September 2012

Doctrine Divides, Action Unites



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 ICF Begins Developing Own Resource People
Bruce Van Voorhis
During September 2012, Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) conducted two workshops on community organizing and human rights that launched a new initiative by ICF to equip some of its School of Peace (SOP) alumni to be resource people on these important topics at future regional, subregional and national programs. [Read more]

 Power Struggle Masquerades as Intrafaith Conflict in Cambodian Village
So Nasier
A School of Peace (SOP) alumni describes the tensions and violence between two Islamic sects in his village in Cambodia. The conflict though, he explains, is not about religion but about a struggle for power by the two men leading them. [Read more]

 The Voice of Victims from Cambodia
Based on his own life experiences in Cambodia, the author speaks about the demise of truth and justice in his country through corruption, cronyism and the actions, or inactions, of a powerful government. [Read more]

  Looking Forward to ‘Living in My Village without Any Fear’
Saw David
Refugees from Burma living in camps in Thailand are eager to return home and have heard reports that the two governments are discussing such a possibility. However, as this interview with a refugee in the camps makes clear, there are currently too many questions about the repatriation process and mistrust of the Burmese government for refugees to return home in the near future. [Read more]

 Religious Minorities’ Relocation in Indonesia Is Not a Solution
Asian Human Rights Commission
In a case involving the relocation of a church in Indonesia, governments at both the national and local levels have ignored the decision of the country’s Supreme Court, Indonesia’s constitutional protections and its obligations under an international human rights treaty it has ratified. Instead, the Indonesian government maintains that trampling on the religious freedom of the congregation’s members is “a solution which benefits everyone.” [Read more]

  Rights in India are a Mandate, Not a Concession
Asian Human Rights Commission
Land-grabbing in the name of development (but development for whom?) has become an increasing phenomenon in Asia in recent years. A strong reaction to this trend, however, is taking place in Indian villages in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Standing in chin-deep water for 11 days when this article was written, the villagers are protesting against the loss of their land and livelihoods to the Omkareshwar Dam. In addition to this struggle, the article highlights another important point of this case: the failure of the country’s Supreme Court to protect the fundamental rights of India’s people—a role it had previously embraced—thus prompting the question, Is this the beginning of a worrisome trend or an aberration in this case? [Read more]

 We Are
Starhawk and Terry Narcissan Tsui
The first stanza of this poem was a chant written by Starhawk based on the anti-globalization struggles about 10 years ago in North America while the second stanza is inspired by the protests against the annual meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2005 in Hong Kong by a local activist in the city, Terry Narcissan Tsui. The title was added by the editor. [Read more]