Stories about Religion from February, 2009
Iran: A village where smoking is a sin
Potin has publsihed several photos of an Iranain village, Makhoonik, in South Khorasan Province where smoking is considered as a sin and villagers has another name for TV:Satan!
Shiv Sena's Orkut Campaign: The Limits to Freedom of Expression in an Intolerant India
Introduction: Freedom of Expression in the Indian Blogosphere The Indian blogosphere is abuzz with discussions on freedom of expression after the Supreme Court refused to throw out Shiv Sena's defamation case against 19 year old computer science student Ajith D (TOI). However, the Indian blogosphere's reactions to the controversy are...
Jamaica, Guyana: Action or Reaction?
Both Active Voice [Jamaica] and Guyanese blogger C.D. Valere (writing at Baiganchoka) continue the discussion about recent attempts by the Jamaican Broadcasting Commission to “clean up” the airwaves.
Criminal Minds: The Egyptian Sexual Offender's Profile
Will Facebook groups, anti-harassment T-shirts, posts, articles, bloggers, and activists put an end to sexual harassment in Egypt? Wandering Scarab does not think so!
Malaysia: Operation Valentine
Malaysian police arrested 26 unmarried Muslim couples in hotel rooms during Operation Valentine to curb premarital sex. The crime of “khalwat,” or “close proximity” forbids unmarried Muslims to meet behind closed doors.
Egyptians on the verge of insanity
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Egyptians are struggling to maintain their sanity, faith, and stability. Marwa Rakha presents the following selection from Egyptian blogs which discuss dreams, suicide, unemployment and the gruesome murder of a woman and her children - at the hands of her husband.
Pakistan: Honor Killings And Islam
Imam Zaid Shakir at GOATMILK: An intellectual playground reminds us that “the practice of honor killings has absolutely no sanction in the Qur’an, the Prophetic practice, or in the evolved systems of Islamic law.”
Saudi Arabia: Thoughts on the Cabinet Reshuffle
Saudi Jeans reacts to the recent reshuffle in the Saudi government. ” I think the cabinet shuffle was not surprising in itself, but rather in its scale and some of the details,” he notes.
Kyrgyzstan: Tablighi Jamaat
Sultan reflects on the possible restriction of the activity of the religious movement “Tablighi Jamaat” in Kyrgyzstan.
Japan: Pictures of Japanese festivals and ceremonies
Yoshio Wada (和田義男)'s website [jp] has fascinating photos of the most interesting Japanese festivals and ceremonies. It also includes some pictures from famous historical places aorund the world. (The website is only partially available in English)
Jordan: Questions to God
Jordanian blogger Hareega asks: “Why did God create earth, humans and the whole world? Did he have to? Did he want to? Can God regret something he's done a very long time ago?”
Iraq: The Walk to Karbala
Laith walks for 67 miles from Baghdad to Karbala to mark the 40th day anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), who was killed in the Battle of Karbala in 680. “The journey of Karbala approved that Iraqis can be only one nation although some...
Iran:”Religious blogs can be dangerous”
Manbarnet, an Iranian cleric and blogger, is surprised to read [fa] in semi official Mehr news site that “Iranian religious blogs that are not under control of official organizations can be considered dangerous and are able to hurt society”.
Fiji: Bloggers react to police commissioner's ‘crusade’
Bloggers in Fiji are commenting on the police commissioner’s recent outburst recorded by television cameras at a meeting with Indo-Fijian officers warning them with termination if they continue to air their complaints directly to the media
Palestine: The Story of a Gazan “Martyr”
The death of anyone close to you is painful, but how do you cope with it if that person has actively sought death? Gazan blogger Samaher Al Khazandar has written about her nephew, Mu’min Musa Al Khazandar, who joined the military wing of Hamas, and was determined to die as a martyr while fighting for Palestine.
Pakistan: The Taliban Truce Deal
There is a civil war going on in Swat valley in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan for more than half a year between the Pakistani army and the pro-Taliban groups operating in that region. Hundreds of people have died and thousands of civilians have been displaced due to the...
Israel: Exhibit Features Intimate View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews
A new photography exhibit will reveal an intimate look into the lives of Ultra-Orthodox Jews. On display at the Land of Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, Menahem Kahana's photographs will be on view until June 2009. Dion Nissenbaum of Checkpoint Jerusalem recommends: “For those who are curious and interested, the...
Palestine: Appointment of Female Islamic Judges Ratified
Palestinian blogger and journalist Kawther Salam, currently based in Vienna, has interviewed the two women whose appointment as judges in Islamic courts has just been ratified in the West Bank.
Egypt: Bloggers Take on the “Sons of Zion”
The bombs on Gaza may have stopped falling, but a fierce cyber battle continues, with bloggers on both sides of the fence mobilising their troops to 'obliterate' the presence of the other - at least online. Marwa Rakha taps into the Egyptian blogosphere to present to us another facet of this war.
China: Religious demography and house churches
Last November (21-22, Nov 2008), the China State Council Development Research Center organized a seminar on “Christianity and Social Harmony — Special Session on House Church”. This is the first of its kind organized by a Chinese governmental sector. However, soon after the seminar, the Ministry of Civil Affairs issued...
Kazakhstan: Ban on Scientology Church
KZBlog reports that the public prosecutor of Karaganda oblast is seeking to close its Scientology Center on charges that they cause physical and psychological harm to people.