An American Muslim in Kansas 

Source: An American Muslim in Kansas tries to claim her place in her own country | The Washington Post

Without a hijab, she would be a college senior who lives in a subdivision with her parents, two younger sisters and grandfather. She’d be the annoyed oldest daughter who has to pick up her little sister from swimming. She’d be the 21-year-old who works at her father’s used-car lot haggling over Dodge Chargers by a chain-link fence. She would be a business major who binge-watches “Quantico” instead of doing her take-home exam.

Instead, she is often the “other” who gets stared at, yelled at, and occasionally threatened by other Americans.  All because she practices a religion most Americans don’t understand.

The lack of even the most basic knowledge about Muslims depresses Maira; it became terrifying in a year in which America’s television was stuck on the ISIS channel. One day she was at a traffic light when a woman rolled down her window and screamed, “Go back to your own country.” Nothing like that had ever happened before. The woman drove on while Maira sat there, scared and then angry, wishing she had yelled back that she was in her own country.

As president of the Muslim Student Association at her university, Maira tries to help people understand that ISIS is not the same as Islam.  It is not an easy task, considering what is on the news these days.

This article does a great job of peering into one girl’s life, and her quest to be seen as a “normal” American.



Yet Another Effect of Climate Change

Marine mammals can reflect climate change intrinsically, though changes in their diet and condition, as well as extrinsically, through shifts in their range and habitat, Moore said. Many research reports presented at the conference document the way climate change is affecting species from polar bears to sea otters. Depending on regional conditions, climate change is likely to present new opportunities for some species such as humpback whales that will have access to new habitat, even as it poses new problems for other species, such as walrus and polar bears that have less ice to haul out or hunt on.

Source: Rapid Arctic warming drives shifts in marine mammals — ScienceDaily

Researchers must partner with subsistence hunters and local fishermen to track ecosystem changes in the Arctic, scientists said.  The Society of Marine Mammology’s conference was held in San Francisco this week, with researchers from several universities presenting reports.  The consensus was that there have already been many changes, and more are coming.

The potential for increasing competition between species from whales to polar bears reflects just one of many examples of how climate change is affecting marine mammals globally, introducing new interactions, altering food sources and shifting habitat, researchers at the conference reported. More than 2,000 researchers are attending the conference, the world’s largest gathering of scientists studying marine mammals, with climate change one of the leading themes.

Oh No, Kosovo

map-kosovo-ethnic-3Opposition lawmakers released tear gas Monday in Kosovo’s parliament as they once again tried to pressure the government into renouncing deals with Serbia and Montenegro.

Source: Kosovo Opposition Releases Tear Gas in Parliament | Al Jazeera America

This kind of shenanigans has been going on for 3 months as the opposition protests deals made by Kosovo.  One of deals gives more power to ethnic Serbs in the country, while the other sets the border with Montenegro.

Serbia does not recognized Kosovo’s independence, declared in 2008.  The EU is mediating talks between the two countries.

The deal on Serb minority rights is suspended until Kosovo’s constitutional court rules on its legality. The government, which accuses the opposition of trying to seize power by force, has said it will ask international experts to decide on the border demarcation with Montenegro.


Syria Explained

Saudi blogger Badawi to be flogged again, wife says –

(CNN)A Saudi blogger convicted of “insulting Islam” is expected to receive the second 50 lashes of a 1,000-lash sentence soon, his wife says.

Source: Saudi blogger Badawi to be flogged again, wife says –

Badawi was convicted of “insulting Islam” and flogged publicly in January of this year.  He was to receive the lashes every Friday for 20 weeks, 50 every time.  But after the first flogging they were suspended for unknown reasons.  According to Badawi’s wife, who now resides in Canada, they are set to resume inside the prison this week.

Western nations, including the US, have expressed their disapproval of Badawi’s 10 year prison sentence and floggings.  They consider him a political prisoner, because he ran a blogging website that criticized the Saudi government.

studying.  What works, what doesn’t.

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