united states – Aaim Austin http://aaimaustin.org/ Thu, 24 Feb 2022 18:48:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://aaimaustin.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-5-120x120.png united states – Aaim Austin http://aaimaustin.org/ 32 32 The impact on women in Palestine, Afghanistan and Rojava – Medya News https://aaimaustin.org/the-impact-on-women-in-palestine-afghanistan-and-rojava-medya-news/ Thu, 17 Feb 2022 09:48:54 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/the-impact-on-women-in-palestine-afghanistan-and-rojava-medya-news/ The largest annual gathering of feminists in the UK organized by FiLiA, an event regularly attended by 1000-1200 women, is a good entry point into issues of concern to British feminists. But what is atypical for British feminism, it has a strong internationalist perspective. At the conference, held recently in Portsmouth, I moderated a session […]]]>

The largest annual gathering of feminists in the UK organized by FiLiA, an event regularly attended by 1000-1200 women, is a good entry point into issues of concern to British feminists. But what is atypical for British feminism, it has a strong internationalist perspective. At the conference, held recently in Portsmouth, I moderated a session where women from Afghanistan, Palestine and Rojava came together to discuss how occupation and fundamentalism clerics crossed paths to weaken their fight for rights.

I posed a number of provocations. The first being: can occupation ever be a force for good? After all, this is how the media has portrayed the US occupation in Afghanistan, especially on the issue of women’s rights. A new generation of women had been educated who would be much fiercer in their opposition to the Taliban this time around. Nelufer Hadayat, a British Afghan journalist writing in the Guardian, said: “It is true that, on the whole, the occupation of Afghanistan since 2001 was a good thing. Kind of. There were pockets of progress. I have seen it myself in my years of reporting and visiting, and listening to the stories of all my family who still live there. She cites statistics on increasing literacy rates for boys and girls and improving life expectancy rates. But it also refers to the poverty and terrorist attacks that continued under US occupation and took the lives of thousands of Afghans.

Selay Ghaffar, spokesperson for the Afghan Solidarity Party who joined us via Zoom, said emphatically that “they [the US] “educated” a small group of Afghan women who were not “prepared to fight for their rights” but to get along and associate with misogynists and depraved criminals, the mafia and corrupt politicians. She firmly believed that these women were primarily interested in “the money and resources they earned from parliament, ministerial posts and travels abroad”. In fact, these American adopted women and daughters stabbed Afghan women from behind, undermining the struggle of Afghan women for their rights.

Ghaffar argued that Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan was promoted by the United States to prevent progressive forces from gaining ground. This is precisely what happened in Israel where Hamas was nurtured in order to weaken the once secular and more progressive forces of Fatah. Why do occupying powers destroy democratic, pro-women and progressive forces in the occupied territory and promote reactionary forces like the Taliban or Hamas? Why are they more afraid of democratic opposition, especially when so many of these invasions are carried out under the guise of democratic nation building? In any case, if the United States does not have real democracy at home, how can it build it elsewhere?

This led me to the following provocation: does it make things better for the occupied if the occupying force claims to be committed to the values ​​of democracy or equality? Israel claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East – and yet it continues to destroy the lives of Palestinians under occupation who have neither vote nor voice. What kind of democratic values ​​can exist in an apartheid state where Palestinians are second-class citizens?

Zeinab Al-Ghonaimi, a legal researcher and women’s rights activist in Gaza, who also joined us via Zoom, explained how women’s rights have been shredded by the pincer movement of the twin forces of Hamas and the Israeli occupation . She argued that “women were the main victims of this ideological shift” under Hamas where the lack of political pluralism has aggravated the deterioration of humanitarian conditions caused by the occupation.

While Zeinab was very clear that Hamas and the Israeli occupation should be resisted at the same time, some Palestinian feminists are in conflict as I have explained elsewhere. They see Fatah as corrupt lackeys of the Israeli state and Hamas as the only true representatives of the national struggle, so they are willing to put aside their discomfort with Hamas’ anti-woman and religious fundamentalist agenda. Zeinab observed that feminists, deprived of any place at the table, had to “push for minor changes to separate texts of the Penal Code and the Personal Status Law”.

In contrast, the women of Rojava (AANES, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria) gained unprecedented power which they used to achieve equality, introducing some of the laws most favorable to women in the world and by banishing religion from the public. sphere. However, the rights acquired by this revolutionary and popular democracy have been reversed in those regions, such as Afrin, which have been invaded and occupied by Turkey under the dictatorship of a misogynist and Islamist regime, as pointed out by Rohash Shexo, representing British member of Kongra Star, the umbrella organization for women in Rojava.

In fact, Rojava needed the United States to remain as a bulwark against their own dictator, Assad, Erdogan of Turkey and ISIS against whom the fight is not yet over. If the US-led coalition had not provided air cover during the famous Battle of Kobane in 2014, Kurdish resistance to ISIS might have crumbled. And we may not have had a feminist revolution to inspire us.

The United States was not an “occupying” power. Their intervention was absolutely necessary to enable the people of Rojava to win the battle against Daesh. Why didn’t the United States stay and become an occupying power? Given the widespread use of “democracy” as cover for its invasions around the world, it would have made sense for the United States to stay behind to protect this fragile democracy. Or is real democracy just too threatening for the United States?

One could argue that the US occupation continues through the back door through its proxy, Turkey, which is a NATO ally. Former Islamic State fighters joined the Turkish army as mercenaries and invaded parts of Rojava with impunity, in part because the United States looked the other way.

Was the American intervention in Rojava an example of the doctrine of liberal interventionism as adopted by Tony Blair who used it to justify the Western invasion of Iraq, Kosovo and Sierra Leone? Iraq, in fact, has turned into an occupation. Does occupation differ from liberal interventionism only in duration, when the country’s resources end up being exploited by the invading power?

For Tony Blair, staying until the job was done successfully was a key part of his strategy. In his famous speech on liberal interventionism, he asked, “Are we ready for the long term? In the past, we talked too much about exit strategies. But having made a commitment, we cannot simply walk away when the fight is over; better to stay with a moderate number of troops than to return for repeated performances with a large number.

And yet, this strategy has failed in Afghanistan.

How do we understand the interventionism of the United States in Rojava which had a positive impact in prolonging the revolutionary struggle? Many on the anti-imperialist left, in their instinctive hatred of the United States, also refused to support the revolution because it was seen to have gotten its hands dirty working with the United States.

All of these conflicting positions compete for women’s bodies and minds. For religious fundamentalists, the control of women is central to their project. For the liberal democratic forces of the world, the liberation of women is a vaunted part of their project. And yet, these same forces sell us again and again by encouraging (at worst) or ignoring (at best) the growth of religious fundamentalism.

