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Archive for the ‘Religious freedom’ Category

I wrote some days ago about the possibility of Hamas imposing Sharia Law and how it was feared both by Israelis and Palestinians. Well, it is happening just now:

WorldNetDaily: Christians warned: Accept Islamic law

Christians can continue living safely in the Gaza Strip only if they accept Islamic law, including a ban on alcohol and on women roaming publicly without proper head coverings, an Islamist militant leader in Gaza told WND in an exclusive interview.

The militant leader said Christians in Gaza who engage in “missionary activity” will be “dealt with harshly.”

The threats come two days after a church and Christian school in Gaza was attacked following the seizure of power in the territory by the Hamas terror group.

“I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes. They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza,” said Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya, an Islamic outreach movement that recently announced the opening of a “military wing” to enforce Muslim law in Gaza.

Jihadia Salafiya is suspected of attacking a United Nations school in Gaza last month, after the school allowed boys and girls to participate in the same sporting event. One person was killed in that attack.

“The situation has now changed 180 degrees in Gaza,” said Abu Saqer, speaking from Gaza yesterday.

“Jihadia Salafiya and other Islamic movements will ensure Christian schools and institutions show publicly what they are teaching to be sure they are not carrying out missionary activity. No more alcohol on the streets. All women, including non-Muslims, need to understand they must be covered at all times while in public,” Abu Asqer told WND.

“Also the activities of Internet cafes, pool halls and bars must be stopped,” he said. “If it goes on, we’ll attack these things very harshly.”

Abu Saqer accused the leadership of the Gaza Christian community of “proselytizing and trying to convert Muslims with funding from American evangelicals.”

Read all…

Anyway, West offers cash and talks to keep Abbas in charge as partner for peace-News-World-Middle East-TimesOnline

America and the European Union moved swiftly to shore up Palestinian moderates yesterday, releasing millions of dollars for the new Government based in the West Bank.

Washington and Brussels announced the lifting of economic sanctions after Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, sacked all members of Hamas, the militant Islamic group, which staged last week’s bloody takeover of the Gaza Strip. In a telephone call yesterday President Bush told Mr Abbas that the US would support “Palestinian moderates”.

Later Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, reaffirmed America’s commitment to the “two-state solution” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, first promised by Mr Bush five years ago. Palestinians faced a choice, she said, between pursuing more violence or peace and a better life.

The US has recognised Mr Abbas and his new Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, as the legitimate leaders of the West Bank and Gaza. Dr Rice promised yesterday that this meant the US would resume normal “government-to-government contacts”.

And from Infidel Bloggers Alliance: Stupid request of the day:

B’Tselem demands that perpetrators of war crimes in Gaza be tried and warns against revenge attacks in the West Bank
The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem today calls on the Palestinian leadership of Hamas in the Gaza Strip to investigate all war crimes that may have been committed during the clashes in the Gaza Strip, and to bring all suspects to criminal trial.

This happens as Abbas’ aide Yasser Abed accused Iran of being responsible of fomenting the Hamas seizure in Gaza. h/t Desde el Exilio.

UPDATE: GayandRight: Christians under attach in Gaza… Who is going to defend this people??

Father Manuel Musalam, leader of the small Latin community in the Gaza Strip, said masked gunmen torched and looted the Rosary Sisters School and the Latin Church.

The masked gunmen used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the main entrances of the school and church,” he said. “Then they destroyed almost everything inside, including the Cross, the Holy
Book, computers and other equipment
.”

Musalam expressed outrage over the burning of copies of the Bible, noting that the gunmen destroyed all the Crosses inside the church and school. “Those who did these awful things have no respect for Christian-Muslim relations,” he said.

When are going to be the next outraged Christian riots when we will burn Hamas flag? 😦 This is despicable…

(Reuters) – Israel plans to tighten a financial clampdown on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that would choke off all but humanitarian and basic supplies, senior Israeli and Western officials said on Tuesday.
While opening the funding taps to the Western-backed emergency government set up by President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank,
Israel and the United States want to isolate Hamas financially, diplomatically and militarily in the Gaza Strip, which the Islamist group seized by force last week.
To that end, two senior Israeli officials said the plan was to bar Palestinian tax funds transferred to Abbas from reaching Gaza to run Hamas-led agencies and pay workers.
Gaza is a terrorist-controlled entity now,” said one of the Israeli officials, who is working with U.S. officials to isolate Hamas. “No financial assistance can go to any entity or person with connections to the Hamas-run administration in Gaza.”

The humanitarian crisis is going to be outstanding. After last year 14.000 Palestinians flee, now Gazans stream to crossing with Israel – Yahoo! News

Hundreds of terrified Gazans fleeing Hamas rule were trapped at a main crossing with Israel on Tuesday, hoping to gain permission to pass through Israeli territory to sanctuary in the West Bank.

Fearing death or persecution, Gazans began flocking to the Erez passage after Hamas militants wrested control of the coastal strip from Fatah security forces late last week. Israel, which has no interest in letting masses of Gazans pass through its territory and possibly destabilize the quieter West Bank, has refused to let most of them in, saying their lives were not in danger.
By Tuesday, about 600 people were holed up in the long, concrete tunnel that leads to the Israeli side of the crossing. Around 100 people belonged to Fatah security forces, but the rest were civilians, seeking a better life in the West Bank.
Women, children and young men sat between two high concrete walls about 10 yards apart, looking tired and sweaty. Suitcases and trash were strewn on the ground. Some families sat on mats, others on bare concrete. A breeze barely stirred between the walls, and the tunnel, which has no toilets, reeked of urine and sweat.
On Monday, gunmen allied with Hamas disguised themselves as fleeing civilians and hurled hand grenades at Israeli soldiers and Palestinians at Erez, killing a relative of a slain Fatah warlord, and injuring 15 other Palestinians.

UPDATE 3: More about Palestinians fleeing from Israel: My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Palestinians run as they try to cross to the Israel side at the Erez Crossing, in the northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, June 16, 2007. Dozens of Palestinians converged on the Erez crossing with Israel on Saturday, trying to leave the Gaza Strip following Hamas’ takeover. At the same time, hundreds of people looted police positions on the Palestinian side of Erez, and at one point Israeli troops fired in the air to keep the crowd at bay. The looters walked off with furniture and scrap metal. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

UPDATE 4: Also read Jules Crittenden’s “Enemy of my Enemy” h/t Abdul in Freedom’s Zone. Abdul writes:

Conveniently, the word Fatah (or Fath) was a specific label Muslims ascribed to the bloody and barbaric expansion of Islam by the sword over its first hundred years (Hmmmm – there’s aclue here somewhere as to their intentions). As an organization, Fatah is one of many borne out of the Muslim Brotherhood. Fatah logo contains two crossed assault rifles superimposed on the land of Israel covered in Islamic green. Qur’anic slogans on the graphic depiction of Fatah’s mission encourages jihad. These days, Fatah conducts its terrorist missions under the name al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. As one writer phrases it, if Fatah was Nazism, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades would be the SS. For those who have lived in a cave since WW-II, this is not something that denotes love and kindness, and tolerance of Jews and infidels that don’t follow the radical line.

UPDATE 5: Don’t laugh: Catholic World News : Gaza convent sacked; Hamas condemns action

Gaza, Jun. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) – On June 14, a school administered by the Sisters of the Holy Rosary was demolished in the Gaza Strip. In the chapel adjoining the sisters’ convent, the crucifix and a statue of Christ were broken and prayer books burned.

Father Manuel Mussallam, the only Catholic priest currently living in Gaza, denounced the sacking of the school and convent, describing it to AsiaNews as a “barbaric act.” The incident occurred during the course of fighting between two Palestinian factions: al Fatah and Hamas.

Although the school and convent are located near a police station, a spokesman for Hamas– which now controls the Gaza Strip– said that the group was not responsible for the violence against the Catholic nuns. Salah Bardawil said: “The Christians are our brothers in Gaza and everywhere, and we will protect their holy places and school, as we do our Islamic schools.”

We will protect every Christian in the earth the moment they submit. In the meantime, we will ransack their places… to remind them who is in charge…

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Just read this and get frightened… 

It’s the capital’s fastest growing religion, based on noble traditions and compassionate principles, yet Islam can still be tainted by mistrust and misunderstanding. Here Time Out argues that an Islamic London would be a better place:

[…] In fact, Islam offers Londoners potential health benefits: the Muslim act of prayer is designed to keep worshippers fit, their joints supple and, at five times a day, their stomachs trim.

