Benedict Rogers, East Asia Team Leader at the human rights organization CSW and a Senior Fellow with the Religious Freedom Institute, writes at UCA News of Taiwan’s growing efforts to promote religious freedom, human rights, and democracy, at the risk of provoking China’s ire.
The deadly impact of ethno-religious nationalism in Burma is the focus of an important new report from CSW, authored by Benedict Rogers, CSW East Asia Team Lead and Senior Fellow with RFI’s South and Southeast Asia Action Team.
The largest single attack on Sri Lankan soil was not claimed by any extremist group until early Tuesday when ISIS declared responsibility. ISIS has conducted targeted attacks on Easter in the past, so the likelihood that the little-known Sri Lankan Islamic radical group, National Towheeth Jamaath (NTJ), is actually an ISIS affiliate or franchisee seems plausible.
Waking to the news of the Easter morning bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, my reaction was likely different than that of most people around the globe: Buddhist nationalists did this, I thought. The reason I reacted in this way requires some explanation, given the contemporary global and particularly western association of suicide bombings with radical Islamist groups.
The internet promises both greater freedom and greater repression. It gives a chance of increased expression to millions of people whose views and voices have been and could still be silenced by politically repressive regimes or monopolistic media. But, it can also give those same repressive governments and media empires control so that they can erase contrary views.
Recent events suggest that currently the push for greater control is winning, sometimes abetted by major tech companies.
On October 16, Malaysian Member of Parliament, P. Kasthuriraani urged Malaysia to sign and ratify the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.
Cardinal Charles Bo delivered the following message to the participants at the Religious Freedom Institute's South and Southeast Asia consultation.
As part of its work promoting religious freedom for all people, the Religious Freedom Institute is bringing together in key cities around the world diverse leaders who otherwise might not collaborate or even meet.
In a surprise move, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the former governor of Jakarta, has now appealed his conviction for blasphemy. Governor Purnama—known as “Ahok”—was convicted in May 2017. This appeal comes at a time when there is a strong pushback against some of the more radical religious forces in Indonesia.
In an opinion piece for CNN, RFI Senior Fellow and former Pakistani Parliamentarian, Farahnaz Ispahani, argues that Pakistan’s abuse of blasphemy laws disproportionately harms the most vulnerable in Pakistani society, such as Asia Bibi, and imperils those who would chose to stand up for them, like Rashid Rehman, a human rights lawyer murdered in 2014.
This new video report from the Wall Street Journal provides exclusive interviews and rare images documenting the severe persecution of Uighur Muslims by China’s communist government. Most of China’s Uighurs live in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. In Xinjiang, the government has woven state-of-the-art technology in with its tried-and-true methods of totalitarian oppression.
Based in part on a massively intrusive census of residents’ personal information, the communist regime has created a system that assigns a national security score to every individual and family. It sends those it scores as “unsafe” to prison-like “study centers” for political indoctrination and re-education.