In this week's news roundup, the Pope speaks on social media, Scientology is under attack and Egypt erupts again.
|British Baroness, Saeeda Warsi|
by A. Tayyaba
Baroness Warsi has cited unpublished research from the Association of Chief Police Officers showing that 50-60% of religious hate crimes reported to police were perpetrated against Muslims, attacks totalling in the hundreds. She has warned this week that fewer than one in four people believe that following Islam is compatible with the British way of life. The research showed that 83% of Muslims in Britain were proud to be British compared to 79% of Britons overall. Baroness Warsi has stated that more work needed to be done to promote positive Muslim role models such as the double gold medallist Olympian Mo Farah.
In an address to a support service for those suffering anti Muslim attacks she is reported to have said, “Anti-Muslim hatred is a form of prejudice and there should be no place in Britain for this prejudice,” There is a concern that anti Muslim opinion will fuel minority extremist groups. “It’s not just a matter for Muslims or a matter for people of faith. It’s a matter for everyone who cares about Britain being the modern, equal, fair society that we want it to be.”
In a previous speech, Warsi had controversially claimed Islamophobia had passed the "dinner table test" and become socially acceptable.
Scientology preys on narcissism says great grandson of founder L. Ron Hubbard
Cenk Uygur the great grandson of the Founder of Scientology has been interviewed on Current TV about the religion which he blasted as a cult which people were brainwashed and sucked into. He said that celebrities were specifically targeted and it preyed narcissism by giving people the belief they were God like creatures.
The Church of Scientology, incorporated in 1953 by science fiction author, L. Ron Hubbard, teaches that human beings are immortal extraterrestrial spiritual beings trapped on Earth in a physical body. Scientology allows its’ members to believe and practise in other religions such as Christianity at the same time.
Violence and Mayhem continue in Egypt after ‘Arab Spring’
37 people have died in clashes in Port Said after death sentences were imposed by a court on 21 people who rioted after a football match last year. The football riots happened after club matches between Al Ahly and Al Masry and led to the killing of 74 football fans. There are tensions across the country due to the new ‘Islamist’ government led by elected President Morsi who recently angered public opinion by rushing through a new constitution. The Arab Spring may be turning into a harsh political winter.
US Abortion Debate Rages on
On the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalising abortion, the Pew Research Forum has this week published a survey on what the US thinks about abortion asking people if abortion was morally acceptable. 47% of people did not think it was acceptable, 13% found it acceptable whereas 27% considered it to depend on the situation. The debate has raged between Christian Twitterati this week. With around 1.2 million abortions taking place in America every year, the debate is set to continue.
Twitter users could be guilty of anti-semitism...
A French court has ordered Twitter to turn over any data to the French Union of Jewish students that could help them find the authors of anti-semetic Twitter messages which circulated last summer. Twitter reacted to complaints last October by removing the offensive messages including slurs and photos evoking the holocaust. However, the US company does not have any offices or personnel in France so is not bound by the decision.
The Pope takes up social media amid religious apathy
The Pope today in his annual message on social communications stressed the potential of social media and himself now tweets in nine languages. Religious apathy, scandals and competition from other churches are all concerns that the Roman Catholic Church is trying to address. The Pope acknowledged the popularity of social networking amongst young people. He is said to have 2.5 million Twitter followers, with almost 11 000 alone following his Latin tweets.
World Economic Forum and the Debate on Religion
The 43rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday played host to a number of debates based on religious topics ranging from the rise of political Islam after the Arab Spring, religious freedoms, family planning and belief or non belief in the existence of God. Whilst the largest religions of Christianity and Islam show a steady increase in numbers there is also an increase in the number of people in the world, particularly in Asia and China, who class themselves as having no religious affiliation making them the third largest group in the world. The Pew Forum’s research tracking religious freedom of religion worldwide over three years it was found that three quarters of the world’s population live where there is tight government restriction on religious expression. Examples include Pakistan, Russia, Egypt and China. @tayyabanoor02