The Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, weighed in on same-sex marriage, minutes after he arrived for a historic visit in Australia last week. This comes amid intense debate in Australia ahead of a national marriage survey.
Author Archive: Hakim Khatib
Religious disbelief is viewed with alarm in most Arab countries. Two government ministries in Egypt have been ordered to produce a national plan to “confront and eliminate” atheism. In Saudi Arabia, the most recent anti-terrorism law classifies “calling for atheist thought” as a terrorist offence. This hounding of non-believers might seem especially strange at a time when concerns are high about those who kill in the name of religion, but Arab societies have a general aversion to nonconformity, and the regimes that rule them often promote an official version of Islam that suits their political needs. Thus both jihadism and…
Two North Korean shipments to a Syrian government agency responsible for the country’s chemical weapons program were intercepted in the past six months. A confidential report by a panel of independent UN experts, which was submitted to the Security Council earlier this month and seen by Reuters on Monday, gave no details on when or where the interdictions occurred or what the shipments contained.
Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday after key shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew funding following years of losses, leaving valuable runway slots up for grabs. The move offers Lufthansa and rivals a chance to acquire slots at airports such as Berlin Tegel and Duesseldorf, with Germany’s largest airline keen to defend its domestic position against expansion by low-cost rival Ryanair. Lufthansa confirmed it was in talks to take over parts of the business, while a source said easyJet was the second airline referred to by the government as being in talks with Air Berlin. The British…
In a speech last summer, Trump suggested creating an ideological screening test to bar from the US Muslims who hold “the hateful ideology of Radical Islam—its oppression of women, gays, children, and nonbelievers.”
ISTANBUL — With President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s plans for greater powers firmly on track, Turkey’s government has set about shaping the country’s future outside the halls of parliament. Last month, as parliamentarians brawled over — and finally voted for — constitutional changes designed to establish Erdoğan’s long-awaited presidential system, the ministry of education published a draft curriculum for the new school year.
Israeli shooting range offers tourists the chance to shoot targets designed to look like Palestinians. A shooting range in Israel has come under fire for offering tourists the chance to pretend they’re security services shutting down terror attacks – using targets mocked up to look like Palestinians. Caliber 3, which is based in the West Bank and run by a former member of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), calls itself “the premier academy for counter terror and security”. It offers six programs for tourists, including desert “Survival Training”, krav magna martial arts, and “Combat Rappelling” using paintball guns.
A 24-year-old gay Muslim is believed to be the first of his faith to wed in a same-sex marriage in the UK Jahed Choudhury, who was attacked over his sexuality in the past, grew up feeling ostracised by his community for being gay. Awkwardly, in an attempt to “change” his sexual orientation, he was sent on a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, forced to change his social circle and even take medication.
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Atheism remains one of the most extreme taboos in Saudi Arabia. It is a red line that no one can cross. Atheists in Saudi Arabia have been suffering from imprisonment, maginalisation, slander, ostracisation and even execution. Indeed, atheists in Saudi are considered terrorists. Efforts for normalisation between those who believe and those who don’t remain bleak in the kingdom.