Atheist Republic News Summary: Senior Ayatollah Mandates Self-Defense Ag… P-admin Atheist Republic

Read More Atheist Republic Senior Ayatollah Mandates Self-Defense Against Iranian Undercover Police
Location: Iran
In a historic move not seen before in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s history, Grand Ayatollah Asadollah Bayat-Zanjani issued a fatwa, or religious decree, that declared self-defense against plainclothes officers of the regime is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims. Bayat-Zanjani, a senior theologian, writer, and Grand Marja of Islam, decreed his fatwa as Iran grapples with country-wide protests that erupted after the death of Mahsa Amini. This is particularly significant as Shia Islamic jurisprudence proclaims it a sin to fail to undertake a mandatory action as declared by a Marja, or “source of emulation.” Iran’s response has increasingly become brutal and even led to its lawmakers pressuring the judiciary to sentence thousands of protesters to death. The regime’s crackdown has included wide use of police and military personnel in plainclothes, who are often indistinguishable from armed criminals and known to use indiscriminate violent force. The violent repression of the protests has resulted in the death of nearly 400 civilians since September 16th. The Islamic regime denied any involvement with these plainclothes assailants. When asked what a Muslim should do if an unknown person armed with firearms or other weapons attacks a Muslim, “Based on the assumptions presented by the question, a proportionate defense is mandatory,” Bayat-Zanjani responded.
Taliban Goes Full Sharia; Floggings, Amputations, Executions, & All
Location: Afghanistan
Recently, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s chief spokesperson, said that Afghanistan’s Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada made the “obligatory” command after meeting with a group of judges, ordering them to “investigate the cases of thieves, kidnappers, and seditionists,” and to fully implement Sharia punishments, including amputations, floggings, stonings, and public executions. Farhan Haq, the UN Secretary-General’s deputy spokesperson, expressed his worries on CNN regarding the Taliban’s decision to re-establish Sharia law. Haq said, “They have not been living up to their commitments. We will continue to press them on this. We are opposed to the death penalty in all its forms.” When the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August last year after US and NATO forces left the country, they initially promised to be more moderate and respect women’s rights to reassure the international community and the Afghan population. However, they gradually suppressed human rights and even carried out executions in public, either in Kabul’s Ghazi stadium or in the Eid Gah mosque. Last week, the Ministry of Virtue and Vice also banned women from using gyms, parks, funfairs, and public baths.
Movie About Indian Women in ISIS Sparks Controversy
Location: India
The Bollywood film, The Kerala Story, directed by Sudipto Sen, has sparked controversy by portraying the Southern Indian state of Kerala as a haven for converting Hindu women into Islamic terrorism. Sen said it was based on real information and events; however, no evidence has been provided. In the trailer, an actress appears in a niqab and while speaking directly to the camera claims that 32,000 girls like her were “buried” in the deserts of Syria and Yemen. She states that a “dangerous game” is being played where ordinary girls are converted to Islam and recruited by the terrorist group in Kerala. She tearfully pleads, “Will nobody stop them?” After the trailer’s release, there was a backlash in the southern parts of India. The film has been accused of spreading false information, defaming the state’s reputation, and even discrediting Indian intelligence agencies. In reality, there are only 4-6 known cases of Keralite women converting to Islam and traveling to join ISIS. Overall there are roughly only 200 Indians who have joined the terrorist since 2016. After the trailer was released, some right-wing political figures accused the heavily left-leaning state of being a “breeding ground” for Islamic terrorism.
Malaysian Police Raid LGBT Halloween Party for ‘Encouraging Vice’
Location: Malaysia
On October 29th, Malaysia’s Islamic religious authorities raided a Halloween party attended by members of the LGBT community. Around 20 people were arrested for allegedly violating Sharia law. The Halloween gathering was held at a venue named REXKL in Kuala Lumpur. The Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department interrogated the detained individuals. Numan Afifi, a Malaysian LGBT activist who attended the gathering, was among those arrested. Numan stated, “About 40 religious officers backed by the police came into the venue with some 1,000 participants, and they stopped the music and dance.” He further explained that the Muslim participants were separated from the Non-Muslims, and the religious police then identified anyone who did not dress according to their assumed sex. Malaysia uses a dual-track justice system, where Sharia laws run alongside civil laws. Homosexuality is illegal in this South East Asian country, where openly LGBT community members are imprisoned. Nevertheless, while same-sex acts can result in fines and penalties, they are rarely enforced. Support for gay rights is also low in Malaysia, with about 65% of Malaysians opposing any recognition for same-sex couples and only 16% supporting same-sex marriage.
