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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Faith in '08: Meet God-o-Meter

News & Blogs --

Hillary's buoyed by Bill's Baptist banter. A hedge on abortion sends Romney tumbling. Our new and highly scientific God-o-Meter rates the candidates based on their God-talk. See Their Current Ratings"

See also on the same shelf:
Cyber Worship in Multifaith Perspectives, by Mohamed Taher, Scarecrow Press, 2006. Check sample from Chapter Three:
  • 3.23 Developing World Wide Worship Mindmaps – Survey, Tools, Responses…
  • • Religion Selector: An Exploration of World Belief System:
    • Belief System Selector: An Exploration of World Religions
    Ten Questions for Evaluating Corporate Worship:

    • “Bagley Baptist Form Mail Survey System.” (Questionnaire)
    • Worship Survey
    • Jatinder Singh. “Sikh Internet Users Survey.” or (2 Jan. 2004)
    • “Christian Online Resource Center Survey.” (Questionnaire) (dead link 2 Jan. 2004)
    • Divining America: Sharing your questions - Multifaith Issues
    • WCC Worship Questionnaire
    • Daily spiritual diary Questions
    • How Well WORSHIP Questionnaire

    Friday, November 09, 2007

    Getting Religious About Street Parking


    Published: November 9, 2007, New York Times

    Today is Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, celebrating the triumph of good, represented by Lord Rama, over the forces of evil. It is a holiday that thrills some of my friends. Not that they are Hindus themselves.

    The three-day Islamic feasts of Id al-Fitr and Id al-Adha thrill them, too. They aren’t Muslims, either.

    They are, in the main, Christians and Jews. Most of them are not the sort to be found in church or synagogue every Sunday or Saturday morning. But they derive enormous satisfaction from holy days like the Feast of the Assumption or from a days-long Jewish festival like Passover.

    continue reading

    [info courtesy: Gail Zimmer]

    See also:
  • Vatican greets Hindus on Diwali - Yahoo! India News
  • US House passes Diwali resolution
  • Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    Even Athiests pray … figures don't lie!

    CORRECTED: Even Atheists pray … figures don't lie!

    November 4th, 2007 by Nancy Reyes
    Surveys show that 52% of Americans pray every day, 57% of Catholics pray every day, 41% of those who aren’t sure of life after death pray every day, and 15% of people who aren’t sure there is a God pray every day.***

    He said, with a grin, that people pray “to whom it may concern” or […] Read the rest of this entry »
    Posted by Nancy Reyes in All News, Society and Culture, US News, Religious News No Comments » 73 Views

    See also on the same shelf:
  • The scandal of particular prayers, Posted by dpulliam
  • Comparing Muslim Beliefs and Practices
  • PEW Surveys
  • Catch Hell: Newsweek/Beliefnet poll results --
    A new poll points to growing importance of 'spirituality'; most believe people of other faiths can go to heaven
  • Finding Our Own Path, By Jerry Adler, Newsweek
    Americans favor individual spirituality and personal empowerment--which has influenced even traditional, institutional religion. To read the entire article, click here. (C) 2005 Newsweek, Inc.
  • Spirituality in Action: The Road Ahead
  • If you don’t like the word God, substitute Nature, All Being, or Reality. If you don’t like the word “Word,” substitute something like “impulse.”
  • Google it
  • Spirituality: The Age of Aquarium:
  • Schools of Fish and Thought
    The theists prayed and said “Amen,” while atheists said “Ahem . . .”
    “There’s no such thing, you silly goofs; you haven’t any proof.”
    Panentheists sought elbow room, they tried to wriggle in.
    That en’s a tricky syllable; it splices God’s hair thin. continue reading @ Faithcommons

    ***Survey sources are listed below, courtesy Nancy Reyes:

  • The talk was given at a local university and reviewed in the local Catholic paper in western Massachusetts, where I am visiting my brother. They don't have a website, but the announcement is here.
  • But this NYTimes article refers to the same data:
  • This article on his website examines the belief in life after death and notes that not all atheists are "hard core" atheists.
  • The NORC website is here.
  • Presumably the research is published in journals...several of his surveys can be found at JSTOR, but since I don't have access, I can't read the hard sociological data.
  • Sunday, November 04, 2007

    Dear Diary: The Dalai Lama

    Diplomatic tangle over Dalai Lama:

    As imagined by Joseph Brean, National Post Saturday, November 03, 2007

    As imagined by Joseph Brean, National Post

    • MONDAY: Big surprise...
    • TUESDAY: In Canada now...
    • WEDNESDAY: Meet Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday...
    • THURSDAY: Yesterday, meet Canada opposition leader...
    • FRIDAY: Flying back to my government-in-exile in India.... Continue reading the full diary

    Saturday, November 03, 2007

    A worldwide convention of demons

    NB. note from a Blogger: I have done search upon search to find out who wrote this (below) and came up with 'Anonymous'.

