Charity in Islam is a Religious and Social obligation

2:1 I, Allah, am the best Knower.
2:2 This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who keep their duty,
2:3 Who believe in the Unseen and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them

The most frequently recurring words for charity in the Qur’an are infaaq, which means spending benevolently; ihsaan, which means the doing of good; Zakaat, which means growth and purification and sadaqah, which is derived from the root sidq, meaning truth, and comes to signify a charitable deed. The very words to denote charitable deeds are an indication of the broadness of its conception.

Thousands Protest Clothing Ban

Anger at plans to ban Religious wear

In a move similar to that which was successful in France two years ago, a Quebec minister is attempting to have all religious clothing and symbols banned in public worker positions.

The proposed ban of headscarves, turbans and other religious garments is part of a proposed overhaul of the Canadian province’s “Charter of Values.”

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Montreal with chants of “no to the charter” and “Quebec is not France”

The Quebec minister in charge of the issue, Bernard Drainville, said recently that ridding the region of the public wearing of religious apparel by government workers would help provide a greater sense of unity among Quebecers.

“The best way to respect all Quebecers, the best way to respect all beliefs and all religious, is for the state to have no religion,” Drainville said.

That neutrality does not apply, however, to the crucifix that has adorned the main chamber of the National Assembly since 1936, which will stay up in deference to the province’s “cultural heritage,” he confirmed.

The minister seems oblivious to the double standards he is guilty of in attempting to justify leaving the large crucifix in place whilst trying to ban “all” religious clothes and jewellery in his region.

Rather than an act to promote freedom this seems to be another example of a Government attempting to legislate what people are allowed or not allowed to wear due to a fear of what they see as something which is ‘not normal’.

The struggle of religious minorities in Indonesia

…But the Ahmadis are not alone in their struggle to practice their faith in Indonesia.

Last week, a group of about 300 people from a variety of religious backgrounds staged a rally at Indonesia’s parliament, demanding that their rights as citizens to freely worship, a right enshrined in the constitution, be respected.

Muslims complain that there is false propaganda in the West to blacken the faith of Islam but when Muslims behave as described in the above BBC report what need is there for any false propaganda!

US Panel: Pakistani Schools Teaching Religious Intolerance

Pakistani religious students

A report by the U.S. government’s commission on religious freedom says public schools and madrassas – private religious schools – in Pakistan are fueling discrimination by casting Hindus, Christians and other religious minorities in a negative light. The report also documents how schools in the mostly-Muslim country are not teaching religious tolerance.

The U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom is funded by the government but independent, and it has actively monitored the rise of violent religious extremism in South Asia. Its new report says textbooks in Pakistan’s public schools and madrassas negatively portray Hindus, Christians and other religious minorities. The commission said such biases fuel acts of discrimination and possible violence.

It found that public school textbooks often have a strong Islamic slant, and that religious minorities either are omitted or referred to in a derogatory way. Continue reading

Dutch call for ban on religious slaughter

In the Netherlands, an animal rights party and the far-right Freedom Party are pushing for a ban on kosher and halal slaughter methods which critics say inflict unacceptable suffering on animals.

The parties say religious slaughter should only be allowed on the proviso that Jewish and Muslim groups can prove the process is humane.

Al Jazeera’s Tania Page reports from Amsterdam.

Pakistan’s religious minorities suffer under blasphemy laws

Blasphemy law

Aasia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother of five children from Pakistan, is facing execution for her religious beliefs. Despite international outcry over her sentence, Aasia remains in an isolation cell in a jail in Punjab, a state in the northwest of Pakistan.

Bibi’s story began in June, 2009, when she was living in the tiny village of Ittanwali, in northeast Pakistan. According to some reports Bibi’s family were the only Christians in the area, where she was working at the time as a farm labourer.
Continue reading

Celebrating Religious Festivals

Followers of all religions celebrate festivals in the name of their religion such as Christmas, Eid, Diwali etc. Although the name of the religion is invoked but the celebration itself is actually devoid of much of the spirit of religion and merely a commercial venture. If followers of all religions displayed the true spirit of religion in their celebration of these festivals human beings will become much better at living together harmoniously.