A decision by the German publisher Droste not to print a murder mystery about an honour killing because it contained passages insulting Islam has raised questions in Germany about religion impeding on freedom of speech.
The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday in Oslo. What are the odds that a religious leader will win? I checked with our bureau in Oslo for the latest buzz.
Well, that didn’t take long.
from AxisMundi Jerusalem:
The fifth annual Palestinian Oktoberfest was held on October 3rd and 4th, at the mainly Christian town of Taybeh, West Bank. Located several kilometers north of Ramallah, Taybeh, is home to the first and only Palestinian beer - Taybeh Beer. Established in 1995, Taybeh Beer can also be found abroad, being sold and distributed in Germany, the United Kingdom and even Japan.
A senior Saudi cleric said religious scholars should vet the curriculum at the kingdom’s only co-educational university, meant to be a beacon of science, to prevent “alien ideologies” such as evolution.
A ruling by a Berlin court allowing a 16-year-old Muslim pupil to pray towards Mecca in a separate room at school has raised questions about the extent of religious freedom in Germany. Some media, including the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, describe the ruling as a landmark case, saying it is the first time a German court has considered whether the right to practise religious beliefs should extend to schools.
Remember all the talk about France banning the burqa and niqab Muslim veils for women a few months ago? That project is now in the parliamentary inquiry phase, a six-month fact-finding mission expected to wind up late this year and produce a draft bill to outlaw them. That’s the way France handled it in 2003 when it wanted to stop Muslim girls from wearing headscarves to state schools. But the process seems more complex this time around. There’s less passion and more hesitation in the debate. A smooth progression from the inquiry to the ban and to its implementation no longer looks assured.
Recent moves in Indonesia, including plans by one province to stone adulterers to death, have raised concerns about the reputation of the world’s most populous Muslin country as a beacon of moderate Islam.