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V.S. Naipaul on Islam
Posted on 2001/11/3 22:47:02 ( 645 reads )


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TRINIDAD, November 1, 2001: When asked about whether he was surprised by Osama bin Laden's support in Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran, V.S. Naipaul, Nobel-prize winning author commented, "No, because these are the converted peoples of Islam, these are the people who are not Arabs. Part of the neurosis of the convert is that he always has to prove himself. He has to be more royalist than the king, as the French say." When asked if this is what he refers to when he writes about Islam's imperial drive to extend its reach and root out the unbeliever, he answered, "Yes. It is not the unbeliever as the other person so much as the remnant of the unbeliever in one's customs and in one's ways of thinking. It's this wish to destroy the past, the ancient soul, the unregenerate soul. This is the great neurosis of the converted." The interview can be read in it's entirety at source given above.




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Banned Gujarat Cotton Enters Market
Posted on 2001/11/3 22:46:02 ( 682 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 1, 2001: More than half the genetically modified "bt cotton" grown illegally over thousands of acres in Gujarat is suspected to have entered the market. The company which sold the seeds to Gujarat farmers has also sold the same seed to farmers in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. If Indian farmers completely adopt this seed for cotton which generates its own pesticide, and do not follow the guidelines required in the US for its use, insects will rapidly develop resistance to it.




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U.S. Army Fields Portable Worship Center
Posted on 2001/11/2 22:49:02 ( 621 reads )


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USA, October 27, 2001: A little-known weapon in the U.S. Army's arsenal is a mobile house of worship that could be called "The Stealth Sanctuary," according to a report by smh.com of Australia. The "containerized chapel" can be dropped from a cargo plane and within six hours be transformed into a multi-denominational religious center serving Christians, Jews and Muslims. "Removed from its storage container and assembled, it is 20 meters long and seats 100. It has its own altar power supply, electronic piano and a digital hymnal." It's all in a day's work for Natick Labs, the scientific center that develops high-tech products for the military. "We like to say that we not only take care of the soldier's body, but of his spirit," said Ben Richardson, the chaplain at Natick Labs, who helped develop the chapel. "It's true that there are no atheists in foxholes."




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Lego Halts Use of Some Names for Toys
Posted on 2001/11/2 22:48:02 ( 649 reads )


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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND, October 30, 2001: Danish toy maker Lego has agreed to halt production of a range of toys based on ethnic cultures after protests about its use of indigenous Maori names for some toys. Lego senior executive Brian Soerensen has just returned to Denmark after meeting Maori lawyers in Auckland where he acknowledged that Lego had used Maori words in its Bionicle range of toys. "Lego have made a decision to withdraw from the market any future production of Bionicle toys based on Maori knowledge, or indigenous knowledge from any other culture, out of respect for the issues that we've raised with them," said Maui Solomon who represents Maori claimants arguing for greater protection for Maori intellectual property. Lego is not withdrawing any of the current products, but won't make new ones. The products included spiritual people called Tohunga (Maori for priest), face masks called Kanohi (face), a stone warrior called Pohatu (stone) and a tunneling character called Whenua (earth). The case is similar to one a few years ago where Matchbox Toys included several Hindu Deities amongst there "Monster in My Pocket" toy collection which were withdrawn after complaints from UK Hindus.




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Inner-City Students Get "Om Schooling" in Yoga
Posted on 2001/11/2 22:47:02 ( 661 reads )


Source: Los Angeles Times





CALIFORNIA, October 30, 2001: "We can be grateful we are here in such a safe place," Hatha Yoga instructor Tara Guber says in a soothing tone. "We can be happy to be here together to stretch, let our bodies open and our minds be set free, so that perhaps when we leave our yoga class we can move into another mind-set. More at peace with ourselves and others." This is what Yoga Journal calls "Om Schooling." Here at the Accelerated School in Los Angeles, a high-performing campus that serves kindergarten through eighth grade, Guber is giving brainy underprivileged children a head start in high-end hatha. Guber is not America's only yoga apostle. Pro bono yogis across the country are teaching yoga to prisoners, pregnant teenagers, people in halfway houses and at Boys and Girls clubs. Guber even invited one of South-Central's yoga-baptized gang members to detail his newfound inner peace at a symposium. "This is their birthright too," Guber said. "Consciousness is for everybody."




