Some things in the central Jakarta district of Matraman have barely changed since the late 1960s, when United States President Barack Obama lived and played there. Old men train their racing pigeons on the badminton court and screaming children chase each other through the winding, grimy alleyways. But if Obama does decide to drop by his old neighborhood when he visits Indonesia next week, he may notice change around the community’s mosque.
U.S. Muslim activists launched a campaign on Wednesday against a series of educational books that they say promote anti-Islamic sentiment among American school children. “The World of Islam,” a 10-book series, encourages young readers to believe Muslims are terrorists and seek to undermine U.S. society, said the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy organization.
Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi, who as the head of Egypt’s most prestigious seat of Islamic learning al-Azhar was Sunni Islam’s top authority, died of a heart attack on Wednesday on a visit to Saudi Arabia, religious officials at al-Azhar said. He was 81.
After scoring gains in local elections, Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders is now primed to make waves in a national poll in June by tapping into discontent over Islam and globalisation.