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30th January   

Bible Implants...

Church whinges about newspaper cartoon depicting brainwashing by christians
Link Here

kazakh brain op cartoonProtestant church leaders in central Kazakhstan have issued a joint protest against an article and accompanying cartoon critical of Christianity printed in a newspaper last month, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Igor Pak, the pastor of the Kamo Gryadeshi (Quo Vadis) Protestant church told RFE/RL an article published in the newspaper Vzglyad na sobytiya (A Glance at Events) in December was a lie written by a reporter who visited his church.

The article implied that the church was involved in brainwashing people to become Christians. A cartoon accompanying the article showed a man in a doctor's robe opening up another's man's skull and putting what appears to be a Bible in his head. The man in the doctor's robe says: Some words of the Lord Almighty, a bit of spicy tricks with delirium about personal growth; as for logical thinking ... we do not give a damn about that.

Vzglyad na sobytiya chief editor Andrei Menshchikov said that the last time I checked, freedom of speech is still legal in our democratic country called Kazakhstan.

 

30th January   

Offsite: Barbarism in Afghanistan...

Eloping lovers stoned to death on the request of their families
Link Here  full story: Death by Stoning...International condemnation of barbaric execution

stoning in afghanistan video A disturbing video of a man and woman being executed by the Taliban has been released by Afghan security forces.

The two people have been publicly stoned to death in Afghanistan over an alleged love affair.

The alleged lovers, who were engaged to be married to other people, were arrested by the Taliban on the request of their families after they tried to elope.

The video shows a woman wearing a blue burkah buried up to her waist as a baying crowd hurl rocks at her head and body. She is then shot three times by a Taliban fighter.

Her alleged lover is then blindfolded and his hands tied behind his back before he also is battered by a barrage of rocks.

A government official has condemned the execution, which took place in August 2010 in the district of Dashte Archi, in Kunduz: It is against all human rights and international conventions. There was no court.

Update: Police Promises

31st January 2011. See article from news.carrentals.co.uk

Police have promised to bring justice to those responsible for a stoning in north Afghanistan.

Gen Daoud Daoud, chief of police for the region, said after viewing the footage that those committing the crime could be recognised in the video. He said that a number of special investigators would be sent to the area who would be able to help find the suspects in the effort of bringing them to justice.

Update: Victim Sold by Her Parents

10th February 2010. See article from sify.com

A young woman who was stoned to death in Afghanistan last August had reportedly run away from home because her father had sold her into marriage with a wealthy relative.

According to the Scotsman, Sediqa fled her village with another man, when she realized that the fiance who bought her was old and already married.

Sediqa's neighbours in Mullah Quli village said that the man had paid between 5,000-7,500 pounds to her father. Sediqa's father sold her to a man who was already married. The man was a distant relative and he had visited their house a few times, but Sediqa didn't realize he was her fiance, Juma Qol, a local said.

She did not know that her father had sold her and she didn't know that the man was already married. She had liked another boy for a long time. When she found out, she ran straight away to his house, he added.

The young couple were stoned to death after they were lured home by their parents and turned over to the Taleban.

 

30th January   

Forced Marriage...

Family on trial in Norway for marrying off their 13 year old daughter
Link Here

Norway flagA family has been charged by the Norwegian authorities for marrying off their 13 year old daughter to a cousin.

Police think that the cousin (24), aunt (47), uncle (51), the girl's mother (39) and her father (40) are responsible.

I was told to repeat what the imam said, and did not understand the significance of what happened, the girl told VG about the day she got made-up for a party, and was then married to her older cousin.

The cousin is charged with sexual relations with children under 14, death threats and abuse. During the police interrogation, the girl said that her cousin held a knife to her throat the first time he raped her. He does not admit guilt.

Police think the girl will probably be in danger for the rest of her life. She will testify what happened in the years since she forced to marry as a 13 year old - and until she turned to the Child Welfare services last year and was moved to a secret location.

The girl's uncle, who is said to be the main man behind the forced marriage, is still on the run.

 

29th January   

Offsite: Supporters Should Know What he is Really Like...

Ex-partner exposes Stephen Green of Christian Voice as a wife beater
Link Here

Stephen GreenIn public he rails against immorality as the voice of Christian Britain but in private he is a wife beater, says his former partner

Caroline Green was often punished by her husband Stephen for failing to be a dutiful, compliant wife, but his final act of violence against her — the one that prompted her long-overdue decision to divorce him — was all the more chilling because it was coldly premeditated.

Stephen Green wrote a list of his wife's failings then described the weapon he would make to beat her with.

He told me he'd make a piece of wood into a sort of witch's broom and hit me with it, which he did, she recalls, her voice tentative and quiet. He hit me until I bled. I was terrified. I can still remember the pain.

Stephen listed my misdemeanours: I was disrespectful and disobedient; I wasn't loving or submissive enough and I was undermining him. He also said I wasn't giving him his conjugal rights.

He even framed our marriage vows — he always put particular emphasis on my promise to obey him — and hung them over our bed. He believed there was no such thing as marital rape and for years I'd been reluctant to have sex with him, but he said it was my duty and was angry if I refused him.

But the beating was the last straw. It convinced me I had to divorce him.

Stephen Green's monstrous and autocratic behaviour would, in any circumstance, be shocking. But the charge of arrant hypocrisy must be added — for while terrorising his wife and their four children, he was also revelling in his self-appointed public role as guardian of the nation's morality.

Green, 60, is founder and director of Christian Voice, a fundamentalist group he set up in 1994, whose website thunders against the vices — family breakdown, crime, immorality and drink among them — that are ruining the lives of real people . Green's pronouncements are often outrageous. For example, after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005 and killed more than 1,600 people, he claimed it was a result of God's wrath and had purified the city.

He routinely inveighs against the abolition of the death penalty, no-fault divorce, Islam, abortion and, his particular bte noir, homosexuality. Violent crime and rape, he laments on his website, have risen dramatically in the past 50 years, while he points out that virtue is derided .

When Caroline, 59, contemplates the disparity between his public pronouncements and his private persona, she is sickened.

Whenever I watch him on TV spouting verses from the Bible, or see him quoted in a newspaper, it turns my stomach, she says. I've decided to tell the truth about him now because the people who support him financially and morally should know what he is really like.'

...Read the full article

 

29th January   

Update: Charged with Honour Killing...

Pakistan teenager who eloped with low caste neighbour electrocuted by her family
Link Here  full story: Honour Crime...International honour killings and family crime

Pakistan flagRelatives of a teenage Pakistani girl have apparently electrocuted her for falling in love with a man they did not approve of, according to police.

Elders and the family of Saima Bibi, 17, decided after a meeting of a village council, or panchayat, that her punishment for 'shaming' the family should be death, police said.

There are signs of torture and burns on her neck, back and hands which are most probably caused by electrocution, said a police official.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani took serious notice of the the sad incident of the killing of a girl by electric current on the orders of the panchayat , and ordered police to immediately submit a report, his office said.

Bibi fell in love with her low caste neighbour, Dilawar, and they eloped to Karachi. Her relatives tricked her into returning home on the promise that she would be allowed to marry him.

Police said Bibi's father, Abdul Majeed, and an uncle had been detained.

 

28th January   

Snowy Bosom Covered in Swallows...

Poetry book banned in Iraqi Kurdistan
Link Here

snowy bosomThe latest poetry collection of a well-known Kurdish poet has been banned in Iraqi Kurdistan, after mullahs criticized it for disparaging God.

The book, by Qubad Jalil-Zada, is entitled Stiany Befir Pira Rishole, which Rudaw has translated as Snowy Bosom Covered in Swallows. The author is now urging Kurdistan's president to free his book from imprisonment.

A thousand copies of the book were printed. However, a sentence in one of the poems, God is resting, angered several mullahs in the Kurdish capital, Erbil, and they have harshly criticized the collection in their Friday sermons.

The criticism of the Mullahs, one of whom is a lawmaker, put pressure on authorities in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), who have now banned the book from distribution. Consequently, all of the printed copies have been returned to the publishers.

 

28th January   

Fatwa Against Theresa May...

Home Secretary targeted by an intimidating poster campaign
Link Here

fatwa mayPosters have appeared in Balham and Tooting in South London pronouncing a fatwa against the British Home Secretary, Theresa May.

The poster reads:

Fatwa against Theresa May for the abduction, kidnapping and false imprisonment of the following innocent persons..

...followed by a list various notorious muslims, including extremist Abu Hamza and the woman convicted of the stabbing and attempted murder of her MP.

The group has set up a website which states they are not calling for her death, only that she has been found guilty of crimes against Islam.

 

26th January   

Pop Confessional...

ASA see the funny side of nightclub advert
Link Here

pop confessional advert A press ad, in Venue magazine, a Bristol Metro supplement, featured an image of the Virgin Mary holding a disco ball to advertise a themed club night. Text stated EVERY SATURDAY THEKLA BRISTOL FREE ENTRY BEFORE 10PM GUILTY POP PLEASURES FOR SINNERS POP CONFESSIONAL WWW.POPCONFESSIONAL.CO.UK .

A complainant objected to the ad as offensive, as it mocked Christians, and Catholics in particular.

Venue Publishing said The Metro was a free paper aimed at young commuters, with significant content regarding entertainment and nightlife for that demographic. Because of that readership, they said they were surprised at the complaint, and believed it was very unlikely any regular readers were offended by the ad. They added that they had received no complaints themselves about the ad.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA understood that the intention was to light heartedly play on the idea that enjoying certain types of music was something people were ashamed to admit. We acknowledged that notions of sinning and confession originated from a religious context, but considered that they had become embedded in secular society with a wider application, especially amongst the intended audience. While we understood some readers may have found it distasteful to use the Virgin Mary to promote a nightclub, we did not consider that the ad portrayed religion negatively, and considered that most of the young and fashionable audience of the magazine were likely to interpret the ad as a tongue-in-cheek joke at poor music taste, and not a joke at the expense of Christianity or Catholicism. We therefore concluded the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence, or that it mocked Christians, and Catholics in particular.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) Clause 4.1 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.

More on the same theme

There's more on the them at the website popconfessional.co.uk . Perhaps Hall & Oates, David Essex, Foreigner, Journey, 5ive and Craig David could obtain a little free publicity by being 'offended' that their music is considered a sin.

