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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Visible Pathfinder for Increasing Blog Traffic in 2007

The wise learn from their own experiences but the truly intelligent will learn from someone else's!" - Benjamin Franklin.

My 2007 resolution for return-on-investments in blogging is to have a two-way traffic. The prescription is, please:
1. post a comment--aka, visual signature--in this blog on whatever subject (spam and phishing EXEMPTED)
2. turn on your blog comments' button; I will reciprocate not once, but every post that you create in 2007. This is my own idea of live and let live. I do reciprocate; my 2006 ledger shows Bloggers, such as, Sukhdev Singh, K. G. Schneider, Nancy White, Nirmala Palaniappan, David Tebbutt, Peachy Limpin, Thomas Brevik, Steven Edward Streight, Neil Patel, Diane Levin, and more.


PUNCHLINE: Increasing Blog traffic is a major concern, even for many Gurus [e.g., Adrian W Kingsley-Hughes' Three simple actions that doubled my website traffic in 30 days]
Previous post:
  • Visualizing Comments on Blogs
  • Visualizing Traffic At My Blog Via Mapping The Pathways
  • Blog As A Teaching Tool

    Idea courtesy: Bloggers Compose Their Yearly Ledgers, By Jeralyn; and How to Pay for Blog Comments, @ usability blog of John S. Rhodes; So what'd you get? by Ryan Block


    Technorati Tags: blog comments   2007 blog   blog traffic   2007 resolution   2007 blogging     popular bloggers   popular comments   top bloggers   Reward-program   return-on-investments

  • Saturday, December 23, 2006

    Pakistani groups offer Web festival sacrifice

    News © 2006 WN Network

    KARACHI (Reuters) - Religious organisations in Pakistan are using the Internet to help Muslims in Western countries buy and sacrifice animals for an annual festival. Eid al-Adha marks the end of the Haj pilgrimage each year to Mecca and is known as the feast of sacrifice.
    Animals are available on the Web sites for between $100 (51 pounds) for a goat and $450 for a cow.
    Some Islamic groups shun the Internet, however, as Web purchases involve paying interest, which is prohibited under Islamic law.
    "On Web sites, normally buyers have to pay interest on purchases made on their credit cards," said Rizwan Edhi of the Edhi trust. "We're better off avoiding any controversy relating to Islamic laws." Full Story
    --------------------------
    NB. More on Cyber Worship, i.e., use of Internet for services, products, etc. relating to religion (aka Online religion, Religions online), at
    Cyber Worship in Multifaith Perspectives, by Mohamed Taher, Scarecrow Press, 2006.

    Wednesday, December 20, 2006

    India experiments with graveyard tourism

    India experiments with graveyard tourism Prarthna Gahilote, CNN-IBN,

    Caption: TOMB TRAVELLERS: The Tourism Ministry has notified 68 cemetaries associated with the Sepoy Mutiny as national monuments.


    Watch the video: Courtesy CNN-IBN-Videos

    See also :
  • Asia's First Online City Graveyard Portal on Internet, A Project of Islamabad.Net
  • ISLAMIC CEMETERY
  • Much more in this book: Cyber worship in Multifaith Perspectives
  • Saturday, December 16, 2006

    Video for the Voiceless: An Idea for Missionaries - Faithwise Review of the Week


    Wired Magazine has a story on do it yourself indigenous filmmakers that suggests an idea for the way mission -aries work. continue reading

  • Pope honours Indian scientist: DR. K. KASTURIRANGAN, MP (Rajya Sabha)
  • New UK immigration law may affect Sikhs
  • Prayer can be criticized @ Faith Commons
  • When nurses are Muslim
  • Mantras, Malas, Rosaries and Such @ The Gates of Horn
  • Nativity Review
  • Blogging about church IT, Network World
    Church IT professionals aren't just busy optimizing Web sites for their congregations - they're also blogging to benefit their peers.
  • On a Web and a prayer Network World
    "Will you now open your laptops to the Web page in your program and recite the following passage. . . ." [info courtesy: Tim @ Let the Good Times Roll ]
  • Indians boost church attendance in Britain The Times of India
  • Virtual world: Second life in cyberspace, Noopur Tiwari, December 13, 2006 (Paris)
  • One World Music. New Age Music C Ds view sample audio: Taranga. Prem Joshua; Yatri. Prem Joshua; Fragrance of the East. Prem Joshua; Hamsafar. Prem Joshua; Dakini Lounge. Prem Joshua.
  • Had a car crash? It's all in the stars, study says
    Toronto: Never mind how careful you are behind the wheel or how long you've been driving, the signs of the zodiac may be bigger factors behind your ability to avoid car crashes - or why you have too many. According to a study by InsuranceHotline.com, a Web site that quotes drivers on insurance rates, astrological signs are a significant factor in predicting car accidents.
  • Death warrant for 'Osama' Prabin Kalita, The Times of India
    it is all about Osama, that is a rogue elephant that has killed over a dozen people
  • Gene That Governs Pain Perception Is Found
  • Sanjay Dutt hopes for divine intervention
  • Sunday, December 10, 2006

    Friday, December 08, 2006

    National Post: The Ghost of Kingston - Faithwise Review of the Week


  • Ghosts in Kington, Ontario? Watch the Post's Zoran Bozicevic video report to find out National Post Current Features
  • High court asked to rule on religious divorces, Janice Tibbetts, CanWest News Service, Monday, December 04, 2006
  • Botswana serpentine carvingcalled oldest religious artifact
    African find pushes rootsof religion back 30,000 years, Randy Boswell, CanWest News Service, Friday, December 01, 2006
  • Go ahead, just take one bite
    Resisting temptation takes willpower and glucose in your brain, say researchers Chris Zdeb, The Edmonton Journal, Holiday Guide 2006
  • Bikinis are OK on the beach, not in the streets, December 7, 2006
    DOHA, Qatar: It had to happen sometime. Though they are still free to compete in bikinis, female beach volleyball players at the Asian Games have been told to cover up following their matches out of deference to local customs.
  • Experiencing Templar Magick in the Labyrinth continue reading @ The Gates of Horn, Gateway to the Inner Realms @ Church of the Churchless
  • The changing face of faith
  • Tourists get ‘Ya Hala’ from Saudi religious police
  • Houston suburb objects to mosque plans RASHA MADKOUR
  • Non-EU Citizen of the Year: Tariq RAMADAN
  • Airport puts away holiday trees rather than risk being "exclusive"
    By Jonathan Martin, Seattle Times staff reporter, December 10, 2006
  • Don't wear revealing clothes in India Times Internet Limited. 10 Dec, 2006
  • Friday, December 01, 2006

    Pope makes historic mosque visit, prays with Mufti

    "Yesterday, Benedict did with the Muslims what John Paul did with the Jews." veteran Vatican mediator Cardinal Roger Etchegaray. Source

    Image and news Courtesy: Worldnews.com


    Pope makes historic mosque visit, prays with Mufti
    By Philip Pullella and Daren Butler

    ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Pope Benedict visited Istanbul's Blue Mosque on Thursday, only the second Roman Catholic Pontiff to take such a step, and prayed silently in another gesture of reconciliation to the Muslim world.


    The Pope stood alongside an Islamic cleric during his visit, which came after he infuriated Muslims with comments taken as indicating he thought Islam was violent and irrational.

    View larger photo Courtesy: Worldnews.com

    continue reading Read full article

    A CALL FOR SUNNI-SHIA DIALOG

    A Call for Shia Sunni Dialog: Why and How, By Abdul Malik Mujahid,
    Sound Vision source: news@soundvision.net

    Monday December 25, 2006 will be the first national Shia-Sunni dialog
    in America held in Chicago Insha Allah. You don't have to be an Imam or Muslim leader to attend. Just a Muslim horrified by thekilling, terror and violence...

    I am calling for this dialog with words and a heavy heart. I have no funding for this project, nor anyone working with me at the moment. But I know many of you feel this way. Volunteers and donors will help push this move forward with the help of Allah. We cannot remain silent witnesses to these sinful deeds and crimes against humanity. ...

    Please join this much-needed initiative. Call me at 708-430-1255 ext.
    405 or email me at malik@soundvision.com and tell me that you plan to
    come. Tell me that you are sick and tired of this bloodshed. Tell me that
    you want to support this effort.