Alcohol is haram, or forbidden, to Muslims. As London is above the national average for alcohol-related deaths in males, with 17.6 per 100,000 people (Camden has 31.6 per 100,000 males), turning all the city’s pubs into juice bars would have a massive positive effect on public health. Forbid alcohol throughout the country, and you’d avoid many of the 22,000 alcohol-related deaths […]

For a look on alcohol in Islam read here. For the UK plans to make drinking as socially unnacceptable as smoking read The Devil’s Kitchen. [I do not drink at all, I do not like it, but that’s my own personal decision, for God’s sake…] In Spain Government tried to impose a law about that but they had to retire after the protests were generalised. Spain is the country with more extentions dedicated to wine plantation, so there were a lot of votes lost if that law was passed.

But we continue with the Islamic London: how ecologically friendly would be London in that case [Al Gore would be very happy]:

we could expect more public parks under Islam, but halifa also applies to recycling: in 2006, 12,000 Muslims attended a series of sermons at the East London Mosque explaining the theological evidence for a link between behaving in an environmentally sustainable way and the Islamic faith.

Yeah, just see the report by Channel 4 to see what they really preach [Note: Google video has censor the video, but it is still seen on Daily Motion].

I also remember a cleric blaming global warming in lack of faith in Allah.

But we go on:

[…] If Islam became the dominant religion in London the same ethos could be applied to schooling across swathes of underprivileged and deprived areas of the city. This could have a revolutionary effect on educational achievement and, perhaps just as importantly, general levels of discipline and self-respect among London’s young people. While controversy rages over faith schools, there are 37 Muslim schools in London. As of 2004, only five were state schools, but there is growing pressure to bring more into the state sector which, according to Alam, will ‘help raise achievement for many sectors of the Muslim community. Many private Muslim schools are under-resourced and if they can be brought into the state sector this valuable experience can be extended to more children.’

smile_thinking You only have to read about Pakistan and the fight Pakistani girls are maintaining each day for their right to go school, among threats from radicals:

As militancy surges in Pakistan’s remote tribal areas, girls’ schools have become targets. Despite the threats, girls’ enrollment has continued to rise.

Pakistani girls’ schools in radicals’ sights

But we continue with the Times Out London:

Application of halal (Arabic for ‘permissable’) dietary laws across London would free us at a stroke from our addiction to junk food, and the general adoption of a south Asian diet rich in fruit juice, rice and vegetables with occasional mutton or chicken would have a drastic effect on obesity, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorders and associated public health problems. As curry is already Londoners’ and the nation’s favourite food (see our Brick Lane food feature), it would be a relatively easy process to encourage the adoption of such a diet. Not eating would be important as well. The annual fasting month of Ramadan instils self-discipline, courtesy and social cohesion. And Londoners would benefit philosophically and physically from even a short period when we weren’t constantly ramming food into our mouths.

And simply switch to another kind of food, without converting to Islam? And there are not enough digestive and eating dissorders to have Ramadam fast implemented?

Roman Catholics have also the 40 days before Easter for fasting (from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday). Is going UK to be converted to Roman Catholicism just to instil self-discipline, courtesy and social cohesion? The man who writes this is so idiot I think this has been written by a Muslim robot smile_teeth.

But it goes on:

Inter-faith relations

In an Islamic London, Christians and Jews – with their allegiance to the Bible and the Talmud – would be protected as ‘peoples of the book’. […] Although England has a long tradition of religious bigotry against, for instance, Roman Catholics, it is reasonable to assume that under the guiding hand of Islam a civilised accommodation could be made among faith groups in London.

Oh yes, just read about inter-faith relations in other Islamic countries: Lina Joy in Malaysia, non-Muslim situation in Turkey, Muslims killing Hindus, even killing people from their own family because of not being good Muslims. And of course, we can always consider the three options given by Islamic thugs in Baghdad to Christians h/t The Bulldog. Or Darfur genocide. Oh, yeah, the interfaith great relationship under Islamist (the political side of Islam) rule….

But the worst best is yet to come:

Some of the finest art in London is already Islamic. The Jameel Gallery at the V&A houses ‘ceramics, textiles, carpets, metalwork, glass and woodwork, which date from the great days of the Islamic caliphate of the eighth and ninth century’ up until the turn of the last century. Or take a free daily tour of the Addis Gallery of Islamic art (at the British Museum). London-based Nasser David Khalili, an Iranian-born Jew, has amassed what is considered to be the world’s largest private collection of Islamic art. Islamic influences have also flourished in other areas of the arts, with novelists, comedians (Birmingham-born Shazia Mirza was an instant hit on the London circuit), and music (from rappers Mecca2Medina on, to the less in-your-face Yusuf Islam).

Of course, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace or the London’s National Gallery, for speaking about the most famous, at least in Spain, art resources in UK are not considered. And besides, all of those things mentioned have been built in recent years, are not traditional or culturally linked to UK.

But what makes me laugh is the praise to Yusuf Islam, because he even has financed terrorists and is tied to radical clerics. He supported Salman Rushdie’s fatwa for the Satanic verses, including his murder. You can also see this comment by Debbie Schlussel.

Social justice

Each Muslim is obliged to pay zakat, a welfare tax of 2.5 per cent of annual income, that is distributed to the poor and the needy. If the working population of London, 5.2 million, was predominantly Muslim this would produce approximately £3.2bn each year. More importantly, everyone would be obliged to consider those Londoners who haven’t shared their good fortune. London would become a little less cruel.

Source: Dhimmi Watch: London paper: Wouldn’t an Islamic London be great?

READ ALL!!! smile_sad

At the same time, Il Corriere was reporting yesterday that the Iraqi cleric Al Sadr was imposing the veil to all the women in Iraq, including Christians. If not they should stay at home:

Iraq: Al Sadr «impone» velo alle cristiane
Lettera dell’imam radicale sciita: le donne cristiane irachene devono indossare il velo se no saranno obbligate a stare in casa

Iraq: Al Sadr «impone» velo alle cristiane

Hmm, how less cruel an Islamic London would be!

Of course, they are also not saying anything about female broadcasters being killed because of airing songs which could be deemed as un-Islamic. Or about Iranian crash (1, 2 y 3)

And of course, no mention to the poll which showed that:

nearly 25% of British Muslims believe the UK government was behind the 7/7 London bombings that killed 52 commuters on the London transport system, and 60% believe that Muslims played no part in it.

h/t EN.

A very important symptom within English Muslim community, specially when not long ago there have been more arrests about a plot to commit new terrorist attacks. Of course, there were errors on security but the main responsibles of the plot where the Muslims involved in it, who had connections with the 7/July bombers.

Michael van der Galien thinks is a parody. Hot Air and LGF are considering it as real.

Related blog posts:

1.- Bad moon rising over Pakistan.

2.- Lawyer found after 3 days (he appears to have been tortured by Pakistani police, after been questioned about his affiliation with Imram Khan: even if I do not like at all the latter, Pakistan’s President Musharraf’s behaviour when firing the Chief Judge has not been either very bright at all, fueling the Islamists): interesting remark:

Students in Karachi cannot imagine holding a peaceful demonstration similar to that held by Venezuelan students, fearing the consequences of speaking out against the ruling part.

Yeah, Pakistan is really in a very bad situation. Read it all.

3.- Mohammad no.2 in Boy’s names in Britain. Also in Expat Yank.

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 when it’s needed??

Lina Joy is a Malaysian woman who converted to Christianity and wanted to marry a Christian man. Before she was a Christian she was a Muslim. As we all know, it is not allowed, according to the Sharia, to leave Islam.

Source: Stone Her! « Michael P.F. van der Galiën

Go over to read it. it’s disgusting: the Malaysian court has voted that a Muslim cannot convert. So this brave woman will be probably condemned to death.

And the Muslim cheered at hearing the verdict:

“The issue of apostasy is related to Islamic law, so it’s under the sharia court. The civil court cannot intervene.”

Lina Joy

Disgusting. smile_baringteeth

Now, where is the international condemnation for this?

[En español]

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Saudi officials have arrested a man in Mecca for being a Christian, saying that the city, which Muslims consider to be holy, is off-limits to non-Muslims.Nirosh Kamanda, a Sri Lankan Christian, was detained by the Saudi Expatriates Monitoring Committee last week after he started to sell goods outside Mecca’s Great Mosque.

After running his fingerprints through a new security system, Saudi police discovered that he was a Christian who had arrived in the country six months earlier to take a job as a truck driver in the city of Dammam. Kamanda had subsequently left his place of work and moved to Mecca.