Fundamentalism is a false religion, subverting the true religion https://aaimaustin.org/fundamentalism-is-a-false-religion-subverting-the-true-religion/ Tue, 28 Dec 2021 17:48:00 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/fundamentalism-is-a-false-religion-subverting-the-true-religion/ Here is a list of some fundamentalist dogmas: There is only one set of correct beliefs. There is only one set of good roles for men, women and children. The secular laws of a country should reflect the laws of God. No separation between State and Church. Public education must instill fundamentalist beliefs in young […]]]>

Here is a list of some fundamentalist dogmas:

  • There is only one set of correct beliefs.
  • There is only one set of good roles for men, women and children.
  • The secular laws of a country should reflect the laws of God.
  • No separation between State and Church.
  • Public education must instill fundamentalist beliefs in young people and very young children.
  • Men are superior to women. Women are inferior to men. God ordained women to take on the roles of wives, mothers, and housewives.
  • God wants men and women to be heterosexual. Any deviation or addition is to be condemned.

The dogmas come from my reading of “The Fundamentalist Agenda,” a post 9/11 article in UU World Magazine, published by Unitarian Universalists. He compares Islamic fundamentalism with Christian fundamentalism. The list applies to both Christian fundamentalists and Islamic fundamentalists. The two have a lot in common.

The article evoked various thoughts.

“There is only one set of righteous beliefs” implies that there is only one “true” religion. Christian denominations disagree with each other on basic dogma, even on how to be saved. Therefore, some denominations must have false teachings.

“No separation between state and church” can only mean: “No separation between state and a SPECIFIC church”. It can only mean “No separation between the State and the One, True Religion”. Of course, “false” beliefs should not be tolerated. Therefore, freedom of religion should not be allowed.

God will naturally favor the nation which accepts its “one and true religion”. A nation that allows “false” beliefs to flourish may lose God’s favor and protection. Therefore, blasphemy cannot be tolerated and can be punished as civil crime, that is, as a crime against the state. For the same reason, the state must punish apostasy, that is, renunciation of religious belief. (This is the case today in some Islamic countries and it was the case in the Middle Ages in most countries of Christian Europe.) Sanctions for blasphemy and public apostasy hamper freedom of speech, but fundamentalists don’t see this as a problem because they don’t value free speech. (In the United States, some fundamentalists even take offense at “Happy Holidays” and ask “Merry Christmas” instead.)

The demand for unconditional faith is not limited to religion. Faith in certain secular dogmas (eg, “The election has been stolen.” “Masks are useless; vaccines damage.” “Trump is God’s chosen one.”) Is also required. Such faith is obviously impermeable. Evaluating evidence requires skepticism and critical thinking, two qualities fundamentalists dislike. On the contrary, blind faith is valued.

“The secular laws of a country must reflect the laws of God” implies that society reflects as much as possible the character of God. Young people must be taught an idealized image of the State, they must see the State as pure, noble and good: “God is with us”. (Many people want God to be on their side; fewer people are willing to be on God’s side.) Thus, the nation’s crimes must be covered up. Any history of slavery, racism, genocide of indigenous peoples and wars of aggression should not be taught in schools. No critical breed theory is allowed!

“Public education must instill fundamentalist beliefs in young children.” This explains why fundamentalists oppose sex education and the evolution of teaching in public schools; why they insist the Earth is a few thousand years old rather than the billions we know.

There is only one set of good beliefs, ”and you better believe them! Otherwise, a God who loves you will allow you to be tortured forever and ever. This instills a fear of independent thought and a fear of doubting accepted dogma. In the fundamentalist, this fear extends to the political domain. The 2020 election was stolen? Isn’t the Covid worse than the flu? The vaccine has micro-robots, makes you magnetic, or god knows what else? If Trump says it, if my preacher says it, then the fundamentalist has only one choice: to believe.

Once the fundamentalists’ ability to reason rationally and to investigate with skepticism has been bypassed, there is no end to the nonsense they will accept. Witness the QAnon belief, which seems to inhabit an entirely different universe from the universe where logic and common sense reside.

“Men are superior to women. Women are inferior to men. God ordained women to take on the roles of wives, mothers, and housewives. Is reflected in 1 Timothy 2:12, “I do not allow a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. Women are inferior and must be submissive. In some nations, their property belongs to their husbands. Women are allowed to choose how they dress, but within narrow limits. They should not be allowed to use contraceptives or have an abortion.

Some fundamentalists believe that the main (or only) legitimate use of sex is procreation. They believe that such use of sex elevates them above the lower animals; in fact, he places them on the level of the lower animals, below the human level. Pussies and female dogs are only interested in sex when conception is possible. To belittle the use of sex as an expression of love and intimacy and benevolence – and even pleasure – places sex at the level of the cat and the dog.

The affinity between fundamentalists and the lower animals runs even deeper. Imagine a primitive tribe of humans or apes. The males fight the other tribes and protect the community. They are the strongest physically. The chief of the tribe is the man who can defeat any other member of the tribe, male or female. He commands fear and respect. In the human tribe, disagreement or independent thought or belief is not tolerated. The chief’s word is law. The relationship of the fundamentalist to his God reflects the relationship of the tribal member to the leader.

Additionally, a tribal mindset leads to suspicion and hatred of foreigners – in American fundamentalism, a hatred of blacks, Mexicans, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, liberals, intellectuals, scientists – the list lengthens again and again.

The dogmas and beliefs we have discussed fit well in an authoritarian tribal society; gender equality, the right to freedom of thought, speech and religion are ill-suited.

But perhaps the most important point of the article is this:

“… the agenda of all fundamentalist movements around the world is virtually identical, regardless of religion or culture.

An obvious corollary is the following:


Fundamentalism is based on a state of mind that predates Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad. and possibly the discovery of fire by humans. This is the state of mind of the primitive tribe, huddled in a cave at night, fearing thunder and the howling wind.

Fundamentalism is a religion which is attached to other religions. We can compare it to a computer game or a web browser. You can change the look of a computer game or change the theme in a web browser. Same game, same browser; different look. Christian fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalism; same religion but different appearance.

Fundamentalism is the expression of a primitive human state of mind. It is a twisted vine, which attaches itself to other better religions, (sometimes) by expelling their life. Or cancer likely to develop in any religion, to the detriment of that religion.

Finally, here is a short list of genuine Christianity versus fundamentalist Christianity. The reader can probably think of other examples.



Heal the sick

Can’t afford all of your insulin injections? Ration them.
$ 100,000 is not an unreasonable bill for having a child.

To help poor people

Sloths don’t deserve free gifts.
The rich need tax relief, the poor don’t.

Love your neighbor as yourself

As long as my neighbor isn’t a black, Mexican, immigrant, LGBTQ, liberal, intellectual, or scientist who believes in evolution,

Forgive seven times seven

Forgive the CEO who imposes 80-hour weeks, the MAGAs who tried to overthrow the US government, the rich who oppress the poor. Otherwise, “close them and throw away the key”

Turn the other cheek

Grab your AK-15 and ‘hang in there’

Morrison’s religious fundamentalism drives democracy https://aaimaustin.org/morrisons-religious-fundamentalism-drives-democracy/ Tue, 28 Dec 2021 04:00:26 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/morrisons-religious-fundamentalism-drives-democracy/ Scott Morrison’s religious fundamentalism is a potential danger to democracy, because this alarming situationMay article, which has received more than 19,000 views, proves it. ***** Electing candidates from churches like Scott Morrison’s Pentecostal Church and packing them into parliament is detrimental to a viable democracy, writes Brian morris. WITH THE rise of Pentecostal and charismatic […]]]>

Scott Morrison’s religious fundamentalism is a potential danger to democracy, because this alarming situationMay article, which has received more than 19,000 views, proves it.