Our Father, who art in pop-heaven, hallowed by thy name…

The POP CONFESSIONAL comes to Bristol for the first time! Your host for the evening is Father Valentine Spinoza who will be spinning all your favourite guilty pop pleasures until the wee small hours of Sunday morning, leaving you ready for Mass in the morning.

We'll bring you pop classics covering all musical eras, from Hall & Oates and David Essex to Foreigner and Journey to 5ive and Craig David. We also want you to confess your musical sins in our video confessional booth. Our favourite confessions will be put up on our YouTube channel and the best will win some excellent pop prizes!

Expect shameless dancing to tunes you know you shouldn't, pop-priests and naughty-nuns, dressing up of all kinds, outrageous dance moves and pure party vibes the Lord Himself would be proud of.

Every Saturday on board the world famous Thekla!

 

26th January   

The Perfect Christian Election Candidate...

Gay banning, drink restricting, reformed sex addict, who blames everything on his screwed up childhood...Perfect
Link Here

peter maddenThe new Christian Democrat candidate for the state seat of Sydney has pledged to end the city's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

At a meeting with the press in the lead-up a State Election, self-confessed reformed sex addict Peter Madden said ending the Mardi Gras was one of his main objectives.

Where once it was about rights, it now stands for violence and drunkenness,   Madden said. Adding that it had become the worst day of the year for teenage binge drinking, a major problem facing the city.

Introducing Madden, Christian Democrat leader Fred Nile claimed his personal experience and desire to clean up Kings Cross made him the best candidate for the seat.

Madden said he was molested from the age of nine until 17 by an older female family member. The experience had left him with a seven-year sexual addiction: I was driven by sexual lust and pornography and for a season I visited prostitutes .

He said prostitution was out of control in Sydney and that tolerance, particularly by State Sydney Independent MP and Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the Greens had lead to hyper-tolerance : This in turn leads to anarchy .

 

26th January   

Updated: Unacceptable Discrimination...

Court finds that christian hoteliers were discriminatory in refusing room to gay couple
Link Here  full story: Bed and Breakfast Gay Ban...B+B refuses gay guests on religious grounds

Old BaileyTwo Christian hotel owners have been ordered to pay damages for refusing a bed to a gay couple .

Peter and Hazelmary Bull whinged that Christianity had been pushed to the margins of society, and added: Some people are more equal than others.

They spoke out after a landmark court decision awarded 1,800 each to civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, who were denied a double room under the Bulls' policy of allowing only married couples to share a bed in the hotel that is also their home. Victory:

Judge Andrew Rutherford said that in the past 50 years social attitudes had changed. He concluded that the Bulls discriminate on the basis of marital status : There is no material difference between marriage and a civil partnership. If that is right, then upon what basis do the defendants draw a distinction if it is not on sexual orientation? The only conclusion which can be drawn is that the refusal to allow [the claimants] to occupy the double room which they had booked was because of their sexual orientation and that this is direct discrimination.

His likening of civil partnership to marriage may lead to a long legal battle if the Bulls appeal.

There was a suggestion during the trial that the hoteliers had been set up as part of a campaign against discrimination. But the judge said he could see no evidence of such a sting operation and added that damages would have been greatly reduced if that was so. He said: There was a suggestion in the course of the case, and indeed in some newspaper reports prior to the case, that the defendants were "set up" by the claimants with the assistance of an organisation such as Stonewall. If this were true then, while it would not of itself defeat a discrimination claim, it would very materially affect the issue of damages.

Update: Appeal

26th January 2011. See article from bbc.co.uk

The Christian owners of a Cornwall hotel who unlawfully refused to allow a gay couple a double room have appealed.

The Christian Institute is reportedly funding the appeal.

Update: Appeal decision reserved

15th November 2011. See article from christian.org.uk

The judgment in the appeal case of B&B owners, Peter and Hazelmary Bull, has been reserved and a ruling is not expected to be given for several weeks.

The Bulls are seeking to overturn a ruling by a previous judge who said their policy of restricting double rooms to married couples discriminated against homosexuals.

 

25th January   

Update: Horror of the Westboro Baptists...

Nutters hype Kevin Smith's new film, Red State
Link Here  full story: Westboro Baptists...Reprehensible nutters hate gays and soliders

Red State Poster Teaser Horror Indie director Kevin Smith's new film Red State was picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church on Sunday.

Red State is said to be a scathing satire on Christian fundamentalists and was making its debut at the Sundance Film Festival.

However, Smith was ready to exploit the picket. He and an estimated 200 supporters launched a counter protest. Smith, an astute businessman as well as a creative force, utilized the Westboro picket to create even more buzz for his film's launch at Sundance.

Red State is being billed as a different kind of horror movie, a movie exploiting the horror of Christian fundamentalism and ultraconservative right wing American values. The plot centers around three teenage boys in search of sexual experience and their contact with a frightening clan of Christian extremists.

In fact the film features a gay-hating minister and a frightening band of homophobic Christian bigots remarkably similar to the Westboro Baptist Church.

 

25th January   

Update: Collapsing Churches...

Protests in Egypt For New Law on Church Construction
Link Here  full story: Copts in Egypt...Egyptian christian copts denied religious freedom

flood damageUnusually bad winter weather in Upper Egypt all last week focused attention once again on the controversial restrictions on church building. The rainy weather caused roofs of dilapidated churches -- which have been waiting for years to receive construction permits -- to collapse.

Much of the on-going sectarian strife in Egypt is related to the ability of Christians to build churches. Most human rights organizations in Egypt have called on the Egyptian government for the last 15 years to promptly adopt a unified law governing construction of the houses of worship. believing that this law would eliminate more than 90% of the sectarian tension.

Presently church building in Egypt is still partly governed by the Hamayouni Decree of 1856, and the 1934 el-EzabI Decree that stipulated 10 conditions that must be met prior to issuance of a presidential decree permitting the construction of a church. The conditions include the requirement that the distance between a church and a mosque be not less than 100 meters, the approval of the neighboring Muslim community, the number of Christians in the area and whether or not the proposed church is near the Nile, public utilities or railways. Copts view these regulations as confirmation of their Dhimmi or second-class citizenship status.

After the November 2010 parliamentary elections, Copts kept getting mixed messages about the long awaited law on places of worship, which was promised to be introduced to Parliament this session. On the opening session of the new parliament, however, President Mubarak did not introduce the church building law.

On the 9th January 2011 the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) said it was considering a unified law on places of worship for Muslims and Christians. However, the final draft of the bill has yet to take shape.

On January 17, Dr. Mostafa El Fekki, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Shura Council, said that the law on places of worship will not be adopted due to procedural considerations, pointing out that this law opens the door to sedition in the community, and may encourage a Muslim to build a mosque on an area of 100 acres just like some of the monasteries for Christians do. He believes that this situation could only be solved by a presidential decree or by new legislation repealing the old and starting anew.

They cannot keep giving us excuses as if we are mentally retarded, said Coptic activist Mark Ebeid. Gone are the days when we could be pacified with hollow promises, honeyed rhetoric, and citizenship rights which are never implemented.

Last week thousands of Copts staged peaceful rallies to protest local governors' decisions to halt their church permits, or to order demolition of parts of their new churches, under pretexts of deviations in the the blueprints of the church drawings. It all boils down in the end to the emergence of a dome in the construction, says activist Wagih Yacoub.

In the Governorate of Minya, more than 5000 Copts in Maghagha staged a sit-in because the tent in which they have been using as a church since March last year collapsed due to the profuse rain on January 17. They called on the Governor of Minya to issue the rebuilding permit for the Diocese of Maghagha Church, which was demolished to be replaced by a new one. However, since March 2010, the situation has come to a standstill. Because after demolishing the buildings, the Governor insisted that for a new diocese to be built the Bishop has also to demolish his 45 square meter home and should find somewhere else to sleep.

In the Governorate of Beni Suef thousands of Copts protested ten days ago inside the newly-built church in Ezbet Gaffer, Al-Fashn, after a decision by the city's administration office to demolish the church's dome, citing that its builders did not adhere to the licensing conditions, as the Presidential Decree came with no dome. The church was built years ago and was developing cracks in its walls, but Al-Fashn Diocese asked for a permit for demolishing the old building and replacing it with a new one, which would serve three villages. The Governor intervened to pacify the Copts and sent the drawing to Cairo to see the possibility of amendments.

Only two months ago a similar situation took place at the new Coptic Church of St. Mary and St. Michael's, in Talbiya, Giza, which ended with deadly consequences for Copts and a huge human rights scandal for the government. State security forces opened fire with live ammunition and used tear gas on women, children and youth who were present at the church, in order to halt construction of the church and demolish the building. Upon seeing a dome being erected, the governor of Giza and the local authorities sent at dawn on November 24 nearly 5,000 security forces, which surrounded the church, shot at the congregation with live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas The clashes between security and the Copts resulted in the death of three Coptic men from bullet wounds and a four year old child from tear gas being thrown inside the chapel. More than 79 Copts were wounded, some severely, and 157 people were detained, including women and children, and were all charged with premeditated murder of a police officer, assaulting security officers, rioting, theft and destruction of public property

 

24th January   

Unacceptable Protection...

Al-Azhar consider a papal call for better protection for much beleaguered christians as unacceptable interference
Link Here

al azhar mosqueOne of the leading institutes of 'learning' in the Muslim world, Cairo's al-Azhar institution, has suspended its dialogue with the Vatican.

Al-Azhar said the move was in protest against a recent call from the Pope for greater protection of Christians in the Middle East, following a series of attacks on Christians in the region.

Al-Azhar said the Pope had repeatedly addressed Islam negatively .

Recently a bomb attack on an Alexandria church killed 23 Coptic Christians. Afterwards Pope Benedict XVI justifiably called on Middle Eastern governments to do more to protect Christians in their countries.

The Egyptian government denounced the comments as unacceptable interference and withdrew its ambassador from the Vatican for consultations.

 

24th January   

Update: Forlorn Hope...

European Parliament calls for an end to Pakistan's blasphemy abuse
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

EU flagThe European parliament has urged Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to pardon and release Asia Bibi, the Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam.

The European parliamentarians also called on the Pakistani government once again for a sweeping revision of blasphemy laws and their application.

The resolution also refers to the January 4 assassination of Punjab governor Salman Taseer, who was shot dead by a police commando after calling for reform of the blasphemy law used to sentence Bibi to death. His outspoken liberal stance offended the country's increasingly powerful conservative religious base.

