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5 Apr, 2016

Pakistani ghazal maestro’s event in Delhi cancelled after Hindu extremist threats – Hindustan Times

The music launch of a movie starring Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali, scheduled to be held in Delhi on Monday, was cancelled, with the director claiming security threats. However, the management of Royal Plaza, where the event was to be held on Monday afternoon, said it was cancelled as there was “no information about it” […]

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5 Apr, 2016

Post Brussels attacks, Indian domestic flyers now have to remove footwear, belts – The Hindu

Amid a heightened alert in the wake of Brussels terror attacks, security agencies have stepped up vigil at sensitive airports in the country with passengers being made to take off their footwear and belts and go through detailed frisking. At major airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad, CISF and local police […]

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4 Apr, 2016

Bangladesh hosts first World Grandmother Day

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 04 April 2016 (26 Jumada Al-Akhir 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA FIRST WTM CONNECT ASIA TO BE HELD […]

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4 Apr, 2016

Muslim boy teased with ‘bomb’ jokes as US teacher calls him terrorist – Hindustan Times

A 12-year-old Muslim boy accused his teacher of targeting him for his religion by calling him a “terrorist” in front of his peers in the US state of Texas, prompting school authorities to probe the incident. Waleed Abushaaban, a 7th grade student in First Colony Middle School has been the butt of “bomb” jokes and […]

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3 Apr, 2016

Post Brussels attacks, Indian domestic flyers now have to remove footwear, belts – The Hindu

Amid a heightened alert in the wake of Brussels terror attacks, security agencies have stepped up vigil at sensitive airports in the country with passengers being made to take off their footwear and belts and go through detailed frisking. At major airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad, CISF and local police […]

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3 Apr, 2016

Wars, the War on Terror, With Us or Against Us – Juan Cole – Truthdig

Thirteen years after the illegal US invasion of Iraq, it is worth considering its full impact on this country and on the region. Bush-Cheneyism had a number of key pillars, among which these were prominent: 1. Aggressive unilateral warfare, with the domestic advantage of making the public rally around the flag. 2. Conspiracy-theory amalgamation of […]

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3 Apr, 2016

Conflict of Interest: Americans in the Israeli military – The Jerusalem Fund

In the latest unrest gripping the Occupied Palestinian Territories, 21-year old Tuvya Weisman was stabbed and killed. Weisman was an Israeli settler and off-duty sergeant in the IDF, but he also happened to be a US citizen. The US State Department issued the following press statement regarding the attack: “We condemn in the strongest possible […]

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3 Apr, 2016

300-year-old gurdwara in Peshawar reopens after 64 years – Times of India

Situated in Peshawar’s Jogiwara locality, the 300-year-old gurdwara is considered to be an architectural masterpiece and is said to have been established at the time of the 10th Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, who died in 1708. However, with most Sikh families moving away from Jogiwara after Partition, the gurdwara was neglected for 66 years. In […]

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3 Apr, 2016

World first? Bihar MLAs pledge not to drink, pass bill on prohibition – Hindustan Times

Bihar legislators vowed on Wednesday to stay away from liquor and inspire others, before they unanimously passed a law to initiate alcohol prohibition in the state. Those found making or selling home-made liquor that kills consumers may get the death penalty, or a life sentence if someone is left seriously sick, according to the legislation. […]

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3 Apr, 2016

19 reasons you might feel unloved at work – Sydney Morning Herald

One of the biggest reasons people leave their jobs is because they feel unappreciated. “People come to work for more than a pay cheque,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert,leadership coach, and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behaviour and Thrive in Your Job. “They want to feel […]

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3 Apr, 2016

Back to the Hindutva basics – The Hindu

The BJP may have aggressively trained its guns on the Congress over the weekend at its first national executive meeting after its defeat in Bihar last year, but it is clear that its electoral setbacks and its failure to fix the economy are forcing it back to its basics of divisive communalism. There was a […]

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3 Apr, 2016

On paper, electrified villages — in reality, darkness – The Hindu

The Centre claims to be fulfilling the Prime Minister’s plan for full rural electrification. But a close check of its own real-time data shows that the gap between official claims and ground reality is stark. Haldu Khata, a village in Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh, is one of the 7,008 villages that the government claims […]

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3 Apr, 2016

India to conduct world’s largest study on the economy of ageing – The Hindu

An ageing population that can topple existing insurance and pension systems, strain the public health-care system and fundamentally alter disease burdens, economies and trade, and human migration. To prepare for this, India wants to better understand those on the cusp of being senior citizens. Later this year a host of research organisations, and supported by […]

