Created on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 08:00
47% of Quebecers "Completely Support" proposed Charter of Values, 21% Generally Supportive But Would Like Even Stronger Church-State Separation
According to the Candian Broadcasting Company (CBC) news report, a proposed "charter of values" for the province of Quebec proposed by the government has been overwhelmingly positive.
Among other things, the proposed charter of values emphasizes the separation between religion and government in Quebec. For instance, public sector workers would not be permitted to wear overt religious symbols while at work under the proposed charter.
According to a report compiled by the government and released today by Bernard Drainville, the architect of the charter, 68 percent of Quebecers are mostly in favour of it (with 47 percent in complete support), while only 18 per cent were mostly against it.
Drainville explained that 47 per cent of Quebecers who participated in the consultation said they completely supported the charter, while 21 per cent said they were in favour of the charter, with modifications.
The most popular modification requested by 21 percent of those who "mostly" supported the proposed charter was to remove the crucifix from the national assembly. The second most popular modification was to revoke the rule of exemption. These modifications would strengthen the value of church-state separation already enunciated in the charter.
Over 25,000 comments were received by the Parti Québécois on the charter via email and telephone.
Created on Monday, 03 February 2014 18:21
Religious Prisoner Alexander Aan Released From Indonesian Prison
The Jakarta News reported on 31 January that atheist Alexander Aan had been released early from his prison sentence of 2-1/2 years for "inciting religious hostility" for posting on his personal Facebook page that "there is no god."
According to the article, Aan was released "on license" (probation), which means that he is required to report regularly and frequently to Indonesian authorities for the foreseeable future. He also still remains liable for a Rp 100 million rupiah (US$8,190) fine imposed as part of his sentence.
Created on Friday, 21 February 2014 01:52
BY JO STEPHANIE, AAI NEWS TEAM
In late November 2013 a woman from Kitwe, Zambia’s
second largest city, died from pneumonia after allegedly following the advice
of her pastor to stop taking her medication. Rather than advise the woman in
question to continue taking her medication he recommended that she instead pray
and fast. Faith healing was the solution he suggested, not medicine. The woman
obliged and four days later she was dead.
Created on Thursday, 27 February 2014 04:04
The Pell tolls for church sex abuse compensation
Atheist Foundation of Australia welcomes the news that George Pell has
been promoted within the Catholic Church to the position of Prefect for
the Economy of the Holy See. A main function of this role is management
and reform of the Vatican's finances.
news continues to flow from the Royal Commission into Institutional
Child Sexual Abuse of the systemic cover ups and stand-over tactics used
by churches to prevent justice for the victims. It’s reasonable to
anticipate that examples of abuse of this type are going to continue to
become public and that the public outrage and compensation claims will
continue to grow.
Created on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 01:16
BY CLEOSLICK EMILY, AAI NEWS TEAM
suspected to be Boko Haram members have attacked and killed dozens of students at the Federal
Government College in Buni Yadi, a town in the Nigerian state of Yobe. Yobe
state Police Commissioner Sanusi A Rufai confirmed that twenty-nine male students were
killed and twenty-four structures including the administration block, student
hostel and staff quarters were burnt down.
Boko Haram is a militant group known for
attacking citizens, government targets, bombing churches, attacking schools and
police stations, and kidnapping Western tourists. Former Boko Haram leader,
Mohammed Yusuf stated before his death his belief that the fact of a spherical
Earth is contrary to Islamic teaching and should be rejected, along with
Darwinian evolution. He also stated his belief that the fact of rain
originating from water evaporated by the sun should never be taught in schools.
(Warning: Graphic photo included at end of article)
Created on Sunday, 19 October 2014 20:57
By: Sameen Qazi
A few days ago, social media went rife with people praising Ben Affleck. “Batman comes to the rescue” was the general sentiment tweeted by everyone and my friends happily posted the link to the clip from Bill Maher’s show. People were ecstatic that an American, a prominent actor at that, finally stood up for Islam on a highly rated TV show.
The clip did not just cause a sensation in Pakistan; it opened a debate online with prominent analysts like Reza Aslan and Fareed Zakaria taking up sides and expressing their opinions.
Created on Saturday, 11 October 2014 19:25
According to International Business Time, there are growing concerns that the Islamic State jihadists may use Ebola virus as a bio terror weapon to attack the West. According to some experts, the ISIS fanatics may try to infect themselves with Ebola virus to become carriers and attack others.
The virus is rampant in West Africa and already killed 4,000 people in the past few months
Created on Thursday, 09 October 2014 23:28
According to Religion Dispatches, just a day before gay marriage in the U.S. received a significant boost from the Supreme Court, the much-anticipated Extraordinary Synod on the Family opened in Rome yesterday with Pope Francis pointedly criticizing “bad shepherds” who seek money and power and “lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others, which they themselves do not lift a finger to move.”