The parliament paid homage to Taseer for his courage and force of character.

It decried the fact that tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Karachi to defend his killing and expressed great concern for the groundswell of support in favour of religious intolerance.

 

23rd January   

Update: Little Appeal...

Burkha ban suspended in Lleida, Spain pending appeal
Link Here  full story: Burkha Bollox...Burkhas threaten to undermine world peace

Spanish flagCatalunya High Court has suspended the ban on the Burkha in public places imposed by Lleida city council in October.

The verdict, passed says the ban will be lifted until a decision has been made by a judge on the appeal put forward by the Muslim association Watani.

The city council forbade the wearing of not only Burkhas but also other Muslim headgear such as the niqab and the hiyab – which only cover the wearer's hair – in any public building. This means indoor markets, public transport, community centres and council-owned buildings.

Members of Watami say this is discrimination on religious grounds, since many women choose to wear niqabs and hiyabs, rather than being forced to by their husbands or male relatives.

Ombudsman On Burkha Ban

Based on article from monstersandcritics.com

Meanwhile the Spanish ombudswoman, charged with defending citizens' rights, on Thursday defended Muslim women's right to wear the all-body veil, or burqa, if they want to do so.

Maria Luisa Cava de Llano said she was not against the burqa as long as it did not signal submission to the man and degrade the female condition.'

Ban Upheld

20th June 2011. See article from thelibertyphile.blogspot.com

A Spanish court has upheld a ban by a city on face-covering Islamic veils worn in municipal buildings.

In 2010, the city of Lleida became the first Spanish one to impose such a ban. But the Catalan regional Superior Justice Tribunal suspended it following an appeal by a Muslim association that claimed it violated basic rights.

The court has now ruled that the northeastern city was within its rights to ban the clothing in municipal buildings for security and identification purposes. It also backed Lleida's argument that the veils are discriminatory.

Update: Ban overturned on 2nd Appeal

18th April 2013. See article from guardian.co.uk

A Spanish court has overturned a city's ban on wearing face-covering Islamic veils in municipal buildings, saying it infringes religious liberties.

In 2010, Lleida, in the northeastern region of Catalonia, became the first Spanish town to impose such a ban. It was temporarily suspended by a regional court following an appeal by a Muslim association but then later upheld.

Spain's supreme court accepted a second appeal and said the city was not entitled to order such a ban. It said that in line with Spanish and European rulings, such a prohibition must be based on a law, which does not exist in Spain at present.

 

23rd January   

Update: Progress in Mauritainia...

A fatwa against female genital mutilation
Link Here

Mauritania flag34 well-regarded Mauritanian religious and national leaders have signed a fatwa, banning female genital mutilation (FGM). The fatwa is considered a huge stride toward women's rights in the Islam world.

The law was passed on Jan. 15, 2011, by 34 Mauritanian religious and national figures prohibits the practice of FGM within the country.

According to Magharebia.com, The authors cited the work of Islamic legal expert Ibn al-Hajj as support for their assertion that such practices were not present in the Maghreb countries over the past centuries.

This new law will certainly curb the practice of female genital mutilation in Mauratania.

 

23rd January   

Update: Paralysed by Nonsense...

Christian sect try to evade polio vaccination for their kids
Link Here  full story: Prayer Before Medicine...Suffering as prayer is prefered to medical aid

Kenya flagConfusion reigned at Nyahera village in Kenya as police and medical personnel engaged in a cat and mouse game with a Christian sect opposed to the ongoing anti-polio vaccination.

The Government renewed the campaign following fresh fears of the disease outbreak in Siaya County.

Two brothers said to be members of the Yeso Nyalo (Jesus Can) sect gave the police and the medics hectic time as they went round shouting and urging the children to run into the bush and hide from the intruders .

Bondo Medical Officer of Heath, Julius Oliech, said the Government has been forced to use security officers during the exercise after resistance from the sect: We have no choice but to use the police after the sect chased away medical personnel.

 

23rd January   

Providing Chitchat for Australian Dinner Parties...

Australian parliament asked to step aside to let muslims take over
Link Here

Australia flagIslamic preacher Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon points heavenwards to emphasise his message for the governments of Australia and spouts:

My attack is on the Prime Minister of Australia. I hate the parliament in Canberra. I want to go straight for the jugular vein and advise the parliament that they have no right to legislate. They should immediately step down and let the Muslims take over.

An Australian-born convert to Islam, Siddiq-Conlon is the self-anointed leader of a group called Sharia4Australia, which is pushing for the introduction of sharia courts as a first step towards achieving Islamic law. He said:

One day Australia will live under sharia; it's inevitable. If they (Australians) don't accept it, that's not our problem. We hope, and our objective is to have a peaceful transition, but when you look at history that has never been the case. There's always been a fight. It is inevitable that one day there will be a struggle for Islam in Australia.

Siddiq-Conlon shrugs off concerns his campaign will damage the wider Muslim community:

If it causes a backlash against the Muslims, I can't help that. This is a necessary debate.

 

22nd January   

Updated: Gateshead Dinner Party...

Koran burners not prosecuted as there was no evidence that anyone was actually upset by the stunt
Link Here  full story: Koran Burning...Symbolic gesture and easy offence

Crown Prosecution ServiceSeven men accused of burning a copy of the Koran in a Gateshead pub car park will face no further action.

The men were detained in September after a video appeared on the internet.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was not sufficient evidence for a realistic chance of conviction.

It said it had looked at a number of areas for possible prosecution but there was insufficient evidence.

The CPS said it could not identify who had recorded and posted the video online, there was no evidence threatening behaviour was used and there was no evidence anyone present was upset by what they saw.

 

22nd January   

Prisoner of Ashrafazad...

Six months for violent intimidation of Harry Potter star over her choice of boyfriend
Link Here

AFSHAN AZAD COLOUR Movie 50x40cm Ashraf Azad has received a six months jail sentence after setting upon his sister Afshan having discovered she was involved in a relationship with a non-Muslim man.

Manchester Crown Court heard he left his younger sister bruised and swollen after grabbing her by the hair, throwing her across a room and punching her in the head and back as she cowered on the floor of the family home.

Actress Afshan, 22, played Padma Patil, a classmate of the young wizard at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Her brother Ashraf Azad, 28, pleaded guilty in December to assaulting her at the family home. Azad was handed the six-month sentence at Manchester Crown Court after a plea from his sister for leniency.

The court heard that Ms Azad has never supported the prosecution despite giving police an initial statement. But Judge Thomas said it was a prolonged and nasty attack , adding that domestic violence in the home could not be tolerated.

But Judge Thomas said: It should be understood that whether or not a case is prosecuted is not a matter of choice for a witness, or even a victim of crime. It is rather a matter of public, not private, concern and interest to see instances of domestic violence properly prosecuted through the courts.

 

21st January   

Eating Out Dinner Party...

Man arrested for Koran burning in Carlisle
Link Here  full story: Koran Burning...Symbolic gesture and easy offence

Dove Outreach CentreA man has been arrested after a Koran was allegedly burned during an anti-Islamic demonstration in Carlisle. He was held after he was reported to have stood on a street in the city centre loudly making pronouncements against the Muslim religion in front of a large crowd.

The man is then alleged to have set fire to the Koran he was holding before discarding it on the floor and hurrying away.

A spokesman for Cumbria Police confirmed that a 32-year-old man has been arrested. He added: Just after midday on Wednesday, police received reports that a Koran was being burned by a man in Carlisle city centre. Police have seized the remains of the book and a 32-year-old male has been arrested on suspicion of using racially aggravated threatening words or behaviour. The man remains in police custody where he is helping officers with their inquiries.

A shop worker who did not wish to be named said: I think it probably had something to do with the right-wing American who has been banned from the country.

This was referring to the  controversial American preacher, Pastor Terry Jones, who caused an international storm by threatening to burn the Koran who has just been banned from visiting the United Kingdom.

He was refused a visa by the Home Office under laws forbidding entry to people who may incite hatred. He had been invited to England by a group called England Is Ours, next month. He was to have spoken at a series of demonstrations against the expansion of Islam and the construction of mosques in the UK.

Update: Luke Jones

31st January 2011. See article from presstv.ir

A US pastor banned from entering Britain is to send his son as his representative to deliver his words to the audience there following a Home Secretary decision that he is not conducive to the public good .

Terry Jones's son, Luke, who is also a pastor at the Dove World Outreach Centre in Florida is to go to England on behalf of his father to deliver his speech in the second week of February on the expansion of Islam in Milton Keynes, Bucks.

 

20th January   

The Dinner Table Test: Introduction...

Baroness Warsi observes that islamaphobia is socially acceptable
Link Here

dinr partyIslamophobia has passed the dinner-table test and become widely socially acceptable in Britain, according to Lady Warsi, the Conservative chairman.

Warsi is expected to use a speech at Leicester University to raise the alarm over the way in which she believes prejudice against Muslims is now seen by many Britons as normal.

She will also warn against the tendency to divide Muslims between moderates and extremists , which she contends can fuel misunderstanding and intolerance.

Warsi is expected to say that terrorist offences committed by a small number of Muslims should not be used to condemn all who follow Islam.

But she will also urge Muslim communities to be clearer about their rejection of those who resort to violent extremism: Those who commit criminal acts of terrorism in our country need to be dealt with not just by the full force of the law. They also should face social rejection and alienation across society and their acts must not be used as an opportunity to tar all Muslims.

The peer will also blame the patronising, superficial way that religious nonsense is discussed in certain quarters, including the media, for making Britain a less tolerant place for believers.

 

20th January   

Update: The Dinner Table Test: Not Stereotyping...

Possibly not a muslim man on trial for the attempted murder of the Mohammed cartoonist
Link Here  full story: Mohammed Cartoons...Cartoons outrage the muslim world

Denmark flagA Somali man charged with trying to kill the cartoonist behind the most controversial of the Danish caricatures of Mohammed has gone on trial in Denmark.

He is charged with attempted terrorism, attempted murder, attacking a police officer and illegal arms possession.

He came to my house in Aarhus on January 1 (2010), broke down the front door with an ax and destroyed the television set and computer in the living room, screaming in Danish that he was going to kill me because I had offended the Muslim prophet, the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard told AFP on the eve of the trial.

The cartoonist, who was alone at home at the time with his five-year-old granddaughter, rushed into a bathroom that had been fortified and transformed into a panic room to seek safety and call the police. Police arrived at the scene just three, four minutes after my call, Westergaard said.

