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31st October   

Update: The Wrong Kind of Nonsense...

Catholic church doesn't believe in fun, ghosts, spirits and halloween
Link Here

Exorcist William Peter Blatty The Catholic Church has swung its crook at celebrants of Halloween, warning parents to forbid children to dress up as ghosts and ghouls, and dismissing the celebrations as a pagan night of terror, fear and death .

In an effort to take a sharp pin to the ballooning success of Halloween, which has spread from America to Italy in recent years, the Vatican has issued a stern warning through the pages of its official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, with an article headlinedHalloween's Dangerous Messages .

What millions around the world consider a harmless tradition bound by unconvincing costumes and mountains of teeth-rotting sweets is, according to the Catholic Church, riddled with a dark undercurrent of occultism and is absolutely anti-Christian .

Father Joan Maria Canal, a Spanish priest and liturgical expert, was quoted in the paper as saying that parents should direct the meaning of the feast towards wholesomeness and beauty, rather than terror, fear and death .

Earlier this week, the Catholic Church in Spain also condemned the growing popularity of Halloween, saying it threatened to overshadow the Christian festival of All Saints' Day.

The Bishop of Siguenza-Guadalajara, Jose Sanchez, said there was a risk that Halloween could replace Christian customs, such as devotion to saints and praying for the dead .

Last night, a spokesman for the British Humanist Association said the Vatican sounded desperate : This sort of criticism is completely over the top. Halloween is a bit of fun for children and families in the dark winter months, just as Christmas is. This reads like a slightly desperate attempt to intrude church influence into aspects of people's lives where it is not wanted.

 

31st October   

Update: The Maltese Taliban...

Malta tried to prosecute fancy dress nuns at carnival
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Malta...Malta prosecutes many for villifying the chruch

Inflatable Pregnant Fancy Dress Costume Malta boasts a religious law so oppressive it might put the Taliban to shame.

Last week, six young people narrowly escaped a prison sentence because they dressed up as nuns at a carnival. They had been charged under Articles 163-164 of the Malta Criminal Code, which provides that:

163. Whosoever by words, gestures, written matter, whether printed or not, or pictures or by some other visible means, publicly vilifies the Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion which is the religion of Malta, or gives offence to the Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion by vilifying those who profess such religion or its ministers, or anything which forms the object of, or is consecrated to, or is necessarily destined for Roman Catholic worship, shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term from one to six months.

164. Whosoever commits any of the acts referred to in the last preceding article against any cult tolerated by law, shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term from one to three months.

The Magistrate who heard the original case against the carnival-goers said the youngsters were not wearing crosses and the costumes did not constitute a sacred garment and therefore the law didn't apply. However, the Attorney General didn't agree and appealed the Magistrate's decision to the Court of Criminal Appeal, which ruled:

The mere fact of dressing up as nun, even if for carnival, but without wearing any religious symbol, cannot reasonably be considered as amounting to public vilification of the Roman Catholic Religion, or of those belonging to such religion, or of its ministers, or of anything which forms the object of, or is consecrated to, or is necessarily destined for Roman Catholic worship. However, if the wearing of such a habit were accompanied with such circumstances of fact, words or gestures which objectively amount to vilification, then there would be an offence in terms of article 163.

How did this nasty legislation get missed when allowing Malta to join the EU+ Especially with all rights abusing easy extradition treaty that could be applied to EU wide internet publishing.

 

31st October   

Update: Murder Unveiled...

Somali christian murdered for not wearing a veil
Link Here

BurkhaThree masked members of a militant Islamist group in Somalia last week shot and killed a Somali Christian who declined to wear a veil as prescribed by Muslim custom, according to a Christian source in Somalia.

Members of the Suna Waljameca group killed Amina Muse Ali in her home in Galkayo, in Somalia's autonomous Puntland region, said the source.

Ali had told Christian leaders that she had received several threats from members of Suna Waljameca for not wearing a veil, symbolic of adherence to Islam. She had said members of the group had long monitored her movements because they suspected she was a Christian.

The source said Ali had called him on Oct. 4 saying, My life is in danger. I am warned of dire consequences if I continue to live without putting on the veil. I need prayers from the fellowship.

I was shocked beyond words when I received the news that she had been shot dead, the source in Somalia told Compass by telephone.

 

31st October   

Update: A Chink in the Veil...

Kuwait high court rules that women law makers do not need to be veiled
Link Here  full story: Burkha Bollox...Burkhas threaten to undermine world peace

Kuwait flagKuwait's highest court has ruled that women lawmakers are not obliged by law to wear the headscarf, a blow to the Muslims who want to fully impose Islamic Sharia law.

The Constitutional Court dismissed a case claiming that two of four women elected to parliament in May — Rola Dashti and Aseel al-Awadhi — can not be members of the legislature because they don't comply with the Islamic dress code.

Last week, the same court granted married women the right to obtain a passport without their husband's approval, saying the decades-old requirement was unconstitutional and compromised their humanity.

 

30th October   

Update: Religious Censors Trump State Censors...

Malaysian court case arguing whether state censors can ban books about religion
Link Here  full story: Book Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia bans islamic books

Muslim challenge Islamic fundamentalism extremism The ban on a book published by Sisters in Islam (SIS) is illegal, irrational, and inconsistent with the Federal Constitution, the Malaysian High Court heard.

SIS also contended that then Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, who ordered the ban, had no authority to do so.

In their submissions, counsel for SIS Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and K. Shanmuga told Justice Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof that under the constitutional framework, Islam was a state matter and as such, fell exclusively within the purview of the state governments.

The minister does not have the requisite legal competence and/or authority to arrive at conclusions on matters pertaining to Islam. It would be necessary for the state religious authorities to have firstly concluded on the matter (where it pertains to Islam) before the minister could exercise his discretion,Malik Imtiaz said at the first day of hearing yesterday, adding that these pre-conditions were not met.

On Dec 15 last year, SIS Forum (Malaysia) had applied for leave for a judicial review of an order banning the 215-page book entitled Muslim Women and the Challenges of Islamic Extremism. It is a compilation of essays based on research by renowned international scholars and activists, and the book was edited by sociologist Prof Noraini Othman of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Institute of Malaysia and International Studies.

The ministry had banned the book under Section 7 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 on grounds that it was 'prejudicial to public order' .

Hearing continues on Nov 18.

 

30th October   

Update: Censorship of Biblical Proportions...

Malaysian confiscates 15,000 bibles claiming that muslims have a monopoly on the word 'Allah'
Link Here  full story: Oh My God...Only muslims can use the word Allah in Malaysia

Malaysia flagMalaysian authorities have confiscated more than 15,000 Bibles in recent months because they referred to God as Allah, a translation that has been banned in this Muslim-majority country, Christian church officials have said.

The Rev. Hermen Shastri, general secretary of the Council of Churches of Malaysia, said authorities seized a consignment of 10,000 copies sent from Jakarta to Kuching in Sarawak state on Sept. 11 because the Indonesian-language Bibles contained the wordAllah.

Indonesian language is similar to Malaysian language, both of which use Allah as translation for God in both Islamic and Christian traditions.

Another 5,100 Bibles, also imported from Indonesia, were seized in March, said an official from the Bible Society of Malaysia, who asked not to be named for fear of angering the government.

The Roman Catholic Church is challenging the Allah ban in court, saying it is unconstitutional and discriminates against those worshipping in Malay language. The case has been stuck in preliminary hearings for almost two years.

 

30th October   

Update: Tight Jeans and Loose Morals...

Indonesian ban on muslim women wearing tight jeans
Link Here  full story: Sharia in Aceh...Inhuman sharia punishments in Aceh

BurkhaMuslim women in the Indonesian district of West Aceh are to be banned from wearing tight trousers or jeans.

One local official said women found breaking the law will have to change into a government-issue skirt and their banned garments will be cut up.

The rule, to take effect next year, will also ban men from wearing shorts, said district chief Ramli Mansur said. If a woman flouts [the rules], her trousers will be cut up on the spot and replaced with a skirt that will be provided free of charge by the West Aceh government,Ramli Mansur told AFP news agency.

We're not stopping women from wearing trousers. What's prohibited are tight trousers and jeans. If they have to wear trousers, the trousers must cover their ankles and be worn under loose, long skirts.

The rule would only apply to Muslims.

 

29th October   

Nutters Pissed Off...

Winding up the nutters with a gag about a weeping picture of Jesus
Link Here

Curb Your Enthusiasm Complete Season Comedian Larry David is under attack from critics who say he pushed the mocking of religion and Christian belief in miracles over the edge in the latest episode of his HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm , which the cable network defended asplayful.

On the show's most recent installment, David urinates on a painting of Jesus Christ, causing a woman to believe the painting depicts Jesus crying.

Deal Hudson, author and publisher of InsideCatholic.com, said he doesn't find any humor in the episode. I don't think it's funny, Hudson told Foxnews.com. Why is it that people are allowed to publicly show that level of disrespect for Christian symbols? If the same thing was done to a symbol of any other religions -- Jewish or Muslim -- there'd be a huge outcry. It's simply not a level playing field.

Somebody should [apologize], Hudson said. When is it going to stop? When is common sense going to dictate that people realize this willingness of artists to do to Christianity what they would never do to Judaism or Islam?

In a statement to Foxnews.com, HBO downplayed the controversy.

Anyone who follows Curb Your Enthusiasm knows that the show is full of parody and satire, the statement read. Larry David makes fun of everyone, most especially himself. The humor is always playful and certainly never malicious.

During Sunday's episode, David, who created, wrote and produced Seinfeld , visits a bathroom in his assistant's home and splatters urine on a picture of Jesus. Instead of wiping it off, David leaves the restroom. Minutes later, David's assistant enters the bathroom and concludes that Jesus is crying. She then summons her mother to the bathroom, where both women kneel in prayer.

The episode, The Bare Midriff , primarily revolves around David's assistant and her belly-revealing attire. According to the show's Web site, a new pill increased David's urine flow, leading to the misunderstanding about a miraculously weeping Jesus.

HBO promoted the controversial scene on the show's site, complete with a squirm-o-meter that ranked the urine incident ahead of David's confronting his assistant about her exposed midriff.

 

29th October   

Update: Comedy Bomb Attack...

Dieudonne M'bala M'bala fined for allegedly anti-semitic gag
Link Here  full story: Dieudonne Mbala Mbala...Comedian winds up with near anti-semitic humour

Dieudonne posterA court in Paris has fined the French stand-up comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala €20,000 (US$ 30,000) over an allegedly anti-Semitic stunt during a show in which he invited a notorious Holocaust denier onto stage.

Dieudonné was ordered to pay €10,000 for his public anti-Semitic insults and a further €10,000 in damages and legal fees to organizations that sued him. He was prosecuted after he invited Robert Faurisson, a convicted Holocaust denier, onto stage during a comedy show to receive a satirical award from an actor dressed as a Jewish deportee. The comedian admitted at the hearing that the show had been acomedy bomb attack but defended his right to free expression.

Dieudonné, a former anti-racism campaigner whose father originated from Cameroon, often courts controversy and earlier this year tried to enter politics by standing for the European parliament as head of an anti-Zionist party.

In September 2007, Dieudonné was fined after he accused Jews of exploiting memorial pornography and attacked a Zionist lobby which cultivates the idea of their unique suffering ... and has declared war on the black world. Two months later, he was back in court and was fined €5,000 for having compared Jews to slave-traders .

 

28th October   

Update: Tolerating Nonsense...

Annual Report on International Religious Freedom 2009
Link Here  full story: Defamation of Religion...OIC pushes for global blasphemy laws at UN

Annual Report on International Religious Freedom In what one official describes as a mixed report, the US State Department's Annual Report on International Religious Freedom praises growing interfaith initiatives in some countries but criticizes blasphemy laws supported by some Islamic nations. Such laws, it says, curtail freedom of expression.

Introducing the report at the State Department Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized anti-defamation policies, such as those being proposed at the United Nations, saying that an individual's ability to practice his or her religion has no bearing on others' freedom of speech.

Clinton said the protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faiths will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions. These differences should be met with tolerance, not with the suppression of discourse.

The annual report, addressing the state of religious freedom in 198 countries and territories, cites serious problems of religious tolerance in Afghanistan.

It singles out a controversial law signed by President Hamid Karzai limiting the rights of women from the Shia minority. It also cites harassment and occasional violence against religious minorities and Muslims perceived as not respecting Islamic strictures. Non-Muslim minority groups -- including Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs, it says -- continued to face incidents of discrimination and persecution.

The United States has very serious concerns over the status of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia as well, Posner said. The report says freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under Saudi law and it is severely restricted in practice.

The State Department will issue a separate report on countries of concern. Officials say they plan to release by January.

 

28th October   

Update: Flogged Off...

Saudi King waives flogging for journalist associated with sexual confessions programme
Link Here  full story: Religious Police in Saudi...A law unto themselves

Red Line on LBCThe Saudi king has waived the lashing a court ordered against a woman for working at a Lebanese television channel that aired a sexual confessions programme.

He (King Abdullah) has asked the ministry of justice to drop the lashing against journalist Rozana al-Yami, information ministry spokesman Abdul Rahman al-Hazaa told AFP.