    [Info courtesy: Abdul Rawoof Sait ]

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    Funeral law fails ethnic groups

    Rigid regulations undermine immigrants' freedom to practise final rites, study finds

    Oct 27, 2007 Prithi Yelaja, Staff Reporter, Toronto StarVINCE TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR: Pundit Roopnauth Sharma of the Shri Ram Mandir temple in Mississauga has been talking with the province about where Hindus can dispose of cremated ashes.

    Death may be the final frontier when it comes to testing the limits of multicultural accommodation in Ontario.

    Rigid provincial and municipal regulations regarding funerals and burials, created primarily to accommodate western Judeo-Christian customs, are forcing faith communities to adjust to the law rather than have the freedom to practise their final rites, according to a new study from Ryerson University.

    "Along with the mainstream population, the immigrant population is aging and dying, too, in large numbers, so now these issues are coming to the forefront," says study author Sandeep Agrawal, a professor of urban and regional planning. continue reading

    See also in the same aisle and shelf:

    Ashes to ashes, By Suelan Toye, September 28, 2007

    Urban planning Prof. Sandeep Agrawal has studied the barriers faced by ethnic groups who wish to follow their funeral customs.

    Ethnic families often face cultural barriers in Ontario when they wish to honour their loved ones' passing with culturally appropriate burial rites, say Ryerson University researchers.

    "Since Canada prides itself as a multicultural society and its citizens are committed to sustaining their cultural heritage, we need to find ways to encompass these same ideals when members of our ethnic communities pass away," says Associate Prof. Sandeep Agrawal, the lead author of Funeral and Burial Sites, Rites and Rights in Multicultural Ontario. The paper will be published this month in Citizenship and Immigration Canada's publication, Our Diverse Cities. continue reading

    The Resume of Jesus Christ

    The Miraculous Winking Jesus Christ Posted by Lana Shi Jie's

    NB. For similar resources Google it

    Monday, October 29, 2007

    Flying While Sikh?

    Dear Friends:
    Guru Fateh.
    Please distribute widely and encourage people to support Sikh Coalition and other Sikh organizations that are doing such good work.

    What You Need to Know as a Sikh Air Traveler click here

    Download the Sikh Air Travelers Guide and Bill of Rights [English version] [Punjabi version]

    We Need to Know Whether the New Policy is Working!
    Click Here To Document Your Air Travel Experience Good or Bad

    Best, Amritjit Singh (on Fulbright assignment in Graz , Austria)

    See also:

    • Should The Government Profile Muslims At Airports? By Kamran Memon Civil Rights Attorney

    • Canada needs registered air travellers program, Air India inquiry told
      Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    • Traveling in Troubled Times, by Duane Wells

    • Sikhs Laud New Airport Rule on Turban Screenings
      By ASHFAQUE SWAPAN, Special to India-West

    Friday, October 26, 2007

    Parents Fake Religion To Avoid Vaccines

    Religious Or Not, Growing Numbers Say They Are To Get Out Of Vaccinating Their Kids

    BOSTON, Oct. 17, 2007, CBS News

    (AP) Sabrina Rahim doesn't practice any particular faith, but she had no problem signing a letter declaring that because of her deeply held religious beliefs, Rachel Magni gets a hug from her daughter Stella Magni, 4, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007 at their home in Newton, Mass. Magni pursued a religious exemption so her 4-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son, who have never been vaccinated, could attend preschool. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)her 4-year-old son should be exempt from the vaccinations required to enter preschool. She is among a small but growing number of parents around the country who are claiming religious exemptions to avoid vaccinating their children when the real reason may be skepticism of the shots or concern they can cause other illnesses. Some of these parents say they are being forced to lie because of the way the vaccination laws are written in their states. “It's misleading,” Rahim admitted, but she said she fears that earlier vaccinations may be to blame for her son's autism. “I find it very troubling, but for my son's safety, I feel this is the only option we have.” continue reading

    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    American youths bridge religious divides

    By Jane Lampman Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
    from the October 24, 2007 edition

    Teens in a Boston suburb lead the way in building relationships among religious faiths in their community through Interfaith Action, a program that has captured attention abroad.

    Teenagers of different religious backgrounds participated in a Hindu dance inside a synagogue in Sharon, Mass., on Sept. 30. It's one of various teen-led interfaith activities.

    Together: As part of the 'Sacred Seasons' event, Muslims broke their Ramadan fast at a Sukkot meal at the Temple Israel synagogue in Sharon, Mass.

    Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu families gathered at a dinner arranged by high-school students in Sharon, Mass. The teens made sure the food met the dietary requirements of all the faiths. Read the full article [info courtesy: AL Reynolds]

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    Bid to de-recognise a unique world heritage site representing pluralistic traditions

    BJP wants de-recognition of Champaner Word Heritage Site
    Submitted by kashif on Tue, 10/23/2007 - 14:21.