Arrested for “Insulting Islam,” Moroccan Woman Begins Hunger Strike
Location: Morocco
Fatima Karim, a 39-year-old blogger, was detained by Moroccan police in July for “attacking the Islamic religion via electronic means” after posting satirical comments about Islam and the Koran on Facebook. Karim describes herself as “secular” and advocates for the separation of state and religion. She was sentenced to two years in prison on August 15th. Her family reported to local media that she began a hunger strike in late October to protest against the heavy sentencing. During her trial, Karim defended her statements, saying they were within the bounds of freedom of expression. However, she also apologized to those “whoever felt offended.” Article 267-5 of Morocco’s Penal Code allows those who are guilty of insulting Islam to be imprisoned for two years, with the possibility of the sentence being increased to five years if the offense was committed publicly, which includes “electronic means” and the use of social media.
Turkish Minister Calls LGBT Rights “Terrorist Propaganda”
Location: Turkey
On November 12th, Turkey’s interior minister, Süleyman Soylu, described LGBT rights as “terrorist propaganda” in a speech to members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). “There is cultural terrorism. The propaganda of a terrorist organization, which tries to make people forget their values, their religion, unity, parental love, and family loyalty. It is exactly Europe’s policy, exactly America’s policy of divide and rule,” Soylu said in the speech. In terms of protecting LGBT rights, he said, “They are trying to create a policy based on an understanding that will alter almost all of our values so that they can win the hearts of the Europeans and the West.” Soylu has been known for attacking the LGBT community. Twitter flagged him for “hateful speech” last year when he tweeted about “four LGBT perverts” that were detained for “inciting hatred.” Alongside Soylu, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also supported constitutional amendments to protect families from “perverse” LGBT “trends” in the country. Thousands of protesters also took part in an anti-LGBT demonstration on September 18th, urging the government to ban what they say is”LGBT Propaganda.” The Associated Press described the march as the largest anti-LGBT protest in Turkey.
India Blasted For Religious Discrimination at the UN
Location: India
Recently, UN member states advised India to take a stronger stance on sexual violence and religious discrimination during a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of New Delhi’s human rights record at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The UPR, conducted every four years, evaluates member states’ human rights records. Any member state may question the state being reviewed and offer suggestions. Member states urged New Delhi to limit the scope of its “anti-terror” laws. A person can be labeled a “terrorist” based on suspicion under these laws. American diplomat Michèle Taylor, the current United States ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council, said, “We recommend that India reduce the broad application of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and similar laws against human rights activists, journalists, and religious minorities.” The law has drawn flak for targeting members of minority and rights groups and for having a low conviction rate. Many countries praised India for putting some of the recommendations made during the last UPR, which was held in 2017. However, others were quick to raise serious concerns as the stance on minority rights, freedom of speech, and violence against women has worsened. Canada asked India to investigate religious violence, including the cases against the Muslim community, to protect the freedom of religion and stop sexual violence. The secretary of the foreign ministry of India, Sanjay Verma, said that the suggestions would be taken to New Delhi for consideration. Although New Delhi has signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) treaty, it has still not ratified it.
Indian Police Arrest “Mentally Ill” Muslim Man for Burning the Quran
Location: India
On November 2nd, four copies of the Quran were discovered burnt in a mosque, sparking protests in Shahjahanpur town of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The following day, one man was detained by police in connection with the case; he was identified as a Muslim man who claimed that he was “mentally sick.” After reviewing numerous CCTV tapes, Ramit Sharma, Inspector General Police of Bareilly Range, informed the media that the perpetrator had been identified as Taj Mohammad. When asked about the Quran burning during his interview, he said, “It’s not me, but my soul has burnt it.” Hundreds gathered near the mosque to condemn the blasphemous act as the news spread throughout the city. Some angry Muslims allegedly set fire to banners and staged a protest demanding the arrest of the person responsible. Some of them screamed slogans against the police administration and accused the authorities of being slow to respond to their complaints and arriving at the scene. There were also reports of stone pelting in the vicinity. Police office said that the criminals who caused a commotion in the town would be identified, and “stern action” would be taken against them. 
Bus Driver’s Refusal to Stop for Muslim Prayers Sparks Outrage in Turkey
Location: Turkey
Recently, a Turkish travel firm, Oz Ercis, came under fire when one of their bus drivers refused to stop the vehicle so that a passenger could complete his daily Muslim prayers. The bus was traveling from the Van region, near the Iranian border, to the city of Izmir, taking over twenty-four hours. The company responded to the man’s complaint on Twitter, saying, “None of the rights defined by (Turkey’s) constitution can be used to violate the democratic and secular conception of the Republic.” The reply went viral and sparked a backlash. According to the travel firm’s lawyer, Tuncay Keserci, “It is not possible to ignore the rights of other passengers who do not pray and who want to arrive at their destination on time, for a passenger to pray.” He further explained that they respect all beliefs and feel they are being “singled out as a target.” The travel firm even suggested that the passengers could wait until the bus stopped at a rest area for prayer. The bus company’s stance drew some support, while hardline Muslims vowed to boycott. 
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