Monday, March 16, 2009

Islamic Countries Most Likely to Torture Human Rights Activists...

Rights activists face torture and repression, says Amnesty

Human rights activists in the Middle East and North Africa still face the prospect of persecution, torture and repression for defending others, according to a new report by Amnesty International released on Wednesday. The report entitled 'Challenging Repression' looked at 20 countries on the region and said Iran, Syria and Egypt were among those that adopted a harsh response to human rights.

"Governments should be heralding the crucial role of human rights defenders in promoting and defending universal rights," said Malcolm Smart, director of the Middle East and North Africa.

"Instead, too often, they brand them as subversives or trouble-makers and use oppressive means to impede their activities. People are languishing in jails across the region simply for peacefully exercising their right to expression, association or assembly."

Amnesty said unfair trials that hand down severe punishments are carried out by courts in Syria and Egypt, which cite decades-long states of emergency, while online bloggers and Egyptian Coptic Christians are also subjected to harassment.

The report said any peaceful acts or expression deemed critical of Syrian authorities can be suppressed under a decree that penalises opposition to the socialist system or state.

"These offences can be punished by sentences ranging from imprisonment with hard labour to death," said Amnesty.

In Iran vague offences such as "insult", "slander", "dissemination of false information", and "anti-state propaganda" are routinely used to silence human rights activists, the report said.

Amnesty also said Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian and Bahai communities suffered discrimination "in law and practice".

"A climate of fear and repression prevails in Iran," said the report.

Rich Gulf countries were also singled-out for their arbitrary anti-terrorism laws such as the United Arab Emirates' decree law on the fight against terrorist crimes, which penalises even non-violent attempts to "disrupt public order, undermine security, expose people to danger or wreak destruction of the environment".

Bahrain and Qatar were praised by Amnesty for having established human rights organisations and committees, while Morocco was lauded for having the Arab world's first "truth commission", created to investigate four decades of human rights violations between 1956 and 1999.

However, Amnesty said Morocco continues to repress human rights defenders in the Western Sahara, which Morocco annexed in 1975, and Bahrain can use vague laws such as "encouraging hatred of the state" in order to prosecute human rights defenders.

The report attacked neighbouring Algeria for "continuing harassment and pressure from the authorities" against the human rights community, and said human rights defenders continued to face harassment in Tunisia.

Amnesty praised Israel for having outlawed the use of torture by Israeli forces in 1999 as a result of the many cases filed by Israeli and Palestinian human rights defenders.

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Libya Urged to Stop Torturing Christians for Leaving Islam...

Libya's feared intelligence service has "detained and tortured" four Christians for converting from Islam, as part of a wider crackdown on people embracing Christianity, human rights group said in comments monitored by Worthy News Thursday, March 12.

U.S.-based International Christian Concern (ICC) said the believers, whose names were not identified, were imprisoned for the past seven weeks in Tripoli, Libya's capital.

"Libya's External Security Organization is believed to be behind the detention and torture of the Christians" ICC said, citing local sources.

The security agents have reportedly barred families from visiting the detained converts and ICC said they "are putting severe physical and psychological pressure on the Christians in order to force them to reveal the names of other converts."

"Fearing for their lives, converts from Islam are on the run," the group added.


ICC said the detention and alleged torture of the Christian converts come despite efforts by Libya to improve ties with the international community.

Libya began re-establishing relations following the recent lifting of sanctions, which were imposed due to the country's involvement in the bombing of an American airliner, in which 270 people were killed.

However, "by torturing the four Christian converts and stifling religious freedom, Libya is once again violating basic principles of the international human rights law," ICC said. Libyan officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

"We call upon Libyan officials to stop torturing the four Christians and release them from detention," added ICC Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho. "Libya must respect the rights of its citizens to worship freely and not to be tortured. We particularly ask the Libyan leader and the current head of the African Union, Mr. Muammar Gaddafi, to set the prisoners free and demonstrate his country's commitment to respect human rights."

The group said it had urged its supporters to "pray for the safe release of the detained believers" and "for comfort and strength of their families."


