tagged w/ Islam
"Iranian officials have pressured imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini to renounce his faith in Jesus even as they have stepped up their physical abuse and psychological torture of him, including taking him to a hospital but denying him medical treatment, according to recent reports.
In a letter obtained by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Abedini—a U.S. citizen of Iranian descent—wrote that he was told by Iranian prison officials, "Deny your faith in Jesus Christ and return to Islam or else you will not be released from prison. We will make sure you are kept here even after your 8 year sentence is finished."
Abedini's response, he wrote, is Romans 8:35-39, which says persecution and death cannot separate a believer from Christ.
"The reality of Christian living is that difficulties or problems do arise in our lives," Abedini wrote. "Persecution and difficulties are not new occurrences, but are seen often in the Christian life. It is through the suffering and tribulations that we are to enter the Kingdom of God."
The pastor closed the letter, ACLJ said in a news release April 10, by writing, "Pastor Saeed Abedini, the servant and slave of Jesus Christ in chains, with a lot of joy to see you soon. Evin Prison 9th March 2013."
Jordan Sekulow, ACLJ's executive director, said it's clear that Abedini's faith is sustaining him even as he suffers from increased brutality at the hands of prison guards.
Sekulow reported April 15 that Abedini's Iranian family visited him in prison that day and saw firsthand the marks and symptoms left by a severe beating he received when officials took him to a hospital the previous week.
After being promised medical care for internal bleeding caused by repeated abuse, Abedini, a naturalized U.S. citizen, finally was granted a hospital visit but then was taken away without receiving treatment, being told the specialist he was to see was not available.
"These beatings and the internal injuries are causing Pastor Saeed frequent fainting spells," Sekulow wrote. "Iranian officials are telling Pastor Saeed it could be an additional two months before he will receive medical treatment. Such a delay is inhumane and a gross violation of Iran's international obligations."
Additionally, Abedini told his family that cellmates recently threatened to suffocate him in his sleep and make his death look like an accident, a risk that weighs heavily on him.
"I cannot express in words how concerned I am about Saeed's physical and mental health," his wife, Naghmeh Abedini, said. "He is now continually attacked and threatened. The Iranian government should know that we are watching and aware of what they are doing to Saeed inside Evin prison. We need to speak louder until Saeed is home safely on U.S. soil."
In an effort to bolster the pastor's morale, ACLJ, which is representing his wife and two children in the United States, launched a letter writing campaign to send as many encouraging notes as possible to Abedini for his 33rd birthday May 7.
"We want Pastor Saeed to know that he is not forgotten and thousands upon thousands of people are fighting for his freedom," Sekulow said.
The effort quickly became one of the largest letter writing campaigns in history, with more than 33,000 people sending letters of support as of April 15. Letters can be written at SaveSaeed.org.
"It is also an important opportunity to let Iran know that we will not forget about this persecuted pastor," Sekulow said. "Iranian officials will be reviewing and paying attention to these letters. They will feel the incredible pressure of the world community calling for Pastor Saeed's release."
Meanwhile, USA Today published an article about Abedini April 4, saying "a movement to free him is gaining momentum."
That movement, the newspaper said, got a boost from comments by Secretary of State John Kerry "that gave a nod to U.S. allies to quietly intervene."
Kerry's call for Iran to release Abedini encouraged U.S. allies that have diplomatic relations with Iran to push the Islamic regime to release him or get him medical treatment, USA Today said.
Faraz Sanei, an Iran specialist for Human Rights Watch, told the newspaper that the regime views converts as a threat to the orthodox Shiite religion propagated by the government.
"Since the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, authorities have cracked down on many religious and spiritual movements that draw young people away from the Shiite faith, including evangelical Christians and the more numerous Sufis, Bahai and self-help spiritual practitioners, who have grown in popularity under the repressive Islamic regime," USA Today reported.
Sanei said, "The government feels threatened by these movements because it threatens their hold and grasp on the population."
In the same article, Rep. Chris Smith (R.-N.J.), emphasized the importance of a case such as Abedini's becoming a priority for the U.S. government.
