‘It’s fun – everyone is different’: the Jewish school that unites all faiths

At a primary school in London, children from Jewish, Muslim, Christian and no-faith backgrounds learn about cultural diversity and tolerance ‘through a Jewish lens’ Samuel’s favourite Jewish festival is Pesach, or Passover, which commemorates the exodus of Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The 10-year-old enjoys taking part in the seder, or ritual feast, which marks the start of the holiday. “The food is nice, and we sing songs and tell stories,” he said. This is unusual because Samuel comes from a Colombian Christian family. He and dozens of other non-Jewish children attend an orthodox Jewish school in north London, where he wears a kippah, learns Hebrew and says Jewish prayers day. Continue reading… Original Article : HERE

The Brighton jihadists: bullied brothers who went into battle

What drove a gang of football-loving British teenagers to fight in Syria? In his powerful new book, No Return, award-winning journalist Mark Townsend pieces together their tragic story Much has been written about Britons who fought in Syria, but little truly explains who these characters were, what made them tick. Or what actually happened when they disappeared into the byzantine politics of its brutal war. No Return tracks five teenage friends from Brighton who stepped into its chaos. All were killed except one. The survivor, Amer Deghayes, is the longest-serving Briton in Syria since the fighting began and offers a unique account of a ceaseless, shifting conflict. Equally crucial are those he left behind. I learned that more than 30 …

Islamophobia and racism aren’t restricted to a few Tories and far-right thugs | Omar Khan

As long as we think individuals are to blame, we ignore the bigotry and racial stereotyping entrenched in British society Racism isn’t much understood in Britain in 2020. Exhibit A is Trevor Phillips suggesting that because “Muslims are not a race”, there is no such thing as anti-Muslim racism. Phillips has been suspended from the Labour party for alleged Islamophobia, but his line of thinking is common. Many have tried over the decades to explain why it isn’t right, and not just when it comes to Islamophobia. Of course Muslims are not a “race”, but they have been racialised. This means people who are Muslim are treated by particular societies as having essential characteristics that mark them as wholly different. …

Ernesto Cardenal obituary

Poet and priest who mixed religion and politics in his commitment to social justice in Nicaragua In 1983 ministers of the revolutionary Sandinista government lined up on the tarmac to welcome Pope John Paul II on his first visit to Nicaragua. Moments later, TV cameras showed the pontiff wagging a finger at the kneeling Ernesto Cardenal, priest and minister of culture, admonishing him for mixing religion and politics. But for Cardenal, who has died aged 95, there was no distinction between the two. His beliefs as a Roman Catholic growing up in Central America in the 1940s and 50s led him to seek social justice in a country that had for many years suffered under the dynastic rule of the …

‘Dead Sea Scrolls fragments’ at Museum of the Bible are all fakes, study says

Washington museum hired experts to examine purchases from controversial Post-2002 collection When Steve Green paid millions of dollars from his family fortune for 16 fragments of the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls, it seemed the perfect addition to their new Museum of the Bible in Washington DC. But now experts have confirmed what has long been suspected: the artefacts proudly displayed in the nations capital by the owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of stores are not part of one of the most significant archaeological finds of all time. They are worthless forgeries, probably made from old shoe leather. Confirmation of the hoax came in a was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The experts spent six months analyzing each fragment, …

How the killing of an abusive father by his daughters fuelled Russia’s culture wars

The long read: The notorious case of three teenage sisters inspired a campaign for change and a backlash from the patriarchy At about 3pm on 27 July 2018, the day of his death, Mikhail Khachaturyan scolded his three teenage daughters, Krestina, Angelina and Maria. The apartment they shared in a Soviet-era housing block near the huge ring road that encircles Moscow was a mess, he told them, and they would pay for having left it that way. A large, irascible man in his late 50s with a firm Orthodox faith, Khachaturyan had run his household despotically since he allegedly forced his wife to leave in 2015. That afternoon, his daughters would later tell investigators, he punished them in his customary …

‘This spirituality liberates you’: Sufi superstar Abida Parveen set to transport Melbourne

The devotional singer is known to move audiences to a higher plane. Meeting her in Melbourne, Ben Eltham writes, time went all bendy and loose Sufi superstar Abida Parveen a giant of world music is an arresting presence. Dressed in flowing robes and scarf, her hair a mass of handsome dark curls, she seems to carry a little bubble of grace around with her despite being anchored by pink sneakers. Best known for her command of the ghazal, kafi and qawwali classic forms of Sufi music and poetry the colossal artistic stature of Parveen in her homeland of Pakistan is hard to convey for the western reader. As in 2005, you could find entire neighbourhoods, possibly towns, in Pakistan where …

The multimillion-dollar Christian group attacking LGBTQ+ rights

Alliance Defending Freedom reportedly got $55m in donations in 2018 and has lawyers worldwide working against LGBTQ+ people A group of about two dozen people, mostly women, stood on the steps of the Connecticut capitol on a New England winter day with signs reading Protect Womens Sports and #FairPlay. In front stood Christiana Holcomb, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative Christian legal group representing three cis teen girls in a lawsuit filed this month demanding two transgender teen girls be barred from competing in the female high school sports division. Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field and the Connecticut policy now allows males to compete in the girls category if they identify as female, Holcomb …

Deliver Us, Lord, From the Startup Life

Related Stories Can the American Heartland Remake Itself in the Image of Silicon Valley? One Startup Finds Out Inside the First Church of Artificial Intelligence Business Gideon Lewis-Kraus In 2008, as he was contemplating leaving his first company, Reynolds set aside a few months “to sit still.” During his hiatus, he went with a friend to a Sunday service at Cincinnati's Crossroads Church—which was, at the time, a megachurch of about 9,000 members. Sitting in the back row of the cavernous auditorium, Reynolds felt something igniting inside him. “You could tell there was something extremely creative and entrepreneurial happening in that church,” he remembers. It occurred to him that if he could somehow incorporate his budding faith into his next …