Electing candidates from churches like Scott Morrison’s Pentecostal Church and packing them into parliament is detrimental to a viable democracy, writes Brian morris.

WITH THE rise of Pentecostal and charismatic mega-churches, there is a rational concern that a “literal” belief in the Bible has led to anti-science trolls, denial of climate change, and an anti-vax movement. But the end of the game will be more serious if the trend continues to transform into an American style of Christian domination.

Most people will roll their eyes when overzealous Christians say their life’s mission is to convert us all to become “disciples of Christ.” But it is more difficult to tolerate those who firmly believe that all positions of power and authority – in government, justice, media and business – can only be held by those who are spiritually attached to religion. “Literal truth” of the Christian Bible. Including Genesis and all of the Old Testament.

Biblical literalism underlies the growing belief in creationism – that God created everything – and it is this belief that motivates Dominionism; that only Christians can rule a nation. Australasian Sciences in 2011, 31% of Australians believed in creationism. With the rise of evangelism since 2011, the figure is likely to be much higher.

It is the basis of Dominionism, an American export of the 1990s that spawned the American Tea Party movement in 2010 and the same Christian conservatives who elected Donald Trump in 2016. The Republican Party is now fully enmeshed in the theology of the dominion which is exported. in many countries, including Australia.

As early as 2005, Marion Maddox, professor of politics at Macquarie University – and Christian of the United Church – published “God Under Howard: The Rise of the Religious Right in Australia”. It signals the rise of Dominionism here.

Genesis is God’s rulebook for biblical literalists. They take literally what God said to “subdue the earth” and “rule over it”. The influx of evangelism to the United States includes Hillsong and a plethora of Pentecostals churches such as Horizon Church in Sutherland NSW, whose congregation includes Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his family. Pastor Hillsong Brian Houston is also Scott Morrison’s mentor and the Prime Minister heads a recognized Christian government.

Democracy is receding around the world – a trend over the past 13 years, according to House of Liberty, that oversees the rise of authoritarian governments.

Psychology professor Paul Wink of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of New Hampshire, Dean Michele Dillon and associate professor of philosophy at Bryn Mawr College Adrienne Prettyman write that far-right authoritarianism:

‘…is positively associated with conventional, unchallenged and thoughtless religion.

It is Christian dominionism.

Their ultimate goal is to gain control – or at least to have influence – over the “7 Mountains” of any society. The “mountains” are education, media, government, churches, business, family, and the arts. Christians who work in these areas are required to fulfill the mandate of the Seven Mountains – to take control and carry out God’s plan.

It is anything but a conspiracy to reflect on the growing influence of these fundamentalist religious brands over the past 30 years. Islamic extremism is making international headlines with its ruthless aggression, but Christian evangelism (turning into Dominionism) is increasing its political influence by going under the media radar.

The bizarre aspect of fundamentalism lies in its anti-science foundations. Human evolution is considered a hoax, and Earth is 6,000 years old – based on the presumed lifespan of Biblical figures since Adam and Eve. Australian Christian fundamentalist Ken Ham built a giant Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, featuring life-size displays of humans living with dinosaurs.

In Australia, evangelical Christians are being prepared by a multitude of religious lobbies to run for office in federal, state and local governments, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. America is the most Christianized nation on Earth; Australia isn’t far behind – with one of the highest ratios of fundamentalist MPs in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

This is not surprising considering the recruitment drives of the religious right, as seen in February during the Church-State Crusade – its annual Australian summit – to “arm the Christians for the Kingdom to Come ”. Once again, pure Dominionism. The goal of fundamentalist churches is to roll back secular politics to make voluntary abortion and assisted death illegal, and to ban LGBT + people from working in church businesses.

The public is largely oblivious to all of this and there is no mainstream media analysis of right-wing Christian programs. But many “moderate” Christians are concerned with the undemocratic goals of fundamentalist Christianity.

Baptist Church minister Reverend Dr Craig de Vos said groups like the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) are pursuing a program “straight out of the Dominionist theology playbook”. In 2011, the ABC published an article titled, “Is the Australian Christian lobby Dominionist?” “- when ACL was then linked to the 7 Montagnes website.

The Reverend de Vos said in one of his sermons at the Baptist Church of North Adelaide:

“The religious right of this country wants to take control of the government either by a stealthy insurgency … or by more aggressive means because it feels despised, even persecuted, because all of us ungodly pagans do not share their anti-science and their conspiracy. charged ideas, selective biblical literalism, Taliban-like morality and prehistoric values.

Dominion ethics are no different from Islamic theocracies that impose Sharia law – countries like Syria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Algeria, to name a few. -a. The only Christian theocracy is Vatican City, which is an exclusive Catholic state, but fundamentalists want a return to the Christian-controlled states of the Middle Ages.

Dominionism is unlikely to win, at least in the short term. But Australia is already a “soft theocracy,” with heavily Christianized governments at all three levels. And this despite 78% of citizens who wish to “separate personal religious beliefs from the business of government.” Members of Parliament have a much higher religious ratio than the public.

Religion retains control of Australian politics in a

The question is whether we want Australia to become more and more secular. It means working to elect federal, state and local governments that take a strong stand on the future of the nation and advance a progressive secular worldview. Or, if we just don’t care, the public can nod to fundamentalist Christian groups actively recruiting young Pentecostals, Creationists, and Evangelicals to establish a Christian theocracy.

The world is in crisis with the coronavirus pandemic and the rise of fundamentalisms. According to Demo Finland – the Finnish democracy watchdog – nearly 70% of the world’s population now live in undemocratic states. Or an increase of 20% only in the last ten years.

We must again stress that authoritarianism is underpinned by religion. Australians must decide whether they prefer a progressive secular future or a continuation of our trend to elect fundamentalist MPs and further Christianize our three levels of government.

The leaders of the National Liberal Party (LNP) and the Australian Labor Party (ALP) both remain fixated on the idea of ​​yielding to the illusory ‘Christian vote’. This alone perpetuates our status as a “soft theocracy”.

But taking political candidates from Pentecostal and Evangelical churches and packing more Christians into parliament puts a distinct pressure on a viable democracy.

Religious freedom is indeed a civil right for all, including the true public majority which does not practice a particular religion. and who do not want any form of religion imposed on them. The problem with overzealous people of faith is that they claim spiritual superiority. to “know the plan of God.” Oh good? How? ‘Or’ What?

We must prevent religion from becoming a weapon to assert Christian Dominionism – with the ultimate goal of killing democracy and enthroning Jesus.

Brian morris is a former journalist and founder of the National Secular Lobby (NSL) and Plain Reason.