    Saffron brigade’s bid to de-recognise a unique world heritage site representing pluralistic traditions
    By Rupa Abdi,

    It is unfortunate how all fundamentalists, both Hindu and Muslim, share a general dislike for all that is good and beautiful in this world. First it was the turn of the Taliban to tear down the beautiful sculptures of Lord Buddha at Bamiyan in Afghanistan and now it is the turn of the Saffron brigade in Gujarat to try and de-recognise the unique Champaner-Pavagadh UNESCO heritage site – a 27sq km archeological park which represents pluralistic culture and traditions in a communally divided Gujarat. Its derecognition would mean that it will no longer be protected from vandalism, wear and tear and encroachment, ultimately resulting in its destruction. Read more

    Saturday, October 20, 2007

    A Christian pastor's Ramadan in Turkey

    Middle East Online
    (photo: Galeri Istanbul/Y.Karaduman)

    Recently, I was invited by the Turkish Cultural Centre to travel from Singapore to Turkey to participate in a documentary series on Ramadan observance in Istanbul. Samanyolu TV, a national Turkish television station, developed a documentary series last year on Ramadan in different countries and they were now looking to reverse the scenario by inviting foreigners to Istanbul to join in the Ramadan activities of Turkish families. The material they produced is the major component of a three-hour programme that appeared each day just before the... Read full article

    In the shelf and aisle: Christian Muslims Photos Ramadan Turkey

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    Religion and the 50th Anniversary of Sputnik I

    "My October looks very busy at the moment so while we are here on the verge of the 50th anniversary of that historical event, let’s quickly review for the young folks what happened, or what seemed to happen, when Sputnik, the first ever earth satellite, built in Russia, began to orbit the Earth every 96 minutes on October 4th 1957. It had a skin of polished aluminium and was visible from Earth. Continue reading @ The Gates of Horn Douglas Buchanan,'s original article
    The background story:

    1957: Sputnik
    (Battle in the Schools)

    Sputnik launches push for science education. The Soviet space capsule Sputnik is the first human-made structure launched into outer space. Fearful that the Soviets are gaining an edge in the space race, the U.S. government rallies to improve science education. The National Science Foundation sponsors textbooks written by professional biologists that stress evolution as the "warp and woof of modern biology." Increasingly, high schools -- even in the South -- begin teaching evolution. The reforms lead teachers to challenge the anti-evolutionist laws in place since the 1920s. But the new textbooks and reforms also spawn protest from many conservative Christians. @ Evolution: Religion: Evolution Revolution,

    Sunday, October 14, 2007

    To Offer Your Heart

    According to Sharon Salzberg, faith is not a set of beliefs, but the act of opening our hearts to the unknown.
    Sharon Salzberg has been practicing and studying Buddhism for more than 30 years. A renowned spiritual leader and meditation instructor, she is the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. The message in her latest book, "Faith," offers insight to practitioners of any religious tradition.

    In an interview with Belief Net, Sharon answers the question "What does faith mean to you?" this way:

    Faith means several different things to me. It means having the courage to go forward into the unknown. I think we spend so much of our lives trying to pretend that we know what's going to happen next. In fact we don't. To recognize that we don't know even what will happen this afternoon and yet having the courage to move forward--that's one meaning of faith. continue reading "Sharon Salzberg on Faith" @ Faith Commons

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Divine inspiration: Witness the spectacle of Turkey's mystical dervish dancers

    The Independent
    Monday, October 01, 2007
    By Frank Partridge
    For years they could only perform in secret. Now that has changed. Back then, I did have an excuse for such spectacular ignorance. For much of the 20th century this brotherhood of mystic dancers had been driven more or less underground by the Turkish government, anxious to keep a lid on religious movements which might undermine the new republic. continue reading Belfast Telegraph

    Saturday, October 06, 2007

    The year of living biblically

    When A.J. Jacobs, Esquire magazine's editor-at-large, spent 12 months following the Bible literally, the quest transformed his life in divine, and ridiculous, ways
    Globe and Mail October 5, 2007
    In this excerpt from his forthcoming book, The Year of Living Biblically, A.J. Jacobs, who was born Jewish, but raised in an agnostic household, begins his quest to understand the relevance of faith in the modern world. Following the most arcane laws he can find in a waist-high stack of Bibles - stoning adulterers, avoiding clothes made with mixed fibres, playing a 10-string harp - Jacobs' year-long journey into biblical literalism reveals some surprisingly relevant wisdom within the most ancient texts. continue reading: The Globe and Mail

    Amazon.comThe Significant Seven Spotlight Title, September 2007: Make no mistake: A.J. Jacobs is not a religious man. He describes himself as Jewish "in the same way the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant." Yet his latest work, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, is an insightful and hilarious journey for readers of all faiths. Though no fatted calves were harmed in the making of this book, Jacobs chronicles 12 months living a remarkably strict Biblical life full of charity, chastity, and facial hair as impressive as anything found in The Lord of the Rings. Through it all, he manages to brilliantly keep things light, while avoiding the sinful eye of judgment. --Dave Callanan

