The last of the Bahai 7 religious leader group released from prison

The Bahá’í 7[1], also known as the “Yaran” (friends), are seven Iranian Bahá’í community leaders arrested in 2008 that have served 10-year prison sentences in Iran. The seven prisoners of conscience are Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm.[2]

Sabet was detained on 5 March 2008 after being summoned to Mashhad by the Ministry of Intelligence. Officers from the Ministry of Intelligence arrested the other six leaders in raids on their homes on 14 May 2008.[3] The seven were held in Evin Prison in Section 209, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence, and were denied access to a lawyer. The five male detainees reportedly were placed in one cell together measuring 10 and without any beds.[4]

Images of the Bahá’í 7 at a rally in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (wikipedia)

On 7 August 2010, the Revolutionary Court in Tehran convicted the seven Bahá’í of crimes including “espionage for Israel”, “insulting religious sanctities” and “propaganda against the system,” and sentenced them to 20 years imprisonment.

On September 18, 2017, former prisoner Mahvesh Sabet was released. [10]

Thirty prominent Australians signed a statement welcoming her release, including Greens leader Richard Di Natale, former foreign affairs minister Bob Carr, former attorney-general Philip Ruddock, and members from all major faiths, including the president of the Uniting Church.

The other leaders were gradually released. By April 2018, only Afif Naeimi remained.

Afif Naeimi, the last of the seven Baha’i leaders imprisoned since 2008, has been released on completion of his sentence.

Dr Natalie Mobini, the director of the Office of External Affairs, Australian Baha’i Community, profoundly thanked Australian community for the concern and support shown for the seven during their incarceration over the past decade. She also said that the release of all members of the former leadership group is a significant milestone. At the same time, as you know, the systematic persecution continues. Baha’is in Iran are unable to practise their faith, more than 80 are currently imprisoned, and all experience multiple layers of discrimination at every level of life. The flow-on effects of this persecution are now further expanding into Yemen. Notwithstanding, we take this moment to breathe a sigh of relief that Mr Naeimi and his colleagues are all finally home with their families.

Hindu Council of Australia congratulates the Bahai community on the release of their religious leaders.

[Read more here …]  and [Read even more here…]

 

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The Division of Vedic Literature

By : Pandit Rami.

Charts of Sanskrit Literature.

The Vedas, vedangas, dharam shastras and puranas.

 
 
 

 
 

 

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Community Care Workers Wanted at Sri Om Care

Community Care Workers Wanted at Sri Om Care

Applications open until: Until further notice

State: NSW

Location: Sydney Metro

Type of employment: Community Care

Sri Om Care has a brand new service for Community Care Workers with experience being able to make a difference in someone’s daily life.

  • Provide care and support our clients in a job where your own personality is valued.
  • A dynamic role with casual and part time opportunities available.

About Sri Om Care

Sri Om Care is an independent Not for profit charity that exists for more than 12 years to improve quality of life for people in need.

We specialise in aged, disabled and dementia care, palliative care, rehabilitation, health services for older/disabled people, and other related health and aged care services. Sri Om Care seeks to embed evidence based best practice in its services and we provide these services through home care, sub-acute hospitals and at residential aged care.

Bringing these health, hospital and aged care services together, Sri Om Care has been able to develop innovative, flexible care models designed to serve people with complex health or aged care needs, regardless of their circumstances.

Sri Om Care works to provide its staff with support, career development opportunities, education, responsibility and recognition, work/life balance, and satisfying roles.

About the role

The role of the Care Worker works to deliver a range of “in-home” aged care services to clients who are in receipt of a home care package and/or other aged care services (i.e. Respite, Social, CHSP, and NDIS disability). The Care Worker works mostly alone in the clients’ homes, but under the direct supervision of their Case Manager or service Manager (for other aged care services).

The Significance of this role:

  • Deliver a range of ‘in-home’ and/or other aged care services according to the care requirements and care plans of each client.
  • Enable each client to have the opportunity to succeed at the activities of daily living which promote dignity, self-respect and maintain the client’s quality of life and abilities.
  • Maintain and update care activities and client status in clients’ notes and ensure completion of all documentation, while maintaining confidentiality.
  • Abide by all Workplace Health & Safety Policies and Procedures, including reporting of hazardous procedures and work areas and anything that has or might compromise the care of the client or the health of the staff member.
  • Will be willing to hold Current First Aid Certificate and National Police check

About you:

  • Commitment to engage and align with Sri Om Care’s Motivation and Mission in Action.
  • No formal qualification necessary, however Certificate III Aged Care is an advantage.
  • Experience and passion in providing personal care for elderly person and to care for people living with Parkinson, disability and dementia are also valued.
  • A current drivers licence and safe driving record. Willingness to travel between sites and client to client homes throughout shifts.
  • Administrative and computer skills, including the usage of a smart phone.