    See also:
    Seven reasons why a dialog between Shia and Sunni is needed:
  • The killing of Shias or Sunnis will not resolve these disputes.
  • The principle of "no compulsion in matters of faith"
  • sit down and talk to each other
  • Dialog allows parties to understand
  • Dialog will isolate the extremist fringe
  • Revenge is not justice.
  • the Quran asks us to be just
    continue reading
  • Monday, November 27, 2006

    Is There A Biblical Case For Voluntary Human Shields? - Faithwise Review of the Week


  • Is There A Biblical Case For Voluntary Human Shields? by WorldNews.com Correspondent Beverly Darling, Mon 27 Nov 2006
    Extract: Perhaps the greatest example of a voluntary human shield was Jesus and his revolutionary act of civilly disobeying the violent political and religious structures of the Roman Empire, and nonviolently attacking Rome’s executive powers by being executed (no pun intended) on the cross. In this act, he unmasked the aggressive and hateful ideologies that were common and utilized by the current authorities of the religious and state powers: redemptive violence and salvation through war. Unfortunately, they are still used today.
  • Clergy as Wounded Symbol, by Rabbi Susan Grossman, Virtual Talmud @ Beliefnet.com
    I agree wholeheartedly with Rabbi Waxman that clergy, of any faith, must be careful to see themselves, and allow themselves to be seen, as real human beings with human weaknesses and flaws. As Henri Nouwen so eloquently writes in his book, "The Wounded Healer," this ability to identify others’ suffering with the suffering in our own hearts, rather than maintain a role of aloofness, is a prerequisite for true ministering to the needy.
  • Religious Relic Crusader Battles Online Auction Giant @ Beliefnet.com
    Hardly an hour goes by without Thomas Serafin or one of his cyber-sleuths checking what eBay has to offer.
  • Circle healing: Strength of spirit, Toronto Star Nov. 26, 2006, MARIE WADDEN, ATKINSON FELLOW
    Extract: Circles are sacred shapes for the Anishnawbe people. In Hollow Water, circles of people are used to heal the scars of sexual abuse, which once threatened to engulf the community of 950. Their solution to this most heinous crime has been both successful and scorned: Embrace the abuser. In their world of justice, jails are a last resort.
  • Israeli Supreme Court Approves Overseas Gay Marriages, By Rachel Pomerance
    Religion News Service,
  • Clash with Hasidim easily resolvable, Multiculturalism accommodates all within the rule of law, says Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star Nov. 19, 2006
  • Fans claim God behind South Africa’s early batting collapse Monday November 27 2006
  • Saddam's Palakkad link, [in Kerala, South India] T S SREENIVASA RAGHAVAN, [ 26 Nov, 2006 0250hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
    I’m praying for his welfare. Daily, I do archana in his name at the Shiva temple here. I’m certain he will come out unscathed,” Nair says, throwing his hands towards the heavens. [see also other stories about this store @ Google]
  • India sees God as creator, not controller, newindpress.com Sunday, 26 November , 2006, 21:48
  • good religion, bad religion @ Faith Commons
  • The Great Story, Submitted by Richard Blumberg, @ Faith Commons
    “[It] is a way of telling the history of everyone and everything that honors and embraces all religious traditions and creation stories.
  • Controversy dogs Britain's first state-funded Hindu school
  • Christians dig deep for graveyard plot
    India's Christians are running out of space to bury their dead, leading some to pay small fortunes to book their final resting place in a relative's grave.

  • Thursday, November 23, 2006

    World’s Religions after September 11 Congress - Faithwise Review of the Week


  • World’s Religions after September 11 Congress : September 11-15, 2006, Montreal
    [A post conference report]
    Thank you to all of our participants who joined us during this unforgettable event. The goal was to bring together the various religions of the world, in an ecumenical spirit, to address the many issues facing the globe today, in the hope that it would help all of us become better human beings. That goal was reached.

    Over 2025 individuals from 84 countries around the world attended the World’s Religions after September 11 Congress. A total of 225 speakers assisted in over 8 Workshops, 18 Plenary presentations, 47 Panels and 236 Individual presentations over the course of the 5 day congress. Additional highlights included the morning observances, the unique cultural evenings and the daily Youth and Religion workshops that drew in over 200 youth participants. Continue reading about the congress, and words from the President of the Congress, Prof. Arvind Sharma

  • 25 years of renouncing religious intolerance
    This November marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. The anniversary is especially timely, said Asma Jahangir, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, as it is “particularly important to challenge the rising tide of intolerance that we witness today.” [See also: United Nations' declarations on religious intolerance]
  • Hope for Parsis on brink of extinction, Arunima / CNN-IBN
    To preserve the last vestiges of their community, Delhi Parsi Anjuman is accepting offspring of mixed marriages [Parsis=zoroastrians, followers of Iran's oldest religion]
  • New-age Sufism disappoints clerics Sufism, the devotional path to soul\'s realization has become a fashion statement, much to the disappointment of Islamic clerics. [new age movements=modern & / or 20th century philosophies]
  • Faith meets science on Ganga's banks
    priest who is also a hydraulic engineer is using science and his own faith to spread awareness and clean Ganga.
  • Court notice to Premji in domestic violence case [dating allowance]
  • Sperm has religion, caste too, Abantika Ghosh, The Times of India
  • Religious intolerance can precipitate WW-III former Director General of National Human Rights Commission, D R Karthikeyan
  • Sikh air travellers permitted to carry kirpans, Indo-Asian News Service
  • Kangaroo court backs rapist godman in Bengal village, Express Network
  • Spiritual cable connection with God
    Television channels offering programmes on spirituality, yoga and self-realization are topping the popularity charts. [more at IBNLive: Faith in Progress;
  • Racism force Sikhs to cut hair in UK
  • Stop using the Cross to fuel a cultural row, Christians advised @ Faith Commons
  • Vatican shift on contraception could signal hope for millions @ Faith Commons

    See also previous post: overseas indians turn to web for festival prayers; New Media and Religious Information Seekers; and Cyber Worship in Multifaith Perspectives]
    Rant of the day
    Praying, and feeding children, would rank pretty high on most people's list of inoffensive and even wholesome activities. There are plenty of larger issues embedded in these two outrageous stories -- about racism and religious intolerance in the war on terror, misogyny and puritanism, disregard for basic individual freedoms -- but I'd like to also point out that flying is an increasingly miserable experience for everyone. Read full article: Flying While Arab, Liza Featherstone, The Nation, BLOG | Posted 11/22/2006
  • Friday, November 17, 2006

    New Media and Religious Information Seekers

  • Too idle to read the Bible? It's in a blog
    London: If pious Muslims follow the Koran, might Christians and Jews benefit from a closer read of their scriptures too? Can Biblical verses help make them better people, better parents, or even get along better with their in-laws?

    People interested by such questions who haven't got much beyond the Adam and Eve story can join a man reading the Bible at http://www.slate.com, an online daily magazine.

    In 'Blogging the Bible', a vaguely religious man plods gamely through scripture, asking down-to-earth or occasionally irreverent questions, and getting thousands of emails in response. continue reading

  • SMS from Saudi Arabia promoting conversion to Islam, 15 November, 2006,
    Dialling “Call Me to Islam” is an initiative for those who want to know more about the Islamic faith, in nine languages
    Jeddah (AsiaNews) – “Call Me to Islam” is an initiative launched in Saudi Arabia by dawah activists to convert non Muslims to Islam via short message service (SMS) or receive information about Islam, Saudi daily Arab News reported.

    Dawah, which literally means ‘summons’, refers to Muslim responsibility to invite others to Islam. Now some activists have decided to go a step further. Anyone interested in learning about Islam can send an SMS to +966-55988899 and leave their names, nationality, language, religion, job and mobile number.