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Islam's Creed- "Convert or die!"

Islam was spread by the sword
Dharmaveer, a software engineer in Bangalore, India has been studying Islam for the past 8 years, and has thoroughly read the Koran, five of the canonical Hadiths, the Biography of Mohamed, and various other books of Islamic jurisprudence. Currently he maintains a very informative blog

The following is his appeal to ALL Muslims in his latest blog entry:

"I wish to end by appealing to Muslim readers - please read all the accounts of Muhammad's life for yourself. Don't believe me. Read and judge for yourself. Your own humanity will tell you that this man was a cruel, manipulative charlatan. Most Muslims have been forced into Islam at some point in their family history. Please reject this religion that has been forced upon you. In Kashmir - the Hindus were forced into Islam by the cruel despot Sikandar Butshikan. If you read of how he imposed Islam by the sword, it will make your humanity cry. If you are Kashmiri, how can you stay in that religion that was forced upon your ancestors. If you are a muslim in Sindh, maybe one of the men murdered by Mohammad Bin Qasim was your forefather. If you are an Arab muslim, maybe the men murdered by Muhammad were your direct ancestors. Please leave this religion that has spread through violence, lies, and hatred. This is a sincere appeal to all Muslim readers."

Dharmaveer has such a beautiful Dhivehi name, he might as well be an honorary Maldivian patriot. I am echoing Dharmaveer's plea. Islam was spread in Maldives by force, just as it was spread elsewhere. In islands such as Dhambidhoo where Dhivehi resistance was deep-rooted our patriotic Buddhist monks and laity were slaughtered as late as a hundred years after the rest of our country was forcibly converted. Our Loamaafaanu documents and buried Buddhist ruins testify to this.

My appeal to my fellow Maldivians is the same as Dharmaveer's. Leave Islam and wipe out that ideology of hate completely from our peaceful shores.

(image courtesy of Aryamehr)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Saudi Moral Police Muscle in on Book Fair.....your beloved Adhaalathu Party will do the same...

Charms, tokens, enigmatic drawings and other items seized by the vice cops were displayed prominently in one of the largest booths at this year’s Riyadh International Book Fair. Instead of books, a television displayed how the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice reverses magical spells.

“What was in the commission’s booth showed clearly what they thought of the book fair and what they think of books,” one Saudi writer and intellectual told Arab News yesterday.

The book fair, which ends on Friday, has been marked with controversy once again — with liberal and literary minded people complaining of harassment by the commission. For their part, religious authorities have complained, not just about the mingling of men and women at the fair or how women are dressed, but also about how they claim their voices are being quelled by the visitors. Like last year, it was also often difficult to differentiate between official members of the commission and men who simply dress like them.

At one event featuring Saudi writer Abdu Khal, a man dressed in conservative Saudi attire (but with no identifying badge or other indication of legitimate authority) demanded that he be given the microphone.

“After 10 minutes of argument, we gave him the microphone whereupon he started an angry speech in which he accused the fair’s organizing committee of not giving equal opportunity to all,” said Abdu Khal.

An event dedicated to the literary work of Sudan’s Tayeb Salih descended into a debate over morals, interactions between men and women, and the relationship between Islam and literature in general.

The man asked Khal — a vocal critic of the commission — why prominent Saudi poets and literary people attacked conservative society by doing un-Islamic things: “Why can’t they be Muslim and literary at same time?” he asked the audience.

Many of those attending the event who had come to discuss literature and poetry confirmed the incident. Many expressed disapproval and narrated unpleasant incidents that took place at the fair.

“What happened will destroy the image of tolerance we have tried to maintain,” said Saudi writer and journalist Ruqaiyah Yaqub. “The fair respects all viewpoints and Islamic schools. However, some extremists took advantage of that and they took revenge as well.”

Yaqub, who wears a full veil, said that conservatives at the fair (it was impossible to tell if they were actual commission members or just conservatives) attacked her verbally for her tight-fitting abaya, demanding that she “thickly cover everything and wear decent clothes,” she added.