Compensation

Decent wage structure progressing into salary packaging facility available.

Ready to make a change? Apply Now!

Please apply with resume and certificates to info@sriomcare.org.au

For any specific queries not answered here, please email us.

Closing Date: Open until further notice

All short listed applicants for these positions will be asked to consent to a criminal record check and pre-employment functional assessment.

 

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PM ScoMo fights for religious freedom despite the opposition

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Attorney-General Christian Porter have released the Ruddock Religious Freedom Review and the government’s response. Although the Ruddock panel said that Australia does not need a religious freedom commissioner, the Prime Minister  has announced his intention to do so. The response also addresses issues like, when can a parent take their children out of studies that conflict with their religious beliefs, treatment of LGBTIQ students in religious schools, framing of a religious discrimination law etc.

The most controversial aspect of the Ruddock review is whether religious schools can discriminate against students, teachers and staff based on their sexual orientation. Most religious groups including Hindu Council, Jewish religious organizations, Islamic organizations and most Christian denominations oppose such restrictions on religious schools.

While the Prime Minister has openly come in support of religious groups, some in the opposition are not so sure and see it as an LGBTIQ rights issue.

We believe that the Prime Minster has struck the right balance between religious freedom and anti-discrimination and that religious schools should not be forced to preach any thing that goes against their teachings. They should not be forced to provide their school and other resources for propagating ideas that are not compatible with their teachings.

You can read about Ruddock review here.

You can read about Hindu Council response to the review here.

You can read more details about the review and comments here.

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Diwali 2018 at Federal Parliament in Canberra

Hindu Council of Australia celebrated Diwali at Australian Federal Parliament jointly with BAPS (Swaminarayan). Here is a brief video of the same.

 

 

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Menstruation is Far From Taboo in Hinduism

By: Sunila Goray Raj

(edited by : Surinder Jain)

Menstruation is Far From Taboo in Hinduism.
 
There is so much to be said about it all – but here I only want to focus on the leftist’s latest favorite topic : Menstruation.
 
A survey conducted in USA in 1981 showed that a substantial majority of U.S. adults and adolescents believed that it is socially unacceptable to discuss menstruation, especially in mixed company. Many believed that it is unacceptable to discuss menstruation even within the family.[66] Studies in the early 1980s showed that nearly all girls in the United States believed that girls should not talk about menstruation with boys, while more than one-third of girls did not believe it appropriate to discuss menstruation with their father.[67]
 
In Hindu culture, a girl who achieved menarche, or her first period, was feted, and pampered at a ceremony where family and close friends gathered and lavished gifts on her. The girl would be bathed in fragrant water after applying oil, turmeric etc. she would be bedecked in fine clothes, flowers and ornaments – and her feet would be washed. This is because Hinduism celebrates, and does not abhor menstruation. The Shakti philosophy upholds it as a gift which is responsible for creation of life.
 
 

Devotees singing in front of Kamakhya temple

 
The Kamakhya Temple in Assam celebrates the annual menstruation of the Goddess – and there is no idol there, just a structure that resembles the yoni, or the female symbol of creation.The Chengannur Temple in Kerala has a tradition of bathing the idol in a grand ceremony after her ‘period’ is over. According to the Kalika Purana, Kamakhya Temple denotes the spot where Sati used to retire in secret to satisfy her amour with Shiva, and it was also the place where her yoni (genital) fell after Shiva danced with the corpse of Sati.[41] It mentions Kamakhya as one of four primary shakti peethas: the others being the Vimala Temple within the Jagannath Temple complex in Puri, Odisha; Tara Tarini) Sthana Khanda (Breasts), near Brahmapur, Odisha, and Dakhina Kalika in Kalighat, Kolkata, in the state of West Bengal, originated from the limbs of the Corpse of Mata Sati. 
 
The temple remains closed for three days during the Ambubachi mela[2][3] for it is believed that mother earth becomes unclean for three days like the traditional women’s menstrual seclusion. During these three days some restrictions are observed by the devotees like not cooking, not performing puja or reading holy books, no farming etc.[2] After three days devi Kamakhya is bathed and other rituals are performed to ensure that the devi retrieves her purity.[3] Then the doors of the temple are reopened[2][3][4] and prasad is distributed.[2][4] On the fourth day the devotees are allowed to enter the temple and worship devi Kamakhya.
 
