Atheists Face Extensive Discrimination, UN Rights Council Told


Atheists face extensive discrimination, UN rights council told

Humanist group raises concerns amid new efforts by Muslim countries in UN to ban denigration of religion

Pakistan protest over Muhammad caricatures

Atheists, humanists and freethinkers face widespread discrimination around the world, with expression of their views criminalised and even subject to capital punishment, the United Nations has been told.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) said atheism was banned by law in a number of states where people were forced to officially adopt a faith.

“Extensive discrimination by governments against atheists, humanists and the non-religious occurs worldwide,” said the union, which has 120 member bodies in 45 countries.

In Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan “atheists can face the death penalty on the grounds of their belief”, in violation of UN human rights accords, the IHEU said in a document submitted to the UN human rights council.

In several other countries legal measures “effectively criminalise atheism [and] the expression and manifestation of atheist beliefs” or lead to systematic discrimination against freethinkers, it said.

Three of the states on the rights council – Pakistan, Mauritania and Maldives – have legislation providing for death for blasphemy against Islam, a charge that can be applied to atheists who publicly reveal their ideas.

The paper was submitted as the council opened its annual spring session against a background of new efforts in the UN by Muslim countries to obtain a worldwide ban on denigration of religion, specifically what they call Islamophobia.

Turkey’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, told the council there was a “rising trend” of Islamophobia. “We condemn all sorts of incitement to hatred and religious discrimination against Muslims and people of other faiths,” he said.

This month a senior official of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) said the body would focus on getting agreement on criminalising denigration of religion in coming talks with western countries.

Last November the head of the 21-country Arab League told the UN security council in New York that his organisation wanted a binding international framework to ensure “that religious faith and its symbols are respected”.

The IHEU and other non-governmental rights groupings argue that many Muslim governments use this terminology and the concept of “religious blasphemy” within their own countries to cow both atheists and followers of other religions.

A number of these governments “prosecute people who express their religious doubt or dissent, regardless of whether those dissenters identify as atheist”, the IHEU document said.

Islamic countries including Bangladesh, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey had also stepped up prosecution of “blasphemous” expression of criticism of religion in social media such as Facebook and Twitter, it said.

OIC countries have 15 seats on the council, all from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, making up almost a third of the rights body.

Islamic Fanatics’ War on Freedom of Speech | Salman Rushdie


Islamic fanatics’ war on freedom of speech: Salman  Rushdie

Author Salman Rushdie’s latest book,
Photo: Salman Rushdie talks to students  about his life and writings
Michael Johnson

PARIS — Twenty-three years after an  Iranian fatwa authorized his murder, Salman Rushdie is alive and well  but still on the radar of fanatical Muslims.

The price on his head has reached $3.3 million and the faithful are being  urged again to take up arms. Rushdie is trying to dismiss this latest threat as  a nuisance, not a new fatwa. He may be overly optimistic.

His crime was a book he dared to publish in 1988, “The Satanic Verses,” which  included imaginary scenes of Muhammad’s life. Although the original  fatwa was lifted in 1998, the worst of the would-be killers remained  incensed. A semi-official Iranian group upped its bounty by $500,000 in  September and hopes to re-ignite the old Rushdie affair.

“Joseph Anton” Is Rushdie’s Memoir 

This disturbing development rather spoils the happy ending of Rushdie’s new  book, “Joseph Anton,” a gripping account of his nine years on the run from the  hot-heads. The book concludes as he steps onto a Notting Hill street in London  and hails a taxi – his first free act in Britain since the Ayatollah Khomeini  condemned him to death.

Khomeini wanted more than Rushdie’s blood. “All those involved in its [“The  Satanic Verses”] publication are sentenced to death. I ask all Muslims to  execute them wherever they find them,” the text reads.

Rushdie, never quite losing his cool, quotes a BBC journalist as telling him  early in the affair not to worry too much: “Khomeini sentences the president of  the United States to death every Friday afternoon.”

Protestors against Rushdie, September 2012   AP

The Salman Rushdie story bears retelling, not only for its personal cruelties  but also as a reminder that bloodthirsty, intolerant forces are abroad in the  land and quite willing to kill those who disagree with them.

In an interview last month, a self-effacing Rushdie told the New York  Times he felt he had been caught up in a “world historical event…the  battle against radical Islam, of which this was one skirmish.”

In response to the original death sentence in 1989, a rash of book burnings,  fire-bombings and mass marches broke out in Britain, where he was a naturalized  citizen, and throughout the Islamic world. In Teheran, excited marchers carried  posters of him with his eyes dug out and signs such as “Kill the dog.”

Murders on the margins of the affair were actually carried out or attempted.  His Japanese translator was killed, his Italian translator was stabbed in the  neck but survived and his Norwegian publishing house was bombed. The killers  never got near him, thanks mainly to the efficiency of the British police  spiriting him from house to house at the slightest sign of trouble.

