Read More Atheist Republic Death by Stoning: Sudanese Woman Receives Death Sentence for Adultery
On June 26th, Maryam Alsyed Tiyrab, a 20-year-old woman from Sudan, was sentenced to death by stoning for cheating on her husband, making her the first case of stoning in the country after almost a decade. The police arrested her after she had separated from her husband and returned to her family home. The trial was highly irregular; the judicial process began without a formal complaint, and she was also denied access to a lawyer. News of her conviction raises concerns as many fear that after the military coup in October 2021, lawmakers are deliberately administering severe sentences against women to reverse the progress women’s rights have made in the country under the transitional government. Tiyrab has appealed to the Supreme Court, which has yet to validate the state court’s ruling, which can annul the sentence since it represents a violation of international law. The African Center for Justice and Peace Studies denounced the sentence as violating domestic and international law and demanded Tiyrab’s “immediate and unconditional release.”
Iranian Women Fight Religious Crackdown By Publicly Removing Hijab
On July 6, Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi ordered government agencies to enforce the country’s mandatory hijab laws more strictly, signaling the nation’s move towards a religious crackdown. Esmail Rahmani, a deputy prosecutor in the city of Mashhad, ordered a ban on women not wearing proper hijab from public transport. In Shiraz, southern Iran, “morality police” have been patrolling with a van that serves as mobile detention facilities for women caught not wearing hijab in public. Iran also declared July 12 as Hijab and Chastity Day to promote the “Islamic notion of the hijab for women.” But the pushbacks are strong, both from citizens and activists. In response to the increasingly harsher implementation of hijab compliance, many women have posted videos of themselves not wearing hijab. Women’s rights activists called the hijab enforcement a “violation of their human rights” and organized #NO2Hijab campaign. Masih Alinejad, an Iranian-American journalist and activist, tweeted numerous videos of women not wearing hijab in public as part of the ongoing movement. More than a hundred activists, including prominent journalists and actresses, signed a joint statement declaring the “damage done to society by 43 years of enforced veiling in Iran.”
Hindu-nationalist IT Cell Leader Removed For Comments Against Islam
On July 7th, Arun Yadav, a leader in charge of IT cell, a cyber unit responsible for spreading propaganda, representing the Haryana state unit of India’s ruling BJP party, was removed from his position due to old tweets “offending Islam.” It is speculated that BJP expelled Yadav because of a controversial tweet that he made against Islam in 2017, which roughly translates to “I see the prophet in my liquor.” Critics accused Yadav of insulting Prophet Mohammad and Islam and spreading hatred. There was an online campaign on Twitter that demanded that Arun should be arrested for his controversial statements. BJP’s state secretary Gulshan Bhatia declared Yadav’s removal from his position via an official statement. However, he is still a BJP party member and was not arrested, nor has anyone filed a police complaint against him. Many compared Yadav’s case with that of Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair who was arrested on June 27th for a tweet he made in 2018. Numerous people said that the two men received disparate treatment; Zubair was arrested for allegedly hurting Hindu religious sentiments, yet Yadav hasn’t faced legal consequences.
“Blasphemous” QR Code Sparks Protests and Vandalism in Pakistan
Protests began on July 1st after a WiFi device was installed at Star City Mall in Karachi, and a QR code on the billboard of the Samsung mobile company was declared blasphemous and insulting the Prophet Muhammad by a group of believers. The mob burned the mall property, wrecked the electronics store, and some even attacked Samsung’s staff. The Karachi police arrived and arrested 27 individuals… all employees of Samsung. The police, understanding the gravity of the situation, switched off all WiFi devices in the mall. Samsung issued a statement saying, “With reference to the recent developments in Karachi, Samsung Electronics stands firm on its stance that the company has the utmost respect for all religious sentiments and beliefs and holds the religion of Islam in utmost respect.” In a similar incident last December, a Pakistani man alleged that Pepsico had printed a QR code with the name of Prophet Muhammad on its 7UP bottles and threatened to burn down the truck driving the bottles.