The Grand Mosque and the holy city are forbidden to non-Muslims,” Col. Suhail Matrafi, head of the department of Expatriates Affairs in Mecca, told the Saudi daily Arab News. “The new fingerprints system is very helpful and will help us a lot to discover the identity of a lot of criminals,” he said. [Note: if you are a non-Muslim entering Mecca you’re a criminal…]

Similar restrictions apply to the Saudi city of Medina. In a section entitled, “Traveler’s Information,” the Web site of the Saudi Embassy in Washington states that, “Mecca and Medina hold special religious significance and only persons of the Islamic faith are allowed entry.”

Highway signs at the entrance to Mecca also direct non-Muslims away from the city’s environs.

Saudis arrest Christian for entering Mecca | Jerusalem Post. h/t El Rejunte.il.

Hmm, yes, I know of those signs. There are several Spanish in Saudi Arabia writing blogs. They are very informative about a country that releases so little information. For example, Destructor, from The fucking croquetacroqueta is a very well-known meal in Spain, although I do not know how to translate it; if someone knows he/she can leave it in comments– has a post about this sign:

Destructor+La+Meca

A very clear image… So, he says:

Do you imagine this in Europe? We would have to bear thousands of absurd complainings from the friends of the Muslim Humanity. I support the idea of beginning a platform not to let Muslims enter in Saint Places like Rome, Santiago de Compostela, Santiago, Liébana, Valladolid, etc.

 I would only announce it, saying that this is a reciprocity matter.

Crispal, from In Partibus Infidelium, writes about Saudi Arabian violations of Human Rights:

A detailed report by the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) on the state of human rights in Saudi Arabia has cited violations of the rights of women, prisoners and workers as well as injustice in law courts, discrimination against non-Saudis and forced confessions from those detained by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. The report also noted that domestic violence had reached an alarming level.

The 67-page report by the nongovernment body was released two days ago and is the first to be published by a human rights body in Saudi Arabia. It is the result of extensive studies carried out in the Kingdom since the NSHR’s establishment on March 9, 2004.

According to the organization, over the past three years, it has received over 8,570 complaints from citizens and residents.

An NSHR spokesperson said that its report was based on findings related to complaints it had received, reports in the media and reports submitted by foreign human rights organizations. The violations listed in the report were against both local and international treaties which the Kingdom has signed.

Go on reading. It’s ahem, a shame.

And lastly, but not least -there are others, that I would link other day– there is Stuck in Riyahd. He posts about how Spanish -whatever some Catalanists say – soccer team Barça is very famous over there. They have posters of it, but with the crucifix conveniently removed, as Equisese says “for preventing the loyals to Islam from being contaminated”:

barça en arabia

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The behaviour of Ahmadinejad and Islamic regime about women, the obligation to dress “Islamic code” or workers’ protest or even the brutal beating of some students by his supporters (more here) has not caused any scandal in Iran. The real cause of the scandal has been this photo:
In it Ahmadinejad is kissing the gloved hand of his own teacher from primary school. A woman in her 70’s.

Iranian blogger Kamangir writes that the fact that she was wearing gloves, proves that it was something that was not “a surprise for him”, as he claimed, but rather something staged.

Last news: Off with their breasts!!

One shopkeeper selling evening dresses told us the moral police had ordered him to saw off the breasts of his mannequins because they were too revealing.He said he wasn’t the only shop to receive this strange instruction.

The crackdown has also included young men dressed Western-style.

It is a pity Iranian FM Mouttaki did not behave like Ahmadinejad. You see this woman on the left? Well, she was wearing a fashion model with a low neckline. The minister could not stand it:

Durante una cena para diplomáticos la noche del jueves, la delegación iraní, encabezada por su ministro de Exteriores, Manuchehr Mottaki, abandonó de forma súbita la sala con la excusa de que una violinista que amenizaba la velada vestía de manera inapropiada.

During a dinner for diplomats on Thursday night, the Iranian delegtion, abandoned it abruptly because of the low neckline a violinist was wearing: she was wearing inapropriately“.

Other news:

“Mass purges” at Iranian Universities. Huge cost of Iranian brain drain. Khatami at the Vatican (hein?? yes, he is even going to speak at a two-day seminar at the Gregorian University – the pontifical university – on peace in Islam and the Christian world, ejem…).

Iranian trainers working in Gaza.

Iran deports thousands of Afghans in last 10 days.

Iran says it has collected 50,000 Afghans for deportation, and argues it is the right of every country to send home illegal workers.

Mr Pour-Mohammadi, Iranian Interior Minister, denied that families had been divided in the deportation process and said Iran had allowed 4,000 of the Afghans they had rounded up to remain because of problems they faced.

Iran is estimated to have up to one and a half million illegal Afghan workers who do the most dangerous and dirty jobs with little legal protection.
There are also just under a million registered refugees.
Tehran says some 300,000 of those refugees will be eligible to apply for work visas to return to Iran, if they first go back to Afghanistan.

Pro-illegal immirants are going to say something? Or as it is not some Western-imperialistic-bloody-blablablahhh are going to remain silent?


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From AsiaNews.it h/t Free Thoughts:

A mob of Muslims tortured a Catholic man on April 13 in Kotri, Sindh province, accusing him of writing blasphemous words against Muhammad. When the Police intervened, it arrested the tortured man. In prison he was tortured again in order to get him to “confess.” According to the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), Sattar Masih, a 28-year-old Catholic man, was arrested by police despite the lack of evidence, put in jail and tortured to get his confession. He was supposed to get married the following day.

Instead, Maulana Mohammad Umer, imam at a local mosque, filed a complaint against Mr Masih under Section 295–A and 295–C (commonly known as the blasphemy law) of the Pakistan Penal Code. Penalties include the death sentence for anyone who offends Islam’s prophet and sacred texts.

The Police also arrested Sattar Masih’s 60-year-old uncle, Mushtaq Masih, and his son, who was later released. Mushtaq Masih, who is employed as a sweeper by the municipal administration, is still in the lock up in the same police station for investigation but was suspended from his job because of his arrest under suspicion of blasphemy.

Considering Pakistan’s climate, it does not surprise me.

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Some days ago 3 Christians were killed after being tortured in the central city of Malatya:

The three victims — a German and two Turkish citizens — were found with their hands and legs bound and their throats slit at the Zirve publishing house in the central city of Malatya.
Police detained four youths, aged 19-20, and also suspect a fifth, who underwent surgery for head injuries sustained apparently in trying to escape by jumping from a window at Zirve, authorities said.
The five suspects had each had been carrying copies of a letter that read “We five are brothers. “We are going to our deaths. We may not return,” according to the state-run Anatolia news agency.

[…] In February 2006, a Turkish teenager shot a Catholic priest dead as he prayed in his church, and two other Catholic priests were attacked later that year. A November visit by Pope Benedict XVI was greeted by several nonviolent protests. Earlier this year, a suspected nationalist killed Armenian Christian editor Hrant Dink.

[…] The manner in which the victims were bound suggested the attack could have been the work of a local Islamic militant group, commentators said, and CNN-Turk television reported that police were investigating the possible involvement of Turkish Hezbollah — a Kurdish Islamic organization that aims to form a Muslim state in Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated southeast.
Turkish Hezbollah — which has been known to “hog-tie” its victims while torturing them — takes its name from the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, but has no formal links to it. Turkish authorities recently said they were witnessing an increase in the group’s activities.

The Middle East Times [h/t The Belmont Club] reported about the torture inflicted on the victims:

“He had scores of knife cuts on his thighs, his testicles, his rectum, and his back,” Ugras said. “His fingers were sliced to the bone. “It is obvious that these wounds had been inflicted to torture him,” he said.

[…] The abuse lasted for three hours as the five men detained at the crime scene interrogated the three on their missionary activities, they said.

But there is another thing to worry about h/t NoisyRoom.Net:

Even though both Turks who died on Wednesday had abandoned Islam and converted to Christianity, Ugur Yuksel was buried as a Muslim.

More in Kattolikko Pensiero.

The Turkish PM Erdogan considered this “a brutality“. But the fact that he have elected his friend Abdullah Gül to substitute him (Erdogan is retiring from active politics) has caused a terrible political storm.

Gül is what MSM call a moderate Muslim. His wife wears the veil -she could not study at University because of that- and his daughter wears a wig instead of hijab, not to show her hair attending the Unversity classes. [In the Atatürk founded state, based on modern secularism, women who wear hijabs are forbidden to attend any official/public gathering/office.