    The ‘spread Islam via SMS’ idea is the brainchild of Muhammad Al-Eiban, from the al-Badia Office for Foreign Communities, which operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. continue reading

  • National conference on the media and a multi faith society. 31 March 2004 London
  • International Conference on Media, Religion & Culture, 2006

    See also:
  • When Religion Meets New Media
  • Google: new-media "Religious Information"
  • Google: New-Media Religion

    See my previous post:
  • Overseas Indians turn to Web for festival prayers
  • My book CYBER WORSHIP IN MULTIFAITH PERSPECTIVE
  • Save the Time of the Godly: Information Mediators Role in Promoting Spiritual & Religious Accommodation

    Technocrati Tags:
    Multimedia.
    Digital media.
    New Media
    Cyber media
  • Monday, November 13, 2006

    Montreal gym, synagogue clash over attire - Faithwise Review of the Week


  • Montreal gym, synagogue clash over attire
    Updated Sat. Nov. 11 2006, CTV.ca News Staff
    The Park Avenue YMCA in Montreal has become the flashpoint of a clash between an ultra conservative Hasidic Jewish group and a parade of spandex-clad female exercisers.
    We have a problem with women being dressed immodestly, and we don't believe in our children seeing that,' explained congregation member Mayer Feig. See also:
    Hasidic Jews battle neighbourhood gym over revealing attire
    Vancouver Sun (subscription), Canada - 8 Nov 2006
    MONTREAL -- Tight and revealing workout wear angered Hasidic Jews whose Montreal synagogue is across the alley from a YMCA.

  • Dalai Lama calls for sparing Saddam Hussein's life Scotsman.com
    MUMBAI (Reuters) - The Dalai Lama urged Iraqi authorities on Monday to spare the life of Saddam Hussein, sentenced to death this month, saying the guilty should get a chance to reform.
  • Only 23 Parsi families left in the capital
    New Delhi, Nov 13. (PTI): Only 23 Parsi families are now residing in the National Capital while among the minorities, Muslims are the largest chunk who have chosen their abode here.

    According to the Delhi Minorities Commission's annual report 2004-05, which has been tabled in the Delhi Assembly, there are only 23 Parsis families staying in the city.

    As per the Census 2001, minorities constitute 17 per cent of the total population in Delhi with Muslims taking the lead having 11.7 per cent followed by Sikhs at 4 per cent and Christians at .9 per cent, says the Commission's report, which was presented on Saturday.

    Number wise, there are 16,23,520 Muslims, 5,55,602 Sikhs and 13,03,19 Christians living in the National Capital, while the number of people hailing from the Buddhist community stand merely at 23,705.

    Though Jain community constitutes just 1.1 per cent of the total population of the city, it is yet to be notified as a minority despite recommendations from the State Commission to the Delhi Government.

    "The Jain community has made several representations to the Delhi Minorities Commission to recommend to Delhi Government to declare the community to be bracketed under minority community. The Commission recommend the Government to do so," says the report.

    The Delhi Minorities Commission was set up by the Delhi Government in 2000 with an aim to look into the problems faced by the minorities in the city. [see also Jain minorities]

  • Secret sutra found in rubble of Bamiyan Buddhas Agence France-Presse, Tokyo, November 12, 2006
    A part of a Buddhism sutra was found inside one of the two giant Buddhas of Bamiyan, providing a hint for unveiling the mystery surrounding the creation of the statues, a Japanese news agency reported on Sunday.
    The fragment of the scripture was believed to be the original Sanskrit document, written with the letters often used in the sixth and seventh century, according to a Kyodo news dispatch from Kabul.

  • U.S. drops Vietnam from religious intolerance list
  • Widows sue to get Wiccan symbol approved see also: Available Emblems of Belief for Placement on Government Headstones and Markers
  • The Chinese connection:
    New discoveries from Asia suggest the Dead Sea Scrolls may not be as old as we think
    Nov. 4, 2006. NEIL ALTMAN, THE TORONTO STAR
  • A reality check on terrorism, Nov. 16, 2006. THE TORONTO STAR, HAROON SIDDIQUI
    While there is by now a full comprehension of the disaster that is Iraq, there is still not enough understanding of the parallel bankruptcy of the greater war on terrorism and the political and media discourse that has accompanied it.

  • Sikhs blame British policy of 'Asian' tag, Rashmee Roshan Lall
    [ 17 Nov, 2006 2110hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
    LONDON: British Sikhs have stepped up their attack on the UK's politically-correct policy of lumping Sikhs and Hindus with the omnibus tag 'Asian' instead of clearly identifying Muslims as the offenders when needed, just 48 hours after a Scottish Sikh teenager was viciously attacked by a white gang and forced to submit to having his long hair hacked off.

  • Saturday, November 11, 2006

    AMEER KHUSRO : A GREAT SUFI PHILOSOPHER - President of India : Recent Events


    ADDRESS AT THE 702nd Urs CELEBRATION OF THE SUFI POET HAZRAT AMEER KHUSRO AT Urs MAHAL, HAZRAT NIZAMUDDIN AULIA, NEW DELHI, 10 NOV. 2006, 10-11-2006 : NEW DELHI

    AMEER KHUSRO : A GREAT SUFI PHILOSOPHER - President of India : Recent Events

    I am delighted to participate in the inauguration of 702nd Urs Celebration of the great Sufi Poet Hazrat Ameer Khusro at Urs Mahal, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, New Delhi. My greetings to the organizers, priests, devotees of dargah, literary personalities and distinguished guests. I have visited, Urs Mahal, Hazrat Nizamuddin, 3 years back. I am extremely happy to visit again to attend the Urs festival of Sufi Poet Hazrat Ameer Khusro, who was known to be the most ardent disciple of Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia. When I am in the midst of devotees of these two great souls, I am reminded of the statement of the famous teacher of Ameer Khusro, Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia, who said, “If a man places thorns in your way, and you do the same, it will be thorns everywhere”. This statement captivated my mind and took me to various spiritual thoughts of our nation. Another important thought of Amir Khusro which inspired me is his concern for the poor farmers.

    GOD's CREATION

    Rumi says, “Angel is free because of his knowledge, The beast because of his ignorance, Between the two remains the son of man to struggle” Good poetry and music indeed elevates human beings to a high level of life. continue reading


    Thanks to Jay Bhatt for this info. [Jay is Information Services Librarian for Engineering, Drexel University]

    PUNCHLINE:
  • Yet we share the same home - Our Indus Valley
    Navaid
    Examples of deep Indian nature of our culture is can be seen in every aspect of our lives, including our marriage traditions, superstitious myths, and even Qawali music that we consider Islamic. According to Hindu mythology classical music has a divine origin. Both the Vedic and the Gandharva systems of music were nurtured in the hermitage of Rishis, and songs of devotion and prayers are an integral to prayer and traditions. Amir Khusroo, father of Qawali (Kawali) style of music, showed his remarkable genius 900 years ago by combining the concept and themes of the religious Indian ragas with devote songs to saints of Islam. The chorus of claps signifies how angles in Islam are said to clap when divine souls are in their presence. Qawali music evolved over time and is not only enjoyed by Muslims and Hindus alike, but thanks to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, it has a significant following around the globe.

  • Morality touched by emotion
    By Firoz Bakht Ahmed
    In a myriad ways Hindus and Muslims have a lot in common with each other.
    One religion is as true as another, Robert Burton said in his book The Anatomy of Melancholy. On the same lines Bernard Shaw said, “There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it. It should be emphasised that throughout history, there has never been a separation of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs on the basis of religion.”

    Technocrati Tags
    Amir Khusro
  • Friday, November 10, 2006

    Ceremony and ritual - rant of the day


    Ceremony and ritual allow us to:

    Raise energy
    Release the past
    Bring clarity
    Celebrate change
    Gather information
    Contact guides
    Clear out old patterns
    Explore fears
    Honor our ancestors
    Bless a new endeavor
    Move stuck emotions
    Set intent
    Open stuck areas
    Express gratitude
    Ask for guidance
    Create closure
    And much more!


    For more on days of signifiance, Search the Multifaith Library's catalog

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Churches oppose takeover law - Faithwise Review of the Week


  • Churches oppose takeover law, Deccan Chronicle on the web, November 09, 2006
    Hyderabad, Nov. 8: All churches in the State have come under one umbrella to fight the proposed legislation of the State government to control and protect church properties. The AP Federation of Churches (APFC), an apex body of Catholic, Protestant and other Christian denominations, is demanding that they should be exempted from State control on the lines of the recent order exempting Shridi Sai Baba temples and Vasavi Kanyaka Parameswari temples.

