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Category Archives: ON RELIGIOUS RIGHTS

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Saudi female journalist gets 60 lashes RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

– A Saudi court on Saturday sentenced a female journalist to 60 lashes who had been charged with involvement in a TV show in which a Saudi man publicly talked about sex. Rozanna al-Yami is believed to be the first Saudi woman journalist to be given such a punishment, but there were conflicting accounts about how the court issued its verdict. Al-Yami told The Associated Press it was her understanding that the judge at the court in the western city of Jiddah dropped the charges against her, which included involvement in the preparation of the program and advertising the segment on the Internet. But she said he still handed down the lashing sentence “as a deterrence.” “I am too frustrated and upset to appeal the sentence,” said al-Yami, 22. Al-Yami worked as a coordinator for the program, but she has said she did not work on the sex-show episode. Al-Yami refused to provide contact details for her lawyer to ask about the legal proceedings, including the basis in Islamic law for the punishment and whether the charges were really dropped. Sulaiman al-Jumeii, the lawyer for the man who appeared in the TV show, said such “physical punishment is not an indication of innocence or a drop of charges.” “If the judge had dropped the charges, then why did he give her the 60 lashes?” he added. Abdul-Rahman al-Hazza, the spokesman of the Ministry of Culture and Information, told the AP he had no details of the sentencing and could not comment on it. In the program, which aired in July on the Lebanese LBC satellite channel, the man, Mazen Abdul-Jawad appears to describe an active sex life and shows sex toys that were blurred by the station. The same court sentenced Abdul-Jawad earlier this month to five years in jail and 1,000 lashes. Al-Jumeii maintains his client was duped by the TV station and was unaware in many cases he was being recorded. On Saturday, he told the AP that not trying al-Yami before a court specialized in media matters at the Ministry of Culture and Information 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. The case has scandalized this ultraconservative country where such public talk about sex is taboo and the sexes are strictly segregated. The government moved swiftly in the wake of the case, shutting down LBC’s two offices in the kingdom and arresting Abdul-Jawad, who works for the national airline. Three other men who appeared on the show, “Bold Red Line,” were also convicted of discussing sex publicly and sentenced to two years imprisonment and 300 lashes each. Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

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Saudi Judge–>Its OK To Slap Your Wife

Posted: 10 May 2009 12:40 PM PDT

Islam has a very low opinion of women. Take for example these quotes from the holy Hadith text:

  • Bukhari (48:826) Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: The Prophet said, “Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?” The women said, “Yes.” He said, “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.”
  • Tabari I:280 “’I must also make Eve (bad word), although I created her intelligent.’ Because Allah afflicted Eve, all of the women of this world menstruate and are (bad word).”)…happy, content…utterly incapable from intellectual weakness…never to give us trouble…

One may think that being an ancient text, Islam would have changed its view about women in the intervening years. NO WAY !

A Saudi Arabian Judge was teaching  a seminar on domestic violence an he says that it is OK to smack your wife if she spends too much money. Hey, Happy Mother’s Day from the religion of peace:

Slapping a wife ‘is okay’

Riyadh – A Saudi judge has told a seminar on domestic violence that it is okay for a man to slap his wife for lavish spending, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.

Jeddah judge Hamad al-Razine gave the example of overspending to buy a high-end abaya, the head-to toe black shroud Saudi women have to wear in public, as justifying a smack for one’s wife, Arab News said.

“If a person gives 1 200 riyals ($320) to his wife and she spends 900 riyals ($240) to purchase an abaya from a brand shop, and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment,” he said.

The judge’s remarks sparked an outcry at the seminar on the role of judicial and security officials in preventing domestic violence, the paper reported.

The seminar was attended by officials as well as activists on domestic violence, including representatives of the National Family Safety Programme.

Razine acknowledged the depth of the problem of domestic violence, until recently not acknowledged as a serious issue in the ultra-conservative Muslim country, where family problems traditionally remained behind closed doors.

Saudi women have in the past few years become more vocal about the problem of husbands beating wives and fathers mistreating children.

But Razine said some of the blame must be shouldered by wives for their behaviour. “Nobody puts even a fraction of the blame on them,” he said, according to the report.

