The popularity of the Aam Aadmi Party has skyrocketed after the party’s stunning debut in Delhi assembly elections in December 2013. National parties like BJP and Congress are now concerned about AAP’s rising popularity while regional parties look clueless in the face of the new political development. The aura around Narendra Modi has diminished a bit after AAP came to power in Delhi. Now all the parties have to factor in the AAP effect in their electoral strategy. Till now every thing has gone in favour of AAP. But the only concern for the party could be the Muslim factor. The Muslim leaders as well as the voters have demanded party’s clarification on the issues related to the community before extending their support. There seems to be not much support for AAP among the Muslims.
— IBN Live
Religion can’t determine guilt, Modi writes to PM
Dubbing as a “brazen attempt” to woo the minority community home minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s remarks on minority youths in jails on terror charges, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said it marked a “new low” for the country. He also asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to advise his cabinet colleague not to focus his attention on minorities alone as “principles at stake” could not be sacrificed “at the altar of political expediency”.
— The Times of India
Mastermind Of The Sept. 11 Attacks Wants To Convert His Captors
The mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks now says that the use of violence to spread Islam is forbidden by the Quran, a major shift away from the more militaristic view he had put forward previously. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s thinking is detailed in a first-of-its-kind 36-page manifesto obtained by The Huffington Post. In a departure from his previous stance, which led the Guantanamo Bay prisoner to tell a military commission, “it would have been the greatest religious duty to fight you over your infidelity,” KSM, as he’s known in intelligence circles, instead seeks to convert the court to Islam through persuasion and theological reflection, going so far as to argue that “The Holy Quran forbids us to use force as a means of converting” and that reaching “truth and reality never comes by muscles and force but by using the mind and wisdom.”
— Huffington Post
The Irish and Asian Buddhism is a story that goes back 14 centuries
In pre-independence Ireland, Buddhism was a symbol of human difference, a religion older than Christianity and now coming very close to home – in racehorse names and advertising quotes, movies and novels, exhibitions and university courses. Molly Bloom’s soliloquy immortalises a Burmese Buddha statue that once stood in the National Museum entrance; but by the time Ulysses was written, Irish writers and artists had been playing with Buddhist culture for a century.
— The Irish Times
Religious groups face increased hostility worldwide – report
Violence and discrimination against religious groups by governments and rival faiths have reached new highs in all regions of the world except the Americas, according to a new Pew Research Centre report. Social hostility such as attacks on minority faiths or pressure to conform to certain norms was strong in one-third of the 198 countries and territories surveyed in 2012, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, it said on Tuesday. The report found the highest social hostility concerning religion in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Somalia and Israel.
Come on, atheists: we must show some faith in ourselves
Atheists are very often lumped in with secularists, although these concepts are nothing like the same. But perhaps most vexingly, while the fine distinctions among the religious are pored over in every survey (are you this kind of Christian or that; are you practising, or do you simply tell people you have a spiritual side?), the most important and exhaustive survey we have on British belief doesn’t even ask the question “Are you an atheist?”. In last year’s British Social Attitudes survey 48% of respondents said they had no religious affiliation. A category that accounted for a third of people in 1983 is now nearly half the population. And nobody thought to ask: “Why not? Did you fall out with organised worship and decide to just ad lib at home? Or do you profoundly believe that you can wring more meaning and beauty from the world accepting it as it is, rather than concocting deities?”
— The Guardian