Religion

Pakistani Rights Advocates Fight Losing Battle to End Child Marriages

At first glance, there is nothing very unusual about Muhammad Asif Umrani. A resident of Rojhan city located in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, he is expectantly awaiting the birth of his first child, barely a year after his wedding day.

Time to “Drop the Knife” for FMG in The Gambia

Women’s rights activists in the Gambia are insisting that more than 30 years of campaigning to raise awareness should be sufficient to move the government to outlaw female genital mutilation (FMG).

U.S. Groups Reject Anti-Gay Discrimination Bill over Religious Exemption

Civil rights groups across the United States have withdrawn their support from a major legislative proposal that would outlaw workplace discrimination against sexual minorities, warning that recent legal developments could exempt companies on religious grounds.

Conservatives and Nationalists At Centre Stage in Poland

A mix of conservative Catholicism and nationalism has become the predominant view in Polish public debate, with some worrying effects.

Trouble Brewing in Kurdish-Controlled Kirkuk

The Kurdish flag is flying high in the wind from the rooftop of an old brick house inside Kirkuk’s millennia-old citadel, as Rashid – a stern-looking man sitting behind a machine gun – monitors the surroundings.

Ethnic Cleansing Goes Unpunished in the ‘Land of the Pure’

It has been two years since he survived an attack on his life, but 24-year-old Quwat Haider, a member of Pakistan’s minority Hazara community, still finds it hard to narrate the events that scarred him for life.

U.S.: What Is the Greatest Threat of Them All?

This month’s stunning campaign by Sunni insurgents led by the radical Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL) against the mainly Shi’a government of Iraqi President Nouri Al-Maliki is stoking a growing debate here about the hierarchy of threats facing the United States in the Middle East and beyond.

OP-ED: Surging Violence Against Women in Iraq

Shortly after their conquest of Mosul, young men armed with assault rifles went door to door in Iraq’s second-largest city, taking “women who are not owned” for jihad al-nikah, or sex jihad.

When Faith Meets Disaster Management

A consortium of faith-based organisations (FBOs) made a declaration at a side event Wednesday at the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference On Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR), to let the United Nations know that they stand ready to commit themselves to building resilient communities across Asia in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Atheists, the “Ultimate Other” in Turkey

"Being an atheist isn't something you can easily express in Turkey,” says Sinem Köroğlu, a member of the Atheism Association, the first official organisation for atheists in the country. “It's becoming more difficult with the current government as well,” she adds.

India’s ‘Temple Slaves’ Struggle to Break Free

At 32, Nalluri Poshani looks like an old woman. Squatting on the floor amidst piles of tobacco and tree leaves that she expertly transforms into ‘beedis’, a local cigarette, she tells IPS, “I feel dizzy. The tobacco gives me headaches and nausea.”

Conflicts in Syria and Iraq Raising Fears of Contagion in Divided Lebanon

With jihadists leading a Sunni uprising against Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government, the conflicts in Syria and Iraq are beginning to reverberate across the region, raising fears of contagion in divided Lebanon where a suicide bombing took place on Friday after a period of calm.

Anti-Muslim Violence Reaches New Heights in Sri Lanka

The signs had been clear for months; beneath the veneer of normalcy in Sri Lanka’s southwestern coastal town of Aluthgama, religious tensions were brewing, but no one was sure how or when they would erupt.

Obstetric Fistula Haunts Pakistani Women

The word on the street was that if there were one place on earth that could treat Mohammad Lalu’s wife, it would be the Koohi Goth Women’s Hospital in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi.

From Religious Conflict to an Interfaith Community

Holy men and their holy books have etched a trail of tears and blood in the annals of human history. From the depths of peaceful temples, mobs have been dispatched with flaming torches; from steeples and minarets messages of hatred have floated down upon pious heads bent in prayer. For too long religion has incited violence and fueled conflict.

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