    From Publishers Weekly: What would it require for a person to live all the commandments of the Bible for an entire year? That is the question that animates this hilarious, quixotic, thought-provoking memoir from Jacobs (The Know-It-All). He didn't just keep the Bible's better-known moral laws (being honest, tithing to charity and trying to curb his lust), but also the obscure and unfathomable ones: not mixing wool with linen in his clothing; calling the days of the week by their ordinal numbers to avoid voicing the names of pagan gods; trying his hand at a 10-string harp; growing a ZZ Top beard; eating crickets; and paying the babysitter in cash at the end of each work day. continue reading at

    If you'd like to hear A.J. Jacobs talk about his new book, "The Year of Living Biblically," check out this audio interview link. [Info courtesy: Bob Andelman]

    See also:

  • How others juggle faith, secularism, by Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star
  • Friday, October 05, 2007

    Hate crime against Sikh boy inspires anti-bullying website

    Posted : Thu, 04 Oct 2007 09:27:07 GMT Author : Parveen Chopra, (c) Indo-Asian News Service

    New York, Oct. 4: A hate crime against a Sikh schoolboy here has led to the start of, a website dedicated to helping Sikh students fight bullying in school. The website is designed as an interactive resource tool, featuring a discussion forum, videos, and downloadable presentations. Parents and teachers can also use the website’s sample lesson plans and games to teach others about Sikhs.

    Sikh Coalition, a New York based community organisation, started in response to an incident earlier in 2007 in which a Sikh boy’s turban was forcibly removed and his hair cut by a schoolmate in New York’s Queens area. The boy has since changed schools for safety reasons and a jury has indicted the culprit. After the attack, the Sikh Coalition issued a civil rights report, ‘Hatred in the Hallways’, on the problems Sikh children face in school.

    The report, based on a survey of New York City Sikhs, revealed that nearly 75 per cent of Sikh boys in the Queens borough — which has a concentration of Sikh households — are harassed or intimidated because of their long hair and turban. People call them “Osama bin Laden” or “terrorists”, often threatening or physically harassing them. is a way for Sikh children to feel proud of their identity and to give them the tools to combat bias in school.

    The Sikh Coalition has also been working with the department of education over the past few months to make New York City schools safer for Sikh children. On September 25, schools chancellor Joel Klein sent a letter to all school principals in New York City stressing the importance of diversity in schools, and pointing to the hair-cutting incident as a cautionary example.

    Monday, October 01, 2007


    PS. Info courtesy: Prof. Amritjit Singh
    "I got this from a woman online. A friend of hers died who had a great sense of humor and always used to say that when she died she wanted a parking meter on her grave that says "Expired". So her nephew got her one on ebay! She said that her grave is right by the road so everyone can see it and many people have stopped to get a chuckle." Submitted by John Hutchinson

    The grave site of Barbara Sue Manire who died in 2005 and is buried in Highland Cemetery in Okemah, Oklahoma, includes the parking meter as shown in the photo showing when she expired.

    See also:
  • "Time-Expired" Grave Site
  • Sunday, September 30, 2007

    Indonesians tune in to digital Koran

    Ahmad Pathoni, Reuters
    Published: Thursday, September 20, 2007,
    A boy reads the Koran during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in the West Bank city of Hebron, September 17, 2007. REUTERS/Nayef Hashlamoun JAKARTA (Reuters) - With her tiny earphones and slim digital player, Jakarta office worker Mira Indriarti looks like any other young music lover -- only she's not listening to the latest tunes, but to a recording of the Koran. Digital Koran is increasingly popular in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, where such gadgets sell especially well during the fasting month of Ramadan when... continue reading

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Three things we must do to facilitate Interfaith Dialogue

    Asra Nomani asks the Dalai Lama: "What is it that our leaders can do to transcend the issues of power that make them turn the people of different religions against each other?"

    He looked at me intently and said: "There are three things we must do. Read the scholars of each other's religions. Talk to the enlightened beings in each other's religions. Finally, do the pilgrimages of each other's religions." source

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    To Muslims, Ram is their Imam-e-Hind

    [PS. the idea of Imam-e-hind or the leader of India, is based on the poem of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, a poet philosopher of India and Pakistan, ]

    To Muslims, Ram is their Imam-e-Hind [read in hindustantimes]

    Rama Setu: peoples’ anger @ Hinducivilization
    Study of dharma and traditions of over one billion people, hindu.