"No administration, even dictatorships, wants to be subjected to any kind of embarrassment," Smith told USA Today. "When issues are prioritized by the United States, it makes a difference.... [That strategy] works with radical Islamic regimes. It worked with the Soviets and with Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler.""Iranian officials have pressured imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini to renounce his... more
In this illuminating bar chat, film buffs discuss two of the most insightful comedies of our time, Four Lions and In The Loop. Guest expert and media lecturer Dr Philip Hammond argues that comedy has provided greater insights into the nature of terrorism and the war on terror than straight documentaries and drama. The absurdity, political emptiness and narcissism expressed by the characters in these films captures accurately the nature of both suicide bombers and the war on terror, says Dr Hammond. As the Boston marathon explosions capture our imagination and pose an uncanny resemblance to the plot in Four Lions, Dr Hammond’s point is extremely timely.In this illuminating bar chat, film buffs discuss two of the most insightful comedies... more
"HBO host Bill Maher tangled with Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino on “Real Time” Friday night, arguing that in this day and age, Islam is more dangerous than other religions.
The liberal host went so far that his guest actually accused him of promoting Islamophobia and “Islamic hatred.”
“I mean, there’s only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the prophet. There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith. An ex-Muslim is a very dangerous thing. Talk to Salman Rushdie after the show about Christian versus Islam…So, you know, I’m just saying, let’s keep it real.”
Maher proceeded to ask whether it would be possible to produce a play called “The Book of Islam” ridiculing the religion in the same way “The Book of Mormon” did with the Mormon faith.
When Levin said the play could “possibly” be made, Maher responded: “Tell me what color the sky is in your world.”
Maher concluded by noting that of course, “most Muslim people are not terrorists.”
“But ask most Muslim people in the world — if you insult the prophet, do you have what’s coming to you?” he asked. “It’s more than just a fringe element.”"
Full video at the link."HBO host Bill Maher tangled with Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the... more
Interwoven with a seductive album of engaging family photos, Rania Hafez shares her story of moving across the world, war in Lebanon, Israel’s invasion and rising religiosity. The glamorous Lebanese women in her family remind us that Beirut was once the Paris of the East and not shorthand for war-torn hell-hole that the phrase ‘like Beirut’ conjures up to today. For Rania aeroplanes were like taxis and she hopes cheaper flights will mean more people see more of the world and that she points out, requires ending visa restrictions.Interwoven with a seductive album of engaging family photos, Rania Hafez shares her... more
According to John the first chapter, Jesus was the one God used to create the World and all there is in heaven and earth. Thus that makes him God. Not the Father, but God nevertheless. To add a little detail for someone who thinks I have gone off the deep end. God created all living things to reproduce after its own kind. The Son of a Cow is just as much a Cow as his father. The son of a chicken is just as much a chicken as his father. The Son of a man is just as much a man and his father. God did this as an example of his plan. So the Son of God is just as much God as his Father. He is just not the one ultimately in charge, no more than is a human son is over his father, while in his Father house hold.
Why even at a glance the Quran is not comparable to the Bible pt 3According to John the first chapter, Jesus was the one God used to create the World... more
In Egypt a popular Muslim cleric claims that the recent rape and sexual assault of female protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square is justified.
Ahmad Mahmoud Abdullah, also known as Abu Islam, is a prominent Salafi preacher who has justified the rape and sexual assault of female protesters by making the absurd claim that women protesters “are going to Tahrir Square because they want to be raped.” The ultraconservative Islamic cleric made his controversial claims in a video posted online Wednesday, Feb. 6.
Justifying a string of mob sexual assaults on women protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, and depicting the victims as loose women, the ultraconservative cleric and popular television personality said:
"They are going there to get raped ... These are devils named women ... They speak with no femininity, no morals, no fear ... Learn from Muslim women, be Muslims."
Corresponding to a wave of unrest since late January, sexual assaults on women protesters have spiked in Egypt, with at least 19 reported on Jan. 25 alone. In many cases, mobs stripped women, penetrating them with knives and other objects, according to reports.
http://www.examiner.com/article/egypt-islamic-cleric-justifies-rape-for-female-protestersIn Egypt a popular Muslim cleric claims that the recent rape and sexual assault of... more
Dervishes were a common subject for foreign photographers of the late Qajar period. These photographs helped to create and fed the stereotypes of exotic Easterners, but nevertheless they are useful historical records of the period.
http://shahrefarang.com/en/qajar-dervishes/Dervishes were a common subject for foreign photographers of the late Qajar period.... more
Author lists 12 women or women's organizations, working for women's liberties.
most of you know me and for those of you who dont, im the resident supporter of israel.its a lonely job, but one worth doing.
