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The UK government is seeking parliament’s approval to join the USA in carrying out air strikes on Iraq. The aim is to weaken Isis forces, responsible for various atrocities. But the attack may strengthen them instead.
This morning, I was invited onto BBC Ulster’s Sunday Sequence programme to discuss my response as a Christian pacifist to the situation in northern Iraq. Our discussion followed headlines reporting that English church leaders have criticised the UK government’s response to Islamic extremism.
At least three Muslims were shot dead in southern Sri Lanka after a hardline ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ group went on the rampage. Dozens more were injured and buildings set alight as the Bodu Bala Sena marched on Aluthgama and surrounding areas.
If you believe the Daily Mail, then a European election candidate has been arrested “for quoting Winston Churchill”.
As a teetotal Christian, I would not want to sell alcohol. If I worked at Marks & Spencer, and had politely asked a customer to pay another member of staff for her champagne, I doubt that it would have led to a national media story. Marks & Spencer’s policy on this issue has hit the headlines because of a staff member who made such a request – and who is a Muslim. This conveniently suits the agenda of the right-wing media, obsessed as they are with portraying Muslims as weird.
On Monday 18 November 2013 the two Edinburgh branches of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) will be meeting together to look at representations of Islam in the media.
Just Festival and its predecessor, the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, has been concerned over the years to strike up a genuine personal, artistic, spiritual and cultural conversation among the different religions and beliefs that make up our country.
Our valued associate Dr Harry Hagopian has been as busy as ever in travelling, advising, writing and broadcasting on the ever developing events across the Middle East and North Africa region.