Death Sentence for Blasphemy (Pakistan)

A Pakistani judge sentenced a Muslim man to death Wednesday on charges he insulted Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, a court official said.

Falk Sher, a court administrator, said Judge Shoaib Ahmad Roomi also sentenced the man, Shafeeq Latif, to life in prison and fined him $75,000 on a separate charge of desecrating pages of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, in 2006.

Latif was accused of making derogatory remarks about Muhammad.

The trial was held in the eastern city of Sialkot after police arrested him in a nearby village.

Latif’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment, but Sher said the defendant had the right to appeal.

Under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, anyone who insults Muhammad can be punished by death. Scores of people, including Muslims and minority Christians, are facing trial under the laws, which human rights groups have demanded be abolished.

New York-based Human Rights Watch urged the government on Tuesday to abolish the death penalty in a country where nearly a quarter of all inmates are on death row.

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Islamists Kidnap 12 Teachers and Students (Philippines)

Manila, Philippines (AHN) – Armed men believed to be members of a Muslim militant group on Tuesday morning abducted 12 teachers and students while they were preparing for classes.

Reports reaching the capital Manila has shown that the armed men stormed the village of San Roque elementary school in Lanao del Norte, southern Philippines Tuesday morning at around 7am, local time.

The abduction of the teachers and students came as government negotiators are still trying to negotiate for the safe release of television journalist Ces Drilon, her cameraman and professor-guide, who were abducted by members of the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Zamboanga also in southern Philippines.

The kidnappers of Drilon and company earlier gave until noon Tuesday to receive at least $700,000 in ransom or they will behead their hostages.

They later extended their deadline for ransom and promised not to hurt the journalist.

In Tuesday’s kidnapping, the military said the suspects took mostly female captives and left behind male students.

The armed men fled with the victims on foot, authorities say.

The military is now conducting search and rescue operations for the victims.

Sudan On The Brink

By Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, June 16, 2008

It just shows what is wrong with our media.

The front pages of most newspapers last week carried a story about a horrific plane crash in the Sudan that cost 100 lives. While this tragedy was certainly newsworthy, hardly a single media outlet has been covering the real story in Africa’s largest country that could turn into a human catastrophe for millions of its non-Muslim citizens.

A twenty-year civil war between the Sudan’s Arab and Islamic North and Christian and animist African South that ended with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 is set to explode again. Fighting broke out last month between the North’s Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the armed forces of southern Sudan, in the oil-rich Abyei region, resulting in dozens of deaths.

The Abyei region, located between North and South, is technically part of northern Sudan, having been transferred there by the British colonial power in 1905. According to the CPA’s Abyei Protocol, which was put into the accord at America’s insistence, the Abyei area, which is inhabited mainly by Africans of the Dinka tribe, is supposed to hold a vote to decide whether it wants to join the South. In 2011, the entire South Sudan will have its own referendum on independence.

Disgracefully, the world hardly noticed that the town of Abeyei was destroyed in May by aggressive federal forces, which are controlled by the ruling National Congress Party in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, located in the North. As usual, it was the civilians who suffered the most. More than 100,000 Dinka, according to one report, were driven from their homes. Many Dinka arrived in refugee camps with little or no belongings with some grieving for their children who were lost in the flight.

Roger Winter, a highly respected expert on the Sudan who was once appointed Special Representative of the Deputy Secretary of State for Sudan by the Bush administration, visited the area a few days after the attack by the government’s army, which now occupies the ruined and looted town.

“The town of Abyei has ceased to exist,” stated Winter in his report. “Brigade 31 of the Sudanese Armed Forces, or SAF, has displaced the entire civilian population and burned Abyei’s market and housing to the ground.”

Such Arab atrocities are nothing new to southern Sudan’s black African population. This large area of about 227,000 square miles and 11 million people was once one of the main sources of slaves for the Islamic world until British colonization put a stop to the inhuman practice. But when the British left and the Sudan was granted its independence in 1956, the Arab North’s oppression of the non-Muslim, African South quickly picked up where it left off.

As a result, African Sudanese almost immediately formed a resistance movement that fought a civil war against the Arab North that ravaged the South and ended with a peace treaty in 1972. During that time, the odious custom of slave raiding also returned, supported by the Arab world’s new oil wealth. In 1962, a Swiss journalist recorded that hundreds of black African Sudanese were enslaved and sent to northern Sudan, and some even further on to Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other oil sheikdoms.

An Italian journalist, who was in the Sudan in 1966, wrote “…the Arabs continue in the Sudan what could be called their national sport, hunting slaves, and the bondage of Negro Sudanese who are guilty of not only of having a black skin but also of not being Muslim.” Arab slavers even had the audacity to seize a Sudanese African member of the pre-independence legislature and put him up for sale for $1,600; but he managed to escape.

All in all, it is estimated that between 500,000 and one million people died in Sudan’s first civil war.

The second civil war, which ended with the 2005 CPA, began in 1983 when the Khartoum government threw out the 1972 peace accord, squashed the South’s constitutional guarantees, declared Arabic the country’s only official language and made sharia the law of the land. In other words, everyone, both North and South, had to become Muslim and Arabic. This was reinforced when the northern government declared jihad against the South in 1989.

