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1 Nov, 2015

‘Intellectuals will be silenced’: historians express fears of Indian government – The Guardian

More than 50 Indian historians have detailed their collective “anguish” at the “highly vitiated atmosphere prevailing in the country”, just weeks after dozens of Indian writers returned their literary awards in protest over what they called India’s “climate of intolerance”. The historians, who include eminent scholars Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib, write in a joint […]

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1 Nov, 2015

Intolerance on the rise, government should start dialogue, says Indian Nobel laureate – The Times of India

MUMBAI: Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Friday said intolerance is on the rise and there is a “dialogue deficit” between the government and its people. “There is significant intolerance in our society. Not only intolerance but fear and apathy has also risen in the society at large which is dividing it. “This situation is prevailing […]

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31 Oct, 2015

Pakistan foundation that looked after Hindu girl, turns down Indian PM’s Rs 10 million donation – The Indian Express

Pakistan’s charity foundation Edhi today turned down Rs one crore donation announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking care of deaf and mute Indian girl Geeta during her over a decade-long stay in the country. Prominent philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, who is the founder and head of the Edhi Foundation, thanked Prime Minister Modi […]

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30 Oct, 2015

Americans Worldwide Must Break Silence on Islamophobia to Preserve Constitutional Freedoms

by Zainab Chaudry

October 28, 2015  – One afternoon last week, while checking email during an Uber ride in Washington, D.C., a message caught my attention. Exclamation points dominated the subject line. I mentally braced myself before opening the message. The email began: “In case you missed it, I want to bring this article to your attention…” The article in question was […]

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30 Oct, 2015

Hebrew University to Establish Yitzhak Rabin Fellowship to “Create a New Generation of Statesmen”

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 29, 2015 – American Friends of Yitzhak Rabin (AFYR) today officially announced a partnership with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the leading university in Israel, to establish the Yitzhak Rabin Fellowship in Graduate Democracy Studies in the Department of Political Science. Supported by proceeds raised from an Oct. 13 gala in Boston, […]

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30 Oct, 2015

Jobs with heaviest alcohol consumption revealed – The Independent

Many people turn to a pint on a Friday to mark the end of the working week. But heavy drinking, in which five or more drinks are consumed in one sitting, appears to be more of a problem in some lines of work than others. According to government data studied by Statista, the graphic below […]

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29 Oct, 2015

Muslims celebrate Durga Puja in Tripura – The Hindu

Setting an example of communal harmony, several Durga pujas are being organised by the Muslim community in Tripura. The big budget puja of the ‘Blood Drop’ club in the Sonamura sub-division of Sipahijala district was held under the guidance of a Muslim president of the puja committee. “In this Hindu majority area, they have elected […]

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29 Oct, 2015

UK academics boycott universities in Israel to fight for Palestinians’ rights – The Guardian

More than 300 academics from dozens of British universities have pledged to boycott Israeli academic institutions in protest at what they call intolerable human rights violations against the Palestinian people. The declaration, by 343 professors and lecturers, is printed in a full-page advertisement carried in Tuesday’s Guardian, with the title: “A commitment by UK scholars […]

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29 Oct, 2015

100 top Indian scientists join protest, slam ‘climate of intolerance’ | The Indian Express

After protests by writers and artists, over 100 distinguished scientists from some of India’s top institutes issued a statement on Wednesday denouncing the “climate of intolerance” and “a rash of bigoted acts”.  The statement — a rare public stand by a community that is reluctant to voice its collective opinion on non-scientific issues — came […]

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29 Oct, 2015

Indian Scientist latest to return Padma Bhushan, protests against ‘attack on rationalism, reasoning’ – The Indian Express

Joining the bandwagon of writers and artists, veteran scientist P M Bhargava will return the awards he received from the government of India to protest against “the government’s attack on rationalism, reasoning and science.” Bhargava, who was the founder-director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), said he would return his Padma Bhushan […]

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29 Oct, 2015

12 Indian filmmakers return national awards to join agitation against ‘intolerance’ – The Indian Express

Students at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Wednesday ended their 140-day-old strike — but the protest was taken forward by 12 filmmakers, who announced that they would return their National Awards over the unresolved FTII issue and the “rising intolerance” in the country. The students, too, said they would return to classes […]

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29 Oct, 2015

Meet India’s new nationalists muzzling dissent – The Indian Express

They are young, urban, and online. They communicate frequently, organise efficiently, and pursue their agendas across multiple fronts, both physical and digital. They identify as nationalists, which in practice makes them nativists. They typically blame and excoriate an amorphous other — Chinese expansionists, Western cultural imperialists, Islamic fundamentalists — for their country’s ills and claim […]

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29 Oct, 2015

Netanyahu Marks Rabin Murder With Nightmare Prophecy of Israel’s Future – Haaretz

