Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2013

Can Atheists and Muslims Support Freedom of Conscience Together?

Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” For many, it’s easy to appreciate Jefferson’s eloquently stated advocacy of religious freedom of conscience, as well as the idea that all individuals should be able to express religious or nonreligious positions independent of others’ beliefs. Likewise, at the United Nations, both the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the binding International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantee “freedom of thought, conscience and religion” to all individuals. But, in spite of international agreements and Jefferson’s beautiful words, the reality is that these tenets are often forgotten. Today, few corners of the world are immune from the oppression of conscience.  ..... A snapshot of what Pew reports as roughly 75 percent of the world—5.25 billion people—that live under some sort of social or government

Papal resignation linked to inquiry into 'Vatican gay officials', says paper (blog) Pope Benedict XVI's  resignation is tied to pedophile priest scandal Then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany looking on as the late Pope John Paul II celebrates Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Sept. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders. The pope's spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica. The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called "Vatileaks" affair. Last May Pope Benedict's butler, Paolo Gabriele,

Obesity worldwide: the map of the world's weight

Obesity is in the news again   - but how does the UK compare to the rest of the world?   The World Health Organisation   (WHO) database contains global comparisons of overweight and obesity prevalence broken down over time. The map below shows the overweight and obesity (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m²) prevalence by gender and country. Click on the map to see the figures by place and use the drop down menu to change year displayed, or explore the table below   •  Download and explore the data behind this map Mapped using Google Fusion tables <<Free-eBooks Click here>>>  

The Justice of Injustice Indian style: Judicial murder of Afzal Guru

A perfect day for democracy:   By Arundhati Roy WASN`T it? Yesterday I mean. Spring announced itself in Delhi. The sun was out, and the law took its course. Just before breakfast, Afzal Guru, prime accused in the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, was secretly hanged, and his body was interred in Tihar jail. Was he buried next to Maqbool Butt? (The other Kashmiri who was hanged in Tihar in 1984. Kashmiris will mark that anniversary on Monday.) Afzal`s wife and son were not informed. `The authorities intimated the family through speed post and registered post,` the Home Secretary told the press. `The Director General of J&K police has been told to check whether they got it or not. No big deal, they`re only the family of a Kashmiri terrorist. In a moment of rare unity the nation, or at least its major political parties, the Congress, the BJP and the CPM, came together as one (barring a few squabbles about `delay` and `timing`) to celebrate the

Leadership criteria

IT is often stated that the real reason behind the world’s perennial financial, economic and political crises is the lack of ethical leadership. If one ponders over the state of affairs in Pakistan as well, it becomes clear that it is also the singular lack of leadership that is driving the country into the abyss. Leadership can be commonly defined as directly or indirectly influencing others, by means of formal authority or personal attributes, to act in accordance with one’s intent or a shared purpose. There is an emphasis on the role of ‘transformational’ leadership in academic circles these days. It has been preferred as a better mode of leadership than ‘transactional’ leadership, which is characterised by a swapping, trading or bargaining motive in an exchange process between a leader and the led. Transactional leadership lacks lasting engagement between the two sides as both ‘use’ one another as we commonly see in material exchanges. On the contrar

Indian Muslims: Sachar Committee Report on latest social, economic and educational condition of the Muslim community of India

Indian Muslims are the third-largest Muslim population anywhere in the world, after Indonesia and Pakistan.  To use the word ‘minority’ for Indian Muslims , is misleading: Minority status, however, refers to a group’s relative power vis-à-vis other groups rather than to its numbers alone (note the case of women everywhere or blacks in South Africa during the apartheid).   M uslims in India form the largest religious minority in the country. According to the 2011 Census, they comprise 14.4 per cent of India’s total population — roughly 174 million people. . In that sense, then, Indian Muslims certainly are a minority, particularly when one considers the growing influence of Hindu right-wing forces since the 1980s. More : تقسیم ہند 1947 کا ذمہ وار کون ؟ انڈیا میں یہ  بحث بہت زور شور سے کی  جاتی ہے کہ تقسیم ہند ذمہ وار محمد  جناح تھے- محض ایک شخص کو ایک بر صغیر کی تقسیم کا ذمہ وار ٹھرانا سادگی یا لاعلمی ہی ہو سکتی ہے- آزادی چالیس سا