Pakistani Christian Sentenced to Death for Saying ‘Jesus is Supreme’
In 2017, Ashfaq Masih, a Pakistani Christian man, was arrested for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad by saying, “Jesus is supreme.” Ashfaq was a mechanic by profession. One of his Muslim customers had demanded that Ashfaq not charge him for his services based on religious grounds. Ashfaq replied that he did not share his customer’s religious beliefs and said that he believes only in Jesus and he would not waive the payment. The argument escalated, and eventually, the police came to the scene and arrested Ashfaq. Since then, he has been in custody. On July 4th, he was sentenced to death for blasphemy, despite numerous court irregularities and without solid evidence. Masih’s lawyer stated, “Nowhere in the recorded testimony or FIR (police complaint) is there a mention of the alleged blasphemous words.” The claim of blasphemy was added only after Ashfaq gave his statement to the police. According to the National Commission for Justice and Peace data, 776 Muslims, 505 Ahmadis, 229 Christians, and 30 Hindus were booked for blasphemy from 1987 to 2018 in Pakistan.
Iranian Dairy Sued by Religious Authorities for “Promiscuous” Ice Cream Ad
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Iran have taken action against the Tehran-based brand Domino Dairy for an ice cream commercial that shows a “provocative” image of a woman. The advertisement showed an attractive woman, adding layers of clothing in different colors, white, raspberry pink, and brown, representing the different layers of the ice cream treat. Some media outlets condemned the clip, saying it portrayed “misused women.” This term has been used to legally shut down creators and publishers that do not abide by the Islamic criteria, referring to Chapter 8 of the Islamic Republic’s Advertisement Laws and Regulations, highlighting the “misuse” of women. Aside from “deviant” content, an objection was made regarding the actress’s display of the ears. In Iran, any content of women and men, specifically in a domestic setting, to be aired on media must have clearance from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, a state-controlled media corporation. Failure to follow the rules and guidelines results in bans, and the responsible advertising group is served with penalties.
Iranian Filmmakers Arrested in Rapid Succession Amidst Religious Crackdown
The escalating arrests of some of Iran’s most prominent cinema figures have sparked fear amidst the country’s ongoing wave of brutal crackdowns. First came filmmakers Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Al-e Ahmad, who were detained in early July. On July 8th, they were arrested after posting statements demanding the Iranian security forces “lay down their weapons” against civilians protesting against the collapse of a large building in Adaban that killed dozens earlier this year. Then, on July 11th, Jafar Panahi, one of the most influential Iranian filmmakers, was taken into custody. He was arrested after he went to the prosecutor’s office with his colleagues and lawyers to investigate why his fellow filmmakers were incarcerated. Panahi’s wife, Tahereh Saeedi, said, “Jafar has some rights as a citizen. There’s due process. To imprison someone, they need to be summoned first. But to imprison someone who is protesting outside the jail raises a lot of questions. This is a kidnapping.” In 2010, Panahi, along with Rasoulof, was handed down a six-year sentence by a Tehran court, accused of supporting anti-government propaganda. They were also banned from making movies for 20 years and were barred from leaving the country.
42% of UK Mosques Experienced Attacks in the Past 3 Years, New Report Finds
A recent report by Muslim Census and Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) surveyed 113 out of 1800 mosques and Islamic institutions in the United Kingdom. The report revealed that out of those surveyed, roughly 42% had experienced a religiously motivated attack within the past three years, including four arson attacks. At least 15% of these institutions noticed a rise in the attacks during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The episodes are usually accompanied by vandalism, burglary, and, at times, physical assault of staff. 9% said that they were targeted as frequently as every three months. Data from the UK Home Office revealed that between March 2020 and March 2021, 45% of religious hate crime offenses were against Muslims. Mosque officials and attendees said that repeated vandalism and social media threats had taken a toll on their well-being and that the attacks and harassment have a negative effect on their wider community.
20% of Americans Believe Bible is the “Literal Word of God,” a Record Low
According to a recent GALLUP poll, only 20% of Americans believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, a historic low. The last time a poll such as this was conducted was in 2017, which found 24% support for biblical literalism. Americans’ belief in biblical literalism peaked at 40% in the early 80s, specifically between 1980 and 1984. The study also shows that Americans’ perception of the Bible as a collection of “fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man” has increased over time. Almost half, 49%, of America now views the Bible as “inspired” by God, not to be taken literally. The Protestant denomination has the most believers, of which around 30% agree that the Bible is entirely accurate. Only 15% of Catholics agree that the Bible should be taken literally as the word of God. In the 2017 study, it was noted that highly religious people with the least amount of formal education were more likely to believe the Bible word for word. The study, which has been conducted since 1976, indicates an overall decline in the religious attitudes in the US adult population. These include “declines in formal identification with a religion, self-reported membership in a church, self-reported religious service attendance, personal importance of religion, and a decline in belief in God.”
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Read More Atheist Republic Death by Stoning: Sudanese Woman Receives Death Sentence for Adultery