Daily Archives: March 15, 2006

No Internet for women, no Mecca for foreigners

From ABS-CBN News (via Dhimmiwatch):

The Saudi Arabian Embassy in Manila has issued a warning that entry of non-Muslims into the cities of Mecca and Medina, the two holy places in Islam, is strictly prohibited, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday. Oscar G. Valenzuela, DFA Assistant Secretary for Middle East and African Affairs, said transgressors are subject to severe punishment if caught. He said the Saudi Arabian Embassy has warned that such infractions may have serious religious repercussions.

Reports reaching the DFA said false certificates of Muslim identity have been used by some overseas workers to illegally enter Saudi Arabia as umrah and hajj pilgrims. The Office of Muslim Affairs earlier warned that persons found in possession of or attempting to obtain false certificates of Muslim identity will be prosecuted.

From Sandmonkey:

Religious scholars have issued a fatwa prohibiting women from using the Internet without the presence of a mahram (a close relative they are prohibited to marry). This was followed by a call from Saudi businessmen to sue Web sites that call for freedom of thought and secularism, such as the aforementioned Web sites.

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Eurabia is nearer than yesterday but farther than tomorrow (UPDATED)

Via Pia Causa

French PM calls for limitations on free speech in France

«Tout discours, cri, menace, écrit, imprimé, dessin ou affiche outrageant, portant atteinte volontairement aux fondements des religions, est une injure
“All speech, shout, menace, written message, print, design or outrageous image, that attacks willingly to the fundings of the religions, is an affront/an insult”.
Amendment to the French Constitution proposed to the French Assemblée Nationale by député M. Jean-Marc Roubaud (photo, right) on Feb. 28 2006 banning criticism of religion. Mr. Roubaud specifically refers to the cartoons in his preamble.
UPDATE: The MP explains himself (via E-nough). There is a very good comment on Chris At Home blog:
Voltaire is rolling over in his grave.
You know, it seems an obvious point but France can’t grasp it: if you give into threats and violence, you will be threatened and abused forever. Pure, unadulterated cowardice.
Cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Axis of Weasels. I am going to call France obscene names and verbally abuse French people until they value free speech ahead of political expediancy. Maybe they will surrender to me, too.
From The Telegraph (via Dhimmiwatch):
School textbooks should be reviewed for intolerant depictions of Islam and other faiths by experts overseen by the European Union and Islamic leaders, the European Parliament was told yesterday.
The call for a special committee to examine religious education in schools came from Hans-Gert Pöttering, the German Christian Democrat, who heads the largest group of MEPs. But the proposal was immediately condemned as “appeasement” by Charles Tannock, a British Conservative MEP.

The question here is: if they should be reviewed for intolerant depictions (what is an intolerant depiction?) of Islam and other faiths, why is that only Islamic leaders are going to review them? Does not make sense.

But, well, looks like it’s the Catholic Church the one which is subject today of all the offenses and as a result in the Carnival the mock it but not Islam so as to “keep the spectators safe“. From Catholic exchange (via Dhimmiwatch):

The custom for making fun of Catholic symbols goes back to the Middle Ages said Matthias von der Bank, a historian from Cologne’s Carnival Museum said, “In the Middle Ages, carnival was a festival of reverse worlds and a playful expression of this,” von der Bank said. “So Christian symbols, for example, were turned upside down.”…

Although the rule of the Düsseldorf carnival committee was that there would be no floats dealing with religion this year, parade organizers seem to feel that Catholicism does not qualify. A float in the Dusseldorf parade featured a statue of Pope Benedict wearing the jersey of the often-defeated soccer team Fortune. The message was clear: the Catholic Church is the losing team and attacking it is acceptable.

Bernd Jost, spokesman for the Dusseldorf carnival committee said that the religion the committee wants to exempt is Islam. “In view of the current debate, we will be keeping very clear of things related to Muslims,” Jost said. “We don’t want to fuel hatred,” Jost said. But he admitted that the real motive is the need to keep parade spectators safe.

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More violence in Turkey against Catholic Priests

Gateway Pundit has the news.

Fr Hanri Leylek, one of the monks at the parish, wrote to AsiaNews: “Some newspapers said ‘the boy entered the Catholic Church, accusing the church of prostituting boys with girls coming to the church’, as if this was the main news”, thus leaving the attack aside.

