06-25-2024  7:45 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Parts of Washington State Parental Rights Law Criticized as a ‘Forced Outing’ Placed on Hold

A provision outlining how and when schools must respond to records requests from parents was placed on hold, as well as a provision permitting a parent to access their student’s medical and mental health records. 

Seattle Police Officer Fired for off-Duty Racist Comments

The termination stemmed from an altercation with his neighbor, Zhen Jin, over the disposal of dog bones at the condominium complex where they lived in Kenmore. The Seattle Office of Police Accountability had recommended a range of disciplinary actions, from a 30-day suspension to termination of employment.

New Holgate Library to Open in July

Grand opening celebration begins July 13 with ribbon cutting, food, music, fun

Nurses in Oregon Take to the Picket Lines to Demand Better Staffing, Higher Pay

The Oregon Nurses Association says they're seeking a contract that includes competitive wages and sufficient staffing levels. The CEO of Providence Oregon says they’ve been preparing for the strike for months and have contracted with replacement workers to ensure patient care does not suffer. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Tiffani Penson to Kick Off Her Campaign for Portland City Council, District 2

Host Committee Includes Former State Senators Margaret Carter and Avel Gordly ...

Calling All Nonfiction Media Makers: Real to Reel is June 29

Join Open Signal for a day of collaboration and opportunity with Portland's community of nonfiction media makers. ...

Governor Kotek Observes Juneteenth

Governor Kotek joins Oregon Black Pioneers, Just Walk Salem Keizer and the Willamette Heritage Center for In Freedom’s Footsteps...

University of Portland Honored with Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification

UP recognized as one of 25 institutions nationwide committed to advancing leadership in pursuit of justice, equity, diversity and...

The National Civil Rights Museum Announces 33rd Freedom Award Honorees

This is the museum's signature event, which pays tribute to individuals who have shown unwavering commitment to promoting equity and...

Olympic champion Athing Mu's appeal denied after tumble at US track trials

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Track officials denied an appeal by 800-meter Olympic champion Athing Mu, who got tangled in a pack of runners and fell at the U.S. trials, denying her a chance to defend her title. Mu's coach, Bobby Kersee, said Mu got clipped by another runner on the...

Jury awards more than million to ultramarathon athlete injured in fall on a Seattle sidewalk

SEATTLE (AP) — A jury awarded .1 million to an ultramarathon athlete who was severely injured when she fell on a Seattle sidewalk in 2021. The award by a King County jury found that the city of Seattle and the owners of an apartment building are responsible for the amount, the...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

A Missouri mayor says a fight over jobs is back on. Things to know about Kansas wooing the Chiefs

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A plan in Kansas for luring the Kansas City's two major league sports franchises from Missouri has prompted their hometown's mayor to declare that the move ends a 5-year-old agreement by the states not to poach each other's jobs. The Kansas Legislature has...

OPINION

State of the Nation’s Housing 2024: The Cost of the American Dream Jumped 47 Percent Since 2020

Only 1 in 7 renters can afford homeownership, homelessness at an all-time high ...

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

Supreme Court Says 'Yes” to Consumer Protection, "No" to Payday Lenders 7-2 Decision Upholds CFPB’s Funding

A recent 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gave consumers a long-sought victory that ended more than a decade of challenges over the constitutionality of the agency created to be the nation’s financial cop on the beat. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Top European rights court says Russia responsible for breaching rights in Crimea after 2014 takeover

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Europe's top human rights court ruled Tuesday that Russia was responsible for a string of human rights violations in Crimea since overrunning and later illegally annexing the Black Sea peninsula in 2014. The European Court of Human Rights said in a...

Alabama town's first Black mayor, who had been locked out of office, will return under settlement

NEWBERN, Ala. (AP) — The first Black mayor of a small Alabama town, who said white officials locked him out of town hall, will return to the role under the terms of a proposed settlement agreement. Patrick Braxton will be recognized as the lawful mayor of the town of Newbern, under...

California lawmakers abandon attempt to repeal law requiring voter approval for some public housing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Monday abandoned their attempt to repeal the nation's only law requiring voter approval for publicly funded affordable housing projects, a provision added to the state Constitution more than half a century ago that aimed to keep people of color...

ENTERTAINMENT

What to stream this weekend: 'Kung Fu Panda 4' chops, PBS hits the disco and Kevin Hart chats

The debut of “Echoes,” a sequel series to “Orphan Black," and the documentary “Bread & Roses” looking at how Afghan women’s lives were impacted after Kabul fell to the Taliban in 2021 are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. ...

Music Review: Concert album from the Tomasz Stanko Quartet explains the jazz lineup’s staying power

Jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stanko ’s first notes on the new album "September Night,” dark and slightly distant, sound as though they’re coming from the hereafter. Stanko died in 2018, and his new album is a previously unreleased recording of a 2004 concert by his quartet. Along with...

Music Review: Linda Thompson’s family and friends sing her songs on 'Proxy Music'

Linda Thompson, who ranks among the finest singers of her generation, hardly sings a note on “Proxy Music," her first album in over a decade. Instead, Thompson makes herself heard through her songwriting. She’s often remembered for music she made with Richard Thompson, including...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Iran's supreme leader warns sole reformist in presidential race, while calling for 'maximum' turnout

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran's supreme leader issued a thinly veiled warning Tuesday to the sole...

US surgeon general declares gun violence a public health emergency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. surgeon general on Tuesday declared gun violence a public health crisis, driven by...

On heartland roads, and a riverboat, devout Catholics press on with two-month nationwide pilgrimage

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — “Bye bye, Jesus!” a child called out as the riverboat chugged away from shore into...