Many religions have menstruation-related traditions, for example: Islam prohibits sexual contact with women during menstruation in the 2nd chapter of the Quran. In Judaism, a woman during menstruation is called Niddah and may be banned from certain actions. Western civilization, which has been predominantly Christian, has a history of menstrual taboos. [source: wikipedia] Some Christian denominations, including many authorities of the Eastern Orthodox Church and some parts of the Oriental Orthodox Church advise women not to receive communion during their menstrual period.[34] In certain branches of Japanese Buddhism, menstruating women are banned from attending temples.[37] In Japan, the religion of Shinto, the Kami, the spirits they worship, would not grant wishes if you had traces of blood, dirt, or death on you. In some portions of South Asia, there is a menstrual taboo, with it frequently being considered impure. Restrictions on movement, behaviour and eating are frequently placed.[57] The Yurok in North America practiced menstrual seclusion. Yurok women used a small hut near the main house.[65]
 
BONUS FACT: Hinduism is the only mainstream religion which worships God in the female form – for wealth (Lakshmi), education (saraswati), and courage too (Durga) – we worship Goddesses. What greater women empowerment can there be? To accuse Hinduism of gender disparity is beyond ridiculous!
 
An orchestrated effort is being made, or should I say, has been made for several years now, to denigrate Hindu customs and culture. In the whole uproar over Sabarimala, the issue being tom-tommed by pseudo liberals is Women’s rights – gender equality, and especially the whole taboo surrounding menstruation – and all of it is nothing but a distortion, and concoction, where the narrative is being twisted to suit the agenda of certain vested interests.
 
In the West, media houses like the BBC and CNN are upholding Kanakadurga and Bindu, who pretended to be transgenders, and were whisked into Sabarimala in ambulances with the support of plains clothes cops, as ‘defenders of women’s rights’.
I do not know if I should shake my head, or tear my hair out in frustration.
 
With the advent of western education, especially missionary education, Hindus were made to feel that this whole ceremony is horrendous – how can you announce that your daughter has now started menstruating, what an embarrassment, how orthodox, what a shameful ritual, how backward – these were the things we were told. And instead of trying to resist, and make others understand what this ceremony meant, and its deep significance – we (me included) hung our heads in shame, relented, and agreed with them.
 
Today hardly anybody performs this ceremony for their daughters, because we were taught by those who came from outside that it is taboo, and shameful. We also joined the bandwagon which proclaimed menstruation to be ‘filthy’.
 
Irony is that today, those very people who first advocated the stopping of ‘shameful and orthodox’ rituals of celebrating menstruation, are mocking Hindus about women entering Sabarimala and turning it into a ‘menstruation taboo’ issue, whereas clearly, it is not that at all.
Today, those very same people are trying to prove themselves as modern and as the harbinger of women’s rights and equality by conducting a festival dedicated to menstruation – styled ‘Aarpo Aarthavam’. It is laughable! The hypocrisy is just unbelievable.
 
So please stop trying to fool gullible people, because there are still many of us who know the truth.

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Beef tallow in Australian currency notes

WHILE Australia was the first country in the world to produce banknotes made from plastic (polymer), what many people don’t realise is that our currency uses tallow — rendered animal fat from sheep, pigs and cows — as a ‘slip agent’ to prevent friction and static.

The Reserve Bank of Australia confirmed banknotes have a tiny amount — around one per cent — of the animal by-product

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Hindu Combined Marriages

By : Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
Patron-in-chief, Pakistan Hindu Council
Member of National Assembly
WhatsApp: 0333-2277370
Twitter: @RVankwani

In the context of recently held Hindu Combined Marriages, my article published in The News (English), Jang (Urdu) and Ibrat (Sindhi) to highlight the socio-economic importance of mass weddings.

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Religious freedom collides with anti-discrimination laws in Australia

By: Surinder Jain.

Religious freedom is fundamental to Australian identity said the Australian Prime minister Scott Morrison. And Australians voted in favor of anti-discrimination laws to protect the rights of LGBT only recently. One would think that both are laudable achievements for Australia, but the future of religious freedom does not look so rosy.

A clash between Religious Freedom and Human Rights is brewing up.

Religious freedom right to propagate one’s belief permits Christians, Jews, Muslims and all other religions to run their own schools. Does this freedom means that these schools can admit gay students and have gay teachers imparting religious teachings to children when many believe admitting gay in their schools is against their faith.

This debate is heating up in Australia.

Religious freedom rights for an individual come in various parts. Right to belief is a right to believe in a certain religion and some/all the tenants that come with it. Right to practice a religion is a right to practice your religious rituals and actions coming from the belief. It also includes a right to propagate your beliefs either to your own constituency or to other non-believers.