Lots of Turks began demonstrating against the naming of Gül h/t C&R. The Jawa Report has a video in this post.

The Turkish Army, guardian of the secularism, spoke to warn against any movements that would make secularism disappear from Turkey. The Government told the Army that the military chief answers to the Prime Minister

And the EU “warned Turkish Army over vote“:

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said the controversy was a test case for
the military to respect democracy.

So it is true that they are seeing it better an moderate Islamist Turkey than a military held secular Government. I wonder what they would say if any Catholic country would be in the same position…

At the same time,I think they are searching for a reason not to admit Turkey in EU. I mean, if Turkey would be a real stable secularist country with no kind of influence from Islamists, EU would have it really tough not to admit them. But as it is, there are great majorities both in Germany and France -here it would really depends on who wins the Presidential election, as Ségoléne has announced she would support Turkey’s admittance into the EU- that do not like Turks in the EU. If a coup happens or Islamist influence grows, it is going to be plainly difficult… to tell them EU admits them… [remember Gül was the one who said that, if Turkey wasn’t admitted, the EU would be considered as “a Christian club”?]

More about this at Town Commons who points out that ten years ago, the Army ousted Islamist premier Necmettin Erbakan’s government, in which Gul also served, with strong public backing and without tanks on the streets, something which forgets to tell the Economist when writing about Gül. He also comments about this:

I am unsure how to feel about the EU’s warning. On one hand, it is comic for being utterly meaningless. There is no military threat behind it, and it is pretty clear that the EU will not forgo a single euro in trade over it. On the other hand, it is rather ironic for being issued in protection of Islamists. If Gates of Vienna’s compelling arguments on Islamicization in Europe and its likely course are accurate, this continued EU willingness to do business with and support Islamists may be biting them sooner rather then later.

More about demonstrations against Islamism in Turkey from Gateway Pundit. Jim has posted a lot of photos, like the one on the right.

Newsbusters also wrote about this: How will media Report Massive Turkish Protests Against Islamic-Rooted Government? h/t Custos Fidei.

More about the demonstrations in NYT, Deutsche Welle.

It’s curious that International MSM pictures these huge demonstration (1 million according to Turkish TV) as “elite” demonstrations… and that the demonstrations are considering the Islamists as inferior human beings.

Turkish political tensions hit currency ahead of court ruling.

Tulay Tugcu, president of the Constitutional Court, said she hoped for a ruling on Friday’s contested first-round vote before the second round is held on Wednesday.
If the court’s 11 judges rule in favor of the plaintiff, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the election will be annulled and early elections will be called in 45 to 90 days.
The CHP based its complaint on a technicality, saying the 550-member parliament should have had a quorum of 367 to open the session for a presidential election — the number of votes required for a candidate to be elected in the first round.

Other news about Turkey:

  • Turkey warned Canada US against using term genocide regarding Armenians. Canadian Prime Minister Harper was warned through diplomatic channels last week that “repeating these claims annually will not help in normalizing Turkey-Armenia relations and will harm Turkish-Canadian bilateral relations as well.” “We hope that the Canadian PM will not repeat this year what he did last year,” a high-level Foreign Ministry official said, the Turkish Daily News reports. [To read more about Armenian genocide, go over to Fausta’s blog].
  • Turkish Islamists in Germany h/t Jihadi du Jour: Welt am Sonntag: What do you think about the influence of Islam on the western world? Notker Wolf: There are certainly some groups that have set the islamization of Europe as their goal. I think that in itself is a serious thing. In Germany the Turkish association Ditib recently demanded that the «Word on Friday» be broadcast on public television. I only wonder: How can it be that these people demand all rights in Germany for themselves, while at the same time Christians are seriously discriminated in Turkey? Why are we, Christians, not allowed a theological faculty in Turkey? Why are we not allowed to have any church property there? Meanwhile, the mayor of Munich even breaks building regulations to approve a mosque, just to win the votes of the Turks. That is unbelievable! Tolerance is good, but it doesn’t mean we should surrender.
  • Turkey’s stocks, currency tumble on election fears (also on BBC, BBC) : The ISE National 100 index dropped 5.7% to 44,208.58, with Turkcell losing 2%, Finansbank down 1.7% and Alcatel Teletas losing 5.8%. The dollar gained as much as 4%, and climbed 2.7% to 1.3640 lira in morning trading.
    The staunchly secular military, which has led three coups since 1960, is upset that the leading presidential candidate, Abdullah Gul, has an Islamist past. In a statement made Friday evening, the military said it would act to defend secularism.
    Serhan Cevik, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, called the military’s statement “harsh” and “unexpected.”
    “Even though reasons behind this blunt declaration are open to debate, there is no doubt that even ‘post-modern’ statements undermine institutional reforms to demilitarize the political landscape and thereby Turkey’s accession negotiations with the European Union,” Cevik said in a note to clients.

Others blogging about this: Desde el Exilio.

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Allegations Iran is arming Afghan rebels are aired publicly by US officials for the first time.

Source: US accuses Iran of supplying arms to Taliban

More about this in Freedom’s Zone. According to the latter Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asian Affairs, in a meeting with EU officials in Brussels, said Iran was a “developing issue of concern.”

His comments come only a day after Pentagon’s top general Peter Pace said coalition forces in Afghanistan had intercepted Iranian-made mortars and explosives destined for the Taliban.
“We don’t know exactly who is doing this and why, but we know that these have been Iranian origin weapons that have shown up in the hands of the Taliban,” Boucher said. “We have been seeing a series of indicators that Iran is getting more involved in an unhealthy way in Afghanistan,” the US official warned.
Boucher insisted that the “military defeat of the Taliban was not the “key task.” The focus was on building Afghan democracy and strengthening the outreach of the government.
“This is where terrorism originally came from,” said Boucher referring to Al-Qaeda’s use of Afghan territory. He said a democratic Afghanistan would therefore play a vital role in stabilizing the region.
“There is an historic opportunity to change the dynamic in this region and create an area of stability between Asia and the Middle East,” he said.

Varios oficiales EEUU han declarado que Irán está armando a los talibanes. No saben cómo lo hacen, pero sí que han interceptado armas de fabricación iraní (morteros y explosivos) con destino los talibanes. Boucher, asistente de la Secretario de Estado EEUU para el Asia central y del sur, ha añadido que “Irán cada vez está implicado de peor de manera en Afganistán“, que “allí se ha ido a defender la democracia y no tanto a sólo derrotar a los talibanes” y que es una oportunidad histórica de crear un área de estabilidad en la zona.

Hmm, qué sorpresa, ¿no? Irán, la perfecta democracia islámica ayudando a los talibanes… que muy pacíficos no parecen:

Afghans face suicide attacks, beheadings and abductions by the Taleban, says an Amnesty International report.

A report by Amnesty International says that attacks on civilians are widespread and systematic, and are used by Taleban rebels to instil fear.

The report says that scores of civilians have been deliberately killed by the Taleban in the past two years.

It accuses the Taleban of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”.

‘War crimes’

Targets between January 2005 and March 2007 have included women’s rights activists, election candidates, clerics, government and health workers and teachers.

Taleban fighters in Zabul

The Taleban are accused of treating some civilians as the enemy

At least 183 schools were burned in arson attacks across the country between 2005-2006.

Amnesty say that most victims of Taleban violence are apparently branded as “spies” or “collaborators”.

In one “brutal” incident cited by the organisation last week, an Afghan journalist was killed by the Taleban, reportedly by having his throat slit. –and they write “brutal

Ajmal Naqshbandi, 25, had been taken hostage in March along with an Italian reporter, Daniele Mastrogiacomo, and their Afghan driver, Sayed Agha.

While Daniele Mastrogiacomo was released in a prisoner exchange, Sayed Agha was beheaded.

Amnesty say that the Taleban’s military rulebook, or Laheya, explicitly sanctions targeting and killing civilians.

Link to Taleban ‘war crimes’ on Afghans

Of course, the charitable Talibans have rejected the report h/t Clarity and Resolve.

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La ONG Amnistía Internacional ha denunciado a los talibanes por las numerosas atrocidades que están cometiendo frente a los civiles. Mujeres defensoras de sus derechos, políticos, periodistas o simplemente civiles que estaban en el lugar equivocado han sido asesinados deliberadamente por los talibanes. Previamente los consideran “espías” o “colaboradores”. Así, la semana pasada un periodista fue asesinado por espía, como dirían los antiguos, por el método de “cortarle el pescuezo“. También fueron asesinados de esta forma el intérprete y el chófer de Mastrogiacomo, el periodista italiano al que los talibanes liberaron porque lograron que el Gobierno afgano pusiera en la calle a 5 talibanes peligrosos.

