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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Charitable Choice Rules and Faith-Based Organizations
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847754/
Faith-Based Organizations and Their Relationship with State and Local Governments: Analysis of Recent Initiatives
This report discusses federal, state, and local government funding for faith-based organizations (FBOs) to provide services to needy citizens. It provides an overview of several selected issues including the effectiveness of FBOs, their accountability for results, and the working relationship that FBOs have at various levels of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824739/
The Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821516/
Pope Francis in Cuba
This report briefly discusses Pope Francis' visit to Cuba from September 19-22, 2015. This was the third papal visit to Cuba, following those by Pope John Paul II in 1998 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795662/
Iran: Ethnic and Religious Minorities
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795725/
Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress
This report provides Members of Congress with background information on Pope Francis and a summary of a few selected global issues of congressional interest that have figured prominently on his agenda. The background section on Pope Francis includes a biographical sketch of his life as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, followed by a brief overview of his papacy thus far. The report then identifies some--but not all--of the global issues of concern to Pope Francis. Those include environmental stewardship, poverty and inequality, peace and diplomacy, and human trafficking. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770584/
Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743428/
The Law of Church and State: Public Aid to Sectarian Schools
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743536/
Legal Issues Related to Funding for Religious Schools in P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700829/
Legal Analysis of Religious Exemptions for Photo Identification Requirements
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700521/
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700778/
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700645/
Legal Standing Under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689276/
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491228/
The Law of Church and State: Public Aid to Sectarian Schools
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491043/
Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491402/
Jerusalem: Recent Israeli-Palestinian Tensions and Violence
This report discusses Israeli-Palestinian tension in the wake of the November 20th attack by two Palestinian men that left four Israelis dead in a West Jerusalem Synagogue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490996/
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463076/
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "homegrown" describes 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 term "jihadist" describes radicalized individuals using Islam as an ideological and/or religious justification for their belief in the establishment of a global caliphate, or jurisdiction governed by a Muslim civil and religious leader known as a caliph. The term "violent jihadist" characterizes jihadists who have made the jump to illegally supporting, plotting, or directly engaging in violent terrorist activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463258/
Prayer and Religious Expression in Public Institutions: A Constitutional Analysis
This report provides background information regarding sponsored prayer, which is prohibited under the First Amendment with few exceptions. The report discusses school prayer, legislative prayer, military chaplaincy, and legislative issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332953/
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284513/
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "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. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267846/
Hezbollah: Background and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227686/
Legal Analysis of Religious Exemptions for Photo Identification Requirements
Report that analyzes the legal issues associated with religious exemptions to photo identification laws, lawsuits that have challenged state photo requirements, and factors that may be relevant in future decisions that may arise related to federal photo identification requirements and state voter identification requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227641/
Religion and the Workplace: Legal Analysis of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as It Applies to Religion and Religious Organizations
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103247/
Legal Standing Under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause
This report analyzes the constitutional issues associated with standing (a restraint on the power of federal courts to render decisions), specifically related to cases arising under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment regarding religion. It provides a background on the doctrine of standing, including the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of various types of standing: standing to sue as a citizen, as a taxpayer, and on behalf of another party. It also examines the current standing rules related to the Establishment Clause. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97978/
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "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. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83950/
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31371/
Hamas: Background and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31388/
Hezbollah: Background and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31384/
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26325/
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26330/
Islamist Militancy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and U.S. Policy
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26300/
Legislative Prayer and School Prayer: The Constitutional Difference
The Supreme Court's decisions holding government-sponsored prayer in the public schools to violate the First Amendment's establishment clause but prayer in legislative assemblies to be constitutional are sometimes lifted up as contradictory. This report summarizes the relevant decisions and identifies the distinctions the Court has drawn between the two situations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26057/
Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10779/
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10655/
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10656/
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10657/
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10654/
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10653/
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10652/
Iraq: Reconciliation and Benchmarks
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10621/
Iraq: Reconciliation and Benchmarks
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10619/
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10622/
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10620/
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10623/
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10618/
Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10148/
Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10178/
The School Prayer Controversy: Pro-Con Arguments
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9581/
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