Tuesday, February 17, 2015
On Feb. 8-11 the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) held the sixth Congress of Indonesian Muslims in Yogyakarta, opened by Vice President Jusuf Kalla and closed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. The congress announced seven recommendations. First, it called on Indonesian Muslims “to unite and work together [...] for political, economic, social and cultural strengthening [...] which is just and civilized”. Second, it called on the government and political forces “to abandon politics which justify all means, to make politics a way to realize national well-being, prosperity, security and peace”. Third, the government should “take the side of the poor […] by developing a people-centered economy oriented to equal distribution and justice, and support the development of a sharia-based economy”. Fourth, the congress appealed to Muslims to “empower themselves, develop economic potential, human resources and strengthen micro, small and medium businesses based in mass organizations, mosques and pesantren [Islamic boarding schools]”. Fifth, the congress called on the government and society “to be on the alert and keep oneself away from cultures incompatible with Islamic sharia and the nation’s noble culture such as drug abuse, liquor, pornography […], free intimacy [and casual sex] and human trafficking”. Sixth, the congress expressed “concern on the shifting of landscape and spatial planning in Indonesian life in many areas which have abandoned Islamic characteristics due to massive liberalization of culture and the economy”. Seventh, the congress expressed concern over “the condition of Muslims in several countries […] particularly in Asia where they experience discrimination. The congress requests the governments of the said countries to assure protection” of the Muslim communities “based on fair and civilized principles of human rights”. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/02/14/islamic-congress-reflects-conservative-influence.html#sthash.XLZFneEP.dpuf
The Vatican transformed a space off of St. Peter's Square formerly used as comfort rooms for pilgrims into showers and barbershop facilities for the homeless. The showers will be open every day except for Wednesday — when the pope holds his general audience — and on days when there are special occasions in the square. Haircuts are on offer every Monday, with students from a Rome hairdressing school and local barbers offering their services for free. "I'm very happy of this decision," one client told Eurovision before he had his haircut. When he came out — freshly shorn — he seemed pleased. "Pope Francis found the right solution for us," he said.
According to Buddhist tradition, the revered religious figure’s death came while he was in a state of meditation and marked his achievement of the highest form of Nirvana, the release from the cycle of rebirth that is seen as one of the ultimate goals of most Buddhist traditions. This form of Nirvana is known as Parinirvana, which is why the holiday is sometimes also referred to as “Parinirvana Day,” according to the BBC. Some Buddhists spend the holiday reading passages from the Parinirvana Sutra, an ancient text that chronicles the last days of the Buddha, but most celebrate by meditating or going to temples or monasteries. While celebrations vary around the world, in monasteries Nirvana Day is typically treated as a social occasion when people can bring presents and food to share with others.
This was a response after a 57-year-old grandfather was left paralysed because he aroused the suspicions of a neighbor while on a walk in his neighbourhood in Alabama and when the police arrived everything went south (horrible). Patel who could not speak much English could neither understand what the police wanted from him, nor could he explain what he was doing. It was a moment of cultural incomprehension that cost him dearly. He was thrown to the ground with such force he was left paralysed. The story did not end there. The police officer responsible, one Eric Parker, has been arrested and charged. India send a consular officer to Alabama to deal with the issue. And the Hindu American Foundation has announced that it is working with the Department of Justice to develop a Hinduism 101 training for first responders. HAF states “The training is intended to improve the cultural competency of police officers and avoid the escalation of incidents based on language and cultural barriers.”