By Bradley Burston Twenty years ago this November 4, we had a young family, and hope. Twenty years ago this November 4, when we loaded the old car with the kids and a stroller to drive down the mountain to go hear Yitzhak Rabin speak in Tel Aviv, we lived in a country with a […]

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29 Oct, 2015

Buddhists asked to avoid prayer beads and statues made of ivory

By Xu Wei

Beijing, (chinadaily.com.cn) 2015-10-26 – International Buddhists were called upon develop and coordinate ecological protection services as the Fourth World Buddhist Forum wrapped up on Sunday. In a declaration at the closing ceremony, the forum called upon Buddhists worldwide to develop and coordinate international Buddhist charitable services such as disaster relief, poverty alleviation and ecological protection, […]

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28 Oct, 2015

Anniversary of Rabin’s murder stirs what-ifs amid violence – The Guardian

In grim, reflective mood, Israelis are marking the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin – the prime minister who took a historic step towards peace with the Palestinians – linking his murder by a rightwing nationalist to the latest wave of Arab-Jewish violence and the bleak prospects for ending the conflict. Rabin was […]

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27 Oct, 2015

The Rabin Assassination: When Judaism Failed – Haaretz

When Yigal Amir murdered Yitzhak Rabin, he did not target Yitzhak Rabin the man; he targeted the prime minister of Israel. This political assassination sought to change government policy and prevent the implementation of the Oslo Accords. The assassin used a gun barrel to change the results of the ballot box, seeking to overthrow Israel’s […]

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27 Oct, 2015

Israeli Mayor: Partners of Rabin’s Assassin Now Rule Israel

Adi Eldar, mayor of the northern Israeli city of Carmiel, has accused senior government officials of cooperation and responsibility in the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. At a ceremony on Sunday marking the 20th anniversary of the assassination, Eldar said that murderer Yigal Amir’s partners are now ruling the country. “The militant right, this […]

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27 Oct, 2015

Six hotels amongst 115 UK firms named and shamed for failing to pay minimum wage – The Independent

Clothing and jewellery chain Monsoon Accessorize has been named as the worst British company for paying their staff the new minimum wage. The company was listed amongst 115 employers who have failed to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage. Between them, the 115 companies named owed workers over £389,000 in arrears, and span sectors […]

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27 Oct, 2015

Why does ITB Asia make such a big deal about promoting LGBT travel?

Singapore – ITB Asia has been promoting gay and lesbian travel for a number of years. This year, two sessions were devoted entirely to the subject. As there are far more important markets in the Asia-Pacific, such as senior-citizens and People with Disabilities, which do not get any attention at ITB Asia, a logical question […]

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26 Oct, 2015

UK company plans Tehran-Moscow luxury railway trip

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 26 October 2015 (13 Muharram 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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26 Oct, 2015

In pictures: Utter failure of ASEAN’s single-destination brand campaign

Singapore – With just under two months before the integrated ASEAN Community takes effect, the ASEAN tourism sector has proved its utter failure to meet the over-arching goal of building a strong brand image and promoting the region as a single destination. Although the ASEAN countries had the largest collective presence at the ITB Asia […]

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26 Oct, 2015

Incredible Indians wish they had been less incredible – Hindustan Times

By Karan Thapar ‘Incredible India’ is how we describe ourselves and today I want to show you how accurate that is. But first a warning: I’m using the adjective in ways the author of the slogan did not intend. My aim is not to attract tourists but to hold a mirror to ourselves. Second, at […]

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26 Oct, 2015

The fringe, violent elements of Indian society have now become mainstream – Hindustan Times

Across the country from Dadri to Faridabad, Moodbidri to Udhampur, there’s a deep sense of unease at events spiralling out of control. Writers feel it, sociologists believe it and the president is concerned enough to have to publicly address it repeatedly in the course of a month. The BJP would have you believe that the […]

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26 Oct, 2015

Peace call goes viral: ‘I am an Indian & I don’t hate Pakistan’ – The Times of India

Armchair activism isn’t a bad word any more. In fact, there’s nothing beyond its scope if people decide to sit on a chair and raise their virtual voice. The recent instances of hate against Pakistan and the Shiv Sena-imposed extra-egal ban on artistes, writers and sportspersons from across the border has triggered a spontaneous online […]

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26 Oct, 2015

Enough with Hindutva, it has poisoned the air with hatred, violence- The Indian Express

By Tavleen Singh At this point in Narendra Modi’s term as Prime Minister we should have been talking about good things. Jobs, growth, economic reforms, new policies, India’s role in the world and her transition towards fulfilling that promise of making the 21st century her own. Instead, all we have talked about since Mohammad Akhlaq’s […]