What really happened was that “on 11 March, at around 7pm, while we were holding a rehearsal for the play of the Passion of Christ in the convent of the parish, […] one of the boys called me, telling me there was a stranger creating problems, who wanted to talk to a priest. I went out of the room and started to talk to him; seeing that he was saying disjointed things and threats, I asked him to go outside. He refused and only threatened all the more, swearing. […] I decided to call the police. […] All of a sudden, I saw the young people scatter and this youth came to the telephone booth with a sort of scimitar (a knife around 80 or 90cam long, used to cut Turkish doner kebabs) – it had been hidden behind his back – which he started to threaten me with. […] In the meantime, Fr Robert too had come into the corridor. This time, the boy turned on Fr Robert and threatened him, clutching the knife. I managed to sneak out and to go to the police station near the church. […] The boy continued to shout and threaten. Within five minutes I was back in the convent with three or four policemen. They crossed the boy on the stairs of the convent. He threatened them too and they tried to talk to him to calm him down. In the meantime, journalists and a dozen police reached the scene. There was some 15 minutes talk and finally the boy surrendered to the police.”

The manipulation is plain and simple: the media only says the attacker was accusing the church of prostituting boys with girls (when they were only holding a rehearsal of the Passion of the Christ) and they do not mention the attack and the threatens he made to all the people he met in the Church. Just the same they did with Father Santoro. (link in italian)

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No charges for Danish Newspaper

Denmark’s top prosecutor said Wednesday he will not press charges against the newspaper that first published the Muhammad cartoons that angered Muslims worldwide.

Director of Public Prosecutions Henning Fode upheld the decision of a regional prosecutor who ruled the drawings published in Jyllands-Posten Sept. 30 did not violate Danish law. Fode’s decision cannot be appealed.

“The decision may cause negative reactions to Danes and Danish interests abroad,” the ministry said. “With that background, Danes should be particularly cautious when traveling.”USA Today

HT: 123 beta.

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Stop the execution of three Indonesian Christians

Amnesty International

The authorities are reportedly preparing for the execution of Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu. The intended date and time have not been announced, but the Central Sulawesi Prosecutor’s office has apparently ordered three coffins and begun final preparations. President Yudhoyono rejected the three men’s appeal for clemency in November 2005, but the authorities still have the power to delay the execution while the case is reviewed.

The three men were sentenced to death in April 2001 for premeditated murder and inciting riots, in connection with ethnic and religious violence between Christians and Muslims in the town of Poso, Central Sulawesi, in May 2000. Tibo, da Silva and Riwu, all Christians, were accused of leading an attack on a Muslim village.

Amnesty International believes that their trial in 2001 may not have been fair. Reportedly there were demonstrators armed with stones outside the courthouse, demanding that the three be sentenced to death, and their legal representatives were subjected to intimidation including death threats. A bomb was planted at the house of one legal adviser.

On 1 February 2006 the lawyers representing the three men announced that they had new evidence and called for a renewed investigation into the case. They claimed that this evidence demonstrates that 16 other people were responsible for instigating the violence in Poso. The lawyers assert that the new evidence will show that Tibo, da Silva and Riwu did not orchestrate the disturbances, but that they are key witnesses in the cases of the 16 people, whose names the lawyers have submitted to the National Police headquarters.

In the past few weeks, the case has attracted the attention of numerous local and national human rights groups and religious leaders, including former President and prominent Muslim cleric Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid. They have repeatedly called on the authorities to abandon or at least delay the execution to allow for further investigation into the case.

In Spanish web page Hazteoir.org you can call the Indonesian Government to abandon the execution and to review the process taking into account the new evidence.

HT: La buona battaglia. Also posted in Eurabian News.


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Women’s rights: a roundup of news

Reviewing some notes I had on this subject for the past days I think I have to write upon the last news on this subject. I am surprised to find an interview titled ‘That Muslim woman could be happier than you…’ about a liberal woman who converted to Islam. I had copied here extracts from the interview but the comments the author has made are worth reading.

Once she was a party-loving student; then Na’ima B Robert converted to Islam. But how did she become so convinced of the benefits of wearing Islamic dress that she now covers herself from head to foot and has written a book extolling its virtues? Bryony Gordon meets her.

