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Human rights, religion and McMindfulness – The Week in 1 Minute: April 14 – 22 on openDemocracy

openGlobalRights (oGR) launches its latest debate on religion and human rights. In the face of those who argue that religion is a human rights liability, citing persecution in India and Pakistan, or the rise of Buddhist nationalism in Burma, others urge human rights movements to view religion as a potential ally, and increase impact by operating like evangelizing religions. Nuanced case studies follow, of Hindu philosophy in practise, Islamic values, the practical intersections between human rights, Islam and Judaism, and the painful paradoxes for Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel.

21 April 2014

Transformation too tells us it’s time for a new definition of global activism, arguing that anger should not be the dominant motivation behind the fight for equality, and looking at a project to bring ‘Cowboys and Indians’ together.

ourKingdom continues its countdown of the 40 reasons to support Scottish independence and reminds us that the NHS is not safe in David Cameron’s hands (nor is our public health data). But there are people standing up to be counted for the NHS.

openSecurity puts child marriage in the spotlight, shining a much needed light on the plight of hundreds of young girls in north-eastern Nigeria who have been kidnapped and forced into marrying members of Boko Haram.

Tom Cowan draws fourteen months of Cities in Conflict to a close with a meditation on urbanism, trapped between saviourism and withdrawal, and a new feature for openDemocracy - our first timeline - dedicated here to a rare feast of favourite articles, interviews, photo-essays and films.

This week also marked the hundredth year of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and 50.50 takes a moment to look at the roots of the women’s peace movement, prelude to a new series on Northern Ireland’s women peacebuilders.

Meanwhile, the toll of violence in Yemen continues unabated—if largely unreported, and there is yet more violence as thebloodletting continues in South Sudan. Neither of its factional leaders, with blood on their hands, can be part of its future.

Cas Mudde and Donald Beaudette address a similar theme in joining Robin Wilson and Lorcan Mullen to look at lessons from the arrest of Gerry Adams. Cas Mudde also has his doubts as to whether Eurosceptic parties, with more MEPs than ever before in the next European Parliament, will be able to work together.

Anton Shekhovtsov lays out the deep links the Kremlin has established with far-right parties throughout Europe, while Nikolay Nikolov looks at these links to populist parties in his native Bulgaria and concludes that all players are engaging in cynical and ideologically-bankrupt politics.

Transformation asks what’s normal? in its exploration of the politics of psychiatric labelling. Drawing on a deeply personal trauma, Nina Power examines the nexus between mental health and state violence, while Peter Beresford draws our attention to the ways in which mental health is being cut and privatised.

We end with the sad news that Magnus Nome, our Editor-in-Chief, is leaving us to pursue new challenges. After two years at the helm, he is passing the torch on to someone new (here’s the job ad). The whole of openDemocracy thanks him for his hard work!

In case you missed:

Who's getting rich from COVID-19?

Boris Johnson's government stands accused of 'COVID cronyism', after handing out staggering sums of money to controversial private firms to fight COVID-19. Often the terms of these deals are kept secret, with no value-for-money checks or penalties for repeated failures which cost lives. And many major contracts have gone directly to key Tory donors and allies – without competition.

As COVID rates across the country surge, how can we hold our leaders accountable? Meet the lawyers, journalists and politicians leading the charge in our free live discussion on Thursday 1 October at 5pm UK time.

Hear from:

Dawn Butler Labour MP for Brent Central and member of the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology

Peter Geoghegan Investigations editor, openDemocracy, and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Jolyon Maugham Barrister and founder of the Good Law Project.

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Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy

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