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July 07 2012

surveyork
17:40
Graphic Video: Muslims Slaughter Convert to Christianity in Tunisia :: Middle East Forum

Liberal talk show host Tawfiq Okasha recently appeared on "Egypt Today" airing a video of Muslims slicing a young man's head off for the crime of apostasy, in this case, the crime of converting to Christianity and refusing to renounce it. The video—be warned, it is immensely graphic—is embedded here (the actual execution appears from minute 1:13-4:00).

May 29 2012

surveyork
11:55

Human rights groups fear religious intolerance in Indonesia is going unchecked.

"There's now a religious intolerance case almost every day in Indonesia," Bonar Naipospos, a researcher with the Setara Institute, said.

BBC News - Is Indonesia becoming less tolerant?

May 27 2012

surveyork
13:33

Alex Aan, a 30-year-old civil servant, is a gentle, soft-spoken, highly intelligent young man who simply gave up his belief in God when he saw poverty, war, famine and disaster around the world.

He faces the possibility of up to six years in prison, charged with blasphemy, disseminating hatred and spreading atheism. Radical Muslims came to his office, beat him up, and called the police after reading about his views on Facebook.

Alex is the first atheist in Indonesia to be jailed for his belief, but his case is symptomatic of a wider increase in religious intolerance in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. The previous Sunday, I joined a small church in Bekasi, a suburb of Jakarta, for a service, but found the street blocked by a noisy, angry mob and a few police.

May 14 2012

surveyork
20:05

The St. Petersburg Declaration

April 5, 2007

We are secular Muslims, and secular persons of Muslim societies. We are believers, doubters, and unbelievers, brought together by a great struggle, not between the West and Islam, but between the free and the unfree.

We affirm the inviolable freedom of the individual conscience. We believe in the equality of all human persons.

We insist upon the separation of religion from state and the observance of universal human rights.

We find traditions of liberty, rationality, and tolerance in the rich histories of pre-Islamic and Islamic societies. These values do not belong to the West or the East; they are the common moral heritage of humankind.

We see no colonialism, racism, or so-called "Islamophobia" in submitting Islamic practices to criticism or condemnation when they violate human reason or rights.

We call on the governments of the world to

  • reject Sharia law, fatwa courts, clerical rule, and state-sanctioned religion in all their forms; oppose all penalties for blasphemy and apostasy, in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights;
  • eliminate practices, such as female circumcision, honor killing, forced veiling, and forced marriage, that further the oppression of women;
  • protect sexual and gender minorities from persecution and violence;
  • reform sectarian education that teaches intolerance and bigotry towards non-Muslims;
  • and foster an open public sphere in which all matters may be discussed without coercion or intimidation.

We demand the release of Islam from its captivity to the totalitarian ambitions of power-hungry men and the rigid strictures of orthodoxy.

We enjoin academics and thinkers everywhere to embark on a fearless examination of the origins and sources of Islam, and to promulgate the ideals of free scientific and spiritual inquiry through cross-cultural translation, publishing, and the mass media.

We say to Muslim believers: there is a noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine;

to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha'is, and all members of non-Muslim faith communities: we stand with you as free and equal citizens;

and to nonbelievers: we defend your unqualified liberty to question and dissent.

Before any of us is a member of the Umma, the Body of Christ, or the Chosen People, we are all members of the community of conscience, the people who must choose for themselves.

Endorsed by:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Magdi Allam
Mithal Al-Alusi
Shaker Al-Nabulsi
Nonie Darwish
Afshin Ellian
Tawfik Hamid
Shahriar Kabir
Hasan Mahmud
Wafa Sultan
Amir Taheri
Ibn Warraq
Manda Zand Ervin
Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi

surveyork
19:49
Some of us have embraced other religions but most of us have simply left Islam without believing in any other religion. We believe in humanity. We believe that humans do not need to follow a religion to be good. All we need to follow is the Golden Rule. All we have to do is to treat others the way we expect to be treated. This is the essence of all the goodness. All good religious teachings stem from this eternal principle. This is the ultimate guidance humanity need. This is the Golden Rule.
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