Protestors Took to the Streets Against Rushdie

In London, where I was living during this saga, I found the atmosphere deeply  unsettling for such a peaceful capital. Thousands of bearded fanatics, most of  them Pakistanis and other Middle East immigrants, protested against Rushdie by  marching down Park Lane under police protection, shouting, chanting and shaking  their fists — exercising their right to free expression. The irony of the  situation was lost on them. No one was prosecuted for incitement to  violence.

During his years in hiding, Rushdie tells of how the tables were turned and  he became the villain. A large majority of the British public told pollsters  that they wanted him to apologize for writing the book. And he came under attack  from the best of Britain’s intellectual coterie.

I had forgotten that he was bashed by such luminaries as George Steiner, John  Le Carre, Germaine Greer, Auberon Waugh, Gerald Kaufman, Richard Ingrams,  Geoffrey Howe, Douglas Hurd, and even John Major. To his eternal credit, Rushdie  stood fast on his right to free speech.

Caricature of Salman Rushdie by Michael  Johnson

To this day, he seems perplexed by the craven attitudes around him and the  eagerness of prominent figures to appease the fanatics merely to maintain their  cozy lives. Very few chose to focus on the larger issue at stake, the freedom of  expression that is at the basis of Western values.

Rushdie Credits U.S. Commitment to Freedom

He wrote his latest book in third person, using his police code name as the  protagonist. The officers guarding him agreed to call him “Joseph Anton” from  the Christian names of his favorite writers, Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov. He  became known to the police as “Joe.” He decided to write this book in the third  person to avoid using the more egotistical “I“ and “me” throughout.

For me, the heart of the book is not the detail of his scuttling from house  to house to confuse the hit squads, fascinating as that is, but the over-arching  issue of freedom to speak and write one’s opinions without fear of getting  stabbed or shot by paid assassins.

He maintains he did nothing wrong. “When did it become irrational to dislike  religion, any religion, and to dislike it vehemently?” Rushdie asks. “When did  reason get re-described as unreason?”

In the past two decades, militants in Europe have been emboldened by the lack  of resistance to their actions. Rushdie has been keeping track. “There were  Islamist attacks on socialists and unionists, cartoonists and journalists,  prostitutes and homosexuals, women in skirts and beardless men, and also,  surreally, on such evils as frozen chickens and samosas,” he writes.

Tracing the rise of violence, he cites extremist ideologies including  Wahhabi, Salafi, Khomeiniite, Deobandi, and Islamic schools funded by Saudi oil  as producing “generations of narrow-eyed men with hairy chins and easily  clenched fists,” taking Islam far from its origins while claiming to be  returning to its roots.

This book is something of a diary in narrative form with many unexpected  digressions. He describes his life as a writer before and during his death  sentence, even detailing how he came to write The Satanic Verses and other books  that have brought him acclaim. He says his first major book, “Midnight’s  Children,” was the result of 13 years of rumination during which he made many  false starts and wrote “enormous” quantities of “garbage.

He never quite loses his sense of humor. The police allowed him to take a  short stroll in public one day if he agreed to wear a wig. He acquiesced and on  the street overheard a passerby say, “There goes that bastard Salman Rushdie in  a wig.” He recalls one joke making the rounds in London during his invisible  years: “Who is tall, blond, has big tits and is living in Tasmania? Salman  Rushdie.” Despite all, he seemed to relish the lighter side.

He credits the U.S. commitment to freedom as his salvation during the darkest  days of British ambivalence. Police protection might have been withdrawn but for  a hero’s welcome in Washington when he managed a secret flight into the country.  “America had made it impossible for the British to walk away from (my) defense,”  he writes.

Salman Rushdie continues his prolific output, of which this book is a  valuable example. He has exorcized his demons that remained from his traumatic  years on the run but has given us a stark reminder that his case was a mere  skirmish in a much longer and deeper conflict between rational forces in the  West and the fanatical wing of a badly distorted religion.

ISLAMIC SUNNIS AGAINST EXTREMISM | “The extremist fanatics are doomed”


SUNNIS AGAINST EXTREMISM Print E-mail
About the author

Darulfatwa is an endeavour of a group of committed and highly educated Muslims who collaborated with diverse community officials to establish what is the final frontier to bridge the gap between the needs of Muslims and their productive co-existence in the wider Australian community. Darulfatwa is a non-partisan and independent institution, lobbying for the right of all Muslims to a better living standard without prejudice and discrimination and defending the civil liberties and privileges of those at risk. It set forth in its endeavor to produce this text to empower the reader with knowledge to discriminate between moderation and extremism and expel the latter.

Preface

Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said: “The extremist fanatics are doomed.” Although extremism is not a new phenomenon, the rebel exacerbations witnessed today requires prompt action and a strong resolve. The global extremist movement driving this form of anarchy is manifested in groups known by a multitude of names hiding behind Islam to roam among the Islamic communities without drawing suspicion. Extremism does exist. Admitting this and recognising it as a dangerous force we can better plan to weed it from society. Islamic practice is a true following of the rules of Islam and extremism is a perverted view that deviates from the meanings of the merciful and moderate Islamic shari`ah. This elucidation is presented along this backdrop.