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By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | 11/12/2008

Has the Millennium arrived?  Maybe Barak Obama’s election to the presidency is giving the Religious Left at least a foretaste of it.  After stewing with anger across 8 years in the wilderness, liberal prelates are shouting Hosanna in expectation of spiritual enlightenment during the Obama reign.

“We at the National Council of Churches urge all Americans to come together to uphold you with our hands, our hearts and our prayers,” the NCC’s chief, Michael Kinnamon wrote his congratulatory letter to Obama.  The NCC, previously the voice of America’s premier religious denominations, once truly walked in the corridors of power.  It has never fully accepted its transition from mainline to sideline in America’s religious demographic.  As recently as 1995, the NCC was invited to the White House to “pray” for President Clinton as he was resisting the new Republican Congress.  No doubt, the NCC is praying that its White House visitation rights will soon be restored.

Until recently headed by a former Democratic congressman, the NCC’s new chief is an actual theologian and potentially less political.  But even Rev. Kinnamon could not suppress his excitement.  “The leaders of this Council pledge to you our unstinting support in the difficult days to come,” he promised Obama.  “All of us are dependent on God’s loving mercy, and we will regularly pray for you and others elected to high leadership. May your wisdom and discernment serve you well, and may your health never wane.”

More typically, clergy would pray that God would grant a leader “wisdom and discernment.”  But since Obama so clearly is already blessed with both in abundance, the Rev. Kinnamon prayed more directly that these obviously pre-existing ample attributes would “serve you well.” He helpfully informed Obama that the NCC is standing “ready to work with you to respond to the realities that a loving God places before us each day.”  And he shared that the justice principles that guide the NCC include “equal opportunities for justice, shelter, education, and health care” and the assertion that “war, even when it is necessary to defend ourselves or the weak or the oppressed, is never the will of God.”  Nearly every one of the NCC’s over 30 member Protestant and Orthodox communions historically have subscribed to Christianity’s Just War Tradition, which sometimes commands war as an imperative for justice.  But Rev. Kinnamon, in typical Religious Left fashion, ignored his own tradition, and sophistically assumed that war is “never the will of God.”

Maybe even more excitable than the NCC was the United Methodist Council of Bishops, who were meeting in Georgia during the election, and could barely contain their joy.  Although President Bush is the first Methodist president since William McKinley, he was the target of routine denunciations by United Methodist officials.  The Bush White House responded by not issuing as many invites to the church’s officials as the bishops and others seemed to expect.   So, understandably, according to the United Methodist News Service, the bishops were “jubilant” over Obama’s election and “celebrated” with “tears, hymns and prayers,” while “while affirming his vision of change for the nation ‘based on hope for all the people, especially those who are disinherited and disenfranchised.'”

The church’s news report described the bishops behaving after Election Day almost as though it were Easter morning after Good Friday.  Amid all the joy, the bishops “hugged and many cried,” while “holding hands,” [and] they sang ‘My Lord, What a Morning’ and the Negro anthem ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ while many chanted ‘Yes, we did!’-the phrase echoed during Obama’s acceptance speech the night before.”

United Methodism’s chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill, Jim Winkler, who once called for President Bush’s impeachment before retracting the call amid controversy, was also looking forward to ending his exile from White House events.  “Barack Obama is a person of deep faith,” he enthused. “I was reminded of that fact last night when he made sure the (election night) festivities in Grant Park began with an invocation. I fully expect The United Methodist Church, for the first time in many years, will be welcomed in the White House.”

Another likely White House religious visitor during the Obama years is Sojourners chief Jim Wallis, who has been feverishly attempting to create an Evangelical Left that would undermine evangelicals’ traditional conservative voting habits.  This new Evangelical Left, largely a repackaging of the old Religious Left for a new audience that cannot remember the 1960’s, wants to persuade evangelicals that Global Warming and opposing U.S. military actions is more important than upholding traditional marriage or opposing abortion.

Wallis claimed that his campaign was successful.  “Polls leading up to the election showed a significant break from the previous generation on issues like gay marriage and abortion, which while still a top concern, it is not the only one,” he rejoiced.  “For those Christians, sanctity of life now includes poverty, war, genocide, and climate change. Healthy families are also still a top concern, but many Christians don’t see gay and lesbian rights as a primary cause of family breakdown.”  Wallis, an old 1960’s student radical who now wants to be seen as a soothing centrist, claimed, “These religious voters refuse to be distracted by the culture wars of the previous generation.”

