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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background

Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background

Date: January 10, 2006
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M
Description: This report provides an overview of madrasas, their role in the Muslim world, and issues related to their alleged links to terrorism. The report also addresses the findings of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the “9/11 Commission”) and issues relevant to the second session of the 109th Congress.
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Charitable Choice Rules and Faith-Based Organizations

Charitable Choice Rules and Faith-Based Organizations

Date: January 26, 2006
Creator: Richardson, Joe
Description: This report discusses the Bush administration's "Charitable Choice" agenda aimed at expanding the ability of faith-based organizations to provide federally funded social services.
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Charitable Choice: Legal and Constitutional Issues

Charitable Choice: Legal and Constitutional Issues

Date: January 27, 2006
Creator: Welborn, Angie A
Description: This report provides analysis of a number of factual, civil rights, and constitutional questions that have been raised regarding charitable choice in general. The analysis is generally focused on those provisions enacted as part of the 1996 welfare reform law. More recent charitable choice rules may give rise to the same or similar concerns. Primarily, this report focuses on civil rights concerns that have arisen in the context of charitable choice and First Amendment issues, as well as recent legal developments related to charitable choice.
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Palestinian Education and the Debate Over Textbooks

Palestinian Education and the Debate Over Textbooks

Date: March 7, 2006
Creator: Pina, Aaron D
Description: None
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The Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya

The Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya

Date: January 17, 2007
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.
Description: The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and subsequent discussions of religious extremism have called attention to Islamic puritanical movements known as Wahhabism and Salafiyya. Al Qaeda leaders and their ideological supporters have advocated a violent message that some suggest is an extremist interpretation of this line of puritanical Islam. Other observers have accused Saudi Arabia, the center of Wahhabism, of having disseminated a religion that promotes hatred and violence, targeting the United States and its allies. Saudi officials strenuously deny these allegations. This report provides a background on Wahhabism and its relationship to active terrorist groups; it also summarizes recent charges against Wahhabism and responses, including the findings of the final report of the 9/11 Commission and relevant legislation in the 110th Congress.
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Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background

Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background

Date: January 23, 2007
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M
Description: None
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Iraq: Reconciliation and Benchmarks

Iraq: Reconciliation and Benchmarks

Date: May 12, 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.
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Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Date: May 14, 2008
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iran is materially assisting all major Shiite Muslim political factions in Iraq, most of which have longstanding ideological, political, and religious ties to Tehran, and their armed militias. The Administration notes growing involvement by Tehran in actively directing training, and arming Shiite militiamen linked, to varying degrees, to hardline cleric Moqtada Al Sadr. Some analysis goes so far as to see a virtual "proxy war" between the United States and Iran inside Iraq.
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Iraq: Reconciliation and Benchmarks

Iraq: Reconciliation and Benchmarks

Date: June 5, 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.
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Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Date: June 16, 2008
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iran is materially assisting and attempting to influence, in most cases against the United States, major Shiite Muslim factions in Iraq, most of which have ideological, political, and religious ties to Tehran. The Administration asserts that Tehran is actively directing, training, and arming Shiite militiamen linked, to varying degrees, to hardline anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada Al Sadr. Some analysts see a virtual "proxy war" between the United States and Iran inside Iraq.
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Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Date: June 24, 2008
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iraq's current government, the result of a U.S.-supported election process designed to produce democracy, continues to be riven by sectarianism and factional infighting. However, the Administration says that the passage of some key laws in 2008 represents major progress on national reconciliation and that planned provincial elections will help heal remaining communal rifts.
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Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Date: July 25, 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. Among these factions is that of hardline anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia, according to some observers, serves as a proxy force for Tehran against the United States.
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Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: The international market for Islamic finance has grown between 10% to 15% annually in recent years. Islamic finance historically has been concentrated in the Persian Gulf countries, but has expanded globally to both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. There is a small but growing market for Islamic finance in the United States. Through international and domestic regulatory bodies, there has been effort to standardize regulations in Islamic finance across different countries and financial institutions, although challenges remain. Critics of Islamic finance express concerns about possible ties between Islamic finance and political agendas or terrorist financing and the use of Islamic finance to circumvent U.S. economic sanctions. Proponents argue that Islamic finance presents significant new business opportunities and provides alternate methods for capital formation and economic development.
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Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Date: August 4, 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 asserts that the passage of key laws in 2008 will help heal remaining rifts and continue to reduce violence. Others see the schisms widening as Iraqi leaders wrangle over unresolved issues that are complicating the holding of provincial elections.
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Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq

Date: August 22, 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. Among these factions is that of hardline anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia, according to some observers, serves as a proxy force for Tehran against the United States.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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