The man came out wielding his ax and a knife at police, who shot him twice and wounded him before placing him under arrest.

The trial is set to last for nine days and the verdict is expected around the first week of February.

 

20th January   

The Dinner Table Test: Respect...

They're not nutters, they're respected members of the faith community undergoing psychiatric evaluation
Link Here  full story: Mohammed Cartoons...Cartoons outrage the muslim world

Blackwater Valley Exorcism James Russo A married couple from the central Russian city of Voronezh have been charged with murdering their daughter in an attempt to exorcise her of demons.

Reports say that 25-year-old Alexandra, a mother of two, confessed to her parents during Orthodox Christmas that she heard voices in her head and suspected she had been possessed by unclean spirits.

Her parents then decided they would have to exorcise her and persuaded her to drink five liters of holy water. But their daughter was unable to swallow such a vast amount of liquid, so her father, Sergei, held her down while her mother, Yelena, poured the rest of the water into her mouth.

They then jumped up and down on her until she died, investigators say. They also say that the parents expected their daughter to be resurrected after the expulsion of the demons.

The couple are currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation.

 

19th January   

Banned by Fees...

Tajikistan restricts religious books with high 'censorship' fees
Link Here

Bhagavad Gita Oxford Worlds Classics Tajikistan charges religious communities high prices for censorship which violates the internationally recognised human rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief, Forum 18 News Service has found.

An Imam of an officially registered mosque, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of state reprisals, told Forum 18 that he is confident he will receive Religious Affairs Committee permission to print books. But he is surprised that charges are imposed. We cannot afford to pay these charges to print books , he lamented. We do not earn much , he observed.

The Hare Krishna community have found that even our main sacred book, the Bhagavad Gita , must be censored. And it is going to be very expensive for us , Dilorom Kurbanova complained. The state Religious Affairs Committee refuses to make public how much it charges for censorship. It is also uncertain whether communities will be fined for already having or using uncensored literature, and what will happen to confiscated literature.

And imports are not the answer

Based on article from forum18.org

A new offence of producing, distributing, importing or exporting religious literature and items of a religious nature which have not passed through the compulsory prior state religious censorship was created with the addition of Article 474-1 to the Code of Administrative Offences.

The Article, which came into force on 1 January 2011, imposes heavy fines.

Mavlon Mukhtarov of the Government's Religious Affairs Committee denied that the censorship violates Tajikistan's international human rights commitments. Asked by Forum 18 about the huge fines, he told Forum 18: Well, we will warn religious organisations not to violate the law, and those fines will only come if they continue violations.

 

19th January   

Orthodox Nutterdom...

Church spokesprat proposes a dress code for all Russians
Link Here

chaplin archpriest vsevolodA senior spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church has proposed the introduction of a dress code for all Russian men and women.

In a short website article, Vsevolod Chaplin, the church's chief liaison with secular society, states that no culture has ever considered appearances a private affair and calls for the introduction of nationwide rules of clothing, following the example of school and corporate dress codes.

The article was written in response to an open letter to the Orthodox partiarch from a group of Russian activists appalled by Chaplin's December 2010 remarks putting the blame for sexual assault on rape victims' immodest dress. Defying the group's call for a public apology, Chaplin reiterates his view that a woman who wears a skimpy dress and lots of makeup -- like a clown -- can only attract a drunken idiot and says he hopes to see the day when indecently dressed individuals will be escorted out of public spaces -- with the exception of brothels or strip bars, he notes.

Chaplin does not specify the lengths, sizes, or colors of acceptable clothing items; nor does he say whether the proposed dress code should be enforced by religious or secular authorities.

 

19th January   

Offsite: Impunity...

Murderer of Punjab governor expected to avoid conviction
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

Pakistan flagThe brother of a Pakistani police guard who assassinated a liberal politician for opposing the country's anti-blasphemy laws is optimistic he will never be prosecuted -- and he probably has good reason to be.

After the police guard, Mumtaz Qadri, pumped 27 bullets into Punjab Governor Salman Taseer on January 4, he was viewed as a hero by many Pakistanis, highlighting how deeply religious extremism has penetrated mainstream Pakistani society.

...Read the full article .

 

18th January   

Christian Counsellor Under Gay Duress...

Why shouldn't people try to change their sexuality if they want to?
Link Here

christian concern logoOn 20th January, a Christian counsellor will be summoned before a Professional Conduct Panel for giving therapy to a homosexual man who pretended to be a Christian wishing to stop practising homosexuality.

Lesley Pilkington, a counsellor with over 20 years of experience, is defending herself against a formal complaint by Patrick Strudwick, a gay journalist who secretly recorded two therapy sessions with her by strapping a recording device under his clothing. Strudwick published an account of the sessions in The Independent and has since received the award of journalist of the year by the gay-rights organisation Stonewall.

The journalist met Lesley at a Christian conference and told Lesley that he wanted to leave his homosexual lifestyle and wanted help to change. Lesley confirmed that she would be happy to meet with him but only within a Christian counselling context. Shortly after the conference, and still acting undercover, the journalist contacted Lesley and said that he thought they were on the same wavelength and asked to meet with her.

Throughout the two therapy sessions, Patrick repeatedly told Lesley that he wanted to leave his homosexual lifestyle, that it had become meaningless to him and that he wanted to change.

However, after the sessions, he lodged a complaint to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy alleging that Lesley had failed to respect the fixed nature of his homosexuality.

Those offering counselling for men and women wanting to change their homosexual behaviour have been increasingly targeted by the gay lobbies who do not accept that people can change their behaviour.

However, in 2006, the gay rights activist Peter Tatchell wrote in the Guardian: Much as I would love to go along with the fashionable "born gay" consensus (it would be very politically convenient), I can't. The evidence does not support the idea that sexuality is a fixed biological given.

Lesley is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

 

18th January   

Would You Believe...

Irish TV documentary examines 1997 Vatican cover up of priestly child abuse
Link Here

would you believe logoA 1997 Vatican directive rejected a recommendation by the Irish Catholic Church that priests who abused children should be reported to the civil authorities, it has emerged.

The disclosure was made in an RT documentary programme Would You Believe in an episode titled Unspeakable Crimes .

In a January 1997 letter to each Irish bishop, marked strictly confidential , the Vatican said it would support the appeal of any priest defrocked by the Irish church in connection with child sex abuse. It did so in a number of cases, leading to a threat of resignation by one Irish archbishop.

At a 1999 meeting in Rome the Irish hierarchy was reminded collectively by a top Vatican official that they were bishops first, not policemen .

The programme claims the Vatican and Pope Benedict himself failed to apply the norms of canon law to the issue of child abuse, one of the pope's major criticisms of Ireland's bishops. The Vatican failed to do so where two US priests were concerned and the pope did so in 2005 where Fr Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, was concerned.

In his letter to the Catholics of Ireland last March, Pope Benedict said to his brother bishops that you and your predecessors failed, at times grievously, to apply the long-established norms of canon law to the crime of child abuse.

The programme, by reporter Mick Peelo, also shows a strictly confidential letter sent to Irish bishops by the Vatican a year later which expressed serious reservations of a canonical and moral nature about the mandatory reporting of such crimes to civil authorities.

 

17th January   

Dangerous Pictures...

German jailed for 4 years for making porn in Somaliland...He was lucky!
Link Here

Somaliland flagA German man has been sentenced to four years in prison and fined $10,000 for engaging in un-Islamic behavior by creating porn videos and photos of him having sex with a local women.

Gunter Bischoss, who has lived for several years in the breakaway northern region of Somaliland, is married to a Somali woman and worked for international relief agencies.

AllVoices.com reported earlier that Bischoff could have faced a death sentence. The state's director general of the ministry of religion, Ibrahim Ismail Mohamed, said, with usual islamic bloodlust, that Bischoff's alleged crime required that he be killed.

The court was ultimately allowed to proceed without any government or religious interference, and the 4 year sentence was handed down. It could have been much worse... he could have been tried in Somalia.

 

17th January   

Update: Murderous Times in Egypt...

Man sentenced to death for drive-by shooting of copts
Link Here  full story: Copts in Egypt...Egyptian christian copts denied religious freedom

Egypt flagAn Egyptian state security court has sentenced a Muslim man to death for killing six Coptic Christians and a Muslim police officer in a drive-by shooting on Coptic Christmas Eve in January 2010.

Mohamed Ahmed Hussein known as Hamam Kamouni, had been charged with the premeditated murder of the Christians and the police officer and with intimidating citizens in Nagaa Hamady in southern Egypt after mass on the eve of Coptic Christmas. The shooting, in which nine Copts were injured, provoked protests by more than 1,000 local Copts.

The judge said Hussein's sentence would be sent to the Grand Mufti for confirmation, a reference to Egypt's top religious authority who is called on to confirm death sentences. This is a procedural step that almost always results in confirmation of the sentence.

The court said Hussein's two accomplices, Kurashi Abu Haggag and Hindawi Muhammed Sayyid, who were charged with aiding in the murder and possession of weapons, would be announced on February 20.

Last week a Muslim policeman was charged with shooting dead a Christian man on a train in the town of Samalut in southern Egypt and he will be tried for premeditated murder.

 

16th January   

Damned by the Church...

Italian Big Brother ejects 3 contestants over religious cussing
Link Here

grande fratel 10 logoGrande Fratello , the Italian version of Big Brother , has disqualified three contestants after the Catholic Church complained about blasphemy.

Big Brother, a flag ship programme on Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset network, has been forced into a humiliating climb down after the Church objected to contestants on the reality television show uttering blasphemous insults.

The swearing by three male contestants infuriated the Catholic Church, with the attack led by Avvenire , an influential daily newspaper owned by the Catholic Bishops' Conference.

The offending remarks were bleeped when they were broadcast, but according to media insiders included Mannaggia la Madonna – Damn the Virgin Mary – and Dio maiale , which literally translates as God pig and is considered highly offensive by Italians.

The show's presenter, Alessia Marcuzzi, read out a statement saying the programme would not tolerate language that offends the sensitivity of the public .

For the powerful Catholic lobby, the matter was made worse by the fact that one of the offending contestants, Massimo Scattarella, had been kicked out of the previous Big Brother series for blasphemy, but had been readmitted by public vote for the 11th season.

 

16th January   

Update: Checking Abuse...