 

Abstract

This elucidation explores the type of extremism and terrorism practiced under the pretext of Islam. It draws on the Quran, the sayings of Prophet Muhammad and the sayings of Muslim scholars to expose the roots of extremism and assert the just position of Islam. It also discloses revealing statements of deviant men/groups to add to the case against them. First the historical place of Islam in society is explored, then how deviations from orthodox Islam occurred and lead to the emergence of extremist ideologies manifesting historically in groups like the khawarij (dissenters) and in modern times in groups including the named al-Jama`ah al-Islamiyyah, the Wahhabis and Hizbut-Tahrir. Their actions and methodology are identified. Today, extremist movements have killed many people in Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Saudi, Iraq and other places. Based on misleading reasoning, they have killed innocents. Daring to masquerade as Muslims, these extremists have attempted to destroy the reputation of Islam and Muslims. To refute them we quote a series of statements from moderate Sunni scholars; clarifying the Sunni stand against terrorism and extremism. Finally, this paper delivers solutions and warnings including, a need for Islamic scholars, Sheikhs and Islamic religious workers to remain at the forefront of the line of defence against extremists and prevent access to the extremist books. It is recognised that this work requires qualified and diligent individuals trained in deflating the calls of the named terrorist groups and activists of today.

The Beginnings of Extremism

Historically, many people embraced Islam freeing their hearts from the odious practices of ignorance and tribalism. Those true Muslims whose hearts pacified to the call of the Prophet were a people of middle ground, fairness and justice.

Others, whose hearts did not pacify with peace of mind, had ulterior motives and emerged to spread envious gossip by attempting to split the line. They constitute the fringe sects of destruction and diseased ideologies who had to conceal themselves with the cloak of Islam to spread their evil, disrupting the harmony of Islam.

The khawarij (dissenters) are among those who appeared in the first century on the Islamic calendar and whom the Prophet peace be upon him warned against in his hadith: “There will be those that come after me who will read the Qur’an but it does not go past their throats. They leave Islam like a spear leaves a prey, and they never return to it. They are the worst of the creations.”

Extremism in Modern Times

The majority of Muslims do not subscribe to extremist ideologies and theological perversions, which is why extremists find themselves constantly challenged, striving in every era to increase their small number and expand on their fringe positioning. Consequently, extremists have always tended to overtly gather to protect and pass their distorted views to the next generation built on youth. Today the khawarij still exist despite appearing under different names. Like their elders, they pass group-blasphemy to all those outside their sects. They continue to assault, to shed blood and to extort the properties of all those who defy them, the same way their elders did with the sons of the companions of the Prophet. Except today their threat is greater especially when they are not being faced with a unified and prompt ideological counter-offensive.

The khawarij of today follow the same concepts of their elders resulting in copycat acts of terror shedding the blood of the rulers; peoples of states; Imams; contractors; journalists; ambassadors; engineers; doctors; farmers; craftsman, and old and young males and females. They call upon peoples to dissent against the leaders by way of revolutionary coup d’états and armed revolts, to hit at the infrastructure of governments and to kill its soldiers and police officers. If people refuse their calls, they apostatize them and shed their blood and extort their properties; leading to the bombing of civilian buses and to planting explosives at airports, trains, public roads. Previously they have even destroyed mosque minarets with the praise of some locals. One of their speakers here in Sydney said on a local radio station about such killing that includes the likes of people in the police force: “It’s as permissible to us as drinking water”. Let us not forget the killing and slaughtering of the kids in East Jordan on the hands of these extremists. Their activist was caught saying: “Do not prevent us from its blessing”, implying he too wanted to contribute to the cowardice slaughtering. Clearly, these and the killing of the innocent are attempts to destroy the reputation of Islam and Muslims.

The extremists have killed many people in Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Saudi, Iraq and other places thinking that their killing of those who oppose them is a means of seeking reward from God. Amongst those they’ve killed are: • Sheikh Muhammad ash-Shami:  the Mufti of a village near Aleppo called `Ifrin, • Sheikh Dr. Hussayn adh-Dhahabi: the Minister for Islamic Endowments and an academic at an Islamic College in Egypt. • Sheikh Nizar al-Halabi: the chairman of the Islamic Charity Projects Association in Lebanon.

To plainly discover their deviant ideology and unjust reasoning underpinning their acts of terror, one needs only to observe extremists’ books.

 

Quotes from extremists’ books:

• In their book fi dhilal al-Qur’an (In the Shades of the Qur’an) [vol. 3/G8/p.1198] they say: “He who obeys a human in a secular law even if it were partial obedience then this person is a mushrik (idolater) and a blasphemer no matter how emphatically he utters the testifications of faith”.

• In the same book [vol. 2/G7/p.1057]: “All humankind in the East and the West inclusive of those who repeat the testifications of faith on the minarets with no indicator or factual happening are deeper in sin and worse in punishment on the Day of Judgment because they have blasphemed for the worship of creations”.