Hazaa said that the king has ordered the transfer of the cases to the ministry of information, referring to Yami's case and that of another female journalist, reportedly named Iman Rajab, who was convicted of working for the same controversial programme which caused a stir in the conservative kingdom.

 

28th October   

Update: Stereotypical...

US foils plot to kill Mohammed cartoonist and editor
Link Here  full story: Mohammed Cartoons...Cartoons outrage the muslim world

Turban bombUS prosecutors have said that they had broken up an international terror plot, codenamed the Mickey Mouse Project, against the Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Two men from Chicago who went to military school in Pakistan face terrorism charges for allegedly targeting the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which 'outraged' Muslims by publishing the 12 cartoons in 2005.

The men allegedly planned to kill Flemming Rose, the cultural editor, and Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist. The editor of Jyllands-Posten, Jorn Mikkelsen, said that the alleged plot was very unpleasant for the employees and we are all affected by these threats.

David Headley, a US citizen who changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006, was arrested at O'Hare International airport, Chicago, on October 3. Court papers say that he hatched the plot in 2008 and posted a message about the cartoons on an internet discussion group, saying:I feel disposed toward violence for the offending parties.

After his arrest Headley allegedly told FBI agents that he began receiving training in 2006 from Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan terror group. Court papers said that Mr Headley told FBI agents that he went to Denmark in January and July this year to carry out surveillance on the newspaper's offices in Copenhagen and Århusin preparation for an attack to be carried out by persons associated with Kashmiri and Individual A .

Headley stated that he proposed that the operation against the newspaper be reduced from attacking the entire building in Copenhagen to killing the paper's cultural editor, Flemming Rose, and the cartoonist who drew the cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, Kurt Westergaard, whom Headley felt was directly responsible for the cartoons,court papers said.

Headley is charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts involving murder and maiming outside the US, which carries a life sentence.

 

28th October   

Update: Electrometer Nonsense...

Church of Scientology found to be fraudulent in French court
Link Here  full story: Scientologically Challenged...Scientology challenged in legal actions

ElectrometerThe Church of Scientology has been fined €600,000 (£545,000) after being found guilty of cheating vulnerable members out of their life savings.

In a judgment that set legal precedent by convicting Scientology as an organisation, Paris Criminal Court found that the practices of the organisation involved unlawful approaches to fragile people using scientifically bogus claims to defraud them of thousands of euros.

Alain Rosenberg, the scientologists' leader in France, was also fined €30,000 and given a two-year suspended jail sentence. Five other scientologists were fined between €1,000 and €20,000.

The court stopped short of banning Scientology in France, as prosecutors had demanded. Judge Sophie-Hélène Château said that prohibition could drive the organisation underground, where it would be difficult to control.

In her ruling Judge Château said that the organisation had used fallacious arguments of no scientific value to catch members. Judge Château made the rare decision to order publication of the ruling in the international press. This would ensure thatvictims can be warned about the methods of Scientology, according to Olivier Morice, the lawyer for the plaintiffs.

At the hearing in May, Maud Morel-Coujard, the French state prosecutor, accused the organisation of employing a marketing system to exploit the paranoia of its victims. She described its electrometer — an instrument that purportedly measures mental energy — as a decoy usedonly for the stage management which characterises fraud.

Update: Appeal

8th November 2011. See  article from  religionnewsblog.com

The appeal for the Church of Scientology's conviction on fraud has opened in a Paris court.

Defense lawyers for the church plan to argue during the appeal that the conviction curtails freedom of religion and association.

Olivier Morice, lawyer for Unadfi, an organisation which campaigns against sects, said he wants to the trial to include evidence about the methods and techniques of the Scientology movement, which, he said, are those of organised fraud. For us, Scientology is a business, whose main goal is to elicit money from its followers,he told reporters outside the court.

Update: Appeal Fails

9th February 2012. See  article from  uk.news.yahoo.com

A Paris appeal court has upheld a fraud conviction and a fine of hundreds of thousands of euros against the Church of Scientology for fleecing vulnerable followers.

The 2009 conviction saw Scientology's Celebrity Centre and its bookshop in Paris, the two branches of its French operations, ordered to pay 600,000 euros ($790,000) in fines for preying financially on several followers in the 1990s.

The original ruling, while stopping short of banning the group from operating in France, dealt a blow to the movement in France.

 

28th October   

Crashed Out...

Hollywood director criticises Scientology as he quits
Link Here

Crash DVD Don Cheadle The Hollywood director and screenwriter Paul Haggis has severed his ties with the Church of Scientology in protest against its position on gays and treatment of members who wish to leave.

Haggis, who won an Oscar in 2005 for co-writing Crash, said that he was quitting the church after 35 years. I could not, in good conscience, be a member of an organisation where gay-bashing was tolerated, he wrote in a letter to it.

He also criticised the church for its alleged policy of disconnection in which members must cut ties with anyone deemed critical of the organisation.

 

28th October   

Incendiary Situation...

Afghan protests over accusation that US troops torched a Koran
Link Here

Afghanistan flagAfghan police opened fire and turned a water cannon on demonstrators angry about allegations that Western troops torched a copy of the Quran, wounding at least three people, officials and witnesses said.

Clashes erupted as police tried to prevent around 300 students, most of them men, from marching on parliament.

A doctor at the emergency ward of Ibn Sina hospital said that at least three men suffering from bullet wounds had been admitted for treatment. More than 15 police were also wounded in clashes between the angry mob and security forces, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said.

An AFP reporter at the scene saw about three dozen people, mainly young students, herded into a police vehicle and taken away.

We were demonstrating, we wanted to protest... but the police came and started beating us, a young man, refusing to give his name, said from the back of a police vehicle. Another man, one side of his face covered in blood, said, They beat us up, they fired at the people.In a similar protest in Kabul on Sunday, demonstrators torched an effigy of US President Barack Obama and attacked police. Police responded by firing into the air to disperse the crowd.

 

27th October   

In the Name of Cohesion...

Council reports christian nutter for hate crimes over rant against gay pride march
Link Here

  Who? Sodomites?
No! Council
Jobsworths!

After witnessing a gay pride march, 'committed' Christian Pauline Howe wrote to the council to complain that the event had been allowed to go ahead.

But instead of a simple acknowledgement, she received a letter warning her she might be guilty of a hate crime and that the matter had been passed to police.

Two officers later turned up at the frightened woman's home and lectured her about her choice of words before telling her she would not be prosecuted.

Howe, 67, whose husband Peter is understood to be a Baptist minister, spoke of her shock at the visit and accused police of wasting resources on her case rather than fighting crime: I've never been in any kind of trouble before so I was stunned to have two police officers knocking at my door. Their presence in my home made me feel threatened. It was a very unpleasant experience. The officers told me that my letter was thought to be an intention of hate but I was expressing views as a Christian.

Howe's case has been taken up by the Christian Institute, which is looking into potential breaches of freedom of speech and religious rights under the Human Rights Act, either by Norwich City Council or Norfolk Police.

And homosexual equality pressure group Stonewall has branded the authorities' response disproportionate .

Her letter to the council described the gay pride march as a public display of indecency that was offensive to God . She wrote: It is shameful that this small but vociferous lobby should be allowed such a display unwarranted by the minimal number of homosexuals.

The letter went on to describe homosexuals as sodomites , said homosexuality had contributed to the downfall of every empire and added that gay sex was a major cause of sexually transmitted infections .

She received a response from the council's deputy chief executive, Bridget Buttinger, who said it was the local authority's duty... to eliminate discrimination of all kinds . The content of your letter has been assessed as potentially being hate related because of the views you expressed towards people of a certain sexual orientation. Your details and details of the contents of your letter have been recorded as such and passed to the police.

 

26th October   

Update: Flog First, Trump Up Charges Later...

Saudi flogs journalist for association with controversial TV programme
Link Here  full story: Religious Police in Saudi...A law unto themselves

Red Line on LBCA woman journalist has been sentenced to 60 lashes by a Saudi Arabian court after a man appearing on the television chat show she worked on described his sex life.

Rozanna al-Yami said she was too frustrated and upset to appeal the sentence, which was handed down by a judge in Jiddah as a deterrence .

The show, Bold Red Line , caused huge controversy in the ultra-conservative Arab state when it was broadcast in July on the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation's satellite channel. It featured a man called Mazen Abdul-Jawad talking openly about his active sex life and displaying sex toys, which were blurred out by the producers.

Al-Yami said she worked on the series as a co-ordinator but had not been involved with the offending edition. She had understood that the judge had dropped charges against her, which included involvement in the preparation of the program and advertising it on the internet.

Her conviction, she added, seemed to rest on the question of whether LBC was properly licensed to operate in Saudi Arabia: I had nothing to do with Mazen Abdul-Jawad's show. The verdict was just because I cooperated with LBC, she said. I was not aware (that LBC was unlicenced) but in the end this is the verdict and I accept it.

The Saudi ministry of culture and information yesterday questioned the validity of the court proceedings. Spokesman Abdul-Rahman al-Hazza said al-Yami should have been tried before a court that specialised in media issues and that failing to do so was a violation of Saudi law.It is a precedent to try a journalist before a summary court for an issue that concerns the nature of his job, he said. LBC's Western-style entertainment programmes and talk shows have made it a popular channel in Saudi Arabia, and royal billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is a shareholder.

 

26th October   

Violating Sharia Law...

Now Egyptians get all riled by Beyonce Knowles
Link Here

Am Fierce Deluxe Tracks Lyrics Two weeks before American star Beyonce Knowles is scheduled to hold her first ever concert in Egypt, an Islamist MP publicly blasted the government for accepting to host the event and accused the government of violating Sharia law.

The pop star is set for a government-approved gig at the Red Sea resort of Port Ghalib, irking Muslim Brotherhood member Hamdi Hassan, who slammed the government for allowing a singer who appears naked in her clips to perform, which he said would spread vice.The government is trying to make people indulge in sin and licentiousness to cover up the other crimes it is committing against them, Hassan said in a parliament session.

Hassan highlighted what he called government double standards for refusing to allow an Islamic band that sings religious songs for children to enter the country.

Update: This is not Egypt.

7th November 2009. See article from google.com

A group on social networking site Facebook opposing Beyonce's concert has attracted nearly 10,000 members.

One poster displayed on the site, showing the silhouette of a curvacious woman with a diagonal red line through it, was entitled This is not Egypt.

 

26th October   

Diary: International Day Against Execution in Iran...

Let's stand up against the Islamic Republic Crime Machine!
Link Here

ICAE logoInternational day against execution in Iran
30th October 2009

Islamic republic is about to execute numbers of recent crisis protestors and political activists. We must stand up strongly against this preparation of Islamic regime to murder political activists and protestors.

Recently, the Islamic Republic executed Behnood Shojaee, convicted of murder at the age of 17. Few other juveniles who have been convicted under the age of 18, are about to be executed in the next few days. During these days; Mohammad Reza Alizamani, Hamed Roohinezhad, Arash Rahmanipoor, Naser Endolhosaini and Davood Farbache Mir Ardebili are sentenced to death for crimes such as; participating in protests, being members of oppositions and apostasy. On 6th and 8th October, 6 people were hanged in Ahvaz. This is only part of what this barbaric and criminal regime has done in the past few days. We must stand against this crime machine with full power and destroy their world of crime.

These people accused of participating in protests, are sentenced to death and according to their lawyers and some human rights organizations; they were arrested prior to recent protests and they are guilty of reporting news to apposition radios and attempt to leave Iran and refuge to other countries. Giving this situation, the Islamic Republic is trying to hang some of the protesters along with political activists in preparation for more executions. The officials of the Islamic Republic falsely think they are able to save their state by intimidating people.

International committee against execution is preparing an international protest against execution in Iran and particularly against juveniles, political activists and protestors execution and asks everyone to participate in these protests in this occasion on 30th of October. We must strongly standup against regimes' preparation prior to committing more crimes. Wherever you live, from any city, major intersections and in front of Islamic Republic embassies, parliament building and etc, prepare to protest.

 

26th October   

Offsite: Ending the silence on 'honour killing'...

British authorities are now targeting honour abusers
Link Here  full story: Honour Crime...International honour killings and family crime

Ragged Union JackThe number of young women - and men - being killed or assaulted after supposedly bringing shame on their families keeps on rising. But more than ever before, those who have escaped violence are speaking out to break the code of silence.

Old attitudes of accepting the crimes in the name of cultural sensitivity have also disappeared and the police are targeting the abusers.

...Read full article

 

24th October   

Update: Making Nonsense Sacred...

OIC try a new angle to get 'defamation of religion' into law
Link Here  full story: Defamation of Religion...OIC pushes for global blasphemy laws at UN

More freedom of expression and human rights groups have voiced concern at a bid by the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the African Group to write new conditions into an international convention that will add a requirement to ban defamation of religion to a convention intended to eliminate racism.

The OIC, represented by Pakistan, and the African Group, represented by Egypt, have approached the UN Ad Hoc Committee mandated to elaborate on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The OIC proposes new and binding standards on issues such as defamation of religions, religious personalities, holy books, scriptures and symbols .

