Friday, July 27, 2007

Clash of civilizations?

To me, the whole clash of civilizations theme behind the Al Qaeda conflict with the West seemed pretty bogus. But here is a story that makes you pause and think:
South Korean Evangelical Christians are rushing into Afghanistan, Iraq and many other countries to proselytize. As such, there isn't much of a comparison here: Korean Evangelicals don't go out to kill and maim non-Christians. And yet, their non-violent zealotry can't help much in a place like Afghanistan which is just trying to recover from the horrendous Taliban.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Confused Canada

On one hand:
Canadian immigration officials have dusted out a 10-year-old, little-known rule that asks Sikh visa applicants with last names Singh or Kaur to change them. There are too many of them, officials say, pointing to difficulties in maintaining a database with similar names.

But on the other:
After 18 months of construction and millions in fundraising efforts, a one-of-a-kind Hindu temple opened Sunday in Toronto.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was on-hand to celebrate the official unveiling of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Harper said the $40 million architectural marvel represents India’s and Canada’s embracement of spiritual and ethnic pluralism.

“Canada’s accommodation of diversity is not without precedent,” Harper said, addressing a large crowd. “There have been forerunners — and of these perhaps none is as note-worthy as India.”


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