• In the same book [vol 3/p.1449] is written: “It is required upon those who are called the Jama`ah al-Islamiyya or the brotherhood group to snatch the reigns of power from the rulers and to destroy their systems and to revolt against them by way of coups throughout the states”.

However, historic and contemporary Islamic literature abounds with refutations against deviant sects. Islamic scholars fought and debated them including the great Prophetic companion `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas and the fourth Khalif (successor) Master `Aliy Ibn Abi Talib, followed by the four Sunni schools of thought and their orthodox followers. The four Sunni schools of thought are the highest authority for the Sunnis in refuting this global extremist movement and its aligned groups who falsely claim to be part of the Sunni populace.

 

Quotes from the four Sunni schools:

• The Mufti of the Hanbalis in Mecca Sheikh Muhammad bin `Abdullah bin Hamid (d. 1295 H.) said in his book as-suhub al-wabilah (The Downpouring Clouds) page 276 about the leader of the extremist Wahhabi movement: “If he was contested and refuted and could not overtly kill his contester, he sends a hit man to murder him on his bed or at night in the market place, because he believed in the blasphemy of those who opposed him and the shedding of their blood”.

• The Mufti of the Shafi`is in Mecca Sheikh Ahmad Zayni Dahlan (d. 1304 H.) wrote in his book ad-durar as-sunniyyah (The Sunni Gems) about the leader of the extremist Wahhabi movement that he used to say: “And all that is under the seven skies is a mushrik (idolater) fully, and he who kills a mushrik is rewarded with Paradise”.

• He (Mufti) also relayed about the Wahhabi leader his statement: “He who enters our way shares our rights and obligations, and he who doesn’t is a blasphemer whose blood is shed and wealth is squandered”.

• He also mentioned in his book ‘umara’ al-balad al-haram (The Princes of the Holy Land) that when the Wahhabis entered at-Ta’if they killed the people en mass including the elderly and the children, the honourables, the princes and the layman. They even slaughtered the suckling infants by their mothers’ breasts. They also assaulted the pilgrims to Mecca through extortion and murder.

• The Maliki Sheikh Ahmad as-Sawi (d. 1241 H.) mentioned in his commentary on al-Jalalayn [vol.3 p.307-308] about the khawarij who misinterpret the true meanings of the Qur’an and the Prophetic traditions shedding in that the blood of the Muslims as is witnessed today in their localities. They are a sect in the Hijaz region (East Arabia) who are called the Wahhabis, they think they have a legitimate authority but in deed they are the liars who have been deceived by the devil who has made them forget the remembrance of their Lord. Those are the evil satanic sect; in fact the sect of Satan is defeated.”.

• Dr Muhammad al-Ghazali (d. 1996) and who was a disciple of Sheikh Hasan al-Banna may Allah have mercy on him mentioned in his book min ma`alim al-haqq (From the Characteristics of Truth) [p.264]: “Those underground youth were later on a major threat to the group, as they started turning against each other in assassinations until they became a destructive tool for terror in the hands of those who had no true knowledge of Islam and could not be relied upon for the common interest of society”. Hasan al-Banna also said about them before he died that they were not brothers and they were not Muslims.

Today, the threat of extremists is escalating and reaching new fronts beyond New York, Madrid, Bali, London and Sharm El-sheikh. They kill unjustly on one hand and call themselves ‘the Salafy Group’ on the other hand. But, no two concepts can be more polarised. They hide behind the banner of Jihad and martyrdom and under the veil of Islam. The fact of the matter remains that Islam is against them and against their evil acts. Refuting them is an Islamic obligation and diffusing them should be a way of life for the true Muslim.

 

Remedies and Solutions

The war against extremism is a systematic war which has to be accompanied with preventative measures which include: • Satisfying the need for Islamic scholars, Sheikhs and Islamic religious workers who remain at the forefront of the line of defence against them. • To continue training new religious workers and Sheikhs with the know hows and the rebuttal documents enabling them to expose extremism and its proponents. • To expose those in the public arena so that they cannot continue to find access to the general public. • To maintain a media, broadcast and print, that supports rebutting and curtailing extremist acts and undressing their disguise and motives • To encourage Islamic leaders of today to speak out against the modern version of the khawarij in order to prevent them from teaching their ideology through pulpits, mosques, radio stations, satellite channels, schools, public lectures. • To protect the Muslim youth from their danger by preventing access to the extremist books

Curtailing extremism should not be limited to security measures, which sometimes defeats the aim. Security measures may sometimes bloat the motives of extremists who act upon a recursive chain of actions and reactions in order to expand their sphere of conflict from one generation to another. Alone it could also attract the attention of some oblivious youth who might grant their sympathy to these extremist groups. Some people have even put a spin on hypocrisy, disguising it as public relation and promotion; thus luring the passive. Such deviant people compete for air time and coverage, while concealing their true identity and motives behind void utterances of peace and moderation. Their private sessions contain the same rants that they distribute in their bookstores claiming to advise the youth towards the right path for salvation. It is also behind doors that they accuse those calling against extremism to be mere agents or informers. It was only recently, when one of them was extolling extremists by saying that if it weren’t for them “Allah would have sunk the Earth from underneath us” and he called those carrying out suicidal attacks “martyrs”. Consequently, continued learning about Islam and application becomes a necessity for differentiation.