Twenty four groups, including ten Arab organisations, have put their name to an appeal to the Ad Hoc committee [pdf]not to accept the OIC proposals.

With an eye to the Danish cartoons saga, the OIC calls for protection against provocative portrayals of objects of religious veneration as a malicious violation of the spirit of tolerance, and prohibition of the publication of …gratuitously offensive attacks on matters regarded as sacred by the followers of any religion.

The OIC submission would also provide for action against abuse of the right to freedom of expression in the context of racio-religious profiling .

The letter, originated by free expression campaigners Article 19, The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and Human Rights Watch Legal Resource Consortium in South Africa, maintains that the concept ofdefamation of religions is contrary to freedom of expression but also general principles of international human rights law.

The focus, the signatories argue, should be on protecting the rights of individual believers, rather than belief systems.

 

24th October   

Hateful Letters...

Nutter cleric charged of harassing the families of soldiers lost in Afghan war
Link Here

Australia flagThey are young Australians who paid the ultimate price, losing their lives at war - but now their families have allegedly been targeted by self-styled Muslim cleric Sheik Haron in an anti-war campaign.

Finally, after an alleged two-year letter-writing spree that has devastated the families of seven soldiers who died in Afghanistan, Haron faces criminal charges..

In the letters he allegedly wrote to grieving parents and wives of the soldiers - one addressed to a widow, care of a funeral home - he apparently accused some of the dead Australian soldiers of being criminals , killers and murderers fighting a war of invasion.

Haron was charged with seven counts of using a postal service or similar service to menace, harass, or cause offence and was granted bail to appear in court next month.

Haron has posted the letters he allegedly sent on a website attributed to him. In a letter to Gregory Sher's family, he allegedly wrote: I feel bad that you have lost your son but I don't feel bad that a murderer of innocent civilians has lost his life.

 

24th October   

Nutter Constitution...

MP submits bill to change Malaysia from a secular state to sharia
Link Here

Malaysia flagA Malaysian MP has submitted a private members bill to amend the constitution. Zulkifli Noordin said the Federal Constitution must be amended to ensure that the facts on the position of Islam were not manipulated and misinterpreted by certain groups to give the impression that Malaysia was a secular state.

The controversial MP had proposed that the words Islam is the religion for the Federation including in terms of the law and syariah be included to remove any doubt on the status of the country. He said the Federal Constitution must be amended to add in the wordsthe Constitution is the primary law of the Federation and except for the Islamic law and syariah, any other law that is passed and that contradicts it must be void for as long as it is contradictory .

The House must take cognisance that in many instances the Islamic syariah law has become void or cannot be enforced because Article 4 of the Federal Constitution places the country's law above other laws and regulations. These include Islamic and syariah law such as the ban on the use of the turban in national schools, the wearing of the purdah and jilbab in government departments, the enforcement of the syariah law such as for 'khalwat' (close proximity), zina (adultery), 'qazaf' which contradicts the syariah law and others,he said.

Also suggested for amendment of the Federal Constitution on the question of changing the religion for Muslims. In this matter, Zulkifli proposed the inclusion of the words including changing his/her religion except for Muslims which must comply with the Islamic law and syariah. For the followers of Islam, the question of converting into or abandoning Islam must be determined by the Syariah Court which has absolute power over it.

In addition, Zulkifli also submitted a private member's bill to urge the government to enforce a law or to prohibit or impose conditions on the sale of liquor and condoms at convenience stores including 7-Eleven and KK Mart. There have been many cases where Malay teenagers and youths who are Muslims who have abused the sale of liquor and alcoholic drinks and the availability of condoms at convenience stores for immoral activities,he said.

 

23rd October   

Denial of Service Linked to Denial of God...

Denial of Service attacks against Australian atheist websites
Link Here

AFA logoAccording to the Sydney Morning Herald, savage attacks hit the websites of both the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) and the Global Atheist Convention and knocked them offline.

The attacks seemed to be related to the Global Atheist Convention, which is being held in Melbourne next March. Speakers include prominent evolutionist and atheist Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion.

About 1,000 tickets have been sold so far through the Global Atheist Convention website, which was set up, and is operated, by the AFA.

The cyber attacks halted ticket sales for the convention, which is expected to be the largest gathering of non-believers ever held down under.

David Nicholls, president of the AFA, was agnostic as to whether the attacks were motivated by religion or were the work of right wing Christian fundamentalists upset that the AFA has been lobbying for a more secular society. In Australia religious conservatives have a voice in politics that is as loud as their numbers are small.

Nicholls said he believed that since two separate atheism-related websites were hit that suggested the attacks were targeted at atheists.

Whichever bunch of religious nuts carried out the attacks it appears their god was on their side. The company hosting the websites pulled the plugs following the attacks, forcing the atheists to find new servers.

 

23rd October   

Right Too Far...

Rightwing Swedish politician charged with hate speech
Link Here

Sweden flagSwedish politician Jimmie Åkesson has been charged with hate speech for writing an opinion piece in which he calls Islam the biggest threat to his country since World War II.

In piece published in Swedish daily Aftonbladet, the leader of the far right Sweden Democrats writes that his country has the most rapes per capita in Europe, and most of the perpetrators are Muslim. Åkesson also claims that ten Muslim terrorist groups have established cells in Sweden.

According to Åkesson, today's multicultural Swedish power-elite are totally blind to the dangers of Islam. As a Sweden Democrat, I see this as our greatest external threat since World War II and I promise to use all my power to change the trend during next year's election,he writes.

 

23rd October   

Update: Primitive Beliefs...

'Witches' lynched in India
Link Here  full story: Witch Hunts...Witches still hunted even in modern times

India flagFive women were paraded naked, beaten and forced to eat human excrement by villagers after being branded as witches in India's Jharkhand state.

Local police said the victims were Muslim widows who had been labelled as witches by a local cleric.

The victims were taken to a playground where hundreds had assembled to watch the ghastly incident, deputy inspector general of police Murari Lal Meena told the BBC. No one in the mob came forward to rescue the victims as they were being stripped and beaten up,he said.

Police went to Pattharghatia village after being informed about the incident by a group of villagers. They have lodged a case against 11 villagers, including six women. Four people have been arrested in connection with the incident. The victims are now under police protection.

Police say that people in Pattharghatia believe that certain women in their village are possessed by a holy spirit that can identify those who practise witchcraft. These women recently identified five women from the same village as being witches who practised witchcraft and brought miseries to the area,a police official said. Soon, an unruly mob broke into their huts, dragged them out and started beating them up.

Footage of the incident has been aired on television channels in India prompting outrage.

Hundreds of people, mostly women, have been killed in India because their neighbours thought they were witches. Experts say superstitious beliefs are behind some of these attacks, but there are occasions when people - especially widows - are targeted for their land and property.

Update: Witch Murder

28th October 2009. See article from sify.com

A village headwoman in Chattisgarh had been arrested with her daughter and son-in-law for allegedly stoning to death a woman who was branded a witch.

The village sarpanch, Rimni Bai, and her daughter and son-in-law were arrested following strong evidence that they stoned to death a middle-aged tribal woman Budhiaro Bai after branding her a witch, said a police official probing the case.

 

22nd October   

Update: Intolerant Malaysia...

10 years in jail for the wrong flavour of nonsense
Link Here  full story: Freedom of Religion in Malaysia...No freedom of Religion in Malaysia

Rasul MelayuA lawyer says a Malaysian Islamic court has sentenced a Muslim sect leader to 10 years in prison and six lashes from a rattan cane for spreading false teachings.

Abdul Kahar Ahmad pleaded guilty in an Islamic Shariah court last month to charges of spreading false doctrines, blasphemy and violating religious precepts.

He had been charged in 2006 but went into hiding for three years to evade trial before Islamic religious police tracked him down in central Selangor state last month.

Islamic state prosecutor Muhamad Nazri Basrawi says the Shariah court decided to jail Abdul Kahar for 10 years and to cane him six times.

 

22nd October   

Update: Fierce Criticism...

Malaysian nutters censor Beyonce gig
Link Here  full story: Pop Stars in Malaysia...Malaysia not much into the world of pop stars

Am Fierce Deluxe Tracks Lyrics US singer Beyonce has postponed a planned concert in Malaysia following accusations by Islamic conservatives that the show would be immoral.

The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party called for the show in Kuala Lumpur to be scrapped because it would promote Western sexy performances.

Organisers said the concert, which was due to be held on 25 October, would be postponed to a future date .

The postponement is solely [the] decision of the artiste and has nothing to do with other external reasons, organisers Marctensia said in a statement.

Last month, Marctensia addressed concerns the singer might wear inappropriate outfits, saying all parties have come to an amicable understanding about stage costumes.

Female performers at Malaysian concerts are required by government rules to cover up from the shoulders to knees, with no cleavage showing.

 

22nd October   

No Brotherly Love...

Portuguese author winds up the church denouncing the Bible as a handbook of bad morals
Link Here

Cain posterA row broke out in Portugal an author denounced the Bible as a handbook of bad morals .

Speaking at the launch of his new book Cain , Jose Saramago, who won the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature, said society would probably be better off without the Bible.

The Bible is a manual of bad morals (which) has a powerful influence on our culture and even our way of life. Without the Bible, we would be different, and probably better people, he was quoted as saying by the news agency Lusa.

Saramago attacked a cruel, jealous and unbearable God (who) exists only in our heads and said he did not think his book would cause problems for the Catholic Church because Catholics do not read the Bible.

Father Manuel Marujao, the spokesman for the Portuguese conference of bishops, said he thought the remarks were a publicity stunt. A writer of Jose Saramago's standing can criticise, (but) insults do no-one any good, particularly a Nobel Prize winner,the priest said.

 

22nd October   

Offsite: Humanity at Stake...

Churches denounce African children as 'witches'
Link Here  full story: Witch Hunts...Witches still hunted even in modern times

Nigeria flagThe idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of a rapid growth in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria's 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire.

Nigeria is one of the heartlands of abuse, but hardly the only one: the United Nations Children's Fund says tens of thousands of children have been targeted throughout Africa.

...Read the full article

 

21st October   

Neighbours' Prayers Answered...

Nutter banned from loud early morning prayers
Link Here

Shout the Gospel adA woman who repeatedly recites the Lord's Prayer has been warned she could end up in jail if she continues.

Martina Rabess has been given an Anti Social Behaviour Order to prevent her loud praying and chanting in communal areas of her block of flats in the early hours of the morning. The woman from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, also rang neighbours' doorbells in an attempt to preach to them.

Her behaviour sparked dozens of complaints to police which ended in an appearance at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court last week.

Under the terms of the two-year ASBO she is now banned from leaving or entering her home between 11pm and 7am. The order also prevents her from visiting a nearby recreation ground where she used to hold impromptu prayer meetings. She is also banned from shouting or praying at anoise level that could be heard outside her flat which could cause distress to neighbours.

Neighbour Debbie Attwood said: Thank God something has been done at last. It was a nightmare - she would come to the bottom of the stairs and pray every morning at about 3am for at least an hour and recite the Lord's Prayer. It got so bad you couldn't sleep - even with earplugs, it just went on and on and on.

 

21st October   

Prison Pastors...

Cuban state intolerance of the church
Link Here

Cuba flagChristian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is calling for the immediate release of two Cuban Baptist leaders accused of illicit financial activity,after distributing financial aid to needy churches in the Guantanamo province, Cuba.

According to other church leaders, all aid money has been sent legally and openly from Baptist churches in Florida, United States.

CSW, the human rights group reported that Pastor Ruben Ortiz Columbie and Pastor Francisco Garcia Ruiz were first arrested and detained on 3 October and have been held in prison since then. Denominational leaders told CSW that they are shocked and puzzled by the detention of these two men, as the Church has been carrying out this type of aid work for years, particularly over the last year, since Cuba was hit by three major hurricanes.

Tina Lambert, CSW's Advocacy Director, said: We demand that the Cuban Government release Pastor Ortiz Columbie and Pastor Garcia Ruiz immediately. These two men were working openly to improve the lives of fellow Cubans living in poverty.

CSW also noted that there has been an increase in reported violations of religious liberty in Cuba since Raul Castro took power in early 2008.

Last month, a comprehensive report by CSW noted the disturbing trend seen from the government, specially against independent church leaders from the fast growing Apostolic Movement, who have been particularly targeted for harassment, detentions and court summons by the government.

The CSW report said, this follows the detention of at least 60 pastors and leaders linked to the Apostolic Movement in May and June.

Update: Freed

23rd October 2009. See article from christianpost.com

Two Baptist leaders imprisoned in eastern Cuba for two weeks have been released after spurious charges of “illicit financial activity” were suddenly dropped, according to Cuban church leaders.

 

20th October   

Update: Extortion with Menaces...

Pakistan muslims threaten to kill christians unless they pay up
Link Here  full story: Pakistan Goes Sharia...Sharia in the Northwest Frontier Province

Pakistan flagFighters linked to the militant Taliban group have threatened to kill Christians and burn their homes in Pakistan's Punjab province if they don't meet their demands.

