Nine Adulterers to Be Stoned (Iran)

Eight women and one man convicted of adultery are set to be stoned to death in Iran, according to activists and lawyers.

Shadi Sadr, a lawyer and women’s rights activist, said the nine were convicted of adultery in separate cases in different Iranian cities.

“Their verdicts are approved, and they may be executed at any time,” she said, adding that trial protocol was not applied properly in the cases.

Six of the nine were convicted based solely on judges’ decisions with no witnesses or the presence of their lawyers during their confessions, she said.

Most of the nine come from areas of Iran that have low rates of literacy and some did not understand the cases against them, she said. One had pleaded guilty to adultery even though she did not know the meaning of the charge.

The nine are between 27 and 50 years old, among them a male music teacher who was convicted of adultery for having an affair with one of his students, the activists said.

“We are trying to stop the implementation of their verdicts. And secondly, we want to amend the country’s penal law, in which death by stoning is prescribed,” she said.

Under Iran’s Islamic laws, adultery in the only capital offence punishable by stoning. Other capital offences in Iran include murder, rape, armed robbery, apostasy, blasphemy, drug trafficking, prostitution, treason and espionage.

The punishment is also applied in some other countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Nigeria.

A man is usually buried up to his waist, while a woman is buried up to her neck. Those carrying out the verdict then throw stones until the condemned dies.

Stoning was widely imposed in the early years after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. But in recent years, it has seldom been applied, though the government rarely confirms when it carries out stoning sentences. The last stoning death confirmed by the government was in July last year.

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Iran: Death to non-Muslims

Lawmakers in Iran are considering a proposal to make the death penalty automatic for those who leave the Muslim faith.

Abe Ghafari of Iranian Christians International, Inc. (ICI) was at least a little surprised to learn the news. “Before, it was like an option that an Islamic judge could decide to use or not to use — but now it will become an automatic thing. And from the language of the legislation, it seems like something that cannot be appealed,” Ghafari contends.

The death penalty would primarily apply to those who convert to the Christian faith. “There are large numbers of conversions from Islam, maybe even in the tens of thousands every year, and this is causing concern in the Islamic circles in Iran,” Ghafari explains.

People who use the Internet to convert people away from the Muslim faith will also be subject to the death penalty. Ghafari was asked if this information shocked him. “Yes, it does a bit because we do know that under Islamic law of Iran, there was always this option of issuing death penalties for any conversions from Islam. So this was already available, but it looks like they just want to escalate persecution – making the death penalty almost automatic for anyone who converts from Islam,” Ghafari adds.

While Christians are the primary target, anyone converting to the Bahá’í faith will also face the death penalty. Ghafari sees trouble ahead, and is hopeful Christians everywhere will pray for the underground church in Iran.

Information on legislation provided by ICI about Iranian apostasy and the death penalty is available here.

Clerics Warn Women Against Leaving Their Homes (Yemen)

A group of Yemeni clerics warned women from going outside of their homes. The order, they claim, is to protect society from “vice and sexual chaos”.

The clerics also said that political role for women contradicts Islamic values.

“We warn against opening the door for women, who will get out of their houses and mix with men,” the clerics stated in a booklet distributed during a meeting.

“Women getting out of their houses and mixing with men in places of work will lead to non-marital relations … loss of decency, adultery and illegal children,” the booklet said.

A question to these clerics would be- why is the onus on the women to give up her basic rights? A woman cannot cause a loss of decency or commit adultery without a man.  Shouldn’t they both be equally culpable?

It is this backwards thinking that does not do women any justice.

Two Teacher-Human Rights Activists Sentences to Death (Iran)

Tehran, 11 July (AKI) – Two Kurdish teachers in Iran, Farzad Kamangar and Farhad Vakili, have been sentenced to death.

The two teachers were known for their work in the campaign calling for greater respect for human rights.

Kamangar, is among the founders of the independent union of teachers in Iranian Kurdistan, and a known trade union activist.

Various international associations and institutions, including the European Union, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have protested against Kamangar’s death sentence.

They have called for a fair and impartial trial for the Kurdish teacher who was accused of “collaborating with armed organisations” and “counter-revolutionary activities”.

The news that Kamangar received the death penalty, even surprised his lawyer who said that they would appeal the sentence at the international court at the Hague.

A Tale Of Two Afghan Women (Graphic)

Face covered Taliban militants pose before they execute two Afghan women in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, on Saturday, July 12, 2008. Taliban fighters told Associated Press Television News that the two were executed for allegedly running a prostitution ring catering to U.S. soldiers and other foreign contractors at a U.S. base in Ghazni city.

