Atheist Republic News Summary: Taliban Takeover: Kabul Removes Images of… P-admin Atheist Republic

Read More Atheist Republic Taliban Takeover: Kabul Removes Images of Women From Storefront Displays
Location: Kabul
On August 15th, 2021, Afghanistan’s capital fell to the Taliban. As Taliban control looms over Kabul, the city removes the symbols of their freedom. Western influences, the symbols of women’s empowerment, were the first to go. Photographs of workers covering the faces of women in front of salons and beauty parlors began circulating on social media. Other photos show women tearing down wall-sized pictures of women with their hair uncovered, a bold symbol of empowerment that defies Islamic laws. The Taliban is doing its best to convince Afghans, especially the more liberal and educated generation who grew up bathing in the urban freedom that was protected by foreign countries, that they’ve changed. Meanwhile, the Taliban claims that the rights of women will be respected, as long as it is within the confines of Islamic law.

Nigerian Islamic Police Ban Mannequin Heads Citing Sharia Laws
Location: Nigeria
The state of Kano in northern Nigeria has implemented a ban on mannequin heads. The new ban was announced by the Kano State Hisbah Corps, an Islamic police force funded by the government. At the start of July, the Hisbah Corps announced that mannequins with female heads are prohibited in “shops, commercial and private residences, and other public places.” The initial announcement used Islamic teachings that prohibit idolatry as the basis for the banning of the mannequins with heads. The head of the Hisbah Corps, Harun Sani, who goes by Ibn-Sina, explained aside from being headless, mannequins should always be covered. He explained that “the shape of the breast, the shape of the bottom, is contrary to the teachings of Sharia.” The appointment of Ibn-Sina has seen a drastic increase in harsh and unreasonable implementation of Islamic Laws. Ibn-Sina’s Hisbah Corps has committed unauthorized arrests on individuals suspected of same-sex intercourse, as well as individuals suspected of engaging in premarital sex.

Christian Teacher Quits In Tears Over School’s Pro-Trans Pronoun Policy
Location: Virginia
On August 11th, Laura Morris, a 5th-grade public school teacher, announced her resignation due to the new policy adopted by the school board of Loudoun County. Last year, the federal government passed a law that compels the Department of Education in every state to adopt legislation that provides policies regarding trans students. The new policy being adopted by the School Board requires all school employees to respect the preferred pronouns and names of all transgender students. The previous policy only applied to school counselors and other mental health professionals. As of the writing of this article, the Loudoun County School Board voted 7-2, effectively legitimizing Loudoun County’s policy. The vote came despite disruptions and hours of delay by the opposing groups. Morris resigned due to her refusal to abide by the policy, claiming it “does not square with who I am.”

Western Australia Establishes Protest-Free ‘Safe Zones’ at Abortion Clinics
Location: Australia
On August 12th, 2021, the McGowan Government of Western Australia passed a law to establish safe zones around facilities that provide abortion and other reproductive health services. The bill represents a landmark achievement in the efforts to protect access to such facilities for the many women who rely on them. Bill 2020, the Public Health Amendment (Safe Access Zones), will ensure that women will have “safe and private access (and) without fear of harassment or intimidation” when undergoing abortions. The bill will establish a 150-meter (492 feet) Safe Access Zone around clinics or any establishment authorized to provide abortions. The Safe Access Zone is effective at all times. The Safe Access Zone will prohibit certain acts that were once legally allowed to be carried out across abortion clinics, including conducting demonstrations and picketing. Violators will be subject to a potential penalty of up to 12 months imprisonment and a penalty fine of up to $12,000 (AUS).

New NC Bill Aims to Change Child Marriage Reputation & Raise Age of Consent to 16
Location: NC
North Carolina is one of the 13 states in the US that allows a person under 16 to be married. The state has been struggling with the influx of applications for marriage licenses. The a great many of these applications are from individuals living out of state who purposely visit North Carolina for the chance of marrying a minor. This is no longer possible in many other Southern states, for example, making North Carolina a notorious destination for such nuptials. Now, more than half of the marriage license applications involving one party under 18 years old came from other states. The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) published a study in August 2020 that reveals around 8,800 children below 18 years old were listed on marriage licenses in North Carolina between 2000 to 2015. Senator Sawyer intended to sponsor a bill that will increase the minimum age requirement for marriage to 18. Unfortunately, a proposed compromise was reached, which only raises the age requirement to 16 and creates an age difference limit of 4 years between the spouses.