 

The conclusion is framed in what the trustworthy Prophet peace be upon him said: “Allah rewards for gentleness what He does not reward for violence” [related by Muslim and others]. Clearly, the onus is upon all Muslims to resolve this phenomenon, each through his informed area of expertise and with as much capacity as one could bear. Muslims in Australia and abroad following the orthodox teachings of Islam condemn all forms of terrorism, extremism and social destruction. Thus, it is essential to conquer terrorism and its kin, that governments, nations and the media differentiate between Muslims and terrorists and to further promote that there is no relation between Islam, terrorism and extremism. To execute this objective Muslims throughout the world and particularly in Australia should assert their moderate stand loudly, empowered by textual and logical proofs. They must restate that they are not the ones who exchange conviction for positions, and are not those who disregard the true Islamic fatwa for any agenda or program. Counselling against extremists cannot be achieved only by statements and words, but has to be accompanied with a continuous effort in order to eradicate this social dilemma and save nations and its peoples from its danger. This work requires qualified and diligent individuals trained in deflating the calls of the named al-Jama`ah al-Islamiyyah, the Wahhabis and Hizbut-Tahrir.

British Al-Qaeda Gang Planned ‘Another 9/11′ in UK Led By Muslim Terrorists Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali


British Al-Qaeda Gang Planned ‘Another 9/11′ in UK Led By Muslim Terrorists Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali.
Via:- pibillwarnerGo to full article

Jihadist group, from Birmingham UK, were to target crowded areas to cause “mass death” in a terror plot that was set to be even more devastating than the 7/7 London bombings, Woolwich Crown Court was told.  Two of the alleged ringleaders had received terror training in Pakistan and made martyrdom videos to be released after they had “blown themselves up”.

They were taught in bomb-making, how to use weapons and poisons before returning to the UK to recruit others for their plot. That included arranging for others to be sent to Pakistan for training as well. They planned to detonate homemade bombs in up to eight rucksacks and may also have blown others up with bombs on timers.

A total of 11 men and one woman were arrested by police on various terrorism charges last September. The details emerged as the trial began today of the three central plotters. Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, all unemployed from Birmingham, all deny a number of terror charges including planning a bombing campaign, recruiting others for terrorism and terrorism fundraising.

Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, told the court: “In September 2011, and after, officers of the West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit arrested a number of young men from the Birmingham area, who are resident in this country.  “With it the police successfully disrupted a plan to commit an act or acts of terrorism on a scale potentially greater than the London bombings in July 2005, if it had been allowed to runs its course.  READ THE WHOLE THING CLICK HERE.

USA TODAY REPORTS ….Dirtbags Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid, and Ashik Aliallegedly inspired by the anti-Western sermons of U.S.-born Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen in September 2011. Altman said Naseer and Khalid traveled to Pakistan for terror training, where they learned details of poisons, bombmaking and weapons use and made “martyrdom videos” justifying their planned attacks.

On their return in July 2011, he said, they began to recruit others to the plot and to raise money by posing as fundraisers for Muslim charities. Altman accused the men of “despicably stealing from their own community” to fund their plot.They also began experimenting with chemicals ”to make an explosive mixture for use in an improvised explosive device,” the prosecutor said, aided by Naseer’s academic background — he has a degree in pharmacy.

Many of the group’s plans soon went awry, however. Four other young men dispatched by the plotters to Pakistan for terrorist training were sent home within days when the family of one man found out, Altman said. They have pleaded guilty to terrorism-related offenses.

Rahin Ahmed, an alleged co-conspirator described in court as the cell’s “chief financier,” attempted to increase the group’s budget by trading the money it had made through bogus charity fundraising on the currency-exchange market.He lost the bulk of the terror cell’s money through his “unwise and incompetent” commodities trading, the prosecutor said, READ THE WHOLE THING CLICK HERE.

The Silence of Feminists as Islamic Women Suffer and Die


Feminists dally as Islamic women die
  • by: Ida Lichter

LAST Wednesday, Afghan girl Mah Gulwas beheaded on the instruction of family because she rejected prostitution. Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai, was shot in the head by Pakistani Taliban gunmen in the Swat Valley because she campaigned for women’s secular education. Absence of outrage by Muslim leaders is shameful but why are so many Western feminists silent?

In Swat, the Pakistani Taliban systematically restricted girls’ education. During 2008, they destroyed about 150 private schools and converted others into madrassas, or religious seminaries. Government schools were closed down, teachers murdered, acid was thrown on to the faces of schoolgirls, and several officials were beheaded.

A local Islamist leader explained: “Female education is against Islamic teachings and spreads vulgarity in society.”

The attack on Malala and two companions on a school bus has shocked Pakistan, especially in view of the bloody war in Swat fought by the army in 2009 to unseat the Taliban and enforce national law. In Pakistan, more than half the adult population is illiterate and in rural Sindh and Balochistan, female literacy rates are less than 2 per cent. Honour killings, bartering of women for land and animals, domestic violence and rape are endemic.

