A furor in Turkey ignited by the title of a Christian spiritual leader on a U.S. embassy invitation has underscored concerns about the largely Muslim country's treatment of minorities two weeks before the European Union decides whether to open membership talks with Ankara.
The problem revolved around the status of the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, a Turkish citizen and ethnic Greek. He is considered "first among equals" of the world's Orthodox patriarchs and directly controls several Greek Orthodox Churches around the world.
But Turkey has long refused to accept any international role for the patriarch and rejects his use of the title "ecumenical," or universal. It argues the patriarch is merely spiritual leader of Istanbul's dwindling Orthodox community of less than 3,000.
"All the big names: who caught them? Pakistan caught them, 600 of them."
Having sex is the high point of most women's' days, while commuting is the low point. And most women like being with their kids less than they will admit, according to a study published on Thursday.I'm sticking with dogs.
Monday, November 29, 2004 was the 57th anniversary of Resolution 181, the United Nations vote which partitioned British possessions in the Holy Land into two states, one for Jews and one for Arabs. While some regard this as the day Israel was born, this year the UN decided to commemorate their vote by declaring November 29 as "International Day of Solidarity With the Palestinian People."(evariste pbuh)
The computer term "master/slave," which was banned as racially offensive by a Los Angeles County purchasing department, was named the most politically incorrect term of the year on Thursday.
Among other terms on the top 10 list of politically charged words and phrases, issued by the word usage group Global Language Monitor, were "non-same sex marriage" to describe heterosexual unions, "waitron" for waiter or waitress and "higher being" for God, a term some people found too religious.
NU Online is the formal site of the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia and the world. Often too glibly characterized as 'traditionalist' due to Sufi influence and rural East Java cultural peculiarities, its leading kyai (teacher-clerics) consider historic Islamic jurisprudence a legitimate part of the faith. The thoroughness and sophistication of the NU site site may thus surprise some. It includes a 'links' page for key groups in the loosely knit, often fractious greater NU family, including the popular Pesantren Virtual. The similar site Pesantren Net holds a wealth of information on everyday Muslim boarding school life throughout Indonesia. Theologically oriented and non-political, it includes profiles on selected pesantrens and a brief history of Islam in Indonesia.Maybe one day we'll see something like this in Israel.
NU's main site also links to the Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur)-owned Surabaya newspaper Duta Masyarakat and Gus Dur's personal website. For his biodata. The NU tabloid Suara Santri is also available online. Masyarakat Santri untuk Advokasi Rakyat (Syarikat), Religious Students Society for People's Advocacy is a sensitive grassroots project of NU youths who seek to reconcile with and aid the families of victims of the 1965-66 killings in which NU was complicit. This is just one of its many worthwhile projects.
Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB), National Awakening Party, seen as Gus Dur's political vehicle, though now far from so thoroughly under his control as in the 1999 elections, has a huge, sometimes inaccessible website. PKB East Java also runs its own very lively and very fast site.
Jaringan Islam Liberal (JIL), Liberal Islamic Network is now a major voice of 'progressive' Indonesian Islam and openly opposes shrill Islamist themes. Scholarly in tone, its young intellectuals cross the NU-Muhammadiyah and other intra-Islamic divides. While the primary site is in Indonesian, an English version is unusually extensive and suggests a desire to reach an international audience.
A retired Italian doctor has revealed for the first time how he invented a fictitious disease which fooled the Nazis during World War II.
The trick of prescribing Jews with a mysterious illness terrified the Nazis and saved 45 Roman Jews.
Religion is not the problem. And moderates and cooperation and tolerance between the religions is absolutely mandatory for economic, political and cultural stability and growth. That is not to say that conflict will not be ever present in the relations between the relations but it the conflict can be theological, not armed. We all have to get beyond this, and beyond our own biases and prejudices. We have to deal with those who would kill us, that is paramount, but at the same time, it is not feasbile or productive in the long-term to engage in a relgious war against Islam.
Islam is not going to go away as a religion. It's been around for an awfully long time in various forms and permutations just like the other religions of the Book. Islam in that sense is the youngest of these and still needs to grow into a religion that can play well with others. For the people who are strict literalists of the Quran, this is a problem. For those whose interpretations are not as literal, the problem is much reduced or absent. Christians of various stripes have gone through some of the same problems with the same militaristic type of engagements. So have the Jews although much of that was done in the early days. The population of Muslims in the world is huge. We are not talking about a little unknown sect in the middle of a desert with very few members.
As in most endeavours, if the moderates are killed off, then there is no hope.
Named by Time magazine as one of the top 100 intellectual innovators of the new century, Ramadan is the author of some 20 books (including the recent Western Muslims and the Future of Islam ) and countless articles that project his reformist vision of an Islam adaptable to liberal western societies far beyond the lecture halls of the universities of Geneva and Fribourg, where he formerly taught both European philosophy and Islamic studies. His lectures, cassettes, and talk-show appearances have even made him something of a media star, albeit a controversial one. In much of contemporary Europe and particularly France, where state secularism verges on the sacrosanct, simply being serious about religion invites as much suspicion as curiosity, even among some Muslims. "For me," says Fatima Lalem, a nonpracticing Muslim and family-planning counselor in Paris, "Tariq Ramadan is someone who is good with words, but he's not the modern, enlightened scholar that he likes to pretend he is."