In a letter sent to the Christian community in the northeastern city of Sargodha, Taliban militants said Christians should convert to Islam, pay an Islamic tax imposed on religious minorities, known as Jizya tax , or leave the country.

If Christians refuse to accept these choices, Christians will be killed, their property and homes will be burnt to ashes and their women treated as sex slaves, said the letter, which was distributed to Worthy News and its partner agency BosNewsLife by rights group International Christian Concern (ICC). The Christiansthemselves would be responsible for this, the letter added.

News of the statement emerged as Pakistan's army prepared for a ground offensive elsewhere in Pakistan, in South Waziristan, following a string of brazen attacks, believed to be part of a Taliban campaign, that killed more than 150 people in the last two weeks.

 

19th October   

Update: Crumbs and Sound Bytes...

Robert Crumb's Genesis gets noticed by the press
Link Here  full story: Robert Crumb's Genesis...Subversive cartoonist reworks the Bible

Robert Crumb's The Book of Genesis A sexually illustrated Book of Genesis by subversive artist Robert Crumb, which depicts Bible characters having intercourse, has predictably been condemned by religious groups.

The book, which is released this month, carries the warning adult supervision recommended for minors , and is described as scandalous satire by its publishers.

Crumb has said he does not believe that the Bible is the word of God. I take it all for myth from start to finish, with probably some faint relation to historical reality. They're great stories. But for people to take texts as something sacred, handed down from God... that's pretty backward, I think.

It is turning the Bible into titillation, said Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, a religious think-tank. It seems wholly inappropriate for what is essentially God's rescue plan for mankind. If you are going to publish your own version of the Bible it must be done with a great deal of sensitivity. The Bible is a very important text to many many people and should be treated with the respect it deserves. Representing it in your own way is all very well and good but it must be remembered that it is a matter of people's faith, their religion. Faith is such an important part of people's lives that one must remember to tread very carefully.

A spokeswoman for the Bible Society said she hadn't seen the book but that reviews had suggested that Crumb had really engaged with the Book of Genesis. It may surprise people but the bible does contain nudity, sex and violence. That's because it contains real stories about real people. If by reading the book people are encouraged to re-engage with the Bible then that can only be a good thing.

 

19th October   

Prevent Spying...

Revelations show that the Prevent programme involves widespread spying on muslims
Link Here

Home Offie logoThe government programme aimed at preventing Muslims from being lured into violent extremism is being used to gather intelligence about innocent people who are not suspected of involvement in terrorism, the Guardian has learned.

The information the authorities are trying to find out includes political and religious views, information on mental health, sexual activity and associates, and other sensitive information, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

The intelligence is being gathered as part of the strategy Preventing Violent Extremism - Prevent for short. It was launched three years ago to stop people being lured to al-Qaida ideology and committing acts of terrorism.

The government and police have repeatedly denied that the £140m programme is a cover for spying on Muslims in Britain. But sources directly involved in running Prevent schemes say it involves gathering intelligence about the thoughts and beliefs of Muslims who are not involved in criminal activity.

Instances around the country include:

  • In the Midlands, funding for a mental health project to help Muslims was linked to information about individuals being passed to the authorities.
     
  • Within the last month, one new youth project in London alleged it was being pressured by the Metropolitan police to provide names and details of Muslim youngsters, as a condition of funding. None of the young Muslims have any known terrorist history.
     
  • In one London borough, those working with youngsters were told to add information to databases they hold to highlight which youths were Muslim. They were also asked to provide information, to be shared with the police, about which streets and areas Muslim youngsters could be found on.

Prevent is run by the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, part of the Home Office. It is widely regarded in Whitehall as being an intelligence agency. The OSCT is headed up by Charles Farr, a former senior intelligence officer, with expertise in covert work. Also senior in the OSCT is another former senior intelligence officer. The Guardian has been asked not to name him for security reasons.

Ed Husain, of the Quilliam Foundation, who has advised both Labour and the Conservatives on extremism, said: It is gathering intelligence on people not committing terrorist offences.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty said she was horrified by the revelations. It is the biggest domestic spying programme targeting the thoughts and beliefs of the innocent in Britain in modern times, she said. It is information-gathering directed at the innocent and the spying is directed at people because of their religion, and not because of their behaviour.

 

19th October   

High on Intolerance...

New report on religious intolerance in Nepal
Link Here

Nepal flagA Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) report is calling upon Nepal and the international community to tackle the threats posed by the Hindu extremist groups working against the country's peace and security.

The new report on Nepal specifically mentioned the two Hindu extremist groups - the Nepal Defence Army (NDA) and the Ranbir Sena, and their continued violence against the tiny Christian and other minorities like Muslims in the country should be taken seriously.

The report said, attacks against Christians have increased ever since the last and only Hindu nation was declared a secular state by the restored parliament's declaration in May 2006. The Hindu monarchy was abolished officially in May 2008.

Increased attacks on religious minorities: Ever since the country became secular, the two Hindu extremist groups have been attacking and intimidating the minority Christians and Muslims, the statement said.

The CSW briefing concludes that it is vital that freedom of religion is guaranteed strongly in the new constitution of Nepal, and it is equally important that those responsible for religiously motivated killings and violence be brought to justice.

 

17th October   

Update: Antichrist in the US...

The Christian media ministry MovieGuide predictably lays into Antichrist
Link Here

Antichrist DVDAs Antichrist approaches its US theatrical release date it has predictably been making waves amongst the usual nutters.

The Christian media ministry MovieGuide is inviting people concerned about the film's 'gruesome and graphic' content to join a petition of the MPAA to rate the movie NC-17, which would not only prevent children from viewing the film, but also dissuade many theaters from showing it.

Coming to your local theater Oct. 23 is a movie that I can only call the most horrific movie ever seen, writes Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of Movieguide and chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission. It's calledAntichrist , and it's filled with a wicked worldview, vile pornographic scenes, onscreen mutilation of private parts and some other material which I simply cannot describe to you in a family publication.

We cannot stop this movie, he continues, but we have a strategy which we believe will be the next best thing.

MovieGuide's petition explains three reasons why an NC-17 rating, rather than an R rating for the film, would limit the number of people - especially children - exposed to the movie:

  • An R rated movie easily makes its way to the cinema in your local neighborhood. Thankfully, many local cinemas still won't show the movie if it's NC-17.
     
  • An R-rated movie stands a chance to make more money than NC-17, and this will only encourage some producers in Hollywood to make more vile movies like this.
     
  • And most importantly, children under 17 cannot get into movies with an NC-17 rating, unlike R-rated movies, which admit them.

According to MovieGuide's review of the film, William Defoe's newest effort includes demonic activity, full nudity and graphic on-screen depictions of sex, sadomasochism, sexual mutilation with both a block of wood and a pair of scissors, child abuse, and violent animal acts.

Antichrist is the wicked story of a married couple's plunge into occult darkness as they try to grieve the loss of their son, the review states. This movie wallows in evil and contains extremely graphic pornographic sexual scenes, much occult content and extreme sadomasochistic violence, making it a movie to avoid.

If the world had standards, this movie would be Triple X and banned, states the site's review of the film. As it is, we are issuing our strongest warning not to see it, and to complain to the MPAA for allowing a movie like this to come to theaters near you.

 

17th October   

Update: March 4 Sharia...

Hopefully call for full sharia in Britain will turn out to be a non-event
Link Here  full story: Sharia Law in the UK...Shariah tribunals operating in Britain

Anjem Choudary The muslim group Islam4UK has announced plans to hold a rally in London on October 31 for a procession to demand the full implementation of sharia law.

On a website to promote their cause they deride British institutions, showing a mock-up picture of Nelson's Column surmounted by a minaret.

Plans for the demonstration have been delivered to the Metropolitan Police.

The procession - dubbed March 4 Shari'ah - will start at the House of Commons, which the group's website describes as the very place where the lives of millions of people in the UK are changed and it is from here where unjust wars are launched .

The group then intends to march to 10 Downing Street and call for the removal of the tyrant Gordon Brown from power . The march will then converge on Trafalgar Square where protesters expect it will gather even more support from tourists and members of the public, making clear in the heart of London the need for Shari'ah in society.

The group declared: We hereby request all Muslims in the United Kingdom, in Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow and all other places to join us and collectively declare that as submitters to Almighty Allah, we have had enough of democracy and man-made law and the depravity of the British culture. On this day we will call for a complete upheaval of the British ruling system its members and legislature, and demand the full implementation of Shari'ah in Britain.

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer said: It is extremely distasteful and is stoking the fires of fear within the British public. If anyone thinks that those views are a step forward in society they are seriously deluded. They are repellent and repulsive.

A spokesman for the Islamic Society of Britain said: 99.999% of Muslims despise these people. This only serves to fuel racial tensions.

A Home Office spokesman said: Everyone has the right to express their view so long as it is done sensibly, without violence and does not incite religious hatred.

Update: Birmingham Next

18th October 2009. See article from sundaymercury.net

And Choudary has revealed to the Sunday Mercury that his group plans to target Birmingham next. He said: We are hoping for more than 1,000 Muslims to attend the march in London on October 31. But if it proves a success then we may be coming to Birmingham next. I cannot say exactly when at this stage, but we would hope that it could take place within the next couple of months.

We believe there would be a lot of support for a March in Birmingham, where we would hope to raise the same issues as in London.

We want to start an intelligent debate about Islam and sharia and engage people in that debate.''

 

17th October   

Update: Firm But Fair...

Somalia's religious police beat women found wearing bras
Link Here

Religious PoliceSomalia's hardline Islamist group al-Shabaab has publicly whipped women for wearing bras which, they say, violate Islam by constituting a deception.

Residents in north Mogadishu said gunmen had rounded up any young woman seen with a firm bust and had them publicly whipped by masked men if they were found to be wearing bras.

A resident, Halima, said her daughters had been whipped on Thursday. They first introduced a hard fabric which stands stiffly on women's chests. They now say breasts should be firm naturally, or just flat.

 

16th October   

Updated: Worthy of Censorship...

German novel cancelled over fear of muslim sensitivities
Link Here

Wem Ehre Gebuhrt bookA German publisher has cancelled plans to publish a mass-market novel out of fears that it might face violent protests due to a reference to the Koran, Der Spiegel magazine reported Saturday.

The crime novel, Wem Ehre Gebhrt - about the honour killing of a Muslim woman - had been scheduled for September publication, but the Droste publishing company of Dusseldorf decided not to print it after all.

Der Spiegel said the publisher had first asked the author writing under the pen name WW Domsky, to tone down dialogue in To Those Worthy of Honour which might be construed as offensive, but she had refused.

Spiegel reported that the offensive phrase in question was a character saying: You can shove your Koran up ... Publisher Felix Droste had asked an expert on Islamic society to study whether the crime story's text could compromise the safety of his firm or his family, and the expert suggested the phrase be modified. But the author refused to alter it toYou can shove your honour up ... Droste wrote back that riots over Danish cartoons that poked fun at the Prophet Mohammed in 2005 showed that anyone publishing insults to Islam was putting their safety at risk, Spiegel said.

Update: Honour to Leda-verlag Publishers

16th October 2009. Based on article from mediawatchwatch.org.uk

Der Spiegel reports the good news that the crime novel recently cancelled by a Dusseldorf publisher for fear of violent Muslim reaction has found another publisher. Leda-Verlag plans to present the re-titled Ehre, wem ehre… at the Frankfurt book fair this week.

Publisher Heike Gerdes conceded that the book might provoke some, but insisted that it did not single out the Turks or Islam for criticism, focusing instead on traditional misogynic attitudes. We believe that everyone should form their own impression. We have found nothing in the text which would deter us from publication, and will bring out the book in full. But as a precaution, the police have been informed.

A%age of the book's profits will be donated to the charity Solidarity With Women in Need.

 

16th October   

Bonfire of the Humanities...

Church nutters organise book burning for halloween
Link Here

Amazing Grace bannerThe Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina is on the loose.

Here is what they got planned for Halloween:

Halloween Book Burning

Burning Perversions of God's Word

Oct. 31, 2009, 7pm

Great Preaching and Singing

Come to our Halloween book burning. We are burning Satan's bibles like the NIV, RSV, NKJV, TLB, NASB, NEV, NRSV, ASV, NWT, Good News for Modern Man, The Evidence Bible, The Message Bible, The Green Bible, ect.

These are perversions of God's Word, the King James Bible.We will also be burning Satan's music such as country , pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, contemporary Christian, jazz, soul, oldies but goldies, etc.

We will also be burning Satan's popular books written by heretics like Westcott & Hort, Bruce Metzger, Billy Graham Rick Warren Bill Hybels , John McArthur, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll John Piper, Chuck Colson, Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart, Mark Driskol, Franklin Graham , Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joyce Myers, Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa, The Pope, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne, Brennan Manning, William Young, etc.

We are not burning Bibles written in other languages that are based on the TR. We are not burning the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva or other translations that are based on the TR.

Our Scriptural Bases For Burning

The Scriptural bases for what we are doing each year is found in Acts 19:18-20 "And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed."

 

16th October   

Update: Stones on Hold...