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3 Apr, 2016

Pro-Israel group targets Jewish professor over Palestine activism | The Electronic Intifada

Legislators around the United States are pushing forward bills, resolutions and blacklists to combat the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. This month, lawmakers in New York and Illinois advanced the countrywide anti-BDS effort. New York senators voted to cut $485 million in state funding to City University of New York (CUNY), shifting the cost […]

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3 Apr, 2016

American, Muslim, and under constant watch: The emotional toll of surveillance – The Guardian

Over the course of more than four years between September 2011 and 2015, he received at least five visits to his home by NYPD and then FBI officers. He says the visiting officers came with no warrant and used threatening and provocative language. During a visit in September 2011, they even forced themselves inside his […]

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2 Apr, 2016

The Role Of Media In Tourism Security

Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire

Six years ago, on 15 June 2010, I delivered a keynote speech on The Role Of Media In Tourism Security at an International Summit on Tourism Safety & Security, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Here are two excerpts: (+) Indeed, this is the age of the early warning system. Just as you (safety and security experts) depend […]

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31 Mar, 2016

Cultural Leaders Well-Placed for Forging Greater Appreciation of Diversity: UN Secretary-General’s message to Forum d’Avignon in France

United Nations, 30 March 2016, (UN News) – Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the Forum d’Avignon, held in Bordeaux, France, on 31 March: Thank you for the opportunity to send greetings to all participants at the Forum d’Avignon.  Culture is a powerful force for advancing the founding the United Nations goals of peace, development […]

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29 Mar, 2016

Lee Kuan Yew’s formula for tackling the “cancer” of global terrorism

The first death anniversary of former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on March 23 was a good opportunity to visit the island nation. This micro-country has compensated for its lack of natural resources by growing its people resources, creating one of the world’s best-run, least-corrupt societies with an uncompromising focus on multi-culturalism and rule […]

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28 Mar, 2016

9th Forum for Islamic Businesswomen to be held in Riyadh

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 28 March 2016 (25 Jumaada al-Akhir 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA TOURISM MALAYSIA PROMOTES “JOHOR HOLIDAY PACKAGES” Tourism […]

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27 Mar, 2016

Review Of “The Occupation Of The American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War In The United States”

By Robert Jensen In the conflict over the land of Palestine, Israel’s overpowering military superiority has produced decisive battlefield victories. But just as crucial to Israeli dominance in that region is its supremacy in the U.S. news media, which is captured in the title of an important new film from the Media Education Foundation, “The […]

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25 Mar, 2016

“Thainess” at the Crossroads — Ex-Prime Minister Flags the Real Issues Facing Thailand

By Anand Panyarachun

Following is the full text of a speech entitled “In Search of Thailand’s New Normal”, delivered by two-time former Thai Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand on 23 March 2016. It should be must reading for all those seeking to better understand the dynamics of change facing one of the […]

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25 Mar, 2016

Meet the 56 Australian millionaires who pay next to no income tax – Sydney Morning Herald

Paying tax has become optional for 56 of Australia’s highest earners. Newly-released tax statistics show each of the 56 paid next to no income tax in 2013–14, not even the Medicare Levy, even though each earned more than $1 million. But escaping tax cost the millionaires dearly. The same document shows 27 of the 56 […]

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25 Mar, 2016

Statement of the International Sociological Association concerning academic freedom and violence in India – The Hindu

In an environment of anti-intellectualism, and majoritarian attacks on individual and collective attempts at informed debate and social critique both within and outside institutions of higher education, our responsibility as members of a professional association is especially grave. As sociologists we believe that allowing the untrammelled use of the charge of sedition to quell dissent […]

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21 Mar, 2016

Experts volunteer to save non-Muslim heritage in Turkey

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 21 March 2016 (12 Jumaada al-Akhir 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA LAUNCHES E-VISA FOR CHINESE TOURISTS Effective […]

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20 Mar, 2016

Taking aim at alcohol abuse | The Japan Times

The government will try to reduce excessive drinking in Japan, according to a draft plan to be endorsed by the Cabinet in May. The government says it will establish at least one medical institution specializing in alcoholism in each prefecture, while setting numerical targets to reduce the lifestyle-related diseases that result from heavy drinking. The […]

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16 Mar, 2016

Out of money: Saudi Arabia shot itself in the foot by dropping oil prices

Tehran, March 13, IRNA / (sputniknews.com) – Riyadh has shot itself in the foot by adopting a predatory pricing policy in the oil market aimed at wiping its competitors out; now the House of Saud is reaping a whirlwind it sowed. Back in 2014 Saudi Arabia decided to drop oil prices in order to expel […]

