Saturday, September 17, 2011

Religion's Awkward Collision With 2011 (Link Round-Up 9/17/11)

Paris has banned praying in the streets, a move seen to target the Muslim population.
The phenomenon of street prayers, which see Muslims spreading mats on footpaths, became a political issue after far right protests. 
France is home to the biggest Muslim minority in Western Europe. 
By some estimates, as many as six million French people, or just under 10% of the population, are Muslims, with origins in France's former North African colonies.
Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan, making an appearance in Egypt, was rebuked by senior members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood for advocating secular democracy.
“Now, in this transitional phase in Egypt, as well as in what comes after it, I believe that the Egyptians will establish democracy very well, and they will see that a “secular state” does not mean “an irreligious state.” Rather it means respect for all the religions and giving all individuals the freedom to practice religion as they please.” 
Erdogan’s remarks drew an immediate rebuke from Essam al-Arian, the number two man in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s sponsored political party. He said that Egyptians did not need to be taught about democracy by Turkey.
Buddhists demolished a Muslim shrine in Sri Lanka over rumors of plans to build a mosque on the site.
Most of Sri Lanka's majority Sinhalese are Buddhist, and Muslims are regarded as a separate ethnic group. 
In a recent newspaper column, a veteran Muslim journalist said there was a growing fear among his community that some people were running a campaign to incite the Sinhalese against them, including through Sinhalese websites and print media.
Millenia-old Hindu funeral pyres have come under fire for the emissions they release.
Fifty to 60 million trees are burned during cremations every year in India, according to Mokshda, a Delhi-based NGO working to reduce the environmental impact of funeral pyres. 
"When you are burning those trees, you are emitting about eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions," said Mokshda director Anshul Garg.
US Ambassador claims Afghan-based Haqqani network has links to the Pakistani government.
Pakistani authorities have consistently denied links with militant groups. 
The Haqqani network, which is closely allied to the Taliban, has been blamed for several high-profile attacks against Western, Indian and government targets in Afghanistan. 
It is often described by Pakistani officials as a predominantly Afghan group, but correspondents say its roots reach deep inside Pakistani territory, and speculation over its links to Pakistan's security establishment refuse to die down.
As we can see, religion is still a pretty touchy subject worldwide.

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