Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rouhani Clashes with Iranian Clergy over Women Arrested for 'Bad Hijab'

In a pre-summer ritual, an Iranian policewoman warns a young
woman about her clothing and hair during a crackdown to
enforce the Islamic dress code. 
THE GUARDIAN: With summer approaching, president has provoked a row with senior clerics after criticising police for enforcing a strict interpretation of dress codes

President Hassan Rouhani, who came to office in 2013 partly on the votes of young, middle-class women, knows that in the summer, hundreds or even thousands will be arrested by the morality police for “bad hijab”, a slack interpretation of the official dress code requiring women to cover their hair and figure even as temperatures push 40 degrees.

In his remark last year that “you can’t send people to heaven by the whip”, the president expressed a belief that citizens should not be forced into “good” behaviour, and in two recent speeches he skirted the issue of hijab, provoking a critical response from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, and from senior members of the clergy.

In late April, the president told an assembly of Iranian police officers the duty of the police was solely to enforce the law. “The police’s job is not to enforce Islam, and furthermore, none among them can claim that their actions are sanctioned by God or the prophet [Mohammad].” » | Tehran Bureau correspondent | Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Qatar Emir's Mother Speaks Out over Treatment of Muslims by the West

Zaha Hadid 9left) and Sheikha Moza.
THE GUARDIAN: Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Missned, one of most influential women in the Arab world, attacks ‘double standards’, comparing Charlie Hebdo with Chapel Hill

Muslims face dehumanisation when western countries apply double standards, the wife of the former emir of Qatar has warned in an unusual and critical public intervention from a senior royal in a wealthy Gulf state.

Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Missned, one of the most influential and high-profile women in the Arab world, also questioned distinctions between “moderate” or “liberal” and “conservative” Muslims and insisted that it was wrong to say that Islam was “stuck in medieval times”.

“Why is it that world leaders gathered to march in defence of Charlie Hebdo, while the Chapel Hill murders were shrugged off as a parking dispute?” she asked, in a reference to the killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina in February. She was speaking at St Antony’s College, Oxford, on Tuesday.

“At the same time we are confronted with double standards. Why is it that apologies are offered when Europeans are mistakenly killed by drones but only silence follows when innocent Yemeni and Pakistani children and civilians are killed by the same drones? Why do Muslim lives seem to matter less than the lives of others? If they matter at all. I believe this dehumanisation is cultivated through a process of Muslim-phobia.” » | Ian Black Middle East editor | Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Vatican Says Ireland Gay Marriage Vote Is 'Defeat for Humanity'

THE GUARDIAN: Vatican diplomat seen as second only to the Pope insists Saturday’s referendum result shows ‘the church must strengthen its commitment to evangelisation’

A senior Vatican official has attacked the legalisation of gay marriage in Ireland. The referendum that overwhelmingly backed marriage equality last weekend was a “defeat for humanity”, he claimed.

“I was deeply saddened by the result,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said at a conference in Rome on Tuesday night. “The church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelisation. I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity.”

The remarks by the Vatican’s top diplomat, who is seen as second only to the pope in the church’s hierarchy, represent the most damning assessment of the Irish vote by a senior church official to date. » | Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome | Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saudi Religious Police Make Gloveless Woman Leave Shopping Mall

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Darum bin ich kein Salafist mehr | Aussteiger spricht Klartext

Woman, 20, Burned Alive by Sadistic ISIS after She Refuses to Perform 'Extreme Sex Act'

DAILY EXPRESS: A YOUNG woman was burned alive by Islamic State (ISIS) militants after she refused to perform an ‘extreme sex act’, a senior diplomat has revealed.

The 20-year-old victim is one of thousands of girls subjected to a campaign of sexual violence waged by the fanatical group.

Zainab Bangura, the United Nation’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said ISIS was responsible for “rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution and other acts of extreme brutality”.

She described how the jihadi group would rampage through a village, executing the men and boys aged 14 or over.

The women and mothers would be separated from the younger girls, who are then stripped naked and tested to check if they are a virgin.

The vulnerable youngsters would then be examined to check their breast size and ranked on how pretty they are.

The unlucky ones would then be sent to Raqqa, the ISIS stronghold in the north of Syria.

The sickening brutalisation of Iraq and Syria's women – many from the persecuted Yazidi community – is "central" to the group's ideology, Ms Bangura argued.