Por supuesto, los pacíficos insurgentes-militantes-rebeldes lo han negado, diciendo que sólo mataban “a los y a los que los ayudaban“. Claro, el chófer de Mastroiacomo era un peligroso agente internacional que quería infiltrarse entre los talibanes… Pero ¿quién le mandaba a él ser chófer? Debería haber comenzado una fabulosa carrera como espiritual y pacífico talibán.

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cooperantes_afganistanWe also have to add that today there are two French from an NGO kidnapped by the Talibans:

The Canadian TV CBC has shown some images of the two French NGO workers, kidnapped 10 days ago in the south-East of Afghanistan, in which both of them tell the camera they are fearing for their lifes.

In the images we can also see three Afghans, the driver and two interpreters, also kidnapped, and their kidnappers, strongl armed, as the TV has stated, while at the same time adding they were not going to show the images.

The images are proof that both of them can be alive by now.

The French President, Mr. Chirac, asked on Friday (a week ago) to Afghan President, Karzai, to make “all possible efforts” to achieve the liberation of the 2 kidnapped French, apparently by the Taliban. Chirac asked for an effort to Karzai and underlined the importance of the mutual support between the authorities of both countries.

This Chirac… has he considered what the taliban have said about the Mastroiacomo’s liberation?

Dadullah, the Taliban’s top operations commander, made the claim to a Pakistani journalist shortly after the Afghan government traded the five militants for Daniele Mastrogiacomo of La Repubblica.

He said he felt so happy that he would take a rest and let his brother take the reins for a while,” said Rahimullah Yusufzai, a veteran reporter from Peshawar, who interviewed Dadullah by phone. “He said that any western journalist who does not seek permission is going to be arrested.”

The deal has triggered a heated debate across Europe. Italian opposition politicians and some newspapers accused the prime minister, Romano Prodi, of caving in to terrorists. In London, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said the swap sent “the wrong signal to prospective hostage-takers”.

Taliban plan more kidnappings after Italian deal | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Hmm, what a profitable industry, hein?

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La cadena de televisión canadiense CBC ha obtenido imágenes que muestran a dos cooperantes franceses secuestrados hace diez días en el suroeste de Afganistán, en el que los dos rehenes expresan temor por su vida. En las imágenes también se ve a los tres rehenes afganos el conductor y dos traductores con los ojos vendados, y los secuestradores que les custodian fuertemente armados, según ha explicado la cadena, que ha decidido no emitir las imágenes.

La mujer secuestrada suplica por su vida mientras que su colega, que se identifica como Erik, también hace un llamamiento similar. Según informa la televisión canadiense en su página web, el canal ha decidido no emitir las imágenes, consideradas una prueba de que los dos trabajadores humanitarios de la organización no gubernamental Terre d’Enfance y los tres afganos que viajaban con ellos cuando fueron secuestrados pueden continuar con vida.

El presidente francés, Jacques Chirac, pidió el viernes a su homologo afgano, Hamid Karzai, que se hagan “todos los esfuerzos” posibles para conseguir la liberación de dos cooperantes franceses secuestrados el 3 de abril pasado, aparentemente por los talibanes. El presidente francés pidió un esfuerzo a Karzai y subrayó la importancia del apoyo mutuo entre las autoridades de ambos países con el objetivo de liberar a los activistas humanitarios, según un portavoz oficial.

Source: Tizas – Los taliban exhiben a los cooperantes secuestrados

Y es que hace unos días ya lo anunció Dadullah, el jefe Talibán, que iban a continuar con los secuestros y que después del de Mastroiacomo, estaba tan feliz que se iba a tomar unas vacaciones.

Como decíamos en el colegio: estaba más feliz que una lombriz, aunque en este caso, sea un insulto para la pobre lombriz…

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Another proof of the violence against civilians is the killing of girls’ teachers:

Police in Afghanistan’s southeastern province of Khost say Taliban militants shot dead the headmaster of a girls’ school in eastern Afghanistan on April 17. Authorities say Ghulam Haider, of the Kundi girls’ school, was killed while walking to a mosque for morning prayers.

Another headmaster was killed in a similar shooting on April 15 in the province’s Gorboz district.

Afghan Education Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar said more than 40 Afghan teachers have been killed in Taliban attacks against schools and colleges during the past year.

Source: Clarity & Resolve: Afghanistan – Jihad Against Girls’ Education

La policía de la provincia de Khost (Sur de Afganistán) han dicho que los militantes talibanes han matado a disparos al director de un colegio femenino el 17 de abril. Las autoridades han añadido que a Ghulam Haider, del colegio femenino Khundi, le asesinaron mientras iba caminado hacia la mezquita para las oraciones de la mañana.

A otro director de escuela le mataron de forma semejante el 15 de abril en Gorboz.

El Ministro de Educación afgano dijo que los talibanes han asesinado a más de 40 profesores afganos en ataques a colegios y escuelas durante el pasado año.

Si es que es lo que tienen los insurgentes talibanes. ¿Para qué van ellos a respetar algo tan occidental como los Derechos Humanos?

Así que el Comandante USA del Gobierno Central de las Fuerzas en Afganistán está pidiendo a la OTAN que se implique más y envíe más tropas. No sólo es por cuestiones militares si no sobre todo para ayudar a los civiles.

NATO needs to provide more forces to assist in ongoing security and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, the commander of U.S. Central Command said during his testimony at a Congressional hearing today. The top U.S. military commander in Iraq, Army Gen. Dan K. McNeill, has asked NATO headquarters for more troops, Navy Adm. William J. Fallon told House Armed Services Committee members. McNeill took command of more than 30,000 NATO and U.S. troops in early February. McNeill “is on record as asking the alliance in Brussels for additional assets“, Fallon said.

He needs them not only in terms of military forces and capabilities such as rotary-wing lift to move these forces in the field, but he also needs some help in the civilian world.

Today, there are about 26,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Around 14,000 U.S. forces are under McNeill as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. The other 12,000 American forces in Afghanistan fall under U.S. command and are conducting special operations and Afghan army training missions.

Source: More NATO Help Needed in Afghanistan, Fallon Says

Are the Euroweenies going to send more troops? Are we going really to defend the Human Rights of this poor Human Beings, trapped in the same place with such bastards? Or not?

Related news: 24 Taleban fighters killed in Afghan battle. (According to yahoo, the Taliban dead had been 27).

Afghan troops have torn down part of a new anti-Taleban fence being erected by Pakistan on the border between the two countries, officials in Kabul say.

They say the move led to fighting between Afghan and Pakistani troops. But Pakistan has denied the fence claim, saying the clashes started after one of its patrols came under fire. It was the first such fighting since Pakistan announced plans earlier this year to fence and mine sections of the border to restrict Taleban fighters. The Afghan government says the plan will endanger civilian lives and separate Pashtun tribes and families.

Source: BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Afghanistan ‘border fence’ clash

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Las tropas afganas han partido una valla anti-talibanes que había erigido Pakistán en el borde entre ambos países, según las autoridades de Kabul. Dijeron también que esta era la primera vez que esa valla había dado lugar a luchas entre ambos.

Paquistán ha negado la protesta diciendo que la lucha se produjo cuando una de sus patrullas fue atacada. El gobierno de Afganistán dice que el plan va a poner en peligro vidas civiles y a separar tribus y familias Pashtún.

Sent to Open trackback: Dumb Ox.

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El Padre Nguyen Van Ly, sacerdote vietnamita activista pro derechos fundamentales y defensor de la dignidad de toda persona, que ya ha pasado 14 años de su vida en prisión, pasará otros ocho años encarcelado, junto a otros cuatro compañeros, por el delito de “propaganda contra el régimen comunista”. Pide a la embajada de Vietnam en España su liberación inmediata. Según han informado diferentes fuentes, el pasado 30 de marzo, el sacerdote Nguyen Van Ly, junto a otros cuatro imputados, fueron condenados por un tribunal de Hue, en Vietnam central, por el delito de “propaganda contra el régimen comunista”, lo que, a juicio de los analistas, es el primer peldaño de una inminente escalada de la opresión política y religiosa en ese país.

