Atheist Republic News Summary: Egyptian Cleric Issues Fatwa on Bodybuilding P-admin Atheist Republic

Read More Atheist Republic Egyptian Cleric Issues Fatwa on Bodybuilding
Location: Egypt
On October 11th, Abdullah Rushdy, an Egyptian Muslim preacher, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) against bodybuilding and bodybuilding competitions. Rushdy explained that bodybuilders show “intimate” parts, which should be covered according to Islamic law. Rushdy’s fatwa order came after famed Egyptian bodybuilder Mamdouh Elssbiay won the Mr. Olympia 2021 Championship in Orlando, Florida. Elssbiay, known popularly in Egypt as “Big Ramy,” won the competition for the second time in a row. Rushdy later clarified his view, stating that he is not saying no to sports, but the rules of the Sharia ought to be respected when doing so. Rushdy also called for women not to participate in any competition that requires them to show parts of their bodies. Ahmed Karima, a comparative jurisprudence professor at the renowned Al-Azhar University, rejected the fatwa saying that the rules Rushdy used only apply to worship.
Iranian Criminal Sentenced to Being Forcibly Blinded
Location: Iran
Earlier this month, a court in Tehran, Iran, sentenced a man to forced blinding. The unidentified man stands accused of blinding his neighbor during a fight in 2018. According to the victim, the accused stabbed him in the eye, causing irreparable damage. “I have suffered a lot in these four years, and I have no intention of forgiving,” the victim said. The sentencing shows the use of Qisas, an Islamic principle that calls for a punishment equal to the inflicted damage. This principle operates similarly to the biblical phrase in the book of Leviticus, “an eye for an eye.” Oftentimes, victims will accept “blood” money as compensation for the harm they endured, instead of pursuing literal physical retribution. These rulings are highly controversial in Iran, and internationally condemned by human rights groups.
France Honors Teacher Beheaded for Blasphemy One Year After His Death
Location: France
On October 16th, schools across France paid homage in memory of the first death anniversary of Samuel Paty. Paty was a 47-year old school teacher who was murdered in 2020 because he showed his class cartoon depictions of Muhammad during a lesson about free speech. His murderer, Abdullakh Anzorov, an 18-year old Chechen, was killed during a confrontation with the police. French President Emmanuel Macron, commenting on Paty’s murder, said that he was killed because he represented the secular, democratic values of the French Republic. Paty was honored with a commemorative plaque outside the Ministry of Education that reads “Homage to Samuel Paty. Murdered by an Islamic terrorist for teaching and defending the values of the Republic, including freedom of expression.” Several schools have been named after Paty, including a school in the multi-ethnic suburb of Valenton.
British MP Assassinated, Murder Declared Act of Terrorism
Location: UK
Sir David Amess, a conservative member of the British Parliament, died from multiple stab wounds on October 15th. He was holding an in-person meeting with his local constituents in Essex when he was attacked with a knife. The suspect, Ali Harbi Ali, a British citizen from a politically prominent Somali family, was immediately taken into custody. On October 16th, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, the senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, officially declared Sir David Amess’s murder as an incident of terrorism. The police believed that Ali was radicalized by al-Shabaab, a jihadist al-Qaeda offshoot in Somalia and Kenya. The Guardian reported that he was previously referred to an anti-terror scheme that provides intensive support for individuals with “terrorism vulnerability” in 2014, and later discharged. A review of these counter-terrorism programs has been issued, with the potential for increased police involvement.
Police & Protesters Killed as Far-Right Islamists Protest in Pakistan
Location: Pakistan
On October 22nd, two policemen and two demonstrators were killed in a recent surge of violence in Pakistan. Members of the banned far-right Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labiak Pakistan (TLP) began a march from Lahore towards the national capital, Islamabad, demanding that the government release their leader, Saad Rizvi. Saad Hussain Rizvi, son of the party’s radical founder Khadim Hussain Rizvi, was arrested earlier this year while demanding that Pakistan expell the French ambassador due to France’s refusal to prevent the publication of blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. To stop the protesters from leaving Lahore, the Pakistani government has deployed police and paramilitary personnel, disabled mobile phone services, blocked trains, and even went so far as to dig wide trenches into the roads. Reportedly, hundreds of protesters have been injured, and the government has released 350 members connected to the TLP.