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26 Oct, 2015

India: 19th-century politics for a 21st-century society – Hindustan Times

by Ramachandran Guha Some years ago, I edited an anthology of Indian political thought, profiling 19 individual thinkers. The usual suspects — Gokhale, Tilak, Phule, Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar, Lohia, JP, Periyar — featured, but also some less conventional choices. One of these was Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh between 1940 and […]

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23 Oct, 2015

RSS has made India an undeclared Hindu Rashtra, Azam Khan says – The Times of India

LUCKNOW: Senior minister in Akhilesh cabinet Azam Khan has questioned the article published in the latest edition of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) mouthpiece Panchjanya which states that Vedas order killing of sinners who kill cows. “The write-up clearly reflects the divisive ideology of the RSS. It says that India is an undeclared Hindu nation […]

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23 Oct, 2015

Zahid death: Kashmir writer Margoob Banhali returns Sahitya Akademi Award | The Indian Express

Noted Kashmir writer and poet Margoob Banhali today joined the growing list of litterateurs to return the Sahitya Akademi Award in protest against the “increasing attacks on minorities” in the country. “Attacks on minorities in India have grown. The barbaric attack of 20-years-old Zahid Rasool Bhat resulted in his laying to rest in south Kashmir […]

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23 Oct, 2015

Murder in India: Modi’s fail – Ramesh Thakur, Policy Forum

On September 28, just outside Delhi in Dadri, a 50-year-old Muslim man, Mohammad Akhlaq, was lynched by a mob wielding sticks, swords and makeshift pistols. Whipped into a killing frenzy by an announcement in a local temple that someone had slaughtered a cow and eaten beef, the mob accused Akhlaq of this heinous – to […]

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23 Oct, 2015

Rising intolerance: What is at stake is the very soul of India | The Indian Express

To much public consternation, Haryana CM Manohar Khattar recently asserted that “Muslims can continue to live in India, but they will have to give up eating beef”. He contended that because cow slaughter hurts the sentiments of Hindus, Muslims and Christians must learn to live without it. In defending Khattar’s views, BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj […]

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23 Oct, 2015

Communalising beef: The Hindutva camp’s flawed argument | The Indian Express

The worst part about any debate on political/social/religious issues in India is that you introduce a Muslim dimension to it and the whole discourse will turn into an emotive issue. This situation has greatly aggravated with ‘swayamsevaks’ ruling a democratic-secular India. Currently it is happening on the issue of beef. The Hindutva camp is using […]

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23 Oct, 2015

Pakistani cricket commentator, umpire forced to leave India over security concerns – DAWN.COM

India’s failure to provide security to Pakistan’s commentators and match officials, following Shiv Sena’s hooliganism, has forced Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar to quit the ongoing India-South Africa series and head home early, ESPNcricinfo reported. The development comes a day after the International Cricket Council (ICC) withdrew Pakistan’s Aleem Dar from officiating in the rest […]

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23 Oct, 2015

From saffron to red: Welcome to Modi’s India – DAWN.COM

Last year, the world was fixated upon India when the general elections brought to power Narendra Modi, the former chief minister of the prosperous Indian state of Gujarat. Enthusiasts didn’t tire of pointing out at the time that the story of Indian democracy could not have gotten any better; the new premier used to sell […]

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23 Oct, 2015

Backlash feared: Chinese tourist dies after “forced shopping” brawl in Hong Kong

By Ku Ma

Hong Kong – (chinadaily.com.cn) 2015-10-21 — The shocking death of a mainland tourist in Hong Kong started a war of words between the mainland and the “shopping heaven”, which has climaxed in the virtual space. However, it has become a truly worrying sign in the real world. Despite Hong Kong authorities’ quick action to detain […]

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19 Oct, 2015

Pearls Expo being held in Istanbul’s Islamic Arts Museum

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 19 October 2015 (06 Muharram 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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19 Oct, 2015

Urdu poet Munawar Rana returns Sahitya Akademi Award, vows never to accept any govt award | The Indian Express

PROTESTS OF writers against “rising intolerance” in the country continued with two more writers, Urdu poet Munawwar Rana and Telugu writer Katyayani Vidmahe, returning their Sahitya Akademi awards on Sunday. Nearly 30 writers have returned their Akademi awards so far, while over a dozen have returned other awards they received from the Akademi. Rana, who […]

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19 Oct, 2015

China plans fool-proof tax regime to foil multinational corporations by year-end

By ZHENG YANGPENG

Beijing, (China Daily) 2015-10-13 – A key government draft proposal that will seek to tackle multinational corporations’ tax-avoidance will draw from a latest international tax rule, and is expected to be rolled out by the year-end, a top tax official said. Wang Xiaoyue, vice-director of the International Taxation Department under the State Administration of Taxation, […]

