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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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1 Jan, 2016

Countering myths and misconceptions about the Halal industry in Australia

By Syed Atiq ul Hassan

[The text of the speech delivered by Syed Atiq ul Hassan as a Guest Speaker in the Thailand Halal Assembly 2015, held in Bangkok from 25 to 27 December 2015. The Title of the speech was the Role and Responsibility of Journalist/Media for Halal Industry] In this politicised world where within or outside the Muslim […]

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31 Dec, 2015

Big cities in China luring talent despite drawbacks

By Su Zhou

Beijing, (China Daily) 2015-12-16 -Despite heavy smog, skyrocketing house prices and living pressures, China’s first-tier cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, are still the top the choices for the best brains. At the same time, smaller cities trying to attract high-end talent are facing challenges both in recruiting and retention. Zhaopin.com, a Chinese human resources […]

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31 Dec, 2015

Richest 10 per cent in UK ‘own half the country’s wealth’ – The Independent

The richest 10 per cent of households in the UK own nearly half of the country’s total wealth, while poorest the half of households represent just nine per cent, new official statistics reveal. Findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also reveal that wealth inequality is growing, with the richest tenth of society seeing […]

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31 Dec, 2015

How the Israel boycott movement struck major blows in 2015 | The Electronic Intifada

In September 2014, on the eve of the Jewish new year, Israel’s leading financial daily named Omar Barghouti among the 100 people most likely to influence the country’s economy in the following year. Calcalist, the business supplement of the mass circulation newspaper Yediot Ahronot, said that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which Barghouti helped […]

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30 Dec, 2015

The true price of happiness: Three important lessons for a good life

Harvard professor Robert Waldinger is the director of a 75-year study following the lives of 724 men. It is the longest happiness study ever conducted. In a new TED talk, Waldinger revealed the three main findings of the study and they weren’t being able to buy the world’s most expensive wine, becoming famous or being […]

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29 Dec, 2015

9 reasons why the Thailand Halal Assembly is NOT just another ordinary trade event

Bangkok – Thailand lies at the heart of ASEAN. Like an umbilical lifeline, the isthmus of Thailand-Malaysia links the Buddhist-majority northern half of ASEAN to the Muslim-majority southern half. This makes Thailand, a Buddhist majority country with the largest Muslim minority in ASEAN, a geographical bridgehead between two regions as well as a symbolic bond […]

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28 Dec, 2015

Jordanian Airlines Resumes Flights To Jakarta

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 December 2015 (16 Rabee’ al-Awwal 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA GO SHOPPING AND ENJOY! 1MALAYSIA YEAR END […]

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28 Dec, 2015

Ex-ASEAN chief Surin Pitsuwan calls for “New Beginning” in Islamic world

Bangkok – Thailand’s best-known Muslim personality Dr Surin Pitsuwan has called on the global Islamic community to use the growing number of halal events to think well beyond food, products and services and chart a “new beginning” with a focus on solving many of the world’s looming problems. Addressing the closing ceremony of the annual […]

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26 Dec, 2015

What If Jesus Had Been Born In 2015 In The American Police State? – Countercurrents

The Christmas narrative of a baby born in a manger is a familiar one. The Roman Empire, a police state in its own right, had ordered that a census be conducted. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary traveled to the little town of Bethlehem so that they could be counted.There being no room for the […]

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26 Dec, 2015

Middle class a growing, positive force in China

By Ma Chi

Beijing, (chinadaily.com.cn) 2015-12-25 – China’s emerging middle class has grown into a major force driving the society in a positive direction, according to a report by one of China’s top think tanks. Slightly over half of the population in Beijing and Shanghai fall in the category of “middle class”, as does around 40 percent in […]

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26 Dec, 2015

The checkpoint-ridden journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, today – Al Jazeera English

The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, today Mary and Joseph would have to pass through Israeli checkpoints, occupied land, illegal settlements and separation wall. See the interactive report and read the rest: The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, today – Al Jazeera English

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23 Dec, 2015

What If Jesus Had Been Born In 2015 In The American Police State? – Countercurrents.org

The Christmas narrative of a baby born in a manger is a familiar one. The Roman Empire, a police state in its own right, had ordered that a census be conducted. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary traveled to the little town of Bethlehem so that they could be counted.There being no room for the […]

