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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Religion and the Workplace: Legal Analysis of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as It Applies to Religion and Religious Organizations

Religion and the Workplace: Legal Analysis of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as It Applies to Religion and Religious Organizations

Date: January 20, 2011
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report reviews the scope of Title VII as it applies to religion and religious organizations and the requirements of the anti-discrimination protections and the accommodations provision. It also analyzes the exemptions available to religious organizations for the non-discrimination rules.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Hezbollah: Background and Issues for Congress

Hezbollah: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: January 3, 2011
Creator: Addis, Casey L. & Blanchard, Christopher M.
Description: Report that discusses Lebanon's Hezbollah, a Shiite Islamist militia, political party, social welfare organization, and U. S. State Department-designated terrorist organization. The report also discusses recent Hezbollah-related conflicts, Hezbollah's relationship with other Lebanese political parties, and U. S. policy regarding Hezbollah.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: December 7, 2010
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. "Homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Hamas: Background and Issues for Congress

Hamas: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: December 2, 2010
Creator: Zanotti, Jim
Description: Hamas, or the Islamic Resistance Movement, is a Palestinian Islamist military and sociopolitical movement that grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni religious and political organization founded in Egypt in 1928 that has branches throughout the world. The United States, Israel, the European Union, and Canada consider Hamas a terrorist organization. The overarching U.S. goal regarding Hamas is to deter, transform, marginalize, or neutralize it so that it no longer presents a threat to Israel's security, to a peaceful and lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or to other U.S. interests. This report discusses U.S. efforts and policy debates on these issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Date: November 30, 2010
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: This report discusses Islamic finance, which is based on principles of shariah, or "Islamic law." Major financial principles of shariah are a ban on interest, a ban on contractual uncertainty, adherence to risk-sharing and profit-sharing, promotion of ethical investments that enhance society, and asset-backing. While the Islamic finance industry represents a fraction of the global finance market, it has grown at double-digit rates in recent years.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Law of Church and State: Public Aid to Sectarian Schools

The Law of Church and State: Public Aid to Sectarian Schools

Date: November 29, 2010
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report gives a brief overview of the evolution of the Court's interpretation of the Establishment Clause in this area and analyzes the categories of aid that have been addressed by the Court. The report explains which categories have been held to be constitutionally permissible or impermissible, both at the elementary and secondary school level and at the postsecondary level. The report also briefly addresses a set of cases (Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn; Garriott v. Winn) currently before the Court regarding the constitutionality of an Arizona statute that permits individuals to claim a tax credit for certain donations to school tuition organizations that use the funds for scholarships to private and, in some instances, religious schools.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Hezbollah: Background and Issues for Congress

Hezbollah: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: October 8, 2010
Creator: Addis, Casey L. & Blanchard, Christopher M.
Description: This report discusses Lebanon's Hezbollah, a Shiite Islamist militia, political party, social welfare organization, and U.S. State Department-designated terrorist organization. The report discusses recent Hezbollah-related conflicts, Hezbollah's relationship with other Lebanese political parties, and U.S. policy regarding Hezbollah.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P. & Randol, Mark A.
Description: Between May 2009 and August 2010, arrests were made for 19 "homegrown," jihadist-inspired terrorist plots by American citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. The apparent spike in such activity after May 2009 suggests that at least some Americans - even if a tiny minority - continue to be susceptible to ideologies supporting a violent form of jihad. This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. This report also provides official definitions for terms such as "homegrown," "jihadist," and "violent jihadist." The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism, describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Legal Standing Under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause

Legal Standing Under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause

Date: September 15, 2009
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report analyzes the constitutional issues associated with standing, specifically related to cases arising under the Establishment Clause. It provides a background on the doctrine of standing, including the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of various types of standing, including standing to sue as a citizen, as a taxpayer, and on behalf of another party.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Date: June 4, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report discusses the relationship between Iraq and Iran in the post-Saddam Hussein era, with particular focus on what Iran's intentions and/or long-term goals may be for increasing its influence in Iraq. The report explores the various strategies that Iran has used to spread its influence throughout Iraq's military and political spheres. The report also addresses the United States' concern over the Iran-Iraq relationship, especially as it concerns armed Shiite factions and U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Legal Analysis of Religious Exemptions for Photo Identification Requirements