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19 Oct, 2015

400 million mobile phones become obsolete each year in China

By Gao Yinan

Beijing,  (People’s Daily Online), October 13, 2015 – “When I bought a new cell phone, it was already obsolete,” a man surnamed Chen said. He works in Shenzhen, southern China, which leads the country’s electronics industry. Chen’s confusion is not an isolated case. Nowadays, with the rapid updating of mobile phones, dealing with abandoned handsets […]

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19 Oct, 2015

Hi-Tech Meets Hi-Touch At Travel Bloggers Forum In Bangkok

Bangkok – Nearly 600 travel bloggers from all over the world convened in Thailand for the first Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) in Asia between 15-17 October. Amidst the dozens of presentations on harnessing whiz-bang hi-tech tools to make a living out of their passion for writing, it was the high-touch exhibit of traditional Thai arts […]

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17 Oct, 2015

A lament from Pakistan to India: It turned out you were just like us – Hindustan Times

Leading Pakistani feminist and poetess Fahmida Riaz is wondering whether to laugh or cry over recent events of intolerance across India. Riaz, who once took refuge in that country when she was hounded by right-wing elements in General Zia-ul Haq’s time, now says India has “turned out like us” — not just intolerant, but to […]

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17 Oct, 2015

Time is ticking: Busy with state elections and foreign travels, Modi is failing to deliver – TOI Blogs

Narendra Modi led his party to victory in the general elections last year on a wave of hope. The UPA government had largely stopped governing in its last two years, and Modi promised to get things moving. Nearly 17 months later, his government is failing to deliver. The problem is that Modi is fiddling while […]

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17 Oct, 2015

Beef ban or Ram mandir movement, political mobilisation of Hindus doesn’t work – TOI Blogs

The philosophy of the Upanishads is being sought to be transformed into a battering ram against minorities. Attempts are being made to transform Hinduism – a religion with no central panel of saints, no single church and no single godhead, its dizzying multiplicity the secret of its invincibility – into a wannabe copycat version, indeed […]

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17 Oct, 2015

How Facebook plans to get you to spend all your time on Facebook – Sydney Morning Herald

There seems to be a lot going on at the big blue social network these days. A spate of headlines from the past several weeks have outlined some very ambitious plans: Facebook is building a real-time news tool that could kill Twitter. Facebook’s testing shopping products that could take on Amazon. Facebook’s making its own […]

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17 Oct, 2015

Sikh community organizes inter-faith langar at Amritsar mosque – TOI Blogs

As tales of communal discord and intolerance continue to dominate the news in India, this story will help restore your faith in humanity. On October 8, volunteers of Sikh Press Association and Basics of Sikhi organized a langar at the historic Jama Masjid in Amritsar. Close to 400 people including madrassa students, Sikhs, Christians, and […]

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15 Oct, 2015

The blood-dimmed tide of fascism is loosed in Modi’s India | Asia Times

By M.K. Bhadrakumar, Asia Times News & Features Seldom does adrenaline flow so instinctively the moment one begins reading the morning newspapers in the Indian capital, but today is one such day. I am not entitled to claim friendship with Sudheendra Kulkarni but do have an acquaintance going back by several years. I hold him […]

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15 Oct, 2015

Goa Sahitya Akademi Award winning writers condemn “cultural Talibanism” – The Hindu

A group of Sahitya Akademi award winner writers from Goa on Thursday condemned the silence of Sahitya Akademi over the rising trend of intolerance in the country and recent murders of some writers. “We demand from Sahitya Akademi the official condemnation of the threat to our fundamental rights that is more imperative at this juncture. […]

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15 Oct, 2015

Indian activists to boycott RTI conclave to protest govt security curbs – Hindustan Times

New Delhi – Prominent RTI activists, including Magsaysay award winner Aruna Roy, will boycott the transparency law’s 10th anniversary celebrations to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, terming security restrictions on civil society members as an attempt to muzzle dissenting voices. The boycott of the high-profile function came amidst growing nationwide outrage against what […]

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15 Oct, 2015

Trolled, Naseeruddin Shah says being targeted for being Muslim – The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah, who was trolled on Twitter for his comments during former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s book launch two days ago, on Wednesday said he was targeted for being a Muslim. He said he was proud to be an Indian and he would not allow anybody to question his […]

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15 Oct, 2015

Writers have “manufactured” a controversy & protest: Finance Minister – The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday hit back at writers who have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest against the alleged spike in intolerance under the Modi government, saying the agitators had manufactured a protest and were indulging in politics by other means due to their ideological intolerance. While terming the killing […]

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15 Oct, 2015

Writers protest: Indian government should respect The Word | The Indian Express

Why should unarmed writers, singers and dancers worry a government that has been voted to power through a popular mandate of proportions not seen in 30 years? History tells us they need to worry. The ruling establishment does not have to look any further than the manner in which UPA 2 handled the entire anti-UPA […]