“It’s so ridiculous,” she scoffed. “I’m covering everything with my plain black Abaya and — I don’t know what they consider ‘decent’ — but I believe their main issue is the presence of women at the fair.”

Najet Mield, a representative of a French publishing house, said she was verbally harassed, too, for speaking to men who came to her booth to discuss the books her company sells.

“They questioned my respect for my religion by doing so, which is something they should be punished for doing,” she said angrily. “Women have sold products to men and vice versa since the time of the Prophet (pbuh). If these people knew history, they would know that.”

Mield said she’s a Dai’aa in France, which means she works to spread Islam. “I came a long the way to show my work and I came with an invitation from the Ministry (of Culture and Information),” she said.

After complaining to ministry officials at the fair, the government assigned Mield a minder by the name of Hassan Al-Ansary to accompany her to avoid future harassment.

In one of the more highly publicized incidents at the fair, Saudi writer Halemah Mozaffar was verbally accosted by men who identified themselves as commission members and accused her of immorality for not having her face covered and for signing books given to her by men — she had signed the books as the men had asked her to do so out of admiration for her work.

Halemah published the first academic book about Saudi theater this year. As the tradition of signing a book by the author was not unknown at previous book fairs in Riyadh, she arrived as arranged by the organizing committee. When she was preparing for her signing session, commission members and others were advising her to cover her face “even though it’s an issue where Islamic scholars have difference of opinion.”

“Still,” she added, “I thanked them for the advice and went on about my business, setting up the place where I would sign books.”

When men and women started to approach the stand, Halemah was stunned by the commission members sending away men and forming a human wall to prevent her from signing books for men or even talking to them.

“It was my surprise to find them waiting for me with a pre-intention to stop me from signing my book and even from talking to the crowd, among whom were my fellow writers and theater-specialist colleagues,” she said.

Even the women who wished to have a signed book, according to Halemah, were frightened away by the scene, as there were two commission members, five security guards and six soldiers present.

“The scene was humiliating, especially when some male writers who came to buy the book tried to get my signature on their copies, and were rudely pushed away.”

Halemah then signed the books she already had and tried to give them to some of her colleagues, but the commission members stood between them and ordered her to pass the book to the security guard, who would pass it on.

“His behavior with me was even more rude when I asked: ‘Isn’t the guard a man? Why is it acceptable for me to hand the book to a guard but not to the man who bought the book?’”

The worst happened, according to Halemah, when another prominent writer ‘thanked her after she signed his copy. “The commission member took him aside, scolding him for thanking me considering it an offense to address a woman even with a simple phrase such as ‘thank you,’” she added.

The two hours of continuous annoyance did not go unnoticed by the Ministry of Information and Culture, explained Halemah, “as they compensated me with another signing day according to my schedule,” a day that went smoothly regardless of the presence of commission members who demanded that men and women stand in separate lines. The commission members, she said, “were hovering around me, just waiting for me to commit what they considered a sin.”

Arab News tried to obtain comments from the commission members; they said they would not speak to women who didn’t wear full-face veils.

From Arab News

Monday, March 09, 2009

75-Year-Old Woman Sentenced to 40 Lashes for Socializing...

Does the Quran and Hadith say to flog grandma? Welcome to the Quran and Hadith culture.
What is in those books, it is the law for Dhivehin.

So we have employed people who understand Arabic and created the Maldives Figh Council to show Dhivehin where in the Quran and Hadith it is written to flog grandma.

You see, she disobeyed Alloahu(SWT) and listened to Shaithoan.

A 75-year-old Saudi Arabian woman has been sentenced to receive 40 lashes for hosting two unrelated men in her house, local media reported.

The Saudi daily newspaper al-Watan said the woman, Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi, has appealed her sentence after being charged with offenses against Islam by the religious police, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, CNN reported Monday.

Sawadi says the two men in her house were a man she considers her son because she breast-fed him as a baby and a friend who was escorting him as he delivered bread to the elderly woman.