Pride of lions assembled to check for persecution via Pakistan's blasphemy law
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

lions and christiansA 10-member committee having two Ulema from each muslim sect has been formed to monitor the cases of blasphemy law. The committee has been tasked with checking abuses of the law.

The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held at the National Crisis Management Cell, which was chaired by Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad and participated by Interior Minister Rehman Malik as well as Ulema belonging to different sects.

Rehman Malik categorically denied that any committee, headed by Minority Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, was ever formed to review the blasphemy law. He also said that Sherry Rehman's private bill was not admitted in the Assembly.

 

16th January   

Offsite: Fundamentally Wrong...

Babies often tortured by fundamentalist polygamists: Witness
Link Here  full story: Prayer Before Medicine...Suffering as prayer is prefered to medical aid

Canada flagWater torture of babies is one way some members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day instil fear of authority, a former member testified Wednesday.

It's quite common, Carolyn Blackmore Jessop told the constitutional reference case to determine whether Canada's polygamy law is valid.

They spank the baby and when it cries, they hold the baby face up under the tap with running water. When they stop crying, they spank it again and the cycle is repeated until they are exhausted.

It's typically done by fathers and it's called breaking in.

...Read the full article

 

15th January   

Nutters Should be Segregated from Decent Folk...

Tel Aviv concert to play to a sex segregated audience
Link Here

Shema Beni Yaniv Ben Mashiach The mayor of Tel Aviv is under fire after granting the request of singer Yaniv Ben Mashiach to have the first sex-segregated concert in Tel Aviv's Mann Auditorium in 53 years.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai was asked this week to ban sex segregation at next month's concert, and any other performances, in municipal venues.

The mayor has responded, commenting that Tel Aviv is a democratic and pluralist city which respects all people and therefore allows municipal buildings to be rented out for events such as these.

Ben Mashiach, who sings songs with Jewish themes, had previously asked the auditorium for separate seating at the concert, meaning that men would sit in the main section and women would sit in the upstairs balcony. His concerts are usually overseen by modesty guards who enforce the segregation.

Tamar Zandberg, a city council member who heads the municipality's committee on women's rights, also asked Huldai to ban such a chauvinist and primitive practice. It's a custom that has nothing to do with Jewish or religious life. It has sprung up suddenly in dark, fundamentalist circles and it has been growing ever wider. These methods of excluding women should not be accepted even in ultra-Orthodox society, most certainly not in municipal institutions in the heart of Tel Aviv.

 

15th January   

Update: Life Saved...

Nutter beliefs endangering the life of a child overruled by Irish court
Link Here  full story: Prayer Before Medicine...Suffering as prayer is prefered to medical aid

IrelandAn Irish court has ordered a life-saving blood transfusion for the infant of a Jehovah's Witness couple, RT reports.

The couple's baby boy came down with bronchitis  and was placed in hospital. The boy was suffering from low hemoglobin levels which restricts oxygen flow to the organs.

The usual procedure in this situation is a blood transfusion, however Jehovah's Witnesses believe in the nonsense that they should not ingest blood, including transfusions.

Doctors decided the only way to save the boy was by transfusion and when the parents refused they sought and received a court order.

According to RT, the judge in the case decided the courts had the right to order the transfusions, despite the parents' religious beliefs, because the child's life was in danger.

 

15th January   

Updated: Pope Brushed off...

Papal influence pails against Pakistan's political lynch mobs
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

Pope BenedictPope Benedict XVI's call for Pakistan to repeal its blasphemy laws has been rejected by Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who once again reiterated his government's stance that there would be no amendments to the blasphemy law.

While the pope was speaking in an annual address to diplomats he urged Pakistan to repeal contentious blasphemy laws as he called on governments worldwide to do more to enable Christians to practice their faith without violence, intolerance or restriction.

The Pope's cpmment was criticized by Islamic organisations in Pakistan. They term it interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan. The Pontiff's statement is a bid to plunge the entire world into a deadly war, Liaquat Baloch, the General Secretary of Jamait-e-Islamic (JI) claimed.

Update: Protests will continue until the pope apologises

15th January 2011. See article from thenews.com.pk

karachi rally video Despite Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani's categorical rejection of a demand by Pope Benedict of repealing blasphemy laws, religious parties and groups continued their protest campaign and have efused to stop until the Pope unconditionally apologises.

Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) staged a demonstration outside Lahore Press Club led by Pir Ajmal Gilani and others who warned that Pope Benedict had challenged the very pillars of Islam and his outrageous act could endanger the security of Christians living in Pakistan and other Muslim countries. Ajmal Gilani said the Pope had in fact exposed the hands pulling strings of the organized campaign against the blasphemy laws in Pakistan. He said it also explained why Pope did not utter any single word of condemnation against the organized blasphemy by the European press through the desecration of the Quran and sketches of Mohammed

Update: UK joins the call for Pakistan to amend unjust blasphemy laws

I bet the protesters don't issue a threat to keep protesting until Theresa May apologises

15th January 2011. See article from thenews.com.pk

Theresa MayBritish Home Secretary Theresa May has said Britain will continue to lobby the Pakistani government for making amendments in the country's blasphemy laws to prevent more innocent people falling on its wrong side.

In a wide ranging interview with The News/Geo TV, the home secretary said she had met the assassinated Punjab governor on a number of occasions and found him to be a moderate and liberal-minded person, who still had a great contribution to make for Pakistan's progress and she was appalled at his murder after the governor campaigned for the release of Aasia Bibi, the Christian woman who is alleged to have committed blasphemy, which she sternly denies.

I was very pleased to meet Salmaan Taseer in October in Lahore and we had a good discussion. His murder should make us all think very carefully on these issues. From our point of view, we have been on a number of occasions - and continue to lobby the government to amend the blasphemy laws so that they cannot be abused, she said, adding that the proposals made within Pakistan are the sort of amendments required. The final decision is for the people of Pakistan to make but there is a need for the government to amend the laws so that they are not abused.

 

15th January   

Offsite: A Stranger in my own Land...

Life in a police no-go area of Birmingham
Link Here

birmingham inner city streetI have been away for four years, living as an ethnic minority in a monocultural part of the world, amassing a host of stories to tell to disbelieving friends. On the whole, I am glad to return. I shan't miss some locals' assumptions that, being a white woman, if I was outside after dark, as I occasionally was, usually to walk the few metres between my house and the church, I must be a prostitute eager to give them a blow job. I shan't miss the abuse my priest husband received: the daubing of "Dirty white dogs" in red paint on the church door, the barrage of stones thrown at him by children shouting "Satan". He was called a "f***ing white bastard" more than once, though, notably, never when in a cassock. I will also not miss the way our garden acted as the local rubbish dump, with items ranging from duvets and TV sets, to rats (dead or twitching) glued to cardboard strips, a popular local method of vermin control to stem the large numbers of them which scuttled between the rubbish piled in gardens and on pavements. Yes, I am very glad to have left Britain's second city.

...Read the full article

 

14th January   

Never Ending Punishment...

Saudi rape victim jailed and given 100 lashes
Link Here

Saudi flagA 23-year-old unmarried woman was given a one year prison term and 100 lashes for committing adultery and trying to abort the resultant fetus.

The Court in Jeddah pronounced the verdict after the girl confessed that she had a forced sexual intercourse with a man who had offered her a ride. The man, the girl confessed, took her to a rest house, east of Jeddah, where he and four of his friends assaulted her all night long.

The girl claimed that she became pregnant soon after and went to King Fahd Hospital for Armed Forces in an attempt to carry out an abortion. She was eight weeks' pregnant then, the hospital confirmed.

According to the ruling, the woman will be sent to a jail outside Jeddah to spend her time and will be lashed after delivery of her baby who will take the mother's last name.

 

14th January   

Update: Considered Parasites...

Christians and apostates rounded up in Iran
Link Here

Iran flagIranian opposition groups are reporting the arrests of dozens of evangelical Christians, many of whom are converts from Islam. Christian groups inside Iran say that the country's Ministry of Islamic Guidance has also grilled dozens of Christians it accuses of proselytizing.

Armed security officers forcibly entered the homes of Christians, verbally and physically abused them, before handcuffing them and taking them for interrogation, reports the Cyprus-based group Middle East Concern. It adds that some were released after intense questioning and forcibly coerced statements that they would no longer participate in Christian activities.

Seeking to convert Muslims to Christianity or other religions is considered a crime in Iran and many other Islamic countries. Christian missionaries are routinely expelled and sometimes jailed for distributing Bibles and other religious material.

The governor of Tehran province, Morteza Tamadon, confirmed the arrests several days ago, complaining that Protestant evangelicals were conducting an enemy cultural invasion. He likened Protestants to the Taliban, whom he referred to as parasites.

 

13th January   

Update: Spoilsports...

Church nutters oppose lap dancing club already found to not be a nuisance
Link Here  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'

St Ebbe's church, OxfordSt Ebbe's Church, in Oxford's city centre, said this week it had lodged an official objection to a new licence application from neighbouring Thirst Lodge.

Thirst Lodge has applied to Oxford City Council for a licence to operate as a sexual entertainment venue following a change in the law. The city council has chosen to adopt repressive new powers, which make licensing more restrictive.

The Rev Vaughan Roberts, the rector of St Ebbe's, said: We are reluctant to object to the application by Thirst Lodge for a sexual entertainment venue licence, not least because it could make us look like spoilsports. However, we have decided that we must object.

Earlier this year, the church was left with a 12,000 legal bill after losing an appeal against the decision to allow Thirst Lodge to open. Deputy District Judge Gary Lucie threw out the church's appeal after finding there was no public nuisance, the church's activities rarely overlapped with Thirst Lodge's opening hours and crime in the area had fallen since the club's change of use.

The Rev Roberts said: We believe that lap-dancing clubs demean women, undermine marriage and depersonalise God's good gift of sex, so we would not be in favour of such a club anywhere.

The Rev Pete Wilkinson, associate minister at St Ebbe's agreed, saying: I don't think the club is good for the city and I can scarcely think of a more inappropriate position for it to be.

 

13th January   

Update: Marked for Death...

Egyptian Policeman Shouted 'Allahu Akbar' Before Shooting Six Christians
Link Here  full story: Copts in Egypt...Egyptian christian copts denied religious freedom

coptic wrist crossSix Copts were shot by an off-duty policeman on a train between Assiut and Cairo on Tuesday. One Copt was killed and five remain in critical condition.

