Tweet this…0Share this…0Gossip this…0BBSNews 2014-11-23 — By ACRI. A new report published by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) outlines the nature of the legal regime currently operating …
According to The Hindu, Indonesia must stop subjecting female police recruits to physical tests in an effort to determine whether they are virgins, a leading human rights group said Tuesday, describing the practice as degrading and discriminatory.
The report was based on interviews with female police officers and police applicants in six Indonesian cities who had undergone the “two-finger” test to determine whether their hymens are intact. The requirement is even posted on the jobs website for Indonesia’s national police.
On Tuesday it read, “In addition to the medical and physical tests, women who want to be policewomen must also undergo virginity tests. So all women who want to become policewomen should keep their virginity.”
Citing medical experts, Human Rights Watch said the physical tests are useless in determining virginity.
Indonesian police spokesman Maj. Gen. Ronny Sompie urged people not “respond negatively” to the tests, saying they were aimed at ensuring applicants were free from sexually transmitted diseases.
He said both male and female recruits also get blood tests for STDs. “All of this is done in a professional manner and did not harm the applicants,” Maj. Gen. Sompie said.
WRITTEN BY BERKELEY STUDENT FRANCES HUANG WITH MARK KOLSEN, AAI NEWS TEAM
Does it make sense to talk of ‘secular spirituality’? Well-known atheist and author Dr Sam Harris thinks it does. I attended Harris’s San Francisco lecture on 17 September which coincided with the release of his new book Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. The lecture series (also presented in Los Angeles and New York) tried (and mostly succeeded) in getting to the core of human consciousness, mindfulness and secular spirituality.
First, Harris skilfully argued that since the very beginning, suffering has its origins in the illusion of self. This ‘self’ claims to be the thinker of our thoughts and the experiencer of our experiences. When we are wandering in our thoughts, those little persons in our heads are the ‘selves’ that we seem to experience. However, as Harris pointed out in both the lecture and the new book, ‘a persistent and unified self’ is merely an illusion since it is the whole brain and the firing of neuronal networks that make us who we are. Our thoughts and our behaviors are wholly caused by our brain, which also changes with time. As Harris argued in his book Free Will (2012), free will, like the sense of self, is also an illusion.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has sparked anger and confusion by including several prominent Western Muslim charities and civil society groups in a new list of “terrorist organizations” together with Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and the so-called Islamic State. Islamic Relief, a respected UK-based international aid agency; the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest […]
By Ramzy Baroud When a journalist tries to do a historian’s job, the outcome can be quite interesting. Using history as a side note in a brief news report or political analysis oftentimes does more harm than good. Now imagine if that journalist was not dependable to begin with, even more than it being “interesting”, […]
By Ramzy Baroud As I was finalizing my research for this article, I found myself browsing through a heap of hilarious videos by mostly Egyptian TV show hosts Tawfiq Okasha and Amr Adeeb. In one of his numerous videos on youtube, Okasha, the star and host of the Cairo-based privately funded al-Faraeen channel, tries to […]
WRITTEN BY MARK KOLSEN, AAI NEWS TEAM
In his 1776 pamphlet Common Sense, Thomas Paine argued that the colonies should replace the English monarchy with a representative democracy. Although he offered few details on how the U.S. constitution should be structured, Paine argued that when deciding on laws, representatives “are supposed to have the same concerns” as the people who elected them, and when voting on laws, should “act in the same manner as (the people) would act were they present.” To ensure the representatives’ “fidelity” to the public, Paine said that Americans should have “elections often,” that is, annual elections as done typically in colonial legislatures. To Paine, “the strength of the government and the happiness of the governed” depends on the people and their representatives having a “common interest.”
By Vacy Vlazna “The Berlin Wall, this symbol of state abuse cast in concrete, took millions of people to the limits of what is tolerable, and all too many beyond it.” On the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered a speech of sublime hypocrisy when juxtaposed beside […]