Face covered Taliban militants exercise before they executed two Afghan women in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, on Saturday, July 12, 2008. Taliban fighters told Associated Press Television News that the two were executed for allegedly running a prostitution ring catering to U.S. soldiers and other foreign contractors at a U.S. base in Ghazni city.

Two unidentified Afghan Women chat with each other a few minutes before they were executed by Taliban in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, on late Saturday, July 12, 2008. Taliban fighters told Associated Press Television News that the two were executed for allegedly running a prostitution ring catering to U.S. soldiers and other foreign contractors at a U.S. base in Ghazni city.

Local people watch two Afghan women shot and killed by Taliban in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, on Sunday, July 13, 2008. Taliban fighters told Associated Press Television News that the two were executed for allegedly running a prostitution ring catering to U.S. soldiers and other foreign contractors at a U.S. base in Ghazni city.

Geert Wilders: Prisoner of Islam

By Diana West

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands — Having run the polite-but-grim gauntlet of Dutch government security to gain access to Geert Wilders, I finally understood what the 24-hour security requirements of the man’s continued existence really mean: To make the survival of Western-style liberty in the Netherlands his political cause, this Dutch parliamentarian has to live under high-tech lock and key.

This stunning paradox, with no end in sight, illustrates how far political freedom in the West has already eroded. Think of it: For writing about the repressive ideology of Islam, for arguing against the inequities of Sharia (Islamic law), for making a video (“Fitna”) to warn about Islamic jihad, Wilders lives in his own non-Islamic country under a specifically Islamic death threat.

If it is politically incorrect to notice this, it is also indisputably true. True, too, is that, sans state security, this death threat could conceivably be carried out anytime, anywhere — from the picturesque streets outside the Dutch parliament, to the house Wilders hasn’t slept in since 2004. That, of course, was when, on an Amsterdam street, a Muslim assassin plunged a knife into Theo van Gogh’s corpse, thus attaching the Islamic manifesto threatening both Wilders and his then-parliamentary colleague, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, with death.

Not long ago, political debate in the Netherlands met with, well, more political debate. Now, however, with a growing Muslim minority — and it’s politically incorrect to notice this, too — political debate sometimes meets with Islam-inspired political assassination. At least it has, traumatically, twice in recent years: once, with the 2002 murder of the anti-Islamic-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn by an animal rights activist who claimed Fortuyn was scapegoating Muslims; and the following year with the ritualistic Islamic murder of Van Gogh, director of “Submission,” a short video made with Hirsi Ali about Islamic mistreatment of women. In all, such Islam-inspired violence has been enough to chill Islam-inspired debate.

And that’s just the situation at home. This week, even as Amsterdam’s chief public prosecutor, Leo de Wit, announced that no charges would be brought against Wilders for “discrimination” or “incitement to hatred” related to Wilders’ writings or video, Jordan announced it is bringing a “Fitna”-related criminal case against the Dutch parliamentarian.

In other words, Jordan will indict a Dutch politician according to Jordanian (read: Islam-inspired) law. “Jordanian authorities are not aiming to arrest” the Dutch leader of the Freedom Party, Radio Netherlands Online reports. “They say the decision to prosecute was taken in order to send a signal to the Netherlands.”

A “signal”? How about a gag? Of course, like other Western peoples, the Dutch seem content to censor themselves, happily mouthing multicultural platitudes that effectively rationalize their own culture’s Islamization. Not Wilders.

I recently asked the 44-year-old Dutchman what was stronger in his country: Islam or multiculturalism.

“Unfortunately, they are both strong,” he replied, seated in his lightly furnished but heavily guarded office. “But cultural relativism is the biggest problem.” He went on to explain: “Multicultural society would not be that bad — I don’t really believe in it — but it would not be that bad if, at least, we would be strong enough to say that our culture is better and dominant. But when you combine multicultural society with a dominant sense of cultural relativism, you are heading in the wrong direction. You are committing suicide when it comes to your own culture.”

Hoping to preserve the primacy of Western culture in this Dutch corner of the West, Wilders advocates a halt to Islamic immigration. “I’m not saying that every Muslim in the Netherlands is a criminal or a terrorist,” he explains. “We know the majority is not. Still,” he continues, “there is good reason to stop the immigration, because the more we have an influx of Muslims in the Netherlands, the strength of the (Islamic) culture will grow, and the change of our societies will increase.” He sees his efforts as “a fight against an ideology that I believe at the end of the day will kill our freedom, kill our societies and change everything we stand for.”