after years of evaluationg and contemplation about the israeli palestinian conflict, which would have been time better spent working on my spelling, i have come to understand not only the conflict, but also the nature of the parties involved in it across the world, as well as the talking points.
to such a degree, i have finally reached a point in which it comes down to a few simple questions, so i pose them to you, the current community.enlighten me, and explain to me how i am wrong.
if a nation, any nation of any people were to make national policy the demand that another nation must be destroyed, how are they not to blame for the war that results?
if a nation declares war on an other nation how can that nation not be the one to blame for the results of war.(dead people, blockades,etc)
explain to me how this is, as these are really the only points upon which i think israel is right, as she doesnt demand anyone not exist, so that she isnt assuring a defacto state of war, and that she hasnt declared war on anyone.
my basis is in the notion that those who opt for war are wrong.so if you think war is viable, feel free to not bother answering these questions as your reasoning will not be valid in my value system ever.but for the rest, who claim to be all about not supporting the warmongers, please explain to me what it is that allows you to both claim this, while supporting those who seek war.most of you know me and for those of you who dont, im the resident supporter of... more
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi expanded his authority Thursday in a startling power grab that weakens the courts and frees him from judicial oversight amid deepening political intrigue in the
Arab world's most populous nation.
Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-egypt-morsi-powers-20121123,0,976207.storyEgyptian President Mohamed Morsi expanded his authority Thursday in a startling power... more
The London Thing, 27th October. A conference regarding the future of modern Heathenism in the UK. Speakers included David Parry of Gruntlers' Theatre who also organised the event, Freya Aswynn the Volva and musician, Ralph Harrison of the Odinist Fellowship, David Beth and Valdemar Wiedemann from Estonia.
Music by Freya Aswynn.The London Thing, 27th October. A conference regarding the future of modern Heathenism... more
Real Islamic terrorists, not the fake ones that the FBI rounds up in these provacatuered "domestic terror sting operations."
Terrorism is OK so long as your on OUR payroll and terrorize the targets WE don't like.
Examples the US backs or has backed
The Zia ul-Haq in Pakistan,
The Mujahideen of Afghanistan,
Abu Qurah in Jordan,
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt
MEK (Mujahadeen e-Kalk) in Iraq/Iran
Jundullah South Pakistan
Salafi Jihadist, FSA in Syria and this is a number of groups with GCC and NATO sponsors
And then the US supports the government in the Republic of Yemen despite its election only having one name on the ballot.
Hadi North Yemen, the US claims to be supporting the government in a fight against "al qaeda" the reality this is still the unresolved conflict between North and South Yemen from their civil war from 94. There was even a secession movement as recently as 2007 but all of that history you see is ignored. Why acknowledge the civil war (almost exclusively fought in the South) or a secession movement when it's much easier to just scream Al Qaeda and support the puppets. They love the simplistic GI Joe narrative of we are good they are bad, its us vs Al Qaeda.
After a nearly two year battle led by numerous Republican and Democratic officials, the MEK has been taken off the US State Department’s list of terrorist organizations under the Hillary Clinton and Obama Administration. According to the September 21, 2012 article in the Guardian UK:
“The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, is expected to notify Congress that the MEK will be removed from the terrorism list in the coming days.Real Islamic terrorists, not the fake ones that the FBI rounds up in these... more
On days where a single story dominates the news, we can usually depend on the Bachmann wing of the Republican Party to do something or say something sufficiently outrageous to leave us shaking our heads in disgust. Louie Gohmert stepped forward to fill the bill.On days where a single story dominates the news, we can usually depend on the Bachmann... more
An "abortion ship" was set to arrive in Smir today, its first time in a Muslim country, to kick off a campaign to promote safe medication for abortions in a country where hundreds of women are said to undergo an illegal form of the procedure daily.
The ship, and its related campaign, is being organized by the Dutch group Women on Waves and the Moroccan youth group Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms (MALI). In response, Moroccan authorities closed down the harbor of Smir today to block the ship's arrival, but the organizations said they are determining an alternative strategy for the ship to reach Morocco's coastline.The ship was expected to stay for a week.
The ship will offer women, if any arrive and ask for help, early medical abortions through a drug, conducted on international waters. A hotline is also being launched to provide callers with information about safe medical abortions.