Indian Beauty Ad Pulled Due to Showing Lesbian Couple
Location: India
An advertisement for Fem Creme Bleach, a popular skin whitening product in India, was recently removed from social media platforms after it sparked controversy over the display of a lesbian couple engaging in a Hindu ritual. The advertisement showed a same-sex couple celebrating Karwa Chauth, a festival for married Hindu women in which they fast to ensure the safety and long lives of their husbands. The ad was taken down after Narottam Mishra, the Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh, India, threatened to take legal actions against the manufacturing company if the ad was not removed. Mishra criticized the ad, fearing that allowing it could lead to more portrayals of “objectionable contents,” such as a commercial showing “two men getting married.” On October 25th, Dabur India apologized via Twitter and withdrew the commercial, stating “We unconditionally apologize for unintentionally hurting people’s sentiments.”
Activist Gets Death Threats After Protesting Muslim Call to Prayer
Location: Germany
In mid-October Mina Ahadi, the founder of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims, and number of other Ex-muslims and their supporters gathered in front of the Cologne Central Mosque to protest the broadcasting of the adhan (the Muslim call to prayer). Based on a new law, all 35 mosques in Cologne are permitted to broadcast their call to prayer every Friday, from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM, for up to five minutes. The group’s protest was met with harsh verbal attacks. Police were stationed in the area to stop any potentially violent response. After the protest, Ahadi began receiving threats online, intensifying after Persian and Arabic language news coverage of the protest aired. One threat claimed that they had identified her address, and Ahadi has since been placed under police protection. She stated, “the fight against the adhan is a fight against the Islamist movement and a defense of secular spaces.” Ahadi plans to continue her protest by beginning a petition against the public broadcast of the Muslim call to prayer.
Pakistan Orders TV Dramas to Censor Hug & Kiss Scenes
Location: Pakistan
On October 22nd, Muhamad Tahir, the Director-General of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), ordered local tv channels in Pakistan to censor “objectionable content” in their television dramas. The objectionable contents refer to scenes that include “indecent dressing, caressing, bed scenes and gestures, sensitive or controversial plots,” even when displaying married couples. The purpose of this order is reportedly to protect the viewers from content that violates “standards of decency.” The decision received criticism online. Reema Omer, a Pakistan-based human rights lawyer, responded in a tweet saying, “PEMRA finally got something right: intimacy and affection between married couples isn’t ‘true depiction of Pakistani society’ and must not be ‘glamorized.’ Our ‘culture’ is control, abuse and violence, which we must jealously guard against imposition of such alien values.”
Leaked Documents Show Facebook’s Role in Hate Speech in India
Location: India
The controversy surrounding the jarring information gleaned from documents recently revealed by the “Facebook Whistleblower,” has far-reaching consequences that extend well beyond the United States. Frances Haugen, the Facebook data scientist turned whistleblower, presented a wealth of internal documentation to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, with the hope of changing the company’s ways. The documents demonstrated Facebook’s attempts to curb hate speech and misinformation not only failed in the US, but that the company also provided severely ineffective moderation in their Indian market. A report contained in the leaked documents entitled “An Indian Test User’s Descent into a Sea of Polarizing, Nationalistic Messages” chronicled the experience of a test user’s account created in India. For the three weeks in which the test account was kept active, India was shocked by a militant attack in the disputed Kashmir region which killed over 40 Indian soldiers. The report describes the test account’s newsfeed as “a near-constant barrage of polarizing nationalist content, misinformation, and violence and gore.” The documents also showed that Facebook is plagued by increasing anti-Muslim propaganda spread by extreme Hindu groups.
Indian High Court tells Twitter: Remove Atheist Republic’s Tweets!
On Friday, October 29th, it was reported that the Delhi High Court instructed Twitter to take down tweets from the Atheist Republic account. The court referred to the “objectionable” tweets depicting the Hindu goddess Maa Kaali in a sensual pose. A senior advocate representing Twitter India, Sidharth Luthra, said they would remove the concerned posts once the court gave an official order. In July, the Delhi-based lawyer Aditya Singh Deshwal had filed a complaint against Atheist Republic and Twitter India for allowing the latter to post blasphemous images of the Hindu Goddess Kali. In his complaint, Deshwal claimed that the offensive tweets “shook the collective conscience of the followers and practitioners of Hinduism.” The Delhi High Court has scheduled another round of hearings for the complaint on November 30, 2021.