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15 Oct, 2015

Whistleblowing investigator fired by whistleblowing agency for whistleblowing – The Independent

A whistleblowing investigator who went public about a dysfunctional witness protection programme has been fired for whistleblowing. Darrell Whitman put his job as an investigator for the federal Whistleblower Protection Programme on the line to claim that the agency had failed to defend workers who reported illegal activity and corporate safety infringements in the San […]

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15 Oct, 2015

How women make peace: Muslim woman ends anti-Islam protest by giving protester a hug – Sydney Morning Herald

An anti-Islam protest being staged by a lone woman outside a mosque in the United States ended after members of the community came to engage her in a discussion about her views, and one Muslim woman walked over to give her a hug and invite her inside. Photos of the hug have gone viral around […]

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15 Oct, 2015

In India, dancing to a divisive tune – The Hindu

By Vishakha Desai What I find particularly distressing about this trend of sharper focus on caste, religion, and ethnicity is the promotion of divisiveness rather than the idea of “E Pluribus Unum”, one in many. Just when the world desperately needs the idea of mutual respect necessary for living side by side by in an […]

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15 Oct, 2015

Govt tacitly enabling attacks on writers: Amitav Ghosh | The Indian Express

Author Amitav Ghosh Wednesday said that while he “appreciated the courage” of writers who had returned their Sahitya Akademi awards, he would not return his own as that would “amount to a repudiation of the institution’s history”. He also said the government was “tacitly enabling attacks (on writers)” and accused the Akademi of “dereliction of […]

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14 Oct, 2015

Korean casino lures Chinese gamblers with models and C-listers

By Yuan Can

(People’s Daily Online), October 13, 2015 – A gambling house located on Jeju Island, South Korea is always ablaze with lights even during the daytime. The house is full of gamblers. VIP rooms are located on the second floor for clients with greater stake. Taking advantage of a visa exemption policy for Chinese visitors, casinos […]

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14 Oct, 2015

Beijing police bust global smuggling ring, $4m wildlife parts seized

By SU ZHOU

Beijing, (China Daily) 2015-10-13 – A three-month police investigation has led to the seizure of a large haul of endangered wildlife parts and the disruption of an international smuggling ring, the Beijing Forest Police Bureau announced on Monday. The wildlife trafficking case, which was code-named “May 21”, led to the confiscation of illegal wildlife parts, […]

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14 Oct, 2015

Is “Islamic Terrorism” A Myth? – Interview with Elias Davidsson, Countercurrents.org

13 October, 2015 Countercurrents.org – Not many people have the guts to question the official narrative of the attacks committed on 9/11 in the United States of America, in London, Madrid, Mumbai or elsewhere, which governments attribute to Islamic terrorists. Elias Davidsson is one of those, who in 2002 became skeptical of the official account […]

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13 Oct, 2015

Rise of intolerant India threatens PM Modi’s global image – Vir Sanghvi, The Hindustan Times

Images of Sudheendra Kulkarni, his face and body blackened by the ink flung at him by protesters, are now being flashed all over the world. As the protest was over Kulkarni’s willingness to help a former Pakistan foreign minister launch a memoir, the message that has gone out is this: How can there ever be […]

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13 Oct, 2015

Boycott Zionism, protesting Palestinian students tell India – The Hindu

President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Al Quds University here in Palestine met with protests by students who urged India to “boycott Zionism.” Mr. Mukherjee went to the university to inaugurate a Centre for Excellence in Information Communication and Technology before wrapping up his Palestine visit, the first-ever by an Indian President. As soon as Mr. […]

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13 Oct, 2015

Shiv Sena going back to its violent past – The Hindu

Shiv Sena’s reprehensible attack on Observer Research Foundation’s Sudheendra Kulkarni yesterday (October 12), for organising former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai, is another step back for a party desperately trying to remain relevant both to its voting constituency as well as in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in Maharashtra. […]

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13 Oct, 2015

Punjabi writer Dalip Kaur Tiwana returns Padma Shri – The Hindu

Punjabi writer Dalip Kaur Tiwana on Tuesday announced that she will return her Padma Shri in protest against the ‘rising communal tension’ in the country. “In this land of Gautama Buddha and Guru Nanak Dev, the atrocities committed on the Sikhs in 1984 and on the Muslims recurrently because of communalism are an utter disgrace […]

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13 Oct, 2015

Liberty is my only party, Rushdie to ‘Modi Toadies’ – The Hindu

Author Salman Rushdie, who came under attack for backing authors protesting against ‘rising intolerance’ in the country, rubbished the criticism by ‘Modi Toadies’, saying he supported no political party but was against ‘thuggish violence’. The author was flooded with a barrage of hate messages following his tweet in support of Nayantara Sahgal and other writers, […]

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13 Oct, 2015

AirBnB and eDreams pinged by Australian consumer watchdog over undisclosed fees

Lodging website Airbnb and online travel agency eDreams have been told to clean up their act after running afoul of Australian consumer law for slugging customers with service and other fees that were not properly disclosed when they were booking accommodation. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement both companies misled and deceived customers by failing to adequately disclose to […]

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13 Oct, 2015

Holy cow: India’s bovine protectors are milking an old script – DAWN.COM

The recent mobilisations around the cow in India have little to do with religion and everything to do with politics. The expanded ban on beef in Maharashtra, the vigilante violence in Punjab against those transporting cows, and the shameful lynching of a man suspected of possessing beef in Dadri, are chillingly resonant of the cow […]

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13 Oct, 2015

Indian activist Sudheendra Kulkarni hit by Shiv Sena ink attack – BBC News

Far-right Hindu nationalists in Mumbai have doused the head of an Indian think-tank in black ink in protest at the launch of a book by a former Pakistani foreign minister. The Shiv Sena party said the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni was a form of “peaceful protest” against Pakistan. The party later cancelled a planned […]

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13 Oct, 2015

Salman Rushdie backs authors who returned Sahitya Akademi awards – The Hindu

Author Salman Rushdie on Monday joined the growing chorus of protests by leading writers against spread of “communal poison” and “rising intolerance” in the country even as seven more authors decided to return their Sahitya Akademi awards. “I support Nayantara Sahgal and the many other writers protesting to the Sahitya Akademi. Alarming times for free […]

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13 Oct, 2015

Now Kashmiri writer Ghulam Nabi Khayal returns Sahitya Akademi award – The Hindu

Noted Kashmiri writer and poet Ghulam Nabi Khayal has joined the bandwagon of authors returning their Sahitya Akademi awards, saying the minorities in the country today feel “unsafe and threatened”. “I have decided to return the award. The minorities in the country are feeling unsafe and threatened. They feel their future is bleak,” Khayal said […]

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13 Oct, 2015

Tamil Sahitya Akademi winners condemn the Akademi – The Hindu

Sixteen Sahitya Akademi award winning Tamil writers have condemned the Akademi for not adequately condemning the killing of Kannada writer M.K. Kalburgi and its failure to bring pressure on the Centre to protect freedom of expression. “The situation has come to such pass that there was no security for the life of a writer not […]

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12 Oct, 2015

Facebook paid only £4,327 in UK tax last year, less than the average worker – The Independent

Facebook’s UK operations paid only £4,327 in taxes last year, less than the average worker. The small bill was despite the company being able to pay its 362 UK-based employees an average of £210,000 in pay and bonuses. It gave its London staff Facebook shares worth £35.4 million, according to the report, pushing its losses […]

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12 Oct, 2015

Inglis, Florida: home to the 1,000th US mass shooting since Sandy Hook – The Guardian

Just before sundown on Thursday 1 October, an old man charged across the main street of the little town of Inglis, Florida. He was expecting trouble. Someone had recklessly fired a pistol in public, and Buzz Terhune intended to have words about it. The horror that unfolded in the next few minutes has become so […]

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12 Oct, 2015

Ancient footwear exhibition to open at Egyptian Museum in Cairo

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 12 October 2015 (28 Dhul Ḥijjah 1436). 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 […]

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12 Oct, 2015

20 Years since the Jewish terrorist assassination of Yitzhak Rabin – Haaretz Bookshelf

For a large segment of the population, Yitzhak Rabin was the man who was selling the country out to the Arabs. Most of his rivals among the Israeli right­wing respected Rabin the soldier, the statesman, while despising his peace policies. A tiny fringe of right-wing religious extremists, however, went further. At protest rallies, they portrayed […]

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12 Oct, 2015

No, This Land And Country Is Not Ours Anymore: An Open Letter From An Indian Student – Countercurrents.org

I am Aslah, 21 years old, a post-graduate student in history. I have few things to tell this world. During our school days, we had history to study learn. World’s largest country Russia, smallest country Vatican, most populated country China – all these we had by hearted then. Also when asked about the largest democracy […]

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12 Oct, 2015

Bisada Hindus fund Muslim wedding – The Times of India

BISADA: The two daughters of Hakeem, a Muslim villager in Bisada, will get married on Sunday morning, and some Hindus from the village are bearing the wedding expenses. The family of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was lynched in the same village on September 28 over rumours that he had beef at home, had always maintained that […]

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12 Oct, 2015

Writers from Punjab, Gujarat return Sahitya Akademi awards – Hindustan Times

Three Punjabi writers and an author from Gujarat announced on Sunday they will return their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest against the government’s “onslaught on freedom of expression”. Playwrights Ajmer Aulakh and Atamjit and author Waryam Sandhu joined the dissenters in the literary fraternity who have either surrendered their coveted awards or quit the Akademi […]

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11 Oct, 2015

I wear a burqa to avoid attracting attention: Indian film star | The Indian Express

Mallika Sherawat may have made stunning fashion statements during her many media appearances in India and abroad but guess what. The stunner dons a burqa if she has to travel alone. Revealing this secret was the actress herself. Said Mallika, “Usually when I travel I have my staff with me. But on occasions when I […]

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11 Oct, 2015

VIDEO: Is Palestine the Exception to Free Speech Rights in the U.S.? – TRUTHDIG

University campuses are the front line of Palestinian human rights advocacy in the U.S., but a new report by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal documents hundreds of cases in which students and scholars have been punished for expressing themselves. Watch the testimony of some of those who have dared to speak out, […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Malayalam novelist Sarah Joseph returns her Sahitya Academy award | The Indian Express

Noted Malayalam novelist Sarah Joseph on Saturday said she has decided to return her Kendra Sahitya Academy award in protest against the ‘terror-like’ situation prevailing in the country. Joseph had bagged the academy award in 2003 for her novel Aalahayude Penmakkal (Daughters of God, the father). Joseph said the prevailing situation in the country was […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Forget Hindu, Muslim – Let’s talk state responsibility for the Dadri lynching | The Indian Express

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sweet homily to the nation over the lynching of a Muslim in Dadri amounts to nothing more than preaching to the converted. That too reluctantly so, after 10 days of cajoling from innumerable quarters urging the country’s prime communicator to break his silence, and a day after President Pranab Mukherjee felt […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Indian Poet quits Sahitya Akademi posts over MM Kalburgi’s murder | The Indian Express

Eminent Indian poet and writer K Satchidanandan on Saturday resigned from all committees of the Sahitya Akademi, saying the literary body had “failed” in its duty to stand with writers and uphold freedom of expression. Satchidanandan was serving in the General Council, Executive Board and Financial Committee of the Akademi. “I am sorry to observe […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Shiv Sena demands cancellation of Kasuri’s book launch – The Hindu

After ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali, Shiv Sena on Saturday asked management of a city-based convention centre here to call off former Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch function. Citing the neighbouring country’s support to terrorism as the reason behind the opposition, the party warned that the function will be disrupted if not cancelled. […]

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11 Oct, 2015

BJP’s leading anti-beef crusader owned a meat exporting company – The Hindu

Sangeet Singh Som, the fiery BJP MLA at the forefront of the frenzied anti-beef protests and an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, founded one of India’s leading halal meat export companies, according to documents available with The Hindu. The company, Al-Dua Food Processing Private Ltd, was founded by Mr. Som, along with Moinuddin Qureshi and […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Investigation uncovers coercive tactics Hindutva groups use to battle ‘love jihad’ – DAWN.COM

“Look, there is some truth in these cases of love jihad around here… There is someone or some organisation behind it. For instance, in the beginning, boys would roam around on motorcycles in front of schools or colleges or plus-two schools wearing a kalawa (a red thread around the wrist), using names like Sonu, Monu, […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Japan, South Korea, Thailand most popular Chinese Golden Week destinations

By Liu Jing

Beijing, (chinadaily.com.cn), 2015-10-09 – The number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad has seen a fast-paced rise during the National Day holiday with surrounding countries including Japan, South Korea, and Thailand among the most popular destinations, according the National Tourism Administration (NTA). Data from the Nationwide Tourist Group Services Management System shows that outbound tourists (except […]

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11 Oct, 2015

In India, beefed-up curbs, feeble resistance – The Hindu

by Anup Surendranath Invariably, there are times in a Constitution’s life when its very fundamentals are under threat, times when the technicality of laws made under the powers of that Constitution are the very weapons used to undermine its foundations. Rarely do foundational threats to Constitutions come as sudden events, they often build up as […]

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11 Oct, 2015

WikiLeaks Reveals How the US Aggressively Pursued Regime Change in Syria, Igniting a Bloodbath

In 2010, WikiLeaks became a household name by releasing 251,287 classified State Department cables. Now, a new book collects in-depth analyses of what these cables tell us about the foreign policy of the United States, from authors including Truthout staff reporter Dahr Jamail and Truthout regular contributors Gareth Porter, Robert Naiman, Phyllis Bennis and Stephen […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Traditional Chinese Medicine gaining recognition and respect in the West

By Xu Jingxi In Guangzhou And Wang Xiaodong In Beijing

(China Daily) 2015-10-06 – Traditional Chinese medicine has won more recognition in Western countries in recent years, but the 5,000-year-old medical science still needs a modern interpretation to break into the mainstream Western market. According to the Beijing-based World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, more TCM clinics have opened in the West and more colleges […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Hindu group Shiv Sena forces cancellation of Pakistan singer’s concert in Mumbai – The Indian Express

The Shiv Sena Wednesday forced the cancellation of a concert by Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, who was scheduled to perform at Mumbai’s Shanmukhananda Hall Friday as a tribute to Jagjit Singh on his fourth death anniversary. This prompted Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to intervene and call Sena’s actions “unfortunate”. “My government is willing […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Inside the Indian village where a mob killed a man for eating beef – The Guardian

The minister has arrived. The motorcade fills the unpaved street. Policemen who were slumbering in the early autumn midday heat stir, straighten, then spring into action, clearing the way with their canes for this most important visitor. Mahesh Sharma, India’s minister of culture, is preceded by a small aide in a purple shirt and followed […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Rationalist thinkers under attack in India – Asia Times

By Sudha Ramachandran Rationalists in India are under fire from Hindu right wing organizations. A little over a month ago, noted litterateur and rationalist, Malleshappa M Kalburgi was shot dead at point-blank range at his house in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. Kalburgi had several run-ins with Hindu groups over his remarks on idol […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Whatever created the impression that Narendra Modi was a moderate?

By Girish Shahane During an interview with LK Advani during the Bharatiya Janata Party’s first full term in power, Prannoy Roy asked him about growing extremism in the party, and how moderates like the Indian deputy prime minister planned to clamp down on it. For those such as myself who associated Advani primarily with his […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Fukuoka honors Asians for work to preserve and reinvent culture – Japan Times

More than a century and a half after Commodore Matthew Perry’s “Black Ships” forced open the country to Western trade, vestiges of the sakoku (closed country) mentality arguably still linger on in the Japanese psyche. Although kokusaika, or internationalization, has been a buzzword since the 1980s, few cities along the archipelago seem to be able […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Gallup Polls: U.S. Public Remains Wary of Federal Government’s Power

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 9, 2015, (Gallup media release)– Six in 10 Americans think the government has too much power, marking the third year in a row that at least 59% of the public has voiced this view. The 60% recorded in this survey ties the previous high from 2013 for the question, which Gallup has […]

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11 Oct, 2015

The unmaking of India | The Indian Express

The RSS is allergic to democracy. M.S. Golwalkar, the most prominent ideologue of the organisation, while delivering a speech at the RSS Resham Bagh headquarters in Nagpur in 1940, demanded that India be governed by “one flag, one leader and one ideology of Hindutva”. We need to know from Madhav, who is learning from whom. […]

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11 Oct, 2015

To ‘protect’ Hindu girls, Muslims barred from Gujarat Garba event – Hindustan Times

A right-wing group on Sunday said it has issued a “diktat” barring entry of Muslims at Garba events during the upcoming Navratri festival at Mandvi town in Gujarat’s Kutch district to prevent “love jihad” incidents. “We have issued a diktat barring the entry of Muslims at Garba events in Mandvi,” said president of Hindu Yuva […]

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11 Oct, 2015

White supremacists a bigger problem in U.S. than “Islamic extremists”

Tehran, Oct 5, IRNA – While there is a high tendency in the United States to portray Muslims as a threat for international peace, figures suggest that white supremacy is a bigger problem. “There’s an acceptance (in the US) now of the idea that the threat from jihadi terrorism in the United States has been […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Politics of beef: Modi’s vision scuttled by extremists from among his own followers | The Indian Express

Sartaj said he was part of the Indian Air Force family. He owed his allegiance to that family. The elders in that family would advise him what he should do next to ensure security and he would abide by their advice. He appealed for calm, understanding and communal harmony. He asked fellow-Indians to pray for […]

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11 Oct, 2015

Digital India Rising, Democratic India Dying

Everybody expected the 21st century to be characterised by communal harmony, mutual brotherhood and greater tolerance. Rajiv Gandhi envisioned an India without communalism, casteism, hatred and violence. As ill luck would have it, he did not live long enough to give practical shape to his vision. Successive governments belonging to varied political formations ruled this […]

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9 Oct, 2015

Hindu nationalist MPs attack Kashmir assembly member for serving beef at party – The Guardian

Politicians from India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party in Kashmir kicked and punched an independent member of the state assembly on Thursday for hosting a party where he served beef. Inside the Indian village where a mob killed a man for eating beef Read more Bharatiya Janata party members beat Rashid Ahmed, a Muslim, in the […]

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7 Oct, 2015

Golden Week Chinese Travel Hits 750mln, Equal to Half the Population

By Chen Shen

Beijing (People’s Daily Online)  October 06, 2015 – Transportation statistics in China shows that during the “Golden Week” over 750 million Chinese people are expected to use either railway or highway to travel domestically. This figure accounts for half of the population in China. Chinese Ministry of Transport anticipated some 640 million people use the […]

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