Prime Minister Morrison and the Pentecostal agenda

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Scientists and Religious Belief – ARAB TIMES https://aaimaustin.org/scientists-and-religious-belief-arab-times/ Sun, 21 Nov 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/scientists-and-religious-belief-arab-times/ WhatsApp Facebook Twitter E-mail Messenger A A survey conducted by the American Pew Research Center in May 2009 of members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that they are much less religious than the general public. More than half of them believe in some form of God or some supernatural power, […]]]>

A A survey conducted by the American Pew Research Center in May 2009 of members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that they are much less religious than the general public. More than half of them believe in some form of God or some supernatural power, but the center found that the proportion among the rest of Americans is 95%!

In a more recent survey, 4 in 10 scientists did not believe in supernatural power, but only 4% of their citizens held the same opinion.

The latest survey of scientists closely follows previous surveys, which measured their views on religion, and the first of these experiments was conducted in 1914 by Swiss-American psychologist James Luba, who conducted his research on views of religion. ‘about 1,000 scientists in the United States. States in America to Ask Their Opinions on God The scientific community is also divided, with 42% believing in a specific, identifiable deity, while a similar percentage said the opposite.

More than 80 years later, Edward Larson, a science historian who was teaching at the University of Georgia at the time, reformulated the Luba survey, asking the same questions of the same number of scientists. He found that 40% of scientists believe in a personal God, while 45% say they don’t, and other surveys of scientists have yielded almost similar results.

Given the small number and the low level of belief of a large part of scientists in a supernatural power, it is not surprising that the proportion of those who do not belong to any religion is much higher than among ordinary people. . Thus, it follows that most religious traditions are represented in smaller numbers in the scientific community than in the general public.

For example, we find that the proportion of Protestants in the scientific community is only 21%, despite the fact that evangelicals among them make up only 28% of the American population, and their percentage is only a small segment. (4%) of the scientific population. community. One notable exception is that Jews, who make up a larger proportion of the scientific community (8%), make up only 2% of the general American population.

A Pew Research Center survey also found that levels of religious belief among scientists vary based on their scientific specialization and age group. For example, 41% of chemists believe in some hidden divine power, a higher proportion than those working in other major scientific fields. Meanwhile, young scientists, aged 18 to 34, are more likely to believe in supernatural power than those who are older.

A Pew Center study, linked to religious background, wealth and education, found that Jews are the most educated, with an average share of 13.4 years of schooling, while Christians have 9 ,3 years.

I leave it to you to estimate the per capita share of education in our countries, even though we are the highest in the world in terms of the number of holders of invaluable doctoral degrees.

E-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf

Post-Taliban dynamics, fundamentalism, activism – the need for participatory politics https://aaimaustin.org/post-taliban-dynamics-fundamentalism-activism-the-need-for-participatory-politics/ https://aaimaustin.org/post-taliban-dynamics-fundamentalism-activism-the-need-for-participatory-politics/#respond Sun, 31 Oct 2021 14:15:53 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/post-taliban-dynamics-fundamentalism-activism-the-need-for-participatory-politics/ Mohamed Zamir | Posted: October 31, 2021, 8:15 p.m. Over the past three decades, we have watched with anxiety the use of indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among the masses or fear to achieve a religious or political goal. It is used in this regard primarily to denote peacetime or wartime violence […]]]>

Over the past three decades, we have watched with anxiety the use of indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among the masses or fear to achieve a religious or political goal. It is used in this regard primarily to denote peacetime or wartime violence against non-combatants, primarily civilians and neutral military personnel. The term terrorism is often used with the connotation of something that is “morally wrong”. Governments and non-state groups use the term to abuse or denounce opposing groups.

In the recent past, we have witnessed with anxiety how the whole paradigm has changed and shifted in Afghanistan. The current administration in power in that country has still not been able to garner sufficient support within the international community. At their last meeting on Afghanistan in the second week of October, the G-20 made it clear that it was “laser-focused” on Afghanistan as part of its counterterrorism campaign. Such opinion rose after the IS-K claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 55 people in a mosque during Friday prayers. This will apparently cast a shadow over efforts regarding humanitarian aid to the affected Afghan population.

Various political organizations have been accused of using terrorism to achieve their goals. These organizations include right and left political organizations, nationalist groups and religious groups. It was also recently revealed by the Counter Extremism Project that many pro-Islamic State comments that promote violent extremism remained on social media sites, primarily Facebook, until the first week of October. A new IS video was also found on several websites. Likewise, white supremacist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim content has been found on the Steam platform.

Although legislation declaring terrorism a crime has been passed in many states, there does not yet appear to be a consensus on whether or not terrorism should be considered a war crime.

It may be noted here that in November 2004, a report prepared by the Secretary-General of the United Nations described terrorism as any act “intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants for the purpose of to intimidate a population or to force a government or an international organization to do or refrain from doing an act ”. Nevertheless, the international community has been slow to formulate a universally accepted and legally binding definition of this crime. The lack of agreement appears to stem from difficulties associated with the fact that the term “terrorism” is politically and emotionally charged. The same is true in the context of fundamentalism.

Nevertheless, it should be understood that criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in public opinion, or a group of people for political ends, are unjustifiable, regardless of political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic considerations. , nuns, etc. that can be invoked to justify them.

At this point, we must refer to the different types of action that are considered today as part of the paradigm of terrorism or fundamentalism. They understand-

a) Political terrorism – this is violent criminal behavior designed primarily to instill fear in the community, or a substantial part of it, for political purposes;

(b) Non-political terrorism – malicious action which is not directed for political ends but which manifests “a conscious intention to create and maintain a high degree of fear for coercive purposes aimed at promoting individual or collective gain rather than the achievement of a political objective “;

(c) Quasi-terrorism – this includes activities incidental to the commission of violent crimes which are similar in form and method to genuine terrorism but which lack its essential ingredient. The main goal of quasi-terrorists is not to induce terror in the immediate victim as in the case of genuine terrorism, but the quasi-terrorist uses the modalities and techniques of the real terrorist and produces consequences and consequences. similar reactions.

However, one aspect is clear with regard to terrorism. Whatever the behavioral typology of international terrorism today, it is generally linked to the following causes: social revolution, religious extremism, fundamentalism, sectarianism, and far-right or far-left beliefs. Another aspect must also be accepted. In many cases, terrorist attacks are carried out by a terrorist group to bring international attention to that group. We have seen this happen in the case of Al Qaeda through their September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States. Currently, we are seeing other different terrorist groups like ISIS bringing attention to themselves with violent militant actions against civilians.

Analysts have therefore suggested that terrorist organizations do not select terrorism for their political effectiveness. Individual terrorists tend to be motivated more by a desire for social solidarity with other members of their organization than by political platforms or strategic goals, which are often obscure and undefined.

Reference should also be made here to an interesting investigation carried out by Paul Gill, John Horgan and Paige Deckert on behalf of the UK Department of Security. Apparently 43 percent of lone wolf terrorism is motivated by religious beliefs. The same report states that just under a third (32 percent) have pre-existing mental health issues, while many have these issues upon arrest. At least 37% were living alone when planning and / or executing their event, 26% were living with others and no data was available for the remaining cases. 40 percent were unemployed at the time of their arrest or terrorist act. Many were chronically unemployed and struggled constantly to retain any form of employment for a long period of time. 19 percent experienced disrespect from others, while 14.3 percent were victims of verbal or physical assault.

