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27 Apr, 2016

Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque renamed “Solomon’s Stables” in Israel tourist map

Among the map’s many omitted Christian sites is the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, whose bell tower is one of the most recognizable features of the Old City’s skyline. The fourteen stations along the infamous Via Dolorosa – the path Jesus walked before his crucifixion – are also unlisted, even though they are a major […]

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27 Apr, 2016

Airbnb is ‘ravaging’ black neighbourhoods in New York City and trying to hide it, officials say – The Independent

New York City policymakers and affordable housing advocates have criticised Airbnb following a report the company released claiming it benefits “predominantly black” neighbourhoods. Critics call the company’s release of this information a “duplicitous” and “disingenuous” PR push, a smokescreen to obscure how Airbnb is actually “ravaging” black neighbourhoods in New York City by taking rental […]

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27 Apr, 2016

Statue of Nelson Mandela unveiled in Israeli-occupied West Bank – The Jakarta Post

A 6-meter-high (20-foot) bronze statue of Nelson Mandela has been unveiled in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Ramallah’s Mayor Mussa Hadid said Tuesday the statue was a gift from the Johannesburg municipality. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Johannesburg’s Mayor Parks Tau took part in the unveiling. Hadid says the statue reflects the “special relationship […]

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26 Apr, 2016

US town promises terrorized Saudi students security | Arab News

WASHINGTON: Idaho State University in Pocatello has taken new security measures to ensure the safety of Saudi and Gulf students who have been subjected to harassment, thefts and in one instance physical attack in recent weeks. Saudi Cultural Attaché Mohammed Al-Eissa said in a press statement that the university and the authorities in Pocatello have […]

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25 Apr, 2016

Indonesian Christians, Muslims look forward to visiting a free Jerusalem

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 April 2016 (18 Rajab 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 IN […]

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23 Apr, 2016

Oil & Conflicts signal beginning of the end for Gulf travel boom

In a report that signals the beginning of the end of the Gulf inbound and outbound travel boom, the International Monetary Fund has forecast a bleak future for the Gulf countries whose fragile economies are set to be rocked by low oil prices, raging regional conflicts and the emergence of Iran. In a media briefing […]

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21 Apr, 2016

Grounding Vijay Mallya – The Hindu

Mr. Mallya’s elbow room is shrinking, and he must know that he is not merely battling the legal consequences of corporate loans gone bad. He is also battling a widespread perception that the loans went bad because of his profligate ways, poor management and possible malfeasance. His flamboyant lifestyle has been central to contributing to […]

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21 Apr, 2016

Israel rabbi to paramedics: ‘Leave Palestinians to die’ – AJE News

Jerusalem – There is mounting evidence that Israeli ambulance crews are withholding treatment from Palestinians injured during a wave of attacks over the past six months, according to rights groups. Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, a medical watchdog group, found that wounded Palestinians had been left untreated for as long as two hours. In […]

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21 Apr, 2016

Meet The Heroic Mothers Who Raise Children With Special Needs – DAWN.COM

There was silence in the maternity ward. Then, nervous whispers. “The nurses looked scared,” says Rabia Aziz, recalling the moment of birth. “I sensed uneasiness behind the screen of the C-section. And then they asked, ‘Would you like to see your baby?’” Little Aaliya was born with an oddly shaped skull, no fingers and fused […]

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21 Apr, 2016

Is India a secular nation? | The Indian Express

by Madhav Godbole It is my conviction that India’s survival as a multireligious, multilingual, multiracial, multicultural society will depend on how successful it is in working its secularism. No society can prosper or be at peace with itself if one-fourths of its population feels neglected, deprived and unwanted. It is disconcerting to see that, in […]

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19 Apr, 2016

Dubai aims to be world’s most disabled-friendly city

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 April 2016 (11 Rajab 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 IN […]

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17 Apr, 2016

Bernie Sanders smashes the Israel status quo – CNNPolitics.com

Regardless of the debate’s impact on the primary, Sanders managed to put down a new marker in the ongoing debate over support for Israel in Democratic Party politics. “It’s a pretty extraordinary moment for Democrats,” Sheinkopf said. “It signals without question what other people already know: that the great love affair between the United States […]

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17 Apr, 2016

Australians are hiding $11 billion in spending from their loved ones – Finder

What do we have to hide? It’s often the case in a relationship that an innocently placed white lie can be a wise move in terms of keeping the ship sailing smoothly. Whether you accidentally killed the family goldfish and managed to swap it out before anyone noticed, or just didn’t want your other half […]

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12 Apr, 2016

The angry Indian needs to be angriest about himself – Hindustan Times

In 1973, an honest police officer called Inspector Vijay swore vengeance against those who had killed his family. Vijay was played by the then relatively unknown Amitabh Bachchan and Zanjeer saw the birth of both a star and the ‘angry young man’. Over 40 years later, the angry young Indian has spilled over from fiction […]

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11 Apr, 2016

First Ski Park Inaugurated In Bamyan, Afghanistan

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of stories of interesting events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 11 April 2016 (04 Rajab 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 IN PENANG WTM […]

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11 Apr, 2016

England’s Muslim cricketer stopped at Birmingham Airport on return from World T20 – The Independent

The England cricketer Moeen Ali says he was stopped by border officers on his return to the country from the T20 world cup in India. Ali arrived at Birmingham Airport on Saturday afternoon ahead of the start of Worcestershire’s county cricket season, but was detained by members of the UK Border Force for 40 minutes. […]

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11 Apr, 2016

Airports, Designed for Everyone but the Passenger – New York Times

Airports have been drastically transformed since the 1970s, when you could smoke anywhere, stroll leisurely through security and hug your loved one at the gate before boarding the plane. Passing through security these days takes forever and sometimes borders on harassment. The lighting is brighter than a World Series night game. Almost all the chairs […]

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10 Apr, 2016

Chinese commentary: US presidential candidates find it easy to fool gullible US public with lies

By Chen Weihua Washington DC, 2016-04-08, (China Daily) – As a close observer of several US presidential elections, I have found the 2016 race bemusing in both predictable and unpredictable ways. The most baffling is that so many Americans say they support Hillary Clinton when various polls show that the majority think she is less […]

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9 Apr, 2016

India’s slogan-shouting debate: You can’t force patriotism like you can’t force a smile – The Hindu

Patriotic slogans are like smiles — outward manifestations of an inner state. You cannot force people to be patriotic, just as you cannot force them to keep smiling for 10 years for reasons they know not. The mindset of coercion is driven by raw, adversarial power. It bristles with hostility towards a person, group or […]

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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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