Female politicians have not always supported women’s rights. When prime minister, Benazir Bhutto appointed women to the High Court but made no significant changes to discriminatory laws and assisted the Taliban. In Afghanistan, women have made great strides over the past 10 years; education was established, and three million girls now attend school. International women’s rights groups helped expose Afghan Taliban abuse and develop the new constitution for the transitional Afghan government; but the mainstream movement, with some exceptions such as the Feminist Majority Foundation, has not fought consistently for the rights of Afghan women.

Many intellectual feminists value cultural practice but as Afghan women’s rights activist Sima Samar asserted, this respect does not apply to traditions that oppress women and violate human rights. Some feminists have joined an unholy alliance with political Islam, disregarding the oppression of women and homosexuals in favour of overarching aims to rid the world of colonialism, neo-colonialism and capitalism.

Today, support of the international feminist movement is particularly urgent. In Tunisia, a woman who was allegedly raped is facing an “immorality” charge and possible prison sentence.

Salafist leaders in Egypt are calling for changes to the draft constitution, so that Article 2 will affirm Islamic sharia as the main source of legislation rather than the principle of state law. Moreover, article 36 prescribes gender equality only if it does not contravene sharia. Egyptian women activists are campaigning for removal of sharia references in the draft constitution, as well as extreme demands from Salafists.

Pressing for basic women’s rights in Pakistan and Afghanistan is part of a regional challenge and should be a priority for Western feminists. Instead, many tolerate sexist violence in the area and subjugation of women through customary law and religious legislation mandated by the state. While they continue to ignore Islamist misogyny, feminists are dallying while their Muslim sisters burn.

Ida Lichter is the author of Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices Against Oppression

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia Sues Over Innocence of Muslims Schlock


Actress Cindy Lee Garcia sues over Innocence of Muslims
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula with hat, scarf and glasses on being escorted from his home
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has gone into hiding since his name was linked with the film

Anti-Islam film protests

A US actress who appeared in an amateur anti-Islam video that sparked protests across the Muslim world is suing the film’s suspected director.

Cindy Lee Garcia accused Nakoula Basseley Nakoula of duping her into a “hateful” film that she was led to believe was a desert adventure movie.

She is also asking a judge to order YouTube to remove the film.

A clip dubbed into Arabic provoked widespread anger for its mocking portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad.

The film, Innocence of Muslims, which was made in the United States, has sparked protests across the Middle East, North Africa and as far away as Sri Lanka, with some demonstrations turning into destructive and violent riots.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stephens, were killed during an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

According to Ms Garcia, the script she received had made no mention of the Prophet Muhammad or made references to religion.

She claims she has received death threats since the video was posted to YouTube, and says her association with the film has harmed her reputation.

In a court filing lodged with Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, Ms Garcia alleged fraud, slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Dialogue dismay

Lawyers for Ms Garcia contend that changes in dialogue during post-production casts her in a false light.

Anti-US protest in Karachi, Pakistan, 19 Sep
Protests are continuing in the Muslim world, including in Pakistan

“[Garcia] had a legally protected interest in her privacy and the right to be free from having hateful words put in her mouth or being depicted as a bigot,” the lawsuit says.

“There was no mention of ‘Mohammed’ during filming or on set. There were no references made to religion nor was there any sexual content of which Ms Garcia was aware,” it adds.

Mr Nakoula denies being “Sam Bacile”, a pseudonym used by the person who posted the video online.

He has gone into hiding after telling US media he was the manager of a company that helped produce the film, but US officials believe him to be the director.

Mr Nakoula was convicted of fraud in 2010 and ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was released in June 2011 with the provision that he did not access the internet or use any aliases without permission.

Authorities questioned him last week over whether he had violated any of those conditions.

YouTube has so far refused Ms Garcia’s requests to remove the film, according to the lawsuit, although it has blocked it in Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt.

“This lawsuit is not an attack on the First Amendment nor on the right of Americans to say what they think, but does request that the offending content be removed from the Internet,” the complaint states.

Google, which owns YouTube, has blocked the film in Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt.

A spokesman for YouTube said they were reviewing the complaint and would be in court on Thursday.

Conservative Islamist Fanatic Seeks Death of Crippled Girl


Rao Abdur Raheem: The Militant Lawyer Who Wants Disabled Christian Girl Dead
‎Via:-| Richard BartholomewGo to full article

From the Guardian:

A lawyer representing the man who accused a Pakistani Christian girl of blasphemy has said that if she is not convicted, Muslims could “take the law into their own hands”.

Rao Abdur Raheem cited the example of Mumtaz Qadri, the man who last year shot dead a politician who had called for reform of the much-abused blasphemy law.

…Raheem said he had taken on the case for free because he was convinced that Masih should be punished. “This girl is guilty. If the state overrides the court, then God will get a person to do the job,” he said.