The youngest, and those considered the ‘prettiest virgins’, fetch the highest prices, she said. » | Tom Batchelor | Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Syrie : Bachar el-Assad bombarde Palmyre

LE POINT: L'aviation syrienne a mené lundi d'intenses raids sur la ville antique. L'EI a exécuté au moins 217 personnes depuis qu'il s'est emparé de la ville.

L'aviation syrienne a mené lundi d'intenses raids sur la ville antique de Palmyre et sa banlieue, prise jeudi par les djihadistes du groupe État islamique (EI), faisant au moins 4 tués civils, selon une ONG. "Depuis ce matin, l'aviation du régime a mené 15 raids sur Palmyre et sa banlieue.

Il s'agit des raids les plus intenses depuis la prise de la ville", a affirmé Rami Abdel Rahmane, directeur de l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'homme (OSDH). "Il y a au moins quatre morts parmi les civils et des dizaines de blessés et c'est sûr qu'il y a aussi des morts parmi les djihadistes de Daesh (acronyme arabe de l'EI) lors du bombardement du bâtiment de la sécurité militaire, a-t-il ajouté. Les raids ont visé plusieurs endroits de la ville, connue en arabe sous le nom de Tadmor, notamment les secteurs de l'hôpital national et dans celui près du périmètre où se trouvent les antiquités gréco-romaines." » | Source AFP | dimanche 25 mai 2015

Nun wollen auch Deutsche die Homo-Ehe

Die Grünen wollen die gleichgeschlechtliche Ehe auch in
Deutschland. Zwei irische Männer küssen sich nach dem
positiven Abstimmungsergebnis (23. Mai 2015)
TAGES ANZEIGER: Die Grünen wollen dem Beispiel Irlands folgen – und fordern Merkels CDU zum Handeln auf.

Nach dem klaren Ja der Iren zur Homo-Ehe haben die Grünen die schnelle Zulassung gleichgeschlecht-licher Ehen auch in Deutschland gefordert. Die CDU werde die Debatte um die Ehe für alle «nicht einfach aussitzen können», sagte die Fraktionsvorsitzende der Grünen im Bundestag, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, der «Welt». «Es wird Zeit, Frau Merkel», appellierte sie an die Bundeskanzlerin.

Deutschland sei mit dem Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz von 2001 einst Vorreiter der Gleichstellung, erinnerte Göring-Eckardt. Das Votum der Iren sei «ein grossartiges Signal. Gleiche Liebe verdient gleichen Respekt». Sie sei zuversichtlich, dass das Votum in Irland die Gleichstellung in Deutschland beschleunige, sagte sie. » | Sonntag, 24. Mai 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

US-Geheimdienst: In Europa tobt ein Krieg zwischen Islam und Christentum

DEUTSCH TÜRKISCHE NACHRICHTEN: Europa befindet sich im Krieg mit dem Islam und diese Auseinandersetzung wird auf dem europäischen Kontinent ausgetragen, so der Chef des US-amerikanischen Privatgeheimdiensts Stratfor, George Friedman. Der Krieg werde sich verschärfen und es werde zu „Deportationen“ kommen. Das Attentat auf Charlie Hebdo sei ein Hinweis auf diesen uralten Konflikt, meint Friedman.

Der Chef des US-amerikanischen Privatgeheimdiensts Stratfor, George Friedman, ist der Ansicht, dass in Europa ein Krieg zwischen dem Islam und dem Christentum tobt. Das schreibt er zumindest in einem Artikel. Der Anschlag auf das Satire-Magazin Charlie Hebdo und Anschläge auf Muslime in Europa seien zwei Seiten derselben Medaille. Über Jahrhunderte habe es diesen Konflikt gegeben und dieser sei nicht zu leugnen. Es finde ein Krieg „zwischen zwei Welten statt“. Dafür gebe es viele Anzeichen.

