Male sexual quirks among the Ottomans

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In the days of the Ottoman Empire, pederasty-like relationships were common between pre-pubescent boys and bearded older men. Though today it seems homoerotic, the relationship had a deeper meaning according to the mystic Sufis and their search for God. Hurriyet – Niki Gamm “Your airs have turned my head! Say, who has brought you up so impudent? That stature by no ... Read More »

American atheist blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

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Avijit Roy, whose Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog championed liberal secular writing in the Muslim-majority nation, attacked along with his wife in Dhaka The Guardian - Agence France-Presse A prominent American blogger of Bangladeshi origin was hacked to death with machetes by unidentified assailants in Dhaka, police said, with the atheist writer’s family claiming he had received numerous threats from Islamists. The body ... Read More »

Islamic State militants abduct at least 150 Christians from Syrian villages, activists say

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Jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) group have kidnapped at least 150 Assyrian Christians in north-east Syria, activists say. The abductions took place on Tuesday after IS seized two Assyrian villages – Tal Shamiram and Tal Hermuz – from Kurdish forces in the province of Hassakeh, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A Syrian Christian group representing ... Read More »

Major Muslim Anti-Terrorism Conference Calls For Reform In Practice Of Islamic Law

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AP The Huffington Post RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — An anti-terrorism conference in Saudi Arabia attended by Muslim clerics from around the world has ended with leaders calling for reform in religious studies to promote moderation and tolerance. The final communique from the conference, titled “Islam and the Fight against Terrorism”, also called for “comprehensive reform” in the way Islamic law ... Read More »

Norway’s Muslims and Jews link up to denounce extremist violence

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Muslims attend peace vigil in Oslo in solidarity with Jews a week after fatal shootings in nearby Denmark The Guardian – Agence France-Presse Norwegian Muslims organised a peace vigil in Oslo on Saturday in a show of solidarity with Jews a week after fatal shootings in Denmark targeted a synagogue and free-speech seminar. As the mainly elderly Jewish congregation filed out ... Read More »

Who can’t say they’re superior to Islamic State?

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MARTIN Amis, who loves nothing better than riling respectable society, once asked an audience of arty types at the Institute of ­Contemporary Arts in London to put their hands up if they thought they were morally superior to the Taliban. The Australian – Brendan O’Neill Less than half the audience did. The rest shuffled uncomfortably in their seats or gawped awkwardly ... Read More »

Barack Obama adamant: US not at war with Islam

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The wary words the White Houses uses to describe jihadists pale in comparison with Islamic State’s vivid videos and appeal to the young. Obama unveils programs to fight lure of IS Brisbane Times - Nick O’Malley, US correspondent for Fairfax Media Washington: US President Barack Obama’s address at the start of the international summit on countering violent extremism was perhaps bound to ... Read More »

Catholic Church to peer into teachers’ lifestyles: Critics slam ‘intrusive’ new code of behaviour

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THOUSANDS of Catholic teachers and support staff ­believe their private lifestyles are threatened by a proposed new “intrusive” code of behaviour based on Church values. EXCLUSIVE BRUCE MCDOUGALL THE DAILY TELEGRAPH Catholic teachers are “outraged” by the Church ethos employers want inserted into a new enterprise agreement governing behaviour inside and outside the workplace. Employees claim that the clause lays ... Read More »