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Court Won't Review Virginia Silence Law
Posted on 2001/11/2 22:46:02 ( 679 reads )


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WASHINGTON DC, October 29, 2001: The US Supreme Court, confronting again the vexing issue of school prayer, rejected a challenge Monday to a state law requiring students to observe a daily minute of silence. The court did not comment in turning down an appeal from opponents who claim Virginia's minute of silence is an unconstitutional government encouragement of classroom prayer in public schools. The state says the minute of silence does not violate the separation of church and state, because children may meditate or stare out the window for 60 seconds if they choose, so long as they are quiet. The court's action means the daily minute of silence will continue, and opponents are left with no immediate options to challenge it.




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Salvation Army Ranks as Top US Charity for Ninth Consecutive Year
Posted on 2001/10/29 22:49:02 ( 584 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, October 29, 2001: The Chronicle of Philanthropy's list of the nation's leading charities reports the Salvation Army raised US$1.44 billion in 2000, an increase of 3.1 percent since 1999, making it the number one charity. Overall, the top U.S. charities saw donations increase 13 percent from 1999 to 2000. The Philanthropy 400 survey ranks 400 of the nation's largest nonprofits by the amount of money they raise from private sources. Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund was ranked second and the YMCA was ranked third. Other than the Salvation Army, several religiously oriented charities were among the top 25 in the ranking. Lutheran Services in America ranked fifth, with $710 million. Catholic Charities USA ranked No. 13, with $414 million. Feed the Children, a Christian relief organization based in Oklahoma City, ranked 16th with $396 million. World Vision, a Christian relief organization based in Federal Way, Wash., ranked No. 17, with $372 million. Habitat for Humanity International ranked No. 18, with $371 million. Campus Crusade for Christ International ranked No. 21, with $326 million. The Salvation Army has an intensive program aimed at being designated in wills. This long-term strategy has greatly increased their income.




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Expert Says Roots of Terrorism Found in Home Environment
Posted on 2001/10/29 22:48:02 ( 594 reads )


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SWITZERLAND, October 29, 2001: Alice Miller, a 1986 recipient of the Janusz Korczak Literary Award by the Anti-Defamation League, has sought to find answers to the tragedy of terrorism and the people who perpetrate it. She believes, "On the basis of the research I have done into the childhood histories of the most ruthless dictators, like Hitler, Stalin, Mao or Ceaucescu, terrorism in general and the recent horrifying attacks on the United States are a macabre but precise demonstration of what happens to millions and millions of children the world over in the name of good parenting." She adds that "nobody comes to the world with the wish to destroy. Every newborn, independently from the culture, religion or ethnic origins needs to love, be loved, protected, and respected. This is his biological design. If he is maltreated by the cruel upbringing he will develop the very strong wish to take revenge. He will be driven to destroy others or himself but only by his history and never by inborn genes. The suppression and subsequent denial of early rage that often ends up in hatred with an endless number of ideologies." Miller resides in Switzerland and hosts a website www.alice-miller.com where her readers can share their experiences with others.




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Prime Minister's Visit to Famed Somnath Temple Going Live on the Web
Posted on 2001/10/29 22:47:02 ( 679 reads )


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GUJARAT, INDIA, October 30, 2001: The visit of India's Prime Minister to the Somnath Temple tomorrow is scheduled to be broadcast on the Internet at "source" above. The exact time is not given on the site.




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Third Seminar on Ayurveda to be Held in February 2002
Posted on 2001/10/28 22:49:02 ( 603 reads )


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JAMNAGAR, GUJARAT, October 28, 2001: The Gujarat Ayurved University is organizing the 3rd International Seminar on Ayurveda during February 3 - 5, 2002, at Jamnagar. The scientific program during the seminar will comprise workshops on Internationally Acceptable Ayurvedic Education and on the Development of Herbal Drug Resources, a global viewpoint. Seminars on the Quality Improvement of Ayurvedic Drugs and Formulations and on Rasayana Therapy will also be a part of the program. There will be a demonstration of Traditional and Tribal Healing Practices. Gujarat Ayurved University is the only statutory University all over the world exclusively devoted to ayurvedic studies and research. For more information on enrollment and seminar registration, write to source above.