The discussion of activism requires an understanding of the term activist. In this context, it should be understood that an activist, as a name, is a person who uses activist methods in pursuit of an objective. In general usage, an activist or activist group has a confrontational approach and displays aggressive behavior or attitude. It is also sometimes used, according to strategic analysts, as a euphemism to refer to terrorist or armed insurgents. However, this religious meaning should not be confused with the word belligerent used to describe the extremist religious behavior encountered by some who, because of their extreme religious beliefs or ideologies, take up arms and become involved in war, or who commit acts of violence or terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist religious agendas. These extremist groups can be of Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Jewish religious affiliation. It should be understood in this regard that Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions does not legitimize attacks against civilians by militants who fall into these categories.

However, it would be relevant to mention here that the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on terrorism (42/159 of December 7, 1987) which condemns international terrorism and sets out measures to combat this crime, contains a condition: ” that nothing in this resolution may affect in any way the right to self-determination, liberty and independence, as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, of private peoples by force of this right, in particular of peoples subjected to racist regimes and foreign occupation.

The above points were raised during a recent discussion of the terrorist and militant attacks that took place in the near past in different parts of the world – New Zealand, Sri Lanka, India, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. Participants discussed the above aspects associated with terrorism and activism. There were differences of opinion. However, it was generally agreed that measures must be taken to deal with such undesirable situations through carefully coordinated policy formulation and appropriate legislation. This was underlined by the adage “Prevention is better than cure”.

It was emphasized that when developing such a policy, public sentiment, acceptance, religious tolerance, societal norms and behavior towards other members of the community must be carefully assessed to gain a more perspective. clear of the existing situation. In this regard, it should be understood that there has been a general change due to digitization and the widespread use of social media. This in turn led to a shorter attention span and less interest in reading long texts.

There was also a general consensus that announcements, news, events, and communications through television, whether through a television message or a television scroll, were considered more trustworthy and genuine by the public. The use of broadcast media – radio, FM and community radio was seen as the second best alternative to communicate a political decision on the fight against terrorism.

There was also general consensus that the communication of a political decision on a sensitive topic like terrorism and the measures that need to be taken in this regard could also be successfully implemented through more responsible use. Internet and social media. It was also agreed that the communication of a political decision on these issues could also be facilitated by the use of SMS in mobile phones.

Reference was also made not only to the need for prison reform and education of inmates to prevent radicalization within the prison, but also to the creation of a support structure for the rehabilitation of those in prison. were faced with such a situation. Another important factor was also agreed. It is linked to the participatory discussion in educational institutions with the young population and representatives of different segments of society, in particular civil society and cultural and religious cross-sections. This approach has been particularly proposed not only for urban areas but also for outreach campaigns in different sub-regions of Bangladesh.

Such a participatory approach would not only strengthen civic awareness about the harmful effects of violence, fundamentalism, terrorism and activism, but would also create the force necessary to be able to successfully combat the osmotic influence of terrorism and activism.

Muhammad Zamir, former ambassador, is an analyst specializing in foreign affairs, the right to information and good governance.

[email protected]

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Alternative to Islamic Fundamentalism – NCRI https://aaimaustin.org/alternative-to-islamic-fundamentalism-ncri/ https://aaimaustin.org/alternative-to-islamic-fundamentalism-ncri/#respond Wed, 20 Oct 2021 09:53:57 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/alternative-to-islamic-fundamentalism-ncri/ Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Reddit E-mail To print Within the Iranian Army of Terror and Oppression: The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) [In the memory of late Sir David Amess MP, co-chairman of British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom] Recent events in the region, from the Middle East to Central Asia and Europe, indicate that terrorism encouraged […]]]>

Within the Iranian Army of Terror and Oppression: The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

[In the memory of late Sir David Amess MP, co-chairman of British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom]

Recent events in the region, from the Middle East to Central Asia and Europe, indicate that terrorism encouraged by Islamic fundamentalism – its capital being Tehran – continues to be the main obstacle to global security as well. only to peace, freedom and prosperity in the region. Time and time again, it has been shown that military approaches cannot be seen as the main strategy for dealing with the terrorism of Islamic fundamentalism in general. So what should the approach be?

The experience of the past decades suggests that nationalism and other contemporary movements in the region fall short of Islamic fundamentalism on the ground. A force capable of resisting this phenomenon must be rooted in the culture of the region; it should be able to disarm Islamic fundamentalism from its main weapon, ie the claim to represent Islam. Moreover, it should nurture a selfless generation ready to confront the forces of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism on all fronts.

Before all the crucial advances of modern Europe became a reality – for example, secular sovereign states, cultural renaissance, economic development and the transition to democracy, Europe had to be freed from traditional religious chains by the Luther’s reform movement. Max Weber, considered by many to be the foremost social theorist of the twentieth century, linked the rise of capitalism in Europe to the Reformation and the individualism it fostered.

Luther’s movement was primarily a reform of religion. However, today, a movement capable of defeating Islamic fundamentalism in all its forms cannot be limited to the sole task of reforming religion. He cannot just function like Martin Luther, but must also imitate Joan of Arc, George Washington and Gandhi at the same time.

The Iranian Resistance led by Maryam Rajavi represents such a movement on a global level. It is the antithesis of Islamic fundamentalism. Culturally and ideologically, this movement has already defeated the theocracy in Iran. The cost of such a development has been the lives of tens of thousands of affiliates of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, or MEK), supporters of Maryam Rajavi. It is no coincidence that a large majority of the Iranian people – nearly 95% of the population – are in favor of regime change and a secular democratic system of governance. In the Islamic world, the above phenomenon is unique to Iran and echoed by many sources within the regime.

The ruling regime in Iran only manages to survive from day to day through repression and mass executions. But this strategy is approaching a dead end. The uprising of November 2019 is a reflection of this fact. The selection of Raisi, infamous for his pivotal role in the execution of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988 [90% of whom were affiliates of the MEK], has two clear messages: (a) the repression has radically lost its effectiveness due to the efforts of a selfless generation of Iranians who are willing to pay the price of freedom at any cost, (b) Maryam Rajavi and the MEK lead the movement to uproot the mullahs’ regime through protest and uprising.

The strategic weapon that Rajavi’s resistance movement used against the mullahs is a worldview that presents Islam as being in opposition to what the mullahs stand for on every subject, e.g. freedom, human dignity, status of women in society, tolerance and peace. Thus, there is a convenient way to determine what WIPO’s position would be on any issue. Take the position of the mullahs, reverse it 180 degrees and you will come to the position of Maryam Rajavi and the MEK. This is the operational definition of antithesis in its purest form. However, the success, longevity and viability of the MEK – the subject of the most horrific persecutions in four decades – is that the above antithesis is not simply a theoretical hypothesis; it is rooted in reality and truth. Moreover, what immortalizes this alternative is a generation of altruistic individuals who live by the above principles, embodied by Maryam Rajavi.

