Stand Up For Reason Campaign
We Are Not Witches!
Every year, Thousands of vulnerable children and elders are attacked and driven out of their homes or killed each year by family and neighbors who have been told they are "witches".
By Pankaj Mishra
According to Bloomberg View, cultural revolutions are underway in two nation-states -- India and Israel -- founded by secular nationalists in the late 1940s. Right-wing demagogues, emerging in both countries from among previously unrepresented masses, seek to forge a new national identity by stigmatizing particular religious and secular groups.
There are eerie similarities between the Hindu thugs who assault Muslim males marrying Hindu women and followers of the far-right Israeli group Lehava (Flame), who try to break up weddings between Muslims and Jews.
More importantly, religious-political chauvinism is now amplified by figures in power as well. Last week, Israel's minister of religious services claimed that Reform Jews were not Jews. A minister in Narendra Modi's government has described Indian Muslims and Christians in India as "bastards."
By Kevin Schembri Orland - The Independent
Producer at Unifaun Theatre group who attempted to stage 'Stitching' back in 2009, believes the censorship board responsible "is toothless".
Adrian explained that the Board in charge of censuring theatre productions is now all bark and no bite. "Before 2012 we had to present a script to the censorship board and they would either classify it or ban it.
Since 2012, this stopped happening. We have our own script and we decide what classification to give it. This goes on the strength of the producer's opinion.
By Arslan Shabbir - AAI
Aisha was my cousin. She was very fond of singing and by the grace of nature she had an amazing voice.
She was a natural artist. And I remember the day when she ran off from her home and was killed by her husband. She was about to drag the honor of the family into the streets and onto the stage so nobody screamed on her death not even her parents.
A few days later when I told her brother we can raise our voice on her murder and in return he told me that it is Allah's will. Don't you know what Allah's prophet said?
"Any woman who perfumes herself and leaves her home is cursed by the angels and deprived of the blessings of the Almighty Allah until she returns home."
Women are not allowed to go out of the home. They are our honor. And if they cannot respect our honor it is better for them to stay in the grave.
There are a lot of Aisha's in the Muslim world waiting for their independence days. They are waiting for their freedom. They wish that a day should come when people will realize that they are humans not slaves. They wish that a day should come when people will understand that there is no difference between a man and a woman except physical. They wish that a day should come when their brothers will know that an idea can grow up in their sister's minds. They wish that a day should come when their parents will understand that there are emotions beneath their daughter's dresses.
By Daniel Philpott - WP
This post is part of the "Islam and International Order" symposium.
The West's cultural war over Islam has entered an intense new phase since the rise of the Islamic State. The debates are familiar: Is Islam inherently violent and intolerant, or is it peaceful, diverse and often the victim of Western domination? A good criterion for answering the question is religious freedom – the civic right of persons and religious communities to practice, express, change, renounce and spread their religion. Whether the adherents of one religion can respect the beliefs and practices of another, or whether they respond to this otherness by violence or discrimination, is at the heart of these debates.
Whereas some scholars view religious freedom as a Western value derived from Western history, the principle has a claim to universal validity. For one thing, it is ensconced in the major international human rights conventions. It can also be derived from the value of religion itself, in which people across an enormous variety of times and places have sought fulfillment. Considering that religion is at its most authentic when it is freely chosen, the conclusion that the state ought to guarantee the right to pursue that fulfillmentunimpeded follows naturally.
According to Patheos, The Faravahar is an important symbol of Zoroastrianism, depicting a guardian angel of sorts.
So when Snoop Dogg is sitting on a throne, smoking a joint, with the symbol right above him, you can understand why some religious types might get all offended...
It all happens in the music video for "King" by Iranian pop singer Amitis.
And it's pissed off one community to the point where they've filed a completely unnecessary lawsuit:
A public interest lawsuit has been issued by the Calcutta Zoroastrian chapter in the hopes of getting the video, which also features pole dancers in golden underwear and men as cliched Ancient Egyptian servants, banned.
A representative said: "The wrong use of religious and sacred symbols and iconography hurts, insults and outrages the religious sentiments and beliefs of Parsi Zoroastrians."
On July 3, 2015 Ateístas de Puerto Rico (Atheists of Puerto Rico) filed a complaint in the Office of the General Comptroller of Puerto Rico, received and read by Egda Magaly Pagán Rivera. This complaint has also been made in the Office of Gubernatorial Ethics of Puerto Rico on July 6, as a consequence of the known "faith road-block" carried out by the Police Department of Barceloneta City on July 1st, on the street 140, under the bridge of the PR-22 highway, near the Barceloneta Prime Outlets shopping mall. During the "faith road-block", officers stopped people on the road for the purpose of preaching, distributing written religious propaganda and praying for drivers. It was a religious activity in which the Christian faith was professed, particularly of an Evangelical variant.
We understand that the Police Department of Barceloneta City has incurred in violations to the Constitution of the Common Wealth of Puerto Rico, which provide a clause for the separation of church and state, with quite a strong language. Article II, Section III says: "No law related to the establishment of any religion will be approved and the free exercise of religion will not be prohibited. There will be complete separation of church and state". We must also point out that Puerto Rico, as a territory, is under the protection of the Federal Constitution of the United States of America, which also provides a clause for the separation of church and state.
According to The Gaily Grind, just when you thought you've heard every anti-gay marriage argument known to man, Australia's outspoken agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce opened his mouth to claim that legalizing same-sex marriage could damage cattle exports with trading partners in Asia.
Joyce issued his warnings during an interview with the Australian ABC network, where he said it could cause problems trading with countries where gay marriage is illegal.
"Where we live economically is south-east Asia, that's where our cattle go" he argued.
"When we go there, there are judgments whether you like it or not that are made about us. They see us as decadent."
Acoording to The Gaily Grind, a new social network that bans swearing, erotica and gay material has already attracted more than 100,000 members in Brazil since its launch and plans to expand its anti-gay service globally.
Facegloria, which is currently only available in Portuguese, is targeting the 42 million evangelical Christians in Brazil and is setting its sights on global expansion to become a communication tool for people seeking to preserve the principles of family and morality.
"On Facebook there is a lot of violence and pornography, so we thought we'd create a social network where we could talk about God and love and spread His word," web designer and Facegloria co-founder Atilla Barros told AFP. "We want to be morally and structurally better than Facebook."
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