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Deo Kernahan Writes Chapter on Hinduism
Posted on 2001/10/28 22:48:02 ( 867 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today, Paras Ramoutar





ONTARIO, CANADA, October 28, 2001: A Trinidadian, Deo Kernahan, former teacher of Montrose Vedic School and also a former principal of a Borough of Etobicoke Public High School, has been selected by the Government of Ontario Ministry of Education to write a chapter on Hinduism in a book entitled, "World Religions" printed by Oxford University Press. Mr. Kernahan, in a telephone interview from his Etobicoke home, told Paras Ramoutar that the assignment was "a great honor for me, Hindus in Canada, and most of all for the people of Trinidad and Tobago". "World Religions" surveys the history, beliefs, philosophy and issues of each religion. The publication is designed for university-bound students, religious thinkers and scholars in Religion and Philosophy. Mr. Kernahan is a co-founder and past president of the Canadian Council of Hindus, and is now vice-president of the Hindu Institute of Learning.




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Mad Cowboy: Story of the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat
Posted on 2001/10/28 22:47:02 ( 618 reads )


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USA, October 29, 2001: When the Seattle Times book review raved about "a stunning example of a true insider -- in this case, a fourth-generation Montana cattle rancher -- turning the tables on a bloated industry he once embraced," they were referring to the book "Mad Cowboy" by Howard Lyman. Lyman investigated the use of chemicals in agriculture after developing a spinal tumor that nearly paralyzed him and penned the revelatory book about the beef industry that prompted a group of Texas cattlemen to file a lawsuit charging Lyman with "food disparagement." Now a vegetarian, he blasts through the propaganda of beef and dairy interests and the government agencies that protect them, to expose an animal-based diet as the primary cause of cancer, heart disease and obesity in this country. He warns that the livestock industry is repeating the mistakes that led to Mad Cow disease in England while simultaneously causing serious damage to the environment. He tells the whole truth about the catastrophic consequences of an animal-based diet. Lyman is well aware of what goes into our livestock -- high doses of pesticides, growth hormone and the ground-up remains of other animals. On a plant-based diet, he shed 130 pounds and lowered his cholesterol by more than 150 points. "Mad Cowboy" is both an inspirational story of personal transformation and a convincing call to action for a plant-based diet - for the good of the planet and the health of us all. Click "source" above to go to Amazon.com to read more reviews.




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Durga Puja Festivities Kicked Off in Paris
Posted on 2001/10/27 22:49:02 ( 633 reads )


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PARIS, FRANCE, October 23, 2001: The most important religious event for Bengali Hindus, Durga Puja, is underway here with traditional fervor and gaiety. The Puja is being hosted at the Maison de l'Inde in southern Paris. The four-day event has been organized by a leading Bengali organization, Sammilani, and starts every morning with regular prayers. The festival, also known as the Autumn Festival, began Monday evening with the "Bodhon," or "Pran Pratishtha," prayer that signifies life in the statue of Durga, marking the beginning of the festivities. Nearly 50 Bengali families from Paris and its suburbs attended the opening. The director of Maison de l'Inde, Bikas Sanyal, says this year the Durga Puja has a very special meaning due to the events that are currently taking place around the world. "Durga herself was created to fight and drive away the demons who conquered the gods and occupied the heaven. Today, we need another Durga to fight the demon of terrorism," says Sanyal.




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RSS Chief Calls for Scriptural Reinterpretation
Posted on 2001/10/27 22:48:02 ( 730 reads )


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NEW DELHI, October 26, 2001: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief, K. S. Sudarshan, asked Muslims and Christians to "snatch the initiative from the fundamentalists in their communities," "re-interpret" their scriptures in keeping with the modern world by paying attention to those verses which preached tolerance and goodwill. He also defended the government's moves to change school textbooks. The communists had "surreptitiously infiltrated into academic institutions" over the years and "purged history textbooks" of all aspects which would have aroused patriotism and self-esteem, he said.




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Is Yoga Good for You?
Posted on 2001/10/27 22:47:02 ( 600 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, October 27, 2001: When Shri K Pattabhi Jois, the foremost exponent of Ashtanga yoga, visited London this month hundreds of people flocked to his classes. His technique, which is the most vigorous form of yoga, has become increasingly popular throughout the Western world. Jois, who still teaches daily at his research institute in Mysore, India, said that yoga is mind medicine. "Ashtanga yoga is helping many people throughout the world to balance the mental, physical and spiritual pressures and stresses posed by the modern world we live in today," he said. The basic premise of Ashtanga yoga is that it produces an intense internal heat through synchronizing movement with breathing while practicing a set sequence of postures. Pattabhi Jois says that this heat purifies the muscles and organs, expelling unwanted toxins as well as releasing beneficial hormones and minerals which can nourish the body when the sweat is absorbed back into the skin.




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