Stories about Religion from May, 2009
Morocco: Sacred Fez
Collective blog, The View from Fez covers the opening ceremony of the 15th edition of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music [Fr] in this post. “[O]nce again the Sacred Music Festival began with the arrival of the hugely popular Princess Lalla Salma, who received a standing ovation from the...
East Timor: Thoughts on Abortion A Few Days Before Law Approval
A heated debate about the provisions of a new draft penal code pertaining to abortion is taking place right now in East Timor. If the law is passed, abortion will become a crime and those who perform it will be punished with 2 to 8 years imprisonment, even in cases of incest or rape. The blogosphere reacts, Timorese women raising their voices and questioning why the more pressing issue of underage prostitution is not being debated instead.
Iran:Bomb explosion killed 20 people
A bomb explosion killed 20 people in a Shi'ite mosqe in the Iranian south eastern city, Zahedan. Nimroz, a Zahedan based blogger, says [fa] after explosion some Sunni stores and a Sunni mosque were attacked by Basij forces.
Bahrain: Swine Flu Arrives
Earlier this week the first case of the new H1N1 flu, or swine flu, was confirmed in Bahrain, arriving with a Bahraini student who had been in New York. Bahrain's bloggers react in this post.
Haiti, U.S.A.: Remembering Fr. Jean-Juste
Blogger tributes are pouring in for the late Fr. Gérard Jean-Juste, a Haitian Roman Catholic priest who was known by his admirers as a champion of the poor and an ardent supporter of the Fanmi Lavalas political party, headed by ousted President Jean Bertrand Aristide.
Serbia: Torture or Therapy?
Last week, on May 21, a short film about torture in the Spiritual Rehabilitation Center "Crna Reka," located in south-western Serbia, was shown on the web site of Vreme, a Serbian weekly magazine. The patients of this center are drug addicts and its head is Branislav Peranovic, a Serbian Orthodox priest. Nearly all Serbian media have shown the horrible scenes from the short film, in which Peranovic is shown beating one of the patients brutally with a spade and with his fists. Sinisa Boljanovic reviews Serbian bloggers' responses.
Haiti: Father Jean-Juste Passes On
HaitiAnalysis.com acknowledges the passing of “Father Jean-Juste, a friend and inspiration for us all.”
India: Violence In Gurudwara
Amardeep at Sepia Mutiny discusses the backgrounds of the recent violence at a Sikh Gurdwara in Vienna, Austria and the subsequent Sikh sectarian violence in Punjab, India.
Trinidad & Tobago: Where's the Integrity?
Transparency and good governance have been popular topics in the Caribbean blogosphere of late. The latest debacle over integrity (or lack thereof?) comes from Trinidad and Tobago, where, in the last few weeks, a second attempt to establish an Integrity Commission has come to a crashing halt amidst revelations that the Chair of the Commission, a Catholic priest, had committed acts of plagiarism. To add even more fuel to the fire, the journalist who drew attention to the plagiarism in the first place, appears to have been fired. Bloggers speak out.
Azerbaijan: Pork in a Christian village
27 Months in Azerbaijan pays a visit to the Christian village of Nic in Azerbaijan to partake in eating the best pork available in the largely Moslem country. Meanwhile, Post-Soviet Euphoria or Sins against Democracy? notes that the prohibition on eating pork exists in both the Bible and the Koran.
Pakistan: Don't Wear Western Clothes In Peshawar!
Chowrangi informs that “the men of Peshawar have been told to stop wearing the shirt and trousers and wear the shalwar kurta (Pakistan national dress) instead. This is to prevent any crazy Taliban type from attacking those who wear Western clothes (this has happened a few times in the past).”
Palestine: Palestinian Christians Want Freedom Too
Fadi Abu Sada, a Palestinian Christian, hopes that the Pope's recent visit to the Holy Land will help Christians worldwide understand that Palestinian Christians suffer from the same occupation that all Palestinians suffer from.
Pakistan: Local Resistance Against The Taliban
CHUP! – Changing Up Pakistan informs that the local tribesmen near Swat Valley are forming militias (lashkars) to prevent the Taliban influence in the region. Earlier the Talibans executed many tribal leaders to weaken the domestic resistance against them.
Qatar: Abaya, Yes or No?
Qatari blogger Amal Almalki writes about the dilemma she faced when deciding whether to continue wearing the abaya: “I had to question and convince myself of what it means to me. Is it a religious or a cultural symbol? Is it used as a cover-up or a statement?”
Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago:
Barbados-based B.C. Pires publishes a column by the journalist who exposed alleged plagiarism by the former Chairperson of Trinidad and Tobago's now-defunct Integrity Commission.
Pakistan: A Humanitarian Crisis
Pakistan has been hit by a severe humanitarian crisis as a result of the military onslaught against the Taliban insurgency in the Swat Valley. Over one million people have fled their homes from various areas in the Malakand division and FATA including Buner, Dir and Swat. A massive relief effort has been launched by many organizations and individuals and the Pakistani Blogosphere is also taking a leading role to seek help for the IDPs.
Jordan: The Pope's Visit to the Middle East
Jordanian Ali Dahmash assesses the Pope's visit to the Middle East in this post.
Bangladesh: Ban Religious Parties?
Chowdhoury Mohibul Hassan Nowfel raises the question at E-Bangladesh whether the religious parties should be banned in Bangladesh.
Ukraine: 65th Anniversary of the Crimean Tatar Deportations
May 18 marked the 65th anniversary of Sürgün, the 1944 deportations of Crimean Tatars from their homeland in Crimea. J. Otto Pohl writes about the history of the deportations, while Maria Sonevytsky describes the current plight and the attitudes of the Crimean Tatars who have returned to live in Ukraine, and shares her thoughts on the changes that need to take place for the situation to improve.
Guyana: Prayer Calling
“It is an injustice being blatantly perpetrated upon thousands and thousands of Guyanese on a daily basis and one against which many feel helpless”: Imran Khan takes issue with the custom of amplified calls to prayer, calling it “noise pollution”.
Iran: Karroubi supporters armed with Facebook in presidential election
Facebook was banned in Iran until recently, but now supporters of the former speaker of the Iranian parliament, Mehdi Karroubi, use it as a vehicle to promote his candidacy in the upcoming presidential election.