Finally, due to the significant historical and cultural effects Iran has had on the region, a free Iran with a reformed view of religion could usher in a new era of freedom, prosperity and peaceful coexistence in the Middle East. A final victory for Maryam Rajavi’s movement in Iran is a victory for the people of the region and is in the interest of world peace and security. A global renaissance in the Middle East awaits a free Iran.

Dr Saeid Sajadi

Dr Saeid Sajadi has actively supported the movement for freedom and democracy in Iran for many years. He did all of his undergraduate and graduate studies and professional training in the United States. Dr Sajadi is a practicing physician in the United States and is currently studying international relations at Harvard University.

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Honor to assassinated French teacher Samuel Paty by defending rights, defying fundamentalism – UN experts – YubaNet https://aaimaustin.org/honor-to-assassinated-french-teacher-samuel-paty-by-defending-rights-defying-fundamentalism-un-experts-yubanet/ https://aaimaustin.org/honor-to-assassinated-french-teacher-samuel-paty-by-defending-rights-defying-fundamentalism-un-experts-yubanet/#respond Fri, 15 Oct 2021 14:44:41 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/honor-to-assassinated-french-teacher-samuel-paty-by-defending-rights-defying-fundamentalism-un-experts-yubanet/ GENEVA (October 15, 2021) – On the first anniversary of the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty, UN experts paid tribute to his commitment to teaching human rights values ​​and declared that the best way to honor him was to challenge fundamentalism and defend human rights. Mr. Paty was beheaded by an extremist on October […]]]>

GENEVA (October 15, 2021) – On the first anniversary of the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty, UN experts paid tribute to his commitment to teaching human rights values ​​and declared that the best way to honor him was to challenge fundamentalism and defend human rights.

Mr. Paty was beheaded by an extremist on October 16, 2020 near the school where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, in the Paris suburbs, following a social media campaign that distorted his attempts to teach freedom of expression using cartoons.

“His assassination was an attack on cultural rights, freedom of expression, academic freedom, freedom of religion or belief – and of course his right to life,” said Karima Bennoune, United Nations special rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, and Ahmed Shaheed, United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.

“His assassination took place against a backdrop of growing challenges to the separation of religion and state, motivated in particular by fundamentalist civil society actors,” they said. “The most important ways to honor the memory of Mr. Paty are to defend these human rights, to challenge fundamentalism, to defend respect for pluralism and to ensure the safety of those who promote thoughtful academic debate for these purposes. . “

The experts expressed their solidarity “with Mr. Paty’s family and his colleagues in the field of education who continue his work in promoting human rights education and critical thinking, including through the use of culture and on subjects deemed controversial or related to religion or belief.

On the anniversary, experts also paid tribute to others targeted this year for their practice and advocacy of cultural rights, such as Afghan folk singer Fawad Andarabi, who was dragged out of his home in a village. north of Kabul and killed by Taliban fighters in September. On February 28, shortly after a Taliban spokesperson said that “music is prohibited in Islam.”

“All States and the international community must do more to ensure the safety of those who exercise and defend cultural rights as well as other human rights and democratic values ​​through artistic expression, education and cultural dissent, ”the experts said.

Governments must ensure that perpetrators of crimes against those who defend these human rights are brought to justice in accordance with international law. It is also essential to commemorate these victims and to effectively challenge fundamentalist and extremist ideologies such as those which motivated their killings, in accordance with international standards. States must recognize and support the positive role of debate and dissent through cultural and creative expressions and protect those who engage in them, they said.

“Mr. Paty sought to use culture to teach human rights even when it was difficult and dangerous,” the experts said. “His voice may have been silenced, but his beliefs should continue to hold true. inspire us all to do more to create and preserve a space for expression and debate. These are essential elements of cultural life and efforts to promote human rights, especially in a context of diversity increasing. “

Karima Bennoune was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights in October 2015. Ms. Bennoune grew up in Algeria and the United States. She is Professor of Law and Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall Research Scholar at the University of California-Davis School of Law, where she teaches human rights and international law. She is currently a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

On November 1, 2016, Mr. Ahmed Shaheed took up his mandate as Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. He is Deputy Director of the Essex Human Rights Center. He was the first special rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran since the end of the previous mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in 2002. Diplomat of career, he has twice served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives. He led the Maldives’ efforts to adopt international human rights standards between 2003 and 2011.

Special rapporteurs are part of what is called the Special procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest group of independent experts in the United Nations human rights system, is the general name for the Council’s independent investigative and monitoring mechanisms that deal with either country-specific situations or thematic issues in all regions of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

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Understanding the second “evangelical” part: fundamentalism https://aaimaustin.org/understanding-the-second-evangelical-part-fundamentalism/ https://aaimaustin.org/understanding-the-second-evangelical-part-fundamentalism/#respond Thu, 14 Oct 2021 10:05:00 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/understanding-the-second-evangelical-part-fundamentalism/ * Editor’s note: This is the second in a five-part series. Make sure you read the first installment here. The term “fundamentalist” or “fundamentalism” was probably first coined by Curtis Lee Laws in the Baptist document. The Watchman Examiner in 1920. According to Laws, the fundamentalists were those who were ready to “fight for the […]]]>

* Editor’s note: This is the second in a five-part series. Make sure you read the first installment here.

The term “fundamentalist” or “fundamentalism” was probably first coined by Curtis Lee Laws in the Baptist document. The Watchman Examiner in 1920. According to Laws, the fundamentalists were those who were ready to “fight for the fundamentals”.

Origins of fundamentalism

The origins of fundamentalism have been filled with as much diversity and disagreement as fundamentalism itself. Stewart Cole and Norman Furniss explored the origins of fundamentalism in terms of responding to modernity. Ernest Sandeen explored a more theological basis for understanding fundamentalism. For Sandeen, millennialism and Princeton theology were the catalysts of fundamentalism. Under individuals such as J. Nelson Darby and events like the Niagara Bible Conferences (most notably the 1878 Conference) dispensational, pre-tribulation, pre-millennial theology spread. Throughout the second half of the 19th century, there was a plethora of prophetic conferences that propagated millennial ideas.

Sandeen’s second catalyst, Princeton Theology, was born at Princeton Theological Seminary under Archibald Alexander and Charles Hodge and their students Archibald Alexander Hodge, BB Warfield and J. Gresham Machen. Machen’s Christianity and liberalism continues to be his best introduction. Together they argued for the infallibility of the Scriptures and for a rationalist system of thought, largely based on Thomas Reid and the Scottish school of common sense realism.

C. Allyn Russell explored a different thesis, arguing that the energy behind fundamentalism was Protestant liberalism. Russell’s work is useful in illustrating the theological differences between the rulers of fundamentalism, thereby tempering Sandeen’s contention that there was a theological unanimity that underpinned and stimulated the whole movement.

But George Marsden, author of the definitive book on American Fundamentalism, is the scholar of choice for the most part on the matter.

