Religion, out of place?

Brazil is seen as a country of diverse and profound faith. But though religion is an important reference point in the lives of the population, the extent of religious diversity in this sprawling country is not nearly so pervasive as belief itself. Though globally, the image of Brazil is connected to […]

Pakistani lessons in relativism

Since the dramatic killing of Osama bin Laden, Pakistan is increasingly in the news. According to the bulletins, it is the land which may yet fall into the hands of absolutists, terrorist fundamentalists. I understand what the reporters mean, of course. However, I also smile at the irony. My visit […]

The Arab Spring and Europe’s turn

Until now, and with few exceptions, the West has nurtured two distinct communities of foreign-policy specialists: the development community and the democratic community. More often than not, they have had little or no connection with one another: development specialists dealt comfortably with dictatorships and democracies alike, believing that prosperity can […]

The message from Benghazi

The birth of a democracy is beautiful, but it isn’t always pretty. Muammar Gaddafi starved Benghazi of money, so it was a drab city even before the current uprising. Now the clutter of revolution makes it look even more dishevelled. But just as the drabness fed defiance, so the clutter […]

Gaddafi not prepared to leave Libya – Zuma

South African President Jacob Zuma meeting with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Monday. Man at centre is an unidentified official. Photo: AFP/South African Government /Ntswe Mokoena Muammar Gaddafi will not leave Libya despite growing international pressure and intensified strikes on his regime, the South African presidency said yesterday after mediation […]

Tough challenges facing Church in Malta

Editorial: The outcome of Saturday’s referendum, when the majority of voters supported the formal introduction of divorce, and what the bishops had to say in their note issued just as voting stopped show that the Church in Malta is faced with a number of significant and urgent challenges that cannot […]

Malta votes ‘Yes’ in divorce referendum

Malta has voted “Yes” in a non-binding referendum on legalising divorce, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi has conceded, local media report. Almost three-quarters of the electorate voted on Saturday on whether divorce should be introduced in Malta. A majority Catholic country, Malta is the only EU country not to allow divorce. Figures […]

Election of Muslim girl champions diversity

A girls’ secondary school has championed the diversity cause by appointing a veil-wearing Muslim girl to head her form. Fourteen-year-old Sara Ezabe is proof of what Blata l-Bajda’s St Ignatius College Girls’ Junior Lyceum headmaster Victor Agius insists is important for the school – diversity and tolerance. After two years […]

The cost of delaying human rights

The decision brought Malta in line with judgments delivered by the European Court of Human Rights, which on more than one occasion decreed that denying an arrested person the right to see his lawyer was in breach of the fundamental right to a fair trial. But the government’s reluctance over […]

Pakistan: National Assembly to unseal 36 years old anti-Ahmadiyya hearings transcripts

Many have long held views that the artificial exploitation of the Ahmadiyya community, the closed-door hearings and the passage of anti-Ahmadiyya constitutional amendment  in the National Assembly were all a political stunt by Mr. Bhutto to appease the extremist element in the Pakistani legislature where he was suffering from popularity deficiency.    […]