In this second round of civil strife, the racial and religious hatred of the Sudanese Arab for the Sudanese African was in full evidence. More than two million southern Sudanese perished and another two million were displaced, becoming exiles in their own country, as the Islamic government embarked on a policy of genocide.

Evidence of this genocide was on display last January in the United States when dozens of young, southern Sudanese men gathered at Harry S. Truman College in Chicago to celebrate their common “birthday” (since they fled the war as children, many do not know their real birthdays). They form part of the 20,000 “Lost Boys” who had fled to Ethiopia, walking hundreds of miles across harsh and dangerous terrain to avoid almost certain death. The last eight years, the United States has taken in about 4,000 of these refugees, many of whom have gone to college themselves in their new country.

Again, like in the first Sudanese civil war, the slave trade made its loathsome reappearance. Francis Bok, whose story was told in Front Page Magazine, became its most visible representative in the United States. Captured in a slave raid at age seven, the southern Sudanese Dinka boy spent ten cruel years as an Arab slave before he escaped and eventually made his way to America where he has testified across the country and before Congress about his barbarous experience.

With such a record of savage brutality, one wonders why the media, the Bush administration and the rest of the world for that matter, remain silent as the Sudan appears to be sliding into a horrific and unthinkable third civil war. It is all the more puzzling when one considers the justifiable media attention given to, and the international condemnations made, concerning the Darfur conflict.

President Bush himself enjoys great prestige among the people of South Sudan for having helped bring about the 2005 CPA treaty; so much so that the African inhabitants there want to see the Republicans stay in the White House under John McCain. They well remember President Clinton’s bombing of Serbia to force the end of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, while he undertook no action on their behalf against a Khartoum government that was much more inhumanly ferocious and merciless.

‘The Democrats did nothing for us,” said a southern Sudanese journalist. “They were not interested.”

Winter believes the reason the Bush administration’s inaction is that it will soon be out of power and is in “meltdown mode”, which Sudan’s Islamic government well recognises. Moreover, President Bush is currently attempting to “normalize” relations with the Khartoum regime, probably as part of his overall strategy in the War on Terror, holding talks to this end in Rome in April and May. As a result, Bush does not wish to endanger these efforts by vigorously responding to the Abyei attack.

This is disappointing. Appeasement and inaction never work and will only encourage the predatory Arab Khartoum government to commit more depredations against a people that would make natural allies of America, especially if and when they get their own country. Already, the northern leaders are refusing to accept the Abyei’s boundaries that were set by an international committee, a term of the Protocol.

To their credit, during the recent primaries the three main candidates, John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, issued a joint declaration saying they will “…continue to keep a close watch on events in the Sudan and speak out for the marginalized peoples.” They also condemned the Sudanese government for breaking the CPA. Hopefully, their actions will match their words after January’s inauguration.

Abyei has been called the cornerstone to peace for the Sudan. What happens there will determine whether the Arab North sincerely desires peaceful co-existence with the South. But a southern Sudan army spokesman ominously says the population displacement in Abyei indicates the Khartoum government is actually preparing “a final solution.”

If this is the case, western media outlets should be calling politicians in their countries to account for their inaction regarding the developing human catastrophe in South Sudan. They should also be putting the Khartoum government under the microscope of international criticism and be calling for sanctions. In the long term, the world press’ duty will be to monitor closely the previously agreed referenda in Abyei and the South Sudan to ensure the will of these long-suffering peoples is respected.

Twice in the past half century the African people of the southern Sudan have called for help against a murderous racial and religious hatred that has left their country littered with killing fields; but the West and its media scarcely heard them. So to ignore any aggression by Khartoum’s Arab regime that may cause such heart-rending appeals to be made a third time is both unpardonable and unconscionable.

Saudi wife arrested after going for an illegal drive

A woman has been arrested for breaking Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers.

She was stopped by a police patrol after driving six miles to collect her husband near their home in the town of Buraida.

As her ‘legal guardian’ he had to sign a declaration that he would not let his wife drive again.

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Saudi women look at a new car

Saudi women look under the bonnet of a new car at a showroom in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where women sell cars to female buyers. Although women are banned from driving in Saudi Arabia, they can own cars

It is not yet known if she has been released or if she faces legal action.

Saudi Arabia is the only country that forbids women from driving.

The ban is based on religious rulings from clerics who say it is un-Islamic.

Civil rights activists in the country have begun lobbying the government to lift the ban.

Iran hangs 17-year-old boy despite signing treaty banning execution of minors

Iran has hanged a 17-year-old boy despite pleas from the international community  for Tehran to honour treaties it has signed banning the execution of minors.

Mohammad Hassanzadeh was the second juvenile offender to be hanged in Iran this  year.

At least 30 youths who were under 18 when they committed offences have been  executed since 1990, seven of them last year alone.

More than 85 child offenders are currently on death row in Iran, the human  rights watchdog added.

Hassanzadeh, who was convicted of killing a 10-year-old boy when he was 15, was  hanged in a prison in the western city of Sanandaj on Tuesday, Iran’s daily  Kargozaran newspaper reported.