Indonesian government signal that stoning law will be unacceptable
Link Here  full story: Death by Stoning...International condemnation of barbaric execution

Indonesia flagA new law to fatally stone adulterers is unlikely to survive government review in Indonesia, but it highlights the latest push toward stricter Islamic law in the semi-autonomous Aceh province.

The law was unanimously rushed through the provincial parliament last month by outgoing lawmakers, who are part of the hardline Prosperous Justice Party. In addition to the death sentence for adultery, it calls for the public flogging of homosexuals.The law also dismisses a rape victim's claims unless she can provide four male witnesses to the assault.

It is very unlikely the law will be implemented, foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said this week. The governor has already made it clear he won't support the legislation. T he new sharia law contravenes national law and can be overturned if the province doesn't act first, Faizasyah said.

First, I don't think the local government will approve the legislation, he said. Second, if there is approval -- and we're talking 'if' -- it still can't be implemented if it contradicts legislation at the national level.

The province on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra has long enjoyed relative autonomy from the central government. It was permitted to adopt a semi-independent legal system in the early 2000s on the condition that it give up its demand for independence after a 30-year insurgency.

 

16th October   

Update: Blasphemy Debate Postponed...

No suggestions to amend murderously abusive blasphemy laws
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

Pakistan flagThe meeting, which was held to discuss and recommend amendments to the blasphemy laws - ended without coming up with any suggestions and was postponed till January 2010.

In the two-day long meeting that was organised by the federal ministry for religious affairs in Islamabad, 33 members of national assembly, members of provincial assemblies belonging to religious minorities from all four provinces and about 25 senators and representatives of different religions participated.

We have discussed all aspects of the 295B and 295C of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) that refer to blasphemy laws and during the meeting, almost every participant agreed that these sections were misused against religious minorities, and therefore we are discussing these laws and bringing a draft to change them,said Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti.

We have asked assembly members to discuss the issue with the leadership of their parties and then a draft would be prepared, so that when it would be brought in the national assembly, it has the support of all political parties, therefore we have postponed the meeting till January 2010,he said.

The blasphemy laws are one of the most inflexible pieces of legislation. Several people belonging to religious minorities have been killed or sent to jail under the allegations of committing a blasphemous act. The minorities have suffered severely in the Punjab and Sindh, where Christians and Hindus are respectively the biggest religious minorities.

Not a single person has so far been proven to have committed a blasphemous act, and no one can even imagine saying a single word that may dishonour the holy book of any religion, said Bhatti, adding that usually these sections are used for personal enmity.We want to change the misuse of these sections of law for which we have decided to contact the religious scholars of Islam, civil society and people from different fields of life so that harmony between different religions could be promoted,he said.

 

15th October   

Footballers Shown the Pink Card...

Muslim team thrown out of French amateur league for refusing to play gay team
Link Here

CFL logoA soccer club was permanently banned from the French amateur league after refusing to play a match against a gay team.

Last week, Paris Foot Gay said its members were victims of homophobia when Creteil Bebel, a team of Muslim players, refused to play them this month.

The French amateur league said it excluded Creteil for refusing the match on discriminatory grounds. It's a permanent exclusion, they will never be reinstated, league president Jacques Stouvenel said.

 

15th October   

Update: Dangerous Words...

621 people prosecuted for blaspheming in public in Malta last year
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Malta...Malta prosecutes many for villifying the chruch

Malta flagCriminal procedures were initiated against 162 Maltese people for blaspheming in public in the first three months of this year, Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici said.

Replying to a parliamentary question by Labour MP Evarist Bartolo the minister said that similar proceedings were taken against 621 people last year.

 

15th October   

Offensive Weapon...

Schoolboy unsurprisingly not allowed to carry religious knife in school
Link Here

kirpanA Sikh boy has been withdrawn from a school in a dispute over wearing a dagger, his local education authority confirmed.

The 14-year-old who has not been named, was forbidden from wearing a five inch kirpan to The Compton School in Barnet, north London, on the grounds that it was a health and safety risk.

The ceremonial sword, or dagger, is one of five articles of the Sikh faith that must be carried at all times.

The school governors said they had tried to reach a compromise and had proposed that he wore a two-inch version of the dagger welded into a sheath. But this was rejected by his family who said the miniature dagger was not a genuine kirpan.

The boy first started carrying the five inch kirpan two years ago when he was baptised as a Sikh. But according to his older brother Ravjeet Singh, he was no longer allowed to wear the dagger at the beginning of this term.

A statement from The Compton School board of governors said: The school's governing body has spent the past two years trying to reach an agreement with the family and to establish the appropriate nature of a religious artefact that can safely be brought into school.

During this period of time, along with the local authority, we have examined potential compromises after looking at how this issue has been dealt with in other schools, education authorities and elsewhere within the Sikh community and taken legal advice. At the moment we are holding a place open for the student should he feel able to wear a kirpan suitable to bring into school.'

 

14th October   

Update: Fitna for Travel to Britain...

Wilders wins appeal against Home Office ban on visiting Britain
Link Here  full story: Geert Wilders...Geert Wilders winds up the muslim world

Home Offie logoGeert Wilders, the Dutch far-right politician, has won his appeal against the Government's refusal to let him enter Britain.

Wilders challenged the decision by then home secretary Jacqui Smith which led to him being turned back at Heathrow Airport.

The ruling by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal means the head of the Freedom Party, who is accused of Islamophobia, could now be allowed into the country.

He was due to show his short film Fitna , which criticises the Koran as a fascist book , at the House of Lords in February. But Smith said his presence had the potential to threaten community harmony and therefore public safety.

A Home Office spokesman said the Government was disappointed by the ruling: The decision to refuse Wilders admission was taken on the basis that his presence could have inflamed tensions between our communities and have led to inter-faith violence. We still maintain this view.'

 

14th October   

The Shame of Aceh...

Cleric claims that girl should be veiled for a beauty contest
Link Here

Qori SandiorivaMuslim clerics in the conservative province of Aceh have accused Miss Indonesia of betraying her roots for not wearing a veil during a beauty contest.

Qori Sandioriva, 18, won the title beating 37 other contestants for the crown.

However, clerics in the region were 'outraged' that an Acehnese woman won the title of Miss Indonesia. They said that by failing to wear a veil during the competition she had brought shame to the province. Qori Sandioriva was born in Jakarta but has an Acehnese mother so she was eligible to enter the contest as Miss Aceh.

Islamic clerics said that she was not representative of her region because she had not followed Sharia law. They said that only by wearing a veil during the competition would she have followed Aceh's traditions.

Teung-ku Faisal Ali, the secretary general of Aceh's Ulama Association, told the BBC that anyone who represented Aceh must uphold the province's values. He said Qori Sandioriva did not wear a veil during the competition and therefore did not represent the Acehnese people, who have strong Islamic faith and values.

Next year Ms Sandiorova will enter the Miss Universe contest where she will have to wear a swimsuit as part of the pageant.

 

13th October   

Sad Old Bastards...

Having a whinge at the new Spanish film Agora
Link Here

Pop Culture Graphics Agora Poster Just days before the release of the new movie Agora by Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar, nutters are denouncing the film for promoting hatred of Christians and reinforcing false clichés about the Catholic Church.

The president of the Religious Anti-Defamation Observatory, Antonio Alonso Marcos, has sent an open letter to Amenabar denouncing the film's anti-Christian bias.

The reason for my letter is to make you realize something that you already know but have dismissed as unimportant: your film is going to awaken hatred against Christians in today's society. You present a biased view of the relationship between science and the Church, between faith and reason. It has been pointed out to you directly and indirectly, and you have used a somewhat vague excuse and looked the other way,Marcos wrote.

Marcos reminded Amenabar of the comments made by people who have already seen a private screening of the film and which Amenabar himself echoed during a television interview. During the interview he said, At the end of the film, people sitting near me said Christians are bunch of SOBs: This has been and will be the reaction of the public in general, and you know it,Marcos said in his letter. Is that what you were looking for? To throw manure on an institution that today helps millions of human beings to live and enjoy life to the fullest?he asked the director.

In response to Amenabar's statements that the film is not against Christians but rather against those who set off bombs and kill in the name of God, that is, against religious fanatics, Marcos wondered why the director has not recreated situations like those that take place in the Middle East.

Agora , which stars Rachel Weisz, is an epic film that recounts the story of Hipatia, a pagan woman who was killed for her political beliefs. According to some Spanish media, the film has yet to find a distributor in the United States because of its strong anti-Christian bias.

 

13th October   

Praising Missiles...

Ofcom find that Arabic debate about islamic justification for war broke programme code
Link Here

Al Hilwar TVTaamulat fiddine wa Siyassa
Al Hiwar TV
22 February 2009

Al Hiwar TV ( Al Hiwar ) is a channel that broadcasts programmes in Arabic to Arabic-speaking audiences across Europe including those of Tunisian origin.

On 26 February 2009 Ofcom received a complaint that an offensive comment was made in the programme by a guest who was being interviewed. He was Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of an Islamic Tunisian opposition political party, En-Nahda. The complainant alleged that Ghannouchi said:

… the term terrorist here has a splendid meaning…that is why I admire the Al-Quassam missiles…It is a civilised weapon, in the sense that it enables the expected aim to be attained…

By way of background, the complainant said that the famous al-Qassam missiles of Hamas have killed more than ten people (including children), injured over a hundred people, and caused the flight of thousands of inhabitants from Sderot, an Israeli town near the Gaza strip.

Ofcom sought an independent English translation of the relevant section of the programme. It noted that Ghannouchi first quoted some verses from the Qu'ran . He interpreted one which contains the phrase to strike terror into them as meaning:

Ghannouchi: that preparing power and strength does not aim at dominating and attacking but at keeping aggression away. In fact, the phrase 'to strike terror into them' is amazing because preparing power and strength does not mean to kill the others but rather to prevent them from attacking or carrying on aggression against you. That is why I quite like the Qassam rockets. During the war[referring to the Israeli incursion into Gaza] they did not kill anyone on the other side, they scared them only. It is a civilised weapon as it serves the purpose, it creates balance in power… Allah says not to exaggerate killing. Excess killing is not the purpose of war or jihad if aggression can be stopped by a Molotov bomb or Qassam rocket in order to create intimidation and balance in power because peace is the essence of Islam.

Ofcom considered Rule 2.3 (in applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context).

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 2.3

In a discussion on how and when war is justified by Islam, where Ghannouchi commented:

Ghannouchi: When one attacks you, when the other one becomes aggressive, you have no choice but to defend yourself because Islam is a religion of instinct, it allows human beings to defend themselves. However, the purpose of defence itself is to go back to the original state which is that of peace. That is why, chapter Al-Anfal says: 'against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies…'(Verse 60) the next verse however, says: 'but if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah…' which means that preparing power and strength does not aim at dominating and attacking but at keeping aggression away. In fact, the phrase 'to strike terror into them' is amazing because preparing power and strength does not mean to kill the others but rather to prevent them from attacking or carrying on aggression against you. That is why I quite like the Qassam rockets. During the war they did not kill anyone on the other side, they scared them only. It is a civilised weapon as it serves the purpose, it creates balance in power because Allah says not to exaggerate killing. Excess killing is not the purpose of war or jihad if aggression can be stopped by a Molotov bomb or Qassam rocket in order to create intimidation and balance in power because peace is the essence of Islam.

In response, the presenter said:

Presenter: …one should defend himself against Muslim and non-Muslim aggressors…

Ofcom therefore noted that the programme did not query the remarks made by Ghannouchi and, in fact, appeared by implication to endorse them.

Ofcom acknowledged that the full context of this programme was to promote a wider understanding of peaceful political participation from an Islamic perspective. However, included within the programme were a number of unchallenged remarks which had the potential to cause offence to viewers by virtue of the fact that they included praise for Molotov bombs, and Qassam rockets which in the months before the programme was broadcast, had been responsible for a number of deaths and injuries.

Whilst Rule 2.3 of the Code states that offensive material: May include…offensive language… , the use of such potentially inflammatory language, in particular referring to Qassam rockets as a civilised weapon went beyond the overall premise of a programme that the broadcaster has clearly stated was about peace andto dissuade the youth from resorting to violence in pursuit of political reform. Given the programme essentially permitted a guest in a discussion to praise the use of bombs, without challenge, Ofcom believed that there was insufficient justification for including the comments. As a consequence, the broadcaster failed to comply with generally accepted standards in breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.

 

13th October   

Update: Blasphemy Abuse to Continue...

Repealing Pakistan's blasphemy law seen as submitting to US control
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

Pakistan flagThe Karachi'ites have vowed that they will sacrifice their lives but will not accept any amendment to the blasphemy law, let alone its repeal.

They warned the rulers not to take any step to amend or repeal the law, otherwise countrywide protest will be started. This was stated by the leaders of Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan and religious scholars in a Tahaffuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat rally .

Thousands of Karachiites were participated in the rally to condemn the conspiracy to amend or repeal the blasphemy law. Addressing the massive rally, JUP President Dr Abul Khair said that they had suffered all kinds of hardships but they had asked the rulers that they would not tolerate any amendment or repealing of the blasphemy law.

