From Globe and Mail: "A Quebec mayor’s crusade to preserve a prayer and Catholic symbols at his council meetings has come up against a backlash, some of it channelled through YouTube.
A secular group has served the outspoken mayor of Saguenay, Jean Tremblay, with a lawyer’s letter demanding that he obey a court order and immediately stop reciting a prayer at the opening of council meetings.
And a citizens’ collective in Saguenay, a city of 145,000 north of Quebec City, has launched a YouTube video in which people appear one by one to say the religiously devout mayor isn’t speaking in their name. The group, Citoyens pour la démocratie à Saguenay, said the mayor is inflaming tensions by launching a campaign to preserve the prayer.
“If we want to be open as a society and get everyone to participate, we have to keep our institutions secular,” said Stéphane Dufour, a spokesman for the group. “We didn’t elect Mr. Tremblay for his religious convictions.”
Saguenay has become the latest flashpoint in the debate over religion in an increasingly diverse and secular province. A Quebec rights tribunal last month ordered the mayor and the city to pay an atheist $30,000 in damages after he complained about a brief prayer recited at the outset of council meetings. The tribunal also ordered the removal of a crucifix and statue of the Sacred Heart from council rooms. READ MORE
(Reuters Life!) - Pope Benedict will be confronted by posters on London's famous red buses during his trip to the British capital next month which will call for the ordination of women priests.
Protests are planned throughout his four-day trip to England and Scotland, the first papal visit since John Paul II's pastoral visit in 1982 and the first-ever official papal visit to Britain.
One group of women, Catholic Women's Ordination (CWO), will have its message plastered on the side of the buses as they travel along key routes, including past Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, where the pope is set to deliver a speech to Britain's civic society on September 17.
The group has paid 15,000 pounds ($23,130) for 15 buses to carry the message "Pope Benedict - Ordain Women Now!" for a month.
"We do not want to be disruptive, but I think the church has got to change or it will not survive," CWO spokeswoman Pat Brown told Reuters. READ MORE
Excerpt from timesonline: "A British citizen who converted to Christianity from Islam and then complained to police when locals threatened to burn his house down was told by officers to “stop being a crusader”, according to a new report.
"Nissar Hussein, 43, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, who was born and raised in Britain, converted from Islam to Christianity with his wife, Qubra, in 1996. The report says that he was subjected to a number of attacks and, after being told that his house would be burnt down if he did not repent and return to Islam, reported the threat to the police. It says he was told that such threats were rarely carried out and the police officer told him to “stop being a crusader and move to another place”. A few days later the unoccupied house next door was set on fire."
From The Sun: "The white Islamic convert rolled out his prayer mat in the aisle and knelt on the floor facing Mecca.
Passengers watched in amazement as he held out his palms towards the sky, bowed his head and began to chant.
One, who filmed the man on his mobile phone, said: “He was clearly praying and chanting in Arabic.
“We thought it was a wind-up at first, like Jeremy Beadle.”
The 21-year-old plumber added: “He looked English and had a London accent. He looked like a Muslim convert, with a big, bushy beard.
“Eventually everyone started complaining. One woman said, ‘What the hell are you doing? I’m going to be late for work’.”
After a few minutes the driver calmly got up, opened the doors and asked everyone back on board.
But they saw a rucksack lying on the floor of the red single-decker and feared he might be a fanatic. So they all refused.
The passenger added: “One chap said, ‘I’m not getting on there now’.
“After seeing that no-one wanted to get on he drove off and we all waited until the next bus came about 20 minutes later. I was left totally stunned. It made me not want to get on a bus again.”
Yesterday the driver, who said his name was Hrun, told The Sun: “I asked everyone to get off because I needed to pray. I was running late and had not had time."
Islam is winning Western converts due to the nihilism and emptiness of our consumerist and hedonistic Western lifestyle. People who long to rebel against our pervasive and sick culture seek meaning and a radically new lifestyle that sets them apart. But rather than see devout Catholics who truly live their faith (and who are native to Europe)--they see Islam. Our apostasy has its consequences.