    Rama, a Muslim perspective @ FoundationforPluralism [quote] on Behalf of all Muslims who believe in reason and sanity, I declare that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) affidavit (since withdrawn) questioning the existence of Hindu god Ram was vitriolic, scathing, unfortunate and blasphemous - not just to Hindus but to all those who cherish our pluralistic cultural heritage. How can a government decide the veracity of a figure like Ram? -- He Ram ke wajood pe Hindostan ko naaz/Ahl-e-nazar samajhtey hein usko Imam-e-Hind! Iqbal, the poet of the East, has written a wonderful and moving poem on the authenticity of the existence of Ram. Logic and science have their say but not in matters of faith. In a nation where religion percolates to all levels of culture, secularism and modernity, themes like Ram, Mohammed, Mary and Moses are all interwoven within the existence of the people. A denial can drive people into a frenzy."

    A lifelong affair: In love with love by nida Fazil [quote:] Iqbal called Lord Ram as Imam-e-Hind, adding, "Ye Sheikh o Brahmin hume acche nahin lagte, hum jitne hain ye itne bhi sacche nahin lagte". [end quote]

    Thespian Dilip Kumar on Gujarat and the Divisive Politics of Hate: “My Heart Is Lacerated” Firoz Bakht Ahmed had the following interview with veteran actor Dilip Kumar. [Quote:] India is a land of Ram and of Allah. Iqbal once said about Ra: Hai Ram ke wajood pe Hindustan ko naaz/ Ahle nazar samajhte hein us ko Imam-e-Hind. Why should the followers of Ram and Allah be bloodthirsty? [end quote]

    Muslims & Mainstream by Asghar Ali Engineer [quote] "It is wrong to say the Muslims refuse to respect Hindu gods such as Ram and Krishna. It amounts to saying all Indian Muslims conform to this behaviour. It is again homogenising the entire community. At best, it is only one trend among many. There are thousands of Muslims who deeply revere them.
    The Sufis, of course, had an outlook different from that of the theologians. Mazhar Jani Janan, an eminent 18th century Sufi saint, was of the view that since Allah promised to send His prophets to all the peoples of the world for religious guidance (for every people, there is a religious guide) how could He forget the Indians? And since Indians highly revered Ram and Krishna, they must be His Prophets.
    A 20th century Sufi Khwaja Hasan Nizami wrote that Ram and Krishna were the prophets of Allah. Hasrat Mohani, Urdu poet and freedom-fighter who gave a call for complete freedom in 1921 itself and rejected the concept of Home Rule, was a great admirer of Lord Krishna. He performed Haj every year and also visited Brindavan on the occasion of Janmashtami regularly. Some of the Farangi Mahli Ulema in Lucknow also held Lord Krishna in great respect. The Urdu poet Iqbal, described Lord Ram and Imam-e-Hind, i.e., revered religious leader of India."

    Islam Is A Faith Like Any Other by Prof. Tahir Mahmood [quote] "In accordance with the Qur'anic exhortation that God sent His messengers to all parts of the globe only some of whom the Holy Book names, include among them Moses and Christ, Buddha and Mahavir, Ram and Krishna, and give them equal respect. The Holy Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita are, like the Torah and the Bible, covered by the Qur'anic concept of suhif-il-oula or earlier scriptures." see also: Lord Ram's existence is India's pride
    Woh hadi-e-azeem woh Bharat ka rahnuma
    Hai kaun jis ney naam na ho Ram ka suna
    Ruhaaniyat ka taaj tha sar par dhara hua
    Insaaniyat ka haar galey mein para hua
    Lakhon labon pe aj bhi bas uska nam hai
    Jo uska naam hai who sabhika salam hai

    That great Spiritual Guide, the Leader of India
    Who is there who hasn't heard Ram's name?
    The crown of spirituality on his head he wore
    Garland of humanism in his neck he adorned
    On millions of lips is his name until this day
    For people, his name remains a greeting way

    Innervoice of Tahir Mahmood

  • This Ram devotee was born a Muslim
  • Sunday, September 23, 2007

    'I Sold My Soul on eBay' - Faithwise Review of the Week

    A self-described 'friendly atheist' auctioned himself off to a Christian minister, agreeing to visit dozens of churches and record his impressions. Here's what he found. Read the Interview
  • Life After 'Eat, Pray, Love' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-selling spiritual memoir, on keeping the inner flame lit, Hollywood a-calling, and what happened with her sublime Brazilian lover. Watch the Video
  • Muslims seek French advice for fasting without feasting
    But clerics and medics say the iftar meal to break the fast after sunset has become ever more lavish in recent times, encouraged by the Arab cultural emphasis on big family meals.

    Alain Delabos, a doctor who has written several books on dieting, said some Muslims turned the iftar meal into "a nocturnal orgy of sugary food from sunset to sunrise".

    "That leads some to end Ramadan with more weight than they had before and others... to see signs of diabetes or an excess in cholesterol emerge," Delabos writes in his book "Chrono-nutrition - Ramadan special" which came out last month.