    A House committee set up by the State Assembly in May 2005 had recently recommended a legislation on the lines of Wakf Act and Hindu Charitable and Endowments Act. APFC executive secretary Fr Dr Anthoniraj Thumma said, “There are some cases of illegal occupation of church properties by builders and others with the connivance of some members of trusts and societies of churches particularly in Kurnool, Nellore and Vishakapatnam. Because of a few instances no one can generalise that all the church properties have been occupied. The majority of church properties are safe and are well controlled.”

    “There is no single instance of illegal occupation in the Catholic Church. Even in other denomination churches, synods and councils are regulating all sales,” Dr Thumma added. Church properties are registered under the Indian Trust Act or Society Registration Act and are done as per the rules of these acts. “Church properties are private properties similar to those owned by any private registered trust or society,” Dr Thumma said.

    The federation argued that church properties differ from endowments and wakf properties. “Our properties are not gifted by individuals or by erstwhile rulers on will deed. All church properties are registered and have sale deeds. They are totally of private nature,” said Dr Thumma.

  • International Peace Festival, 1st – 3rd December 2006,
    Mumbai based organisations* under the banner of "Forum for Peace and Justice" in collaboration with Peace for Life - a Philippines based global solidarity network have taken the initiative to organize a International Festival on the theme 'Peace and Justice'. The significance of this theme is very relevant especially in the context of war, conflict and crime against humanity. In this context there is an urgent need to uphold the desirability and principle of peace that can only be realised through the actualisation of justice with democracy, equality and strengthening the principles of secularism. Details

  • India is facing 'cultural fracture': Naipaul
  • Lawyer behind court veil row
  • Pakistan judge bars women lawyers from wearing veils in courtrooms
  • Caught Between Love and Tradition
    Abdul Hannan Faisal Tago, Arab News
    RIYADH, 8 November 2006 — The case of a young Filipino Muslim woman who was caught holding hands with her non-Muslim boyfriend in Riyadh has brought to the fore a serious disagreement between leaders of the Batha Islamic Guidance Center in Riyadh and Muslim religious leaders from the southern Philippines.
  • Distributing Condoms, In the Name of Allah, Submitted by Rabbi Daniel Brenner on Mon, 11/06/2006 -
  • Saturday, November 04, 2006

    India does not belong to any single race - Faithwise Review of the Week


  • India does not belong to any single race, Indo-Asian News Service, New Delhi, November 2, 2006,
    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday stressed that India would remain a pluralistic country where "socio-religious variety" was respected and said the country did not belong to any group of religious extremists.

    The prime minister also called for dialogue between different religious groups for better understanding among them.

    "While rituals, theologies and institutions might vary from religion to religion, the basic religious values are common in all the great religions; the basic values in one religion are complementary to the other.

    "Dialogue is the only way to promote better understanding between the various religious communities," he said.

  • York gives prof. place to toke up, Nov. 3, 2006. DANIEL GIRARD, Toronto Star,
    York University is cool with a criminology professor smoking pot on campus.
    Brian MacLean will get his own private, ventillated room beginning Monday after the school agreed to accommodate his use of medical marijuana for a severe form of degenerative arthritis.

  • Morality comes from nature, not God, Faith Commons
    Dawkins suggests that a New Ten Commandments is called for. He offers up this example that he found on an atheist website. It makes a lot more sense to me than the Old Ten Commandments.
    (1) Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.
    (2) In all things, strive to cause no harm.
    (3) Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.
    (4) Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.
    (5) Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.
    (6) Always seek to be learning something new.
    (7) Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
    (8) Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.
    (9) Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.
    (10) Question everything. Full article @ Church of the Churchless

  • Muslims negotiate cost of peace in Gujarat villages, Neelesh Misra, Sunderna (Gujarat), November 3, 2006
    In a few months, it will be five years since Shakil Bhai last heard the call of the muezzin from the mosque by his village pond.

    In a few months, it will be five years since the life of the gentle grocer and his community changed.

    Muslims in many villages have given up azaan, or the call to prayers from mosques. In others, they cannot openly sell meat, and must observe festivals with a low profile. Most significantly, a large number of Muslims have had to withdraw criminal cases they had brought against fellow villagers, a necessary condition for their return.

  • Expedition to foster inter-cultural dialogue, Gulf News, Friday, November 03, 2006.
    Connecting Cultures was launched in the United Kingdom by Evans in 2005.

    "After spending almost nine years in the Middle East, I felt that the media portrayal in Europe was not in conformity with the reality of the Middle East region. Connecting Cultures was set up to bridge this gap in perceived notions by promoting inter-cultural dialogue in which people meet face-to-face and discuss various issues," Evans said.
  • Witness: The World Under God? Religion but not compassion in Missouri: One state, under God (sort of), Alan Freeman, today at 4:08 PM EST
    Missouri’s God, it seems, believes in personal responsibility above all. Taking care of one’s neighbours doesn’t seem to figure into the equation.
  • Friday, November 03, 2006

    Worship yours and respect all

    Innovation and serendipity are two things that amaze me. These transcend time and space, and have no limits, whatsoever! See the followong title:


    Jai Srimannarayana - Worship yours and respect all

    courtesy: Philosophy and Religious studies Blog

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    Pop culture versus God

    Pop culture versus God
    Branded by the light, TORONTO STAR, Oct. 31, 2006. JEN GERSON, LIFE WRITER

    They enter oblivious, hands outstretched, fat cheeks and watery eyes staring skyward to the Lord.

    They are to leave warriors. Convinced by arguments crafted from statistics and fear, these children of God are told they are to be the salvation of a generation in decline, one beset by the perils of pop culture, advertising and corporate greed.

    They absorb those lessons, squealing in delight whenever a speaker mentions the righteousness of Jesus.

    Then they head to McDonald's.

    This is downtown Hamilton, Friday night. Full story

    Monday, October 30, 2006

    Archbishop of Canterbury defends muslim veil - Faithwise Review of the Week

    post updated 31 Oct., 2006

  • Archbishop of Canterbury defends muslim veil, Phil Hazlewood, Agence France-Presse, Published: Saturday, October 28, 2006 National Post
    LONDON - The leader of the world's Anglicans yesterday waded into the debate over the Muslim veil, warning politicians not to interfere with people's right to wear visible symbols of their faith.

    Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that to ban veils, turbans, crucifixes or other pieces of clothing would be "politically dangerous" and that the British government should not become a "licensing authority" for what people can wear.

  • Copyright row over ancient monk
    The life and times of a 5th Century Cornish monk has sparked an unholy row over a manuscript in verse.
    St Ke or Kea is reputed to have helped King Arthur solve a family dispute.

    But a play about him written in medieval Cornish has sown discord between the National Library of Wales and the Cornish Language Board.

    The library is still working on a translation of the verses kept in its vaults. But the board printed its own version, and says it is "selling well".

    The copyright dispute centres on a previously unknown 16th Century manuscript bequeathed to the library in 2000 by the late Professor JE Caerwyn Williams, an expert in Celtic languages.

  • Bill Gates Watched Pirated Movies on Internet, By: Marius Oiaga, Technology News Editor
    The fact that even Bill Gates downloaded and consumed copyright materials is not necessarily a surprise. The quantity of such products distributed free of charge on the Internet can only be measured in terabytes, the peer-to-peer technology accounting for the largest part of the traffic of copyright materials that, in the BitTorrent world is in no way regarded as stealing or copyright infringement. Even Bill Gates proved how easy it is to access pirated products online.
  • Echoes of Sikh turban tizzy in recent niqab debate, Oct. 28, 2006. 01:00 AM, TORONTO STAR
    Since when is covering women's faces feminism?
  • The atheist as fundamentalist,
    Richard Dawkins on why religious faith tends to create more evil people than, say, Stalinism, TORONTO STAR, Oct. 29, 2006. 01:00 AM, OLIVIA WARD
  • Halal beats dosa in New York food fight, 29 Oct, 2006 ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK
  • Ask a witch, Globe and Mail Update,
    With Halloween nearly upon us, who better to answer reader questions than a real, live, 21st-century witch?

    Meet Nicole Cooper, a Wiccan High Priestess who proudly embraces the name of witch.