Read the full story and exclusive interviews from Morocco at http://womensenews.org/story/reproductive-health/121003/abortion-ship-docks-in-morocco-publicize-safetyAn "abortion ship" was set to arrive in Smir today, its first time in a... more
Rappers Young Buck, Big Meech, and BG sent Minister Farrakhan a question for him to answer during the first ever #AskFarrakhan Townhall meeting on September 26, 2012. View the entire TownhalRappers Young Buck, Big Meech, and BG sent Minister Farrakhan a question for him to... more
Netanuahu officially has no credibility after that cartoon bomb diagram.
NEW YORK—Following his speech to the United Nations General Assembly this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Friday that he is “pretty satisfied” with his trip to the U.S. to instigate World War III.
“All in all, I think I accomplished my goal of pushing humanity toward the brink of complete and utter annihilation,” said Netanyahu, adding that his implicit calls for international military action against Iran, which would ultimately escalate the conflict to an Armageddon-level of death and destruction, went “fairly well.”
“I think I did a good job laying the groundwork for a nuclear holocaust that will kill billions of people and eventually end the world as we know it. Sounded like everyone really liked it, too.” When reached for comment, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told reporters that he was “equally happy” with his own efforts to nudge the world slightly closer to a full-blown apocalypseNetanuahu officially has no credibility after that cartoon bomb diagram. NEW... more
A pro-Israel lobbyist for the Washington Institute For Near East Policy suggests staging a terror attack on Iran to build support for the war.
The Project For A New American Century, another pro-Israeli operation also wrote about the need for "new Pearl Harbor" in their documents, which appears to have been the 9/11 terror bombings, in order to kick off the wars in Iraq and the Middle East.
"I frankly think that crisis initiation is really tough,” said Patrick Clawson, who also heads the Washington Institute’s Iran Security Initiative, in response to a question about what would happen if negotiations with Tehran fail. “And it’s very hard for me to see how the United States … uh … President can get us to war with Iran.”
As a consequence, Clawson said he was led to conclude that “the traditional way [that] America gets to war is what would be best for US interests.”
Intriguingly, he went on to recount a series of controversial incidents in American history — the attack on Pearl Harbor, the sinking of the Lusitania, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the blowing up of the USS Maine — that US presidents “had to wait for” before taking America to war.
“And may I point out that Mr. Lincoln did not feel he could call out the federal army until Fort Sumter was attacked,” Clawson continued, “which is why he ordered the commander at Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing which the South Carolinians had said would cause an attack.”
“So, if in fact the Iranians aren’t going to compromise,” the Israel lobbyist concluded with a smirk on his face, “it would be best if somebody else started the war.”
"One can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. I mentioned that explosion on August 17th. We could step up the pressure. I mean look people Iranian submarines periodically go down someday one of them may not come up. Who would know why? We can do a variety of things if we wish to increase the pressure. I'm not advocating that but I'm just suggesting that ... this is not a either or proposition.... We are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier at that."A pro-Israel lobbyist for the Washington Institute For Near East Policy suggests... more
Iran President Ahmadinejad says if attacked by Israel he will retaliate.
The following is a statement from American Humanist Association Board of Directors concerning a sensible approach to Islam.
A Sensible Approach to Islam
Islam and the Politics of Violence
Over a long period culminating in recent years, Muslim fundamentalists dedicated to establishing Islamic theocracies have ascended to power and solidified their authority in several countries. They have also established enclaves in many other nations, and some of them have formed terrorist organizations. Though belonging to various Muslim sects, these theocrats share a willingness to implement Islamist Sharia laws with punishments that disregard basic human rights, particularly women’s rights, and some conduct assassinations and brutal reprisals in the name of "true" Islam.
Though adherents of this type are gaining in numbers and power, they do not represent all Muslims. Generalizing Islam as entirely violent undermines the efforts of millions of Muslims and others who are struggling to challenge the rise of extremism.
Since September 11, 2001, prejudice and discrimination have been on the rise in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere against Muslims. Such individuals are suffering from increased security screenings, hostile media attention, and oppressive new laws, as well as localized acts of violence and widespread disrespect. Moreover, disinformation campaigns and negative imagery have led to popular confusion wherein al-Qaeda is inaccurately connected to the former regime of Saddam Hussein, Iranians and South Asians are misidentified as Arabs, Sikhs are mistaken for Muslims, and the world faith of Islam, with its 1.3 billion followers, is viewed as a doctrinaire monolith.