    Providing recipes ranging from roasted figs to red mullet with fennel or lentil soup, Delabos advises Muslims to eat one sugary dish at the end of the day's fast, another light, savoury dish before going to bed and a savoury meal before sunrise. continue reading Zee News
  • Romance on Iranian TV Crosses Cultures
    All Things Considered, September 20, 2007 · Iran state-controlled TV is featuring a mini-series about a love story between an Iranian Muslim man and a French Jewish woman during World War II: Zero Degree Turn. Farnaz Fassihi of The Wall Street Journal has written about the show and discusses it with Robert Siegel.
  • EEOC: Discrimination against Sikhs in the Workplace Continues Unabated Since 9/11
  • Why is he in exile? by Ram Rahman
    It’s not his art. It’s that M.F Husain has become a pawn for mobilising communal political forces. And so, one of India’s greatest artists will spend his 92nd birthday, on September 17,away from his country
    by Sabina England
  • Religion is pluralistic, so let's make sure it stays that way Daily Star Lebanon
    By Ali Noer Zaman Commentary by Tuesday, September 04, 2007 One of the much-debated religious issues in Indonesia today is that of pluralism. Its opponents, such as the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI), believe that pluralist theology is harmful for Islamic theological foundations, as it would undermine the idea that a particular religion is supreme and that other religious beliefs are apocryphal. A MUI fatwa of 2005, which called for the abolishment of pluralistic theology, alarmed the Muslim community of the danger of pluralist theology. continue reading
  • ‘No freedom of religion for Muslims in Goa’ * Gomantak Times says Hindus and Christians, not Muslims, enjoy religious freedom, Daily Times Monitor
  • Let Her Be Covered Part One
    That was her question. In response, my companion assured her that the wearing of the headcovering is a Biblical teaching recorded in 1 Corinthians 11....
  • Let Her Be Covered Part Two
  • Knowing Hinduism or Hindu Religion, by Ravikumar Uppaluri
  • Minorities Under Attack: Sangh Prepares for the Coming Elections
  • BJP distances itself from ‘fatwa’ controversy The Hindu,
    Bhopal: In an apparent damage control excerise, the BJP on Saturday sought to distance itself from the “Vedanti fatwa” controversy and backed the claim of the VHP leader that he was misquoted.

    Ram Vilas Vedanti, a senior VHP leader and former BJP MP, said in Ayodhya that whosoever chopped the head and tongue of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, for saying Lord Ram did not exist, would be rewarded with gold.
  • Friday, September 21, 2007

    Mosque made of chocolate

    Chefs give finishing touches to a chocolate model of a mosque at a hotel in Jakarta. The model made from 150 kg of chocolate will be displayed at the hotel during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. (Reuters Photo)

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    Church bans toddlers' yoga group - Faithwise Review of the Week

    A children's group has been banned from a church hall after their yoga lessons were denounced as "unchristian".
    Teacher Louise Woodcock from Taunton, Somerset, was told the Yum Yum Yoga classes for pre-school children did not share the church's Christian ethos. continue reading BBC News 31 August 2007 / Watch the news Video
  • International reaction to kids yoga ban, Sommerset County Gazette, UK - 4 Sep 2007
  • Sikhs flay RSS for saying Granth Sahib known for Ram's praise
    New Delhi, Sep 15 (PTI) Sikh religious leaders opposed to the BJP today condemned the RSS for stating in its mouthpiece 'Organiser' that their sacred texts were "known for their salutations to Sri Rama".
  • Britain's First Hindu School Gets Okay
  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar raps government for Ram affidavit
    Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday criticised the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for its judicial affidavit that said there was no historical evidence to prove the existence of Lord Ram.

    In a statement issued from Germany, Sri Sri said: "Ramayana and Mahabharata are called "Itihasas" (histories). Itihas means it happened. That Sri Ram did exist is recorded in the epic Ramayana.

    "The ancient seers had made clear distinction between "Puranas" (classical literature) and Itihasas. Puranas are mythological, symbolic stories, while Itihasas are that which actually happened."

  • God, math, and Ramanujan's fascinating story
    For his 12th novel The Indian Clerk, David Leavitt, one of America's distinguished writers, chose to work on the relationship between mathematicians G H Hardy and Srinivasa Ramanujan.

    Leavitt, a National Endowment for the Arts fellow and professor of literature, offers a complicated and intriguing story starting with Hardy receiving a letter filled with prime number theorems from Ramanujan, a young accounts clerk in Madras (now Chennai).

    Hardy and his collaborator J E Littlewood soon decide Ramanujan is a genius and invite him to work with them.

    The book explores the difficult relationship between Hardy and Ramanujan, and the various indignities and health problems the Indian genius suffered, leading to an avoidable tragedy. continue reading the process of writing the book with Rediff India Abroad Managing Editor (Features) Arthur J Pais.
  • Inside the beggars' jail, nemesis of every Indian panhandler
    Activists working on behalf of the beggars call the system inhumane.

