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Does religion turn weak groups violent?

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New research by a team of Arizona State University faculty has uncovered one factor that increases the likelihood that weak groups will engage in conflict with stronger groups, despite the likelihood of defeat. That factor is religious infusion, or the extent to which religion permeates a group’s public and private life. “Under normal circumstances, weak folks don’t try to beat up on stronger folks,” says Steven Neuberg, a psychology professor at ASU and the lead researcher on the project. “But there’s something about a group being religiously infused that seems to make it feel somewhat invulnerable to the potential costs imposed by stronger groups, and makes it more likely to engage in costly conflict.”
Phys.org

Bohras plunge into grief with Dr Syedna Mohamed Burhanuddin’s passing away
The serene Qutbi mazar’s pristine surroundings in Saraspur were abruptly broken on Friday when the shocking news of the passing away of Dr Syedna Mohamed Burhanuddin, spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohra community, reached the community in the city. Thereafter all roads led to the dargah where grief-stricken mourners lined up to pray for the 102-year-old spiritual leader’s eternal peace. Dr Syedna died of a massive cardiac arrest in Mumbai. Hundreds of Dawoodi Bohras in the city downed shutters to gather outside the dargah and recite Quraan-e-Sharif.
DNA

Mumbai stampede before funeral of Burhanuddin kills at least 18, injures over 50
At least 18 people were killed and over 50 others were injured in a stampede that broke out early Saturday at Saifee Mahal in Malabar Hills, the residence of Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin who passed away on Friday morning, officials said. Several injured have been taken to Saifi hospital. “There were queues for women and men for deedar (glimpse) of the Maula in Saifee Mahal when all of a sudden the queues got mixed and confusion followed. One of my relatives from Pune passed away in the stampede,” said Qaid Najmi, a member from the community.
The Nation

Bangladesh to root out communal forces
Protesting attacks on Hindus allegedly by BNP-Jamaat-Shibir men just after the 10th parliamentary polls on January 5, Gonojagoron Mancha Spokesperson Imran H Sarker yesterday said Bangladesh would start a new journey after eradicating communal forces. “None can escape after carrying out communal attacks on the minority communities and the Jamaat-Shibir, not the minorities, will have to leave this country,” he said.
The Daily Star

Muslims must not wear AAP cap, says cleric
A fatwa (religious decree) has been issued by clerics asking the Muslims not to put on the trademark Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) cap as it was against the shariat (Islamic law). The fatwa was issued in Varanasi by a mufti (a person, who is authorised to interpret the Islamic laws) in response to the queries by the members of the community.
Deccan Herald

Muslims will not be used as a vote bank, says AAP
For new entrant Aam Aadmi Party, reaching out to Muslim voters is crucial in the upcoming elections. The party has carefully distanced itself from communal politics but has made provisions for minorities in its manifesto. Shazia Ilmi, the party’s spokesperson says: “We don’t want Muslims to be used as vote banks, which is what they have been used as. Muslims are gearing around the Aam Aadmi Party. They feel this party means what it says.”
Khaleej Times

Pope says Christians must work together to challenge secularism
The Pope made his remarks at a meeting with representatives of the Lutheran Church in Finland, who were making their annual ecumenical pilgrimage to Rome on the feast of Finland’s patron, St Henry. The meeting occurred one day before the start of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Catholic Herald

India should stop forced evictions of Muzaffarnagar riot victims: HRW
Indian authorities in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh should immediately stop evicting people from camps who fled communal violence in September 2013, Human Rights Watch said today. State authorities should conclude their investigations into riot-related crimes, including alleged sexual violence, and initiate appropriate prosecutions.
Business Standard

Modi, Muslims and appeasement
Change has come to India. The great democracy is undergoing an unprecedented churning and a new political narrative is emerging. Pundits agree that the emergence of the ‘common man’ has shaken the old, ossified power structures to the core and cynical, old politics and politicians are being forced to embrace the new grammar of change. Yes, change. Change is the buzzword. For some though, the more things change the more they remain the same.
The News

Review: 50 Great Myths About Atheism
I am a member of the least trusted group in America. No, not because I’m a book reviewer — or, worse, a novelist (novelists are known liars, you know) — but because I am an atheist. According to a series of studies conducted by Will Gervais at the University of British Columbia, the religious distrust atheists more than members of other religious groups, more than gays, and more than feminists. The only group they distrust as much as atheists are rapists. Rapists — not Wall Street Bankers or late-night TV pitchmen, but rapists! Forty-five percent of them also wouldn’t vote for an otherwise qualified presidential candidate if he or she happened to be an atheist. And, for God’s sake (if I may be so bold), don’t ask them to welcome an atheist into the family via marriage. Lock up your sons and daughters, the heathens are a comin’!
Huffington Post

 

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