Religion

Austria burqa ban: Government warns Muslim women to show faces in public or be fined

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Breach of new integration law will be punished with €150 fine Chris Baynes  The Independent The Austrian government has issued posters and leaflets threatening Muslim women with fines for wearing face veils ahead of the introduction of a controversial ban. The authorities launched the publicity drive to raise awareness of the legislation outlawing niqabs and burqas, which will come into force on 1 October. Under the new “integration” policy, anyone wearing clothes that obscure their face in public can be fined €150 (£132) ... Read More »

Exclusive: John Howard says the government needs to explain how it will protect religious freedoms on same-sex marriage

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Former prime minister John Howard has demanded that the rights of children not be forgotten in the same-sex marriage debate Speaking exclusively to 9NEWS from London, he also rejected Malcolm Turnbull’s assurances that a detailed debate about protecting religious freedoms can wait until after the postal vote on same-sex marriage is decided. Chris Uhlmann 9news Mr Howard said that if the postal survey returned a “yes” vote then the government would be stampeded into delivering change, so people needed answers ... Read More »

Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims

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Tunisia has overturned a law that banned women from marrying non-Muslims A spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi made the announcement and congratulated women on gaining “the freedom to choose one’s spouse”. BBC Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian Muslim woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. Tunisia, which is 99% Muslim, is viewed as one of the most progressive Arab countries in terms of women’s… Tunisian ... Read More »

Churches offer sanctuary to asylum seekers affected by welfare crackdown

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Australia’s Christian churches are offering sanctuary to 100 asylum seekers caught up in a Government welfare crackdown affecting those who were originally transported to Australia for medical treatment. Lexy Hamilton-Smith ABC Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said those whose treatment had been finalised would no longer receive financial assistance from the Government. The asylum seekers have been meeting with Immigration officials over the last two days to discuss cuts to their assistance. However, if they can find a way to ... Read More »

The Hajj and the Struggle for Islamic Hegemony

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The ethnic Sunni-Shiite rift parallels the Saudi-Iranian political rift, the Wahhabi-Muslim Brotherhood ideological rift, and the historic rift between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar BESA Tensions over Islamic hegemony arising from these rifts are likely to come to a boil at the 2017 Hajj. Wednesday, August 23, 2017, is the first day of Zhu–l-Hijjat, the Muslim month in which two important events take place: the pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the most central ... Read More »

When I was 16, I went to confession. I wish the priest had reported what I’d told him

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The Catholic church is not above the law. We can’t afford to let Archbishop Hart and his colleagues make judgements about what is and isn’t revealed. Mary-Rose MacColl is an Australian writer The Guardian Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has said he’ll risk going to jail rather than report what’s said to him in the sacrament of confession, even if what’s confessed relates to child sexual abuse. His latest comments, made on ABC radio, were responding to a recommendation from the ... Read More »

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson wears burqa in Senate question time stunt

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Face fully covered, the woman in black didn’t need to say anything as she entered the Senate. Pauline Hanson had made her point. Amy Remeikis The Age The One Nation leader took her seat for question time wearing a black burqa, ahead of her motion to ban the garment that was due for debate later on Thursday. The Queensland senator has rallied against the burqa since returning to Parliament last… Senate President Stephen Parry admitted there was not a lot he could ... Read More »

An Open Letter To Our Fellow Jews

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To our fellow Jews, in the United States, in Israel, and around the world: We know that, up to now, some of you have made an effort to reserve judgment on the question of whether or not President Donald Trump is an anti-Semite, and to give him the benefit of the doubt. Michael Chabon Ayelet Waldman Berkeley, California, 8/16/17 ExtraNewsFeed Some of you voted for him last November. Some of you have found employment in his service, or have involved ... Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: Will Turkey Succeed in Turning the Hagia Sophia Into a Mosque?

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The Islamist Felicity Party (Turkish: Saadet Partisi) organized the “Great Jerusalem demonstration” on July 30 in Istanbul. This event attended by thousands of people who condemned Israel following the recent incidents on the Temple Mount. Uzay Bulut Philos Project The demo quickly turned into an anti-Israel and anti-Jew hate fest in which several Islamic activists delivered harsh speeches against the Jewish State. Mustafa Koylu, the head of the Cansuyu Association, said, “You have to do one thing so that those who do not see ... Read More »

Inquiry into The Status of the Human Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief

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Time did not permit Liberty Victoria to address in full all aspects of the Terms of Reference for this Inquiry. Liberty Victoria Submitted To: Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Our concerns therefore centred on “3 — The relationship between the freedom of religion or belief and other human rights, and the implications of constraints on the freedom of religion or belief for the enjoyment of other universal human rights” (ToR 3). In particular we considered the balancing of freedom ... Read More »

Solitude Is About More Than Just Being Alone

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In my 20s I so yearned to find my cave. I thought I’d escape to that cave and not emerge until I was enlightened. Omid Safi On Being The fact that I was struggling in relationships and graduate school, I kept telling myself, had nothing to do with that desire. Spending time between reading Sufism (Islamic mysticism) and Buddhism, I had an idea of what my cave would look like. It would be in India (of course, because God and realization were ... Read More »

The Politics of Islam in Mali: Separating Myth from Reality

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Settling the place of Islam in Mali’s society and politics is a less visible but longer-term challenge to the state than its rebellious north and stalled peace… ICG The government should work toward a partnership with religious authorities to enable them to play a stabilising role. Executive Summary The 2012 crisis, during which self-proclaimed jihadi armed groups took centre stage, intensified the debate on the role of Islam in Malian society and… Although religious leaders have become powerful lobbyists, public ... Read More »

‘We’re Headed Toward One of the Greatest Divisions in the History of the Jewish People’

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A small, vocal group of Conservative rabbis is pushing the movement to accept marriages between Jews and non-Jews. Emma Green  The Atlantic The fight is really about the future of the religion. In late June, 19 rabbis gathered in New York City for an urgent meeting. It wasn’t secret, exactly, but it certainly wasn’t public. The Jewish leaders—all members of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, except for two—were there to decide what to do about… •‘We’re Headed Toward… Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: The Fate of Assyrian Christian Churches and Monasteries

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The Turkish government has recently seized numerous properties belonging to Assyrian (Syriac) Christians − such as churches, monasteries and cemeteries − and… Uzay Bulut Philos Project On June 23, the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos reported, ”””Inquiries by the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation revealed that dozens of churches and monasteries have””” Kuryakos Ergün, the president of the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation, told The Philos Project that the decision of allocating the churches and monasteries to the… Turkey Uncensored: The… Read More »

Kin Aesthetics // Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice

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There is a particularly aggressive strand of social justice activism weaving in and out of my Seattle community that has troubled me, silenced my loved ones, and turned away potential allies. Frances S. Lee  Catalyst I believe in justice. I believe in liberation. I believe it is our duty to obliterate white supremacy, anti-blackness, cisheteropatriarchy, ableism, capitalism, and imperialism. And I also believe there should be openness around the tactics we use and ways our… Excommunicate Me from… Read More »

Churches must be more vocal in speaking about EU successes

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At the heart of the European Union must be a vision beyond ‘prosperity’ for some… Fergus O’Ferrall The Irish Times Jacques Delors, speaking as European Commission president in 1990, made a historic appeal to the churches to contribute to giving Europe “a heart and a… As Europe faces multiple and interrelated crises how are the churches responding to that prophetic call? The perhaps surprising answer is with great wisdom and insight through the Conference of European… Churches must be… Read More »