[…] The she went to Egypt and everything changed. While she was there, she couldn’t stop noticing the women in hijab (headscarves) and she was appalled. She could not understand why they allowed themselves to be so dominated by men; couldn’t fathom why they wouldn’t want to show themselves off. When she eventually asked a woman in hijab why she wore it, she was told simply: “Because I want to be judged for what I say and what I do, not for what I look like.”
[…]A good example of the misconceptions we have about Muslim women is believing that they are all helpless, potential victims of an honour killing. But as Na’ima points out, “honour killings are a pre-Islamic thing, a cultural thing that is filtered down through the generations. But for those of us who have learnt pure Islam from the Koran and the scholars, it’s appalling.”
[…]I admire Na’ima’s reasons for wearing the jilbab, but I wonder if her faith dresses women in these garments for the same reasons. She says that Islam teaches equality between the sexes – why then do men not have to cover?
“I think that equality should not be equated with sameness. Islamically we are equal but we are not the same. We have qualities that men don’t have and men…” She pauses. “I’m not going to say this next bit.” Why not, if it is what she believes in?
“Because I don’t want the feminists on my back. But basically men have things that women don’t. They have physical strength and are the father of the children and these types of things. Men and women have different qualities and Islam recognises that and again everything has its context.”

Just today, as if to defy this woman’s conceptions, we know that a man has being jailed for beating his daughter:

A court in Kristiansand, southern Norway, has sentenced a man to 120 days in jail for beating his teenage daughter with straps and a metal rod. The beatings were sparked by her admission that she no longer was a virgin. The 49-year-old man, who emigrated to Norway from Iraq, claimed he’d done nothing wrong. He told the court that he was “much kinder” than many other fathers from his culture would have been. He claimed most other men would have killed the girl, instead of “just beating her.”
[…] He told the court that he regrets bringing his family to Norway, because he believes the country is much less conservative than he had thought it was.

See Sugiero’s post at Eurabian News.

This last week we have been informed that domestic violence is on the rise among American Muslim women:

WASHINGTON: Twenty percent of Muslim women in America are subjected to domestic violence, according to a new survey. The Council for Muslim Women, according to a report in an Urdu newspaper published in New York, says that the divorce rate is on the increase and more than 20 percent of women are subjected to mental abuse.
A commentary in the weekly newspaper ‘Pakistan News’ by Faiq Siddiqi points out that Pakistani women suffer rebuke and mistreatment from early childhood and most husbands are always admonishing their wives.
They hold them responsible for disappointments that they, the husbands, suffer and attribute their failures to those of their wives. If the wife reacts, she is threatened with divorce. A large number of Pakistani and Muslim men, who otherwise go to the mosque five times a day, show no sign of any softening in their behaviour towards their women. When they return home, “they call out to their wives as if they were the inmates of a jail, not a family home”.
They also suspect their wives of errant behaviour, he said. If the wife puts at them any questions that they do not like, they accuse her of disobedience and warn her “of the fires of hell” that await her in the hereafter.

But as the Iraqi father jailed for beating his daughter, the problem is that they are not sufficiently integrated in their new countries and continue “traditions” imported from their countries of origin: PAKISTAN: Figures on women victims speak for themselves

LAHORE: Abuse of women is rampant in male chauvinistic Pakistani society, evident from violence against women such as murder, rape, torture, killing in the name of Karo Kari, abduction, police torture, suicide, trafficking and burning that have increased enormously.
This was disclosed in a report compiled by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) Madadgaar. The report said that women were not only subjected to financial discrimination but were also victims of inhuman customs and discriminatory laws. The ratio of abusing women physically and sexually increased more than three times as there were 4769 reported cases in 2005 compared to 1397 reported cases in 2004, the report said.
The provincial break-up of data compiled by Madadgaar reveals that Punjab reported 2912 cases, Sindh had a count of 1245 cases, 457 cases were reported in NWFP and 155 cases were reported in Balochistan. Madadgaar research disclosed that 2001 women were attacked in their own houses and 681 in the homes of the assailants’.
Madadgaar’s report revealed that domestic violence was a very serious problem in Pakistan. 719 cases were reported against victims’ own husbands, 41 cases against ex-husbands and 80 cases against in-laws. Ms Amina Mazhar, deputy programme coordinator of Madadgaar said, “The key challenge is to gradually ensure that these crimes are made socially unacceptable and counter to community norms”. She urged the Government of Pakistan to promote women’s empowerment and to ensure equal participation in all circles of life.

Looks like the Gang rape case of Mukhtar Mai has only draw more attention for the victims but things have not changed very much for them.