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16 Mar, 2016

Terrorism and communal violence must carry same stigma and punishment – Harsh Mander, Hindustan Times

In both popular, social common sense and the ways in which the laws are designed and implemented in India, there is an implied hierarchy of crimes, in which gravest crimes are seen to be those connected with terror and violence, meriting harsh laws, criminal procedures that severely curtail human rights of the accused, and stricter […]

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14 Mar, 2016

“Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan” opens at The Smithsonian

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 14 March 2016 (05 Jumaada al-Akhir 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA LAUNCHES E-VISA FOR CHINESE TOURISTS Effective […]

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14 Mar, 2016

Jewish activists “making sure there’s a price to pay for supporting Israel’s propaganda machine”

Message from Jewish Voice for Peace Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson Dear Friend, I want to try something a little bit different. No request to sign a petition or call your Congressional representative — just an update about what our team has been working on over the last month, and what we’ve got on deck for […]

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14 Mar, 2016

Come and See: A Kairos Perspective of Tourism and Pilgrimage in Palestine

There are several different forms that tourism takes in Palestine: tourism organized directly by Israel; tourism organized by other countries with Israel’s coordination and approval, including religious pilgrimages; “political thrill” tourism; and Birthright Israel programs, which are free trips Israel that Israel offers to any Jew in the world as a birthright and which many […]

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14 Mar, 2016

Palestinians sue billionaire Sheldon Adelson for Israeli war crimes – The Electronic Intifada

A group of Palestinians and Palestinian Americans are seeking $34.5 billion dollars in damages from wealthy individuals and companies they accuse of financing and profiting from Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank and other abuses of their rights. The plaintiffs include Palestinians who have lost family members in Israeli attacks in the West Bank […]

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14 Mar, 2016

BDS India Convention Calls For Total Boycott Of Israel

March 8, 2016 — An appeal for the total boycott of Israel was made at the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions(BDS) India Convention held on 6 March 2016 at New Delhi’s Gandhi Peace Foundation as a mark of protest against the apartheid policies and the genocidal campaign of Israel against Palestine. The intellectuals and activists coming from […]

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14 Mar, 2016

Israel again blocks Indonesian Foreign Minister from opening consulate in Palestine

Israel escalated its global war on Islam last week by blocking Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi from travelling to Ramallah, Palestine, to dedicate an honorary consulate because of her refusal to first meet with Israeli officials in Jerusalem. This is the second time an Indonesian Foreign Minister has been denied access to Ramallah. In 2012, […]

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14 Mar, 2016

Americans Are Buried Under a Mountain of Debt – Gallup

Two-thirds of Americans say they have enough money to live comfortably, with more traditionalists (76%) and baby boomers (67%) saying they do than millennials (62%) and Gen Xers (61%). Those who say they don’t have enough money to live comfortably appear to be using their credit cards to supplement their available resources with high-interest credit. […]

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14 Mar, 2016

How credit card companies know what we will do in the future – Sydney Morning Herald

Australia is a world leader in the march towards a cashless economy. But our enthusiasm for electronic payments has gifted credit card companies with a crystal ball. Only a handful of nations make more cashless transactions per person than Australia. The proportion of purchases involving cash slumped from 70 per cent in 2007 to 47 […]

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14 Mar, 2016

Canadian PM: I have more Sikhs in Cabinet than Modi – The Hindu

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, known for his witty repartees, told an American audience here that he has more Sikhs in his Cabinet than his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. The quip came when Mr. Trudeau was taking 10 questions from students at the American University in northwest Washington during his state visit to the U.S. […]

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12 Mar, 2016

Kyoto taxis specializing in foreign tourists begin one-year trial | The Japan Times

KYOTO, Mar 1, 2016  Kyodo– A one-year trial run for taxis aimed at non-Japanese tourists started Tuesday in the city of Kyoto, the first such service in Japan aimed at enhancing the experience for overseas visitors. The “foreigner-friendly taxis” accept credit cards, have space for two large suitcases and drivers who are able to communicate […]

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12 Mar, 2016

No freedom without dissent – The Hindu

There is an opinion that India has come into its natural inheritance only after the election of a majority government in May 2014. It is argued that the past 60-odd years of the Indian Republic were a mere epilogue to an empire and a Western era that had not fully died in 1947. The Nehruvian […]

