Created on Saturday, 12 July 2014 20:48
WRITTEN BY MICKEY KEENAN AND MARK KOLSEN, GUEST WRITERS OF AAI NEWS TEAM
In a country that suppresses all forms of religious discussion, “scientific” studies about religion in China are almost impossible to conduct. The internet does, however, permit some measurement of Chinese religious sentiment, though even on the net Chinese citizens may be reluctant to speak openly.
What follows is one recent non-scientific study conducted by a courageous Chinese citizen who also interviewed several local experts on the subject. Her findings seem consistent with available sources on the subject.
Created on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 14:54
By Jacky Jones
The conviction of Rolf Harris is a reminder that child abuse is an abuse of power. The crime persists because perpetrators are not challenged and dealt with speedily by the criminal justice system. Children are still abused in Ireland every day.
According to the article by Irish Times, the HSE Annual Report 2013 shows that 6,462 children were in care at the end of 2013 and 1,547 children were on the Child Protection Notification system.
The HSE expects to receive about 40,000 referrals to the Child and Family Agency in 2014. Between April 2013 and the end of March 2014, 164 allegations were made against priests and religious to the National Board for Safeguarding Children.
Created on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 11:32
Think Twice, Lady Hale
WRITTEN BY COEL HELLIER AND MARK KOLSEN, GUEST WRITERS OF AAI NEWS TEAM
Obama’s overhaul of America’s health care system required employers offering medical insurance to their employees to cover some costs of their birth control. A controversial move. The crafts retail chain Hobby Lobby (along with 80 other groups) sued the American government in protest (due to religious objection), and the Supreme Court ruled in their favor: 5-4.
Did this decision open Pandora’s box? Will religious believers now object to every government mandate that violates their “consciences”? Justice Kennedy has said “No,” that the decision is strictly limited to family-run businesses that object to providing certain contraceptives to their employees. But Justice Ginsberg has said that the decision opens the door to the many religious groups now demanding “conscience” exemptions in every conceivable area.
Created on Monday, 07 July 2014 06:32
WRITTEN BY CHRIS K, AAI NEWS TEAM
What do you get when you cross a computer scientist with humanism? Naturalistic transcendentalism, of course.
Naturalistic transcendentalism, a nascent humanist philosophical approach, is the brainchild of Peter Bishop, PhD, a long-time humanist who worked in the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley. Bishop, who spoke at the recent American Humanist Association (AHA) meeting in Philadelphia, noted that transcendentalism gained traction in the 19th century, primarily from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. But Emerson’s philosophical approach, which had room for intuition, lost favor in the next century to science, the philosophy of science, and humanism.
“As we look at these issues today, we notice that our naturalism is much more complex than it was in the early 19th century,” Bishop said. “Naturalism today is so oriented toward scientific thinking that modern science has declared that human intuition should not be studied until we can understand the natural law that causes it to work.”
But naturalistic transcendentalism does not accept this view. Rather, Bishop’s philosophical approach deems it “appropriate to study intuition using the most powerful observations that exist of intuition: our subjective observations of our inner beings.” However, science measures what it can observe and subjective experience cannot be observed from an external vantage point. If scientists alone cannot study the personal experiences of intuition (or other subjective experiences), who else can? Bishop suggested turning to the humanities for help, as these disciplines “deal more with the subjective lives of people than do the sciences.”
Reason, Emotion, Intuition
One of the first steps along this path is to acknowledge that the human spirit is real, Bishop said. In other words, one’s subjective experience should be considered valid. The scientist can record the subjective experience as an event, but should not attempt to determine its meaning merely from its observation. This way, “we can remain on solid scientific footing.”
Created on Sunday, 06 July 2014 11:16
According to Daily Mail, Disturbing images and recruitment messages posted on the social media accounts of two notorious Australian jihadists reveal a horrifying glimpse into Islamic extremist groups fighting in Iraq and Syria.
Australian radical Khaled Sharrouf issued the call-to-arms on Twitter.
He Said: 'come and be part of what we have dreamt... for decades'.
Created on Saturday, 05 July 2014 12:33
According to The Guardian, British Muslims urged not to travel to Syria and Iraq as fears grow over homegrown involvement in terrorism
A militant waves a black Isis flag in Iraq. Abu Osama said: 'If and when I come back to Britain it will be when this … Islamic state comes to conquer Britain and I come to raise the black flag of Islam over Downing Street, over Buckingham Palace, over Tower Bridge and over Big Ben.' Photograph: Stringer/Reuters
A Briton who claims he has been fighting alongside jihadist militants in Syria has told the BBC he would not return to the UK until he could raise "the black flag of Islam" over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.
Created on Friday, 04 July 2014 11:43
Exorcists now have a legal weapon at their disposal.
The Vatican has formally recognized the International Association of Exorcists, a group of 250 priests in 30 countries who liberate the faithful from demons.
The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported Tuesday that the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy had approved the organization's statutes and recognized the group under canon law.
Created on Thursday, 03 July 2014 13:41
A Muslim man was yesterday jailed for 29 years after being found guilty of stabbing a pregnant Romanian prostitute to death after warning her not to work near a mosque.