According to Wallis, “This changing face of religion in America gave Barack Obama a 4.4 million voter net gain of Protestants and Catholics over John Kerry and helped lock up key swing states across the country.” He cited increased evangelical support for Obama over John Kerry in 2004 in states such as Colorado and Indiana. There is some truth in Wallis’ claim.  But the broader truth is that John McCain, whose almost abject refusal to discuss his own religious faith, still received 74 percent of the white evangelical vote, compared to Bush’s 79 percent.  Bill Clinton, who received about 30 percent of the evangelical vote, outperformed Obama.  White evangelicals comprise about one quarter of the electorate.

As to the Mainline Protestants, whose representatives at the NCC at the United Methodist Church were so beside themselves, they too seemed to have preferred McCain over Obama.  According to exit polls, non-evangelical Protestants favored McCain by 54 percent, compared to 56 percent for Bush in 2004.  Obama’s share of this group was 44 percent, identical to John Kerry’s.  Among all religious Americans, those who worship weekly or more preferred McCain by 55 percent, versus 43 percent for Obama.  Obama’s biggest gains were among the religiously unaffiliated, 75 percent of whom preferred him, compared to 67 percent for Kerry in 2004.

Seemingly, Jim Wallis and other fixtures of the Religious Left are attempting to persuade religious Americans to vote more like non-religious Americans.  But Wallis, as he prepares for impending White House audiences, is unlikely to market his appeal so starkly.


Mark D. Tooley directs the United Methodist committee at the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

 

UK:Worries That the London Olympics Might Offend Muslims

Posted: 28 Oct 2008 09:15 PM CDT

Over the years the United Kingdom has made a habit of catering to Muslims more than any other group of people in the UK. Some extraordinary examples of this are giving Muslims special housing with toilets that face away from Mecca and kitchens that are specially designed for halal cuisine . The UK has refurbished prisons by making sure that the toilets do not face Mecca.

More and more public schools there are only serving halal meat with no concern for the beliefs of the non-Muslims who attend the school .

The UK has even built a cemetery where all the deceased including Christians and Jews are buried in accordance to Islamic tradition as Muslims believe that the dead have look over their shoulder towards Mecca.

Now the Kingdom is considering taking the catering to the Islamic community to a new level, as talks are being held to discuss on how to reduce tensions between the police and Muslims during the upcoming London Olympics in 2112. They are concerned that the games will clash with the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Scotland Yard has even joined in with the bowing down to Islam by hiring Islamic scholar Michael Mumisa on how to deal with the issue, the issue which should be a non-issue. Mr. Mumisa has said that the commemoration of 11 Israeli athletes killed during the Munich games by Palestinian terrorists might offend Muslims. Maybe the Islamic scholar would like for the UK just cancel the Olympics, this way Muslims are not offended. Before it is too late the leaders of the UK need to realize that the UK is their country and stop asking Muslims what needs to be done to please Islam.


UK:Muslims Lose bid to Stop Supermarket From Selling Alcohol

Posted: 31 Oct 2008 03:05 PM CDT


The good news keeps on rolling in today as this is the second story about Muslims getting told no to their demands in the UK.(Just scroll down for the second one.) As common sense is slowly taking place over catering to Islam. This is an update to this story in which Muslims had petitioned to try and stop a Tesco Supermarket from selling any alcohol at all. The whole idea was very selfish if you ask me. I do not smoke, but I am not looking to stop stores from selling tobacco products. If someone needs to live under Islamic rules, they might be happier in an Islamic country. Two cheers to the UK today.

Thanks to Joan from the UK.

Protestors lose Bury Park booze battle

31 October 2008
By Sally-Anne Johnson

Tesco Express given permission to sell alcohol

High street giant Tesco has been given a licence to sell alcohol at its new Express store in Bury Park, Luton, despite strong objections from Muslims living nearby. Some residents were worried about the prospect of alcohol being sold at the Dunstable Road store, which is due to open in November and will be near the Rabia Islamic boys’ school.