    Ms. Cooper practices her religion at the Wiccan Church of Canada and works at The Occult Shop in Toronto, so, as she says, "Magic is pretty much my life."

  • The Religion of Self, Submitted by BLG2319 on Sun, 10/29/2006 @ Faith Commons
    The message of the Gospels seems to me to be constantly returning to this theme: those who set themselves up as arbiters of moral correctness, the men of the book, the Pharisees, are often the furthest from God. Rules can only go so far; love does the rest. And the rest is by far the most important part. Jesus of Nazareth constantly tells his fellow human beings to let go of law and let love happen: to let go of the pursuit of certainty, to let go of possessions, to let go of pride, to let go of reputation and ambition, to let go also of obsessing about laws and doctrines. This letting go is what the fundamentalist fears the most.
    This is a passage from Andrew Sullivan's latest book "The Conservative Soul". It sums up for me nicely what I have come to believe. Letting go of self obsession is the only way to salvation. Full article

  • [pdf] Philipp Reichmuth & Stefan Werning's 'Pixel Pashas, Digital Djinns' ISIM Review 18 [source: Virtually Islamic, October 25, 2006]
    "...covers a neglected area of study, namely the depiction of Islam and Muslims in computer and video games, and ideas associated with orientalism."
  • Humphrys in Search of God, 31 October 2006, Tuesday 31 October 2006 9:02-9:30 (Radio 4 FM) Repeated: Tuesday 31 October,
    John Humphrys talks to religious leaders about his unfulfilled desire to believe in God. His guest is the Right Reverend Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.
    Listen to an extended version of this interview, John Humphrys talks to Dr Rowan Williams
    The next programme will be on: Tuesday 07 November 2006 09:00
    John Humphrys talks to religious leaders about his unfulfilled desire to believe in God. 2/3. The guest is Professor Tariq Ramadan, Muslim academic and author.
    The week after with a rabbi
  • DIWALI FUSION PARTY
    --Models from Material Thangs styling group during the Diwali Fusion Festival at the 5th Elementt in Toronto Wednesday, October 25, 2006. Brent Foster/National Post
  • Afghan mother of 6 murdered in suspected California hate crime mourned, October 28, 2006 - 4:47 pm
    FREMONT, Calif. (AP) - An Afghanistan-born mother of six who was gunned down in California while wearing traditional Muslim dress was mourned Saturday during an interfaith service to unite local residents rattled by what some called a hate crime.

    Women in Islamic head coverings sat near Christians and Jews during the memorial to honour Alia Ansari, 38, who was fatally shot Oct. 19 as she walked to pick her children up from school.

    Church leaders hoped the service at Centerville Presbyterian church would bring together people of different faiths in Fremont, a San Francisco Bay-area suburb of 200,000 that is home to the largest Afghan community in the United States and a neighbourhood called "Little Kabul."

    "Our commitment is to say: 'How can we be better neighbours in the midst of a changing community?"' said Rev. Greg Roth, the church's pastor.

  • Court rules that cartoons not intended to make fun of Muslim community
    DENMARK: Publishers of blasphemous cartoons acquitted, AsiaMedia, Dawn, Friday, October 27, 2006
    Copenhagen --- A Danish court on Thursday acquitted the bosses of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper who had been sued by Muslim groups for printing 12 cartoons of the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) in September last year.

    The judge at Aarhus district court ruled the cartoons were neither offensive nor were they intended to denigrate Muslims, according to court papers.

    "Even if the text accompanying the pictures could be read as being derogatory and mocking, the cartoons are not offensive," the court said.

  • Denmark Sikh loses kirpan battle, Ramaninder K Bhatia [ 25 Oct, 2006 0130hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
    CHANDIGARH: In a major blow to the Sikh community's efforts to get their distinct identity recognised abroad along with their religious symbols, a Sikh youth in Denmark on Tuesday lost his right to wear a kirpan (dagger), one of the five religious symbols that a baptised Sikh is required to wear.
  • Tower of power divides hamlet, Residents opposed to proposed cellular tower in churchyard, A service to the community, says parish priest, Oct. 27, 2006. 01:00 AM
    JIM WILKES, Toronto Star, STAFF REPORTER
  • Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Corporate America swears by the Gita - Faithwise Review of the Week

  • Corporate America swears by the Gita Chidanand Rajghatta
    [ 25 Oct, 2006 0307hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
    WASHINGTON: Corporate America is embracing Indian philosophy in a big way.

    Suddenly, says Businessweek magazine in its latest issue, phrases from ancient Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita are popping up in management tomes and on Web sites of consultants. Top business schools have introduced "self-mastery" classes that use Indian methods to help managers boost their leadership skills and find inner peace in lives dominated by work.

    BW calls its "Karma Capitalism" -- a gentler, more empathetic ethos that resonates in the post-tech-bubble, post-Enron zeitgeist. And where it used to be hip in management circles to quote from the sixth century B.C. Chinese classic The Art of War, it says, the trendy ancient Eastern text today is the more introspective Bhagavad Gita. Full story

  • Sikh woman discriminated against in US, Thursday October 26 2006 23:12 IST
  • Christians back plans for Muslim community centre despite threats -29/09/06
    Christian leaders in Cumbria are backing a plan for a Muslim Community centre and prayer room, despite threats against those who support it. @ Faith Commons
  • Detroit case dismissed over Muslim veil, Oct. 25, 2006 at 1:51PM, United Press International -- The Washington Times
  • Ghana: B/A Chief Imam Calls for Good Sanitation Among Muslim Communities, Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra),
    October 25, 2006, Posted to the web October 25, 2006, Michael Boateng, Sunyani
  • Joking about with Allah, Thursday October 26, 2006, By Scott Kara, The New Zealand Herald
  • Islamic studies 'letting down' multicultural needs, Press Association, Wednesday October 25, 2006, Guardian Unlimited
    The report, entitled Time for Change: Report on the Future of the Study of Islam and Muslims in Universities and Colleges in Multicultural Britain, was written by Abd al-Fattah El-Awaisi and Malory Nye.
    Prof El-Awaisi said: "The call for a new agenda is timely and necessary to prevent the misguided and narrow interpretation of Islam which is the source of so many problems in our multicultural society.
    "It is only through multicultural education we can work to eliminate extremism and fundamentalism."
    The report found most British non-Muslims do not "get" Islam and do not understand what makes Muslims "tick".
  • A small strip of cloth symbolizing Islamic separateness MARGARET WENTE , 24/10/06, Globe and Mail,
    A decade ago, political scientist Robert Putnam described America 's waning social cohesion in the bestselling book Bowling Alone. Now he has turned his research to diversity and multiculturalism -- and his findings are sobering. Ethnic diversity, he has found, breeds mistrust. Communities where many ethnicities live together have lower amounts of trust between people than those that are more homogeneous. "In the presence of diversity, we hunker down," he writes. "The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined."
    Mr. Putnam is quick to stress that trends aren't destiny, and there's plenty that can be done to make diversity work. But whether that diversity should include the veil is not an issue that will be settled soon. In Italy , which now has a million Muslims, Prime Minister Romano Prodi declared last week that in his opinion, women shouldn't wear veils that hide the face. Then a leading conservative politician named Daniela Santanchè weighed in, arguing that the veil is a symbol of female oppression and is not required by the Koran. A prominent imam lashed back, calling her an "infidel" and much else. Ms. Santanchè has now been offered police protection.

  • The two-faced Tipu Sultan M V Kamath, Free Press Journal, Sify.com, Wednesday, 25 October, 2006
    Early in 1990, the BJP sought a court injunction to prevent the screening in India of a television serial entitled The Sword of Tipu Sultan. The serial was based on a novel written by Bhagwan S Gidwani. A case was made out that Tipu had not been secular as was generally believed and did not deserve to be an icon.

