Posts Tagged ‘Islam’
Why do religions fear words so?
A court in Kuwait has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for endangering state security by insulting the Prophet Muhammad and the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in messages on Twitter.
Hamad al-Naqi was also found guilty of mocking Islam and provoking sectarian tensions.
Mr Naqi, a Shia Muslim, had said his Twitter account was hacked and that he did not write any of the messages. Some Sunni activists had demanded that he be sentenced to death for blasphemy.
An amended law endorsed by the Kuwaiti parliament last month stipulates capital punishment for any Muslim who, through any form of expression, insults God, his prophets, messengers, the Prophet Muhammad’s wives or the Koran, unless the defendant publicly repents.
If the defendant repents, a sentence of at least five years’ imprisonment will be imposed. Repeat offenders will receive the death sentence…
About a third of Kuwait’s 1.1 million citizens are Shia. The emirate’s Sunni-led government is concerned Shias may launch protests demanding more democracy and an end to discrimination, mirroring those in majority-Shia Bahrain and in Saudi Arabia’s predominantly Shia Eastern Province.
They don’t appear to be concerned in the least about freedom of thought or speech, though. Would you expect anything different from a monarchy supported by theocracy?
Think what we get to look forward to – between the FBI looking over our cyber shoulder at Tweets and blog posts and the all-American possibility of fundamentalist crazies and their flunkies in politics attaining complete control of the federal government some day?
Thousands of abortion rights demonstrators staged the largest protest yet in Istanbul against plans by Turkey’s government to curb abortion, which critics say will amount to a virtual ban.
Al Jazeera Turk said that the nearly 4,000 strong crowd of mostly women took part in the rally in the city’s Kadikoy district on Sunday…
Health Minister Recep Akdag said last week the bill would be submitted to the parliament this month to curb abortion.
Akdag caused an outcry on Thursday when he told reporters that if necessary the government would even look after the babies of “rape victims.” Facing criticism, he said on Saturday that he did not mean rape victims can never have an abortion.
Abortion has been legal in Turkey since 1983 up to 10 weeks from conception. But under the proposed legislation wants to drastically reduce the time limit to as little as four weeks.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, has called abortion “murder” and he has repeatedly called on women to have at least three children…
The health minister had also announced plans to penalise hospitals that carry out elective caesarean sections, calling them unnatural…
Abortion rates in Turkey, however, have steadily declined since the practice became legal, though many Turks are choosing to have fewer children.
Once a secular government starts down the road of opportunism, alters the historical value of constitutional protections in an attempt to cater to theocrats, to get the votes of those whose understanding of democracy must first meet the approval of a religion — that government is doomed to acquiescence on issue after issue. Secular freedoms, individual liberty and choice take a back seat to scripture and holy writ.
IMHO, Erdogan and Akdag are cowardly fools.
Training materials used by the FBI for dealing with American Muslims and other Islamic communities have advised agents they can break the law and impinge on some of their targets’ civil rights.
The instructions were contained in confidential materials reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of an internal FBI probe into what sort of training agents were exposed to when dealing with Islam…
Though that material has not been published – and senate staffers were not allowed to keep copies – committee member Senator Dick Durbin has revealed some of its contents in a letter written to FBI director Robert Mueller.
In the letter – first revealed by the Danger Room blog on wired.com – Durbin describes one slide that read: “Under certain circumstances, the FBI has the ability to bend or suspend the law and impinge on freedoms of others.”
That comment is sure to anger civil liberties groups and Muslim community organisations who have long complained that their community has been subject to undue harassment and racial profiling by law enforcement.
It should also anger any American citizen who believes our Constitution is worth defending.
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission
The French government has rushed to the defence of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo after an arson attack on its headquarters as it published an edition featuring a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad on the cover as “guest editor”.
The Paris offices of the magazine were gutted after a fire broke out at 1am following reports of a petrol bomb being thrown through a window.
The blaze happened just before the special “Sharia Hebdo” edition hit newsstands on Wednesday morning in what the paper mockingly called a “celebration” of the victory of the moderate Islamist party An-Nahda in the Tunisian elections and the Libyan transitional executive’s comments on Islamic sharia law as a main source of the country’s law. On the front page a cartoon prophet Muhammad said: “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter..!”
However, French politicians defended the magazine. The prime minister, François Fillon, said: “Freedom of expression is an inalienable value of democracy and any incursion against press freedom must be condemned with the utmost force. No cause justified violent action.”