I’ve written about Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, and their baleful consequences, previously. The current case, however, is particularly egregious; the accused girl, Rimsha Masih, reportedly has a learning disability. Raheem, however, is unconcerned about this: her medical assessement, he claims, was “illegal” and should not be taken into consideration.

In December 2010, Raheem created a self-described “lawyers’ forum”, called the Movement to Protect the Dignity of the Prophet; according to the New York Times, the group produced a petition in support of Qadri which was signed by a 1,000 lawyers in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Members of the group also reportedly ”greeted Mr. Qadri’s… court appearances by throwing rose petals”. The NY Times noted:

…The lawyers’ stance is perhaps just the most glaring expression of what has become a deep generational divide tearing at the fabric of Pakistani society, and of the broad influence of religious conservatism — and even militancy — that now exists among the educated middle class.

They are often described as the Zia generation: Pakistanis who have come of age since the 1980s, when the military dictator, Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, began to promote Islam in public education and to use it as a political tool to unify this young and insecure nation.

Raheem has also turned his attention to the internet and the US embassy; the Express Tribune reported in May that:

Margalla police station registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Facebook and three other websites under sections 295-A and 298-A of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on the directions of Additional Sessions Judge Kamran Basharat Mufti. The application had been submitted by the Namoos-e-Risalat Lawyers Forum (NRLF).

One of the complainants, Advocate Rao Abdur Rahim, told The Express Tribune that they had been informed in July 2011 that Facebook and a few other websites had been posting ‘blasphemous’ posts on their websites and the material was being uploaded from inside Pakistan.

…”We gave three applications: one against Payam TV for telecasting a movie ‘Yousaf’, one against Facebook and three other websites and one against the US embassy in Islamabad for organising a gathering of gays and lesbians,” the petitioner said.

Yousaf is actually an Urdu television serial, telling the Koranic version of the story of the Biblical Joseph. Episodes can be found on YouTube.

Raheem has a Facebook page, consisting for the most part of jpegs of urdu documents. His group also has a Facebook page, under the spelling “Namos E Risalat Lawyers“, where a booklet in support of Pakistan’s blasphemy law has been posted. Hypocritically, both pages carry material condemning the violence of militant Buddhist monks in Burma (a subject I looked at here).

There’s also a YouTube channel related to the group, under the name “nrlfp50″ (The booklet on the group’s Facebook page includes a reference to a website, “nrlfp.com”, which is currently defunct). One of the videos posted is footage of a rally in support of the murderer Qadri:

UPDATE (2 September): Rimsha had been handed over to the police by a local imam; the AFP reported on 24 August:

Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, the imam of the mosque in the Islamabad suburb of Mehrabad, insisted he had saved the girl, Rimsha, from mob violence by handing her to police but said the incident arose because Muslims had not stopped local Christians’ “anti-Islam activities” earlier.

Yesterday, it was reported that Chishti “has called for the law to be followed to its conclusion, even if that means the girl is executed”. However, his enthusiasm for having alleged blasphemers executed may perhaps now have cooled somewhat:

Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti appeared in court on Sunday after witnesses claimed to have seen him adding pages of the Qur’an to a bag of ashes Rimsha Masih had been carrying away for disposal last month in order to strengthen the case against her.

…Tahir Naveed Chaudhry from the All Pakistan Minority Committee said it had always maintained that evidence was planted on her.

“And now it is proved that the whole story was only designed to dislocate the Christian people,” he said. “He must be prosecuted under the blasphemy law as it will set a precedent against anyone else who tries to misuse that law.”

Rao’s bloodlust, though, remains undiminished:

“Our case is totally separate from the case against Chishti,” he said. “The man who accused him of adding pages from the Qur’an also confirmed that Rimsha burned a book containing verses from the Qur’an.”

Facebook Atheist Charged for “Insulting” Islam | Islamo-Fascism Attacks Free Speech


Alex Aan’s trial begins Thursday

Via:- Maryam Namazie

Alex Aan‘s trial begins tomorrow, Thursday, with the first prosecution witnesses being called, according to Rafiq Mahmood. Alex is the 30 year old Indonesian civil servant who has been charged with ‘insulting’ Islam in an atheist group in Facebook.

Rafiq says:

This isn’t just for Alex but for all of us. There have been far too many “blasphemy” cases which have just slipped by. We have to stop it if we have a chance and Indonesia is a very good place to make a stand.

And a stand we must make.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and the Atheist Alliance International are collecting money towards Alex’s case. If you want to support his case financially, you can send a donation to the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. Just make sure to earmark it for Alex Aan.

Free Speech Crushed by Islamic Power


Religion and freedom of speech are poles apart. In Egypt, a 17 year has been sentenced to three years in prison for a Facebook post that made fun of Muhammad.

An Egyptian court on Wednesday sentenced a 17-year-old Christian boy to three years in jail for publishing cartoons on his Facebook page that mocked Islam and the Prophet Mohammad, actions that sparked sectarian violence.

