Tagged with religious freedom

NEWS: The Burqa and the Economy

Given the polemical nature of much discourse which often surrounds the burqa, Matthew Campbell of the Sunday Times identifies another layer to the debate.  There has been a great deal of discussion across Europe as to whether or not women choose to wear the burqa or alternatively if it is something forced upon them. With … Continue reading

NEWS: The Cross: “just an item of jewellery”?

A letter to The Sunday Telegraph from six leading bishops and a former Archbishop of Canterbury expresses concern that the ‘religious rights of the Christian community are being treated with disrespect’. This letter makes reference to the case of Shirley Chaplin who is due to take her employer, the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust … Continue reading

NEWS: Religious Freedom = Discrimination?

Helen Carter of The Guardian has reported on a recent case of alleged discrimination against a same-sex couple. Michael Black (aged 62) and John Morgan (aged 56) had booked a double room in a guest house in Berkshire, only to be turned away by the owners on the grounds that they could not be allowed … Continue reading

NEWS: Don’t Blaspheme in Ireland—It May Cost You!

Irish atheists are rallying against a new blasphemy law included in an Irish defamation act passed in 2009. Under this law, “a person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €25,000.” “Blasphemous matter” is defined as “matter that is [intentionally] grossly … Continue reading

NEWS: Visit the Oldest Synagogue in North America

America’s oldest synagogue, the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, opens its new $12 million visitors center today. The center’s curator, David Kleiman, declared that the synagogue is a “living symbol of the concept of religious freedom, separation of church and state. The building and its history are the embodiment of that concept in America.” … Continue reading

NEWS: Bahais Accused of Plotting the Protests in Iran

As the world anxiously watches the dramatic developments in Iran, Iranian authorities are already looking for scapegoats. Denouncing foreign media coverage of socio-political unrest in Iran, Qolam Ali Haddad-Adel, Iranian MP and head of the parliament’s cultural commission, told IRIB 2 TV channel on Wednesday night that ‘BBC is run by a bunch of Bahais … Continue reading

NEWS: Annual Report on International Religious Freedom Released

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has just released its 2009 annual report. The report, which is the most comprehensive in the Commission’s decade-long life, recommends that President Obama designate Burma, Democratic People‘s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, People‘s Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam as ‘countries of … Continue reading

NEWS: Gordon Brown Calls Bahai Persecutions Tragic

In his special message to the UK Bahai community, the British Prime Minister has expressed his ‘respect and admiration’ for the British Bahai community, describing prejudice and discrimination against Bahais in the Muslim world as ‘tragic’. Highlighting dire situation of Bahai prisoners in Iran, Mr. Brown has said that ‘We have raised our concerns with … Continue reading

NEWS: Does Ahmadinejad Have a Jewish Background?

Anti-Semitism is not the prerogative of the not-quite-popular Iranian President. Earlier this week on the very same day that Ahmadinejad reiterated his Holocaust-denying statements, Mahdi Khazali, the son of a hard-line Shi’a Ayatollah, accused him of being a Crypto-Jew. Writing on his oft-visited blog, Khazali blamed ‘Crypto-Jews’ for Iran’s growing politico-economic plight. Arguing that the … Continue reading

NEWS: An Interview with Muhammad

Ehsan Jami’s An Interview with Muhammad is the latest in a series of controversial works about Islam made in Netherlands. A co-founder of the Central Committee for Ex-Muslims, the Iranian-Dutch politician has already sparked controversy by showing the film to journalists in the parliamentary press centre in Hague. While many Muslims and Dutch politicians have … Continue reading

NEWS: Pope to Receive Muslim Scholars

Pope Benedict’s highly controversial 2006 Regensburg address, which revealed the heightening tensions between the world’s two largest religious traditions, prompted 271 Muslim scholars to ask for a Muslim-Christian dialogue in a manifesto called A Common Word. Next week twenty-four signatories of the manifesto meet with Pope Benedict and some other high-ranking officials of the Roman … Continue reading