The American Humanist Association is opposed to both the activities of Islamic extremists and to the “crusade” mentality rising in Western circles that condemns all Muslims indiscriminately. This statement aims at defining a rational and informed humanist position.
Humanists should assess Islam using the same standards applied to all belief systems. This means, in practice, that humanists support the concept of a democratic secular state, with complete separation of religion and government. Consistent with this, humanists oppose theocracy in all of its forms and support:
The freedom to think and believe or not believe, and to profess or critique, resisting efforts to impose one’s religious beliefs on others through coercive and punitive measures
The choice to observe or not to observe religious practices, to the degree that such practices do not harm others or interfere with their rights
Democratic principles, to the degree that such choices do not permit the state to engage in religious indoctrination or similar tyrannies of the majority
Modern human rights, not tolerating violations of those basic rights whether or not they are bolstered by religious law or custom
A Balanced Humanist Policy
There is a great deal of violence in the world today, a disturbing portion of which is perpetrated in the name of Islam. Humanists recognize that the world of Islam is vast and heterogeneous, and problems that exist in one area may not exist in others. For this reason, one-size-fits-all responses to issues that outsiders perceive within Islam are not only unworkable but are likely to be detrimental to humanistic solutions.
While small numbers of Muslim revivalists may reside in the United States, and while there is a continuing threat of terrorist attack from Islamic terrorist groups, extremist Islam as a political force has not taken hold in this country. Problems are mostly limited to instances when Islamic requirements, such as those relating to dress or prayer, conflict with preexisting law and custom. These are often resolved in a spirit of mutual understanding. When that fails and the courts intervene, their decisions should reflect both practical requirements and a respect for religious freedom. In general, humanists do not support either extending religious accommodation in ways that would create an unequal playing field between the religious and nonreligious or rigidly enforcing legal provisions that unnecessarily encumber individual religious liberty.
Some countries, notably in Western Europe, have been less successful than the United States in integrating Muslim immigrants into mainstream society. Humanists respect the desire of the majorities in these countries to preserve their human rights traditions; they also support the efforts of humanist groups to resolve emerging problems in a humane and practical manner. But this is not a blanket endorsement of cultural preservation. Some approaches have been strikingly racist and ethnocentric in nature. While freedom of speech must not be compromised, humanists oppose nativism, jingoism, and open hostility toward Muslim citizens and immigrants within any nation.
Humanists strive for a world where violence and fear are not the drivers of ideals and actions. In every case and in all its forms, extremism must be condemned. But neither should fear and ignorance be permitted to sanction prejudice and discrimination. Humanists recognize that challenging Islamists, Christian fundamentalists, and all others who hold to religious or ideological extremes is not a process with an easy or short-term conclusion, but it is the way toward progress.
Humanists see no contradiction, on the one hand, between their longstanding adherence to principles that run contrary to religious beliefs and, on the other, their strong distaste for efforts to propagate a crusade mentality against Islam or any other religion. Religious liberty means freedom for all: freedom to peacefully affirm and practice a faith, freedom from religious coercion, and freedom to peacefully leave or reject a faith. Such religious liberty is and always has been a central tenet of humanism and is herewith reaffirmed.
(Original online posting can be found here: http://www.americanhumanist.org/news/details/2012-09-a-sensible-approach-to-islam)The following is a statement from American Humanist Association Board of Directors... more
Judith Sunderland, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, argues that laws which ban head and face coverings for Muslim women take away their human rights as much as laws which demand coverings.
"On April 11, 2011, Kenza Drider, a 32-year-old mother of four, broke the law in Paris: she wore the niqab in public. She had traveled by train from her home in Avignon to protest a new law banning the full-face Muslim veil in all public spaces throughout France.
In June 2010, 25-year-old Louiza (not her real name) was shot at close range with a paintball gun as she walked down the street in Grozny because she wasn't wearing a headscarf. That summer many women in the Russian republic of Chechnya fell victim to attacks and harassment during a "virtue campaign" to force women to cover themselves.
What these two incidents have in common is interference--sometimes brutal, always wrong--with the fundamental human rights of women in the name of religion, tradition or misguided protectionism."
But how do we define choice and how can we tell that women do have access to their personal rights so that they can make their own choices?
Read the full story at http://womensenews.org/story/religion/120922/banning-muslim-veil-denies-women-choice-tooJudith Sunderland, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, argues that laws which ban head... more