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22 Dec, 2015

Americans Name Terrorism as No. 1 U.S. Problem – Gallup Polls

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, Americans are now more likely to name terrorism as the top issue facing the U.S. than to name any other issue — including those that have typically topped the list recently, such as the economy and the government. About one in […]

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22 Dec, 2015

2015: The Year the Merchants of Death Hijacked the Industry of Peace

BANGKOK – The defining development of 2015 was not a success story but a tragic failure — the total and absolute failure of the war on terror (WoT). That was accompanied by a complete absence of demands for accountability for the thousands of lives lost, the trillions of dollars squandered, the people displaced, the monumental […]

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21 Dec, 2015

19 students barred from boarding US-bound Air India flight in Hyderabad | The Indian Express

Air India barred 19 students from boarding its flight to the USA on the grounds that the two universities in which they had secured admission are under “scrutiny” by American authorities. The national carrier asked its staff to not allow the 19 students to board its flight to San Francisco at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport […]

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21 Dec, 2015

Asia’s first Islamic-compliant airline takes off

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 December 2015 (10 Rabee’ al-Awwal 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA GO SHOPPING AND ENJOY! 1MALAYSIA YEAR END […]

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21 Dec, 2015

Railway cooperation with China ushers in new era for Thai infrastructure development

By Zhang Chunxiao, Yang Yunyan and Chen Jiabao

BEIJING, (Xinhua), 2015-12-20 — The ground was broken on Saturday for Chinese and Thai companies to build the first standard-gauge railway in Thailand, applying China’s technology, standard and equipment, the China Railway Corporation (CRC) said. Earlier on Saturday, a launching ceremony was held at Chiang Rak Noi Station in central Thailand’s Ayutthaya province, according to […]

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21 Dec, 2015

Indonesian film explores anti-Muslim discrimination in the US – The Jakarta Post

Acha Septriasa and Abimana Aryasatya mark their return to the screen after starring in 99 Cahaya di Langit Eropa (Ninety-nine Lights in the European Sky) and its two sequels — the predecessors of their latest film Bulan Terbelah di Langit Amerika (Split Moon in the American Sky). The latest film, Bulan Terbelah, gives a glimpse […]

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19 Dec, 2015

Instilling fear in Americans – Arab News

By Sabria S. Jawahar Following the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to ban entry of all Muslims to the United States my non-Muslim mother-in-law and stepdaughter expressed their fears over my safety when I come to the United States. It was particularly alarming to me since my husband’s family […]

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19 Dec, 2015

Guess who demanded £330,000 for a 20-minute speech at a world hunger event? – The Independent

Over the weekend, it was reported that Tony Blair pulled out of addressing The World Hunger Forum in Stockholm because his £330k price tag for turning up and talking just couldn’t be met. According to one source, the food company organising the event, Eat, dropped Blair because “his star power is fast diminishing”. But regardless […]

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19 Dec, 2015

Defying prejudice, more Americans learn Arabic – Al Jazeera English

New York, United States – Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric tells one story about the modern day US. But, students painstakingly learning Arabic’s right-to-left script in classrooms across the country tells another. While fewer Americans speak Arabic than English, Spanish, Chinese or even Tagalog, it is perhaps the nation’s fastest-growing language and is […]

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19 Dec, 2015

Sikh man on US flight mocked, labelled bin Laden by co-passenger – The Times of India

NEW YORK: An elderly Sikh man in the US was filmed while sleeping on a flight by a co-passenger who posted the video online with a title ‘Would You Feel Safe’ and a description that says “flying with bin laden.” Darshan Singh, who was travelling on a Jetblue flight from New York to California in […]

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19 Dec, 2015

The joy of Canada delivered from Stephen Harper’s darkness to Justin Trudeau’s light – The Independent

by Robert Fisk Let us now praise famous men… Justin Trudeau comes to mind. “Canada is back,” the country’s new Prime Minister told the climate conference in Paris – and closed the door on the bigoted, aggressive Canada which his Conservative predecessor had been trying to create. It’s nice to write a story that’s an […]

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17 Dec, 2015

Vegetarian diets could be bad for environment – The Independent

Eating a healthier diet rich in fruit and vegetables could actually be more harmful to the environment than consuming some meat, a US study has claimed. Lettuce is “over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon”, according to researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University who analysed the impact per calorie of different […]

