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January 07 2013

surveyork
17:05

Authorities in Indonesia's Aceh province are pressing ahead with a proposed law that would ban female passengers from straddling motorbikes, despite opposition from human rights activists who fear the move undermines the country's secular heritage.

Aceh introduced a version of sharia law in 2009 after it gained autonomy in a 2005 deal, ending a long-running separatist war. The Aceh laws regulate women's dress and public morality, require shops and other places to close at prayer time, and are enforced by a special unit. Punishments can include public caning.

December 23 2012

surveyork
20:48

December 22 2012

surveyork
23:34
(Beirut) – Saudi authorities should immediately drop all charges against the detained editor of a website created to foster debate about religion and religious figures in Saudi Arabia.

On December 17, 2012, the Jeddah District Court, which had been hearing the case against the editor, Raif Badawi, referred it to a higher court on a charge of apostasy, which carries the death penalty. The charges against him, based solely to Badawi’s involvement in setting up a website for peaceful discussion about religion and religious figures, violate his right to freedom of expression.

December 17 2012

surveyork
17:25
Play fullscreen
What religion has contributed to the world this month - Episode 1 (November/December 2012) - YouTube

November 27 2012

surveyork
21:13
surveyork
06:25
UK health and social workers and those in the criminal justice system are increasingly having to understand belief in spiritual possession among ethnic minorities, with new research highlighting a particular issue with some sections of the British Asian community blaming mental health problems on the supernatural.

November 01 2012

surveyork
02:02

Cairo: Egypt’s Shiites have lashed out at a local film, which they say is disrespectful to the daughter and grandchildren of the Prophet Mohammad.

“The Egyptian Shittes are considering legal action against the film and will request it be banned for insulting the people of the Prophet’s House,” said Baha Anwar, the spokesman for the Shiite minority in the predominantly Sunni country.

A controversial scene in the recently released film titled Abdou Muta (Abdou, the Deadly Man), shows the famed belly dancer performing at a folk fiesta to a tune referring to the Prophet’s daughter Fatima and her two sons, who are venerated by Shiites.

October 18 2012

surveyork
23:10
RABAT — Stone carvings in Morocco's High Atlas mountains dating back more than 8,000 years and depicting the sun as a pagan divinity have been destroyed by Salafists, a local rights group said on Wednesday.

October 12 2012

surveyork
09:35
Karachi: A mob, led by Islamic clerics, ransacked the house of a teenage Christian boy in Pakistan's port-city Karachi and set fire to furniture after he was accused of sending text messages with blasphemous content, a media report said on Thursday.
Teen boy in Pakistan accused of blasphemy via text messages | NDTV.com

October 11 2012

surveyork
07:50

September 30 2012

surveyork
21:25
AMRITSAR, India -- Hundreds of angry Muslims in southeast Bangladesh torched at least 10 Buddhist temples and dozens of homes Sunday after alleging that a Buddhist man insulted Islam on his Facebook page, authorities said.
surveyork
01:28
Multiple incidents over the last twelve months have underscored the appalling lack of freedom in many countries to express even the blandest criticism of either religion in general or the dominant religion in a particular country. To name just some examples, there are the cases involving Rimsha Masih, Hamza Kashgari, Alexander Aan, Sanal Edamaruku, Hamad al-Naqi, Pussy Riot, and Alber Saber.

September 26 2012

surveyork
14:59

The current effort by a group of Islamic nations, led by Turkey, to get the UN to ban blasphemy worldwide, is a threat to civil liberties and would be a major step backwards in promoting freedom and peace on our planet. It would put normal, reasonable people who simply want to speak their minds and discuss issues, at the mercy of the most extreme elements from any corner of the planet. It would stifle any debate about the role of religion in public life.

Such a resolution would contravene the UN's own Universal Charter of Human Rights; Article 19 states the right to freedom of opinion and expression. It also is contrary to the U.S. Constitution, and could not be implemented in the U.S.A.

Anti-blasphemy laws are a favorite tool of repressive regimes, precisely because blasphemy can be anything they say it is, even after the fact. It's bad enough when they do it in their own countries. To suggest that an imam in Libya has even the vaguest suggestion of a right to control what someone in Michigan says, is an outrage and a travesty. The supporters of such laws should consider that they would also be subjecting their own rights of speech to the control of the most radical Christian elements. Advocates of censorship assume the censors will always be people like themselves. But once the ability to censor is established, the most ruthless and power-hungry people always seek to wield that authority.

Nobody has the right to not be offended. Being offended is state of mind, and nobody can predict what comment someone somewhere in the world would deem as being against their religion. Provocation is also an interior state; if someone is provoked to violence by another's words, the one who committed violence is more at fault. Passing such a resolution would legitimize violence and impair efforts to reach reasonable accommodation through debate.

Petition | United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: Don't try to curtail free speech worldwide | Change.org

September 25 2012

surveyork
20:35
Human rights are not about protecting religions; human rights are to protect humans,” she said. “Who is going to be the decision-maker on deciding what blasphemy is?”

September 21 2012

surveyork
10:18
The freedom to think out loud on certain topics, without fear of being hounded into hiding or killed, has already been lost. And the only forces on earth that can recover it are strong, secular governments that will face down charges of blasphemy with scorn. No apologies necessary. Muslims must learn that if they make belligerent and fanatical claims upon the tolerance of free societies, they will meet the limits of that tolerance.

September 05 2012

surveyork
05:39
A court in the Maldives has ordered a public flogging for a 16-year-old girl who confessed to having pre-marital sex, in a ruling that Tuesday triggered widespread criticism from rights groups.

August 29 2012

surveyork
03:10
Critics say controversial laws are ripe for misuse and abuse, with accusations often stemming from personal disputes.

August 18 2012

surveyork
16:14
ISLAMABAD: An 11-eleven-year old Christian girl was accused of blasphemy and arrested for allegedly burning pages of a Noorani Qaida, a booklet used to learn the basics of the Holy Quran.

July 15 2012

surveyork
00:23
A Maldivian journalist, who narrowly survived a murder attempt last month, says Islamic extremists are pushing the country to "a very dangerous situation".

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).
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