    Once again, Tipu is in the news with Karnataka's Minister of Higher Education D H Shankaramurthy questioning Tipu's Kannada credentials, considering that he used Persian, and not Kannada as the language of administration. A fierce controversy has been raised. And the liberal, secular Hindu intellectuals have demanded the dismissal of Shankaramurthy, with the leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) H D Deve Gowda screaming that he would not allow the secularism of the JD (S) Karnataka government being polluted. full story

    Read more hard-hitting columns
    Karnataka MLC Prof B K Chandrashekar is reported to have said that Shankaramurthy need to know history. Indeed, everyone should, including Chandrashekar himself. One can recommend to him two excellent books, one written by Praxy Fernandes, a south Kanara Roman Catholic (and a former IAS officer, 1947 cadre) entitled The Tigers of Mysore and another written by Australian scholar Kate Brittlebank entitled Tipu Sultan's Search For Legitimacy, with the sub-title ‘Islam and Kingship in a Hindu Domain.’ Both are brilliantly researched and are as objective as one can expect. Both give high marks to Tipu for his religious tolerance, for his respect for all religions, for his reverence to the head of the Shringeri mutt, recounting how Tipu sent a silver palanquin and a pair of silver chauris to the Sarada temple.

    This must be compared to reports in the Mysore Archaeological Survey quoted by Brittlebank that at least three Hindu temples within his realm had been destroyed by Tipu: the Harihareshwar temple at Harihar which was "apparently plundered and part of it converted into a mosque," the Varahswami temple in Seringapatam and the Odakaraya temple in Hospet "said to have been destroyed". Does that mean that Tipu was a Muslim fanatic? Hardly.

    see also: Tipu Sultan Portal
  • Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    God, sex and the call centres

    News Updated: Oct 26, 2006
    Are BPOs 'dens of sin'? Chandna Arora [ 26 Oct, 2006 0305hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

    Pastors going undercover to ‘save the souls’ in BPOs, call centres being termed as ‘dens of sin’... why are BPOs stuck with this undeserved negative profiling?

    Blame it on graveyard shifts or people barely out of their teens earning handsomely, but the negative branding of call centres, recently termed as 'dens of sin' in an international publication, refuses to go away.

    And lately, when a pastor revealed that he went 'undercover' in a Bangalore BPO to save youngsters' morals, the situation just got worse.

    Reviled for everything from casual sex, drug addiction and wild partying, the sector has been living with negative branding for long.

    DT explores how the sector, which is minting billions for India and giving jobs to lakhs of youngsters, is stuck with this profile...


    The Times of India Online
    India God, sex and the BPOs
    Manu Joseph, [ 23 Oct, 2006 0058hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

    BANGALORE: Across the country, good Christians are consoled by the belief that Jesus Christ is present in the call centres, and are disturbed by the fear that he might be the only unmarried virgin out there. U

    (U)nable to bear the tales emerging from Indian outsourcing's famous night shift, of condoms clogging toilets, live-in relationships, drugs and other joys condemned in the Old Testament, men who call themselves shepherds are offering to show one road that everybody points to the young the right path.

    Christian evangelical groups are asking the youth to carry chastity cards that say, "I commit before god to save the gift of my sexuality from now until marriage, regardless of my past." Catholic priests are cautioning parents about the moral perils of the profession.

    Spiritual counsellors are seeking out lovers and asking them not to get physical. And they are also telling homosexuals that they must be mentally ill. Scores of evangelical Christians have even infiltrated call centres in the guise of regular workers to keep an eye on the youth.

    In a country where parents believe that their daughters can be despoiled only after sunset, it was inevitable that the arrival of nocturnal call centres would bring in fears of wards gone astray.

    The Christian concern is birthed in the fact that a growing number of its youth is entering call centres. The Indian outsourcing industry, where call centres occupy the lower rungs today, employs about 400,000, with an average starting salary of over Rs 10,000. Full Story click here

    See also
  • India's call centers 'dens of vice' (5)

  • My previous post on the Call Centre (s) Culture in-making

    Technocrati Tags
    Call centre
  • More Technocrati stuff
  • Monday, October 23, 2006

    Religious discrimination - rant of the day

    Religious descrimintation is valuing a person or group lower because of their faith, or treating someone differently because of what they believe source: Editor's Choice, The world's top websites

    See also: Discrimination
    To discriminate is to make a distinction. There are several meanings of the word, including statistical discrimination, or the actions of a circuit called a discriminator. This article addresses the most common meaning of the word, social, racial, religious, sexual and ethnic discrimination.

    on the same shelf:
  • Race, Religion and Other Perilous Ground, ARTHUR S. BRISBANE, New York Times
  • Diversity Resources - Accommodation, Tolerance and Coexistence
  • Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Jews and Muslims challenge Geneva cemetery law with calls for own burial spaces - Faithwise Review of the Week

    This post updated Oct 19, 2006

  • Jews and Muslims challenge Geneva cemetery law with calls for own burial spaces The Associated Press, October 11, 2006
    GENEVA A cemetery law that has kept the peace between Protestants and Catholics for 130 years is being challenged by Muslims and Jews who want their own space for graves, apart from public burial grounds.

    Geneva, shaped as a "Protestant Rome" by religious reformer Jean Calvin in the 16th century, has in recent decades sought to foster religious harmony.

    The Swiss city has practiced a strict secularism that extends to the grave, requiring that all cemeteries be public and nondenominational, with equal plots aligned the same way.

    But the city's Jewish and Muslim communities want separate cemeteries that would allow them to bury their dead according their religions' rites, and a proposed law is up for approval by the cantonal (state) parliament Thursday.

    "We (Jews and Muslims) both need a place where we can bury our dead according to our rituals," said Hafid Ouardiri, spokesman of the Foundation for Islamic Culture in Geneva

  • The Way Internet Links Muslims During Ramadan, Andy Goldberg, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Arab News,
    SAN FRANCISCO, 18 October 2006 — In the real world Sheikh Mohamed Al-Moktar Al-Shinqiti presides over a small Muslim community in Lubbock, Texas. But in the online world he ministers to millions of believers all around the globe who ask for spiritual and legal guidance on the popular religious site Islamonline.com.

  • Salman Rushdie: His life, his work and his religion Independent News, 18 October 2006
  • If this onslaught was about Jews, I would be looking for my passport
    Politicians and media have turned a debate about integration into an ugly drumbeat of hysteria against British Muslims, Jonathan Freedland, October 18, 2006, The Guardian
    But Muslims would be right to reply that they should be under no more obligation to distance themselves from the 7/7 bombers than Britain's Irish community were expected to denounce the IRA in the 1970s and 1980s. And this, too, is a prime task for politicians and media alike - to distinguish between radical, violent Islamism and mainstream British Islam. Too often, the line between the two gets blurred, lazily and casually. Helpfully, the 1990 Trust yesterday published a survey which deserves wide dissemination. They found that the number of Muslims who believed acts of terrorism against civilians in the UK were justified was between 1% and 2%. Not good, but less than the 20% or higher found by some newspaper polls. The trust reckons those earlier polls asked a loaded question - and got a highly charged answer.

  • Cartoon Mohammed: A Jewish Perspective, Rabbi Daniel Brenner's blog
    Our challenge today, In America and around the world, is to find the right balance between traditional religious values and a society which affords us freedom of expression. Continue reading @ Faith Commons

  • Ontario to push character education, Oct. 16, 2006. CANADIAN PRESS, Toronto Star
    Classrooms will become more civilized, and students will be better behaved and get higher grades under the province’s plan to introduce character education across Ontario, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Monday.
  • Our skewed priorities
    It's obscene to hound powerless Muslim women while Muslim world is under siege, says Haroon Siddiqui, Oct. 15, 2006. HAROON SIDDIQUI, Toronto Star
    A British commentator, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, wrote that niqabi women are "just as much the victim of sexual objectification as a half-naked woman in a tube top." By this formulation, the state would be kept busy covering up the "half-naked" women and uncovering the niqabis.
    Just because a majority of Jews do not wear the yarmulke does not negate the fundamental rights of those who do.

    That some Sikhs shave off their beards and cut their hair does not mean that the majority who keep a beard and wear the turban can be ordered to do otherwise.

    Just because a majority of Jews do not wear the yarmulke does not negate the fundamental rights of those who do.

    That some Sikhs shave off their beards and cut their hair does not mean that the majority who keep a beard and wear the turban can be ordered to do otherwise.

