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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wind could have parted Red Sea for Moses: Report -

Toronto Star, Sep 21 2010
“The parting of the waters can be understood through fluid dynamics. The wind moves the water in a way that’s in accordance with physical laws, creating a safe passage with water on two sides and then abruptly allowing the water to rush back in.”

Religious texts differ a little in the tale, but all describe Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt ahead of a pharaoh’s armies around 3,000 years ago. The Red Sea parts to let Moses and his followers pass safely, then crashes back onto the pursuers, drowning them...

“This land bridge is 3-4 km long and 5 km wide, and it remains open for 4 hours,” they wrote in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.

“People have always been fascinated by this Exodus story, wondering if it comes from historical facts,” Drews said. “What this study shows is that the description of the waters parting indeed has a basis in physical laws.”
continue reading

See also on the same shelf:
  • Moses parting the Red Sea: it could have happened. Probably didn't, but could have
  • Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Leave quotation of sacred texts to theologians

    By Haroon Siddiqui Toronto Star, Sep 12 2010

    "Pastor Terry Jones wanted to burn the Qur’an because he believes it preaches violence. That, in fact, has been an article of faith for critics of Islam post-9/11. “See, it says right here,” they say, pointing to the “Sword Verses,” of which they are a dozen. They quote them selectively, as does Osama bin Laden — he to justify violent jihad, they to demonize Islam...

    In fact, Philip Jenkins, professor of religion at Penn State University and author of Jesus Wars and Dark Passages, has argued that “the scriptures in the Qur’an are far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible. There’s a specific kind of warfare laid down in the Bible which we can only call genocide..." continue reading

    On the same shelf:
  • Is The Bible More Violent Than The Quran?
    by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
    Extract: "Much to my surprise, the Islamic scriptures in the Quran were actually far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible," Jenkins says.

    Jenkins is a professor at Penn State University and author of two books dealing with the issue: the recently published Jesus Wars, and Dark Passages , which has not been published but is already drawing controversy.

    Violence in the Quran, he and others say, is largely a defense against attack.
  • Philip Jenkins:
    "The book I am working on right now is called Dark Passages: How Religions Learn to Forget Their Bloody Origins..."
  • Monday, September 13, 2010

    India: A Glimpse of Multifaith Composite Culture

    Note: This post coincides with the world wide celebrations of Hindi Day, a language that co-exists in the name of Hindustani, more here and here: Simplify Hindi news to reach masses: Ambika Soni

    On the same shelf:
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Multifaith Perspective
  • Faith and the city: Just one prayer away from God
    According to the Quality of Life survey by DNA and AZ research, overall 55% of adults in the city pray, whereas the number of people who meditate is seen to be rising, especially in Mumbai city. In fact, the survey findings indicate that meditation as a habit has become quite popular in central suburbs and central Mumbai.
  • Chowk: Books Arts & Culture: Story of Hindustani II
  • Hindi or Hindustani -the Differences in Various Forms of Hindi Spoken And Written in India
  • Hindi Day celebration from Sep 14, 2010
  • Mind Your Language: Needed, a National Script! by Rajinder Puri
  • Elegy for India, by Gamal Nkrumah, Al-Ahram Weekly
  • US gives India high marks on religious freedom
  • Wednesday, September 08, 2010

    Building on Faith in Lower Manhattan

    By FEISAL ABDUL RAUF, September 7, 2010

    Above all, the project will amplify the multifaith approach that the Cordoba Initiative has deployed in concrete ways for years. Our name, Cordoba, was inspired by the city in Spain where Muslims, Christians and Jews co-existed in the Middle Ages during a period of great cultural enrichment created by Muslims. Our initiative is intended to cultivate understanding among all religions and cultures.

    Our broader mission — to strengthen relations between the Western and Muslim worlds and to help counter radical ideology — lies not in skirting the margins of issues that have polarized relations within the Muslim world and between non-Muslims and Muslims. It lies in confronting them as a joint multifaith, multinational effort.

    From the political conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians to the building of a community center in Lower Manhattan, Muslims and members of all faiths must work together if we are ever going to succeed in fostering understanding and peace.

    At Cordoba House, we envision shared space for community activities, like a swimming pool, classrooms and a play space for children. There will be separate prayer spaces for Muslims, Christians, Jews and men and women of other faiths. The center will also include a multifaith memorial dedicated to victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. continue reading

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