Human rights on the other hand are also a set of rights for an individual and includes Right to Live, a Right to Freedom, a Right to Express and a number of other rights like anti-discrimination and so on.

Australia and most secular and theocratic countries permit Right to Belief. Australia also permits Right to Practice and a Right to Propagate religion without any state interference. Some theocratic countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia place restrictions on Right to Practice in public and thus not allowing any temple or church unless it has been sanctioned by the government. Many countries in the middle east ban propagation of any religion other than the state sanctioned one.

Communist countries like China place restrictions on all religions. They frown upon all religious beliefs and control them by total control over appointment of clergy and allow only state permitted rituals to be practiced. Communist ideology and whims of the party are given far higher priority than either religious freedom or human rights.

A clash between the rights of one individual to protect their faith and institutions and the right of other individuals to a fair go requires a balancing act. While the Liberal party PM has vowed to protect religious freedom as integral to Australian identity, the opposition Labor party is considering an “appropriate” balance between the two.

When Right to Life clashes with Right to Practice, the human Right to live wins hands down. Thus I can not take away life or liberty of an individual even if I believe that my religious belief requires me to do so. My Right to Propagate my religion by imposing it on others will be OK in ISIS ruled countries but will be rejected in most other countries including Australia.

In a progressive country like Australia, Right to Propagate once religion has been well balanced with the Right to Practice one’s religion. Thus each religion is prohibited from imposing its belief on another religion. If I believe in a religion that does not have a personal God then I can not ask another religion to permit me to enforce my belief as part of their propagation. Thus if a religion does not believe in God, then s/he has no right to join a christian church/school and expect to teach his/her belief to the christian congregation or to students in a christian school. Religious practitioners can not invoke courts of law to enforce their Right to Propagate through the propagation machinery (churches, schools, congregations, Sunday mass, sermons, communications etc.) of other religions except in their own.

This is tampered both ways. No religion can frown upon the beliefs and practices of others as long as they are valid in law. No religion should propagate a belief that belittles the belief of another religion.

We can find the appropriate balance between right to propagation and anti-discrimination using the above well accepted principal. Thus all religions will respect the rights of LGBT and will not frown upon their practices in their religious propagation. At the same time, LGBT do not have an automatic right to use another religions propagation machinery to propagate their beliefs. Thus LGBT should not expect that they will be able to teach their belief in a religious school as much as a Hindu does not expect to have an automatic right give a Hindu sermon in a Christian church.

Number of Religious schools and number of students studying in religious schools is such a minority that it does not restrict the right of LGBT children to study or LGBT teachers to employment. These children have a very wide choice as to which school they go to study.  Teachers of LGBT persuasion are not constrained in applying for jobs to most schools and have a meaningful employment. And off course, there is nothing stopping people passionate about their gender beliefs to start their own special LGBT friendly schools.

Each new religion in Australia has to do the hard effort to establish their own schools, churches, temples and congregations. A newly arrived religion like Hinduism does not expect Christians or Jews to be forced to give up their resources like church or school for the propagation of Hinduism. Similarly, LGBT have to do their own hard yakka in establishing their own schools etc and not expect to get an easy ride on the resources of other religions in the name of anti-discrimination. And the Religions should not frown upon LGBT efforts to establish their own special LGBT friendly schools either.

By : Surinder Jain

 

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Hindu Women’s Issues Survey

If you are a Hindu woman living in Australia, please take a minute to enter this survey. It will help Hindu Council of Australia to frame projects and policies to face these issues.

Your Phone (optional) :

Your Age Group* : 18-25 years26-35 years35-60 yearsAbove 60

Your ethinic background : IndianNepaliBaliAustralianOther

How long ago did you come to Australia : Less than 2 years ago2 to 7 years ago7 to 15 years agomore than 15 yearsBorn in Australia

What in your opinion are the major issues facing Hindu women in Australia : Domestic ViolenceHave to Work at Home as well OfficeAcceptance at work placeSocializing with non-Indian neighboursLanguage barrierSexual harassment at workRacial discrimination at workImparting sanskar to childrenDifficulty in keeping Hindu way of lifeOther

Do you work : YesNo

If working, did your family support you : YesNoNot Applicable

Is it easy to adjust to work culture here : YesNoNot Applicable

Do you get accepted socially at work : YesNoNot Applicable

Have you experienced/witnessed Domestic Violence : Yes, I have been a victimYes, Someone close to me has been a victimNo, Never

Did the victim of Domestic Violence get support : Yes, Sufficient supportYes, but not enoughNo SupportDon't Know

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