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17 Dec, 2015

More Than 200 South African Scholars Back Academic Boycott of Israel – Haaretz

More than 200 South African scholars pledged support for an academic boycott of Israel in a statement made on Tuesday. The scholars said they would not accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions and would not participate in conferences organized or funded by them. They will, however, continue to work with Israeli colleagues individually, if […]

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17 Dec, 2015

US Sikhs feel vulnerable, join with Muslims to combat backlash – The Times of India

CHICAGO: Pardeep Kaleka spent several days after 9/11 at his father’s South Milwaukee gas station, fearing that his family would be targeted by people who assumed they were Muslim. No, Kaleka explained on behalf of his father, who wore a turban and beard and spoke only in broken English, the family was Sikh, a southeast […]

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14 Dec, 2015

Saudi Arabia Halal Cosmetics Market to Grow at 15% P.A. until 2020

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 December 2015 (03 Rabee’ al-Awwal 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA GO SHOPPING AND ENJOY! 1MALAYSIA YEAR END […]

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13 Dec, 2015

Republican senator visits mosque to reject Donald Trump’s Muslim ban — Sydney Morning Herald

Washington: Donald Trump’s call on Monday to bar all Muslims from entering the US provoked a variety of reactions from Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, ranging from silence to gentle disapproval to full-throated condemnation. But only one visited a mosque to speak up for religious tolerance and American unity. Senator Jeff Flake, of Arizona, attended a Friday afternoon […]

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12 Dec, 2015

Jewish billionaire’s Foundation banned as ‘threat to Russian national security’ – RT

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has recognized George Soros’s Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects. In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a […]

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12 Dec, 2015

Australian and Islamic extremists are the same – Afghan refugee girl tells BBC News

When Mr Shortis went on in the video to claim he and Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic state, would agree on their interpretation of Islam, Ms Haidary said she realised that in some ways Islamic extremists and Australia’s most militant anti-Islamic group were exactly the same. “They go straight on the Koran,” she […]

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12 Dec, 2015

Edward Snowden meets Arundhati Roy and John Cusack: War, Greed & Terrorism – The Guardian

We talked about war and greed, about terrorism, and what an accurate definition of it would be. We spoke about countries, flags and the meaning of patriotism. We talked about public opinion and the concept of public morality and how fickle it could be, and how easily manipulated. It wasn’t a Q&A type of conversation. […]

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12 Dec, 2015

Reclaiming India for democracy – Jairus Banaji, The Hindu

There is a growing sense that the centralisation of power in the hands of ‘one man’ and a sheer lack of competence at the level of the PMO have triggered a breakdown in the normal routines of government and caused disaffection in the ranks of the bureaucracy. Political interference in the Reserve Bank’s jealously guarded […]

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7 Dec, 2015

US$250m ADB Loan to Improve Management of Pakistan’s Land Border Points

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 December 2015 (25 Safar 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA CELEBRATES A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS 2015 […]

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2 Dec, 2015

Chinese ‘maternity tourism’ to US sees change

By Lia Zhu

San Francisco (China Daily USA), 2015-12-01 – A Los Angeles-based “birthing center” has seen less demand from couples since China changed its one-child policy but more demand from wealthy clients for high-end service. To evade the fine for violating China’s since-changed one-child policy (about 100,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan or $15,632 to $31,264), having their […]

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1 Dec, 2015

S. African journalist exposes more lies by Blair and Bush over attack on Iraq

Tony Blair went to war in Iraq despite a report by South African experts with unique knowledge of the country that showed it did not possess weapons of mass destruction, according to a book published on Sunday. God, Spies and Lies, by South African journalist John Matisonn, describes how then president Thabo Mbeki tried in […]

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30 Nov, 2015

Malaysia helps Japan tap the Global Halal Market

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 30 November 2015 (18 Safar 1437). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA CELEBRATES A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS 2015 […]

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30 Nov, 2015

Egyptian writer blasts West’s duplicitous policies on fighting terror

The recent backlash against Egypt in connection with the plane crash has nothing to do with the plane crash and everything to do with international bias and misjudgement. When it comes to fighting terror, international policy is simply duplicitous. It all depends on who is being targeted, and what the outcome is for them. When […]

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30 Nov, 2015

Is promoting gay travel contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS?