The gunman, identified as Amer Ashour Abdel-Zaher, was on his way to work in Beni Mazar police station when he boarded the train at approximately 17.00 hours in the town of Samalout. He shot the six Copts after chanting Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great) then attempted to flee but was apprehetnded by passengers.

Fathy Ghattas, a 71-year-old Coptic Christian, died immediately. His wife Emily Hanna underwent an operation to remove her left kidney and spleen. She is in intensive care. Another Coptic woman, Sabah Saniod underwent an operation on her liver. Three of the injured Copts, Marianne, Maggie and Ashraf, were flown by helicopter to Kasr-el-Aina teaching hospital in Cairo for further treatment.

The communique issued by the Egyptian interior Mministry said the gunman shot randomly at the train passengers, while according to the Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm the assailant had checked passengers for the green cross traditionally tattooed on the wrists of Coptic Christians in Egypt. After identifying several Copts, the gunman shot at them.

 

13th January   

Update: What Pakistan is Marching for...

Blasphemy life sentences for tearing down a meeting poster
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

karachi rally video A court in Pakistan has sentenced a Muslim prayer leader and his son to life in jail for blasphemy. The pair were found guilty in Punjab province of tearing down a poster of a gathering to mark the birthday of Muhammad.

It followed an incident in the small town of Noor Shah Talai in April 2010, defence lawyer Arif Gurmani told the BBC.

He said the convicted pair, Mohammad Shafi, Mohammad Aslam, had been running a grocery shop in a small market. Shafi is also a prayer leader at a nearby mosque.

The complainant, Phool Khan, alleged that the pair had ripped down and trampled a poster of a gathering to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. It had been posted on a pillar outside the grocery shop.

The lawyer said they would launch an appeal against the sentence at Lahore High Court, as he claimed the allegations had been motivated by sectarian differences. He said his clients followed the Deobandi school, while the complainant was from the Barelvi sect - both are Sunni Muslim branches of Islam.

 

13th January   

Updated: Arizona Hates Westboro Baptists...

Arizona rushes new law to keep nutters away from the funeral of a child shooting victim
Link Here  full story: Westboro Baptists...Reprehensible nutters hate gays and soliders

westboro baptist hatesArizona lawmakers are set to rush through legislation aimed at preventing Westboro Baptist nutters from protesting at the funeral of the youngest victim of the Tucson massacre.

The reprehensible picker was said to be the final straw for a community in the aftermath of the weekend massacre.

State lawmakers are attempting to rush through legislation which would prohibit protestors from coming within 300 feet of grieving mourners at funerals.

House spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said the legislation is in direct response to the hate church's flier on its website saying God hates Catholics and their plans to disrupt Saturday's funeral.

Update: Community stand against Westboro nutters

13th January 2011. See article from guardian.co.uk

The Arizona legislature has now passed emergency legislation to prevent Westboro Baptists from disrupting the funeral of a nine-year-old victim of Saturday's shooting.

The new law, proposed by a state senator, Kyrsten Sinema, keeps members of the church at least 100 metres from the funeral.

Tucson residents also plan to try to keep the nutters at bay.

Christin Gilmer has gathered more than 40 volunteers to wear 3m high angel wings and stand between the church members and the funeral.

A group of bikers says it will surround the Westboro wingnuts.

 

12th January   

Update: Shaking with Fear...

Mixed sex handshakes banned in Somalia
Link Here  full story: Sharia in Somalia...Somalia adopts sharia law

Somalia flagMen and women have been banned from shaking hands in a district of Somalia controlled by the Islamist group al-Shabab.

Under the ban imposed in the southern town of Jowhar, men and women who are not related are also barred from walking together or chatting in public. It is the first time such social restrictions have been introduced.

The al-Shabab administration said those who disobeyed the new rules would be punished according to Sharia law, probably by a public flogging.

 

12th January   

Offsite: Good People Speaking Out...

My father's murder must not silence the voices of reason in Pakistan
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

salman taseerThere is a real danger that extremists could triumph if good people do not continue to speak out

I can't help but roll my eyes when I'm informed I must keep a guard with me at all times now. After my father, Salmaan Taseer, was assassinated by his own security guard on 4 January – my brother Shehryar's 25th birthday – does it even matter? If the governor of Pakistan's largest province can be shot dead by a policeman assigned to protect him in broad daylight in a market in the federal capital, Islamabad, is anyone really safe?

...Read the full article

 

11th January   

A Passion for Easy Offence...

Mallorca bishop unimpressed by a slightly nude calendar of the Passion of Christ
Link Here

nude passionA Catholic youth group has 'shocked' nutters in Mallorca by producing a calendar that features a slightly nude version of the passion of Christ.

The wrath of the bishop of Mallorca has fallen on the Davallament youth group from the Spanish island's town of Sant Joan after they decided to make the stripped-down version of the Easter week story to raise funds.

The calendar features a slightly-naked trio of young men raising the cross on which Jesus will be crucified and a Last Supper whose protagonists wear crotch-hugging underwear. In other shots the guys cover their genitalia with plumed roman helmets.

It is a daring and original idea that emerged because we are young and wanted to do something new, a group member, Antoni Company, told Ultima Hora newspaper.

The bishopric of Mallorca, however, has criticised them saying It turns Easter week into something banal . It does not respect Christian symbols and is insensitive to Catholic feelings.

The town's mayor, Joan Magro sees it differently: The calender is very original, he said. The pictures are artistic and the models show what they have.

 

10th January   

Update: Segregated from the Real World...

Israel approves 'voluntary' segregation of the sexes on buses
Link Here  full story: Religious Police in Israel...Ultra orthodox censorship in Israel

israel supreme courtIsrael's Supreme Court has issued a ruling permitting the segregation of men and women on some buses serving ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, but only if the passengers agree.

Court spokeswoman Ayelet Filo says the approval is for a trial period of a year.

Ultra-Orthodox practice forbids men from touching women, except for their wives. Men and women are separated in public. Recently on two bus lines serving their communities, women were instructed to sit in the back.

Human rights and women's groups objected, filing a suit with Israel's Supreme Court. The court ruled that the arrangement is legal as long as it is voluntary.

There have been several cases of women complaining that male passengers verbally abused or assaulted them when they refused to move back.

 

10th January   

Update: Mass Injustice...

Hundreds of thousands march to ensure no changes to Pakistan's lynch mob friendly blasphemy law
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

karachi rally video A conglomerate of religious parties on Sunday organised a mammoth rally in Karachi and demanded that the government immediately withdraw the private bill seeking amendments in blasphemy law.

The party leaders announced a public meeting and Long March on 30th January in Lahore, if the government would not accept their demands.

Hundreds of thousands of people belonging to all islamic religious schools of thoughts attended the rally and warned the government to desist from becoming a repealing blasphemy laws. They vowed that they would not tolerate any conspiracy to amend the blasphemy law and were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sanctity of Mohammad.

The participants of the rally carryied the portraits of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, assassin of Salman Taseer, flags of Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI-F, outlawed Jamaatud Dawa and were chanting the slogans of Death to Blasphemer and Down with USA .

The participants also urged the government to immediately free Taseer's murderer Malik Mumtaz Qadri from detention.

 

10th January   

Offsite: Pakistan Leads the World by Example...

Only religious thugs love blasphemy laws
Link Here  full story: Defamation of Religion...OIC pushes for global blasphemy laws at UN

Religious PoliceBlasphemy is not a protector of religious freedom, as the UN maintains, but its mortal enemy

If the circumstances were not so hideous, the successful attempt by Pakistan to persuade the UN Human Rights Council to condemn blasphemers who defame religion would have been a black comedy. Every word its diplomats used in 2009 to protest against Islamophobia turned out to be a precise description of the prejudices the Pakistani state was appeasing at home.

They told the UN it must approve a universal blasphemy law to protect religious minorities from intolerance, discrimination and acts of violence . If they were not the hypocrites they appeared, but honourable men, who wanted to help all minorities and not only Muslims, they must now accept that Salmaan Taseer was butchered for protecting Pakistan's religious minorities from its own blasphemy law.

...Read the full article

 

9th January   

Feeding On Easy Offence...

Doritos advert for Superbowl contest winds up the nutters
Link Here

doritos feed ypur flock advert An entry in the annual Pepsi-owned Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ad contest will never air after it caused a bit of easy offence. 

Feed Your Flock sees congregation challenged priest get divine inspiration to use Doritos to replace the more usual wafers. And Pepsi Max replaces the wine. And of course throngs of Doritos freeloaders descend en-masse.

But of course the body and blood of Christ are no joke to those who believe they are in Communion with their God when they accept the Eucharist and the wine during Mass.

Dave Williams, president of ad makers, MediaWave, says he pulled the ad from Pepsi's site and from YouTube. We felt bad, he says. Our intention was to win, not to offend.

The video now seems to have been taken down from all major video sharing sites.

 

9th January   

Inquisition...

Kyrgyzstan clerics to be checked that they believe in nonsense correctly
Link Here

Kyrgyzstan flagAll Muslim clergymen in Kyrgyzstan are to be vetted this year by a special commission to determine whether their knowledge of the Islamic faith is commensurate with the positions they occupy, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

This reassessment of Islamic clerics' competence -- which was mandated by the government -- is part of a broader reform that also entails changes in the structure of Kyrgyzstan's Central Muftiate.

Rakhmatulla Egemberdiev, a representative of the Central Muftiate, told RFE/RL that the aim of the new regulations is to strengthen the control of Kyrgyzstan's Spiritual Board of Muslims over local imams, many of whom reportedly routinely ignore its directives.

 

9th January   

Update: Apostasy in Afghanistan...

The predictable ultimate punishment for daring to stand out of line
Link Here  full story: Apostasy in Afghanistan...Death sentence for converion from islam

Afghanistan flagInternational Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a judge has given an Afghan convert from Islam to Christianity a week to renounce his faith, or else be sentenced with the death penalty or up to twenty years' imprisonment. The verdict is expected this week.

Shoaib Assadullah was arrested on October 21 in Mazar-e-Sharif for giving a Bible to a man who later reported him to local authorities. He is currently in a prison in Mazar-e-Sharif, in northern Afghanistan, said an ICC spokesperson.

Afghanistan is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). According to article 18, Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

 

9th January   

Update: Banditry Barbarity...

More barbarity in Somalia
Link Here  full story: Sharia in Somalia...Somalia adopts sharia law

Somalia flagAl-shabab fighters controlling Baidoa, a stronghold off Islamist militias in southern Somalia have forcibly amputated limbs of 19 years man saying he was charged for banditry. 

