November 2012

Doctrine Divides, Action Unites



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►  Jakarta Election Results in Vote of Confidence for Pluralism
Jennie Bev
In addition to the candidates who won the gubernatorial elections in September in Jakarta, the author observes that voters also chose a separation between mosque and state. [Read more]

►  Burma’s Reform Process Must Include Ending Violence against Women
Burma Partnership
As the world commemorates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Nov. 25, it is fitting to remember the continuing use of rape as a weapon of war, human trafficking and other forms of violence and exploitation in Burma that reflect the vulnerability of the country’s women and indicate yet another area of the reform process that needs a stronger commitment and more concrete results from the nation’s government. [Read more]

  Torture Victims in the Philippines Speak Out: “I Don’t Mind Going Hungry. All I Need Is My Husband.”
Asian Human Rights Commission
When one reads or hears about a human rights violation through the media, it is oftentimes easy to overlook or ignore the terror, trauma and tragedy of the experience. In this interview with Hadji Noria Salipada, a Muslim woman whose husband was arrested and tortured in the Philippines, the anguish and desperation of a poor family in Mindanao is unmistakable. [Read more]

►  Karthiaai Vilakkeedu, Maaveerar Naal and the Lighting of Lamps in Jaffna
M. A. Sumanthiran , MP
The Hindu festival of Karthiaai Vilakkeedu and the Tamil remembrance day of Maaveerar Naal both fell on Nov. 27 this year in Sri Lanka. The author, a Tamil member of Parliament (MP), notes, however, that instead of a religious holiday and a day to honor the Tamils who died in the country’s civil war the government turned Nov. 27 into a day of repression. Through its actions to suppress commemoration of these two events, the author observes that the government replaced “scars with fresh wounds.” [Read more]

  The Clash of Identities
Kamaya Jayatissa
A member of the Sri Lankan Diaspora living in France offers a way for reconciliation to begin to take root in her postwar homeland: forge a national identity. Building trust between the country’s different ethnic and religious communities through dialogue, she explains, is a necessary part of this process. [Read more]

►  Violence against the Ahmadi Community Continues Unabated in Pakistan
Stewart Sloan
The government of Pakistan can celebrate its re-election on Nov. 12 to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva for another three-year term. However, the author and the Ahmadiyyah find little to applaud in light of an upsurge in deadly violence and discrimination against this religious minority. [Read more]

In the Midst of Combat, Israelis and Palestinian March for Ceasefire
Yonathan Listik
Former combatants in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—those with the most personal experience of what the violence of this confrontation means—joined hands through an organization they formed to march for a bilateral ceasefire to the most recent escalation of hostilities in Gaza and southern Israel. At the same time, they showed with their actions that bombs and rockets are not the only means of resolving the issues that divide these two peoples. [Read more]

Expanding the Power of Interfaith Dialogue
Ghassan Rubeiz
Education and the media are two institutions that help shape people’s attitudes and opinions in every society. Those who wish to expand relationships with people of other faiths, the author explains, should engage teachers, journalists and other members of these professions in order to make their efforts more effective. [Read more]