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Section 295(a) allows the government to dictate expression of religious identity according to what a populist or powerful element defines as hurtful – it is, in essence, a blasphemy law. It legitimizes traditionalist and conservative voices in the name of authenticity, and presents a threat to freedom of religion and the right to examine the claims of the faithful.
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While the easing of sanctions on Iran is welcome and will work towards its return into the mainstream, the country must also make an effort towards meaningful reform. The fears of "foreign influence" and "corruption of values" are unfounded when you have such a proud, strong and vibrant civilizational heritage.
I don't want you to become a Muslim or become religious; what unsettles me is that there is absence of faith in your life and I really believe that faith is something that should be in everyone's life, because it is such a powerful tool that, if used properly, can help you get through the most difficult times in your life.
For a 12th grade boy to be hauled up thus, the matter had to be pretty serious. I knew it did not have anything to do with his academic performance -- his teachers had already given up on that! "Well," he said, "they were livid because I hadn't shaved."