Stories about Religion from July, 2009
Thousands of Iranians gathered in Behesht Zahra cemetery in Tehran on Thursday to commemorate Neda Agha-Soltani and the victims of the protest movement. Dozens have been killed and hundreds jailed.
Several Iranian bloggers and news sites reported that several thousands people commemorated the protest movement's victims when the police attacked them. Here is a video of today's gathering in Behesht Zahra Cemetery in Terhan. Watch the photos here.
Haitian blogger Wadner Pierre reports that Kenel Pascal, “who appears to have been gunned down by UN occupation troops”, was given a secret funeral “because the priest and family were fearful of UN and Haitian government reprisals” and goes on to write another post examining the circumstances surrounding the death...
Although the practice of wearing hijab has been around since pre-Islamic times, the debate surrounding it has increased in recent years. Whereas in some countries, hijab is mandated, in others, it has been banned in schools, workplaces, and sometimes altogether. But whether required or forbidden, Muslim women's dress is almost always a topic of hot debate.
“It’s not how many tractors you have or how much oil you drill or how many smelters you build. But the humanity and the humility of what you do with your knowledge and your resources”: Trinidadian blogger Attillah Springer fears that we will pay for the “gross and sloppy mishandling...
The Czech Daily Word reports that “Christian Democrats oppose plans to build a new mosque in Brno.”
The months-long standoff between Fiji’s government and the country’s largest Christian denomination became more heated last week when police arrested, held and later charged seven Methodist Church officials and a high-ranking chief for “incitement” and infringing on emergency rules regarding meetings.
Build an authentic community and “the worship thing will come”: Trinidad and Tobago's gspottt attends a talk “about faith and sexuality, pain and healing, abuse and inclusion by the Christian church.”
Kalsoom at CHUP! – Changing Up Pakistan informs that “the Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC) has reportedly obtained a fatwa [religious decree] from 12 senior Islamic scholars against the theft of electricity, which is costing the company 1 billion rupees ($12.3 million) a month.”
On July 22, we are about to witness the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century. The eclipse will be visible between 5.20am to 7.40am, from within a narrow corridor spanning half the Earth. In India, the path of the eclipse will cover the cities of Surat, Indore, Bhopal, Varanasi...
The ancient Temple of Preah Vihear rests on the Cambodian and Thai borders. Exactly which country can claim Preah Vihear has been a source of contention between the neighboring countries. Since the July 2008 inscription by UNESCO, there has been violence in the region between Cambodian and Thai soldiers.
Israeli activist Joseph Dana compares the way the Israeli state treats ultra-orthodox rioters with its treatment of anti-occupation protestors: “The ultra orthodox have succeeded in exerting force against the state – one could say that violence in this situation has proven successful – while non-violent leftist Israelis are often attacked...
At a Friday prayer at Tehran University led by former president and cleric Hashemi Rafsanjani today, crowds of Mir Hossein Mousavi supporters defiantly chanted "Death to Russia" instead of "Death to America", referring to accusations that Russia has been involved in training regime forces of repression.
The Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC) has reportedly obtained a fatwa [religious decree] from 12 senior Islamic scholars against the theft of electricity. Kalsoom at Changing Up Pakistan writes in this post how the idea of a major corporation using religious fatwas to give religious legitimacy to their cause is...
Diaspora blogger Uncommon Sense thinks that “whether by coincidence or coordination, a crackdown on Cuba's independent journalists seems to be underway, based on various recent reports.”
Jadi tweeted that “TV is showing a 5 sec view of Friday Prayers. Many people are wearing a glowish blue shirts! Shoulb a video trick to convrert green to blue.” Iranian opposition uses green colour and was present at Friday Prayer.
Hadi Nili tweeted that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani at Friday Prayer called Iranian authorities “to free [political] figures and not let enemy be happy of our behaviour.”
Several Iranian bloggers invited people to go to Friday Prayers in Tehran as Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi will attend this week's Friday prayers led by influential cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Iran Baan tweeted that “in this week's prayer, Rafsanjani will defend people's rights.”
Egyptian progressive thinker, Dr. Sayed El Qemany was granted the State Award for Social Sciences. Egyptian liberals and seculars hailed the award while Wahabis and conservatives declared war on the “Egyptian Apostate”. Marwa Rakha reports from the Egyptian blogosphere.
Unzipped: Gay Armenia, a ground-breaking LGBT blog in the region, comments on news from Gay Caucasus [RU] that a homophobic game, Kill the Faggots, is proving popular among children in Georgia. The blog says the game is disgusting and that the site should be shut down.
Mohammed writes about a phenomenon that he feels has gone too far. He feels that many people have a certain “Religion Influenza” [Ar] that makes them hostile to anything related to religion.