Reuters blog archive
from Good, Bad, and Ugly:
Mubarak likely to quit, Brotherhood fears coup
CAIRO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak looked likely to step down on Thursday after more than two weeks of protests against his 30-year rule and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood said it looked like there had been a military coup.
"Islamist Muslim Brotherhood" (in re Egypt and elsewhere) seems rather redundant, as the existence of a non-Islamist Muslim Brotherhood would seem to be something of an oxymoron.
I think you're mixing up Islamist and Islamic.
The former, which we used here, means "supporting or advocating Islamic fundamentalism." GBU Editor
A child of a brotherhood member holds a copy of the Koran during a demonstration by the Muslim Brotherhood against the Israeli attacks in Gaza, outside the journalists syndicate in Cairo, January 21, 2009. REUTERS/Amr Dalsh
Saudi teenager Abdulrahman Saeed lives in one of the richest countries in the world, but his prospects are poor, he blames his education, and it's not a situation that looks like changing soon. "There is not enough in our curriculum," says Saeed, 16, who goes to an all-male state school in the Red Sea port of Jeddah. "It is just theoretical teaching, and there is no practice or guidance to prepare us for the job market."
Saeed wants to study physics but worries that his state high school is failing him. He says the curriculum is outdated, and teachers simply repeat what is written in text books without adding anything of practical value or discussions. Even if the teachers did do more than the basics, Saeed's class, at 32 students, is too big for him to get adequate attention. While children in Europe and Asia often start learning a language at five or six, Saudi students start learning English at 12. Much time is spent studying religion and completing exercises heavy with moral instruction.
An iPhone app aimed at helping Catholics through confession and encouraging lapsed followers back to the faith has been sanctioned by the Catholic Church in the United States.
Russia's Orthodox Church has allowed its clergy to enter politics in certain cases, in the latest sign of its growing presence in Russia's secular society. Endorsed by Kremlin leaders as Russia's main faith, the Church has grown increasingly powerful since communism fell two decades ago. Its role has drawn criticism from human rights groups who say it undermines Russia's constitution.
The European Union failed to agree on a statement against the persecution of religious minorities on Monday after Italy objected to the omission of any reference to the protection of Christians. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said a draft proposed at a meeting of EU foreign ministers expressing concern about increasing numbers of attacks on places of worship and pilgrims showed an "excess of secularism".
A prison where Soviet-era writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn was jailed and a third of inmates are Muslims from the North Caucasus and Central Asia, has become the first in Moscow to open a Muslim prayer room.
Nineteenth century Butyrka prison in central Moscow, which also held Adolf Hitler's nephew Heinrich among other high-profile prisoners, held its first prayers on Friday, in a hall near a Christian church that has operated since 1989.
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
For all the bad news coming out of Pakistan, you can't help but admire the courage of two very different women who did what their political leaders failed to do -- stood up to the religious right after the killing of Punjab governor Salman Taseer over his call for changes to the country's blasphemy laws.
One is Sherry Rehman, a politician from the ruling Pakistan People's Party, who first proposed amendments to the laws. The other is actress Veena Malik, who challenged the clerical establishment for criticising her for appearing on Indian reality show Big Boss. I'm slightly uncomfortable about grouping the two together -- the fact that both are Pakistani women does not make them any more similar than say, for example, two Pakistani men living in Rawalpindi or London. Yet at the same time, the idea that Pakistan can produce such different and outspoken women says a lot about the diversity and energy of a country which can be too easily written off as a failing state or bastion of the Islamist religious right.
from Oddly Enough Blog:
Welcome back to our regular feature, Human Remains in the News.
It seems burglars tried snorting the cremated remains of a man and two dogs, taken from a Florida home, in the mistaken belief that the ashes were drugs.
I swear I am not making this up. The ashes were stolen a month ago, along with some other stuff, and police learned about the snorting this week when they arrested five teens in connection with another burglary attempt.
from Good, Bad, and Ugly:
Pope: Governments must protect minority Christians
He made reference to last week's murder of Salman Taseer, the Muslim governor of Punjab province and an outspoken liberal, who was gunned down for opposing the law, which imposes a death sentence for those who insult the Prophet Mohammad.
I've just noticed recently that Reuters is following in the footsteps of AP and AFP in designating the Islamic prophet Mohammad as "The Prophet Mohammad".
from Good, Bad, and Ugly:
Pope John Paul nears sainthood, to be beatified
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