After more than 23 years in office, Tunisia’s President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, “Zinochet” as he was dubbed, was forced from power yesterday by popular protests.
These protests began after Mohamed Bou’aziz, an unemployed university graduate in the town of Sidi Bouzid, attempted to burn himself to death on December 17 when the produce he sold on the street to earn a living was confiscated. (He later died of his injuries.)
A frequently made defence of the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan:
“No-one has ever been executed under Pakistan’s blasphemy law”
While this is factually correct, it is a trope which ignores the violence and victimisation inflicted on Pakistan’s minorities by the slightest allegation of blasphemy. Take a look at this extremely distressing story of two Christian women who were beaten and publically humiliated by an angry mob over apparently frivolous blasphemy allegations. They and their family are now in hiding for fear of being killed.
“None of our relatives is ready to let us stay with them. They fear the wrath of the extremists, particularly after the assassination of Salmaan Taseer,” a male member of the family said over the phone from an undisclosed location.
The family and a non-governmental organisation that is helping them asked that their identities not be revealed, lest it put them in further danger. The names mentioned here are fictitious.
Islamic Research and Education Academy conference this Sunday
London – 14 January 2011
The Ibis international hotel group has been accused by lesbian and gay human rights campaigners of “irresponsibly hosting conferences by extremist anti-gay hate preachers”.
The next conference by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) will be held on Sunday 16 January at the Ibis Hotel in Earl’s Court in London.
The Ibis group is being urged to cancel the iERA booking and “stop hosting speakers who variously incite homophobic hatred and the killing of gay people.”
The iERA has featured Muslim fundamentalist preachers who advocate the criminalisation of homosexuality and even the death penalty for same-sex acts. They argue that it is necessary to execute gays to keep society pure. They defend these extreme teachings about homosexuality as a model that should be followed by contemporary societies.
Emel has published an uncritical article on the East London Mosque, which simply reproduces their lies unchallenged:
Critics of the mosque say it has invited extremist speakers and question its close ties with a grassroots group called Islamic Forum Europe (IFE), which some accuse of being “fundamentalist,” and Jamaat e-Islami, an Islamic political party in Bangladesh. “Despite all the attempts to smear us, there has never been a single example of extremist talk from the mosque itself,” says Khan. “On rare occasions it may be that someone speaking at an event for which a room or hall has been hired says something we neither agree with nor approve of.” To stop this, the mosque now takes a more stringent approach to vetting speakers and materials when third parties use its facilities. On the IFE, Khan says the group provides voluntary help to the mosque and is a tenant, with many others, in the business wing of the LMC – the IFE itself denies the “fundamentalist” tag and points out its many partnerships with non-Muslim groups. “There is no organisational or structural link with the Jamaat-e-Islami,” adds Khan.
In one of his many TV appearances, Zakir Naik was asked a question about Islam and slavery:
Even though Islam uplifted the status of slaves but why did it not abolish slavery completely?
Naik’s response is to waffle on, in his inimitable manner, irrelevantly about the banning of intoxicants during the Prophet’s lifetime. When he finally comes round to the answering the question posed on slavery, his answer is to throw up some truly bizarre fabrications, as can be seen from 2:10 into the video:
Muslim slavery still exists. In Sudan, Southerners are voting in a Referendum on Separation. They are voting for freedom from sharia law and an end to the slavery which the Arab Sudanese of the north have inflicted on them for centuries. For centuries Sudanese Arabs have been taking the black tribal peoples from the South as slaves for their personal use as well as exporting them to the Middle East and beyond. To this day this practice continues under the approving eye of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. Here he is (on the left) getting a rapturous welcome from Khaled Meshaal, leader of the Hamas who, along with Hezbollah, are all firm supporters of Bashir.
"Omar you killed 2 million kaafirs! Come here ya big softie!"
Here is an example of why, religious law or no religious law – if apprehended by a policeman for dangerous driving then women who wear the niqab must be prepared to remove the face veil to have the proper identity checks. The video is a news story of a woman who was stopped for dangerous driving, refused to comply take off her niqab, then proceeded to falsely accuse the arresting policeman of racism. Fortunately the entire exchange was filmed and the good sister was subsequently imprisoned.
If she feels inconvenienced by law which obliges her to remove her niqab when apprehended by a policeman, rather than accuse the law of racism, she can choose to live in Saudi Arabia, where she won’t have to drive, because being a woman, Saudi Islamic law does not allow her to get behind a wheel. Remember, if you wear a niqab, you are not allowed any more privileges than anyone else. And that means you, sister.
Last week, The Times carried a piece on its front page that discussed the seemingly growing phenomenon of Asian gangs, of predominantly Pakistani heritage, sexually exploiting young and vulnerable white girls in the Midlands and the North. The BNP have been openly using this issue for propaganda purposes for a number of years and have aimed at transforming it into an ‘Islam’ issue. The Times, however, have been much more balanced and focused on the importance of discussing the issue out in the open whilst simultaneously challenging the culture of silence that pervades such sensitive issues in this country.
The startling facts of this phenomenon are: There have been 17 court cases across 13 different towns and cities in the UK, predominantly northern towns with strong Northern Pakistani populations. In total, 56 men with an average age of 28 have been found guilty of crimes ranging from abduction to sex with a minor. Three of the 56 were white, 53 were Asian and 50 were Muslims of Pakistani heritage.
Just when you thought things in Pakistan could not possible get any more stupid:
Mohammad Shafi, 45, and his son Mohammad Aslam, 20, were arrested in April last year for removing a poster outside their grocery shop advertising an Islamic event in a nearby village which allegedly contained Koranic verses.
Judge Mohammad Ayub, heading an anti-terrorism court in the central Pakistani town of Muzaffargarh, handed down a life sentence to the pair on Monday, his assistant Faisal Karim told AFP by telephone.
The prosecution alleged organisers of the event, which commemorated the anniversary of the Prophet Mohammad’s birth, said the pair had “pulled the poster down, tore it and trampled it under their feet,” Karim said.
“The judge sentenced them to life imprisonment on charges of blasphemy and ordered them to pay a fine of 200,000 rupees ($2,350) each,” he said.