Residents told all voices office in the Somali capital Mogadishu that a court belonging Al-shabab had publicly cut off hand and leg of the young man in the town adding that they were ordered to come together to watch how they carried out the sentence there.

 

7th January   

Update: No Fun in Dubai...

One night stand leads to 6 months in a Dubai prison
Link Here

UAE flagA 25-year-old Dubai hotel employee was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered deported after having sex with a guest, becoming pregnant and aborting the pregnancy, the United Arab Emirates-based National reported.

The woman - a non muslim native of South Africa identified only as MB - was arrested after doctors snitched her up to police after she checked into a Sharjah hospital hemorrhaging from an abortion.

She was charged with committing zina - the Sharia law offence of sex outside marriage - in addition to aborting a four-month-old fetus.

MB could have faced a maximum penalty of five years in prison and 100 lashes, although a prior National article says that the UAE hasn't allowed the lashing of non-Muslims since 2006.

According to the paper, the woman told the Sharjah Criminal Court of First Instance that she'd met an American guest at the unidentified Dubai hotel where she worked and he invited her out one night. They had sex and never saw each other again.

 

6th January   

As If Anyone Would Dare...

Saudi muslim group warn film and TV producers not to depict religious figures
Link Here

muslim world league logoAn international Islamic organization has declared war on cinematic depictions of Muhammad and his companions, arguing they denigrate Islam's most revered characters.

The Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) Council, a body of the Muslim World League, said in a statement that the images not of the prophet himself but of his companions were creeping into films and television series and prompted the new ruling.

The council reiterates its previous decision banning the production, promotion … and viewing of these films and series, the statement read. These [portrayals] may cause the denigration and devaluation of the figures and be used as an excuse to ridicule them.

The statement dismissed the argument that the films were a means of educating the public about Islamic figures, saying the holy scriptures contain sufficient information.

Based in Mecca, the Muslim World League is one of the largest Islamic NGOs. Its missions include Islamic proselytizing, coordination of Islamic preaching and support of needy Muslims worldwide.

Film industry officials and observers said the council had nothing to worry about because producers and directors wouldn't dare test the ban. Mousaad Fouda, president of the Egyptian Film Syndicate, said: There are no producers in Egypt that would make a film depicting the Prophet or his companions. They would be too worried that such films will not succeed commercially.

 

6th January   

Offsite: Demented in Ghana...

Why are 'witches' still being burned alive in Ghana?
Link Here  full story: Witch Hunts...Witches still hunted even in modern times

Ghana flagGhanaians are waiting for their normally slow court system to deliver a verdict in a shocking case that illuminates resurgent beliefs in witchcraft.

Six people are currently appearing before a magistrate at Tema, near Accra, for allegedly burning a 72-year-old woman to death, in the belief that she was a witch. Earlier, the media had made fun of an elderly woman who, it was claimed, was arrested by villagers who claimed that she had fallen out of the sky after running out of witches' gas on a flying expedition with her coven, and fallen under a tree.

In both cases, anyone with the slightest knowledge of dementia would recognise symptoms of the disease from the accounts given of the behaviour of the women. They were where they were not supposed to be, and when they were asked what they were doing there, they could not explain themselves. This is because dementia sometimes robs its victims of the ability to speak coherently.

...Read the full article

 

6th January   

Update: Blasphemy Blood Lust...

Group is planning attack on prison holding Aasia Bibi
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

sheikhpura prisonA group of islamic militants is planning to launch a suicide attack at the prison where Christian blasphemy convict Aasia Bibi is being held, according to an intelligence report issued last week.

Aasia Bibi is being kept in the Sheikhupura district Jail, where the Punjab police and jail authorities have beefed up security following this report and the murder of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.

The terrorist group calls itself Moaviya group .

500 Clerics warn that showing grief for the murdered governor is also considered to be blasphemy

See article from tvnz.co.nz

Five hundred Pakistani clerics have warned that anyone who expresses grief over the assassination of a senior ruling party official who opposed the country's blasphemy law could suffer the same fate.

The Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat is one of the largest groups representing scholars from the Barelvi sect of Sunni Muslims. They have been leading protests in favour of the blasphemy law.

More than 500 scholars of the Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat have advised Muslims not to offer the funeral prayers of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer nor try to lead the prayers, the group said in a statement.

Also, there should be no no expression of grief or sympathy on the death of the governor, as those who support blasphemy of the Prophet are themselves indulging in blasphemy.

The group of scholars also noted the courage and religious zeal of Taseer's killer, saying his action has made Muslims around the world proud.

It also said that the so-called intellectuals, ministers, politicians and television anchors who oppose the blasphemy law and support those committing blasphemy should learn a lesson from Taseer's death.

Offsite: A divided Pakistan buries Salmaan Taseer and a liberal dream

See article from guardian.co.uk

Liberals have long been a minority force in Pakistan, reviled for importing western ideas and culture; now they are virtually an endangered species.

As Taseer was laid to rest in Lahore, his assassin, 26-year-old policeman Mumtaz Qadri, was also being showered with rose petals, in Islamabad. Cheering supporters clapped Qadri as he was bundled into court. Death is acceptable for Muhammad's slave, they chanted.

...Read the full article

Update: More support for a lynch mob society

8th January 2011. See article from dailytimes.com.pk

Arrangements are in full swing for a big Tahaffuz Namoos-e-Risalat march to be held in Karachi on Sunday against any attempts to repeal the blasphemy law.

Leaders of religious and political parties stressed that the masses should participate in the rally, adding that defending Muhammad is not only the responsibility of the political and religious parties, but every Muslim is bound in this regard.

Meanwhile, All Pakistan Organisation of Small Traders and Cottages Industries founder has announced full support to the march . ppi

 

5th January   

Update: Murder in Support of Lynch Mob Justice...

Punjab governor who supported amendments to the abused blasphemy law murdered by own bodyguard
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

salman taseerThe governor of Pakistan's Punjab province Salman Taseer, 47, was shot dead on 4th January by one of his own guards, elite security force protector, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, when Tasser was leaving his car, near a shopping centre Kohsar Market in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

The killer has taken into custody by the police on the spot and police also arrested 6 more people in this connection. Around 4 pm, the assassin fired 9 bullets on Taseer's stomach, chest, neck and face. Although Taseer was taken to Polyclinic Hospital Islamabad, he died on the spot, police sources say.

Qadri said in his initial statement that he killed the governor because of his views on Islamic blasphemy laws and visiting Aasia Noreen, a Christian women alleged blasphemer, in jail and declaring her innocent.

Governor Taseer visited Aasia on Nov. 20, 2010 in jail where he signed a clemency petition from her which he later presented to the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari. He was very vocal on blasphemy laws and called them as black laws.

The Islamic religious groups condemned Taseer and demanded for his immediate removal. In addition, a fundamentalist Islamic party issued apostasy decree against Governor Taseer but the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) rejected this decree and condemned the move against the governor.

 

5th January   

Update: Playing Billboard Pantomime...

Atheists and religions raise the billboard ante
Link Here  full story: Atheist Buses...Atheists fund adverts about enjoying life

You know they're all scams billboard American Atheists erected a billboard over the weekend in Huntsville, Alabama, that claims all religions are scams.

The ad reads, You know they're all scams and pictures some religious symbols including the cross, the Jewish star, and Islam's crescent moon and star. The billboard further notes that the group American Atheists has been telling the truth since 1963.

It follows an earlier ad campaign that attacked Christmas, declaring it to be a myth. Religious groups responded to the ads with their own. The Catholic League countered the You know it's a myth atheist billboard with a billboard declaring, You know it's real. This season, celebrate Jesus.

Blair Scott, communications director for American Atheists, acknowledged to The Huntsville Times that the sign will likely make a lot of people mad. But he explained, [O]ur target is not the Christians, but all the atheists and agnostics still in the closet who are still pretending, still playing the game, still putting up a facade.

American Atheists defines scam as a ploy to raise money, a fraudulent business scheme or an attempt to intentionally mislead a person usually with the goal of financial or other gain. It claims that the truth is that all religions make money and power from their flock and that all religions make lots of promises about an afterlife that doesn't exist.

 

5th January   

Offsite: Misplaced Faith...

Faith-based healing failure reviewed
Link Here

church of the firstbornChild neglect charges filed against a woman whose son died of untreated diabetes has put the spotlight on a church with a long history of court cases over its rejection of medical aid.

Susan Grady was charged in Tulsa County District Court, 18 months after her 9-year-old son, Aaron, died of complications from diabetes mellitus. She told detectives she was a member of the Church of the First Born and believes in faith-based healing through prayer.

The Church of the First Born is one of the most frequent offenders in religion-based child medical neglect, said Dr. Seth Asser, a Rhode Island pediatrician who has published a study about children who died after their parents offered them prayer without medical help.

Asser said the Church of the First Born, well-known in Oklahoma, and Followers of Christ, an offshoot of the church that is located in the Pacific Northwest, together are responsible for more child deaths than any other group.

Asser and child advocate Rita Swan worked together on a study of 172 child deaths due to what they called religion-based medical neglect and found that 140 of them would have had a 90 percent chance of survival and 18 others a 50 percent chance of survival with proper medical care.

...Read the full article

 

4th January   

Booked for Dissent...

Swedish hockey referee suspended over Mohammed cartoon on his Facebook page
Link Here

Sweden flagA referee has been suspended by the Swedish Hockey Association over a cartoon of Mohammed on his Facebook page

According to sources, SPO [the Swedish security police] were contacted.

We had a meeting with this person and we agree that he should take a time out, said Swedish Hockey Association's security chief censor Peter Anderson.

According to Sportbladet the referee was confronted with information that he published a cartoon of Mohammed on his Facebook page. The Security manager also had a transcript of the page

The referee admitted that he posted the picture and referred to the right to freedom of expression, said a source.

Peter Anderson would not comment, but later gave a brief comment: We had a meeting with a person who is a district referee. During the meeting, we agreed he should take time out the rest of the season. For reasons which I definitely do not want to go into, says Peter Anderson.

According to Sportbladet, the Hockey Association has had contact with the Security Police concerning the potential threat that publishing the cartoon can bring.

 

4th January   

Update: Preaching Tolerance with a Meat Cleaver...