    "One has the right to dignity, right to life, which the government today is denying by putting these destitute people into jails," said Indu Prakash Singh of ActionAid, a nonprofit activist aid group.
  • One law for one and all, consistently applied (veiled voting vent), Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star, September 13, 2007
  • Voters almost split on funding of religious schools, survey finds
  • Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Prayers of the Day: Relationships in a Multifaith Domain

    Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
    Where there is injury, pardon
    Where there is doubt, faith,
    Where there is despair, hope,
    Where there is darkness, light,
    Where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
    seek to be consoled as to console,
    not so much to be understood as to understand,
    not so much to be loved, as to love;
    for it is in giving that we receive,
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.

    - St. Francis of Assisi [source: @ Prayer of the Day]
    See also:
    Prayers: 71

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Jewish High Holidays and the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan Coincide This Year

    By Adam Phillips New York11 September 2007, VOA NEWS
    Phillips report — Download 2.14MB (mp3)

    Listen to Phillips report — Download 2.14MB (mp3)

    Wednesday evening September 12th marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year, or Rosh haShana. It's the start of a ten-day period of reflection, repentance and celebration that climaxes on the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur. This year, the Jewish High Holidays coincide with Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of daylong fasts that mark the giving of the Qur'an to Mohammed.

    See also: Religious holidays start for Jews and Muslims
    Rabbi holds torah
    Muslim woman reads the Quran <br />during fasting month of Ramadan

  • Sweet calendars set for Ramadan, BBC News [see alos on countdown calendars: Ramadan Activities and Countdown Calendar]
  • Religious feasts feed soul
  • Ramadan & Rosh Hashanah: A Beautiful Clash of Civilizations
  • Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Indian imams to work with Israel for peace - Faithwise Review of the Week

  • Historic Israel mission to boost Jewish-Muslim relations
  • Time to end violence
  • Indian imams to work with Israel for peace
    The All-India Organisation of Imams has entered into an agreement with the Chief Rabbinet of Israel to “work together” for peace. Funded by the American Jewish Committee, a group of maulanas led by the general secretary of the Organisation of Imams, Mr Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, spent eight days in Israel and found commonalties with “our cousins, all sons of Ibrahim” to a point where they have decided to help enthuse other Indian Muslims to visit Israel.
    The American Jewish Committee's Rabbi David Rosen (seated, second from right) in India in February 2007.
    The visit sparked off a storm of protest here with the Urdu media in particular highlighting the controversy in detail. Most other Muslim organisations attacked the visit, maintaining that Mr Ilyasi and others in the delegation had basically supported the Israeli position on Palestine. Mr Ilyasi, however, termed the opposition as motivated, saying that those opposed to the visit were working to foster fundamentalism. He held the view that he had communicated in Israel to a Washington Post reporter, who asked him about Osama bin Laden and jihad, that the mission of the delegation to Israel for peace was “Islam’s real jihad”.
    President Peres with Indian Muslim clerics (photo: Yisrael Noy)
    Jamiat Ulema Hind secretary Abdul Hameed Naumani did not even want to speak of the visit, seeing it as highly condemnable. Muslim leaders pointed out that the delegation went to make peace with those who were at war with the Palestinians and did not share Mr Ilyasi’s optimism that he could work as an effective mediator between the two sides. The maulanas, accompanied by three journalists from the Urdu media, were given a grand reception and participated in several high-level meetings during their visit to Israel.

    They spoke at length on terrorism with their Israeli hosts with both sides condemning this in no uncertain words. It was not clear, however, whether these maulanas looked upon the Palestinian struggle for their own land as terrorism. This is the first Muslim group from India that has had such an extended stay in Israel. Mr Ilyasi’s father, Khwaja Iftikhar Ilyasi, had earned some fame for tying a turban on the late Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao after the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Mr Ilyasi was contacted by members of the American Jewish Committee, who arranged a meeting for him with Israel’s chief rabbi, Yona Metzel, at a five star hotel in Delhi earlier this year. The Australian Jewish Council was also involved with their members visiting India and meeting Muslim leaders like Mr Ilyasi.