As some 190 bishops and a collection of lay advisors meet to discuss “pastoral challenges” facing Catholic families, divisions are being laid bare in the church that were largely suppressed in the Pope John Paul II/Benedict years, with a cabal of conservative bishops (presumably the “bad shepherds”) looking to beat back any liberalization of church doctrine promoted by more moderate cardinals.
Created on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 01:34
Abdel Aziz Mohamed Albaz, also known as "Ben Baz," has been released from prison in Kuwait where he was held (but never tried) on charges of blasphemy for over a year.
Albaz, a 27-year-old Egyptian atheist blogger, was arrested in early January 2013 by Kuwaiti authorities. While Albaz had been known for posting on his blog stories of the relationship between religion, the State and secularism. The Constitution of Kuwait makes Islam the state religion, and considers
Sharia a primary source of legislation. The Kuwaiti parliament passed a law in 2012 introducing the death
penalty for Muslims who blaspheme against Islam, while non-Muslims who
blaspheme faced ten years or more in prison. The law provides that any
Muslim(!) citizen may file a complaint against an author if the citizen
believes that the author has defamed Islam, the ruling family, or public
A hearing on Albaz' case had been scheduled for last February 28, but it's unclear what was decided at the hearing or even whether the hearing actually occurred. After a year, Kuwaiti authorities have apparently let him out on his own recognizance - of course, long after he would have lost his job and probably his residence, and without any due process
Created on Sunday, 23 February 2014 22:42
hostilities are very high and rising within both Israel and the Palestinian
territories. According to a 2014 Pew Research study, social
hostilities involving religion (including mob or sectarian violence,
religion-related terrorism or conflict, organized attempts to dominate
public life with a particular perspective on religion, harassment over
attire for religious reasons, and other religion-related intimidation or
abuse) have reached 6-year highs in both areas.
Pew uses a tool called the Social Hostilities Index (SHI) to measure social hostilities by country. The tool measures the presence and intensity of various measures of social hostility on a scale from 0 (no social hostilities) to 10 (all-out civil anarchy). According to the report, Israel reached a high of 9.4 out of 10 on the Pew Social Hostilities Index in regards to religious violence in 2012. The Palestinian Territories reached a high of 9.0 out of 10. This is in comparison to the Middle East & North Africa, which rated at 5.7 out of 10 in 2012; and in comparison to the world, which rated at 2.9 on the Index.
Created on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 01:04
BY R. CLEVENGER, AAI NEWS TEAM
Alabama House committee, despite majority opposition, without any regard to the
1st and 14th Amendments of the Constitution, and with complete disregard of McCollum v. Board of
passed a bill that would require public school
teachers to open class every morning with a prayer.
religiously biased politicians in this case have done an end-run to put
enforced prayer into public schools in the guise of teaching congressional
procedure. They are not invoking religious privilege or claiming discrimination
for not being allowed to pray within the confines of the school grounds in this
case, but rather are specifying a 15-minute period at the commencement of the
first class of each day to study the formal procedures of the U.S. Congress,
which must include a verbatim
reading of a prayer from the beginning of the House or Senate meetings.
Created on Sunday, 19 October 2014 21:19
Parishioners at an Alabama church have filed a lawsuit against their pastor who is accused of having sex with congregation members while knowing he had AIDS.
The members of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of Montgomery hope to oust longtime pastor Juan McFarland.
Created on Monday, 13 October 2014 23:12
Government to hold referendum to delete offence from Constitution in 2015
According to Irish Times, Exactly half the electorate supports the abolition of the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution, but a substantial number of people have not made up their minds on the issue, according to the poll.
Created on Monday, 13 October 2014 07:53
By: Alexander Smith
According to NBCNews, Kevani Kanda was just six years old when her family accused her of being a witch. She was being molested by a relative and the trauma made her wet the bed and sleepwalk.
But instead of trying to find out what was wrong, Kanda's family were convinced she was possessed by an evil spirit. For the next five years, she was starved, forced to eat her own vomit, beaten repeatedly and given suppositories containing spices to "get rid of the evil spirits." And the torture occurred in a London suburb.
Created on Friday, 10 October 2014 21:41
By: Tom Elliott
70,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses are set to arrive in Melbourne next week for a massive conference at Etihad Stadium. I’ve done some research into this religion and what I’ve discovered has convinced me that scepticism about blind faith is absolutely the right path.
Despite their earnest efforts to convert people via doorknocking, “Witnessing Jehovah” is an extremely exclusive religion. Among other things, the Jehovah’s Witnesses say that only 144,000 people globally will eventually ascend into heaven. That means that 99.99999% of the population will go somewhere far less pleasant if Judgment Day ever arrives.
Created on Thursday, 09 October 2014 22:31
According to Global News, eighty-four per cent of Canadians say they support assisted dying, according to a new national poll released Wednesday.
Just a week before the Supreme Court of Canada will begin hearings on a landmark case on assisted dying, a Dying with Dignity and Ipsos Reid survey suggests that Canadians are supportive of the controversial idea.