08/29/2014 SYRIA - UNITED NATIONS
UN warns of 3 million Syrian refugees, "the world's largest humanitarian emergency"
Almost half of the people forced to leave their homes since the conflict began in March 201. Lebanon is hosting the largest number of refugees, more than 1.1 million; other 6.5 million are internally displaced. The Islamic State has brought violence against civilians "to a new level" and hinders the distribution of aid.
Religious festival discriminates against the poor, Hindus should learn from Pope Francis
by Christopher Sharma
The festival of Teej is dedicated to women and is currently underway across the country. However, people continue to struggle against hunger and poverty as well as the effects of floods and landslides in the poorest districts of the country. Activists slam waste and selfishness among the rich. An expert on Hinduism warns that this way religion is emptied of its beliefs.
08/28/2014 IRAQ - ISLAM
The barbaric cruelty of the Caliphate puts Islam to the test
by Samir Khalil Samir
The bloodthirsty and dramatic violence of the Islamic State has met with lukewarm condemnation but above all the silence of the Muslim world. The causes: an education system that rejects critical thought in preference of memorization; a religion that paralyzes reason and intelligence (as Muslims themselves state). The hideous cruelty of the former Isis goes against the Koran and the life of Muhammad. But are the humus in which the violence "in the name of God" appears justified. Islam needs to be profoundly renewed through a radical transformation of the educational method.
Uttar Pradesh: Hindu radicals "reconvert" Christians, turn church into a temple dedicated to Shiva
by Nirmala Carvalho
Fundamentalists tore down the building's cross. Celebrating a "purification" ceremony, they put up a large portrait of Shiva. Tribals had converted to Christianity in 1995. For local Hindu leader, "It is not about conversion. They realised their mistake, came back and we welcomed them." A saddened Card Gracias reiterates the Christian mission in favour of the marginalised, whilst Sajan George warns, "violence against minorities goes unpunished in the state".
08/28/2014 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Netanyahu declares Gaza war a "victory” as criticism mounts in Israel
The Prime Minister hails the seven week conflict a success, because Hamas was "hit hard" and their requests have been denied. Analysts and members of the extreme right disavow government proclamations. No victory, tourism industry at its knees, risk of recession and reduced security.