"It's made everybody angry because this is like a grandmother," Saudi women's rights activist Wajeha Huwaider told CNN. "Forty lashes -- how can she handle that pain? You cannot justify it."

The U.S. broadcaster reported that Saudi religious police last week also detained two male novelists for questioning after they approached a female writer, Halima Muzfar, for an autograph at a book fair in Riyadh.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Children: What are your parents reading and listening to……..

I tried to highlight the importance of being mindful of what our grown-ups, especially men, are exposed to from the Muslim media industry. I would like to stress more on this topic, based on observations into how Islam and its books affect the sexual behaviors of our Maldivian adults.

Grown ups reading and listening to ayats and hadiths of sex-degrading lyrics are more likely to indulge in sexual behaviour towards people of younger age. -

Abdul Vain Abdul Rooney, the study lead author, told Dhivehistan Report(DR) on Wednesday, March 4 that "These texts and lyrics frequently portray aggressive males subduing submissive females, which may lead adolescents to incorporate this 'script' for sexual experience into their world view"

The study, conducted by researchers of the University of Mecca, graded the sexual aggressiveness of the Quran and Hadiths, using Hadiths by popular writers on the Muslim Hadithboard Charts, from the least to the most sexually degrading.

"Non-degrading” ayats and hadiths described sex in a non-specific way and as a mutually consensual act, while "degrading" ayats and hadiths described sexual acts as a purely physical, graphic and dominant act.

Mohammed (PBUH) confided to Aisha that he had dreamed of her before soliciting her from her father.

Sahih Bukhari 9.140
Narrated 'Aisha:
Allah's Apostle said to me, "You were shown to me twice (in my dream) before I married you. I saw an angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth, and I said to him, 'Uncover (her),' and behold, it was you. I said (to myself), 'If this is from Allah, then it must happen.' Then you were shown to me, the angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth, and I said (to him), 'Uncover (her), and behold, it was you. I said (to myself), 'If this is from Allah, then it must happen.' "

Ayesaha was a baby being “carried” by an angel when the Prophet dreamed of her.

Researchers then surveyed over 7110117 older men students aged 45 to 90 concerning their hadith preferences and their sexual behaviour. They found that 71 percent of the surveyed older men had fantasized intercourse with children. The rate was 84.6 percent among those exposed to sexually implicit ayats and hadiths and only 20.6 percent among those who had been least exposed.

In Mecca the study was hailed by experts as ringing an alarm bell against those trying to establishing censorship to sexual ayats and hadiths.

"The need is for children to be aware so that they can place limits and criticize and understand what their parents are reading and listening to," Abdul Muizzu Abdul Muhusin, a behavioural scientist in Cairo with the Mullah Corporation, told D.R.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 151
Narrated 'Aisha:
I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah's Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (Fateh-al-Bari
page 143, Vol.13)
Abdul Gayoom Abdul Kareem, the author of a study published in 2000 that also made the same association between ayats and hadiths and sexual behaviour, said the findings were “a wakeup call”.

In the classic history of "The Life of Muhammad" (Sirat Rasul Allah) by Ibn Ishaq, there is an account in which Muhammad expressed a marital interest in a crawling baby. This event seems to have occurred around the time of the Battle of of Badr which would have made Muhammad approximately 55 years old. He had married Ayesha two years earlier, when he was 53 years of age.

(Suhayli, ii. 79: In the riwaya of Yunus I. I. recorded that the apostle saw her (Ummu'lFadl) when she was a baby crawling before him and said, 'If she grows up and I am still alive I will marry her.' But he died before she grew up and Sufyan b. al-Aswad b. 'Abdu'l-Asad al-Makhzumi married her and she bore him Rizq and Lubab...1

Muhammad's interest in young girls extended beyond Ai'sha ('Ayesha) and it is not unusual to read news reports of old men marrying children in some Islamic countries, because they seek to follow the example of Muhammad who married a child.

Muhammad had such an interest in fondling young girls, he criticized even the lawful marriage union of two grown adults.

