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Tag Archives: ISLAM

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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.

 

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:Labour Party Plans to Change Islam in 30 Years

Posted: 21 Oct 2008 09:54 PM CDT

The foolishness of the Labour Party never ends. (No offense to my British friends intended, as Obama will be just as bad.) The ruling Labour Party intends to talk Muslims out of what they call “radicalism”, which is really just Islam. They are even willing to discuss changing the UK’s foreign policy with the Muslims of the UK. I guess Labour is too blind to see that Muslims will use this dialogue against them and what makes them even begin to think that the Muslims of the UK will listen to non-Muslims over their Imam leaders? My message to the Labour Party is, either end Muslim immigration or Islam will end the UK within the next 30 years.

’30-year wait to tame young extremists’

Ending the radicalisation of young Muslims in Britain could take 30 years, the Security Minister warned today.

Lord West of Spithead said authorities had opened up a dialogue with the Muslim community but he stressed there were no quick solutions to the problem of extremism in the UK.

“This isn’t going to change just like that,” he told the Commons Defence Committee.

“To stop this radicalisation of extremists is going to take about 30 years I would think,” he added.

“But it will become a virtuous circle. It will start getting better and better.”

Lord West, a former head of the Royal Navy, said radicalisation could not be dealt with through security policies alone.

“We cannot arrest and protect ourselves out of this problem,” he said.

He acknowledged the Government’s foreign policy was an issue for many Muslims, but insisted efforts to promote a dialogue were producing results.

“We would accept that certain aspects of our foreign policy have caused difficulties with them but now at least we are engaging in a debate with them,” he said.

“I have found that when you talk to them the first discussion with a group is pretty hardcore stuff for you, but actually the second and third time they are beginning to understand, once you explain why you are doing things.”

Link to Article

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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)