The JUP chief said that Kerry-Lugar Bill was the conspiracy against the Pakistan Armed Forces, nuclear programme and the sovereignty of the country.

Shah Anas Noorani said that through the Bill, US wanted to control the internal affairs of the country. The US want to amend the blasphemy law and control the nuclear programme of Pakistan. He termed that this is an evil bill and asked the government to stop their policies of appeasing the US and other foreign countries.

 

12th October   

The Arch Misery Guts of York...

Having a whinge at Secret Diary of a Call Girl
Link Here

Secret Diary Call Girl DVD The Archbishop of York has condemned the glamourisation of prostitution as a middle-class trade .

Dr John Sentamu attacked the books and television programme based on the character Belle de Jour, a high-end London call girl, for misleading the public over the reality of prostitution.

He said that the lifestyle portrayed in the works was in stark contrast to the suffering endured by the majority of women involved in the sex trade: There is a myth that has been perpetuated in recent years that many people who prostitute themselves do so not because they are being oppressed or desperate for money, but because they see it as an easy way to make money through a relatively 'safe' and lucrative career,he said.

Archbishop Sentamu continued: We are meant to believe that these sex workers are independent women, empowered by the hold they have over men, who sell their bodies for money but who treat it like any other day job. This attitude can be evidenced by the popularity of books and television programmes such asThe Secret Diary of A Call Girl , where the heroine, Belle du Jour, a high-end call-girl, has two very distinct lives.

His comments come on the eve of a vote in the House of Lords on laws proposed in the Police and Crime Bill that are designed to tackle prostitution. The archbishop expressed concern that there are moves to weaken the legislation.

He urged for the inclusion of a new offence proposed in the Bill targeting men with court action if they use prostitutes who have been trafficked, are controlled by pimps or are working for drug dealers.

 

12th October   

Update: Prayer Fails Again...

Toddler dies from pneumonia
Link Here  full story: Prayer Before Medicine...Suffering as prayer is prefered to medical aid

Pennsylvania state sealA fundamentalist couple who prayed over their sick toddler rather than get medical help before his pneumonia death have been ordered to stand trial on manslaughter charges.

Prosecutors believe 2-year-old Kent Schaible succumbed because his parents chose prayer over modern medicine.

But defense lawyers deny the case hinges on religious freedom. They say Herbert and Catherine Schaible did not know their son was dying: We're talking about symptoms that mirrored the flu and the common cold, said public defender Francis Carmen, who represents the mother.The Commonwealth is dragging this (issue) into the courtroom, to persecute them for their minority religious beliefs.

 

12th October   

Update: Wrong Flavour of Dangerous Sect...

Bulgarian Orthodox Church marches in protest against Jehovah's Witnesses
Link Here

Bulgaria flagThe Bulgarian Orthodox Church organised an October 11th march in the northeastern city of Dobrich against the planned international congress of Jehovah's Witnesses there.

The Church was joined by the political parties VMRO and Bulgarian New Democracy.

VMRO have suspicions Jehovah's Witnesses will attempt to turn Dobrich in one of their main hubs for disseminating ideas and recruit people and point out the sect is banned in several European countries. In Bulgaria the Jehovah's Witnesses have official registration since 1998.

The Bulgarian Orthodox church says the religious movement ideas are dangerous and directed against the official government over their stand against national symbols, blood transfusion and others.

 

12th October   

Update: Shameless Repression...

Kuwaiti clerics re-affirm the requirement for women to wear full veils
Link Here  full story: Burkha Bollox...Burkhas threaten to undermine world peace

Kuwait flagThe controversy over a ban of fully-veiled women in Egypt is sweeping the Middle East region, including Kuwait, with some voices against the full veil, niqab, and some others in favor.

Egypt's leading cleric, Mohammad Tantawi, has issued a fatwa (religious edict) saying that wearing a face veil was not an obligation for women under Islam. Salafist Kuwaiti lawmaker Mohammed Hayef Al-Mutairi has lambasted the senior Egyptian cleric by branding Tantawi's statement as shameless.

The clergyman's edict triggered an edict by Kuwait's fatwa authority at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. The Kuwaiti edict rules that wearing hijab is mandatory for Muslim women. The Elections Law allows women to vote and run for an office provided they comply with Islamic Sharia,said conservative MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaie. He added that the Fatwa issued by the Awqaf Ministry confirms that women's hijabs is an obligation for Muslim women.

Sunni Muslim scholars are divided on whether a woman must cover her face, with the majority saying it is not an obligation, but all mainstream scholars agree a woman must cover her hair and her body with loose fitting clothes. Most Muslim women in Egypt wear the hijab, a veil that covers the hair, but an increase in women wearing the niqab has apparently alarmed the government. The ministry of religious endowments has distributed booklets in mosques against the practice.

In Kuwait, female drivers are barred from wearing the niqab due to security reasons. The regulation came about almost 10 years ago when Kuwaiti security authorities were pursuing sleeper terrorist cells. Authorities feared that the niqab individuals belonging to such cells could use the niqab to pass through checkpoints unnoticed.

 

12th October   

Update: Symbol of extremism...

Canadian muslims call for Burkha ban
Link Here  full story: Burkha Bollox...Burkhas threaten to undermine world peace

Canada flagThe Muslim Canadian Congress has asked Ottawa to ban the public wearing of the burka and the niqab in Canada. The two items are Middle Eastern clothing used for covering a woman's face.

Congress spokeswoman Farzana Hassan said the two garments are symbols of extremism and should not be worn in a country that supports gender equality. Hassan described the burka and the niqab as medieval and misogynist.

By covering their faces, Middle Eastern women hide their identity, which could be used as an excuse to hide criminals. Hassan pointed out it is a cultural practice that has Middle Eastern roots, instead of being tied up with the Islamic religion.

Hassan stressed the Koran and the Sharia law did not prescribe Islamic women to cover their faces with clothing. She added women are banned from wearing the burka inside the grand mosque in Mecca, which should justify the proposed prohibition of the practice in Canada.

 

12th October   

Update: More Nastiness in Somalia...

Public amputations in Kismayo and Mogadishu
Link Here

Somalia flagSomalia's hardline Islamist group, al-Shabab, has publicly cut off hands and feet of three suspected robbers in the southern port city of Kismayo.

Witnesses said hooded al-Shabab fighters used machetes to cut off the limbs of the screaming men on Friday.

The militants amputated one hand and one foot of two of the men. They cut off the third man's foot, after realizing one of his hands was disabled.

On Wednesday, members of al-Shabab in Mogadishu cut off the right hands of two men accused of theft and whipped another accused of rape.

 

11th October   

Zed Warning...

Starting the hype for James Cameron's Avatar
Link Here

Avatar promoHindus are concerned regarding upcoming Hollywood blockbuster Avatar

Expressing concern at the forthcoming blockbuster Hollywood movie Avatar , Hindus have urged its famed director James Cameron to be careful when handling Hindu concepts and terminology.

Hindu sound bite nutter, Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada, said that avatar was one of the central themes of Hinduism and insensitive handling of faith traditions sometimes results in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the devotees.

 

11th October   

Update: Bill Unveiled...

Italian bill introduced to ban the burkha
Link Here  full story: Burkha Bollox...Burkhas threaten to undermine world peace

Northern League logoItaly has become the latest European government to announce it was considering introducing a law which would make wearing a burqa illegal.

MPs from the anti-immigration Northern League party, a member of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's ruling right wing coalition, have presented the proposal in a bill.

Italy has more than one million Muslims but it is rare to see women wearing the full burqa.

The Northern League's proposal aims at amending a 1975 law, introduced amid concern over domestic terrorism, which bans anyone wearing anything which makes their identification impossible. The only exceptions are for justified cause - which until now has been interpreted to include religious reasons in court rulings against local bans on the burqa.

 

11th October   

Update: Better Apostasy than Anti-state Activities...

Iranian christian women finally charged with apostasy
Link Here  full story: Apostasy in Iran...Apostasy, heresy and witchcraft capital offences

Iran flagAn Iranian judge charged two jailed female converts with crimes of apostasy and propagation of the Christian faith, a human rights group reported.

International Christian Concern said it has learned from Elam ministries in Iran that Maryam Rustampoor and Marzieh Amirizadeh were unexpectedly taken to appear before the court and were formally charged by the judge.

However, in a positive development, the report said, the judge had dropped the earlier charge of anti-state activities. Their case has now been transferred from the revolutionary court to the regular courts. The women and their lawyer are pleased with this development, it stated.

The two converts were arrested on March 5 for leaving Islam and embracing Christianity. They were placed in a solitary confinement in the infamous Evin prison, deprived of medical attention and often blindfolded during interrogations for several hours over the course of five months without being charged.

Iranian officials accused them of anti-state activities following their conversion from Islam to Christianity. After five months, they were tried on August 9 by the revolutionary court and ordered to recant their faith in Christ which they said they will never do. The women remained in prison until they appeared again in court on Tuesday when they were finally charged.

 

10th October   

Calling to Vote...

Debate about an anti-minaret poster campaign in Switzerland
Link Here  full story: Minarets Referendum...Swiss vote on banning minarets

No minarets posterZurich city council has ruled that a poster showing missile-like minarets on a Swiss flag can be displayed ahead of a national referendum on whether to ban the building of minarets at mosques in Switzerland.

Zurich followed Lucerne and Geneva in arguing that the posters, which also feature a veiled woman with supposedly menacing eyes , were protected by free speech.

Basel and Lausanne have banned them saying they paint a racist, disrespectful and dangerous image of Islam.

The posters, which urge a ban on the building of minarets, are part of a campaign by the nationalist Swiss People's Party.

Zurich city council said it disapproved of the posters - which also feature a veiled woman with what could be seen as menacing eyes - because they portrayed Islam as threatening, negative and dangerous .

But officials said the posters had to be accepted as part of political free speech in the run-up to the November 29 vote.

The Swiss Federal Commission Against Racism said yesterday it viewed the billboards as an attack on all Muslims in Switzerland. This is a further step toward a dangerous polarization of the political debate, the commission said.

The posters argue that the construction of new minarets should be banned because they are a symbol of Islamic political conquest rather than religious freedom. So far, there are four minarets in Switzerland.

 

10th October   

Update: Aiding Tolerance...

US Congressmen look to tie aid to Pakistan to improved religious tolerance
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas

US SenateU.S. lawmakers want Pakistan to do more to fight religious intolerance, saying the issue should play a bigger role in U.S. assistance to and engagement with Pakistan in coming years. Witnesses at a congressional hearing testified that Pakistan's blasphemy laws encourage extremism.

Pakistan's blasphemy laws, which carry a potential death penalty for derogatory remarks or actions against Islam, the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad, have long been controversial within and outside the country.

Congressmen are supporting a non-binding resolution introduced in the House of Representatives by Christopher Smith, who says radicalism poses a threat to Islam: In the intermediate and long-term, certainly these radical Islamic jihadists and others are the greatest threat to Islam and to believers such as yourselves..

The resolution says U.S. non-military assistance, which will triple over the next five years, must support an interfaith dialogue begun by Pakistan's Minister of Minorities Affairs Shabaz Bhatti, and help the government counter religiously-motivated hostility and violence.

It also urges Pakistan to repeal the anti-blasphemy laws, and investigate acts and punish perpetrators of religiously-motivated violence.

The blasphemy law, and to be persecuting people because of their faith, we want a great relationship with Pakistan, but I think this is just unacceptable, said Republican Representative Frank Wolf, who is among lawmakers supporting Smith's resolution.

Representatives Smith and Wolf are urging President Barack Obama's Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, to elevate the importance of the religious tolerance issue where U.S-Pakistan relations are concerned.

 

9th October   

Updated: Defamation of Religion is Out...BUT...

Is the US Supporting Calls to Outlaw Supposed Hate Speech?
Link Here  full story: Defamation of Religion...OIC pushes for global blasphemy laws at UN

UN logoIs the US Supporting Calls to Outlaw Supposed Hate Speech?

That's what it looks like, with this Joint U.S./Egypt draft U.N. Human Rights Council resolution (dated Sept. 2005). The resolution generally seems to be an attempt to urge more protection for free speech throughout the world, and some praise it for that; moreover, it lacks the exception fordefamation of religion that some Muslim countries have urged. It may therefore be a step forward for Egypt, and an attempt to urge a step forward for some other countries.

But I'm worried that it might be a step backward for our own constitutional rights, because of what seems to be the U.S. endorsement of the suppression of any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violenceand possibly of negative stereotyping of religions and racial groups. I say seems to be because some of the language in the resolution is pretty slippery, and of course it's always possible that I'm misunderstanding it.

Paragraph 4 of the draft resolution expresses ... concern that incidents of racial and religious intolerance, discrimination and related violence, as well as of negative stereotyping of religions and racial groups continue to rise around the world, and condemns, in this context, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and urges States to take effective measures, consistent with their international human rights obligations, to address and combat such incidents.

Paragraph 6 likewise stresses that condemning and addressing, in accordance with international human rights obligations, including those regarding equal protection of the law, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence is an important safeguard to ensure the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all, particularly minorities.