Source: HazteOir.org – Exige la libertad del Padre Nguyen Van Ly y de todos los presos vietnamitas por motivos políticos y/o religiosos

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The Spanish Catholic platform HazteOir.Org is today asking for your signature to help Catholic Priest Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Vietnamese activist pro-Human Rights who has already spent 14 years of his life in prison and who has been condemned to another 8 years, with another 4 companions, because of “preaching against the Socialist regime“. They are collecting the signatures to send them to the Vietnamese Embassy in Spain to ask for his immediate liberation.

Some analysts have said that this resolution is the first step to an inminent escalation in the political and religious opression in that country.

 If you want to help, click on the link and sign the letter.

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I was not going to blog about the so-called pornographic artist-ical photos Autonomous Government of Extremadura (PSOE) has paid for. But seeing the critics that Catholic, who have protested about them, are being made, I have to write a few lines.

Yes, I was a critic of Muslims who considered normal to kill, menace and even maim to the editor and cartoonists who had insulted Islam by portraiting Mohammed in a rather not charming way. But, milords, IT WAS A PRIVATE PAPER.

The difference here is HUGE. The most insulting cartoon was one of Mohammed portraited with a bomb as a turbant, but it is true that Mohammed was a warrior who killed people with swords. So, if he would have lived now, he would have used bombs, so it’s not very insulting.

But Virgin Mary did not masturbate Jesus Christ or Christ was a pedophile, nor can it be extracted from any part of the Gospel. Anyway, much more than the obvious pornographic considerations (and of really bad taste, and can something be called art if it’s of bad taste, if art is beauty’s portrait?), this is a work who has been sponsored by a PUBLIC institution, with the MONEY OF ALL TAXPAYERS, even the ones who ARE CHRISTIAN. Because, lately it looks like as if the other Christians do not get appalled by this kind of crap, made only by the author to get attention. Well, it really has to be hard to be so old and to be doing things like this to obtain glory in pornographic art.

Here, no one is demanding to kill the artist, just not to be sponsored by public money.

If not, all pornography should be banned, and no one is asking for that [or at least not me, even if pornographic magazines/videos/…. would be totally broke if they rely on me to buy them :D]. But in a free state, people should be allowed to buy whatever they want, either it’s wrong or bad, except when it’s a crime. And I really think that pornography sex is no more that the result of a prêt-a-porter and bad-tasteful attitude that is not contributing to make this world better at all. Things that really last (valor, honor, goodness, real love, etc) are not even considered -and normal people, like any one of us, should be blamed for nor stand for them- or considered as stupid considerations or of really unmodern taste. But that is MY own thinking and I am not the only one in this world.

Oh, and by the way, if these photos were shown in a private gallery, with the sponsorship of the Generalitat de Valencia (PP), I will critic PP by the same reasoning. These days looks like the only basis to defend PSOE attitudes is to say “you did it much more times and graver“. Spanish political climate reminds me to the primary schools when little children accused the others of having done the same or even more wrong, not to be punished.

Lastly, Zapatero said, when meeting Turkish Erdogan, that people should have respect for another people’s religion, about the cartoons. Well, I hope he will say something about this, but as Christian extremists are not supported by the normal Christian believer and what is more, the doctrine of love for all people even your enemy, is the basis, I think we are going to wait sat in a very comfortable chair. Though, of course, they are trying to raise those extremists continuosly but, at least for now, with very few success (thank GOD).

CONCLUSION: Each one in his/her house can do whatever they want. BUT NOT WITH MY MONEY. OR EVEN WORST: WITHOUT ASKING ME FIRST WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO TAKE MY MONEY FOR…

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Related news:

Sugiero: Filed a complaint against the photographer.

Extremadura Automous Community President, Socialist Rodríguez Ibarra, ask for forgiveness to “all the people who could have been offended by the pornographic photos of Jesus Christ and the Virgin”. But adds “Politicians do not have to like artistic expressions“… Hmm, of course, they are not paying them…. [Now, ask the author for the money and then pay him with your own purse]

He has also declared that “no one wanted to offend the Catholic Church“. Hmm, must not have read what the author-pornographic artist has said: “they are a critic to the Catholic Church with no intention of offending” (¡!) or “Other religions do not affect me, are not a part of my culture. I am not going to attack something I do not know. I have felt attacked by some things, by the double standard, and many other things that I am not going to tell you now“. In the era of Internet, of global communication, of world travels, an artist say there are things he does not know… So there are no cojones aren’t there? Ooh, I am so frightened by people who would attack me, I just do not want to even know of their existence… And he talks of double standards. Chicken. In another time, this man would have been the first going to have communion…

Juan Carlos Girauta en Libertad Digital: Ni Dios: “What is worst here, is the sponsoring“.

Also in El Blog de Martha Colmenares and Desde El Exilio.

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Nota: Todos los links están en español. El resumen de lo que digo es: a mí estas fotos pseudo-artístico pornográficas me parecen un deseo de su autor de ser conocido. Y de un mal gusto espantoso. Y soy católica convencida y me encanta ir de museos y admirar obras artísticas. Ahora bien, a riesgo de que alguien se lleve las manos a la cabeza y una vez vistas a mí no me escandaliza nada: a mí simplemente me parecen soeces y que, si este hombre a su edad, ha tenido que recurrir a esto para ser conocido, tiene muchos problemas.

En cuanto a la comparación con las caricaturas de Mahoma, es clara: mientras que las caricaturas habían sido pagadas por un periódico privado (y, por tanto, podías dejar de comprarlo si no te gustaban) estas fotos han sido pagadas por un ente público, sin permiso de los ciudadanos, ciudadanos que, en una parte importante son cristianos -no sólo católicos, me da que los protestantes tampoco bailan de alegría al ver a Cristo masturbado por la Virgen [en una Piedad curiosa, porque si el Cristo en la Piedad está muerto, hmm, … me da que sentiría poco] o a un Cristo pedófilo-.

Además, mientras que Mahoma sí fue un soldado que asesinó/mató a personas con sus propias armas, esta clase de actividad sexual no viene ni puede extraerse de los Evangelios.

Así que Ibarra, menos pedir perdón, y devuelvan ustedes el dinero -póngalo de su bolsillo- y me da igual que a ustedes no les gustara esa “expresión artística: el problema es que apartaron dinero de otros fines más legítimos y necesarios -Extremadura no puede permitirse el lujo de desviar dinero de invertir en otras cuestiones básicas mucho más necesarias para su desarrollo- para pagar una obra ofensiva para buena parte de los extermeños. Que son los que les pagan a ustedes el sueldo…

Ahh, y por si no queda claro, si es cierto que el PP patrocinó una exposición de estas fotos en Valencia, me parece igual de mal.

Me da igual lo que cada uno haga en su casa: pero me gustaría que me preguntaran antes de usar mi dinero.

Aahhh, que el dinero público no es de nadie, Carmen Calvo dixit. Se me había olvidado eso…


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Well, looks like I got it confused and thought that Kareem could not appeal his four-year in jail sentence. Actually, he can and his lawyers have appealed it, knowing that the punishment only can be reduced. The appeal has been set for March 12.

Thanks to Pub Philosopher.

There is a video that shows that he was kick after exiting tribunal. After the trial the prosecutor lawyer, Mohamed Dawoud (above), called for wajing jihad against the “likes of Kareem” (FreeKareem.org).

Kareem leaving Tribunal

For more about blogo-activism in Egypt, read this post from Freedom for Egyptians.

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Los abogados de Kareem, el blogger egipcio sentenciado a 4 años por criticar al Islam y a Mubarak, presentaron ayer el recurso contra la sentencia, sabiendo que en caso de que gane, sólo verá disminuida su sentencia y en ningún caso se producirían una excarcelación inmediata.

FFE escribe sobre un artículo en el Daily Mail sobre la blogo-actividad egipcia, que se ha convertido en un ejemplo para la región. El artículo se refiere entre otros a Sandmonkey o a Big Pharaoh (ahora retirado temporalmente).


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Chinese military expenditure is going to grow nearly 18 percent in 2007, announcement that comes, as ever mixed with menaces to Taiwan. This continues the trend maintained lately by Chinese leaders, and is not very well related to the PM’s statement about focusing on pollution and poor:

He warned that illegal land confiscation had to be stopped. He praised the real estate industry as an essential part of the national economy, but he called on developers, who have built expensive projects all over China, to also focus on building affordable housing and not to threaten “primary farmland.”

