Religious people “cling” to certain beliefs in the face of evidence because those views are closely tied to their moral compasses, new studies have suggested.
If freedom of religious belief is a fundamental human right, then surely no people is more deserving of universal sympathy and support than the persecuted Yazidis. With a long history behind them of victimization and oppression under Ottoman rule – more than 70 genocidal massacres are on record – in recent years their maltreatment has, if anything, intensified.
For their beliefs, they have been the target of hatred for centuries. Considered heretical devil worshippers by many Muslims—including the advancing militants overrunning Iraq—the Yazidis have faced the possibility of genocide many times over.
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.
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…
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.”
Once upon a time, many thousands of years ago, a proud and independent nation lived and thrived in its own land in the heart of the Middle East. Down through the ages, although subject to many foreign invasions, this ethnically distinct people refused to be integrated with their various conquerors, but retained their individual culture. At the start of the First World War, their country was a small part of the Ottoman Empire. In shaping the future Middle East after the war the Allied powers, and in particular the United Kingdom, promised to act as guarantors of this people’s freedom….
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.
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.
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