  • Veil furor hides an arrogant bias, Oct. 19, 2006. HAROON SIDDIQUI, Toronto Star
  • Diwali should be called national festival of bribes: Bhatti, newindpress.com October 20 2006
    CHANDIGARH: Comedian Jaspal Bhatti has come out with a new joke on Diwali. He set up a 'Bribery Gift Shop' in the city on Friday and even demanded that the festival of lights be declared the national festival of bribes.

    "This is the best day in the year when bribe-seeking ministers, politicians, bureaucrats and officials unashamedly seek bribes in the form of Diwali gifts," he said.

  • British Airways worker sues over cross
    Woman says she was sent home from work for wearing crucifix, MSNBC.com, Oct 14, 2006
    LONDON - A British Airways employee was suspended from work for refusing to remove a necklace bearing a Christian cross, a British newspaper reported Saturday.

    Nadia Eweida, a check-in worker at Heathrow Airport, told the Daily Mail she was suing the airline for religious discrimination after being sent home for breaching BA’s dress code.

    “British Airways permits Muslims to wear a headscarf, Sikhs to wear a turban and other faiths religious apparel. Only Christians are forbidden to express their faith,” Eweida was quoted as saying.

  • Where Have All The Peaceful Religions Gone? WorldNews.com,Thu 19 Oct 2006
  • Values and beliefs - rant of the day


    "Religious values motivate love, compassion, humility, justice and liberty for all people;
    religious beliefs and practices motivate hatred, cruelty, division, arrogance, injustice and oppression of others."


    Reverend Kenneth Carder, United Methodist Bishop, State of Mississippi
    Currently director of Duke University Divinity School’s Center of Excellence in Ministry


    For more Google

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Overseas Indians turn to Web for festival prayers


    Overseas Indians turn to Web for festival prayers, Wed Oct 4, 2006 8:30 AM IST
    By Onkar Pandey

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Thousands of Indians living abroad are logging on to religious Web sites in the run-up to the main Hindu festival of Diwali, courtesy of a stream of portals offering services like online praying and blessings.

    Oct. 20 marks the beginning of the three-day Hindu festival of light, and some of the millions of Indians living in countries like Britain, the United States and Canada are joining in the celebrations back home electronically...

    "(The number) of people registering online for puja (prayer) during this festival season has surged almost three to four times from the normal days," said Mervyn Jose of Saranam, an India-based site (www.saranam.com).

    Around 60 percent of Saranam's clients are living overseas, the majority of whom are Indian IT professionals in their thirties, who are too busy or too distant to get to a temple.

    "It is technology which is enabling us to reach the Gods at the click of a mouse," says Jose, himself a former engineer. Full news story See another source: Clicking for Kali

    PUNCHLINE:
    My book CYBER WORSHIP IN MULTIFAITH PERSPECTIVE, is precisely the same subject: hundreds of resources dealing with Websites, surveys, trend reports, state-of-the-art of the worship, and what have you on the Internet, for many faiths around the globe. For more details click here

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Women in Religion in the 21st Century - Faithwise Review of the Week

    Conference on Women in Religion in the 21st Century
    Commemorating, Celebrating, and Continuing Their Legacy
    Tuesday, 10/17/06 – Thursday, 10/19/06

    And, a concern about the overall outlook of this conference:

    Why doesn't 'Interfaith' include Goddess?, Judith Laura @ Medusa Coils
    Though I’m going to point the finger at one organization in particular in this post, let me be clear that this is not the only organization to claim it’s holding an interfaith, inter-religious, or ecumenical gathering while failing to include Goddess speakers. This situation has occurred before, and, unless we speak up clearly and continually, is likely to keep on happening. Often these situations occur with groups that project the image of being progressive and open-minded by including people from a variety of religions.

    Technocrati Tags [courtesy, Medusa] :



  • Mabrouk to the Times, 11 October 2006, The Revealer © 2005
    Bridget Purcell: Mabrouk to the New York Times, which ran two pieces yesterday providing a rare glimpse of an apolitical Islam. The first, an international Quran recitation competition in Dubai drew 80 young men from around the world —- some as young as 10 years old —- to recite the Quran from memory. And in Brooklyn, an artist named Michael Rakowitz opened a shop selling dates, an indigenous Iraqi crop. Part business venture, part art installation, the shop's walls feature Iraqi flags and histories of the Iraqi date industry written in both English and Arabic. Continue reading


  • As Eye See It : 'We know what 'listening' means in the modern Anglican lexicon - by Andrew Carey, Posted by David Virtue on 2006/10/5
  • Defusing the clash of civilizations, Former mayor Bennett builds bridges between Islam and the West, By John Colson, October 7, 2006, Aspen Times Weekly
  • Bringing new readers to sacred Arabic text: Man's life work creates a new simplified alphabet to help reveal
    Qur'an to Muslims, Toronto Star, Oct. 11, 2006. STUART LAIDLAW, FAITH AND ETHICS REPORTER
    Black lettering is used for letters pronounced on their own — such as the P in Shop — and green for letters whose pronunciation is influenced by the letters that follow — such as the S in Shop. Silent letters are white with a black outline.

    Along the way, Khairulbashar developed a website, instructional CDs and workbooks for students and teachers to help pass along his work.

    The entire Qur'an is available on CD and can be downloaded for free from his website, http://www.easyrecitearabic.org, though donations are accepted.
  • Monday, October 09, 2006

    Muslim girl tops Sanskrit PG exam - Faithwise Review of the Week


    Muslim girl tops Sanskrit PG exam, The Times of India> India> Article

    NAVAIKULAM: At a time when inspiring lyrics like Vande Mataram are branded communal, a Muslim girl who opted for Sanskrit has topped the Kerala University MA (Sanskrit) exam in 2006.

    Shajeena S notched up 79% and is the first Muslim topper in the university's history.

  • Middle East Coexistence House fosters Jewish-Muslim understanding by Patricia Lamiell, # Rutgers Focus
    LEARNING THROUGH LIVING Eleven female students, including five Jewish, three Muslim, one Hindu, one Christian, and a student who is agnostic, will live and study together this year in new Middle East Coexistence House. At left is Danielle Josephs, a Douglass senior, with Nadia Sheikh, both of whom live in the house, part of the Global Village of living-learning communities at Douglass. Josephs envisioned the house and proposed the idea to Carmen Twillie Ambar, dean of Douglass College. Full Story

  • Muslim Lawmaker Assimilated and Berated
    Denmark's Naser Khader is praised by secular Europeans as a voice for moderation and unity. Islamists consider him a traitor.
    By Jeffrey Fleishman, Times Staff Writer, October 8, 2006

  • The RUSTing of TRUST
    Just been reading an article on Trust in HBR (This month’s – September 06 - Issue). Written by Robert Hurly and entitled ‘The decision to trust’.

    The author says trust is more often than not the result of analysis and not blind faith or paranoia. He says there are ten factors that determine whether one resorts to trust or distrust in their dealings; 3 of which are related to one’s own personality and the remaining 7 to the situation one is in.

    The three personality related factors are: (statements in parenthesis reflect my interpretation)

    - Risk-tolerance (are you ready to take a risk and trust someone?)
    - Level of adjustment (how much adjusted are you with life? do you believe no one can cheat you?)
    - Relative power (how much can you ‘get back’ at the person if he cheats?)

    KM thought-leaders have for long screamed from roof-tops about trust being one of the most essential ingredients for it (KM) to be a success in any organisation. But how much of it can be influenced by the KM function/initiative? It is clear that trust is too fundamental, person-based and situation-based for KM to play the role of an influencer. Underlying enablers like communication, capability, risk-tolerance etc can be worked upon with adequate top management support but most of the factors on the list are out of control and hugely associated with the individual’s character and attitude. Knowledge sharing is truly effective only in teams where all the above barriers are crossed….and the situation based factors are difficult if not impossible to handle. Extending this topic a little further…into a slightly different direction, this is a selling point for K-Logs. continue reading posted by Nimmy @

    See also my previous post on Knowledge Management and the tacit, tangible and cultural knowledge
  • Vertical and tacit: Multifaith and Knowledge Management in Perspective
  • Sunday, October 08, 2006

    NATIONAL MUSLIM CHRISTIAN LIAISON COMMITTEE AWARDS



    (From left: Paul, Raheel ) See all 23 pictures, NMCLC Recognition Dinner 2006-09-19


    At the September 19 Annual Recognition Dinner, two outstanding members of the Toronto interfaith community received awards in recognition of their tireless work toward understanding between Muslims and Christians, and all other faiths:

    Raheel Raza is a writer, speaker, media personality, faith leader and interfaith activist. In her book “Their Jihad, Not My Jihad” made up of many of her Toronto Star articles and other writings, she explains Progressive Islam, and pleads for tolerance among races, ethnic groups and faiths, and for the equal treatment of women in all walks of life.

