Religion

Honour Killings – Religion or Culture?

There is nothing honourable about murder. And murdering someone of your own family, your own child - a daughter, someone you held in your arms and rocked to sleep when they were babies? This is such a horrifying crime that there are no words to describe it – certainly not the word Honour. And yet it happens! It happens in Pakistan and to the shame of all of us in the diaspora, it has been brought to Italy.

‘Sulli Deals’: Muslim Women in India Being Put Up for Sale

Ongoing online sexual harassment of Muslim women through ‘Sulli Deals’, an auctioning app hosted by GitHub, has been reported to the authorities – but not before it called untold trauma to the targeted women.

A Film Challenging Religious Norms

When Turkish- Norwegian writer and filmmaker Nefise Ozkal Lorentzen heard about Seyran Ates’ mixed gender mosque in Berlin, Germany, she immediately decided to make a film on Seyran’s life. It took three years to produce the film, ‘Seyran Ates: Sex Revolution and Islam’ a portrait of a female Imam and her struggles in activating revolution within Islam.

Dalit and Muslim Indian Women Leading Change in South Sudan

Two Indian women, one Muslim and the other Dalit (former untouchables), separated by culture and geography, have found common ground in leading change in conflict-torn South Sudan.

France Needs More Civil Liberties and Less Hypo-Securitization of Religion

In 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron announced plans for tougher laws to tackle what he called, “Islamist Separatism”, and a crackdown on “radical Islamists” in France, which he said were materializing through repeated deviations from the Republic’s values. To counter this, President Macron announced his plans to create a “French Islam”, a practise of the faith which would be regulated by the state.

COVID-19 as Instigator of Bigotry, Chauvinism and Megalomania

By the end of April 2019, a government campaign to vaccinate more than 40 million children under five against polio in Pakistan was suspended after a series of attacks on health workers and police. On 23 April, a police officer protecting polio workers was gunned down in Bannu, the same day a polio worker was in Lahore seriously wounded by a father “protecting his child from vaccination”, these incidents were followed by the murder of another police and a health worker under his protection. Health workers were also seriously wounded in the districts of Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab. Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only countries where polio remains, in all other nations of the world vaccination campaigns have eliminated the disease. In April this year, three female polio vaccine providers were killed in Afghanistan.

Canada Must Acknowledge its Problematic Bill 21

The June 5th attack on the Muslim family in London, Ontaria, has left many in Canada in a state of shock. A driver intentionally struck the Afzaal family while they were out for a stroll, killing four, because of their Islamic faith. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the killing, “a terrorist attack and a brazen act of violence.”

Apocalypse Now? Christian Fundamentalists and COVID-19

 
Getting hard to breathe hard to believe in anything at all, but fear. Peter Gabriel, Mother of Violence
Like most male Swedes of my age I had to enter obligatory military service for almost a year. In my barrack was a “born-again-Christian” who when he became angry shouted “Now you mock me, but when the Last Judgement has come I will sit in heaven and smile down at you while you burn in Hell!” Since then I have wondered about the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation. It was written by a frustrated Christian man who by the end of 100 CE by Roman authorities had been deported to an isolated island where he wrote a long letter to Christian congregations in Asia Minor.

Britain Must Fix Its Anti-Muslim Sentiment Problem

In 2015, When Rabina Khan was running as an independent candidate in the Tower Hamlets’ mayoral elections in London, a male voter asked her what colour her hair was under her veil. Rabina replied and said, it was pink. This small interaction is what got Rabina inspired to write her book, My Hair is Pink Under This Veil.

Indian Muslim Minority Targeted During COVID-19 Pandemic

A Muslim call centre operator at a COVID-19 ‘war room’, who once saw himself a COVID-warrior, is now unemployed after being falsely branded by a top politician as a key member of a bed-for-bribe scam. He is a victim of the rise in Islamophobia in India as the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic – with scant evidence of condemnation from the authorities, say activists.