Paragraph 10 also expresses regret at the promotion by certain media of false images and negative stereotypes of vulnerable individuals or groups of individuals, and at the use of information and communication technologies such as the Internet for purposes contrary to respect for human rights, in particular the perpetration of violence against and exploitation and abuse of women and children, and disseminating racist and xenophobic discourse or content.

...Read full article

Update: Stereotypically Weak Defence of Free Expression

9th October 2009.  Based on article from indexoncensorship.org

The UN Human Rights Council has now passed the resolution condemning stereotyping of religion . It's a move that flouts freedom of expression - and it was sponsored by the United States and would surely be considered unconstitutional under its First Amendmen. The UN Human Rights Council on 2 October adopted the resolution, which the US had co-sponsored with Egypt.

While the new resolution focuses on freedom of expression, it also condemns negative stereotyping of religion . Billed as a historic compromise between Western and Muslim nations, in the wake of controversies such the Danish Muhammed cartoons, the resolution caused concern among European members.

The language of stereotyping only applies to stereotyping of individuals, I stress individuals, and must not protect ideologies, religions or abstract values, said France's representative, Jean-Baptiste Mattéi, speaking for the EU. The EU rejects the concept of defamation of religion.

France emphasised that international human rights law protects individual believers, not systems of belief. But European members, eager not be seen as compromise wreckers, reluctantly supported the measure.

On the other side of the fault line stood the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which lobbied for a measure against religious defamation . There is talk that this OIC resolution will be returning to the UN spotlight later this year.

While this new Egypt/US resolution reflects new efforts by the US to broker compromises between Western and Muslim nations, it also represents an ominous crack in the defences of free expression.

 

9th October   

Update: Kiss and Get Flogged...

Give Abu Dhabi a wide berth
Link Here  full story: Dangerous Kisses in Dubai...Kiss and tell and go to jail

UAE flagA Moroccan woman who was charged with having premarital sex with an Emirati man retracted her guilty plea after being told she would receive 100 lashes and a prison sentence.

The woman, identified as SM, and the man, KK, were charged with the same offence in the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance.

KK denied the charge and said a description of his home SM provided to prosecutors was flawed and therefore undermined the evidence against him.

Under Sharia law, a conviction for premarital sex that has been denied requires four reliable witnesses to testify to the offence. But in pleading guilty, SM automatically made herself eligible for the mandatory punishment for the crime of 100 lashes.

In Abu Dhabi, offenders may receive prison time in addition to lashes. After she entered her plea, Judge Syed Abdul Baseer explained the punishment and asked SM whether she wanted to reconsider. The punishment is lashing and jail, Judge Abdul Baseer told her.You have the right to deny.

SM then retracted her guilty plea. Judge Abdul Baseer said he would issue a verdict on October 11.

 

9th October   

Update: Faith in the Justice System...

Wisconsin couple jailed for 1 month a year for opting for prayer over medical treatment for dying daughter
Link Here  full story: Prayer Before Medicine...Suffering as prayer is prefered to medical aid

Wisconsin state sealA Wisconsin couple who prayed rather than seeking medical care for their 11-year-old dying daughter were sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years probation..

Dale and Leilani Neumann were convicted of second-degree homicide over the death in March 2008 of Madeline Neumann, who died of an undiagnosed but treatable form of diabetes.

Marathon county circuit court Judge Vincent Howard told the Neumanns they were very good people, raising their family who made a bad decision, a reckless decision .

Prosecutors claimed that the Neumanns recklessly killed their youngest of four children by ignoring obvious symptoms of severe illness as she became too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk. They said the couple had a legal duty to take their daughter to a doctor but relied totally on prayer for healing.

The girl, known as Kara, died on the floor of the family's rural Weston home as people surrounded her and prayed. Someone called the emergency dispatcher only after she stopped breathing.

Prosecutors had asked for a three-year suspended prison sentence and 10 years probation. Defence lawyers had sought four years probation.

The judge ordered the couple to serve one month in jail each year for six years so that the parents can think about Kara and what God wants you to learn from this . One parent would serve the term in March and the other in September. Howard suspended the jail sentences until the appeal is heard.

As part of their probation, the parents must allow a public health nurse to examine their two underage children at least once every three months and must immediately take their children to a doctor for any serious injuries.

 

9th October   

Update: Scooting Towards Repression...

Gaza bans women from riding on motorbikes
Link Here

Palestine flagThe Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has banned women in Gaza from riding on motorbikes.

The ban, posted on the movement's interior ministry website, said it sought to preserve citizen safety and the stability of Palestinian society's customs and traditions .

Women are not used to riding on bikes, said a Hamas spokesman, Ihab Alghusin: they move in a frenzied manner and may cause accidents . Not mentioning that, to sit firmly on the bike, the female passengers would have to hold on to the driver: this, according to the Hamas code of conduct, is unacceptable.

Given that few women ride on motorbikes in Gaza the proclamation seems unlikely to have much effect, but it raises concerns that a new Islamisation campaign is under way.

 

8th October   

Update: Lashings of Repression...

Saudi man gets 5 years and 1000 lashes for sexual boasts on TV
Link Here  full story: Religious Police in Saudi...A law unto themselves

Red Line on LBCA Saudi man who boasted about his sexual exploits on television has been sentenced to five years in prison and 1,000 lashes, drawing worldwide attention to the conservative kingdom's highly repressive laws on personal morality.

Mazen Abdel-Jawad was convicted of publicising vice and confessing to crimes on a satellite television channel for describing his conquests on LBC TV's Bold Red Line talkshow. He bragged that he first had sex at the age of 14.

Abdel-Jawad was also told by a criminal court in Jeddah that he would not be allowed to travel abroad for five years after his release. His lawyer said he would appeal against the sentence.

The divorced airline employee was arrested in August by the religious police and charged after describing his sexual relationships and how he picked up women using Bluetooth mobile phone messaging. He was also shown on television with sex toys, condoms and lubricants in his red-themed bedroom and filmed cruising the streets of Jeddah looking for women.

The episode sent shock waves across Saudi Arabia. Many ordinary citizens reportedly filed petitions with the authorities after the programme was broadcast in mid-July, demanding that Abdul-Jawad be punished, even executed for moral corruption .

Three of his friends who appeared with him were sentenced to two years in jail and 300 lashes each.

 

8th October   

Update: State Sanctioned Kidnapping...

Egyptian Police Arrest Christian Father for Attempting to Free Kidnapped Daughter
Link Here  full story: Forced Conversion in Egypt...Muslims kidnap and forcibly convert christian girls

Myrna HannaOn October 3, 2009, Egyptian State Security forces arrested a group of Christian Copts in different parts of the city in Alexandria, after severely assaulting them in front of their neighbors.

Their wives were also arrested, but because of intense objection protests by neighbors at the way they were handled and of the screams of their terrified children, they were released.

The men who were arrested are relatives of Rafaat Girges Habib, a man who helped a Coptic father free his kidnapped daughter from her Muslim husband's home. The arrests continued until Habib turned himself in to the police.

Egypt4Christ, based in Alexandria, reported that what started this incident was a telephone call on September 30 from Myrna, the only daughter of Coptic accountant Gamal Labib Hanna, in which she begged him to come and save her from her Muslim husband, Mohamad Hefnawy.

Myrna was abducted 10 months ago, forced to convert to Islam and married by a customary marriage contract by Osama Hefnawy to his son Mohammad.

The father, together with his brother, brother-in-law and Rafaat Girges Habib went to the apartment where Myrna was held, they were met by Osama Hefnawy, father of Mohamed and five other Muslims, who threatened them. A struggle ensued, and Myrna left with her father. She was taken away to an establishment dealing with abduction cases like hers, especially that it was found out that she was six months pregnant.

Osama Hefnawy immediately filed a report with the police and the State Security Headquarters. Myrna's paternal uncles were arrested and charged with abduction, together with her father. Myrna's family apartment was broken into and the shop of Rafaat Girges Habib was completely demolished by the police.

Myrna's uncles were forced to go and bring her back to the police station, where she was handed over to Osama Hefnawy.

Lawyers reported to Egypt4Christ that the arrested Copts were tortured and their clothes were smeared with blood, especially Romany, brother of Rafaat Girges Habib.

 

7th October   

Spending Everlasting Life in Jail...

Leader of religious movement jailed for thuggery
Link Here

Exordium Vol Emergence Gods Three members of a religious movement who attacked two former followers have been jailed for a total of 11 years.

The victims were members of The World of Yaad, which claims to hold the secret to everlasting life.

They angered their attackers after they left the religion, and were also embroiled in a bitter business dispute with them.

The trio forced their way into a restaurant owned by the victims and made threats before seriously injuring one of the victims, who lives in Rickmansworth. The man received serious facial injuries and has since undergone facial reconstruction.

Francesco Zand was jailed for seven years for grievous bodily harm with intent and attempted grievous bodily harm with intent. Mohammed Kashefi, who pleased guilty to actual bodily harm, received a two year prison term. Mehdi Zand, the leader of The World of Yaad, was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to violent disorder.

Detective Sergeant Kevin Brown said: This was a violent targeted attack on two individuals over both the ownership of the restaurant and simply because of the injured parties' disassociation with Mehdi Zand's movement.

 

6th October   

Update: Iranian Discrimination...

Where women's rights endanger state security
Link Here

Iran flagA women's rights activist and journalist has been sentenced to six months in jail by one of Iran's Revolutionary Courts for having endangered state security .

Jelveh Javaheri, arrested in June 2008 for protesting in the centre of Tehran in favour of women's political and civil rights. She was charged with acting against national security by spreading propaganda against the state.

Javaheri is part of a group of Iranian feminists that begun a national campaign two years ago to abolish all of of Iran's discriminatory laws against women.

They also wanted to gather 1 million signatures urging the Iranian parliament to review parts of the civil and penal codes that in their present form could harm women's rights.

 

6th October   

Update: Freed from the Pits of Humanity...

Iranian man and woman escape stoning on appeal
Link Here  full story: Death by Stoning...International condemnation of barbaric execution

Stoning scene from movieAn Iranian man and woman convicted of adultery and who faced death by stoning have been freed on appeal after spending six years behind bars, ILNA news agency has reported.

It said that Gholam Ali Eskandari and Gilan Mohammadi were released in the central city of Isfahan after their defence lawyers won the appeal.

In August 2008, the judiciary said it would scrap stoning as a punishment in Iran's new Islamic penal code, the outlines of which have been adopted by parliament the details have yet to be debated by MPs.

 

6th October   

Update: Freedom Laid Waist...

Saudi religious police target low waist jeans
Link Here  full story: Religious Police in Saudi...A law unto themselves

Kaporal straight cut waist jeans black Police and members of the Saudi religious police, Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, have begun a campaign of apprehending youths who are supposedly indecently dressed in public, Al-Watan newspaper reported.

The campaign follows a directive issued in this regard by the Ministry of Interior.

The directive was issued to curb a prevalence of 'morally wrong habits' among the youth that do not comply with Islamic law and local customs. According to the directive, second-time offenders risk having their cases referred to the General Prosecution and Investigation Commission for legal action.

Col. Muhsin Al-Raddadi, official spokesman for Madinah police, said the Interior Ministry's directive is aimed at curbing indecent clothing and behavior.

The directives was issued particularly to curb the prevalence of the low-waist jeans worn by youths.

 

6th October   

The Wrong Flavour of Nonsense...

Jews vs messianic jews in Israel
Link Here

Jews for Jesus bannerIsrael is using an ultra-Orthodox group to crack down on Messianic Jews, who believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and prevent them from staying in the country, officials have told The Times.

The Messianic Jews have been accused of Christian missionary activities and complain of harassment and intimidation by the state.

An official at the Interior Ministry said that an anti-assimilation group called Yad L'Achim was working with the ministry to prevent Messianic Jews, known as Jews for Jesus, from being allowed to live in Israel, which they consider their spiritual home.There is a known history of Yad L'Achim working directly with the ministry. They play a distinct role in the ministry's decision about citizenry, the official said. Related Links

Jews have an automatic legal right to settle in Israel. Yad L'Achim, which opposes any form of assimilation between Jews and other faiths, said that it was defending the faithful from missionary efforts by what it terms a Christian organisation.

The title Messianic Jews is a false statement, Rabbi Dov Lifschitz, the chairman of Yad L'Achim, said. There is no such thing. These people are 100 % Christians ... They are trying to present themselves as a stream in the Jewish nation, so they can stay here and carry out their mission to convert as many Jews as possible into Christianity.

A report in the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz suggests that dozens of cases of harassment exist. The US State Department has accused Yad L'Achim of using violence against those who go to Israel seeking to persuade Jews to abandon Judaism. Yad L'Achim accused the State Department of publishing the report without a proper investigation of the claim

 

5th October   

Unseen and Unheard...

Setting Fire to Saudi Culture Club to Prevent Woman Poet's Public Appearance
Link Here

Saudi flagA culture war has been raging recently in Saudi Arabia's Al-Jouf province over a poetry reading with liberal woman poet and columnist Halima Muzaffar.