Two other juvenile offenders due to be executed for murder on Wednesday were  given a one-month reprieve in which to reach “blood money” agreements with the  families of their victims.

But on the same day eight men convicted of murder and rape were sent to the  gallows in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, bringing to at least 100 the number  of executions in Iran this year.

Only China has a higher execution rate.

Hassanzadeh’s execution was “yet another blatant violation by the Iranian  authorities of their international obligations”, Amnesty International said.

Iran’s judiciary chief Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi had advised the local court  to settle Hassanzadeh’s case “through reconciliation” with his victim’s family  but no deal was reached, Kargozaran said.

Under Islamic sharia law, a victim’s family can spare a murderer from execution  by accepting “blood money”, or financial compensation. The culprit then serves  a prison sentence instead.

Human rights groups said Iran used to circumvent commitments not to execute  minors by keeping them on death row until they reached 18.

But Hassandzadeh was 17-and-a-half at the time of his hanging, Kargozaran said.

Human rights campaigners have also tried to raise the legal age of  responsibility under Iran’s Islamic legal system.

A boy is held punishable from  the age of 15 and a girl from the age of nine.

Iranis party to two international treaties that outlaw the execution of those  who were under the age of 18 at the time of their offence.

Capital crimes in the Iran include murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking  and adultery.

Earlier this year Ayatollah Shahroudi ordered an end to public executions,  unless they had his special approval.

He also banned publishing pictures and  broadcasting video footage of executions.

The bans followed a spate of public executions last year which were widely  covered by the international media and provoked global condemnation.

One of the two youths given a temporary reprieve on Wednesday said he had  agreed to sign a confession without knowledge of its content after he had been  tortured.

“I am a 21-year-old, a young man who was only 16 when he entered prison. Like  any other teenager [I was] still living my children dreams,” Mohammad Feda’i  wrote in a letter obtained by Amnesty International.

“I was beaten and flogged  repeatedly… They hanged [suspended] me from the ceiling and left me with no  hope of living.”

Feda’i was convicted of a murder committed in a snooker club in 2004. Amnesty says he acted in self-defence and that he was convicted after an unfair trial.

The two treaties are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Blog

Read it here if you’re interested: http://www.ahmadinejad.ir/

The Real Victims of Islam: Australia Immigration rethink needed

Australia would do well to open its doors to victims of persecution in Islamic countries. In contrast with the various problems caused by Muslim immigrants and their support for the Qur’an which condones abuse of women, children and mandates discrimination towards non-Muslims, the Christian and Jewish victims of Islamic imperialism have settled in to their new countries. They do not create such a fuss. How often do you see headlines such as ‘Assyrian Christian bishops call women cats’/dogs’ meat’ or  ‘Police form Jewish crime Squad’ or ‘Buddhists shoot at police station in drive-by shooting’?  The reality is, and everyone knows it deep down, that those sympathetic to Judeo-Christian and other non-Muslim values tend to settle much more peaceably into their new countries, than the Al Hilalis and Hizb-ut Tahrirs of the world. The latter come with the loaded gun of their negative perception of western civilization. They come with the attitude, that eventually the place must convert to their ways.  If a Jew, Christian, Buddhist or secular humanist wishes to change their beliefs, no-one will threaten to execute them, as will certain Muslims especially Hizb-ut Tahrir as they clearly stated in black and white in their Australian Constitution. Why I say ‘certain Muslims’ is that I believe that some do respond the ‘natural law’ in their hearts and can see that such execution is wrong. However, they are cowed into silence by the powerful members of their community and will hardly ever condemn them.

Some countries are waking up as to who the real victims are with regard to Islam.

Some countries are waking up as to who the real victims are with regard to Islam.

Germany may open its doors to Iraqi Christians fleeing from persecution by Muslim extremists if the countries of the TerrorizedEuropean Union vote to refuse to do so. Germany’s Commissioner for Immigration Affairs, Maria Boehmer, told the website ankawa.com that “members of the Christian minority are regularly threatened by Muslim gangs and heads of families are forced to convert to Islam or leave the country in 24 hours.” (source)

And some like lawyer Robert DeKelaita in the United States, devote their time to helping Iraqi Christians escape Muslim persecution. (reference)

And if anyone doubts there is a crisis in Christians being abused and attacked by Muslims in our era read this (LINK)

And the words of Louis Sako, the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk who is pleading for help for the Christians to remain in Iraq and not increasingly become refugees.

“Do not leave us alone. Do not leave us isolated and abandoned”…”There are 100,000 refugees in Syria”, the archbishop said, “30,000 in Jordan, many thousands in Lebanon, Egypt, and Turkey. They know that their situation is temporary, and the prospect of returning home seems like a dream.” (source)

Aussie Assyrians
Australian Assyrians

Whether our assistance takes the form of helping the Christians in Iraq, or assisting them, the Jews, Buddhists or Hindus, to settle in our country – our moral duty is to assist these victims of Islamic imperialism and oppression, wherever they may be in the world.

Source: http://islammonitor.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1408&Itemid=64