Friedman führt an, dass die Europäer die Muslime niemals als gleichwertige Bürger akzeptieren werden, weil diese Wahrnehmung historisch gewachsen sei. Das sei ein gut verstecktes Geheimnis der Europäer, der mittlerweile offen artikuliert wird. Europa befinde sich in einer Situation des Selbstbetrugs. Die Muslime hingegen befänden sich in einer Zwickmühle. Das Attentat auf Charlie Hebdo wurde im Namen des Islams durchgeführt. „Nicht alle Muslime – noch nicht einmal die meisten Muslime – sind dafür verantwortlich“, so Friedman. Muslime wüssten, dass die Dschihadisten Terroristen sind, doch ein 25-jähriger Bürger oder ein Polizeibeamter könne dieser Unterscheidung nicht treffen. Für sie seien Muslime alle gleich. » | Deutsch Türkische Nachrichten | Montag, 11. Mai 2015

Dans Palmyre contrôlée par l’EI, « l’épuration a commencé »

LE MONDE: Ce n’est pas aux ruines de Palmyre, mais à ses habitants que l’organisation Etat islamique (EI), le nouveau maître de la ville, a entrepris de s’attaquer en premier. Les djihadistes, qui se sont emparés des lieux mercredi 20 mai, ont épargné pour l’instant les vestiges gréco-romains, qui font de cette oasis du centre de la Syrie l’un des sites archéologiques les plus grandioses du Proche-Orient. En revanche, les soldats du « califat » n’ont pas tardé à se lancer dans une purge de grande ampleur, destinée à cimenter leur emprise sur le terrain. » | Par Benjamin Barthe (Beyrouth correspondant) | lundi 25 mai 2015

Iran Blames US for Ramadi's Fall to Isil

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: The Islamic republic accuses America of having 'no will to fight' militants

Iran has accused the US of having "no will" to stop the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), underscoring tensions in the alliance of international powers that has mobilised against the group in Iraq.

General Qassem Soleimani, the head of an elite unit in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, said the US did not do “a damn thing” to stop Isil seizing the Iraqi city of Ramadi earlier this month.

Published in an Iranian newspaper on Monday, his comments came just a day after US Defence Secretary Ash Carter accused Iraqi forces of lacking the "will to fight", saying they had withdrawn from Ramadi even though they "vastly outnumbered" Isil. » | Louisa Loveluck, Cairo | Monday, May 25, 2015

Is the UK Still a Christian Country?

The number of people calling themselves Christian
is declining in the UK
BBC AMERICA: Are we losing our religion? The answer for the UK seems to be "Yes", while the answer for the developing world is a resounding "No".

That was the conclusion of a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center in the US.

It suggests that in the UK, if current trends continue, the proportion of the population identifying themselves as Christians will fall from 64% in 2010 to 45% by 2050, while the proportion of Muslims will rise from 5% to 11%.

The proportion of the population claiming no religion in the UK - the "unaffiliated" - will also rise significantly, from 28% to 39%.

Pew's research also suggests there are likely to be more Muslims than Christians in the world by 2070, with Islam's share of global population equalling that of Christianity at just above 30% each by 2050.

Equally eye-catching is its conclusion that by 2050, under half of the population will be Christian not just in the UK, but also France, the Netherlands, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Australia and New Zealand, while Muslims will make up about 10% of Europe's population, up from 6% now, thanks to higher birth rates.

However, Christianity globally will continue to grow, with the number of Christians projected to rise significantly in sub-Saharan Africa in particular.

According to demographer Conrad Hackett at Pew, in 1910 some 66% of the world's Christians lived in Europe. Now that has fallen to about 25%. » | Caroline Wyatt, Religious affairs correspondent | Monday, May 25, 2015

DANIEL PIPES: ISIS Attacks on the West

The May 3 assault on a Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, prompted much discussion about the assailants' connections to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh. Did ISIS run them as agents? Are they part of a new network of terror in the West? Clearly, the Garland jihadis had some connections to…

Muslims Who Stop Shopping at Marks & Spencer Could Be Radicals, Warns Top Cop

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Britain’s most senior Muslim policeman says teenagers who stop drinking and wearing western clothes may also be becoming extremists in stark warning

Muslims who suddenly stop shopping at Marks & Spencer could be victims of radicalisation, Britain’s most senior Muslim policeman has warned.

Scotland Yard commander Mak Chishty said that teenagers who unexpectedly stop drinking, socialising with friends or wearing western clothes could also be becoming extremists.

Mr Chishty said the danger of radicalisation in Britain today is so steep that he fears even his own children could be influenced by propaganda from terror groups.

He said extremist messages posted via social media were becoming so effective that some British children as young as five believe celebrating Christmas is forbidden by Islam.