Parliament speaker. The Tehran mayor. A heart surgeon. The race is on for Iran's next president

Six candidates have been approved by Iran's theocracy to run in Friday’s presidential election to replace the...

With another setback for cease-fire talks, worries of full-scale war for Israel and Lebanon escalate

BEIRUT (AP) — The prospect of a full-scale war between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group terrifies...

International court seeks arrest of Russian officials over attacks on Ukrainian power plants

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court said Tuesday it issued arrest warrants for...

Matti Friedman and Diaa Hadid the Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) -- In an unprecedented endeavor, a few Muslim believers are crossing the Holy Land's volatile boundaries of culture, faith and politics to bring Islam to Israel's Jews - hoping, improbably, that some will be willing to renounce their religion for a new one.

The bearded men approach Jews in and around the Old City of Jerusalem and try, in polite and fluent Hebrew, to convert them.

"I must tell you about the true faith," said one missionary in a cobblestone plaza outside Jerusalem's Old City. He carried a knapsack full of pamphlets about Islam in several languages, including Hebrew. "You can do with it what you want. But telling you is our duty."

Most people, he said, brush him off and keep walking.

A computer programmer educated at an Israeli college, he sported a scraggly beard, loose pants and a long shirt typical of the purist Muslims known as Salafis. He gave his name only as Abu Hassan.

There are no signs the endeavor has met with any success. Only about a dozen Muslims are involved. Most of the handful of Jews who convert do so to marry Muslim men, rather than from proselytizing. Still, the act of spreading Islam in Hebrew is profound, reflecting a striking confidence on the part of some Muslims, members of Israel's Arab minority.

It also reflects the influence of conservative Islamic trends that emphasize spreading the religion, transmitted through web forums and satellite channels from Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Abu Hassan said that in years of conflict with Israel, Muslims, embattled and angry, neglected their responsibility to preach their faith to nonbelievers, including Jews.

"Muslims did not want to talk, and Jews did not want to listen. But Jews also need to hear the truth," he said.

Yitzhak Reiter, a professor at the Jerusalem Center for Israel Studies, said he had not seen anything similar in 30 years of studying local Islam. "This is the first time that someone has tried to convert Jews to Islam in the state of Israel," he said.

The efforts seem to have attracted no public notice so far. But the missionaries are treading on a potentially explosive taboo. Centuries of persecution and aggressive conversion attempts by Christian and Muslim majorities have made Jews, numbering 13 million people worldwide, deeply hostile to proselytizing. Israeli law places some restrictions on missionary activity, forbidding targeting minors or offering financial incentives, but does not outlaw it altogether.

The Holy Land's Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities all hold strong religious, tribal and ethnic bonds and deeply resist conversion. The result is a sort of loose understanding not to push the boundaries.

Azzam Khatib, a top Muslim official in Jerusalem, said the efforts to proselytize in Hebrew were not mainstream, but acceptable: "Whoever wants to join, they are welcome - but without any pressure."

Four years ago, Abu Hassan said, an Israeli Jew approached him with questions about Islam. At the time, he was distributing Islamic material to foreign tourists around the Old City.

Abu Hassan realized there was almost no missionary Muslim literature in Hebrew, so he and a few associates put together a Hebrew booklet. Since then, he said, they have distributed several thousand copies, he said.

Titled "The Path to Happiness," the booklet invites the reader to "think, and take advantage of this invaluable opportunity in which we are trying to take your hand and lead you to the eternal light."

The missionaries are wary of revealing personal details, fearing harassment. Somebody has already hacked Abu Hassan's cell phone, changing his voice mail message to a string of Hebrew curses against him and Muhammad, the Muslim prophet.

Most of those Abu Hassan engages ignore him, he said. Many are derisive, some verbally abusive. At one point Israeli intelligence agents questioned him about his funding, he said. He told them it came from donations in mosques.

"People curse me. But I do my job, and this is my job as a Muslim. I must explain gently, and in a nice way, about Allah," he said.

He dodged questions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying only that historically the "best times" for Jews came under Islamic rule and suggesting peace would come if Jews accepted Islam.

Abu Hassan and his companions are informally linked to a small, three-year-old organization known as the Mercy Committee for New Muslims, founded by Emad Younis, a charismatic, blue-eyed preacher from the north Israel town of Ara.

Younis said the committee is not primarily aimed at winning converts. It helps those who do convert adapt to life as Muslims and seeks to explain a moderate version of Islam to non-Muslims, particularly Israeli Jews, by distributing promotional material.

The number of converts remains tiny.

Israel's Justice Ministry, which registers converts, could not say how many Jews become Muslims. It said 400 and 500 of Israel's nearly 8 million people change their faith every year - many of them Christians joining different Christian sects. Reiter, the professor, said his research suggested about 20 converts a year to Islam, almost all women marrying Muslim men.

Younis of the Mercy Committee said most new converts were indeed women married to Muslims, and the majority were originally from the former Soviet Union, part of the 1990s wave of Eastern European immigration to Israel. The newcomers are less susceptible to taboos against intermarriage and conversion.

At a recent gathering for new Muslims, 55 converts came with their families - five of them native-born Israeli Jews, all of them women, Younis said.

One woman, a 20-year-old, converted in June to marry her Muslim husband.

"The Muslims greeted me with love I never got from my parents, and the women here say, 'You're one of us now,'" she said, giving only her new Arabic first name, Yasmin.

Yasmin lives in the Arab town of Taibeh in central Israel, a short drive from the traditional Jewish home in which she grew up. But she can't go back since her family, too, has disowned her.

"I have nothing now but my husband and Islam," she said.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.