Marsden defends four main currents that fueled fundamentalism: 1) DL Moody’s revivalist empire (and revivalism in general); 2) the assault on modernity, generating ambivalence towards culture; 3) the holiness movements (in particular the Keswick movement of British origin); and 4) with Sandeen, pre-tribulational, pre-millennial, and dispensationalist theology, although Marsden doubts that “pre-millennialism was really the organizing principle.”

Theology of Fundamentalism

Three areas can be examined with respect to determining the theology of fundamentalism. First, the Presbyterian General Assembly in 1910 which produced what has come to be known as the “five points” of fundamentalism: the divinity of Christ; His virgin birth and his miracles; the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture; the penal death of Christ for our sins; and his physical resurrection and personal return. These five areas were considered by fundamentalists to be the object of direct attack from secular society and from within the contemporary Church.

The second source of fundamentalist theology is the Scofield Bible (published in 1909). Sold in excess of 2,000,000 copies, this annotated “Study Bible” is clearly pre-tribulational, pre-millennial, and dispensational. Sandeen called this work “perhaps the most influential single publication in millennial, fundamentalist historiography.”

Finally, a series of 12 volumes published between 1910-1915 entitled The fundamentals both represented and shaped fundamentalist theology. Written by an impressive team of American and British scholars, these volumes have been mailed free of charge to pastors, teachers, Sunday School workers, and lay people across the United States. Over a third of the essays defended Scripture, and the vast majority had the theme of God’s authority in Scripture over and against the authority of science.

Confrontation between fundamentalists and modernists

Fundamentalism became increasingly militant in the years surrounding World War II. Three major concerns occupied fundamentalists during this period. The first concern was the influx of immigrants and their different worldviews. After World War I, millions of immigrants flocked to America. Many of them professed Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Jews, none of whom shared the Puritan and revivalist traditions of America and American evangelism. In three decades, these immigrants changed the face of religion in America.

The second concern that occupied fundamentalists was the radical change in contemporary thought. The Scopes trial characterized such conflicts as “city” versus “country”, progress versus supposed ignorance, and most certainly modernism versus fundamentalism. Although Darwin The origin of species (1859) did not directly challenge Christianity, popular speculation on the book’s doctrine of evolution tended to dismiss the traditional explanation of the origin of life and the personal God behind the universe. Men and women began to think in terms of process, progress, and evolution as opposed to creation, miracles, and the new birth.

The third concern that occupied fundamentalists was the higher criticism. Upper criticism is the term used to describe the study of Scripture from the point of view of literature, as opposed to “lower criticism” which deals with the text of Scripture and its transmission. For fundamentalists, it undermined the idea that the Bible was a special revelation, left the Christian minister deprived of a supernatural gospel, and provided little basis for the evangelical experience of the new birth. It has therefore been suggested that a “systematic theology of biblical authority which upheld the common evangelical faith in the infallibility of the Bible should be created” (Sandeen).

Fundamentalist retreat into institutionalization

After the 1920s fundamentalism entered a period that is perhaps best called a ‘retreat to institutionalization’. Rather than engaging in culture, fundamentalists withdrew and sought areas where they could control doctrine, education, and morals. This often involved withdrawing from denominations in order to form their own alliances. Educational institutions such as Dallas Theological Seminary and Bob Jones University were founded as a result of this philosophy (founded in 1924 and 1926 respectively).

The growing unease of many fundamentalists with the sectarian separatism, social and cultural irresponsibility and anti-intellectual stance that permeated the years of controversy with the Modernists that would lead to the bifurcation and eventual formation of the movement known as the name of contemporary American evangelism.

And that’s what we turn to next in Part Three of this series.

James Emery White


Curtis Lee Laws, “Convention Side Lights”, The lookout-examiner, July 1, 1920.

Stewart Cole, The history of fundamentalism.

Norman Furniss, The fundamentalist controversy, 1918-1931.

Ernest Sandeen, The roots of fundamentalism.

C. Allyn Russell, The voices of American fundamentalism.

George M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Formation of Twentieth Century Evangelism, 1870-1925.

Bruce L. Shelley in “Evangelism”, Dictionary of Christianity in America, Daniel G. Reid, Robert D. Linder, Bruce L. Shelley, Harry S. Stout, editors.

RK Harrison, “Top Critic,” Evangelical Dictionary of Theology.

Joel A. Carpenter, “Fundamentalist Institutions and the Rise of Evangelical Protestantism, 1929-1942”, Church history 49.

About the Author

James Emery White is the founding and principal pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the assistant professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book After “I believe” is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookseller. To take advantage of a free Church & Culture blog subscription, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can browse past blogs in our archives and read the latest news on church and culture from around the world. Follow Dr White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @JamesEmeryWhite.

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President Ali’s religious belief sparked international goodwill – Teixeira – Demerara Waves Online News – Guyana https://aaimaustin.org/president-alis-religious-belief-sparked-international-goodwill-teixeira-demerara-waves-online-news-guyana/ https://aaimaustin.org/president-alis-religious-belief-sparked-international-goodwill-teixeira-demerara-waves-online-news-guyana/#respond Sun, 10 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/president-alis-religious-belief-sparked-international-goodwill-teixeira-demerara-waves-online-news-guyana/ Last updated on Sunday 10 October 2021, 16:02 by Denis Chabrol President Irfaan Ali President Irfaan Ali, being a Muslim, has obtained international support from the main countries of the Arab world, Governance Minister Gail Teixeira said on Sunday. Speaking to worshipers at a Hindu temple in Queens, New York, she stressed the value of […]]]>

Last updated on Sunday 10 October 2021, 16:02 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali

President Irfaan Ali, being a Muslim, has obtained international support from the main countries of the Arab world, Governance Minister Gail Teixeira said on Sunday.

Speaking to worshipers at a Hindu temple in Queens, New York, she stressed the value of the president’s religious persuasion in accessing much-needed help. “We recognize that President Ali is a Muslim and this has also brought us goodwill from the Middle East, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, etc. She said.

She said a 100-bed field hospital that had been donated by Qatar would soon be opened to help the public health sector cope with the growing number of people hospitalized with COVID-19.

The Guyanese government announced earlier this year that it would open embassies in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as part of a plan to expand its diplomatic presence in the Middle East.

Guyana’s initial purchase of over 200,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik vaccine came from Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum from the United Arab Emirates who visited Guyana in November 2020.

In addition to the support of Guyanese based overseas, she told the Hindu rally that major Western nations and regional and international organizations have all provided Guyana with “goodwill.”

The latest figures show that 62% of Guyanese have received a first dose of COVID vaccine and 36% a second dose. So far, the viral disease has claimed the lives of more than 800 Guyanese, the majority of whom were not vaccinated.

The United States has provided more than 200,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine for use in adolescents.