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: When I got married, Allah's Apostle said to me, "What type of lady have you married?" I replied, "I have married a matron' He said, "Why, don't you have a liking for the virgins and for fondling them?" Jabir also said: Allah's Apostle said, "Why didn't you marry a young girl so that you might play with her and she with you?' Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 17.

A senior member of the Maldives Figh council Abdul B. A. Abdul Naseem after studying these sexual ayats and hadiths in Arabia has declared a fatwa that a minimum age of marriage for girls was unconstitutional as such a practice would be against the dictates of the Quran and Hadith.

Children should view this with alarm because with expanded powers as a senior Figh Council member Abdul B.A Abdul Naseem is expected to preside over marriage of older men to babies in Maldives in accordance with the Quran and Hadith.

It must be however stressed the mode of action that children should adopt must be based on patience and wisdom. A physical censure of what is being watched or listened would simply not work, as expressed by Abdul Hannaan Abdul Ghaalib, president of the Parents First Parents Association of Medina, who asserts that loudspeaker technology at every mosque means it is "physically impossible" for children to monitor what their parents listen to or watch.

Thus a more holistic approach based on knowledge-based faith that is commenced from an appropriate early age of the young adult may perhaps be the only workable solution…

(Whatever that means)

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Muslim Cleric Probed over Marriage to 12-Year-Old Girl (Indonesia)...

JAKARTA - A MUSLIM cleric in Indonesia was questioned on Friday over his marriage to a 12-year-old village girl, police said.

The marriage between cleric Pujianto Cahyo Widiyanto, 43, and junior high school student Lutfiana Ulfa in August sparked an outcry from civic groups in the world's most populous Muslim country.

Widiyanto and his supporters say his actions are acceptable under Islam but others say he should abide by state law, which sets 16 as the minimum age for marriage.

'He has been questioned since this morning,' a police officer told AFP from Semarang in Central Java.

Although Indonesian law carries stiff penalties for paedophilia, arranged marriages between older men and girls are not uncommon, especially in poorer rural areas.

Most of the time they receive religious blessings, but - like Widiyanto's marriage - are not legally registered. -- AFP

Friday, March 06, 2009

Holy warriors of Allah are waging a jhad against joy

The attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team is part of a larger pattern.

Tell me, have you ever shared a gasp of wonder with more than half the population of the Earth? Have you ever, moments later, shared with the world a long, glorious, incredulous moment of joy? Of course you have. You are reading the sports pages. You know about joy and, more particularly, you know about a joy shared with a billion others.

Oh, I’ll never forget it, never, and it lasted only 9.69 seconds as Usain Bolt boogied his way to the gold medal in the 100 metres at the Olympic Games in Beijing last year.

I was there in the stadium, among the 91,000 who shared that gasp of disbelief — that long, head-wagging, blaspheming protest against the evidence of one’s own senses, then that realisation that the impossible dreams of humankind had been possibilised before our 182,000 eyes.

With the exultant beauty of the emotions in the stadium came the certainty that they would be duplicated across the time zones and the political boundaries, across the oceans and over the mountain ranges; that in a billion homes and bars and informal public places across the world, the same sporting miracle would have been celebrated in the same way. For a few brief seconds, the world was united in joy.

And this is what terrorists are waging war on. Theirs is a war against joy, a crusade against union, a jihad against humanity. After the terrorists — brave souls prepared to risk a battle against men with cricket bats while armed only with rifles and rocket launchers — made their attack on the Sri Lanka team, we have to wonder if big-time sport will become a worldwide target. If so, sport as we know it will be changed for ever. Big sporting events as we know them will no longer be feasible. What, then, will the world lose?

And, of course, there was Yelena’s night, when Yelena Isinbayeva, the Russian pole vaulter, brought a bed into the stadium so she could lie down while her rivals squabbled among themselves for the minor placings. Then, majestically, she cast her covers aside, won the competition — and then set about the Yelena Show.

In the course of an hour, in which time she pouted and tried on a sarong, she set an Olympic record and then a world record at 5.05 metres. It was a night on which the world discovered that there are few things better than watching a beautiful woman leap the height of a house, higher than any woman has gone before. It was a triumph of ambition, athleticism, skill, determination and sheer beauty.