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12 Mar, 2016

The issue of nationalism: A sinister pattern underway – The Hindu

Everything is projected through the lens of a narrow Hindutva definition of nationalism, leaving no room for tolerance and pluralism. Questioning the death penalty is attacked as anti-national; studying in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is anti-national; being a human rights worker in Chhattisgarh is anti-national; the ‘right to report’ is anti-national; and asking for transparency […]

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7 Mar, 2016

Oman Names Its First Budget Airline “Salam Air”

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 07 March 2016 (27 Jumaada al-Awwal 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA LAUNCHES E-VISA FOR CHINESE TOURISTS Effective 01 […]

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4 Mar, 2016

Iranian musician forced to stop Cologne concert after audience members jeer and shout ‘speak German’ – The Independent

An Iranian harpsichordist has described his shock after being forced to stop a concert in Cologne following calls to “speak German” and jeering. Mahan Esfahani, who has won numerous awards and teaches at London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, was performing at the Kölner Philharmonie when the furore broke out on Sunday. As […]

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1 Mar, 2016

From Birthright to HP, Israel Gave Billions to Private Contractors Without Tenders – Ha’aretz

Israel’s government has spent 31.6 billion shekels ($8.1 billion) over the last five years awarding contracts to companies and other organizations without any kind of competitive bidding process, an analysis conducted by the Public Knowledge Workshop for The Marker shows. More than 3,900 bodies, the biggest by far a company called Sarel that purchases medical […]

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29 Feb, 2016

Egypt hosts conference on historic importance of Suez Canal

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 29 February 2016 (20 Jumaada al-Awwal 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA FIRST NATIONAL IMAM ROUNDTABLE HELD TO PROMOTE […]

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24 Feb, 2016

Indian Greenpeace campaigner blasts growing assault on freedom, dissent and democracy

Over the last few days, different parts of our fine nation have churned, with activists championing a variety of causes and students reclaiming their democratic right to debate issues like the death penalty, tribal rights, Dalit access to education, forests under threat from mining interests and state repression. As democratic voices rise to levels that […]

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24 Feb, 2016

Google slashed taxes by $3.4b using European subsidiaries – Sydney Morning Herald

Google saved $US2.4 billion ($3.4 billion) in worldwide taxes in 2014 by shifting €10.7 billion ($16.7 billion) in international revenues to a Bermuda shell company, Alphabet Inc., the parent of the Web-search provider, regulatory filings show. The amount Google moved through its Dutch subsidiary, Google Netherlands Holdings, and then on to Bermuda represents the bulk […]

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24 Feb, 2016

Ban RSS, India’s No 1 terror organisation: Former Maharashtra cop – Hindustan Times

Maharashtra’s former inspector general of police SM Mushrif on Tuesday accused the Intelligence Bureau (IB) of being hand-in-glove with right-wing extremists, and called for a ban on the RSS describing it as India’s No.1 terror organisation. At the launch of the Bengali version of his book “RSS – Country’s Greatest Terror Organisation”, Mushrif also termed […]

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24 Feb, 2016

Biometric data carts to cut waiting times at Japanese airports | The Japan Times

The amount of time visitors to Japan spend waiting at airport passport control gates, believed to help form their first impressions of the country, may soon become noticeably shorter thanks to the introduction of special equipment carts. The Justice Ministry said Tuesday it will debut a new passport control system this fall at the earliest […]

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23 Feb, 2016

Academy disavows Oscars gift bag featuring Israel travel junket | The Electronic Intifada

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has filed a lawsuit against Distinctive Assets, the company distributing a luxury gift bag to Oscar nominees which includes an all-expenses paid trip to Israel sponsored by the Israeli government. “Distinctive Assets has been falsely representing that its extravagant ‘gift bags’ [are] redistributed by the Academy, at […]

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22 Feb, 2016

China-Iran Cargo Train Makes First Run

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 22 February 2016 (13 Jumaada al-Awwal 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA FIRST NATIONAL IMAM ROUNDTABLE HELD TO PROMOTE […]

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22 Feb, 2016

25% of Japan’s disabled have trouble making ends meet | The Japan Times

Tokyo – At least 1 in 4 disabled people in Japan has difficulty making ends meet, with the poverty rate running twice the average of nondisabled individuals, according to a study led by a Keio University professor. Atsuhiro Yamada’s team studied the results of a 2013 government survey on people’s lives to identify the relative […]

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22 Feb, 2016

Israeli Winner at Berlin Film Festival Calls Israeli Government ‘Fascist’ at Movie Screening – Haaretz

