Religion Rundown: 11/10/2012 – 11/16/2012

Posted on November 16, 2012 by


On Saturday, November 10th, Murgan Salem al-Gohary, a jihadist and Islamic leader, pushed Muslims to “destroy the idols in Egypt”. These idols refer specifically to the Giza Pyramids and Great Sphinx. Murgan told the news that Mohammed was told by God to destroy idols, and he used these words to urge Muslims to take action. The vice president of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, who pointed out that Mohammed destroyed idols that people worshiped, but the Giza Pyramids and Great Sphinx are not worshiped, challenged Murgan’s views. Egyptian officials are taking this call for destruction very seriously and are taking action towards preventing any illegal activity.


This week, millions of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights. During this festival, people light candles, set off fireworks, and often give gifts to their families and communities. This festival is one of India’s largest, celebrating “the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.” Homes and shops are decorated with lights. In addition, people consider the time during this festival as a favorable time to purchase things such as homes, cars, etc. because all of this festival happens to honor Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

On Tuesday November 13th, the Dalai Lama spoke out against China and how they’ve been handling the issue of self-immolations that has been quite significant recently. In the span of six days, eight self-immolations were reported in the Tibetan region of China. China believes that the Dalai Lama glorifies these self-immolations, but the Dalai Lama spoke out differently. He wants the Chinese to investigate the causes of these self-immolations because he believes Communist officials that see Buddhist culture as threatening are playing a part in causing them. He also blames the extreme religious restrictions the Chinese put over Tibetans for causing desperation that may lead to these self-immolations. So far, still nothing has been done in response to the Dalai Lama’s expressed concern.

Also on Tuesday, a radical Islamist that prosecutors called a “key Al Qaeda operative” was released from prison. Britain’s government has been trying to deport this man, Abu Qatada, to Jordan since 2001. The judge ruling on the case claimed he couldn’t be sure Abu would receive a fair trial. One point this judge made was that evidence gotten from torture of Abu might be used against him, which would be against his human rights. Abu must now have a sixteen hour curfew, cannot use the internet or contact specific people, and wears an electronic anklet.

Within the past week, Haris Tarin, a Washington representative of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, has been very busy. Speaking in Washington D.C. about strategies for the president to fight violent Islamic extremism and launching an ad campaign on buses to support religious tolerance are among the many things he has been up to. Tarin was quoted as saying, “We want to ensure that American Muslims are seen as an integral part of the American identity. We want to be seen as partners, not suspects.” Overall, Tarin has been quite a leader within the last week with all of the discussions he has been able to open up about Islam through his acts.

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