Saturday, 9 February 2013

Dalai Lama calls for worldwide ethical code

Also in this week's news roundup, horsemeat in UK beef and unrest in Tunisia.

His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama meeting US president, Barack Obama in 2011

Dalai Lama calls for global ethics
At a recent Mind and Life Conference in India the Dalai Lama has suggested that a new world code of ethics would be of benefit to everyone, which could incorporate the values people of differing beliefs hold in common. This could benefit all people both those that follow a belief or have no belief. With a significant number of scientists attending the conference, the Dalai Lama argued that there was an urgent need in today’s world of ethical conduct and although current education was geared towards economic development, this did not solve mental or social problems. In a recent interview, the Dalai Lama also discussed the importance of a separation of religion from the state. India has a Constitution based on secularism.

Horsemeat Fiasco Continues
After revelations last week that so called ‘halal’ beef meals that had been served up in UK prisons contained pig DNA, it was revealed this week that as much as 100% of Findus beef lasagne was actually horsemeat. Tesco and Aldi have removed suspect meat from their shelves and Findus has apologised. However the Environment Secretary is now meeting with the Food Standards Agency and food retailers to discuss whether the scandal has been due to gross negligence or criminal activity.

Unrest in Tunisia as Opposition Leader Murdered
The murder of Chokri Belaid by a gunman on a motorcycle has led to strikes and unrest across Tunisia, with unions blaming the Islamist government for the death. Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali has tried to calm the country by promising to form a non partisan technocratic government. Although his governing party Ennahda, has rejected his proposals, he has said he will go ahead as forming a technocratic government does not require assembly approval.

Persecution of Minorities Continues in Bangladesh
Reports from Bangladesh have poured cold water on plans of the countries’ Ahmadiyya Community's Centenary Convention plans. The Ahmadiyya Community - who consider themselves Muslims but are considered heretics by some Muslim groups, including extremsits - hold an annual convention to educate members on religious and spiritual beliefs. This year a larger site was chosen and as final preparations were being completed, an Islamist mob torched the site. The International Press Secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Abid Khan, said, "The Annual Convention is taking place as always, however due to the attack the venue has been changed and it is now taking place at the AMJ National Headquarters in Dhaka. All of our conventions promote peace and so we pray that may God protect all participants from any further attacks. Our motto is ‘Love for all, Hatred for none’." 

Is Scientology a Religion?
Although in the United States, Scientology is treated as a religion, giving it tax exemption, for purposes of the UK Charity Commission, it has yet to achieve this status according to English law. However, as books published this year and ex members testimonies reveal deeply worrying evidence that all is not well with the church, it finds itself fighting a public relations war.

Women Bishops Experiment by Church of England
Eight women are being given the honour of being made temporary observer Bishops by the Church of England from amongst senior women clergy. It is hoped that this will be a step in the right directions towards formally consecrating women Bishops in the future. @TayyabaNoor02
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