Why Los Angeles is Scientology’s perfect city an illustrated guide

The church of Scientology has buildings around the world, but none compare to those in Americas city of dreams. So why is LA so important to Scientology? www.nakedfella.com as well as via Instagram Follow Guardian Cities on Facebook and our best stories or sign up for our Original Article : HERE ;

Fighting antisemitism is at the heart of the lefts struggle against oppression | Bernie Sanders

The antisemites threatening us dont just hate Jews. They hate the idea of multiracial democracy and political equality, says US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders On 27 October, we marked one year since the worst antisemitic attack in American history, when a white nationalist walked into the bomb one of the states oldest synagogues. This wave of violence is the result of a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America. We have to be clear that while antisemitism is a threat to Jews everywhere, it is also a threat to democratic governance itself. The antisemites who Jewish Currents, an award-winning publication of politics, arts and culture

132,000 descendants of expelled Jews apply for Spanish citizenship

Application deadline passes under law designed to atone for 15th-century historical wrong More than 132,000 descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain in the late 15th century have applied for Spanish citizenship under a law intended to make amends for the mass exile. The law, introduced four years ago, was designed to similar law was approved in Portugal in 2015 to atone for the expulsions from that part of the Iberian peninsula. There is no possibility to amend what was done, the Portuguese government said at the time, adding that the law represented an attribution of a right. Brexit has fuelled a huge increase in the Jewish Community of Oporto which, along with the Lisbon Jewish community, certifies applicants said …

Piety & Power review: how Mike Pence went all-in for Donald Trump

The VP brought the evangelicals to the table but not much else. As impeachment clouds gather, his position seems in peril Mike Pence, meet Dan Quayle. Like Pence, Quayle hailed from Indiana and feared being dumped by a president whose re-election seemed uncertain. In Quayles case, George HW Bush calculated that the cost of unloading his gaffe-prone and draft-avoiding veep outweighed any potential advantage. Quayle kept his spot. Bush lost to Bill Clinton. Pences prospects appear similarly shaky. With Trump trailing in the polls and facing impeachment the result is neither hit job nor hagiography. Rather, the veteran Pence-watcher portrays his subject as a committed Christian with sharp elbows and a sonorous voice, one who has struggled with the tugs …

Texas officer who made headlines for his turban and beard killed in traffic stop

Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal was one of the first to wear the traditional Sikh articles of faith as part of his uniform A Texas police officer who made headlines for being one of the first to wear traditional articles of faith as part of his uniform was killed during a routine traffic stop on Friday. Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, a sheriffs deputy in Harris county, which includes Houston, died after a suspect appeared to ambush him and shoot him in the back of the head. The alleged shooter, Robert Solis, 47, was arrested and charged with capital murder. Although it was not immediately clear what punishment prosecutors would seek, Texas is a death penalty state. Im sad to share with you that …

‘Jewface’ row: West End musical accused of cultural appropriation

Jewish actors and playwrights criticise Falsettos for using non-Jews to play Jewish roles A West End musical about a Jewish family is at the centre of a row over cultural appropriation, with critics saying the lack of Jewish involvement in the production is typical of an industry that sidelines talent from the community. Falsettos, which is coming to London an open letter, which said the producers demonstrated a startling lack of cultural sensitivity and at worst, overt appropriation and erasure of a culture and religion increasingly facing a crisis. To the best of our knowledge, no one in the cast of the UK premiere is Jewish, and neither is the director or anyone on the team, the letter stated. The …

Extreme abortion laws shine light on Trump’s courting of religious right

Evangelical backing for a thrice-married celebrity is not as odd as it seems: on abortion, the supreme court and more, the president has delivered win after win After bowing his head in prayer, King Cyrus, deeply flawed men who nevertheless carried out Gods will. David Barker, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, suggests Christian evangelicals start with an assumption of human depravity that sets expectations low, so Trumps lying and philandering and Twitter rage and can be overlooked. Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, Barker also noted the parallel between Christian nationalism and white nationalism over Trumps 2016 election slogan, Make America great again. He said: While it is certainly true, …

The Guardian view on religious freedom: protect believers | Editorial

Editorial: Across much of the world, millions of people are persecuted for their beliefs The massacre in churches in Sri Lanka forms part of a global pattern of religious persecution and hostility. To target Christian churches on their holiest day of the year is not only an attempt to kill as many families as possible, but also to maximise the shock and demoralising effect of the attack, a tactic familiar from the sectarian wars in Iraq. If this atrocity was perpetrated by jihadis, as seems likely, it is also an attempt to bring about a clash of civilisations. This is not the pattern of most religiously inspired murder, not least because it is an assault by a minority on a …

Western powers using Christianity to ‘subvert’ China, says religious official

Head of state-sanctioned Protestant churches in China says anti-China forces in the west are trying to interfere with social stability The head of Chinas state-sanctioned Protestant church has claimed that western forces are trying to use Christianity to influence society and subvert the government, saying that Chinese Christians needed to follow a Chinese model of the religion. Chinas constitution guarantees religious freedom, but since President Xi Jinping took office six years ago, the government has tightened restrictions on religions seen as a challenge to the authority of the ruling Communist party. The government has deradicalisation programme in its restive far western region of Xinjiang has also caused widespread opprobrium in western capitals and amongst rights groups, who say authorities have …