Read More Atheist Republic Salman Rushdie Survives Attack by Iran-Regime Sympathizer
Location: New York
On August 12th, Salman Rushdie, the famed dissident author, was attacked in a vicious stabbing during a lecture in New York state. The attacker was identified as 24-year-old Hadi Matar. According to eyewitnesses, Matar stabbed/punched Rushdie more than ten times. Despite being caught right after the attack, Matar pleaded “not guilty” during his arraignment on August 18th. In an interview with the New York Post, Matar said he admires Iran’s previous supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomenei, who infamously issued the religious ruling, or fatwa, which called for the murder of Rushdie in response to his “blasphemous” novel, The Satanic Verses. The Islamic Republic of Iran has denied allegations that it was involved in Rushdie’s attack. However, VICE News reported that anonymous European and Middle Eastern intelligence officials confirmed that Matar communicated directly with the members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). More precise and specific information about the attacker’s motives is not known at this time. According to Andrew Wylie, Rushdie’s literary agent, his recovery is “headed in the right direction.” The author suffered a liver and severed nerves in his arms, and Wylie added that he might lose an eye. When the attack took place, Rushdie was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York. Ironically, the scheduled topic of discussion was how the United States is a haven for exiled writers and artists.
9-Year-Old “Untouchable” Boy Beaten to Death by Upper Caste Teacher
Location: Rajasthan. India
On July 20th, in the district of Jalore, Rajasthan, Indra Meghwal, a Dalit (Lower-Caste) student studying in third grade, was beaten severely by an upper caste school teacher. Allegedly, the cause of the beating was that Indra had drunk from a pot of water that belonged to the upper caste teacher, thereby defiling it. On August 13th, after weeks of seeking medical treatment in different hospitals, the boy succumbed to his injuries. The victim’s parents said the boy had severe wounds on his eye and was bleeding from an ear. He couldn’t seem to move one side of his body. The perpetrator, forty-year-old Chail Singh, was soon arrested after the boy’s death and charged with murder. Indra’s father noted that the child didn’t know that the pot he drank from was only meant for his upper-caste teacher. The victim’s family also claimed that the state administration had forcefully conducted a quick funeral for the child. The family also accused the local police of attacking them in an attempted cover-up. Numerous government officials have offered their resignations following the incident, denoting their shame in their inability to prevent such an atrocity. It is important to note that many locals from the community contest the narrative of the victim’s family, with students reporting that in their years of attending the school, all students and staff drank from the same water pot. The Print India obtained access to the boy’s previous medical records that showed he had suffered from a long-term ear infection for many years before the alleged assault.
“Johnny Depp” Spotted at Muslim Mourning Ceremony
A recent video of an Iranian man taking part in an Islamic mourning procession in Tabriz received humorous responses from the Iranian and world media due to his striking resemblance with the famous actor Johnny Depp. In the video, the uncanny doppelganger is seen raising sticks as he participates in a Muslim religious ceremony called Mishaq, a depiction of war preparations generally executed to pay tribute to the Battle of Karbala. Many fans of the famed American actor wondered if he had converted to the Shia sect of Islam. This incident has sparked many theories around the globe. Many speculated that Depp, exhausted from the lengthy and expensive legal dispute with his ex-wife, Amber Heard, fled to Iran. The mysterious man in question has been identified as Amin Sa’les, who works as a model. Some speculate that the success of his modeling career with local Iranian agencies might be due to his extreme resemblance to Depp.
Suspected Islamists Assassinate Kashmiri Hindu as Killings Escalate
On August 16th, militants fired at two civilians, both members of the minority Kashmiri Hindu community (known as “Pandits”), in Chotipora village of the Shopian district in the contentious Jammu and Kashmir region. The two victims, Pintu Kumar and Sunil Kumar were brothers. They were trimming overgrown willow trees with assistance from three locals when two masked assailants reportedly told the hired hands to leave the field and then shot the brothers. Pintu was severely injured and survived; however, Sunil died from his injuries. As of this writing, no arrests have been made. The Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir stated via Twitter, “Pained beyond words on the despicable terror attack on civilians in Shopian… Terrorists responsible for barbaric act will not be spared.” This is the latest incident in a series of target killings that have rocked the Kashmir region over the past several months, reigniting painful memories of the ethnic cleansing of Hindus from the area by radical Islamists in the 1990s. After a spate of targeted shootings of Hindus in May and June that took the lives of a bank manager, a brick worker, and a school teacher, among others, many protests were staged. These organized street protests demanded that the government relocate Hindu minorities to safer areas. India claims that the Pakistani government incites these acts of terrorism. Pakistan, however, denies the accusations.
Atheist Sisters Fleeing Saudi Arabia Found Dead in Australia
Location: Saudi Arabia
On June 7th, two Saudi national women were found dead in their apartment in Canterbury, New South Wales, Australia. The cause of death remains a mystery as authorities found no signs of forced entry or foul play. The bodies were in an advanced state of decay, as the pair had likely died a month before their bodies were found, prompting the authorities to declare an inconclusive cause of death. According to The Australian, sisters Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, were denied a protection visa due to their sexuality and religious beliefs. The siblings claimed they were persecuted in Saudi Arabia, as one was a lesbian, the other was an atheist, and allegedly one of them was also escaping a forced marriage. Investigation revealed that the siblings arrived legally in Australia on a valid visa and applied for a subclass 866 protection visa. According to some reports, both applications were declined due to insufficient evidence. The local police have stated that their family back in Saudi Arabia is cooperating with the investigation and are not considered suspects at this time.
