NEWS: Muslim Treatment of Minorities Condemned at Parliament of the World’s Religions

“How Islam treats minorities is excessive, no question’’, the former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister said in Melbourne on Saturday. Anwar Ibrahim, who is now an opposition leader, told the participants at Parliament of the World’s Religions that Muslims cannot talk about religious discrimination in the West as long as they are willing to turn a blind eye to injustices and atrocities against religious minorities in Muslim countries. Interestingly enough, other speakers at the plenary session on Islam and Politics gave two contrasting accounts of the role of Islam in society. While the ever-controversial Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan argued for full compatibility between Islam and secular democracy, the Iranian official representative Mahdi Mostafavi sought to justify Islamic theocracy. The latter’s address turned into a challenge when he was questioned by a prominent Australian Muslim, Rachel Woodlock, about the persecution of Bahais in Iran. Opened on 3 December, the 7-day parliament has drawn some 8000 participants from every major religion in the world. Many world-renown speakers, including Dalai Lama, Jimmy Carter, Hans Kung, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, are to address the parliament. Read more here and here.

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