The interior minister, Claude Guéant, said: “You like or you don’t like Charlie Hebdo, but it’s a newspaper. Press freedom is sacrosanct for the French.” He added that all French people should feel solidarity towards the magazine.
François Hollande, the Socialist presidential candidate, told Le Monde newspaper the incident demonstrated that the struggle for press freedom and “respect of opinions” was a permanent battle, adding that “fundamentalism must be eradicated in all its forms“…
The main representative body of the Muslim faith in France, the French Muslim Council (CFCM), condemned the fire, while its president pointed out that caricaturing the prophet was considered offensive to Muslims. “The CFCM deplores the deeply mocking tone of the newspaper towards Islam and its prophet, but reaffirms with force its total opposition to any act or form of violence,” it said.
I’ll probably never have an opportunity to live in a world where my repugnance for fundamentalist hatred and violence will come to rest. There doesn’t appear to a shortage in sight of bigots of any religious stripe who would gladly kill for their God or prophet.
I hope the French police are successful in catching these thugs. Lock ‘em up and throw away the key.
Daily life in Bannu: Selling food originally donated to flood victims
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
Eighteen people were killed and 15 wounded when a suicide bomber ploughed his explosives-laden car into a police station in northwest Pakistan Wednesday.
The bomber’s car struck Miryan police station on the outskirts of the town of Bannu and badly damaged a nearby mosque.
District police chief Mohammad Iftikhar told AFP that most of those wounded were police officers and paramilitary personnel. “The target was the police station and the mosque is nearby. Police and paramilitary personnel were praying inside the mosque,” when the bombing took place, he said.
“There are some civilians also but most of the victims are security personnel,” he added…
The attack was immediately claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, who said it was to avenge US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt, which borders Afghanistan…
The suicide attack came as US Vice President Joe Biden was visiting Pakistan and delivered a bold message of support for Washington’s key anti-terror ally, telling the country that America is “not the enemy of Islam”…
The United States wants Pakistan’s army to do more to combat extremists on the border, including by launching a ground offensive in the district of North Waziristan, where it says key Taliban leaders reside.
The army has stalled on a ground operation, saying its troops are overstretched.
Looking at this from New Mexico, I don’t see a whole boatload of difference between death in Mexico and death in Pakistan. Sure, there’s a higher standard of living along our own border and the United States hasn’t started firing missiles from the drones we fly around border country [yet]. But, bandits killing almost indiscriminately – with little fear of retribution or capture – have the same look and feel regardless of language and politics.
I guess Mexico retains sufficient democratic infrastructure – and hasn’t the incredibly corrupt secret police like the ISI in Pakistan – but, bandits killing each other, murdering coppers and innocent civilians, still seems to be the same national sport.
How do you reward a community for their anti-terror efforts? Gawrsh, let’s set fire to their church!
Ahson Saeed, of Corvallis reacts over burnt debris from the mosque
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been called in to aid the investigation into an arson fire at the Corvallis mosque where Portland bomb plot suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud sometimes attended.
The fire at the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center was discovered by an on-duty police sergeant at about 2:15 a.m. today. It took firefighters 10 minutes to put it out and it damaged about 80 percent of the office it was contained to. No one was injured.
FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele said it’s standard for the agency to become involved in attacks on religious groups, but that the possible connection between the fire and the arrest of Mohamud makes their involvement even more important…
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the fire…
Arthur Balizan, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon stated: “We have made it quite clear that the FBI will not tolerate any kind of retribution or attack on the Muslim community…We are working very closely with the leadership at the mosque. We will find the person responsible for this attack and bring the full force of the federal justice system to bear…”
If you’ve followed the details of the teenage fool who wanted to commit terrorist murders at a tree lighting ceremony, you would know that the initiatives that turned this creep up to the FBI and Homeland Security came from the Islamic community in Oregon.
OTOH, the sort of cowardly bigot that committed the arson attack upon the Corvallis mosque will likely turn out to be someone who has trouble reading the Sunday comics.
The new head of Britain’s armed forces, Gen Sir David Richards, has warned that the West cannot defeat al-Qaeda and militant Islam.
He said defeating Islamist militancy was “unnecessary and would never be achieved”. However, he argued that it could be “contained” to allow Britons to lead secure lives.
Gen Richards, 58, said the threat posed by “al-Qaeda and its affiliates” meant Britain’s national security would be at risk for at least 30 years.
