yet been formally reported, W. James Blacklock of the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton, Ontario, ruled that a Sikh motorcyclist could not be exempted from the province's law requiring the wearing of helmets on the grounds that it violated his […]

United States: State Funding of Faith-Based Prison Program Held Unconstitutional

(Feb. 11, 2008) On December 3, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that government funding of an evangelical Christian prison treatment program violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. For several years, the Iowa Department of Corrections provided funding to a prison program in which […]

United States: Civil Verdict Against Religious Protestors at Funeral Upheld

(Feb. 2, 2008) On February 4, 2008 the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland upheld a civil verdict in a lawsuit brought by the family of a deceased soldier against protestors at the soldier's funeral. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas have been involved in a number of legal disputes arising […]

Egypt: Christian Shops Burned

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 16, 2007, tension between Christians and Muslims in the southern city of Isna in Egypt led to the burning of Christian-owned shops and the damaging of a church. The incident is believed to have been the result of mob reaction to a rumor that a Muslim girl was having sex […]

Nepal: Petition for Muslim Public Holidays

(Dec. 2, 2007) It was reported on November 20, 2007, that the Supreme Court of Nepal, in response to a writ petition seeking that major Muslim festivals be declared public holidays and that a Muslim Promotion Commission be formed, had issued show cause notices to the Prime Minister's Office, the Cabinet, Speaker Subas Nembang, and […]

United States: Injunction Issued to Permit Religious Protests at Funerals

(Dec. 2, 2007) On December 6, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that a Missouri statute barring protests at funerals should be preliminarily enjoined pending review of its constitutionality. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas believe it is their religious duty to protest at the funerals of United […]