Israeli director Udi Aloni made headlines in Berlin when he called the Israeli government “fascist” at a Q&A session about his award-winning film “Junction 48.” Aloni, whose Arabic-language hip-hop film featuring mostly Palestinian actors, said that Germany shouldn’t supply Israel with submarines because of its fascist government. He also mentioned at the session Palestinian hunger-striker […]

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20 Feb, 2016

Cabbies march in Madrid against Uber-type services | The Japan Times

MADRID – Thousands of taxi drivers protested Thursday in Madrid over competitors such as Uber, echoing similar recent demonstrations in neighboring France. French drivers joined the thousands of protesters in the Spanish capital who sported banners that read “No to unfair competition,” denouncing among other grievances the planned deregulation of the sector. Spain’s cabbies fear […]

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20 Feb, 2016

6 Habits Of A Happy, Solid Couple – Sydney Morning Herald

The beginning of any relationship is more often than not completely exhilarating. It’s a time when your partner can do no wrong and all of the things that once bothered you seem to float away because YOU ARE IN LOVE! And that’s all that matters. But as we know, eventually life gets back to normal. […]

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20 Feb, 2016

South African water conference called off amid protest at Israel’s role | The Electronic Intifada

A South African conference on water has been canceled following protests against the planned participation of an Israeli diplomat. Arthur Lenk, Israel’s ambassador to South Africa, was scheduled to take part in a “water summit” on 26 February. Lenk’s involvement prompted one of the main speakers, Lorenzo Fioramonti from the University of Pretoria, to withdraw. […]

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20 Feb, 2016

A battle for India’s soul – Arab News

This is not a debate about nationalism, Kashmiri separatism or the independent thinking spaces that great universities like JNU represent. What is unfolding, from Hyderabad to Delhi, is a battle for India’s soul. It is not enough for the BJP to capture the reins of power in the name of universally appealing slogans like development […]

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20 Feb, 2016

Full text of Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader’s speech which India considers “sedition” – Hindustan Times

“Few media works were saying that JNU runs on the money from our taxes and subsidies and this is right! It is absolutely right that JNU runs from taxes and subsidies but we want to put up a question- what is a university for? A university is for the critical analysis of the society’s consensus. […]

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20 Feb, 2016

Polish magazine’s ‘Islamic rape of Europe’ cover sparks outrage – The Guardian

A Polish magazine has published a highly inflammatory front cover showing a white woman being assaulted by three pairs of dark-skinned male hands under the headline “The Islamic rape of Europe”. The cover of this week’s edition of wSieci (the Network), a mass-market politically conservative magazine, triggered outraged responses on social media. Some Twitter users […]

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19 Feb, 2016

An Open Letter To Fellow Indian Citizens – By Rutuja Deshmukh Wakankar, Countercurrents.org

15 February, 2016 Dear Fellow Citizens, Today I write to all of you and especially the Indian upper and middle class (emphasize mine), as one amongst you. We are at the brink of destruction; by we I mean us as a nation. I fully understand the implication of my statement, which is very serious in […]

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17 Feb, 2016

Cologne sex assaults: Muslim rape myths fit a neo-Nazi agenda – The Independent

Dark myths about sexual assaults in Cologne came into sharp focus last week when a female television journalist was attacked live on air. Esmeralda Labye, a reporter from Belgium, was covering the German city’s annual carnival when three men variously touched her breasts, kissed her and simulated intercourse behind her back. It followed claims of […]

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15 Feb, 2016

Malaysia to host first Imam Roundtable to open mosques to visitors

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 15 February 2016 (06 Jumada al-Awwal 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA FIVE MALAYSIAN HOMESTAYS WIN ASEAN AWARDS Five […]

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10 Feb, 2016

The grandeur of Iran in pictures – by the first Asia-Pacific travel trade journalist invited to visit

I was the first Asia-Pacific travel industry journalist invited to both speak at and cover two inaugural industry conferences held in Iran: 1) the first International Tour Operators Convention organised by the Iran Tour Operators Association in Tehran between 24-27 November 2008, and 2) the UNWTO Conference on Increasing Tourist Flows between Asia and the […]

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8 Feb, 2016

Iran exports first shipment of hand-woven carpets to U.S.