He’s right — and, yes, it’s politically incorrect to say that, too. Everything the West stands for, starting with freedom of speech, is already changing as our institutions, up to and including, for example, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, increasingly proscribe critical references, or indeed, any references to Islam. While it’s clear that the European manifestation of Islamic ideology has already killed Wilders’ personal freedom in the Netherlands, the general impact on freedom throughout the West has yet to be fully appreciated.

“I have a mission,” Wilders said. “I believe very strongly in what I say, and my party fortunately shares this view. And nobody in the Netherlands is doing (what I do). And somebody should. And I pay a high price for it.”

What is the expression — freedom isn’t free? This is literally and acutely the case when it comes to this heroic Dutchman.

Schoolboys punished for refusing to kneel in class and pray to Allah

Two schoolboys were given detention after refusing to kneel down and ‘pray to Allah’ during a religious education lesson.

Parents were outraged that the two boys from year seven (11 to 12-year-olds) were punished for not wanting to take part in the practical demonstration of how Allah is worshipped.

They said forcing their children to take part in the exercise at Alsager High School, near Stoke-on-Trent – which included wearing Muslim headgear – was a breach of their human rights.

Alsager School

Alsager School, near Stoke, has received furious complaints from parents after two Year 7 boys were punished for refusing to kneel to Allah during a religious studies class

One parent, Sharon Luinen, said: “This isn’t right, it’s taking things too far.

“I understand that they have to learn about other religions. I can live with that but it is taking it a step too far to be punished because they wouldn’t join in Muslim prayer.

“Making them pray to Allah, who isn’t who they worship, is wrong and what got me is that they were told they were being disrespectful.

“I don’t want this to look as if I have a problem with the school because I am generally very happy with it.”

Another parent Karen Williams said: “I am absolutely furious my daughter was made to take part in it and I don’t find it acceptable.

“I haven’t got a problem with them teaching my child other religions and a small amount of information doesn’t do any harm.

“But not only did they have to pray, the teacher had gone into the class and made them watch a short film and then said ‘we are now going out to pray to Allah’.

“Then two boys got detention and all the other children missed their refreshment break because of the teacher.

“Not only was it forced upon them, my daughter was told off for not doing it right.

“They’d never done it before and they were supposed to do it in another language.”

“My child has been forced to pray to Allah in a school lesson.” The grandfather of one of the pupils in the class said: “It’s absolutely disgusting, there’s no other way of putting it.

“My daughter and a lot of other mothers are furious about their children being made to kneel on the floor and pray to Islam. If they didn’t do it they were given detention.

“I am not racist, I’ve been friendly with an Indian for 30 years. I’ve also been to a Muslim wedding where it was explained to me that alcohol would not be served and I respected that.

“But if Muslims were asked to go to church on Sunday and take Holy Communion there would be war.”

Parents said that their children were made to bend down on their knees on prayer mats which the RE teacher had got out of her cupboard and they were also told to wear Islamic headgear during the lesson on Tuesday afternoon.

Deputy headmaster Keith Plant said: “It’s difficult to know at the moment whether this was part of the curriculum or not. I am not an RE teacher, I am an English teacher.

“At the moment it is our enterprise week and many of our members of staff are away.

“The particular member of staff you need to speak to isn’t around. I think that it is a shame that so many parents have got in touch with the Press before coming to me.

“I have spoken to the teacher and she has articulately given me her version of events, but that is all I can give you at the moment.”

A statement from Cheshire County Council on behalf of the school read: “The headteacher David Black contacted this authority immediately complaints were received.

“Enquiries are being made into the circumstances as a matter of urgency and all parents will be informed accordingly.

“Educating children in the beliefs of different faith is part of the diversity curriculum on the basis that knowledge is essential to understanding.

“We accept that such teaching is to be conducted with some sense of sensitivity.”

I find this act quite disgusting. For a secular public school to force students to worship a religion whom they do not agree with is a basic breach of their right to freedom of religion. To coerce someone for fear of reprimand to pray to Allah has no place anywhere in the world. Whether the country be officially Muslim or secular.

Freedom to worship the God of your choice, or no god should never be breached. It is as simple as that. There is no possible way I can see this school justifying such an act.

I feel sorry for the children who have committed a sin in the eyes of their own religion by being forced to pray to the creation of a 7th Century War Lord and murderer.

I congratulate the parents for taking the initiative to complain about such an abhorrent act. And I agree with one claim in particular – if someone forced Muslim students to take Holy Communion and pray to the Christian Trinity how would Muslims react?

They react over a picture of a cute puppy with complaints and simple cartoons with riots and other acts of violence. I would expect much more if this was to happen.