#InMemoriamMonday: Wish you were here, Sarah Hegazi

2 mn read Gone but not forgotten In the east of Toronto’s downtown, visitors will find a buzzing neighborhood called the Church and Wellesley Village. This area, located on Church Street and Wellesley Street East, is the city’s LGBTQ district.  Just north of the intersection that forms the center of the neighborhood, is the 519 community center. In an alley right next to it there is a mural of a face of Sarah Hegazi, an activist, IT worker and Egyptian lesbian who found home in the Church and Wellesley Village. The village does not want to forget her. Hegazi killed herself in June

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EXPLAINER: The Islamic world was urbane, secular and in some cases democratic. What happened?

5 mn read Zulfikar Ali Bhutto "Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in his heyday" by Doc Kazi is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

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Religion is not the enemy, extremism is

4 mn read Modern day Secularism Secularism is freedom of religion. In a free and democratic society, people are unrestricted from practicing their beliefs, whether religious or areligious. Provided, of course, you are not hurting anyone when practicing your beliefs.  That is why the First Amendment of the United States constitution says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That is why Article 6 of the U.S. constitution says “no religious rest shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Religion under Secularism Many

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American secularism has been backsliding for decades, but a recent pattern of events are particularly alarming

2 mn read America prides itself as the shining beacon of democracy, and its president is regarded as the leader of the free world. However, the land of the free has been looking decidedly less free as of late.  Worrisome laws A growing number of U.S. states are passing laws restricting the rights of women and LGBTQ people. Texas recently passed the fetal heartbeat law, making it nearly impossible to get an abortion. That was before they also created a policy where the state can investigate families who seek gender-affirming healthcare for trans children. That law is thankfully in limbo. Oklahoma just passed

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#FactsOnFriday: Who was the Father of the Turks? A primer on Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

4 mn read War hero, reformer, enlightened leader, tyrant. The shape Mustafa Kemal Ataturk takes will always differ from person to person. He is celebrated by many for his exploits on the battlefield. Time and time again, he defeated whichever enemy he was put in front of, making him one of the most competent military leaders in world history. To others he was the picture of enlightened statesmanship. He was a student of French enlightened thinkers like August Comte, who favoured rationalism and science as being the basis for progress in society. And finally, he is seen by many as a tyrant and

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