    Paul McKenna has been a full time interfaith worker for many years and is the Coordinator of the Interfaith Desk of Scarboro Missions in Toronto . He organizes many interfaith events, Golden Rule workshops and high school interfaith retreat days. He is the creator of The Golden Rule Poster which is having a profound effect in schools, hospitals, jails, etc. around the world, and is permanently displayed at the United Nations.

    Read more at
  • the Golden Rule Radical Blog
  • The Interfaith Unity Newsletter
  • Scarboro Missions, NEWS HEADLINES, October 2006
  • National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee
  • Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Hindu prisoners observe Ramzan fast in Bihar - Faithwise Review of the Week


  • Hindu prisoners observe Ramzan fast in Bihar Monday, 02 October , 2006, 19:05 Copyright Sify Ltd,
    Bhagalpur: Setting a perfect example of communal harmony, 23 Hindu prisoners, four of them women, of Bhagalpur Central Jail are observing the Ramzan fast along with Muslim inmates, jail sources said on Monday.

    A total of 303 inmates are observing the Ramzan fast in the high-security Bhagalpur Central Jail, jail superintendent P K Jha said.

    Special food arrangements have been made for prisoners on fast, he said, adding that the gesture by Hindu prisoners should set an example to others who want to divide society on communal lines, Jha said.

  • All Tithed Up in Knots, Faith Commons
    Found an interesting article, A New Era of Tithing, at Get Religion.org about a new trend in church solicitation: http://www.getreligion.org/?p=1923To recap, apparently there is at least one church that is using ATM style machines in their sanctuary to help capture the congregation’s tithing. Problem is, the pastor is alleged to be taking a tithe or [...]
  • Muslims want to know more on Pope's view of Islam
  • Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    Emotional Communication Interface - Revisited

    updated, Oct 26, 2006

    Putting feeling into content
    Government bodies, academia and information providers are increasingly adopting podcasts to exapnd the reach of thier message. IWR discovers the benefits of podcasting
    By Tracey Caldwell 06 Oct 2006
    del.icio.us Digg this reddit!

    From GUI to E(motional) UI, September 11, 2006

    "In 1988, Apple Computer produced some video scenarios showing how future computers would be able to understand hand gestures, read text, and respond to voice commands. Almost 20 years later, the world is still waiting for a natural way of using computers—though we are beginning to see some of our wildest dreams slowly emerge from the chaos of high technology and become real. In 2006, it is easy to believe that the masses will soon be able to use a computer without any keyboard or mouse. Beyond the constrained space of our personal computer's monitor, keyboard, and mouse, I'm looking for the sort of revolution that would overtake the wild dream of Blade Runner. I can envision huge 3D virtual worlds and systems that are smart enough to feel a user’s mood and respond intelligently. Now, where do you want to go today?" (Leandro Agrò - UXmatters) continue reading


    See also:
  • computers and emotions... by Jean-François

    My related posts:
  • Toxicity in the library workplace - a survey
  • Emotional Communication Interface - Revisited
  • Friday, September 22, 2006

    Mahim Mayhem - Faithwise Review of the Week


  • Mahim Mayhem, Islamic Voice (a news magazine from Bangalore, India), September 2006
    The Mahim episode was an eye-opener, triggering a debate not just in Mumbai, but in the country, over Faith Vs Science.

    All through August 19, thousands of Muslims poured into Mumbai from all parts of the country, heading for the Mahim sea front in central Mumbai, where ‘sweet water’ was first discovered on a Friday night.
  • Indian American scientist restoring 700-year-old sacred Hindu text September 22 2006
  • Indian American scientist restoring 700-year-old sacred Hindu text Friday September 22 2006 00:00 IST
    WASHINGTON: An Indian American scientist is leading a project to digitally restore a 700-year-old palm leaf manuscript containing the essence of Hindu philosophy by using modern imaging technologies.
  • Christians and Muslims meet for religious dialogue in Iran @ Faith Commons
    In preparation for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October 2006, the North American peace church relief and development agency, Mennonite Central Committee, is working with US congregations to help pastors and church leaders gain tools to understand and respond to situations of sexual abuse or violation that impact the congregation – writes Marla Pierson Lester for MCC. Continue reading

  • A couple of broadcast links that I found interesting @ Virtually Islamic, Dr. Gary Bunt. September 21, 2006
    Rather belatedly, I am listening to two August broadcasts by Andy Kershaw, focusing on Rai music in Algeria. These are excellent programmes, comparable to his similar recorded travels elsewhere in the world which I have mentioned before on this blog. A highlight is a 'live' recording of Rachid Taha. There are a number of other recordings by other artistes (in a variety of locations, including a hotel bedroom!). Radio 3, Andy Kershaw in Algeria

    The BBC are also presenting a series of programmes under the banner 'Unconvering Iran'. This includes TV and radio materials. I haven't had a chance to listen to them yet, as there are several hours worth of material. Continue reading...

  • Canada: International Religious Freedom Report 2006
  • Defense of multiple roots lands best-selling author in court Nicolas Cheviron, ISTANBUL - AFP, September 20, 2006
    Multicultural, multilingual and determined to defend her right to be so, prominent author Elif Şafak's ruffling of establishment feathers in Turkey has resulted in a lawsuit for “denigrating the Turkish national identity” that begins here Thursday.

    The novels of the 35-year-old Şafak, peopled with uprooted characters that switch nationality, religion and even sex, has managed to offend almost all sectors of Turkey's complex establishment. continue reading

  • Task force to study 'Islamophobia' By BRIAN GRAY, TORONTO SUN, Thu, September 21, 2006
    A student organization is out to conquer "Islamophobia" on Ontario's college and university campuses.

    The Canadian Federation of Students launched a task force yesterday that will go from school to school across the province to hear from Muslim students who have had good and bad experiences because of their religion.

    "I've noticed differences in how people treat you," U of T student Ausma Malik said, adding the treatment can be subtle and come from both students and faculty.

    Malik will sit on the task force made up of Muslims and non-Muslims from inside and outside the student community.

    The task force started as a campaign against "Islamaphobia, anti-Semitism and racism" after Muslim students at Ryerson University were targets of hateful graffiti and posters two years ago, said Jesse Greener, the federation's Ontario chairman. continue reading

  • Seven Questions: The Cross and the Crescent Posted September 2006, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
    The schism between Islam and the West seemed to grow deeper this month, as the pope’s comments about Islam incited worldwide riots. FP spoke with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the multifaith Cordoba Initiative, about the pope’s controversial remarks, the future of dialogue among religions, and the U.S. role in bridging the divide with the Muslim world.

  • Can’t get enough ink on the pope? @ Faith Commons
  • Sep06 issue of Next-Wave is online... @ Faith Commons
    Cover Story Reality for the Rest of Us By Bill Dahl AsI looked out over the Pacific ocean, sun setting in the west, Irealized the gift that purpose-driven theology had bestowed upon me:the passion to pursue a relationship with God, beyond the boundaries ofthe horizon. I began to realize that perhaps, “God is bigger than theChristian faith.”(12) Maybe there’s more to God than what we presentlyportend to comprehend. I was at a point in my life where, as one authorrecounted, “We must learn how to perceive the living God who isbuilding a new world in unexpected places and shapes; indeed, we mustlearn what it means to enter the new world of God. In short, we mustrelearn the meaning of being a Christian.” It was time to move on,pursuing the God of More. continue reading
    Next-Wave Ezine - September, Issue #93

  • Worlds Religions After September 11, A Global Congress, September 14-16, 2006, organized by Prof. Arvind Sharma of McGill University, a noted expert in religious studies and interfaith relations.
    READ post conference reports, by Shanta Premawardhana @ Associate General Secretary for Interfaith Relations, National Council of Churches USA.
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