The stark warning came as the Mr Chishty used a Guardian interview to justify more intrusion into Muslims’s “private space” to counter extremism.

It comes with hundreds of Britain’s having fled to the Middle East to join Isis, also known as Islamic State, amid fears they could return to commit terrorist atrocities in the UK. » | Ben Riley-Smith, Political Correspondent | Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

'Burqa Not Conducive to Western Liberal Society': We Should Follow Ban Says Ukip

SUNDAY EXPRESS: THE wearing of the full face veil in public should be banned in Britain, said Ukip's acting leader Paul Nuttall last night.

His comments followed an announcement of a new law by the Government in the Netherlands, approved by the cabinet sitting in The Hague, which will ban the wearing of all face coverings including ski-masks and helmets in certain public places.

Mr Nuttall, the party's deputy leader, was recently placed in temporary charge of UKIP while Nigel Farage takes a break.

Last night he described the Dutch proposal as eminently sensible, noting that it echoed a decision by both France and Belgium to issue similar rulings.

Speaking to the Sunday Express, he said: Belgium and France and now the Netherlands have argued that the burqa is not conducive to western liberal society, and that people's faces need to be exposed so they can communicate and integrate.

This all sounds pretty sensible stuff to me. Leading French feminist groups supported the French and Belgian ban, with the International League for Women's Rights saying: The full-face veil, by literally burying the body and the face, constitutes a true deletion of the woman as an individual in public.

Mr Nuttall added: Should we follow this and ban the burqa in this country? Yes. Personally, I think this is about civility, not religion. » | Marco Giannangeli – Exclusive | Sunday, May 24, 2015

Just Days after Seizing Palmyra, Isis Massacres 400 People in the Ancient City

THE INDEPENDENT: Most of the people murdered were women and children

Isis has slaughtered more than 400 mostly women and children in the ancient city of Palmyra, two days after capturing the ancient city.

Syrian state television reported the massacre, quoting residents of the city.

The state news agency said: "The terrorists have killed more than 400 people.. and mutilated their bodies, under the pretext that they cooperated with the government and did not follow orders."

Opposition activists claimed that hundreds of bodies littered the streets. They said that many of the victims were from groups or families loyal to the government.

Amongst the dead were state employees - including the head of the nursing department at the city hospital, and all of her family members.

Isis supporters released videos of militants searching government buildings, looking for victims and pulling down pictures of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his father . » | Doug Bolton | Sunday, May 24, 2015

John McCain Mocks Obama for Calling Climate Change a Threat as Isis Advances

THE GUARDIAN: Republicans blame Obama after fall of Syrian and Iraqi cities / ‘The president is saying the biggest problem we have is climate change’

Senator John McCain on Sunday attacked the president for citing climate change as a threat to national security, suggesting that the Obama administration’s focus on environmental issues was detracting from the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

The comments by the Senate armed services committee chairman were part of a rotating blame game over the Memorial Day weekend about who is responsible for recent gains by Isis fighters, who last week took control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

“There is no strategy, and anybody who says there is, I’d like to hear what it is,” McCain said, appearing on CBS News. “Because it certainly isn’t apparent. Right now we are seeing these horrible reports, in Palmyra, they’re executing people and leaving their bodies in the streets.

“Meanwhile the president of the United States is saying that the biggest problem we have is climate change.”

In a commencement address at the US Coast Guard Academy last week, President Barack Obama said climate change posed an “immediate risk”. » | Tom McCarthy in New York | Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mark Levin Roars for Obama to Wipe Out the ISIS "Islamo-Nazis"

Decrying the pathetic response of America's Commander-in-Chief to ongoing Islamo-Nazi atrocities, Mark Levin tells his listeners how he would deal with ISIS if he were Commander-in-Chief

Church in Ireland Needs 'Reality Check' after Gay Marriage Vote

BBC AMERICA – EXTRACT: The Republic of Ireland has a written constitution which can only be changed by referendum.

Now that the proposal has been passed, a marriage between two people of the same sex will have the same status under the Irish constitution as a marriage between a man and a woman.

They will be recognised as a family and be entitled to the constitutional protection for families.

Civil partnerships for same-sex couples have been legal in Ireland since 2010, giving couples legal protection which could be changed by the government.

However, married gay people will now have a constitutional standing that can only be removed by another popular vote. Read the whole article here » | Saturday, May 23, 2015