RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) As the World Cup reaches the quarter finals this Saturday (June 28), a number of Muslim players whose teams have made it through the tough group matches will be facing a bigger challenge off the field than on it.The holy month of Ramadan coincides for the first time since 1986 with the soccer tournament. The 30-day period of fasting and prayer, which requires dawn to dusk abstinence from food, drink and sex, begins Saturday and is expected to end July 28.
An al-Qaida breakaway group that seized large swaths of Iraq in recent weeks declared Sunday (June 29) the creation of a new religious state in Iraq and Syria, as it continued to repel government forces in Tikrit, the hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein.The militant group called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant announced it will now be known as The Islamic State.
The U.S. House of Representatives increased funding for Israel’s missile defense systems.
Included in the House’s Defense Appropriations Bill approved last week is $351 million for the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which is $175 million more than was requested in President Obama’s 2015 budget and $131 million more than funding in the 2014 fiscal year.
Fans of the British soccer team Tottenham Hotspurs who use the term “yid” will not be arrested, British police said.
Constable Steve Payne of London’s Metropolitan Police told a meeting of team fans last week that using the word is no longer an arrestable offense, but that fans could still be charged if accused of using the term in a pejorative way, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported.