January 31, 2011

MPs support ordination of women bishops

by Jan Harris

A group of MPs is calling for the government to make gender discrimination laws applicable to the issue of the ordination of women bishops in the Church of England. This controversial issue has led some Anglican clergy and worshippers to leave the Church of England to join a newly established section of the Catholic Church […]




January 28, 2011

Court hears UK’s first ‘gay hatred’ case

by Jan Harris

A group of men in Derby are the first to be prosecuted for stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation under last year’s change to the law, which criminalised the incitement of homophobia. Razwan Javed and Kabir Ahmed were charged in December for the alleged distribution of a leaflet calling for homosexuals to […]




Justice promised for couple stoned to death

by Jan Harris

Afghan police have promised that the people responsible for stoning a young woman and her lover to death will be held accountable for their actions. The brutal stoning, which took place in the district of Dashte Archi in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province last August, was videoed by an onlooker on a mobile phone and posted on […]




January 27, 2011

Fatwa issued against Home Secretary

by Jan Harris

Scotland Yard is investigating the appearance of posters in South London calling for a ‘fatwa’, an order issued by Islamic scholars, against the Home Secretary. The poster, in a style reminiscent of the wanted posters of the Wild West, calls for a fatwa against Theresa May “for the abduction, kidnapping and false imprisonment” of Sheikh […]




January 26, 2011

Middle East peace documents leaked

by Jan Harris

1,600 documents detailing the peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel over the past ten years were leaked this week, vividly revealing how the process broke down. The confidential Palestinian documents, including strategy papers, minutes, e-mails and maps, were obtained by al-Jazeera TV, which released them to the Guardian. The documents show the huge scale of […]




January 25, 2011

Shi’ite worshippers killed by suicide bomber in Lahore

by Jan Harris

A 13-year old boy detonated explosives at a Shi’ite Muslic procession in Lahore on Tuesday, killing himself and 13 others, including three police officers. It is believed that over 50 people were injured in the suicide attack which took place when police tried to check the attacker at a cordon. Reports suggest that he was […]




Turban searches make air travel difficult for Sikhs

by Jan Harris

New rules in the USA mean that Sikhs are facing increased screening of turbans at airports, despite the fact that the turban has important spiritual significance and it is offensive to Sikhs to touch their turban or ask them to remove it in public. The Sikh Coalition has warned that even when Sikhs have passed […]




January 24, 2011

Pope calls for social networkers to follow Christian way

by Jan Harris

In his message for the 45th World Communications Day the Pope speaks about the challenges of communicating over the Internet. He compares the fundamental changes that are taking place in how we communicate with each other and spread information and knowledge, to the social transformation created by the Industrial Revolution. In his message the Pope […]




Christian hoteliers face bankruptcy over their beliefs

by Jan Harris

The decision to run their Penzance guest house according to the teachings of their Christian faith has led Peter and Hazelmary Bull to the brink of bankruptcy. Civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy were refused a double room by the Bulls because, as devout Christians, they believed these should only be available to heterosexual […]




January 21, 2011

Warsi’s Islamophobia speech sparks debate

by Jan Harris

Baroness Warsi, co-chairman of the Conservative Party and the first Muslim woman to serve in the cabinet, made a controversial speech at Leicester University sparking a debate on Islam. In her speech the Baroness claimed ‘Prejudice against Muslims in Britain is at an all-time high’ and laid much of the blame on the way Islamic […]




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