Blogs

Ottawa Citizen- Is there a difference between faith & religion?

Last week's question from the Ottawa Citizen's "Ask the Religion Experts" column was "is there a difference between faith and religion?"

The WSO's Balpreet Singh's response was,

Faith is a deep personal conviction and religion is the structure that is built around faith.

Whenever I think of the word “religion,” I tend to associate it with dogma, rules and rituals. Those are all fine, so long as they enrich and further our faith.

Ottawa Citizen- How can we explain a tragedy like the Newtown shootings?

Every week WSO's legal counsel Balpreet Singh takes part in a column in the Ottawa Citizen entitled "Ask the Religion Experts".  We will be sharing Balpreet Singh's response to each week's question here, along with a link to answers from other faith traditions.

Last week's question was:  "How can we explain a tragedy like the Newtown shootings?".  Balpreet Singh's answer is below;

Youth Leadership Training Opportunity in BC

The following is an opportunity for BC youth ages 16-26 to receive training on leadership development and skill building with Oxfam Canada. Oxfam Canada works with people to secure their basic human rights, combining support to long-term development and humanitarian responses with research, advocacy and campaigning against the root causes of poverty and injustice.

To get an idea of the kinds of workshops that may be offered, here is a link to last summer's National CHANGE Summit: http://goo.gl/kz6Yn

  Read more »

India's Forgotten Rapes: the story of Amandeep Kaur

Amandeep KaurAmandeep KaurThe tragice ordeal and ultimate death of Jyoti Pandey in Delhi has turned the eyes of the world to the 'rape problem' in India.  It is no secret that shocking deficiencies exist with respect to the prosecution of rapists and the treatment of victims in India.  A recent blog in the Washington Post correctly stated that India's rape problem is also a police problem.  Not only are police unwilling to investigate and prosecute sexual crimes, they also often punish the victims with insensitive questioning and invasive examinations.

But the problem is greater still.  Indian Police and security forces are often themselves implicated in sexual violence. Shockingly however, they enjoy impunity from prosecution in rape as per Section 197 of India’s Criminal Procedure Code and Section 6 of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958.

CTV News - WSO calling for India to take stronger action to prevent violence against women

WSO's Balpreet Singh talks about combatting sexual violence in India on CTV News

WSO Takes Part in Vaughan Festival of Light

On Thursday November 13th, WSO joined several other faith and cultural communities in Vaughan for the Festival of Light.

The Festival of Light was organized by the National Congress of Italian Canadians (N.C.I.C.) -Toronto District in collaboration with the City of Vaughan, Hon. Julian Fantino, PC, MP, York Region Police, and Rotary Club of Woodbridge.

The Festival of Light was organized to learn more about one another by sharing each of our interpretations of light and its significance to one’s culture. This event was not a religious event, however many of the interpretations were tied to religion.

WSO in 2012: Year in Review

2012 marked WSO’s 28th year in the service of the Sikh community. Below is a brief review of our activities and achievements in 2012 in the three main areas of WSO’s operation: legal advocacy, outreach & education, and media response:

Surviving a Fake Encounter: The Story of Surinder Singh Fauji

Yesterday on International Human Rights Day, we focused on the practice of "fake encounters" in India.

One of the only individuals to have ever escaped such a fake encounter and survived to tell the tale is Surinder Singh Fauji.  Fauji was a retired Indian serviceman who, along with members of his family, was repeatedly arrested and tortured between 1986 to 1994.  His only fault was having once rented a room to a member of the All India Sikh Students Federation. 

International Human Rights Day: Stop False Encounters in India

Last week, India’ National Human Rights Commission informed the Supreme Court of India that it has confirmed 191 ‘false encounters’ in the past five years.  This was based on a total of 1,671 complaints of false encounters to the NHRC during the same period. 

On today’s International Human Rights Day, we look at the menace of ‘false encounters’ in India, as we call on India to crack down on its security forces to ensure this barbaric practice ends immediately.

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