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 08 February 2016 (29 Rabee’ al-Thaani 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA FIVE MALAYSIAN HOMESTAYS WIN ASEAN AWARDS Five […]

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4 Feb, 2016

Flashback 1988: Former UNWTO chief Willibald Pahr’s India speech on Tourism, Passport to Peace & Development

Bangkok – The first time that I heard the connection being made between Tourism, Peace & Development was in this speech by the late UN World Tourism Organisation Secretary-General Dr Willibald Pahr at a conference organised by the Indian Institute of Tourism and Management in New Delhi on February 22, 1988. Along with thousands of […]

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3 Feb, 2016

An 11-point critique of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-25

Bangkok – This year has marked the dawn of a new era for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The integration process, now set in stone, is intended to create a stronger, safer, secure and sustainable ASEAN by uniting the formidable natural, capital and human resources of one of the world’s most strategically-located regions. […]

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3 Feb, 2016

India on the slippery slope towards McCarthyism – The Hindu

By Peter Ronald Desouza No substantive discussion in a university can be anti-national as long as protocols of discussion are maintained. Dissent must be heard. No one would want to be called anti-national for it brings in its wake the primordial passions of hate and anger onto oneself. It produces self and social censorship. This […]

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3 Feb, 2016

A Sufi, a Sikh and their message of love: A journey from Lahore to Amritsar – DAWN.COM

It is noteworthy that Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikh faith, includes the kalaam (poetry/works) of renowned Sufis like Baba Fareed of the Chishtiyyah Sufi order. And hence, aptly, the kalaam of popular Sikh poet Ravidas jee resounds at the Shrine of Mian Mir in Lahore today as a reminder of humanity […]

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1 Feb, 2016

Turkey’s first female mosque guide introduces Islam to tourists

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 01 February 2016 (22 Rabee’ al-Thaani 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA WOOS SPANISH TRAVELLERS WITH ‘COME DISCOVER […]

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31 Jan, 2016

Inside the booming Muslim fashion industry – Al Jazeera English

Anas Silwood moved to Jordan from Britain to study Arabic back in 2000. The 20-something was supposed to stay for only a few months, but he soon decided Amman was the place he wanted to be. He learned Arabic, converted to Islam and settled. “Every time I went back to the UK I had the […]

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31 Jan, 2016

Davos is the problem, not the solution — RT Op-Edge

For the majority of people of the planet, but not for the super, super rich, things have gone backwards since the first Davos meeting was held. That’s no coincidence as Davos – for all the ’progressive’ waffle about ‘stakeholder theory’ and the ’global public interest’ – is all about maintaining an elite-friendly, neoliberal economic order […]

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31 Jan, 2016

Meet the whistleblower who helped expose Google’s tax avoidance – The Independent

Like millions of others this weekend, Barney Jones is filling in his tax returns. The forms detailing earnings and expenditure are not for the faint-hearted, and completing them seldom gives satisfaction – even when you’ve just played a key role in adding an extra £130m to Britain’s coffers. The whistleblower who helped to reveal how […]

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31 Jan, 2016

The “war on terror” has only created more terror, while costing each U.S. household $75,000: Jill Stein ~ News Forage

The “war on terror,” Stein pointed out, has only created more terror, while costing each U.S. household $75,000. “That’s not going to make people terribly enthusiastic for it, particularly when you point out that all this has done is create failed states, worse terrorist threat, whether you look at the Taliban, the globalization of al-Qaeda, […]

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28 Jan, 2016

ASEAN branding disarray on full display at ASEAN Tourism Forum 2016

Manila — The first ASEAN Tourism Forum in the era of ASEAN integration, held in Manila between 17-22 January 2016, was a clear opportunity to send a powerful, unified message positioning ASEAN as a single destination. Although that has been the policy objective since Visit ASEAN Year was declared in 1992 to mark the 25th […]

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27 Jan, 2016

Protesting Sikh removed from Trump’s rally – Times of India

WASHINGTON: A turbaned Sikh man was forced out of Donald Trump’s rally in the US state of Iowa after he interrupted the Republican presidential frontrunner’s speech by displaying a banner that read ‘Stop Hate’. The man, wearing a bright red turban, started his peaceful protest impromptu, when Trump was addressing an impressive campaign rally on […]

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26 Jan, 2016

Xinhua Commentary: Time for West to abandon double standards, hypocrisy & prejudice in fighting terrorism

by Xinhua writer Chen Shilei

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — In an era when terrorism is posing a serious challenge to world peace and development, it is time for the West to abandon its pride and prejudice to further consolidate global efforts to uproot the menace. From the Charlie Hebdo attack to the Paris terror attacks, the past year witnessed […]

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26 Jan, 2016

ASEANTA’s female President tells tourism ministers: Replace “war on terrorism” with “Peace Through Tourism”

Manila — ASEAN’s tourism industry needs to become a conduit for conflict prevention and replace antagonistic terminology such as “war on terrorism” with a more pacifist slogan, “Peace Through Tourism,” according to the President of the 10-country grouping’s umbrella travel federation. In a statement at the ASEAN Tourism Forum, held in Manila between Jan 18-22, […]

