One of the five pillars of Islam, “zakat,” is the giving of a small percentage of one’s income to a Muslim charity. President Obama, in his Cairo speech, said that he is "committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat." The practice of zakat came under scrutiny under the Bush administration, when seven charities were closed down and jailed leaders accused of helping fund terrorist organizations abroad. Many Muslims fear that if they give to a religious group, they may be accused of funneling money to terrorists. What steps are needed to make it easier for Muslims to practice this important part of their religion?
The morning started out so nicely.
Judge Sonya Sotomayor visited Wednesday morning with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). With television cameras rolling and microphones open, Whitehouse let President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court know that he, too, loves baseball. (She's credited with ending the sport's strike in 1995.)
Then it was on to visit with Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). She informed Sotomayor, that, she, too, loved Nancy Drew novels.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican Judiciary Committee member from South Carolina, sat next to the judge on his office sofa. “We’re talking about the cost of living in New York. I told her she needs to move to South Carolina,” Graham announced to the assembled press.
Then, the niceness died. ... (continue reading)
Although there is no calculator that can compute our national attention deficit, it is clear there are too many stimuli competing for our precious brain time. In a world where the temptations to twitter and text are 24/7, is there hope for our multi-tasked minds? Writer Winifred Gallagher says yes. In her new book, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life, Gallagher reviews the latest developments in the psychology and neuroscience of attention. She joins us in our studio to discuss the benefits of training yourself to focus.