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LAW: AP; JUSTICE: REUTERS; FAITH: GETTY IMAGES; ALI: COURTESY OF YAZMIN ALI

TheBrief

FAITH: GETTY IMAGES; ALI: COURTESY OF YAZMIN ALI TheBrief TRENDINGTRENDING LAW Japan’s Supreme Court upheld a
FAITH: GETTY IMAGES; ALI: COURTESY OF YAZMIN ALI TheBrief TRENDINGTRENDING LAW Japan’s Supreme Court upheld a

TRENDINGTRENDING

ALI: COURTESY OF YAZMIN ALI TheBrief TRENDINGTRENDING LAW Japan’s Supreme Court upheld a 19th century law

LAW Japan’s Supreme Court upheld a 19th century law on Dec. 15 forcing married couples to share the same last name. Critics called it a setback for women’s rights in a patriarchal society where studies show married women opt to take the husband’s name 96% of the time.

women opt to take the husband’s name 96% of the time. JUSTICE Executions in the U.S.

JUSTICE Executions in the U.S. fell to their lowest total in almost 25 years in 2015, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, and the number of death sentences decreased by a third. Shortages of lethal-injection drugs are said to be one factor.

of lethal-injection drugs are said to be one factor. FAITH Mother Teresa is to be made

FAITH Mother Teresa is to be made a saint now that Pope Francis has approved her second miracle, involving the healing of a Brazilian man’s brain infection 11 years after her death. The celebrated missionary, who died in 1997, is expected to be canonized in September.

SPOTLIGHT

What it’s like to be Muslim in America, post-Paris

For the First time in her life, Yazmin Ali is afraid to leave her house in a cookie-cutter sub- division outside Fredericksburg, Va. The reason: she’s Muslim and wears a hijab. It doesn’t matter that Ali, 34, was born and raised in Florida, that

her mother is a Cuban-American evangelical Christian, that she has a master’s degree or that she learned Arabic only through a State Depart- ment scholarship. After terrorist at- tacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., she began noticing more dirty looks from strangers. When

it was raining recently and she of-

fered to let other parents shelter

in her car at her kids’ bus stop, she says, they said no. Four days after the Paris attacks, protesters disrupted a public meeting to discuss a new Islamic center in Ali’s hometown, shouting, “Every Muslim is a ter- rorist!” Then a man with a Con- federate flag showed up to protest

a coat drive for Syrian refugees. Ali started disguising her hijab under

a winter hat and scarf. “I had a

really long, good cry,” she says.

and scarf. “I had a really long, good cry,” she says. HATEFUL RESPONSE Police have started

HATEFUL RESPONSE Police have started investigating several anti-Muslim attacks since the Paris terrorism on Nov. 13.

Pflugerville, Texas Vandals tore up pages of the Quran and covered them with feces at a mosque entrance.

Philadelphia

Yazmin Ali: “Because I have kids, I’m fearful of something happening to me.”

A severed pig’s

head was tossed at a mosque from a passing pickup truck.

These are difficult times for American Muslims. According to one tally, there have been 38 anti- Islamic attacks in the U.S. since the Paris terrorism. The trend was also bad in 2014, with the FBI re-

porting that hate crimes decreased for all categories of victims except Muslims. Since the Paris attacks, Ali has started to organize a self-defense class for fellow Muslim women, and she’s pushing her mosque to display the U.S. and Virginia flags. But she still plans to take Christ- mas cookies to her neighbors and keep wearing her hijab. “To take

it off almost means I’ve allowed hate to permeate and penetrate my

identity,” she says. —elizabeth dias

Bloomington, Ind. An Indiana University student allegedly attacked a Muslim woman at a café, choking her and removing her scarf.

Grand Forks, N.D.

A Somali restaurant

was defaced with a Nazi-style symbol. Days later it was torched with a Molotov cocktail.

Coachella, Calif.

A 23-year-old man

faces hate-crime, arson and burglary charges for allegedly firebombing a mosque before the start of afternoon prayer.

TODAY IN B.S.

No, antidepressants during pregnancy do not dramatically increase autism risk

headlines screamed the alarming results: a large study in JAMA Pediatrics reported an 87% increased risk of autism among children born to women taking antidepressants. But 87% higher than what? About 1% of babies worldwide are born with autism. And while an 87% increase in rela- tive risk sounds like a lot, it rep-

87% increase in rela- tive risk sounds like a lot, it rep- resents a tiny absolute

resents a tiny absolute increase in risk. The study also couldn’t estab- lish for sure whether the drugs—or the depression that made them necessary—were responsible for the autism link. Moms-to-be should weigh the need to treat their depression against the small chance that the drugs could affect the fetus.—alice park

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