    Mr Ilyasi was particularly happy with his visit where he reminded almost everyone he met that Muslims and Jews were “cousins”, both being sons of “Ibrahim (Abraham)”. He said he had suggested that visas should be made easily available for Indian Muslims to encourage them to visit Israel. The government leaders he had met, Mr Ilyasi said, were amenable to the idea. He is now waiting to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to apprise them of the visit, and communicate to them the new understanding that had been forged between his delegation and those they had met in Israel. He appeared to think that this was going to be a long-term relationship where “both sides have developed a lot of affection for each other”.
    [source: Deccan Chronicle]
  • Joel Kilpatricks Field Guide to Evangelicals
  • Homosexuality: The Creative Work of Conservative Evangelicals
  • Faith Binds Society Together and Powers Civilization's Development
  • Let your house have the zing things
    Your home reflects your personality. Liven it up with accessories that give it that special look and literally transform a dull picture of bricks and stones to an exciting one of imagination and colour, says Bindu Gopal Rao.
  • MXODUS: The Search for Knowledge
    By Mother Tynnetta Muhammad
  • Nepal follows in Turkey's footsteps
    Nepal's state run airline sacrificed two goats earlier this week in the hope that it would please the gods and resolve technical problems with a troubled jet, reports said yesterday, an incident akin to officials at Turkish Airlines (THY) sacrificing a camel.
  • Saturday, September 01, 2007

    Inspiration on the Go - Faithwise Review of the Week

    Morning Practice: Spreading Goodness at the Station
    Did you know that goodness spreads? In this video, a train announcer brightens commuters' mornings with silly, inspiring messages. He believes that most people are good, they just need someone to remind them.

  • Faith-based Schools Must Get Public Funding by By Kanayalal Raina
    The Catholic system has existed in this province for decades. It has proven very successful at producing hardworking, productive, and responsible Ontario citizens. Faith-based schools are for the minority who wish their children to be literate in their religion and culture, and able to pass it on to future generations. It is fine in theory to talk about how young children should be educated together so they will be able to share their different cultures with each other, but in reality a young child starting school does not have the cultural literacy yet established to have much to share. Continue reading

  • Mother Teresa: My Saint of Darkness and Hope

  • Honk If You Love Church Signs

  • Hindus Urged To Train New Generation Of Dharmic Leaders

  • Multiculturalism? Canada Should Take A Page From India by By Gauri d'Gama Rose

  • Knowledge as Path to Truth by Dr. Col.(Reted) K. Prabhakar rao

  • Faith Binds Society Together and Powers Civilization's Development by Bill

  • 10 Ways to Bring Your Whole Self to Work     Click Here to View the Gallery
  • Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    Texting Tolerance: Computer-Mediated Interfaith Dialogue

    Ally Ostrowski University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. Webology, Volume 3, Number 4, December, 2006.


    As religious unrest and tension rise throughout the world, facilitating interfaith dialogue has become more important than ever. Many religious organizations have begun to include interfaith discourse into their general religious programming for members and some hold regular dialogue groups for their local population. But face to face events tend to focus only on the local community, excluding distant others who also seek to participate in interreligious discourse. The Internet, therefore, is an important medium to utilize for interfaith dialogue, and can bring isolated people together to discuss issues of difference and faith. This project finds that online interfaith information is excellent for congregations to utilize because of the relatively anonymous nature of the Internet, the disappearance of proximity limitation, the ability to become close with other participants, access to a spectrum of people who practice a particular religion, and the extra time available to ponder moderator questions and previous discussions. Using the Internet for interfaith dialogue is an important step for religious institutions and congregations. Not only are they reaching to their own members through cyberspace, but also reaching the larger population, sharing their range of religious beliefs, and participating in a global effort to improve tolerance and understanding between religious practitioners. continue reading

    See also previous related posts:

    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Yoga instructor brings teaching to Ontario prison - Faithwise Review of the Week

    Mark Fry taught yoga last week to men at the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre. (Nicole Tomlinson, Tomlinson, News, Aug. 25 2007
    A week and a half ago, Mark Fry ventured, heart racing, into a prison common room full of inmates -- and no guards.
    Fry shows the triangle pose: 'A lot of them said that was the hardest thing they'd ever done, but they were happy they got through it because they felt so great.' (Nicole Tomlinson,
    The Art of Living yoga instructor was greeted by the sight of 21 men sitting on the concrete floor of the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre in Brockville, Ont.

    The residents were poised on bedding they carried in from their cells. Yoga mats, Fry said, are hard to come by in prison.

    "The inmates washed and swept the floor, and set the whole room up," Fry said. "Then they all brought their sheets in, and were just sitting there."

    Prison nurses, who Fry said laughed at the program, looked into the room through a bubbled window, wondering how the "kooky" encounter would play out. continue reading

    Otherways is a collection of essays by Andrew Perriman
  • Otherways: In search of an emerging theology

  • Religion of our country is Indianness: Shahrukh Khan
  • Make Islamic varsity a national venture: Minister, Shujaat Bukhari SRINAGAR: Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh has called for making the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) a national venture. He also accepted an offer to be a visiting professor at the university beginning October 1.
  • Cyber routes to a happy Onam
    Bangalore: The Internet and e-mail have simplified the whole process of sending seasonal greetings to one’s friends and relatives — with dozens of online resources offering a choice of designs for free use.
    This year, the web has added a video edge to Onam: allowing you to express your good wishes through a nostalgic video clipping, with music and movie to stir a Malayalee’s heart!
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