Sikh Man Handcuffed Over Ceremonial Dagger in Wales
Location: Wales
In early August, Prabjot Singh, a 30-year-old Sikh, and his friend Arminder Singh visited the Tir Prince Fun Park in North Wales. While queuing for a ride in the funfair, one staff member called Prabjot over, then asked him to step out of the line. Arminder, clarifying things on behalf of Prabjot, who is not fluent in English, asked about the request. Tir Prince Fun Park’s staff alleged that Prabjot was wearing a knife and needed to exit the park. Arminder explained to the park’s staff that Prabjot is wearing a kirpan, a ceremonial dagger that fully initiated Sikhs are obligated to wear. According to Arminder, the park’s staff explained that they could not allow the blade in case “anyone gets injured.” Before Prabjot and his son even finished with the ride, four police cars arrived at the park. Prabjot was handcuffed and was detained for questioning. Carl Foulkes, North Wales Police Chief Constable, stated on Twitter, explaining that he “recognizes both the religious and cultural sensitivity” and plans to discuss things with the involved parties.

Hobby Lobby Loses 10 Year Fight To Block Trans Woman From Bathroom
Location: Illinois
On August 13th, 2021, Illinois Second District Appellate Court declared that Meggan Sommerville, a trans woman who was in a legal battle with her employer Hobby Lobby over bathroom access, is no doubt a female and “just like the women who are permitted to use the women’s bathroom.” In 2011, Hobby Lobby denied Sommerville access to the women’s bathroom. That same year, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and one of the symptoms includes a weakened bladder. Sommerville was disciplined for using the woman’s bathroom for employees which was more easily accessible from her work station than the unisex bathroom for customers that she was mandated to use. In 2013, she filed complaints with the Illinois Human Rights Commission for Hobby Lobby’s unlawful sanction. In 2019, the commission ruled that Hobby Lobby’s policy is unlawful and has violated state laws. Hobby Lobby appealed the commission’s ruling. The court also upheld the $220,000 fine for emotional distress and attorney’s fees.

Model Blasted for Instagram Post Wearing Burka to “Embrace Diversity”
Location: UK
British actress-turned-activist Lily Cole recently came under fire on Instagram. In a now-deleted post, Cole shared pictures of herself wearing a blue burka, followed by an image of herself with the burka pulled up revealing her face. Cole’s Instagram post was extremely untimely, as it was posted during the tense and fragile days preceding Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban. “The Taliban forces women to wear a burka,” said one Instagram user who criticized her. One of the founders of the Hijabi Half-Hour podcast, Anjum Peerbacos, calls the post disrespectful, adding that the burka is “not a fashion accessory to be able to be deployed as a publicity stunt.” The actress immediately took down the Instagram post and issued a public apology, explaining that she was not aware of what was unfolding in Afghanistan at the time of the posting.

Indian Ex-Muslims Find Safe Haven Online
Location: India
In the last five years, the number of online communities from Indian ex-Muslims went from scarce to multiplying in numbers. These groups each have hundreds of members which, when considering the taboo around atheism and apostasy from Islam, is significant. Islam has a well-documented history of mandating the killing those who leave the faith. “Social media has given us more opportunities to network and find each other,” Arif Theruvath explained. Arif Hussain Theruvath is a member of the Ex-Muslims of Kerala Facebook group. Whereas those born into Hinduism may face social vilification when announcing their atheism, ex-Muslims may face death threats or worse. Another Ex-Muslim laments that while India will not prosecute atheists, it is frustrating due to the Hindu majority administration, which turns a blind eye to religiously motivated attacks.

Secret URL “Allah.Gay” Leads to Special Surprise

Atheist Republic recently discovered something quite curious… A unknown person has bought the URL Allah.Gay, and when you visit this URL it will automatically redirect you to Atheist Republic’s video “‘Allah Is Gay’ Pride Day in Vancouver, Canada.” In this video, Atheist Republic’s founder Armin Navabi attends a Pride parade while wearing a shirt and carrying signs that proclaim “Allah is Gay,” in a bold demostration to fight homophobia and inspire those who live in countries with severe restrictions on free expression. Check out this new secret URL for yourself!