Bangkok – The announcement of an “organizational partnership” between the Pacific Asia Travel Association and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association has raised some serious fundamental questions about the appropriateness of promoting gay travel in a cultural context as well as its linkage with the spread of HIV/AIDS. On the one hand, the IGLTA […]

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29 Nov, 2015

Schengen: Border-control agency Frontex seeks access to security databases

by Maria Vasileiou

THE HAGUE, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) — Without access to security database tools necessary for detecting terrorist threats, Frontex is forced to limit its controls of irregular immigrants at Schengen zone external borders to a minimum check with identity registering, said Fabrice Leggeri, executive director of the European external border agency, in an interview with Xinhua. […]

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29 Nov, 2015

Chinese play growing part in online shopping

By Hezi Jiang

New York (China Daily USA) 2015-11-26 — Foreign brands and retailers are ready for another Chinese “Duo Shou Day”, which translates into one’s hands being chopped because of an inability to refrain from online shopping. Rewarded with good revenue on Singles Day on Nov 11, many international merchants are hoping to attract more Chinese online […]

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29 Nov, 2015

Xinhua Insight: China changes tactics in financial fight against poverty

BEIJING, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) — Zhang Xiangyin still remembers the day his daughter-in-law left home three years ago, leaving her 33-day-old son. She could no longer bear living entrenched in poverty in their mountain village. Zhang, a 58-year-old farmer in Bijie City of southwest China’s Guizhou Province, knows exactly what poverty means. With two daughters, […]

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29 Nov, 2015

Aamir Khan is the true son of India: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra | The Indian Express

Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra says superstar Aamir Khan, who has been embroiled in a controversy for his comments on intolerance, is a true son of the soil and does not have to prove anything. The 50-year-old “PK” star during an award function in the national capital had said he has been “alarmed” by a number […]

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29 Nov, 2015

The war on terror and the terror of war – DAWN.COM

We live in a world where wars are not fought anymore, but felt. A world where war has seeped into human hearts, silently and sinisterly, manifesting itself through the most trivial of human emotions. We live in a world where the battlefield is not a place anymore, but a condition. A world where the most […]

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28 Nov, 2015

Lies, Terror and the Drive to War – PravdaReport

It is all about “narratives”, the buzz word coined by US propaganda. The point 0f a narrative is, however, that it needs to be consistent, whether it is a fairy tale or a spinned story. Many official narratives have become unraveled to the point where few people out there still believe them. This is the […]

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27 Nov, 2015

RSS India’s number 1 terror group: Former Mumbai police officer – The Times of India

KOLKATA: Claiming that the activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have been indicted in at least 13 terror cases across India, former Maharashtra inspector general of police S M Mushrif on Thursday described the BJP’s ideological mentor as India’s number one terrorist organisation. “RSS activists have been chargesheeted in at least 13 cases of […]

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27 Nov, 2015

Paris attacks: Women targeted as hate crime against British Muslims soars – The Independent

Muslims living in Britain have suffered more than 100 racial attacks since the terrorist atrocities in Paris, figures prepared for ministers reveal. A report to the Government’s working group on anti-Muslim hatred, seen by The Independent, shows a spike in Islamophobic hate crime of more than 300 per cent, to 115, in the week following […]

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27 Nov, 2015

Myopia epidemic: Kids urged to go outside and drop devices – or risk blindness – Sydney Morning Herald

Maxime Jalbert Locke has been told to spend more time outdoors. The 11-year-old has also been told to limit time on devices. The reason? He has been diagnosed with myopia. When asked what caused his myopia, he said it was caused ‘a bit’ by looking at screens. About 30 per cent of myopia is genetic. […]

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27 Nov, 2015

The downside of too much technology: Young people with ‘old eyes’ | The Japan Times

Growing numbers of people in their 20s and 30s are reporting vision trouble. The cause is spending too much time staring at small screens. Staring too much at tiny details in the confined space of a small screen results in a condition known as presbyopia, a term derived from Greek words meaning “old eye.” The […]

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27 Nov, 2015

Aamir Khan’s right to speak – The Hindu

In the Bharatiya Janata Party Parivar’s revised reckoner, actor Aamir Khan is now a villain giving India a bad name. It happened the day he joined forces with writers, actors and scientists and re-opened the debate on intolerance in the country by voicing his own concern and his wife’s anxiety and thoughts, perhaps fleeting, of […]

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