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25 Jan, 2016

Memorial planned for forgotten Muslim World War 1 soldiers

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 25 January 2016 (14 Rabee’ al-Thaani 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA HERBAL ASIA TO BE HELD IN KUALA […]

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25 Jan, 2016

Stan Grant’s speech on racism and the Australian dream goes viral – The Guardian

The veteran journalist and Wiradjuri man, Stan Grant, has told a Sydney audience that racism is “at the heart of the Australian dream,” as he delivered a sobering speech about the impact of colonisation and discrimination on Indigenous people and their ancestors. It has provoked a powerful reaction from Australians, going viral on Facebook with […]

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21 Jan, 2016

Foreign policy that blindly follows the US isn’t in our national interest – Sydney Morning Herald

When Prime Minister Turnbull visits the Oval Office this week, he faces clear choices about the kind of foreign policy leadership he offers Australia. In an ideal world, our Prime Minister would be confident and forthright about Australian values and interests, supportive of the American approach where this aligns with our own, and critical where […]

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21 Jan, 2016

Shangri-La hotel’s HRD director flags downsides of tourism labour mobility under ASEAN integration

MANILA – The ASEAN Mutual Recognition Agreement, designed to liberalise movements of tourism professionals within the 10-member regional bloc, could cause potentially serious side-effects in the travel & tourism sector, the Human Resources Director of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in the Philippines has warned. Speaking at the ASEAN Tourism Conference (ATC), one of the core […]

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21 Jan, 2016

Shaikha Moza: Technology is killing Arabic language | GulfNews.com

Manama: Shaikha Moza Bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), has lamented the inability of the Arabs to preserve their language by misusing modern communication technology. “Our failure to effectively use modern communication techniques has led to an inability to preserve the Arabic language,” Shaikha Moza said during her […]

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21 Jan, 2016

Need tolerance in India very badly, says Nobel laureate Amartya Sen – Hindustan Times

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Wednesday asserted India needs tolerance “very badly” but also underscored the importance of skeptical tolerance. Sen, an alumni of erstwhile Presidency College which has now developed into the Presidency University, discussed the influence and contributions of early 19th century poet Henry Louis Vivian Derozio in education and society. “The general […]

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20 Jan, 2016

Hosted media at ASEAN Tourism Forum 2016 hit by attendance requirement at NTO briefings

Manila – Hosted travel journalists attending the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2016 are being required to provide proof of attendance at least seven out of 13 media briefings in order to be eligible for reimbursement of their air-fare. Instituted for the first time at an ATF, the requirement has caught several regular media participants by surprise […]

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19 Jan, 2016

ASEAN branding confusion at ASEAN’s premier travel trade show

Manila — The marketing of ASEAN as a single tourism destination has been under way for 24 years, with the original designation of 1992 as Visit ASEAN Year, to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the regional grouping. In spite of that long-standing effort, the ASEAN tourism sector still cannot find common ground […]

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18 Jan, 2016

Foreign tourism emerges as bright spot amid Japan’s dim economic prospects | The Japan Times

With few positive signs of recovery for Japan’s slumping economy, foreign tourism remains a sole ray of hope, and tourism authorities, local governments, industry players as well as retailers are eagerly awaiting another possibly record-breaking surge in Chinese tourists during next month’s Chinese New Year holiday. Though economists say a tourism boom alone won’t bail […]

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18 Jan, 2016

Malindo Air To Launch first Kuala Lumpur – Lahore flight

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 18 January 2016 (08 Rabee’ al-Thaani 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA HERBAL ASIA TO BE HELD IN KUALA […]

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16 Jan, 2016

Mossad proxy faked violent Facebook anti-Semitism | The Electronic Intifada

An Israeli legal group with intimate ties to the state’s intelligence agencies has admitted to faking an ostensibly pro-Palestinian Facebook page and using it to post anti-Semitic statements including “Death to all the Jews.” The Israeli group has also filed a lawsuit against Facebook, for allegedly permitting Palestinian “incitement.” Shurat HaDin claims to be a […]

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16 Jan, 2016

Report: Top 1% holds one-third of China’s wealth

By Liang Jun

Beijing, (People’s Daily Online), 14 Jan 2016 – A recent report showed that income and wealth inequality is worsening in China. The top 1 percent of households own around one-third of China’s wealth, while the bottom 25 percent of them have only 1 percent. The report, released by a research institute at Peking University, shows […]