More than 150 people signed petitions opposing the supermarket giant’s bid, complaining it would mean an increase in anti-social behaviour, litter and vandalism, and would divide the community.

But members of Luton Borough Council’s licensing panel gave the application the green light at a meeting at the Town Hall on Tuesday morning. The store will be able to sell alcohol from 6am until 11pm, seven days a week.

Link to Article

UK:Muslim who Sued Supermarket Because he had to Handle Alcohol Loses Suit

Posted: 31 Oct 2008 02:27 PM CDT


Here is an update to this story. About Muslim man from the UK who sued the Tesco Supermarket chain because he had to handle cases of alcohol. Thankfully he has lost his lawsuit and he has said that it is unfair. Well Mr. Ahmed, what is unfair is that so many Muslims think that the non-Muslim world has to change to suit Islam. One for the good guys.

Thanks to Joan from the UK.

Muslim worker loses out in Tesco booze bid
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A DERBY Muslim who sued Tesco for religious discrimination after he was asked to handle crates of alcohol has lost his case.
Mohammed Ahmed, who worked in a warehouse, said the job was against his Islamic beliefs. The 32-year-old, of Upper Dale Road, Normanton, also accused Tesco of victimisation and harassment during a three-day employment tribunal in Birmingham.

His job at the supermarket giant’s Lichfield depot involved the transportation of various goods, including alcoholic drinks, on fork-lift trucks.
The Saudi Arabian national told the tribunal he was not informed that he would be handling alcohol when he started the job last year.

He said he was considering appealing against the decision after being told his legal action had failed.
He said: “It’s not fair but what can I do? They [Tesco] were not taking into account my religious beliefs. I will consult with solicitors.”

The situation came to a head before Christmas last year, when more alcohol was ferried to the Tesco warehouse in preparation for the festive season.
Mr Ahmed told the tribunal that he was not made aware he would be required to handle alcohol when he started the job, a claim denied by Tesco.

He also said he had not visited any of Derby’s three Tesco stores and was unaware alcohol was served by the shop. He admitted, however, that he had been to Sainsbury’s, Asda and Lidl stores.

He refused to touch alcohol because it was against his religious principles as a Muslim, he said, and asked to be found other work.
He told the tribunal that Tesco failed to co-operate and alleged he was told by a supervisor, “You do the job or go home”, a claim also denied by the store.

Mr Ahmed, who moved to Derby in 2006, complained to Tesco but claimed he was treated unfairly as a result. After eight months working for the company, he left in protest.
Speaking after the three-day tribunal in Birmingham, he had said: “It’s in our religion that we are not allowed to handle alcohol. In the UK there’s equal opportunities that should protect me and my beliefs.”

Tesco said Mr Ahmed was made aware during his employment induction course that he would be handling alcohol, and that every effort was made to find him an alternative role in the warehouse.

Link to Article

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Christianity Challenges Kosovo, Muslims not Happy

Writer Michael Totten has repeatedly claimed that Kosovo was different from other Islamic countries. A point of view that I have never really believed in. Maybe in some ways it is, but those Kosovons who are so tolerant must of the been the “Christians in hiding” there. Because as more people are converting back to Christianity in Kosovo, the head of the Islamic community has come out against building any new Churches in Kosovo. Sound familiar? Sounds like Kosovo is heading in the direction of the rest of the Islamic world to me.

(It should be noted that my government foolishly approved of the independent Islamic state of Kosovo.)

Out of hiding, some Kosovars embrace Christianity

By Fatos Bytyci

KLINA, Kosovo (Reuters) – Hundreds of Kosovar Albanians gather on Sundays to attend religious services in a still unfinished red-brick church in the Kosovo town of Klina.

Turning away from the majority Muslim faith imposed by the Ottoman Turks centuries ago, these worshippers are part of a revival of Catholicism in the newly independent Balkan state.

“We have been living a dual life. In our homes we were Catholics but in public we were good Muslims,” said Ismet Sopi. “We don’t call this converting. It is the continuity of the family’s belief.”

Sopi has commuted 40 km (25 miles) every Sunday from central Kosovo to Klina to attend a morning mass since he formally became a Roman Catholic five months ago. This September was the first holy month of Ramadan during which no one in his 32-member family fasted.

