Reuters blog archive
It's a sign of how explosive the Ayodhya mosque verdict in India could be that several Hindu and Muslim film stars in Bollywood have issued a public appeal for calm once the decision is announced. As we've posted here on FaithWorld, an Indian court is due to announce on Thursday whether Hindus or Muslims own land around the Babri mosque, which Hindu nationalists demolished in 1992. The Hindu-Muslim riots that followed killed some 2,000 people. (Image: Priyanka Chopra in screengrab from ANI/Reuters video)
Bollywood, the Bombay (now Mumbai)-based Hindi-language film industry, walks a tightrope in making mass-audience films in what may be the most religiously diverse country in the world. Some of the most popular Bollywood stars are Muslim, although the majority of viewers are Hindu (Muslims make up 13% of the Indian population). Like the actors and actresses in this appeal, many of them publicly work, play and love (see here) across the religious divide. But tensions like those after the Ayodhya mosque riots -- including riots in Mumbai itself -- have left their scars. Some Muslim writers (see here and here) say suspicion of Muslims is a recurring theme in Bollywood films.
In the video below, the stars mostly speak in Hindi sprinkled with occasional English words. That's nothing unusual and can be useful as well. For example, when actress and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra says (at 00:48) that "in our country all religions have been living together for so long...", she uses the English word "religion." That was a neutral alternative to local words she might have used with either a Hindu (dharma) or Muslim (din) background. (Image: Screengrab of Farhan Akhtar from ANI/Reuters video)
The other speaker, actor-director Farhan Akhtar, urged the media not to "sensationalise" the news of the verdict and switched to English for the rest of his message.
Atheists and agnostics may not believe in God or gods but they know a thing or two about them, according to a survey of religious knowledge among Americans released on Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
"On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey. Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 ... Jews and Mormons do about as well, averaging 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers," Pew said. It found Protestants answered 16 correctly and Catholics on average 14.7.
from Oddly Enough Blog:
Okay, enough is enough.
I appreciate science as much as the next person. I understand there are at least 5,000 feet in a mile. I totally get it that Fahrenheit and Celsius are different scales, and that for instance minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit is, um, let's see, minus 40 degrees Celsius.
But here is a new scientific study saying Moses may not have parted the Red Sea. Scientists say a strong wind that blew through the night could have pushed the waters back in the way described in biblical writings and the Koran.
If you're a teacher in Germany and are unsure whether to allow your Muslim pupils to pray at school, to skip swimming lessons or wear the veil, you may want to consult a new handbook aimed at dealing with the sometimes tricky task of reconciling Muslim practices with German schooling.
Berlin's Ministry for Education, Science and Research has just published a guide called "Islam and School" giving practical advice on how to resolve these issues and encourage "people to live together respectfully and peacefully", which you can find in German here.
from Andrew Marshall:
David Chance, the Reuters bureau chief in Kuala Lumpur, has written a new analysis on the prospects for genuine economic reform in Malaysia. He is not optimistic. You can read the full analysis below:
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Malaysia's plans to revitalise investment by backing national champions and ending race-based policies may sound ambitious, but the details are hazy and real economic reform will face formidable obstacles.
from Good, Bad, and Ugly:
US pastor backs off Koran-burning plan for now
Jones' adult son Luke, who wore a handgun on his hip because of death threats against church members, told reporters his father would fly to New York later on Friday.
Shouldn't that be 'alleged death threats,' or 'reported death threats?'
They taught us in school not to state it as a flat-out fact unless we had verified it. Have you? It's a fairly important, not to say inflammatory tidbit to let pass w/o either qualification or verification, n'est-ce pas?
from Global News Journal:
A German central banker, Thilo Sarrazin, whose outspoken comments on race and religion sparked a fierce national debate unexpectedly quit the Bundesbank board on Thursday evening, sparing Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Christian Wulff and Bundesbank President Axel Weber a messy legal and political battle.
But Sarrazin, 65, made it clear that he will not go away and plans to use his new-found fame to press forward with the issues tackled in his best-selling book: that Muslims are undermining German society and threatening to change its character and culture with their higher birth rate. Whether Germans like his views or not, there is no denying that Sarrazin has struck a chord.
from Good, Bad, and Ugly:
Florida pastor not backing down on Koran-burning
"We are not convinced that backing down is the right thing," Jones, a gray-haired, mustachioed preacher with mutton-chop sideburns and author of a book titled "Islam is of the Devil," told a crowd of reporters in a brief statement made in the grassy yard in front of his stone-and-metal church.
I read this article on the New York Times site. It describes Terry Jones as "a gray-haired, mustachioed preacher with mutton-chop sideburns."
from Good, Bad, and Ugly:
Obama says planned Koran burning is boosting Qaeda
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that a Florida pastor's plan to burn copies of the Koran is being used as an al Qaeda recruitment tool and he urged the minister to reconsider the decision.
Please Use the Correct Spellings Of Muslims Holy Book , Use "QURAN" Not Koran.It Would Be Very Appreciative If This Correction has been made in all your digital and print versions.