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15 Jan, 2016

Alan Rickman’s pro-Palestinian Gaza play was also censored by theater | The Electronic Intifada

In 2005, Rickman directed the initial London run of My Name is Rachel Corrie, a play based on the writing of the US activist crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza two years prior. Rickman had been moved to produce the work, staged at London’s Royal Court Theatre, after reading Corrie’s published emails […]

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14 Jan, 2016

Buddhist, Muslim leaders pinpoint root causes & solutions of inter-faith conflict

Bangkok – A central question that dominated the symposium on “Interfaith Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence in Multicultural Societies” was how and why an increasingly globalised, inter-connected world is failing to live up to one of its primary projected objectives: More peaceful, harmonious, sustainable, inclusive societies and communities. All world religions, global institutions, governments, societies and […]

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14 Jan, 2016

Prominent Thai Journalist says ASEAN media must “take control of the narrative” from Western wire-services

Bangkok — Journalists in Thailand and ASEAN must take control of the narrative from Western media wire-services in order to build a better understanding of global events, especially those involving religious and ethnic conflicts, according to one of Thailand’s most prominent writers on foreign affairs. Speaking at a symposium on “Interfaith Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence […]

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13 Jan, 2016

Airbnb lists homes in illegal Israeli settlements – Al Jazeera English

Jerusalem – Dozens of listings on the online accommodation service Airbnb show immaculate cottages, elaborate breakfasts and rolling hillside views “in Israel” – but what is not stated is that the properties are located in Jewish settlements and outposts on occupied Palestinian territory. One shows a tidy, three-bedroom rental home with an idyllic courtyard framed […]

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13 Jan, 2016

Jewish-Israeli band making waves with Arabic song – Al Jazeera English

A girl band in Israel has been making waves after its debut single became the first song entirely in Arabic to top the charts in Israel. “Habib Galbi” by the band A-WA – made up of three sisters – gives traditional rhythms and lyrics from Yemen a hip-hop treatment. It’s a song that has been […]

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13 Jan, 2016

An Open Letter to President Obama from the “Israeli General’s Son” – Desertpeace

By Miko Peled When America voted for you the first time, many people were very optimistic. A man with an African Muslim father, an African Muslim name and what seemed like a caring heart and a brilliant mind. That was both refreshing and promising. You came into office with big promises, your first inaugural address […]

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12 Jan, 2016

Hundreds of French mosques open their doors to the public

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 11 January 2016 (01 Rabee’ al-Akhir 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA’S SHOPPING LANDSCAPE WITH MAIN AND NEW […]

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11 Jan, 2016

Saudi-Iran row to impact Mideast economy | GulfNews.com

Dubai: The Saudi-Iranian tensions could impact not just the economy of Iran, but also that of the wider Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, analysts have said. It could also affect investors’ appetite for risk, “spell increased volatility” in the financial markets and create pressure on oil prices. “[The] impact of the conflict on key […]

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11 Jan, 2016

16 students deported from US, ‘hassled’ at Hyderabad airport – Hindustan Times

The ordeal of 16 students from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, who had gone to the US seeking admission in educational institutions there but were sent back from New York, continued despite landing back home as they alleged that they had been kept waiting for around six hours at the international airport in Hyderabad over some […]

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7 Jan, 2016

Why aren’t we calling the Oregon occupiers ‘terrorists’?

As of Sunday afternoon, The Washington Post called them “occupiers.” The New York Times opted for “armed activists” and “militia men.” And the Associated Press put the situation this way: “A family previously involved in a showdown with the federal government has occupied a building at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon and is asking […]

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4 Jan, 2016

Report released: International Tourism in Islamic Countries 2015

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 04 January 2016 (24 Rabee’ al-Awwal 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA WINS ‘BEST ECO-VACATION’ AT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC […]

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4 Jan, 2016

Banks exploit your personal data to stave off competitors – Sydney Morning Herald

Thanks to advances in computing power and customers’ embrace of digital finance, banks know more than ever about what their customers are up to: whether it’s browsing the web, shopping online, visiting the mall, or interacting on social media. Already, they are busily harnessing this vast amount of data to sell products to customers before […]

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2 Jan, 2016

2015: The year India discovered intolerance – Amrith Lal, The Indian Express

Early January, Tamil writer Perumal Murugan put up on his Facebook wall the first notice of a growing trend in India society. Pummelled to submission by caste groups who took exception to his treatment of social relations in his novel, Mathorubagan (One-part Woman), Murugan announced the death of his authorial self. “Author Perumal Murugan is […]

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