Legal Analysis of Religious Exemptions for Photo Identification Requirements

Date: April 13, 2009
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report analyzes the legal issues associated with religious exemptions to photo identification laws. Although no lawsuits appear to have challenged federal laws with photo requirements, state photo identification laws have been challenged for several decades.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Date: April 7, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report discusses the relationship between Iraq and Iran in the post-Saddam Hussein era, with particular focus on what Iran's intentions and/or long-term goals may be for increasing its influence in Iraq. The report explores the various strategies that Iran has used to spread its influence throughout Iraq's military and political spheres. The report also addresses the United States' concern over the Iran-Iraq relationship, especially as it concerns armed Shiite factions and U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Legal Issues Related to Funding for Religious Schools in P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Legal Issues Related to Funding for Religious Schools in P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Date: March 5, 2009
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report will provide a brief overview of the prohibition on the use of funds by institutions of higher education, including proposals considered by the House and Senate before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5) was enacted. It will also analyze the constitutionality of the distribution of federal money to religious schools in the context of common questions raised by these provisions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Date: February 13, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report discusses the relationship between Iraq and Iran in the post-Saddam Hussein era, with particular focus on what Iran's intentions and/or long-term goals may be for increasing its influence in Iraq. The report explores the various strategies that Iran has used to spread its influence throughout Iraq's military and political spheres. The report also addresses the United States' concern over the Iran-Iraq relationship, especially as it concerns armed Shiite factions and U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Date: February 9, 2009
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: This report discusses Islamic finance, which is based on principles of shariah, or "Islamic law." Major financial principles of shariah are a ban on interest, a ban on contractual uncertainty, adherence to risk-sharing and profit-sharing, promotion of ethical investments that enhance society, and asset-backing. While the Islamic finance industry represents a fraction of the global finance market, it has grown at double-digit rates in recent years.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Law of Church and State: Public Aid to Sectarian Schools

The Law of Church and State: Public Aid to Sectarian Schools

Date: February 5, 2009
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report gives a brief overview of the evolution of the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment in regards to sectarian schools at all levels. It analyzes the categories of aid that have been addressed by the Court and also explains which categories have been held to be constitutionally permissible or impermissible, both at the elementary and secondary school level and at the college level. The report also briefly discusses H.R. 1 of the 111th Congress, economic stimulus legislation that includes provisions that would provide assistance to institutions of higher education for modernization, renovation, and repair of facilities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Date: January 7, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report discusses the relationship between Iraq and Iran in the post-Saddam Hussein era, with particular focus on what Iran's intentions and/or long-term goals may be for increasing its influence in Iraq. The report explores the various strategies that Iran has used to spread its influence throughout Iraq's military and political spheres. The report also addresses the United States' concern over the Iran-Iraq relationship, especially as it concerns armed Shiite factions and U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran: Ethnic and Religious Minorities

Iran: Ethnic and Religious Minorities

Date: November 25, 2008
Creator: Hassan, Hussein D.
Description: Iran is home to approximately 70.5 million people who are ethnically, religiously, and linguistically diverse. This report discusses these minorities, their treatment under the Islamic regime, and the reactions of international rights groups.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Date: November 21, 2008
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iraq's political system, the result of a U.S.-supported election process, continues to be riven by sectarianism and ethnic and factional infighting. The Administration is optimistic that the passage of key laws in 2008, including a law to govern provincial elections to be held in early 2009, will sustain recent reductions in violence.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Islamist Militancy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and U.S. Policy

Islamist Militancy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and U.S. Policy

Date: November 21, 2008
Creator: Kronstadt, K. Alan & Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Increasing militant activity in western Pakistan poses three key national security threats: an increased potential for major attacks against the United States itself; a growing threat to Pakistani stability; and a hindrance of U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. This report addresses this issue at length. It also describes the recent upsurge of militant activity on the Pakistani side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, as well as the general political climates of Pakistan and Afghanistan and their relationships with the United States.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iraq's political system, the result of a U.S.-supported election process, continues to be riven by sectarianism and ethnic and factional infighting. The Administration is optimistic that the passage of key laws in 2008, including a law to govern provincial elections to be held in early 2009, will sustain recent reductions in violence.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Date: October 21, 2008
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: With a conventional military and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threat from Saddam Hussein's regime removed, Iran seeks to ensure that Iraq can never again become a threat to Iran, either with or without U.S. forces present in Iraq. By supporting armed Shiite factions, Iran's influence in Iraq has at times hindered U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq, and has heightened the U.S. threat perception of Iran generally. However, Iran faces difficult choices in Iraq now that its protege Shiite factions, formerly united, are competing and often fighting each other.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Date: September 25, 2008
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iraq's current government, the result of a U.S.-supported election process designed to produce democracy, is instead a sectarian government incapable of reconciliation. The Administration says that the passage of some key laws represents progress on national reconciliation, and is a result of the U.S. "troop surge." Others say that combat among Shiite groups since March 2008, possibly motivated by provincial elections planned for October 2008, shows that force will not stabilize Iraq.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Date: September 17, 2008
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iran is materially assisting and influencing major Shiite Muslim factions in Iraq, most of which have ideological, political, and religious ties to Tehran. The Shiite faction of paramount concern to the Administration is that of Moqtada Al Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia has periodically battled U.S. and Iraqi government forces, although it is currently relatively quiescent.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department