In the past, Wen has used his speeches before the National People’s Congress to announce plans to repeal the agricultural tax on farmers and to extend free schooling to students in the poorest regions. This year, he said the government would stop collecting tuition and fees from all rural students. He said the government also would expand pilot projects to build a rural cooperative health care system and would begin establishing the equivalent of a welfare program for the poorest people.

Corruption, meanwhile, has become a dominant concern in recent months, as President Hu Jintao has ordered a nationwide crackdown that many political analysts consider as much about purging political enemies as cleaning up the government.

It is not either very proportionate to the actual Chinese economical growth, which reached 10.7, judged essential by experts who think it is the main cause of the survival of the Communist rule.

But Chinese rulers are much more surprised than by their economical record, by the religious surge that the country lives today. Anyway, religious people do not have it easy to live their faith.

ICC (International Christian Concern) has reported about the case of Ms Shuang Shuing, an elderly Christian woman (77 yrs old) who has been sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for asking for her son, Hua Huiqui, a detained and very active pastor. She has been charged of willfully disturbing public and private property. Also UN in Thailand has denied refugee state to a persecuted Chinese pastor.

Related links: Christian persecution in China. Human Rights Watch World Report for 2006: China and Tibet. About Catholic persecution:

State interference in Catholic affairs was evident in January when the officially-sanctioned Chinese Catholic church, rather than the Pope, ordained five new bishops. As of October, at least seven Catholic bishops remained in detention in China, many of whom had been held for years. On September 14, sixty police officers took eighty-one-year-old Bishop Zeng Jingmu into custody, together with two priests.

You can also read Cardinal Kung Foundation index of persecuted Catholics.

Lastly, former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific), David Kilgour, and Human Rights lawyer David Matas, have issued a report about Falun Gong prisoneres who have been harvested for live organs, something which has been denounced repeatedly by Chinese dissidents and Human Rights Lawyers. Last evidence here.

UPDATE: Spanish on-line newspaper El Diario Exterior reports that the announcement of the increase in military budget has been made during the visit of US State Subsecretary John Negroponte to China, and after protesting about the US announced intention of selling missiles to Taiwan.

But China had already increased military expense by 15% (approx. US$ 36,600 millions) before Negroponte’s visit. Now Chinese Government has only announced a greater increase (approx. US$45.000 millions). They have declared that it is only to substitute old military material and that their intentions are peaceful.

Also in The Washington Post (from Kosmoblog).

Chinese authorities have also announced an increase of 41% in the educational budget.

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El gasto militar chino va a ser aumentado este año en un 17,8%, casi el doble de lo que va a crecer la economía china (10,7%). A pesar de eso, el presidente chino ya ha dicho que está más interesado por la contaminación y por los pobres, al mismo tiempo que hacía un llamamiento a los especuladores inmobiliarios para que dejaran de apropiarse ilegalmente de tierras que no les pertenecen e hicieran más casas baratas.

La corrupción se ha convertido en uno de los quebraderos de cabeza del Gobierno chino, porque la especulación en prácticamente todos los sectores, pero principalmente en el inmobiliario, ha hecho que muchos den lo que aquí se conoce como pelotazo financiero. Los críticos del Presidente Hu Jintao creen que las purgas para reducir la corrupción, tienen como verdadero objetivo purgar a los disidentes que existan dentro del Partido Comunista.

Ahora bien, lo que más les sorprende a los dirigentes chinos es el florecimiento religioso que está teniendo lugar en el país. Pero, claro, su sorpresa no trae buenas consecuencias para los que osan no cumplir con la “ortodoxia religiosa china. Tanto budistas como cristianos o musulmanes están siendo perseguidos.

Como ya sabreis, los católicos en China están divididos en dos grupos: aquellos que no reconocen la soberanía de Roma y se integran en la Iglesia Católica Patriota China y los que siguen fieles a Roma. Estos últimos son los que se llevan la peor parte, llevando algunos obispos -que son investidos de forma totalmente privada- varios años en la cárcel. Algunos de ellos como el obispo Zeng Jingmu, que hoy tiene 81 años, han estado en prisión más de 30 años entre rejas por no apostatar. Zeng Jingmu fue detenido junto con otros dos sacerdotes el pasado septiembre.

Pero los que sin duda están siendo peor tratados y torturados de la peor manera posible son los seguidores del Falun Gong. El movimiento, pues no puede ser considerado religión, constituye una disciplina para mantener la salud en cuerpo y mente. Sin embargo, el Partido Comunista chino los ha venido persiguiendo y sometiendo a torturas de forma regular y son considerados como disidentes peligrosos. 3013 ya han sido asesinados y más de 100.000 enviados a campos de trabajo forzados.

Y ahora un informe independiente, encabezado por el ex-Secretario de Estado Canadiense para Asia-Pacífico, David Kilgour, y el abogado de Derechos Humanos, David Matas, ha confirmado lo que muchos activistas de Derechos Humanos ya habían denunciado: los prisioneros disidentes del Falun Gong estaban siendo literalmente cosechados para producir órganos humanos destinados a trasplantes, que en un gran porcentaje se hacen fuera de China.

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Related posts:

About Chinese military expenditure: Technology disputes and weapons sales, Beijing feeds the hype, Chinese new arsenal.

About the organs’ market: The organs’ market appears to be thriving in China.

About Human Rights’ violations: They are firing at them like dogs, China, still on the podium of torture, Death Penalty buses in China, Chinese mother forced to have an abortion because she was not married, China: Internet cos must obey its laws, Tiananmen.

Others: Chinese prisoner’s sons, Tibertans murdered and Chinese geopolitical importance.


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I wrote yesterday that the Israelis were presenting a song called Push the Button in which they mocked the Islamofascism. Well, the Eurovision Contest wants to ban it (HT: JW):

Eurovision’s organizers have already begun to consider banning Teapacks from the competition. “It’s absolutely clear that this kind of message is not appropriate for the competition,” contest organizer Kjell Ekholm said. “We’ll have all the delegation leaders here in Helsinki next week, and I’m sure we’ll talk about this case within the EBU [European Broadcasting Union] group.”

Click here to listen to the song.

__________________________

Ayer escribí que los israelíes han llevado a Eurovisión una canción titulada “Push the Button”, o lo que es lo mismo, “Da al botón”. Los de Eurovisión la quieren prohibir porque no es “apropiada para el Festival“. Ummm, sí, claro…

Si quieres ver la noticia en español, mira en el Rejunte.il.


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Some days ago I wrote about him, because of an alert my friend FFE sent me. Well, he has been finally sentenced to 4 years in jail for insulting Islam and President Hosni Mubarak and inciting sedition (¡!).

Abdel Kareem Nabil, a 22-year-old former student at Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, an Islamic institution, had pleaded innocent to all charges, and human rights groups had called for his release.

Nabil, who used the blogger name Kareem Amer, had sharply criticized Al-Azhar on his Web log, calling it “the university of terrorism” and accusing it of suppressing free thought. He also often criticized Mubarak’s regime on the blog.

In one post, he said Al-Azhar University “stuffs its students’ brains and turns them into human beasts … teaching them that there is not place for differences in this life.”

He was a vocal critic of conservative Muslims and in other posts described Mubarak’s regime as a “symbol of dictatorship.”

The university threw him out last year and pressed prosecutors to put him on trial.

The judge issued the verdict in a brief, five-minute session in a court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. He sentenced Nabil to three years in prison for insulting Islam and inciting sedition and another year for insulting Mubarak. Nabil had faced a possible maximum sentence of up to nine years in prison.

Nabil, wearing a gray T-shirt and sitting in the defendants pen, gave no reaction and his face remained still as the verdict was read. He was immediately taken from the pen and put in a prison truck and did not comment to reporters.

Egypt arrested a number of bloggers last year, most of them for connections to Egypt’s pro-democracy reform movement. Nabil was arrested in November, and while other bloggers were freed, Nabil was put on trial – a sign of the sensitivity of his writings on religion.

Hafiz Abou Saada, head of the Egyptian Human Rights Organization, described the verdict as “very tough”.

Even his family has disowned him some days before the trial:

His father, a retired mathematics teacher, has demanded applying the Sharia [Islamic law] ruling on him by giving him three days to repent, followed by having him killed if he does not announce his repentance.

The verdict can be appealed at the Alexandria Appealing Tribunal, but his lawyers are not very hopeful. This sentence was the appeal.

There have been a lot of reactions to this men’s sentence:

Big Pharaoh [by the way, he is leaving the blog and he says that he does not when he will be posting again. I am very sorry to hear that, it is a great loss for the blogosphere]:

What really upsets me is the fact that Abdel Kareem enjoys very little sympathy in the Egyptian street because of what he said about Islam and religion in general. Some are calling for his execution.