After the province's culture club announced its intention to hold the event, unknown individuals threatened its managers, demanding that all cultural events featuring women be cancelled. Later, they set fire to the club, forcing the managers to postpone the reading. When the event finally did take place, Islamist extremists disrupted it and made further threats against the organizers.

The fire at the Al-Jouf culture club occurred on January 13, 2009, a day before the scheduled poetry evening with Muzaffar. Club manager Ibrahim Al-Humayed stated that the fire had been set deliberately, explaining that the organizers had received anonymous phone calls demanding that all poetry readings featuring women be cancelled.

In response to this incident, Saudi intellectuals demanded that the Senior Clerics Council issue a fatwa prohibiting attacks on cultural facilities in the country.

In April 2009, the club again announced a poetry reading with Muzaffar and several other Saudi poets. On the evening of the event, Al-Humayed received an anonymous text message threatening him with death unless he canceled it.

The manager ignored these threats, and held the event as planned, but he later reported that some young Islamists in the audience had disrupted the reading by shouting and making a racket, while others had passed notes to the organizers stating that women may not speak in public or participate in cultural events alongside men.

 

5th October   

Belief in Courage...

Ex muslim gets usual death threats before talk at atheist meeting
Link Here

Oklahoma state sealSabri Husibi, a former Muslim who is now an atheist, says he has been ostracized and threatened with death since publication of a Tulsa World article Saturday in which he was critical of Islam and all other religions.

The article was written to promote a talk he gave the next day to the Tulsa Atheists organization.

Husibi said he received about 30 calls Saturday from people who were cursing him, calling him a traitor and threatening him.

Most were foreign-born, Tulsa-area Muslims whom he knows, he said. He also received angry calls from friends and relatives in Syria.

One caller, whom Husibi would not identify, said that if he spoke at the meeting and said anything against Shariah (Islamic law), he would be killed.

Another caller offered Husibi's young Muslim wife $10,000 to leave him and return to her native Syria, he said.

Someone from Tulsa called my 76-year-old mother in Syria and said, 'You're not going to see your son anymore,' he said.

Bill Dusenberry of the Tulsa Coalition of Reason, of which Tulsa Atheists is a member, said he offered Saturday afternoon to cancel the Sunday talk, but Husibi wanted to go ahead with it. It showed a lot of courage, Dusenberry said.

Husibi said he takes the threats seriously. Before Sunday's talk, Dusenberry notified Tulsa police, who said they would be alert to any possible trouble.

 

4th October   

A Sign from Above...

UK immigration refuse entry to preacher Benny Hinn booked for mega rally
Link Here

Benny HinnBenny Hinn, from Texas, who draws large crowds to his Pentecostal revival rallies, was turned back at Stansted airport under new rules on visiting ministers of religion.

Many thousands of Pentecostal Christians travelled from across Britain and Europe and booked long weekend breaks in the capital's hotels for his mission at the ExCeL exhibition centre in Docklands, East London, which had been due to begin on Thursday night.

They were left disappointed after Border Agency officials turned him back when he landed with his private jet because he had failed to obtain a letter of sponsorship from a church. Related Links

Jill Masefield, who lives in Bristol, said that she and thousands of other followers had been left waiting for Mr Hinn to appear at the free preaching event, not knowing why he had not appeared. Instead, another pastor preached and requested donations of up to £1,000:He's been coming here for years and years, she said. I think it is very unfair that they have blocked him now. It has cost me a fortune in hotel bills and I feel we have been led up the garden path. It is extremely unfair.

The Benny Hinn fire conference and miracle service was scheduled to last three days. Among the miracles the Texan preacher performs are those in which he instructs participants to let the bodies hit the floor . The routine is featured on YouTube videos that show the devout falling down backwards,slain in the spirit .

Hinn has visited before without any problem but the Home Office has changed the rules for ministers of religion. He fell foul of tier five of the new points-based system for all visitors to Britain, which came into effect last November. One of the aims of the new rules was to combat extremism and prevent teachers of religious hate entering the country.

A Border Agency spokesman said: Under the UK's tough new points-based system, religious workers must obtain a valid certificate of sponsorship prior to arriving in the UK. These rules are designed to make sure that a legitimate sponsor is linked to each application to enter the UK for work purposes. These rules are applied objectively and clearly set out for travellers. People who arrive without the required documentation can be refused entry to the UK.

 

3rd October   

Tired of Censorship...

Brazilian Samba Show banned in Lebanon
Link Here

Brazilian Samba ShowA protest by Muslim clerics torpedoed a Brazilian samba show in the Lebanese city of Tire, local officials said.

A statement by the clerics condemned plans for the open-air display by a dance troupe that has been touring Lebanon.

We support tourism ...BUT... are against obscenity, said Sheikh Ali Yassin, who heads a group of clerics in the predominantly Shi'ite Muslim city.

The local council responded by cancelling the show after consulting politicians and security officials, officials said.

The troupe, including musicians and scantily clad dancers, performed in central Beirut's Martyrs' Square last week.

 

3rd October   

Disoriented...

Netherlands looks set to continue gay prejudice at religious schools
Link Here

NetherlandsDutch religious schools will be able to continue refusing to employ homosexual teachers, despite home affairs ministry plans to amend discrimination laws.

The government is to scrap a clause which bans discrimination against people simply on the grounds of sex, race, sexual orientation or nationality because it is confusing , home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst told MPs.

And schools will still be able to refuse to employ gay teachers who practise homosexuality because it conflicts with their religious beliefs.

Gay rights groups said they are very disappointed at the decision. There is a real chance that certain schools will feel their anti-gay stand is now legitimate, Wouter Neerings, of the COC lobby group told Nos tv.

MPs are due to debate the issue on Wednesday.

 

3rd October   

Harry Potter and the Pious Warlocks...

JK Rowling missed out on award as books promoted sorcery
Link Here

Harry Potter bookHarry Potter author JK Rowling missed out on a top honour because some US politicians believed sheencouraged witchcraft , it has been claimed.

Matt Latimer, former speech writer for President George W Bush, said that some members of his administration believed her books promoted sorcery. As a result, she was never presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The claims appear in Latimer's new book called Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor . He wrote that narrow thinking led White House officials to object to giving Rowling the civilian honour.

 

3rd October   

Update: Scientology Damages...

European Court finds Russian ban on Scientology illegal
Link Here  full story: Scientologically Challenged...Scientology challenged in legal actions

Russia flagThe Russian ban on the Church of Scientology has been ruled illegal by the European court of human rights.

Two Russian Scientology branches, in Surgut and in Nizhnekamsk, had been refused listing as religious organisations because they had not existed for at least 15 years, as required by Russia's Religions Act.

But the court rejected that argument and the groups were each awarded €5,000 (£4,557) in damages with a further shared €10,000 in costs.

 

3rd October   

Offsite: Israeli Taliban...

Israel's vile anti-miscegenation squads
Link Here  full story: Interfaith Marriage in Israel...Geting clingy about women marrying out of judaism

Religious PoliceWhilst the proliferation of ultra-orthodox vigilante police is a stain on Israeli society, their Taliban-esque actions can at least be contextualised as the inevitable consequence of religious fundamentalism gone wild. Such communities are dominated by leaders who refuse to accommodate any form of modernisation or freedom of thought into their archaic systems of governance, and the emergence ofmodesty squads is simply a manifestation of such primitive and patriarchal thinking.

...read full article

 

2nd October   

Update: Murderous Fare...

Egyptian muslim minicab driver kills christian after taking offence about declined service
Link Here  full story: Muslims attacking Copts...Minority christian Copts uder continuous attack

Coptic mourners at funeralNayer Mansour Sahrab, a Muslim minibus driver, stabbed four Christian Copts on Sunday, September 27, in the village of Delga, killing one and seriously injuring the other three.

The incident led thousands of angry Copts to rally and demand an end to the government's policy of indifference in dealing with Coptic issues. State Security forces have cordoned the village and are still heavily present near the church.

When a Coptic family desired to board a minibus other than the one owned by Sahrab an argument ensued. Sahrab was apparently offended that his services were declined. The Copts were beaten by Sahrab, his brother and other Muslims. Sahrab stabbed Hanna Amir Rezqin his back and abdomen several times with a knife, as well as his brothers Maurice and Amin and his nephew Ashraf Maher Amir, who was stabbed several times in the head. Sahrab fled after committing the crime, but was later arrested.

The killing caused thousands of Copts to rally in front of Deir Mawas Hospital, where Hanna Amir Rezq was taken together with the other three wounded Copts. Hanna died shortly after his arrival. According Mariam Ragy, correspondent for the Middle East Christian Association (MECA), State security prevented Copts from going into the hospital to check on the status of the injured and dispersed them by force.Angry Copts also rallied in the village of Delga holding banners demanding a stop to Coptic persecution,she said.

Reverend Abram, pastor of the village Saint Abram Church told the Egyptian Daily Masry el Youm that this is not just a fight between a Muslim and a Christian, Copts are targeted and this is the second incident within one month that a Copt is killed during a fight with a Muslim. The first Coptic victim was murdered after an argument over planting some palm trees, and the second victim today was murdered over boarding a minibus.

His Grace Aghapius, Bishop the Holy Diocese of Deir Mawas and Delga said that Copts were also assaulted after the burial, with Muslims smashing Coptic-owned cars, as well as attacking streets that are inhabited entirely by Copts, including El-Hamr Street, prompting Coptic inhabitants to remain inside their homes.How could all this happen in the presence of seven State Security cars in the village, adjacent to the church? he asks. I am still waiting for State Security to carry out their promises of solving our problems.

 

2nd October   

Resisting Humanity...

Sudanese christians crucified by the Lord's Resistance Army
Link Here

Sudan flagMarauding bands of guerrillas have crucified seven Christians during a series of raids on villages in Sudan.

One of the men was tied to a tree and mutilated while six other victims were nailed to pieces of wood fastened to the ground and killed.

Villagers who found their bodies near the town of Nzara said it was like a grotesque crucifixion scene .

Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala has now appealed for international help to stop the attacks by members of the Lord's Resistance Army. He said his government appeared powerless to prevent attacks by members of the guerrilla force based in northern Uganda. He spoke out after a spate of killings and abductions in two towns near the borders of the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In one instance guerrillas stormed into Our Lady Queen of Peace church in Ezo during a novena prayer and desecrated the Host, the altar and the building before abducting 17 people mostly in their teens and 20s. One of the captives was later tied to a tree and killed while 13 others in the group are still missing, according to Aid to the Church in Need, a charity helping persecuted Christians.

Bishop Hiiboro said that the attack in Ezo was part of a cycle of violence that could only be broken with international cooperation The government here cannot make a real difference to the Lord's Resistance Army problem, he said. They kept promising that they had the issue under control but now we see the reality. Nobody is coming to our aid. We are asking those who are responsible in the international community to do something about it.

A week after the first attack six people were ambushed in a forest near to the town of Nzara and killed after they were nailed to pieces of wood fastened to the ground. At about the same time a further 12 people were abducted from a village close to Nzara.

 

1st October   

Update: Art and Law Cannot be Reconciled...

Indonesia artist combines nudes with anti pornography law text
Link Here  full story: Anti-Porn Law in Indonesia...A front for the implementation of shariah

Agus Suwage workIndonesian artist Agus Suwage knows what it is like to run up against the religious conservatives. Four years ago, he was hauled into parliament, where lawmakers accused him of blasphemy and of producing pornography dressed up as art.

Today, facing an even more restrictive climate in Indonesia, Suwage refuses to be silenced and has made those restrictions the focus of his art.

His latest exhibition, which opened at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute this month, highlights what he sees as a growing conservatism in Indonesia.

Many of the works probably could not be shown at a big public exhibition space in Indonesia following the passage of a controversial anti-pornography law last year.

Art and this law cannot be reconciled. There is art and then there is this law and they are very far apart, Suwage told Reuters in an interview.

Suwage's latest works are a series of prints of female nudes overlaid with the actual text of Indonesia's 2008 anti-pornography law, under which a person can be charged for any public activity that incites sexual desire.

In several of his new prints, the area around the nude's genitals has been cut out completely. In a nod to the issue of censorship, the cut-outs in three artworks have been filled with images of Suwage covering his eyes, ears or mouth.

 

1st October   

Incurable Religious Dementia...

Nigeria to produce alcohol free drugs for religious reasons
Link Here

Nigeria flagThe Muslim Pharmacists Association of Nigeria has resolved to remove alcohol from the formulation of drugs, says its national president, Alhaji Haruna Aliyu.

The decision, according to Alhaji Aliyu is in line with Islamic tenets to steer clear of any substance that contains alcohol, saying it was time Muslims had alcohol free drugs: Religiously, Muslims are not to take alcohol and scientifically, in some of our drugs today alcohol is used occasionally for their formulation. So in keeping with the teachings of our religion, a scientific committee has been put in place to find a substitute for intoxicants used for drugs.

Speaking on the frequent abuse of cough syrup by youths, the president of the association said it was one of the problems that needed to be tackled, adding that plans were underway to remove the intoxicant so that further abuse could be stopped. The presence of codeine in cough syrup has made youths to patronize it as intoxicants. We are going to use other cough suppressant that could be used to stop the abuse of cough syrup, he said.