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani gang rape victim’s quest for justice won plaudits at home and abroad but four years after the attack little has changed for women in a region where so-called honour killings and punishments remain common.
Mukhtaran Mai, 33, was brutally raped on the orders of a tribal council in her remote Punjabi village in 2002 as punishment for her brother’s alleged affair with a woman from a powerful local clan. Staying silent is the safest course for most women subjected to rape, violence and sometimes murder in Pakistan and the rest of South Asia by male relatives or neighbours who accuse them of bringing shame on their families. Mai refused. Six men were sentenced to death in August 2002 after she testified, and then last year she got the Supreme Court to reverse the earlier acquittals on five of them by a lower appeals court. Justice prevails? Not according to Kamila Hyat, of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). “I don’t think things here have changed,” Hyat told AFP. “What her case has done is to draw more attention to rape victims in Pakistan and their plight. But the feudal system which made the case happen is still there,” she said.
Violence against women in Pakistan remained “rampant” in 2005, New York-based Human Rights Watch said in its annual report, while the HRCP said there were at least 800 rapes and gang-rapes recorded in Pakistan in 2004.
Hyat said that laws to protect women were not being enforced and that not enough has been done to change Pakistan’s parallel Islamic justice system, under which women who can’t prove they were raped face the prospect of an adultery conviction. “Word needs to come from the top that such crimes against women will not be tolerated,” she added.
However, Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf ‘the man at the top’ showed his views by banning Mai from going to address a rights group in the United States last year. Shortly afterwards he suggested to a US newspaper that some women viewed being raped as a “money making” concern and an easy way to get a foreign visa.

But not only Pakistani women are subject to abuses. The daughter of former Malaysian Primer Minister Mahatir Mohamad, and a Muslim herself, has warned against the growing form of apartheid women are suffering in her country:

Muslim women in Malaysia are being discriminated against so severely that they face a “growing form of apartheid”, the daughter of the former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, a prominent social activist, has claimed.
Marina Mahathir, a Muslim herself, yesterday wrote in the Star newspaper: “Non-Muslim Malaysian women have benefited from more progressive laws over the years while the opposite has happened for Muslim women.” Polygamy is allowed for Muslims but banned for non-Muslims, she pointed out, and under Islamic family law the father is the primary guardian of the children of a marriage, while for others guardianship is shared.
Marina Mahathir’s article was so sensitive that it was delayed for two days, with the paper claiming at one point that the relevant editor was “too busy” to deal with it.

Lastly, we have to speak about Iran arresting International Women’s Day demonstrators

Tehran, Iran, Mar. 08 – Hundreds of women gathered Wednesday afternoon in Tehran’s Laleh Park and took part in a demonstration against the Iranian government on the occasion of International Women’s Day, according to eye-witnesses. The security forces, which had been on alert to enforce a ban on all gatherings, quickly moved in and within minutes arrested several dozen women, an eye-witness told Iran Focus. Several women were arrested while taking photographs or filming the demonstration.
The female protestors, who were joined by a number of men supporting their cause, continued to resist attempts by the security agents and the undercover security forces, according to the report. Many carried placards reading “Women demand freedom and equality” and “End censorship”. Bystanders came to the aid of the women, some of whom were badly beaten by the agents of the security forces
For some photos about this demonstration, see Free Thoughts. You can see also Publius Pundit, where they tell us: Several female demonstrators and a well known poet, Simin Behbahani, were injured due to the brutality used by Islamist Militiamen using clubs and chains. Several demonstrators were seen laying on the ground with broken noses, hands or legs while other were screaming and/or shouting slogans against the theocratic regime.


Filed under Asia, Iran, Malaysia, Norway, Pakistan, USA, Women's rights

Death Threat against signers of Manifesto


Death Threat against signers of Manifesto
By Jørgen Ullerup, Correspondent to Jyllands-Posten
Warning against Islamic totalitarianism brings death threats. On a website an Islamic group has made death threats against the 12 intellectuals, including Salman Rushdie, who recently signed a Manifesto against Islamic Totalitarianism.
According to one of the signers, the French writer Caroline Fourest, the threat was made this Saturday on the website ummah.net. It mentions a who’s who guide and a list of targets scheduled for termination. The group urges its adherents to take their time but says it should happen soon. It adds that it isn’t necessary to first have a Fatwa from a religious leader, such as the one Ayatollah Khomeini issued in 1989 against Salman Rushdie’s life for having offended the religion.
“The threat is simply not acceptable. Our Manifesto urges to resistance by means of ideas. But the Islamists have answered with threats of violence. A proof – if such was necessary – of their rejection of democratic debate and of their totalitarianism,” Caroline Fourest says. She adds that the Manifesto isn’t against Islam but against Islamism and the Islamists’ using the religion political to oppress, for example, Freedom of Speech. She emphasises that the signers will not be subdued by threats

Also posted in Eurabian News.

UPDATE: The threat is in this post from LGF.

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