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A Reader Writes (Sept. / Oct. 2014): Myanmar's Draft Bills Will Foster A Nation of One Religion and One Ethnicity

Each issue, we chat with readers of Facing Fundamentalisms and share a brief summary of events relating to the use of religion, tradition, culture to perpetuate human rights violations. (If you would like to be featured in this space, please write to us at!)


Spotlight (Sept. / Oct. 2014): Women’s Rights Activists Resist Myanmar’s Proposed ‘Law on Protection of Race and Religion’

Last March, Myanmar’s President established a committee to draft laws aimed at protecting ‘national race and religion’. An alliance of influential Buddhist monks - from the religious nationalist movements 969 and the Association of Protection of Race and Religion (Mabatha)[i]- lobbied for the enactment of the laws via a petition that was eventually signed by approximately 4 million people.


Thailand: Community-Based Human Rights Defenders at Risk of Violence and Eviction by Local Law Enforcement and Paramilitary

A group of eight men urged the inhabitants of the village of Khlong Sai Pattana to leave the area within seven days.


Azerbaijani Journalist Fears Arrest As Part Of Continuing Crackdown

An Azerbaijani investigative journalist has been told that she faces arrest upon her return to Baku from a trip to meet with members of the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg.


Supreme Court Declines to Review Same-Sex Marriage Cases

The Supreme Court on Monday decided not to review rulings that cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Virginia , Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin, a surprising decision that shows the court is comfortable with the expansion of such unions throughout the nation.


National Congregations Study Finds More Church Acceptance of Gays and Lesbians

A new survey of American religious congregations conducted by researchers from Duke University and the University of Chicago finds that, in recent years, more churches have become welcoming to openly gay and lesbian couples. 


Can Muslim Women Wear a Headscarf at Work in Germany?

Germany’s constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. But Muslim women often have to defend themselves in court when they want to wear a headscarf at work.


Thousands Demonstrate in France to Defend "Traditional Family Values"

Thousands of people took to the streets in Paris and Bordeaux to demonstrate against medically assisted procreation techniques for lesbian couples and surrogacy.


Six Days: Three Activists, Three Wars, One Dream

This inspiring documentary, which follows three brave human rights defenders in Liberia, Abkhazia, Georgia and Iraq over six days, gives insight into the everyday struggle to improve the situation of women worldwide. 


Promoting the Global Secular Alternative in the ISIS Era

While many of us watch in horror as ISIS advances, and fundamentalist ideas spread across religious traditions around the world, Maryam Namazie and Marieme Hélie-Lucas - secular feminists from Iran and Algeria - told Karima Bennoune why they are convening the International Secular Conference in London this week.



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