The Killings in Gaza and Two Jewish Philosophers’ Hope for a Better World

I hear about casualties and numbers, but cannot perceive the faces, the human beings behind them. A week ago, eleven days of havoc ended after at least 243 people, including more than 100 women and children, had been killed in the Gaza Strip and 12 people, including two children, in Israel. An open, gravely infected wound which continuous to bleed, causing never ending human suffering.

Not Without My Hijab: Why Representation in Sports Matter

In 2016, when Bosnian-American professional basketball player, Indira Kaljo got in touch with Asma Elbadawi because she had been forced to give up playing basketball after she started wearing the hijab, they decided to take it up with the International Federation of Basketball (FIBA), the sports governing body to change its rules on headgear.

Dr Aqsa Sheikh: Transgender Doctor Injecting Hope During COVID Pandemic

When Dr Aqsa Sheikh Tweeted and asked if she was the only transgender person to head a vaccination centre, it seemed extraordinary that in a country with 1.3 billion people, that this could be true.

Sacred Words


 
Forgive me,
is all that you can't say.
Years gone by and still
words don't come easily,
like forgive me, forgive me.
              Tracy Chapman
The World Press Freedom Day on the 3rd of May is an occasion for celebrating humanity. Language enables us to transmit our thoughts in sound – a means of communication developed through our unique brain, combined with our capacity to control lips, tongue and other components of the vocal apparatus. Over time, humans have also acquired skills to commit our language to writing.

Cost of Being ’Honour Bearers’ Sexual Violence During Communal Riots in India

Delayed, or no, justice and perpetrators’ impunity effectively silence rape and sexual assault survivors of communal violence in India. Activists and human rights lawyers have been speaking out about how rape and sexual violence, especially during communal conflicts, aims to humiliate religious and other minorities by turning the women into symbols of dishonour.

Identities

 
I was born in the winter in 1990 in a country not my own i was born with my father’s eyes maybe i stole them he doesn’t look like that anymore i was born in seven countries i was born carved up by borders i was born with a graveyard of languages for teeth i was born to be a darkness in an american boy´s bed ...
Safia Elhillo

Magellan, Inquisition and Globalisation

Globalisation’s beginnings are symbolised by Ferdinand Magellan’s near circumnavigation of the world half a millennium ago. But its history is not simply of connection and trade, but also of intolerance, exploitation, slavery, violence, aggression and genocide.

Is Turkey a Proof that Religion and Democracy Cannot Coexist?

Over the years, Turkey has survived three Coup d'état in which its military forces took power, in 1960, 1971 and 1980. The coup in 1997, was carried out in a “post-modern way”, where generals sat down with the then prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan and forced him to resign. However the turning point in Turkey has been the failed coup attempt in July 2016, which has till date been one of the bloodiest coup attempts in its political history, leaving 241 people killed, and 2,194 others injured.

The Struggle to End Female Genital Mutilation: A Dark Secret No More

Survivors of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), are determined to share their stories to end this practice – even though they face ostracisation by their communities. Masooma Ranalvi, an FGM/C survivor and founder of ‘WeSpeakOut’, an organisation committed to eliminating FGM/C or khafd/khafz/khatna explains that FGM/C is practised by various communities in India but is prominently practised among the Dawoodi Bohras.

Sri Lanka’s Deteriorating Human Rights Situation Raises Multiple Alarms

A decade has passed since the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war between the government and the LTTE, where at least 100,000 people were killed in the over three-decade long conflict. Families of victims of enforced disappearances continue to seek justice, the government is yet to end impunity and put accountability for crimes under international law and human rights violation and abuses in its transitional justice process.

The Struggle to End Female Genital Mutilation: A Dark Secret No More

Survivors of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), are determined to share their stories to end this practice – even though they face ostracisation by their communities. Masooma Ranalvi, an FGM/C survivor and founder of ‘WeSpeakOut’, an organisation committed to eliminating FGM/C or khafd/khafz/khatna explains that FGM/C is practised by various communities in India but is prominently practised among the Dawoodi Bohras.

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