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Consolidation of Hindu votes will see Narendra Modi in PM’s chair

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Maverick politician Subramaniam Swamy on Monday openly stressed on the need for consolidation of Hindu forces if they want to see Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister and said that even if 40% of Hindus exercise their franchise in favour of BJP, the party will easily cross the 273 mark in the Lok Sabha.
Source: The Times of India

‘Muslim votes only if communal violence bill cleared’
Over 1,000 Muslims Monday protested against the Congress party at the Jantar Mantar here, demanding the immediate clearance of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence bill. Shouting slogans like “Bill nahi to vote nahi (no bill, no vote)” and “Insaaf nahi toh vote nahi (no justice, no vote)”, victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots along with more than 200 lawyers from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Lawyers Forum demanded the immediate clearance of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence bill in parliament.
Source: Business Standard

No Gay Marriages, Gurdwaras across World Told
Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of Sikhs, has directed all gurdwaras around the world not to solemnise same-sex marriages. Akal Takht high priest Jathedar Gurbachan Singh said: “Management committees of gurdwaras have been told not to solemnise same-sex marriages, as there is no concept of same-sex marriages in Gurmat. God has created men and women and same-sex relations are not allowed. Preachers should spread the message against same-sex marriages among the public. I agree with the Supreme Court verdict,” he said.
Source: The New Indian Express

Muslims rally behind queer community
Despite the support extended by top religious leaders across communities — including Muslim leaders — to the Supreme Court verdict criminalising homosexuality, liberal voices in the Muslim community are rallying behind same-sex couples in the country. Hasina Khan, women’s activist and a member of Muslim Women’s Rights Network, said, “The apex court’s judgement goes against our fundamental and human rights. It is an attempt to control our personal lives. We want people to know that there is a bigger, progressive Muslim community whose views should be also considered.”
Source: DNA

Urban Outfitters Apologizes To Hindus, Removes Lord Ganesh Socks From Stores
In an email to Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest, Crystal Carroll, Public Relations Manager of Urban Outfitters, wrote: “We sincerely apologize if we offended the Hindu community and our customers. We appreciate Rajan Zed and the Universal Society of Hinduism for bringing this matter to our attention and for helping us understand the cultural and religious sensitivities this product carries. We will remove the Ganesh Socks immediately from our website and stores.”
Source: Albany Tribune

Dabholkar’s organisation got supari to end Hinduism: Kadam
Senior Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam made a startling allegation in legislative council that slain rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s organization Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS) had taken supari (contract) from people abroad to finish Hindu religion from India.
Source: The Times of India

Islamic Jihad: is Islam the first target?
Radical Islam, which today is growing in numbers all over the world, could ruin traditional Islam. The “Jihad for the purity of faith” proclaimed by the fanatics is trying to destroy not only the non-Muslim population of the planet, but even Muslims themselves. Radicalism has nothing in common with the Prophet Muhammad’s religion and is founded on political ideology of people far from faith, experts are convinced.
Source: The Voice of Russia

Is Scientology a Religion?
A recent research paper published by Terra Manca, an academic specialising in new religious movements at the University of Alberta, argues that Scientology began as less of a religion, and more of a ‘pseudo-science’. Terra Manca refers to pseudo as meaning “false” – a pseudo-science is spurious or pretend science.
Source: Huffington Post

Non-belief as a moral obligation
For all of my cockiness about non-belief when I was young, I had a sneaking suspicion that as I grew older and the prospect of Crossing the Rainbow Bridge grew ever closer, I would start moving back to belief. Better take out an insurance ticket just in case God exists, although if He exists and turns out to be a Jehovah’s Witness then all bets are off. At least I will have the compensation of seeing the Pope trying to dig himself out of an even deeper hole than mine. The funny thing, however, is that as I grow older (I am now in my seventies), if anything my feeling that non-belief is right for me grows ever stronger. I am sure that at least in part it is psychological. Having had one headmaster in this life, I don’t want another one in the next. But I think my feeling is also bound up with what my work on the books on atheism have taught me, together with the insights of Clifford about the morality of belief. I truly don’t know if there is anything more, but that is okay. What would not be okay, morally, would be pretending that there was something more even though I didn’t really think there was adequate evidence, or conversely pretending that there is nothing more, perhaps rather pathetically trying to win the approval of today’s very public atheists.
Source: OUPBlog

Controversy Over 5th-Grader’s Religion Speech
A 5th grade student won first place after he gave a speech about the history of people using religion to justify murder, but was stripped of his title the same day by a school official. Zachary Golob-Drake gave the speech to his class at the Patel Partnership School in hopes that he would be chosen to represent the school at the regional 4-H Tropicana Public Speech Contest, WFLA-TV reports. He was to deliver the speech Thursday morning to the entire 4th and 5th grades classes and two winners, one from each grade, were to be chosen to represent the school.
Source: CBS Tampa Bay

British Catholics’ Quandary
Religious institutions necessarily spurn the modern and the fashionable, in favor of the traditional and the sacred. But it points up the dilemma in which religion finds itself in the modern world. If religious institutions do not change, they risk becoming obsolete. If they do change, they may imperil their authority. This quandary is faced not just by the Catholic Church but by all religious institutions today.
Source: The New York Times

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