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INDIANS WITH BIBLICAL ROOTS (Desicritics) - India has had resident Jewish communities for almost two millennia. These groups - the three broad, but distinct, Bene Israel, Cochini and Baghdadi, as well as the smaller Shinlung and some Muslim groups - all identify with the “Lost tribes of Israel”, and are pressing their claims to be recognized as such on the Israeli Government ... Full Article

SOMA THERO AND CHRISTMAS, by V.K. Moonesinghe, Sri Lanka, SARID
The demise of the Venerable Gangodawila Soma, a ‘Television Cleric’, a champion of the Sinhala-Buddhist (as opposed to the pristine Buddhist) cause, has seen an unprecedented (in the case of a clergyman) public display of emotion ... Full Article

 

Current Concerns

Items of topical interest relating to religion in South Asia.

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Time for "Enlightened Moderation," by Atta-ur-rahman and Anwar Nasim: The time has come for a renaissance in the Muslim world, for a new strategy of ‘enlightened moderation.’

India's Model: Faith, Secularism & Democracy, Open Democracy, November 3, 2004
Western variants of multiculturalism and secularism are being challenged by religious demands for public recognition of faith. Instead of reinventing the wheel, the world should learn from India, says Rajeev Bhargava.

India: The real Islam, Time, USA, July 26-August 2, 2004
A tale of two opposing visions of Islamic afterlife—one mystical, the other orthodox—in eternal conflict.

Religion, power and violence, Bossey Ecunemical Institute, June 8, 2004
Ram Puniyani's lecture at the consultation for inter-religious peace building.

Foe Isn't Islam, It's Binladenism
Whether we are American, Nigerian, Indonesian, or British, we look like them, we dress like them, we speak like them, and we pray like them. We cannot identify them before they strike. They hate us because we reject their ideology. They would kill us as ''infidels." We are Muslims. So are they. But they are terrorists and we are not. That is the distinction. This is where we must make our stand.

 

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