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Massive Protests In Jordan, As King Tries To Calm Opponents With Early Elections



AMMAN - Led by Jordan's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, thousands of protesters marched in the capital on Friday demanding democratic reforms from King Abdullah.

Following the Friday prayers, protestors who'd come from across the country descended on the Husseini mosque in downtown Amman, chanting: "Listen Abdullah, our demands are legitimate," Reuters expand=1] reported.

The "Friday to Rescue the Nation" rally was the largest single protest in Jordan since the Arab Spring popular movement began to spread across the region in 2011.

On the eve of the march, Abdullah had issued two royal decrees on Thursday that dissolved the Parliament and called for early elections, expected to take place by end of 2012, Al Jazeera reported. The new government is expected to be formed next week. Muslim Brotherhood leaders said the move does not meet their demands.

The constitutional and political reforms that the King has announced over the past year have not swayed the Islamic Action Front (the name of Jordan's wing of the Muslim Brotherhood). The group also announced that they would boycott the parliamentary elections.

In addition to reforms, The IAF claim that there should be more parliamentary representativeness, as most of the seats are held by pro-regime supporters. According to the Arab-language France 24 network, the political elite in Jordan are now worried that they may suffer the same fate as their counterparts in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, all governed by Islamic movements now.

The IAF is mostly constituted of Jordanian citizens of Palestinian origins.

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New Study Finds High Levels Of Anti-LGBTQ+ Discrimination In Buddhism

We tend to think of Buddhism as a religion devoid of commandments, and therefore generally more accepting than others. The author, an Australian researcher — and "genderqueer, non-binary Buddhist" themself — suggests that it is far from being the case.

Photo of a Buddhist monk in a Cambodia temple, walking away from the camera

Some Buddhist spaces can be highly heteronormative and show lack of understanding toward the LGBTQ+ community

Stephen Kerry

More than half of Australia’s LGBTQIA+ Buddhists feel reluctant to “come out” to their Buddhist communities and nearly one in six have been told directly that being LGBTQIA+ isn’t in keeping with the Buddha’s teachings.

These are some of the findings from my research looking at the experiences of LGBTQIA+ Buddhists in Australia.

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

I’m a genderqueer, non-binary Buddhist myself and I was curious about others’ experiences in Australia since there has been no research done on our community before. So, in 2020, I surveyed 82 LGBTQIA+ Buddhists and have since followed this up with 29 face-to-face interviews.

Some people may think Buddhism would be quite accepting of LGBTQIA+ people. There are, after all, no religious laws, commandments or punishments in Buddhism. My research indicates, however, this is not always true.

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