Society & Culture

UNESCO Urges School "Empathy" Assessments

April 9, 2014

The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization ("UNESCO") has encouraged schools in Asia to implement a "Learning to Live Together" assessment of students' "empathy, tolerance, communication and concern for the environment."

Muslim Rights Activists Protest Islamophobia in France

April 2, 2014

Muslim activists joined human rights activists to protest the 10th anniversary of France's ban on wearing the hijab in public places, arguing that such laws are Islamophobic.

UN Sends Rapporteur on Violence Against Women to U.K.

April 2, 2014

The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo will visit the U.K. to investigate physical abuse of women, both in private settings and by U.K. government officials.

Children Drawn into Violence Between Bahrain's Battling Islamists

March 26, 2014

International human rights organizations are warning about the growing involvement of children, both as perpetrators and victims of violence, in the ongoing Shia-Sunni sectarian violence over political liberalization in Bahrain.

Iranian Fatwa Opens Debates on Islamism and Reproduction

March 19, 2014

A fatwa by Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, permitting cutting-edge reproductive technologies, is generating an intense debate between Sunni and Shia Islamists over religion and reproduction that many experts say could transform the demography and cultural attitudes of Islamists around the world.

UN Expert Supports Transforming Global Food System

March 12, 2014

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Olivier de Schutter has called for countries to shift the world agriculture system from a profit-making mechanism toward "alternative, democratically-mandated visions" and to ensure that intellectual property rights relating to food are compatible with human rights.

Jihadis in Syria Demand Christians Conform to Islamic Precepts for Infidels

March 12, 2014

The radical extremist group, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant ("ISIL"), as part of its jihad campaign to establish sharia in Syria, is now demanding that Christians in Syria submit to the Ottoman Islamist concept of dhimmitude, which imposes onerous taxes and limitations on religious and civil freedoms on the basis of second-class, infidel status.

Islamist Feuds in Libya Highlight Democracy Challenges

March 5, 2014

The complex democratization process in post-Qadaffi Libya is facing serious challenges from the feuds between sharia-supported Islamists of the powerful Fatwa Council controlled by the Libyan Grand Mufti versus the National Transitional Council pushing for a political order recognizing Libya's religious and social pluralism.

UNESCO Promotes Right to "Social Justice"

March 5, 2014

On the UN's "World Day of Social Justice," the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization ("UNESCO") called for "the reduction of the privileges of global economic and financial players" to ensure the recognition of governments' responsibilities, including through "accountability mechanisms," to provide for the economic well-being of their citizens.

Female University Student's Death Because of Gender Rules Sparks Social Media Debate in Saudi Arabia

March 5, 2014

Saudi citizens are resorting to social media sites to express outrage over Islamic rules about draconian gender segregation, in the wake of a female university student who died of a heart attack when male paramedics were impeded from access to treat the woman.

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