Freedom of Religion
Malaysia: Why Hudud Law Is Everybody’s Business
SEPT 23 — Once again the familiar argument has surfaced, or been desperately invoked, this time in the latest stand-off between the leading Pakatan Rakyat allies Karpal Singh and Anwar Ibrahim.
Hudud law, if implemented, will apply only to Muslims, Anwar Ibrahim again insists, so the question is one that concerns only Muslims, not Malaysian citizens of other faiths — or no conventional doctrinal allegiance at all. So non-Muslims have nothing to fear, no legitimate interest in the matter, and no right to express any opinion. The matter is for Muslims alone.
Between Power and Freedom: The Challenge in the Future of Islamic Feminism
Ahmad Fuad Rahmat | Research Fellow, Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF): It is an evident, although often unacknowledged, fact that Islam’s long history and intellectual tradition is comprised of a rather impressive list of important women thinkers and figures. The Qur’an itself included “believing women” in its scope and statements. Further precedent was set through the leadership of Aisha and the historical significance of Fatimah. Spiritually, even the most conservative of Muslim men have taken the example of Rabiah al-Aldawiyah to heart.
Kenya: Religious leaders oppose anti-abortion clerics
Two clerics yesterday dismissed doctors and religious leaders opposed to safe abortion as enemies of women rights. The christian and muslim clerics said the abortion debate in Kenya was demeaning to women. “In this society we are all at the mercy of men,” said Rev Timothy Njoya.
He spoke at the closing day of a women health conference organised by the Kenya Medical Association.
Pakistan: Women Advocates Aid Religious Minorities
(WNN) ISLAMABAD: In spite of real dangers for those working as advocates with Pakistan’s religious minorities, a number of people have been speaking out against religious discrimination and the misuse of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws inside the country.
As internal divisions, casualties and conflict on the northern border and a growing hatred and distrust of ‘the West’ expands, a dedicated group of Pakistani women and men are leading the way on issues of human rights and religious freedom inside the country.
Acts of heroism for women have been happening in Pakistan despite the fact that the country is one of the worst places in the world to be a woman. A recent 2011 “Education Emergency Report” by the PETF – Pakistan Education Task Force has revealed that only “one in three” women have attended school in rural regions.
Oxfam Discussion Document: Learnings and analysis about religion, culture, diversity, and development
Executive Summary: Why think about religion?
Religion is a significant force that shapes attitudes, practices, policies, and laws across the world, North or South, developed or developing, whether the state is secular or theocratic. For many people (including some development actors), religion is an essential part of their personal well-being and identity; and, as an institution, it can provide networks and services that ensure practical survival in times of economic stress and national crisis. Many religious organizations have significant resources available for service-delivery and for influencing policy advocacy. However, religion is also used to justify discrimination and conflict. To summarize, religion and religious organizations evidently need to be taken seriously in rights-based development analysis and practice.
Report: Rising Restrictions on Religion
Pew Forum Executive Summary (12.08.2011) - Restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose between mid-2006 and mid-2009 in 23 of the world's 198 countries (12%), decreased in 12 countries (6%) and remained essentially unchanged in 163 countries (82%), according to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. Direct Link to Report:
Anti-blasphemy and defamation laws curtail free speech
Anti-blasphemy laws and defamation laws against public officials and Heads of State seriously restrict free speech.
That’s according to the , which has issued a commentary on freedom of expression.
Some countries, such as Pakistan, regard blasphemy towards holy personages or their religion, as a serious offence punishable by death.
Australia’s Honour killings – In the end, they’re just as dead
was released from prison last Friday, after only eight years following his conviction for and burying her in a shallow grave. The details of the case reveal a textbook case of a controlling, abusive spouse who killed his wife rather than let her leave.
One reason the Ramage case has been in the news so much is that it was the last time the defence of “provocation” was used in a court case in Victoria.
USA: Women have abortions whatever their religion
We are in the midst of very painful debates in Congress over family planning and abortion care. It’s time to catch our breath, step back and take a broader perspective. There’s an ongoing search for “common ground” on abortion, dreams of reaching an agreement that, once and for all, satisfies everyone involved. For those seeking this elusive “common ground,” a recently released Guttmacher Institute holds the key.
The study finds that women of a wide range of faiths have abortions, even when the “official” faith teachings are opposed. So it’s time to stop pretending and get one step closer to our “common ground”—the abortion will happen.
VNC Marks 3 Years with Global Actions
16 Days of Activism 2010: The Violence is Not our Culture campaign marks its third year with a series of global actions
On the eve of this year’s commemoration of the 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence, the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women launched its new name:
Violence is not our Culture: A Global Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women in the name of ‘Culture”
The change is in response feedback from its activists and allies to broaden the scope of the Campaign beyond specific manifestations of culturally-justified VAW such as ‘killing’ and ‘stoning’. The change of name is also timely as we launch our engagement in the debate at the UN on universality versus cultural relativism in human rights.
The 16 Days of Activism also offered the Campaign key opportunities by which it could raise the profile of its concerns on ‘culture’ and gender–based discrimination and violence against women (CVAW) and be in solidarity with social movements, NGOs, individuals, friendly-States and the UN system engaged in common efforts to end violence against women.