Kindergartener Kicked Out of Christian School Because Parents are Lesbians
Recently, parents Emily and Jennie Parker were told by the Bible Baptist Academy in DeQuincy, Louisiana, that their child Zoey would be barred from attending Kindergarten at the school because of their same-sex relationship. On August 3rd, Zoey was officially adopted by her aunts after her father was killed in a workplace accident. Then just two days before the start of the school year, the Parkers were informed that little Zoey, who had already attended the same school for pre-Kindergarten classes the year before, would not be allowed to continue her education at the institution because of their “lifestyle choices.” The school’s director and the pastor said their relationship is not in-line with the school’s religious teachings about marriage. Upon the school’s decision, Emily said she felt insulted and embarrassed. She added, “We’ve never been confronted so bluntly about our relationship.” In a statement on the school’s website, Bible Baptist Academy explained that they are “committed to instructing and living in accordance with the teachings of Scripture,” and this does not mean that they hold “hate or malice” toward the couple. The couple, who themselves are Christian, said that this incident was a “blessing in disguise” and that they are thankful that Bible Baptist Academy “will not mold my tiny human’s brain to be anything like you.”
Why is the Nicaraguan Government Cracking Down on Catholic Church?
For months, the Catholic Church has been facing increasing repression from the Nicuagruan government, prompting concern from the Vatican and regional international bodies governing the Americas. On August 1st, police arrived at the Divine Mercy parish in the Diocese of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, to shut down one of the radio stations operated by the Catholic church. In total, seven Catholic radio stations were quickly shuttered. According to Nicaragua’s regulatory board for telecommunication, the radio stations operated by the Catholic church have had no valid operating license since 2003. Religious processions have also been banned, citing “security concerns,” and 18 nuns from Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity order were also expelled from the country. Numerous priests have also been arrested or essentially put under siege within their own homes by national security forces. Bishop Alvarez, one of the most vocal critics of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, believes that these attacks are happening due to the Catholic church being instrumental during the 2018 protests that rocked the nation. During that period, the Church sheltered student demonstrators and allowed them to collect food and money under its roof. More than 355 people were killed, and 2,000 were hurt during these massive protests against social security reform supported by the Catholic church and business groups. Ortega’s response was to label Catholic leaders, including bishops, as terrorists. Since 2018, nothing has been the same, with opponents to the government getting arrested and detained until, finally, only the Catholic Church remained in opposition. The prominent leaders, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes and Bishop Silvio Baez, have lambasted President Daniel Ortega for the violent crackdown.
Maldivian Ex-Muslim Atheist Convicted for Blasphemy, Life Under Threat
Today we bring you an important update on the case of Mujuthaba, known by his pseudonym Rusthum Russo, the Maldivian atheist prisoner. Mujuthaba is a well-known Maldivian activist who speaks up for the right to freedom of belief. In the Maldives, blasphemy is a crime. Mujuthaba has been arrested twice for his outspoken criticism of Islam. He was first arrested in September 2019, when he was accused and detained on suspicion of posting “obscene material” and insulting Islam. He was jailed for more than six months without a trial. While he was in prison, he faced inhuman conditions, abuse from officials and other prisoners, and punishment for refusing to fast during Ramadan. He was released in March 2020 but was again arrested for allegedly “obstructing the course of justice.” Mujuthaba faced a court hearing held on August 10th, where he was forced to represent himself, and he pleaded guilty to the charges. He was sentenced to a four-month prison term, but since he had already served more than that in detention, he was set free. Since his release, Mujuthaba has received numerous death threats and faces legitimate threats of vigilante mob violence, as his photo has been circulated in the media. Human Rights organizations such as Humanist International are extremely concerned about Mujuthaba’s safety and call on the Maldivian authorities to protect the activist.
US Department Of Justice to Investigate Southern Baptist Sexual Abuse
On August 12th, Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) officials announced that the U.S. Department of Justice would lead an investigation into widespread sexual abuse within the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. The DOJ says the probe will include multiple church agencies. This announcement follows a years-long effort from survivors and activists to hold the SBC accountable for shielding abusers and predators within their ranks for decades. It all started to fall apart for the SBC in February 2019, when a report released by two major newspapers in Texas revealed findings of a year-long study on sexual abuse within Southern Baptist churches. According to the report, over the last 20 years, more than 700 cases of abuse have been filed. Approximately 220 pastors, ministers, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, deacons, and church volunteers have already been convicted. The church body refused to release its secret database of abusers until last May. The organization had previously claimed in 2008 in regards to tackling abusers that they could not tell its 47,000 member churches “whom to hire or ordain.” Finally, the church reacted by bringing in the Guidepost Solutions independent investigative firm, which released a nearly 300-page “apocalyptic” report earlier this year that church leaders had systematically mishandled claims and mistreated abuse survivors. Law enforcement seems to have taken an interest in this report, with the potential for initiating further prosecutions based on its findings.
Spilling the Tea on Celebrating Dissent 2022!
Atheist Republic leaders Armin Navabi and Susanna McIntyre returned from Cologne, Germany, where they spoke at Celebrating Dissent 2022 and brought back a field report to the AR community! They discussed their favorite moments from the conference, all the friends they got to meet, and also some drama they inadvertently caused. For example, Susanna was accused of being a terrorist sympathizer based on a misunderstanding, and Armin pissed off some feminists while he was speaking on his panel. All in a day’s work at Atheist Republic 😆! Make sure to check out this hilarious video for a behind-the-scenes look at the largest conference of Ex-Muslims and Free-thinkers since 2019!
Read More Atheist Republic Salman Rushdie Survives Attack by Iran-Regime Sympathizer