Pastor attacked with meat cleaver whilst leading prayer service in India
Link Here  full story: Hindus vs Christians...Tragic rivalry between hindus and christians

UKPS Meat Cleaver Weapon An Indian Christian leader was almost killed in an attack by Hindu extremists during a prayer service in the city of Davangere.

Pastor Isaac Samuel, coordinator of the Global Council of Indian Christians, was seriously injured when he was hit between his neck and shoulder with a cleaver, in front of his wife and two sons, as he led the meeting.

He was taken to Chigateri hospital for treatment. He had to undergo a blood transfusion and stitches to close the wound.

Police have arrested a man identified only by the name of Bansava, following an investigation.

Though India's constitution provides for freedom of religion, six out of 28 states restrict this freedom with legislation that allows for punishment of religious converts who do not inform the state. Although the laws do not exist in Karnataka in southern India where the incident occurred, there has been a strong demand to introduce similar policies.

A recent report by the Evangelical Fellowship of India shows a spike in violence against Indian Christians over the past decade, with 149 attacks in 2010. Violence peaked in 2008 when Hindu extremists murdered 110 Christians and destroyed 170 churches and 4,500 homes following the murder of one Hindu leader.

 

3rd January   

Update: Red Roses Banned in Iran...

Valentines Day stories seem to start earlier each year
Link Here

Heart greeting iron  heart patch Iranian killjoys have are trying to ban St Vakentine's Day.

In the run-up to Valentine's Day on February 14 the printing works owners' union issued a directive banning the printing and distribution of any goods promoting this day, ILNA news agency reported.

Printing and producing any goods related to this day including posters, boxes and cards emblazoned with hearts or half-hearts, red roses and any activities promoting this day are banned, it said in a directive: Outlets that violate this will be legally dealt with .

Valentine's Day has become very popular in Iran over the past decade, with the same romantic wares that are som omnipresent in the West. However, the trend has been harshly criticised by conservatives who see no room in Islamic culture for such celebrations.

 

3rd January   

Update: Witch Hunt...

South African lynch mob possessed by evil
Link Here  full story: Witch Hunts...Witches still hunted even in modern times

South Africa flagArmed police watched as a mob stoned to death a South African priest they believed had bewitched his young relative into committing suicide.

Albert Shai was killed after a relative, 20-year-old Mohale Shai, apparently committed suicide.

The young man had been found hanging from a tree on Christmas night and the community suspected he died because he was bewitched – and blamed it on the priest.

Two days later, Shai was tried and sentenced to death in a mob hearing held at the local soccer field.

Police arrived in two vans within minutes, but were instructed by the community not to interfere. The mob pelted the police with stones, and they kept their distance. While the police obeyed the order to stay away, Shai was being assaulted.

Police afterwards arrested seven people in connection with the murder.

 

2nd January   

Update: Alexandria Church Bomb...

Egyptian Security Guards Withdrew One Hour Before Church Blast, Say Eyewitnesses
Link Here  full story: Copts in Egypt...Egyptian christian copts denied religious freedom

alexandria car bomThe car explosion that went off in front of Saints Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria killed 21 and injured 96 parishioners who were attending a New Year's Eve Mass.

According to church officials and eyewitnesses, there are many more victims that are still unidentified and whose body parts were strewn all over the street outside the church.

The body parts were covered with newspapers until they were brought inside the church after some Muslims started stepping on them and chanting Jihadi chants (video showing dead bodies and limbs covered with newspapers in the street).

According to eyewitnesses, a green Skoda car pull up outside the church shortly after midnight. Two men got out , one of them talked shortly on his mobile phone, and the explosion occurred almost immediately after they left the scene. On the back of the Skoda was a sticker with the words the rest is coming .

It was reported that the bomb, locally made, had 100KG of explosives in addition to having nails, glass and iron balls inside. The strength of it not only caused glass panes to be shattered in all the neighborhood, but also made body parts fly into the building's fourth floor, and to the mosque facing the church.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but officials hastily blamed either Al-Qaida or the Israeli Mousad of being behind the blast, but none of them mentioned the Egyptian state security which is viewed by Copts as the real culprit.

To clear his security forces of negligence, the Minister of Interior said that the blast was an individual case, caused by a single suicide terrorist detonating his vest, and has nothing to do with an exploding car. The governor of Alexandria claimed the attack as being aimed at Muslims and Christians alike.

After the blast, traumatized Copts were angered by chants of Allah Akbar from Muslims and began hurling stones at the mosque. Immediately security forces which were absent during the car blast and the ensuing events, appeared and starting shooting tear gas at the Copts, and they in turn hurled stones at them, said an eyewitness. Fifteen Copts were rounded up from their homes by the authorities.

Following the massacre of the congregation at Our Lady of Deliverance Church in Baghdad on October 31 2010, Al-Qaida threatened the Coptic Church and demanded the release of Muslim women supposedly held by the church, else Christians everywhere would be their target. As a result Egyptian authorities supposedly stepped up protection around Copt places of worship after President Mubarak said he was committed to protecting the Christians faced with the forces of terrorism and extremism .

El-Gezeiry asks why this Skoda vehicle was allowed to park in front of the church in an area cordoned off by security, when it was known that Al-Qaeda had already announced its intention of carrying out criminal acts against churches.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that security forces guarding the church withdrew nearly one hour before the blast, leaving only four policemen and an officer to guard such a big church and nearly 2000 people attending the midnight mass. Normally they would have waited until the mass was over, said el-Gezeiry. He also commented on the Muslim's schadenfreude at the massacre at the church, who were heard chanting Allah Akbar.

On January 6 2010, just before the Christmas Eve Massacre in Nag Hammadi, security withdrew its forces from guarding the church a couple of hours before the shooting of the Coptic congregation took place.

Attorney Mamdouh Nakhla, Head of Al-Kalema Human Rights Center, wondered if state security is an accomplice or just too cowardly to confront the Islamists in Egypt who carried out the Church massacre. The crime is local and those who committed it are known, in addition there was a demonstration on the same day using the same rhetoric like al-Qaida. The Al Mujahedeen website threatens to repeat the attack in more churches. The site has addresses of churches and even how to make a bomb. Does security not know about it?

On January 1, the funeral of the 21 people killed in the church massacre took place at St. Mina's Monastery in King Mariout, 50 km from Alexandria. It was attended by representatives of the President, Minsters, the governor of Alexandria, as well as nearly 10,000 Copts who traveled from Alexandria. After the funeral, the Copts, angry with the governor of Alexandria, shouted resign and we do not want you.

Update: Protests

3rd January 2011. See article from bbc.co.uk

Egyptian Coptic Christians angered by a deadly bombing at a church in Alexandria have clashed with police for a second day. Hundreds demonstrated in Alexandria, Egypt's second city, and Cairo, the capital, calling for better protection for Christians.

In Cairo, protests were reported at St Mark's Coptic cathedral and elsewhere.

Egyptian security forces are holding seven people in connection with the terrorist bombing of a church in Alexandria that killed 21 people, in Egypt's worst sectarian violence in a decade.

Update: Interior Minister Accused

14th June 2011. See article from aina.org

The Egyptian attorney general has reopened the investigation into the bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria on New Year's Eve, which killed 24 Copts and injured more than 90. On May 25 Coptic Church attorney Joseph Malak presented a petition to the Attorney General to reopen the investigations into the church bombing. The petition accused former Minister of Interior, Habib el-Adly, of criminal responsibility and collusion.

The Attorney General assigned the case to the Supreme State Security Prosecution to question the former Minister of Interior, who is presently in prison on other charges, including ordering the shooting of more than 900 protesters in Tahrir Square on January 28.

We expect el-Adly to appear for interrogation before prosecution within the next few days, said Malak in an interview on Egyptian TV. He said that everyone was surprised when in mid April it was reported that all 20 Muslim suspects in the church attack were released and that they had been held as political detainees.

 

2nd January   

Update: Book Burners Get Ready...

Geert Wilders to continue his wind up campaign
Link Here  full story: Geert Wilders...Geert Wilders winds up the muslim world

Geert WildersDutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders will publish an anti-Islam book in the first half of 2011, he told the Telegraaf newspaper.

The book is aimed mainly at the US market and focuses on how to combat the spread of Islam on a global level. We can do a lot here in the Netherlands, but we want to send out a strong international signal to the Arab world that a party in the centre of power in this country is fighting back, Wilders told the paper.

He added that: Our first priority is to launch the International Freedom Alliance, which boils down to a platform against Islam. That will be huge.

 

1st January   

Update: Karachi Lynched...

Karachi brought to a stand still by strike in support of blasphemy law
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

karachiThe busy life of Karachi took a pause on Friday when thousands of supporters and activists of various religious parties and groups marched and shouted a warning to the government – don't change the blasphemy law or face more protests, including a civil disobedience movement .

All trader organisations backed the strike and kept their businesses shut. All shopping centres of the city also closed. The Sunni Ittehad Council staged a massive rally led by Sahibzada Fazal Karim.

The rally adopted several resolutions demanding:

  • that Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani give a policy statement in the parliament or address the nation to satisfy the citizens of the country over the issue.
  • the removal of Salman Taseer as the governor of Punjab for trying to get the blasphemy law amended.
  • the private bill presented to a committee of the National Assembly by PPP MNA Sherry Rehman should be withdrawn or the parliamentary committee should reject it.
  • that Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, who is also the head of a committee formed to review the proposed changes in the law, should either voluntarily resign or be replaced.

Tehreek-e-Namoos-e-Risalat (TNR) gave the government a nine-day ultimatum to clear its stance, otherwise people would lay a siege to the Parliament House. The ultimatum was given by TNR chief Sahibzada Abul Khair at a joint press conference addressed by about 35 religious and political leaders.

The leaders said the strike conveyed a message to the government and the entire western world that any change in the blasphemy law would be resisted and people would take to the streets in protest.

 

1st January   

Baghdad Cleansed of Christians...

Bomb attacks on christian homes
Link Here

saidatnajatTwo people were killed and at least eight injured in a series of bomb attacks on Christian homes in Baghdad.

The grenade and bomb attacks came a week after muslim militants threatened a wave of violence against Iraq's beleaguered Christian community.

In an attack in the south-west of the city, two grenades were thrown into the home of a Christian family, killing two people and injuring five, Iraqi police said.

In eastern Baghdad, two people were injured when a grenade was thrown into another Christian home.

In western Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded near a Christian house, injuring one member of the family and a passing motorist.