The majority of ethnic Albanians were forcibly converted to Islam, mostly through the imposition of high taxes on Catholics, when the Ottoman Empire ruled the Balkans.

For centuries, many remembered their Christian roots and lived as what they call “Catholics in hiding”. Some, nearly a century after the Ottomans left the Balkans, now see the chance to reveal their true beliefs.

“Fifty or sixty percent of the population are linked emotionally with the Roman Catholic religion. This is because of feelings about what our ancestors believed,” said Muhamet Mala, a professor who teaches History of Religion at Pristina Public University.

EASTER EGGS AND CHRISTMAS

Originally Christians, the Sopis’ ancestors converted to Islam centuries ago during the Ottoman Empire but the family cherished Christian customs for centuries. They colored eggs at Easter and celebrated Christmas along with Ramadan.

“Islam started spreading in big numbers across Albanian territories when the Ottomans came in the 15th century. The majority of the people embraced Islam for economic reasons,” said Jahja Drancolli, a religion professor who also teaches at Pristina Public University.

“At the time, if you were a Catholic you had to pay a lot of taxes to the Ottomans.”

Around 90 percent of Kosovo’s Albanian population is Muslim, with just four percent Roman Catholics. The country is also home to dozens of medieval Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches.

The area that is now Kosovo was conquered by Rome before the Christian era and later ruled for centuries by Christian Bulgarians and Serbs. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1455.

Under the Ottomans, many Catholics converted to escape the new taxes or qualify for jobs and advancement in the Muslim-ruled society.

In staunchly Catholic families, often in villages with a strong social network, men converted publicly but continued to practice Christianity at home. Women and daughters often kept the faith, meaning it was transmitted to children.

Catholic priests administered the sacraments to these “crypto-Catholics” during house visits to the women.

The Catholic Church officially opposed this ministry to the converts, but local clergy often ignored that and maintained ties to the families.

The fact that there were “Catholics in hiding” was known during the Ottoman Empire: Albanians even had a word for them, “laraman”, meaning piebald, or two-colored.

Some crypto-Catholic families began to re-emerge in public in the mid to late 19th century, when Ottoman power was waning.

MOTHER THERESA

Many mosques in Kosovo were destroyed during the 1998-99 war between Serb forces and the Kosovo Liberation Army. Since 1999, when the U.N. took control of Serbia’s breakaway province, ethnic Albanian mobs destroyed many Serb Orthodox churches.

Roman Catholic churches were not destroyed, however, and most of Kosovo’s towns have a square named after Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Theresa, an ethnic Albanian nun born in neighboring Macedonia. She spent her life helping the poor in the Indian city of Calcutta and died in 1997.

Beatified in 2003, Mother Theresa became a heroine to many Albanian worshippers. A new cathedral, still under construction at Pristina’s Mother Theresa Square, will be the tallest building in the capital and big enough to hold 2,000 churchgoers.

“We don’t make appeals to anyone to convert. People call us,” said Don Shan Zefi, chancellor of the Church’s Kosovo diocese. “We are not talking about individuals any more. There are inhabitants from dozens of villages who have contacted us.”

Zefi said the process started decades ago, but added that today there are thousands of people who “want to become Roman Catholics again”.

The Islamic community disapproves of such converts.

The head of the Kosovo Islamic community, Mufti Naim Ternava, has opposed building a cathedral at the heart of Pristina and scoffs at new churches built across Kosovo.

“No human brain can understand how a church should be build in the middle of 13 Muslim villages,” he said.

SINS OF THE FATHER

Inhabitants of Kravoserija in the south of the country have had their own church since 2005, with the help of the Kosovo Catholic Church. Beke Bytyci is one of five villagers who has the keys to it, since chancellor Zefi only comes to celebrate mass every few weeks.

Opening the wooden door, he crossed himself: “I will be baptized next week,” he said.

More than half the 120 village families attend the ceremonies, and the small church is always full.

“My dad made a mistake in not raising me as a Christian,” said Ferat Bytyci, a 35-year-old merchant in the village and a relative of Beke. “Now things have changed and I don’t make the same mistake.”

(Editing by Adam Tanner, Tom Heneghan and Keith Weir)