Gamal Abdou Massoud was also accused of distributing some of his cartoons to his school friends in a village in the southern city of Assiut, home to a large Christian population and the hometown of the late Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda.

“Assiut child’s court ordered the jailing of Gamal Abdou Massoud … for three years after he insulted Islam and published and distributed pictures that insulted Islam and its Prophet,” the court said in a statement seen by Reuters.

The cartoons, published by Massoud in December, prompted some Muslims to attack Christians. Several Christian houses were burned and several Christians were injured in the violence.

Fanatics that burn down houses and enact violence against humans who dare to insult religion, are the ones the government should be putting behind bars!

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2012/04/04/egypt-jails-christian-student-to-three-years-in-jail-for-insulting-islam/

 

Islamist prisoners spread radicalization in UK jails, report finds


Islamist prisoners spread radicalization in UK jails, report finds

Ministers of parliament visited Belmarch prison in south-east London, which detains some of the most dangerous extremists in the country, including radical cleric Abu Hamza. (Reuters)

Ministers of parliament visited Belmarch prison in south-east London, which detains some of the most dangerous extremists in the country, including radical cleric Abu Hamza. (Reuters)
By AL ARABIYA

Islamist prisoners in the United Kingdom are preaching radical Islam to new inmates, recent findings in a nine-month inquiry by the home affairs select committee have revealed on Monday.

The report states that despite extreme security in UK jails, in some cases inmates were being persuaded to carry out suicide missions within days of entering prison, The Telegraph reported, citing the findings.

Ministers of parliament had visited Belmarch prison in south-east London, which detains some of the most dangerous extremists in the country and where 20 percent of inmates are Muslims, housing more than 30 terrorist prisoners.

Among the detainees, MPs spoke to radical cleric Abu Hamza, serving a seven-year sentence in Belmarch for inciting murder and racial hatred while fighting an extradition to the United States on terror charges.

According to the report, titled “Roots of Radicalization,” Hamza claimed: “Grievances [for Islamists in UK prisons] were driven by British foreign policy, relating to Palestine and Afghanistan, and a sense that the Prophet [Mohammed] was being mocked,” The Telegraph reported.

But Hamza denied that his sermons contributed to radicalization, telling the MPs he believed “it was enough for people to watch the news to be radicalized.”

Hamza also claimed that prisoners turned to extremism because of a combination of “grievance, guilt and capability.”

The findings come as four radical Islamists are due to be sentenced for plotting a major terror attack before Christmas on the London Stock Exchange, the London Eye and other important landmarks in the city.

It is believed that one of the terrorists, Abdul Miah, 25, was radicalized in prison after being sentenced for drugs and weapons offences, the newspaper reported.

A former neighbor of his in Cardiff told The Telegraph that Miah had “gone into prison as a petty criminal and came out spouting extremist views.”

But Michael Spurr, of the National Offender Management Service, told the committee they had “some evidence of individual prisoners who may have attempted to say things or have indicated views that could attract people to a radical cause” but no evidence that incited radicalization in jails was on the rise.

The report, however, suggested that “good aftercare [would ensure] prisoners who may have been vulnerable to violent extremist ideology in prison can make the transition safely into the community.”
(Written by Eman El-shenawi)

Are Muslim Crackpots More Anti-Science Than Their Loony Christian Counterparts?!


Muslim Medical Students Boycotting Lectures on Evolution
By , About.com Guide   December 21, 2011

Steve Jones emeritus professor of human genetics at university college London has questioned why such students would want to study biology at all when it obviously conflicts with their beliefs. He told the Sunday Times: ‘I had one or two slightly frisky discussions years ago with kids who belonged to fundamentalist Christian churches, now it is Islamic overwhelmingly.

‘They don’t come [to lectures] or they complain about it or they send notes or emails saying they shouldn’t have to learn this stuff.

‘What they object to – and I don’t really understand it, I am not religious – they object to the idea that there is a random process out there which is not directed by God.’

Source: Daily Mail

This is not the only example of anti-science and anti-evolution activity among Muslims in Britain:

Earlier this year Usama Hasan, iman of the Masjid al-Tawhid mosque in Leyton, received death threats for suggesting that Darwinism and Islam might be compatible.

Sources within the group Muslims4UK partly blame the growing popularity of creationist beliefs within Islam on Turkish author Harun Yahya who, influenced by the success of Christian creationists in America, has written several books denouncing Darwinist theory.

Yahya associates Dawinism with Nazism and his books are and videos are available at many Islamic bookshops in the UK and regularly feature on Islamic television channels.

It’s noteworthy that the anti-science activity from Muslims in Britain is influenced to a large extent by anti-science evangelical Christians in America. Most of their arguments, ideas, and positions come from evangelical Christians. The more fundamental idea that religious ideology should be preferred over scientific fact, though, isn’t something they needed to import.

Students who refuse to come to class and learn the material should fail that class. Students who are in any sort of medical program should be denied a medical license of any sort. If you can’t accept the reality of evolution, then you are so disconnected from reality that there’s no way you can be an effective physician and I don’t think that you’ll have anything to offer any other scientific field either.