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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Indians win faith fellowship for first time

Horizons Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, May 17, 2011
Four Indians have been selected for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s youth leadership programme, Faiths Act Fellowship, the first time that the country finds representation among 30 fellows.

... The four Indian Fellows will work together in interfaith pairs with two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in New Delhi for the next year.

Aparajita Bharti, a 21-year-old Buddhist from Vikas Puri is going to be paired with Sarmistha Pattanayak, a 24-year-old Hindu from Bhubaneswar. Ayesha Nusrat, a 22-year-old Muslim from New Delhi will be linked with Rohit S, a 21-year-old Hindu from Bangalore. They will receive a month of training in London before starting their year-long interfaith service.

... The fellows are from a diverse cross section of the faith traditions: 10% are Hindu, 30% Muslim, 3.3% Sikh, 3.3%, 6.6% Buddhist, 3.3%, Bahá’í, 26% Christian, 3.3% Quaker and 17% Jewish, including the various denominations.
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On the same shelf:
  • Birmingham University student chosen for Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation Fellowship
  • Friday, May 13, 2011

    An introduction to Islam for Jews - Reading now

    An Introduction to Islam for Jews by Reuven Firestone @ Philadelphia : JPS/Jewish Publication Society, 2008. 298 p. ISBN: 9780827608641.

    What do the reviewers say:
  • Herbert E. Shapiro - Library Journal
    This well-written, scholarly book provides an overview of aspects of Islam that may be unfamiliar yet of interest to contemporary Jews.
  • AJL Newsletter - Rachel Simon
    This authoritative and readable book is of value for students and general readers alike.
  • Midwest Book Review
    An Introduction to Islam for Jews is perfect for any Jewish reader seeking an understanding of Islam... a scholarly yet accessible title.
  • Publishers Weekly
    Firestone extends a real effort to be fair to both sides; in his discussion of Muhammad's massacre of between 600 and 900 Jewish men, for instance, he reminds readers that the Jews had committed treason and points to examples in the Hebrew Bible where Israelites engaged in similar tactics. Part two digs into the foundations of Islamic law and belief, discussing the Qur'an, the prophetic tradition, key doctrines and sharia law.

    About the Author:
    Reuven Firestone is professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles and director of the Institute for the Study and Enhancement of Muslim-Jewish Interrelations (ISEMJI), a program of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California

    On the same shelf:
  • Did the Jews pray as Muslims do ?
  • Do the Jews ever pray like the Muslims?
  • Prostration
  • Sunday, May 08, 2011

    Faithwise Review of the Week

    • Messenger Muhammad Asks: Hey Osama.. Why Did You Kill? by Seckin Islamoglu
      A survey about Islam, Muslim, Muhammad (sav), Jihad and Terrorism This book answers these basic questions: "What is Islam? Who is Muhammad (sav)? Who is called a Muslim? What is Islamic Struggle (Jihad)? Is Terrorism an Islamic method? Can those who apply non-Islamic methods be representatives of Islam and Muslims? Can one reach success and get Allah's consent with non-Islamic methods?" It tells the differences between Jihad (Islamic methods of struggle) and Terrorism (evil methods of struggle). It is an invitation to repentance for the cruel who use both individual (organizational) terrorism and state terrorism. And at the same time, it introduces the illuminating profile of the exemplifying life of Muhammad (sav); it is for those who seek the truth.
    • Osama Bin Laden Killed By U.S. Forces-Dallas Morning News Newspaper, Monday May 2, 2011, New, unread newstand copy.
    • Sustainable Peterborough (Ontario): United in Faith [An evening with Sustainable Peterborough, visioning our future through the eyes of faith. Share your ideas and hopes as input to the Greater Peterborough Area's Sustainability Plan.
      Wed. May 18, 7-9 p.m., George Street United Church auditorium, 534 George St. N. ]
    • Is bin Laden Really Dead? Osama Bin Laden Death Skeptics Grow As Lynne Blankenbeker, New Hampshire State Rep, Voices Doubts
    • Hasidic Newspaper Photoshops Hillary Clinton Out Of Iconic Picture

    • World to end May 24 weekend: kook or prophet By Mark Dunn, Parliamentary Bureau, Toronto Sun

    • Halevi: The burial at sea and the history of Shariah. [Watery Grave, Murky LawBy LEOR HALEVI]

    • End of Mideast Wholesale, By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    • Know thy neighbours, Eboo Patel and Samantha Kirby, Hindustan Times [What can we make of this? Rev. Jim Wallis, a leading progressive evangelical voice in America, has a saying: “God is personal, but never private.” By imagining religion only as a private affair, we ignore the important public elements of faith — whether it means garnering strength from prayer during times of chaos or living out religious convictions by protecting others so they can practise freely]

    • Putting Multifaith Education at top of the Agenda: Henry Luce Foundation Awards $350,000 Grant to Episcopal Divinity School

    • Om shanti om! Deccan Chronicle
      According to the Vedas, the universe was created with the word “Om” and today, it is a proven fact that the beej mantra of Hinduism has several benefits for the body and the soul.

      Chanting “Om” stimulates the central nervous system, giving relief from mental health issues including depression, anxiety and even epilepsy. The mantra has the potential to work on the Vagus nerve, stimulating the brain through its auricular branches. The Vagus nerve is one of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves and extends from the brain to the abdomen.

      A team of researchers from the psychiatry department of the Advanced Centre for Yoga, attached to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, has concluded that the “Om” mantra has neurohaemodynamic potential i.e. improves blood flow to the brain, thus increasing brain function and that of the central nervous system.

      Dr B.N. Gangadhar, one of the researchers, told this correspondent that stimulation of the Vagus nerve is used to treat depression and epilepsy. Since chanting the mantra stimulates the Vagus nerve, it can have a potential role in clinical practice.
  • Swimwear firm apologises for carrying Goddess images on bikini Deccan Chronicle
    Extract: An Australian swimwear label company, which triggered a controversy by depicting an image of Goddess Lakshmi on a bikini bottom and front of a model, has apologised to the Hindu community for hurting their sentiments.

    "We would like to offer an apology to anyone we may have offended and advise that the image of Goddess Lakshmi will not appear on any piece of Lisa Blue swimwear for the new season, with a halt put on all production of the new range and pieces shown on the runway removed," said a statement issued by the Lisa Blue Swimwear.
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