The Daily Mail reports that Farooq Shah, 21, stabbed Mariana Popa in the chest while riding his bicycle along a stretch of road in Ilford, Essex, known for its sex workers. After being stabbed, Miss Popa staggered into a fast-food shop and collapsed in a pool of blood while her killer cycled away. She was pregnant with her second child.
CCTV footage showed Farooq Shah waiting on the forecourt of a petrol station late on 28 October last year. Miss Popa can be seen walking towards him and speaking to him before he stabs her twice in the chest.
Created on Monday, 30 June 2014 14:55
Jihadist militant group Isis has said it is establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, on the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria.
According to BBC News, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) announced the establishment of the caliphate in an audio recording posted on the internet on Sunday.
Isis also said that from now on it would be known simply as "the Islamic State".
It also proclaimed the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as caliph and "leader for Muslims everywhere".
Created on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 14:33
The National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) today hit back at criticism made by a coalition of Malay groups that its proposed anti-discrimination law recognises atheism and contravenes the Rukun Negara principle of belief in God.
According to The Malay Mail Online, NUCC’s law and policy committee member Mohd Zharif Badrul said the interpretation of religious beliefs in Section 4 of The Racial and Religious Hate Crimes Bill should be read with Section 5 and 6 which criminalises hate crime based on religion.
Created on Monday, 07 July 2014 14:43
An Iranian child bride, forced to marry at the age of 14, is facing execution after a court found her guilty of murdering her husband when she was just 17 years old
Razieh Ebrahimi was forced into marriage at the age of 14. She gave birth to her husband’s child just a year a later. Ebrahimi claims she endured years of mental and physical abuse before she shot him in the head while he was sleeping.
Razieh faces imminent execution, despite international laws prohibiting execution for crimes committed by juveniles, and Amnesty international take an action to save the life of this child bride. Join here
"I didn't know who I am or what is life all about," she said soon after being arrested. "My husband mistreated me. He used any excuse to insult me, even attacking me physically.", The Guardian reports
Created on Monday, 07 July 2014 14:06
Maiduguri, Nigeria: More than 60 women and girls abducted last month by Boko Haram militants in northeast Nigeria have escaped their captors, sources said on Sunday.
According to ND TV, local vigilante Abbas Gava said he had "received an alert from my colleagues ... that about 63 of the abducted women and girls had made it back home" late Friday.
A high-level security source in the Borno state capital Maiduguri, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, confirmed the escape.
Created on Sunday, 06 July 2014 10:15
According to Jerusalem Post, autopsy, carried out by Israeli doctors in Tel Aviv, finds that Muhammad Abu Khdeir's burns covered 90 percent of his body.
Amid calls for a third intifada, thousands of Palestinians gathered in east Jerusalem on Friday during a violent and highly charged funeral procession for murdered teen Muhammad Abu Khdeir who, according to an autopsy report released Saturday, was burned alive.
Draped in a Palestinian flag, Abu Khdeir’s 16-year-old body was carried through his neighborhood of Shuafat under a sweltering sun to a local cemetery, as firecrackers, gunshots, and calls for vengeance pierced the air.
Created on Friday, 04 July 2014 13:23
Saudi Arabia Tries to Silence Center for Inquiry (CFI) at Meeting of UN Human Rights Council
June 23, 2014
Secular Humanists Condemn Kingdom's Human Rights Abuses, Right to Speak Supported by Other Member States
Saudi Arabia tried three times today to silence the Center for Inquiry at the United Nations Human Rights Council today, attempting to stop CFI’s representative from addressing Saudi Arabia's zealous persecution of dissidents and its sweeping crackdown on fundamental human rights.
For more details please check CFI statement about this action
Watch what happened on you tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CakI_sn30xg
Created on Thursday, 03 July 2014 19:53
According to Daily Journal, Nigerian atheist released from the mental ward to which his Muslim family committed him by force said Thursday he is getting death threats for blaspheming against Islam.
Mubarak Bala, a 29-year-old chemical process engineer, said he is in hiding in predominantly Muslim northern Nigeria where Shariah law holds and some interpretations have blasphemy punishable by death.
He has been incarcerated in a mental health institution by his family after saying he had lost his belief in God.
"People are threatening me, I mean life-threatening threats," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. He said he was too frightened of drawing attention and wouldn't allow an AP video journalist or photographer to come to his hiding place.
Created on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 20:33
According to Dutch News, the conflict in Syria has become a catalyst for radical Muslims in the Netherlands, with messages becoming more explicit and widespread, the Dutch security service AIVD said on Monday.
Radical texts spoken by young preachers and social media are leading to jihadist propaganda being spread more quickly, leading to 'further radicalization on a wider scale,' the AIVD said in a new report.
Created on Monday, 30 June 2014 14:45
According to BBC News Africa, four villages in north-eastern Nigeria have been attacked by suspected Boko Haram militants who targeted at least one church.
Some unconfirmed reports say 40 civilians and 6 insurgents were killed as militants and vigilantes clashed.
It is the latest assault on villages near Chibok, the town where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted in April.