By Jack Telford
In September this year, Plan Norway created a fake blog to convince the Norwegian public that a 12-year-old girl was to marry a 37-year-old man in October. The pre-teen, Thea, posted regular updates on her blog, explaining her worries about living a life of ‘wifedom’, and soon having to become pregnant. Thea’s blog quickly became the most read in Norway, mobilising people against child marriage and demonstrating the outrage that the practice can generate when brought into light.
The stunt aimed to give a personal face to the 39,000 children – overwhelmingly girls – who are forced into child marriage worldwide every day. Most in the developed world remain ignorant to the issue, with teenage girls’ suffering going tragically unreported.
By Beatrice Maria Zanella
The Alevi have been discriminated for centuries; not only in Turkey, but in many Islamic countries. Information about them and their traditions was so inadequate and unreliable that they are considered heretics by other Muslims. For this reason, Alevi practice taqiyya, the dissimulation of their faith and customs. Even today it is unclear how many Alevi there are in Turkey, with different sources claiming they make up 3% to 30% of the population.
Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right, and as such should be implemented and respected by every country. However, the Alevi still do not enjoy this right in Turkey. In fact, they are not officially recognised and, hence, are instead protected as a minority.
From the Editor
Global Minorities Alliance attended a youth conference organised by the Baha’i Council for Scotland from 31 October to 2 November. The above video clips are interviews with Nabil Helmy (Baha’i Community Aberdeen), Sophia Fozdar (Baha’i Community Scotland) and Howard Moshtael (Conference Coordinator).