The general, who will tomorrow lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall in memory of Britain’s war dead, said the West’s war against what he described as a “pernicious ideology” had parallels with the fight against Nazi Germany in the Second World War…
He said the British military and the Government had been “guilty of not fully understanding what was at stake” in Afghanistan and admitted that the Afghan people were beginning to “tire” of Nato’s inability to deliver on its promises…
The general said: “In conventional war, defeat and victory is very clear cut and is symbolised by troops marching into another nation’s capital. First of all you have to ask: do we need to defeat it [Islamist militancy] in the sense of a clear cut victory? I would argue that it is unnecessary and would never be achieved.
“But can we contain it to the point that our lives and our children’s lives are led securely? I think we can.”
He also said the real weapon in the war against al-Qaeda was the use of “upstream prevention” as well as “education and democracy”. The problems that gave rise to militant Islamism were unlikely to be solved soon, he added.
On the issue of future wars, the general said he could see no case for military intervention in other countries “at the moment” but added that he would be “barmy to say that one day we wouldn’t be back in that position”.
I’d love to see discussion with the general more detailed than that contained within the short attention span of the Telegraph. Not a bad newspaper for conservatives; but, sorely lacking in thoroughness and detail providing information for truly thoughtful analysis.
Still, there’s more truth here than you could expect from what passes for popular conservative media in the United States.
A Muslim man who told his wife “I divorce thee” three times in an online Skype messenger conversation has been told the separation stands.
The ruling, made in an online fatwa by the Darul Uloom Deobandi seminary in northern India, regarded as one of Islam’s leading authorities on religious law said that the woman would have to first marry another man before she could remarry her first husband.
The man, from Qatar, wrote to the seminary following his Skype joke to seek clarification.
“Jokingly typed ‘talak, talak, talak’ (I divorce thee, I divorce thee, I divorce thee) to my wife on Skype chat. I don’t understand Islam very much and did not know about how talaq works. We love each other very much and want to be together but right now [we are] caught in this thing. Want to know a way out,” he wrote.
His hopes of a “way out” were dashed when the seminary issued a fatwa confirming his wife must first remarry another man, consummate the marriage, and then divorce him before she could be allowed to remarry her first husband.
“When you gave three talaqs, your wife became “haram” (forbidden) for you. Neither you have the right to take her back nor solemnise a new “nikah” (marriage) without a valid “halalah” (second marriage). After the completion of “iddah” (a three month waiting period following a divorce), the woman can marry whomever she wishes except you,” the fatwa stated.
Har! Or he could just tell the Imam and his Fatwa to screw off – and live a perfectly happy life.
I know, I know. He isn’t any more likely to do that than an Orthodox Jew or a Catholic.
A 23-year-old Pakistani man plans to marry two women in 24 hours, gaining national attention for his novel solution to a dilemma over wedding the woman he loves or going ahead with the marriage his family arranged.
Pakistani law allows polygamy based on the concept that Islam, the main religion in the country, allows up to four wives. But men who take multiple wives usually do so years apart and must get approval from their first wife prior to a second marriage.
Azhar Haidri initially refused to marry 28-year-old Humaira Qasim – the woman to whom he has been engaged since childhood – because he wanted to marry the woman with whom he had fallen in love, 21-year-old Rumana Aslam. But the decision threatened to split his family apart since arranged marriages are often customary in Pakistan.
”I gave this offer that I will marry both of them,” Haidri told The Associated Press ahead of his first marriage to Qasim on Sunday in the central Pakistani city of Multan. ”Both the girls agreed.”
He married Aslam on Monday…
For their part, both women say they think the compromise is a good one and they plan to live as sisters and friends.
”I am happy that we both love the same man,” Aslam said.
Cripes! It took me decades to find the right woman. I can’t imagine sorting out two at once.
Two Christians who were on trial in Algeria for breaking Ramadan fasting rules have been cleared of wrongdoing.
Human rights groups said the trial was a violation of the right to religious freedom under the constitution.
Hocine Hocini and Salem Fellak were arrested in August during the month of Ramadan, after they were seen eating lunch on the building site where they worked in Kabylie, northern Algeria…
The two men admitted they had been eating, but said they had done it discreetly, and felt they had done nothing wrong.
The judge at the court in Ain El Hamman threw the case out because “no article [of law] provided for a legal pursuit” against the men, thereby rejecting the prosecutors’ request for three-year prison sentences…
Algeria is a mostly Muslim country; the ministry of religious affairs estimates there are only about 11,000 Christians among a population of 36 million.
Phew! An illustration of the trials and tribulations of a minority in a theocracy – where minority status is determined by religion alone.