Abdel Kareem will enjoy sympathy in the Egyptian street once Islam gets reformed. Once cussing Mohamed, Allah, whatever does not send you to prison or the gallows. If Abdel Kareem was living 500 years ago in Europe and he would have wrote the same thing about Christianity, he would have been burned at stake. Luckily Christianity got reformed, Christians in Europe understood that God would not be a very happy person if they imprisoned or killed someone who wrote/said something they considered offensive to the Christian faith. This is the reason why Dan Brown and Tom Hanks are still alive today.

Sandmonkey has announced that he will be writing a report for Pajamas Media and that he will be speaking about this in BBC.

Patrick from Clarity and Resolve expresses his concerns about Kareem’s survival in prison.

Eye-on-the-world writes that:

The London-based rights group Amnesty International said in a statement: “This is yet another slap in the face of freedom of expression in Egypt.” The group considers Suleiman to be a prisoner of conscience, jailed solely for peacefully expressing his opinion, the statement added.

The Paris-based press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders said the sentence was “a disgrace” and the United Nations should respond by disqualifying Egypt from hosting an Internet Governance Forum in 2009.

[…]

One of Suleiman’s articles said that al-Azhar in Cairo, one of the most prominent seats of Sunni Muslim learning, was promoting extreme ideas. Another article, headlined “The Naked Truth of Islam as I Saw it”, accused Muslims of savagery during clashes between Muslims and Christians in Alexandria in 2005.

He has also described some of the companions of the Muslim prophet Mohammad as “terrorists”, and has likened Mubarak to dictatorial pharaohs who ruled ancient Egypt.

“I was hoping that he would get a harsher sentence because he presented to the world a bad image of Egypt. There are things that one should not talk about, like religion and politics. He should have got a 10-year sentence,” said lawyer Nizar Habib, who attended the trial as a member of the public.

More reactions at Global Voices.org, that also informs that there will be rallies protesting this in several cities:

There are also petitions online and a support site.

If you want to take part in the international campaing to support Kareem insert this logo on your blog:

and link it to the support site. Thanks.

Also read Morphemetales, MNM, Freethoughts, Pub Philosopher, The Moderate Voice, Michael van der Gälien. Iain Dale has also commented upon it.

Also read Gateway Pundit: Iranian student activist Ahmad Batebi who has been imprisoned since the Student Protests in July 1999 suffered a second stroke this week…

Batebi had several seizures on Friday night and was in a coma for a few hours. Yesterday, Batebi had a second brain stroke and was taken to the Evin Prison’s clinic, where doctors began monitoring his condition.

Batebi’s colleagues in prison contacted outside sources to announce that Batebi had a brain stroke on Friday and had spent 3 hours in a coma.

Ahmad Batebi, who was first arrested in the aftermath of the 1999 student uprising, was taken back to jail this summer and lived under deplorable prison conditions. It was reported that prison officials had confiscated and taken away all of Batebi’s personal belongings after his second stroke.

Lastly, Spanish digital newspaper Libertad Digital reports that SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Escritores, that is, General Society Authors and Writers) wants a “driving licence” to surf the web, as they want to end the anonimity on the Net. Pedro Farré, the SGAE’s lawyer, has based this on the lack of responsibility the actions in the web have. [HT: Caballero ZP]

Later, there have been a lot of campaigns on the Internet against SGAE’s taxes, imposed on MP3, computer memories, even printer memories, etc, supposedly because public was using this for copying music CDs and DVDs. A lot of blogs took part on those campaigns. So, are they willing to see who are their critics?

Related posts: Censorship “made in Spain” is coming?

Hace unas semanas ya escribí que a Abdelkarim le podían caer hasta 9 años, por criticar insultar al Islam y al Presidente Mubarak y contar la verdad sobre el régimen egipcio e incitar a la sedición. Le han sentenciado a 4, por acusar a la universidad en la que estudiaba de ser un centro de terrorismo que suprimía la libertad de expresión y por tratar a sus alumnos como bestias sin permitirles considerar las diferencias en la vida. También calificó de dictador a Mubarak.

Sin embargo, con todo y con eso no es esta la peor sentencia. Su propio padre ha pedido que se le aplique la Sharia y que “se le debería matar si no se arrepiente“. Cariño paternal que tienen algunos…

Algunas personas han expresado su preocupación por la vida y la integridad de este blogger en prisión.

Como veis hay una campaña internacional en su apoyo. Así que los que teneis blog, por favor, poned el logo de arriba enlazado con la dirección http://www.freekareem.org.

Los grupos de Derechos Humanos habían protestado pero, como se ve, no ha surtido efecto la amenaza.

En español podeis leer a: Disculpen las Molestias, Resolutivos, Carmelo Jordá, Luz de las Naciones. También a El Opinador Compulsivo, Juan Carlos Hidalgo, En Defensa de Occidente.

Además, el activista iraní de los Derechos Humanos Ahmad Batebi, que lleva en prisión desde los disturbios de 1999, ha sufrido hoy su segundo infarto cerebral. Los médicos han dicho que sufre por múltiples problemas tanto físicos como psíquicos, y que debe ser tratado fuera de prisión. Sin embargo, está en la clínica de la prisión.

Y en España, la SGAE quiere que para circular por la Web, nos saquemos un carnét de conducir, porque, dicen, que “el anonimato es malo porque, claro, la gente no se hace responsable de lo que escribe…“. La campaña por el canon no les ha gustado nada, pero nada, ¿eh?


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I’m amazed each time I read something like this:

Cross is Offensive BUT sex show is art.

The cross in the Wren Chapel had to go because it offended an unspecified (and undocumented) number of people on the William and Mary Campus. However, on the 12th of February the school hosted the “Sex Workers Art Show.” This from the current issue of the Flat Hat:

The Sex Workers’ Art Show is a cabaret-style production featuring nine performers who also happen to be employees or former employees of the sex industry. The artists present a live art exhibition that includes spoken word, burlesque and multimedia performances.

Sex-related issues and awareness of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community are addressed in the show.

Several professors are requiring students in their classes to attend the show. All students enrolled in Introduction to Women’s Studies and in music professor Sophia Serghi’s Performance Art Ensemble are among at least 100 students required to attend the show.

The appeal of the show is that it creates a forum for students to embrace the idea of sexual art forms and dismiss any qualms about the topic. “It’s a sex-positive event – pro-woman, pro-queer – and it brings sex issues to the forefront,” Barker said.

Some Have Hats comments on the subject:

Well, that’s good to know, because when I was in college, no one ever mentioned sex. (Right.) And it’s important to keep sex issues in the “forefront,” otherwise students might get distracted by thoughts of history, philosphy, economics, government or, may the Force forbid it, religion.

I think I do not have to comment this…

You can sign a petition for saving Wren Cross. (image below).

Gateway Pundit has more on the subject.

[It’s another sign that there is no respect for religion in general. When they speak about respect for Islam -example, Mohammed cartoons-, there is nothing but fear of being beheaded by some foolish Islamists].

This affair reminds me something I read over at Fausta’s blog when commenting the Vagina Monologues.

The Monologues defines healthy sexuality as the selfish pursuit of sexual pleasure and encourages audiences to become connoisseurs and voyeurs of all manner of sexual experience. In doing so, the play champions the very commodification of sex that endangers women – including those trapped in a sex trade driven by our culture’s insatiable appetite for unlimited and instant sexual gratification. Ensler may have intended to extol the best virtues of women, but she wound up imitating the worse vices of men.

That is, prêt-a-porter sex, just as Kleenex or clothes or shoes… It is a good reflection for post-St. Valentine’s day (in Egypt, Prophet Muhammad’s Day, Eurabians should be considering that change in the calendar, after the clothes’ change 😉 ).

Traducción: En un campus americano, William and Mary campus, quitaron una cruz porque ofendía a una serie de personas (sin decir qué personas o qué número de personas), pero después están obligando invitando a los alumnos a acudir a un evento en el que empleados o antiguos empleados de la industria del sexo realizarán representaciones de cualquier tipo de acto sexual. Incluso habrá proyecciones multimedia. Dicen que es un evento pro-mujer y pro-diversión.

Me quedo a cuadros… A mí no me parece nada pro-mujer. A mí me parece más pro-industria del sexo… Otro evento muy desinteresado, por lo que veo. Es un signo más de que frente al Islam no existe respeto, existe miedo frente al degüello.


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