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What constitutes a sincere religious belief for the purposes of the vaccine mandate? https://aaimaustin.org/what-constitutes-a-sincere-religious-belief-for-the-purposes-of-the-vaccine-mandate/ https://aaimaustin.org/what-constitutes-a-sincere-religious-belief-for-the-purposes-of-the-vaccine-mandate/#respond Fri, 10 Sep 2021 10:48:12 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/what-constitutes-a-sincere-religious-belief-for-the-purposes-of-the-vaccine-mandate/ In Northern California, the pastor of a mega-church distributes religious exemption forms to worshipers. A New Mexico state senator “will help you formulate a religious exemption” by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of certain vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist is offering letters of exemption to anyone – for […]]]>

In Northern California, the pastor of a mega-church distributes religious exemption forms to worshipers. A New Mexico state senator “will help you formulate a religious exemption” by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of certain vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist is offering letters of exemption to anyone – for a suggested “donation” starting at $ 25.

With workplace vaccination warrants in sight, opponents are turning to a proven remedy to avoid a COVID-19 vaccine: the claim that vaccination interferes with religious beliefs.

No major denomination opposes vaccination. Even the Church of Christian Science, whose adherents rely heavily on prayer rather than medicine, does not impose official policy. He advises “respect for public health authorities and conscientious obedience to the laws of the country, including those requiring vaccination.”

And if a person claims their private religious beliefs prohibit vaccination, that defense is unlikely to stand up in court if challenged, according to legal experts. Although members of the clergy have ridden the anti-vaccine train, they have no obvious justification in religious texts for their positions. Many seem willing to meet the needs of people who reject vaccination for another reason.

Yet the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission gives wide latitude to what constitutes a sincere religious belief. As a result, some experts predict that most employers and administrators will not want to challenge such objections on the part of their employees.

“I have a feeling that not many people will want to fight over this topic,” said Dr. John Swartzberg, infectious disease expert and professor at the University of California-Berkeley.

The full approval by the Food and Drug Administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on August 23 could take the problem to a critical point. Many government agencies, healthcare providers, colleges and the military were waiting for this decision before implementing the warrants.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, major health systems were the first companies to implement warrants, giving workers until the end of the month to get vaccinated. The issue of the exemption is already a battleground, with Liberty Counsel threatening to sue the Methodist Health System for denying religious exemptions to at least four workers.

Health care

Religious freedom group targets mandate to vaccinate Methodist health system workers

Religious freedom group Liberty Counsel says the Dallas-based Methodist health care system illegally denied employees exemptions from its company-wide vaccination mandate when it rejected multiple requests. Florida-based Liberty Counsel, who has become a staunch opponent of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, said the vaccines all have links to aborted fetal cells and because of that, anyone with religious objections should benefit from an exemption.

California, which abolished non-medical exemptions for childhood immunizations in 2015, has paved the way for COVID immunization mandates. Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s July 26 order that state employees and healthcare workers be fully immunized or tested weekly was the first of its kind, as was a similar August 11 statement for all teachers and staff in public and private schools. . California State University’s 23-campus system has joined with UC in requiring vaccinations for all students and staff, and companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter have announced mandatory proof of vaccination employees for those who return to their offices.

The University of California is requiring proof of vaccination for all staff and students on its 10 campuses, a move that potentially affects half a million people. But like many other companies, it makes room for those who wish to apply for an exemption “for medical, disability or religious reasons”, adding that the law requires it.

Nothing in the story suggests that a large number of students or staff will seek such a solution – but then, no previous conversation about the vaccine has been as overtly politicized as the one around COVID.

“This country is going to issue warrants. It’s just. All other alternatives have been tried, ”said Dr Monica Gandhi, infectious disease expert at UC-San Francisco. “This phrase, ‘religious exemption,’ is very big. But it will be quite difficult in the current climate – in a mass health crisis, with a vaccine in place that works – to drop such religious claims. “

Indeed, while anti-vaccine pop-up churches have long offered reluctant parents ways to exempt their children from vaccines, nowadays churches, internet-based religious businesses and others seem to be offering wholesale. COVID vaccination exemptions.

Dr. Gregg Schmedes, Republican state senator and otolaryngologist from New Mexico, used a Facebook post on August 19 to direct healthcare workers “with a religious belief that abortion is immoral To a site that attempts to catalog the use of cells from abortions. fetus to test or produce various COVID vaccines. A vaccine distributed in the United States, the Johnson & Johnson product, is made from a cell culture obtained in part from retinal cells from an aborted fetus in 1985.

Still, the Vatican has deemed it “morally acceptable” to be vaccinated against COVID. In fact, Pope Francis has declared it “the moral choice because it is about your life but also about the lives of others”. In a growing number of dioceses – Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York, among others – bishops have asked priests and deacons not to sign any letter that lends the church’s imprimatur to a request for religious exemption. .

Schmedes did not respond to questions posed by KHN via email.

Signs about freedom of choice and the offer of other messages were fully displayed during the protest outside Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas on August 7, 2021.

In the town of Rocklin, in the Sacramento area, a church that openly defied Newsom’s COVID shutdown orders last year distributed hundreds of exemption letters. Greg Fairrington, pastor of the Destiny Christian Church, told attendees at a church service, “No one should be able to demand that you get vaccinated or lose your job. It’s not fair here in America.

EEOC guidelines suggest that employers make “reasonable accommodation” to those who have a sincere religious objection to a workplace rule. This may mean moving an unvaccinated employee to a secluded part of the office, or from a forward-facing position to one that involves less people-to-people contact. But the employer is not required to do anything that results in undue hardship or more than a “de minimis” cost.

As to the objection itself, the committee’s opinion is vague. Employers “should normally assume that an employee’s request for religious accommodation is based on a sincere religious belief,” says the EEOC. Employers have the right to request supporting documentation, but employees’ religious beliefs should not depend on specific or organized faith.

The distinction between religion and ideology is blurring among those who seek exemptions. In Turlock, Calif., A preschool teacher received a letter of exemption from her pastor, who offered the documents to those who felt taking a vaccine was “morally compromising.”

Asked by KHN via a direct message why she requested the exemption, the woman said she did not feel comfortable being vaccinated because of “what’s in the vaccine,” then added, “Personally, I’m on ‘COVID’ and the control the government is trying to implement on us!” Like other exemption seekers, even those who have posted in anti-vaccine Facebook groups, she was concerned that other people would know that she had requested an exemption.

A surgical technician working at Dignity Health, who ordered her employees to be fully immunized by November 1, said she was awaiting a response from the company’s human resources department on her request for a religious exemption. She freely explained her reasons for applying, referring to two passages from the Bible and listing the ingredients of the vaccines that she said are “harmful to the human body.” But she didn’t want anyone to know that she had requested the religious exemption.

A state’s right to require vaccination is a law established since a 1905 Supreme Court ruling that upheld mandatory smallpox vaccination in Massachusetts. Legal experts say this right has been upheld on several occasions, including in a 1990 Supreme Court ruling that religiously motivated actions are not isolated from laws, unless a law designates religion for disadvantaged treatment. In August, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett refused, without comment, to challenge Indiana University’s rule that all students, staff and faculty should be vaccinated.

“Under current law, it is clear that no religious exemption is required,” Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC-Berkeley law school, told KHN.

Clearly, that doesn’t stop people from looking for one.

This story was written by Mark Kreidler of Kaiser Santé news, which publishes California Health Line, an editorially independent service of the California Healthcare Foundation.

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