And all of these, especially the last, are things that terrorism is opposed to.

Sport isn’t the most important thing in the world. Its very point is that it doesn’t matter at all. But it can be the vector for things such as truth and beauty, youth and hope, unity and joy — and when the terrorists turned their rocket launchers on sport, they declared war on all these things.

Few of us really know what these people are for. But they have made it very clear what they are against.

Read it in full here

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Saudi Men Rotate Temporary Wives in 'Holy' City of Medina...

Al-Zawaj Al-Urufi: A marriage of convenience (or prostitution with an Holy Arabic name)

MADINAH: With an increased number of expatriates in Madinah, Saudi men ­— often already married — are resorting to marrying young expatriate women through nonstate-recognized nikahs/marriages known in Arabic as Al-Zawaj Al-Urufi.

“The number of expatriates in Madinah — those who are resident, legal or illegal — has far exceeded the number of Saudis here,” said a source at Madinah Municipality, who asked his name not be published.

“Some expatriates try to earn cash by marrying their daughters or sisters to Saudis. This has resulted in a remarkable increase in the number of such marriages,” he added.

Marriage registers — known in the Kingdom as “mazuns” — are accredited by the Saudi authorities and are not allowed to carry out marriages, especially those between Saudis and non-Saudis, without legal permits. Saudis wanting to marry non-Saudis must first obtain marriage permits from the Ministry of Interior, something that can take months to years to acquire.

There are, however, unregistered expatriate sheikhs who are ready to conduct the rites of an Islamic nikah. Such marriages are legal according to Islamic Law, but not acceptable under Saudi rules.

Kamal Muhammad, an IT teacher at a boys’ school in Madinah, said such marriages cost no more than SR10,000. “I learned about them from a friend who arranged an appointment for me with an expatriate man who was looking for a husband for his daughter,” he said.

“The father showed me three of his daughters and asked me to choose one. He made a condition that the dowry should be no less than SR7,000 and that I should stay with her at the same house,” he said.

He added that after agreeing to the condition he made his choice. “The father brought a sheikh who was of his own nationality to write the contract. I paid them SR5,000 and promised to give the remainder of the money later. We then underwent a wedding party that was attended by the bride’s mother and other close relatives. I never expected things to move so fast and to be married within a few minutes for such a small amount of money,” he said.

Kamal said his father-in-law also asked him to pay SR600 each month for his wife’s upkeep. “Of course I readily agreed. Where can you find such a young and beautiful wife?” he said.

He, however, divorced his wife after five months after he came to know such marriages were common trade among some foreigners. “She won’t lose any time and will remarry the next day,” he added.

Saudi businessman Ghazi said he has unofficially married and divorced a number of expatriate women. “My Saudi wife is the principal of a school; her work is her priority. I do not want to have a normal second marriage and all the responsibilities that come with it such as setting up another home and having children,” he said. “I want a woman who spoils me and makes me happy. So I’ve married five foreign ladies in this unofficial way. These marriages are cheap and nor do I need to rent a home. I just live with them at their own homes,” he said.

Ghazi said his five wives were of different nationalities. He added that the “best” was an African woman from Chad.

Khaled, a secondary school teacher, also agrees. “The common law marriage provides us with the opportunity to change. We can tie the knot with all kinds of women, old or young, white or black, without our Saudi wives and relatives finding out,” he said.

“The foreign wives will prefer to keep silent for fear of deportation because most of them are illegally staying in the Kingdom,” he said.

Fatima, an Afghan woman, said she underwent an unofficial marriage with a Saudi man who promised to make their marriage legal afterward. “He divorced me when he learned I was pregnant. My father had to beg him to come to hospital to name my baby boy after him. He did that but has disappeared since,” she said.

Fatima said her baby boy is now two and that she loves him dearly. “I was warned several times about marrying in such a way but I wouldn’t listen. I was tempted by money and my ex-husband’s promises to make the marriage legal afterward,” she said.

Continue reading here