Atheist Republic News Summary: Islamic Republic of Iran Executes Protest… P-admin Atheist Republic

Read More Atheist Republic Islamic Republic of Iran Executes Protesters, Including Via Public Hanging
Location: Iran
On December 8th, the Islamic Republic of Iran carried out the first execution related to the Mahsa Amini uprising by hanging the protester Mohsen Shekari. He was hanged after Iran’s Revolutionary Court staged a trial and found him guilty of “moharebeh” (enmity against god). He was executed less than three months after being accused of being a rioter. On the same day, several UN-appointed independent human rights experts condemned the regime. The UN accused the regime of conducting unfair trials and committing “arbitrary deprivation of life.” Only a few days later, on December 12th, another protestor, Majidreza Rahnavard, was executed, this time he was publicly hanged above the streets of Kurdistan Province. Just like Shekari, Rahnavard went through a sham trial and televised forced confessions that visibly displayed the injuries inflicted via torture. Both victims were denied the right to choose a lawyer by the Revolutionary Court. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based group, has urged Western leaders to take action. He warned, “If Mohsen Shekari’s execution is not met with serious consequences for the government, we will face mass execution of protesters.”
Want to Help Iranians? Support the MAHSA Act!
Instructions to call your U.S. Representative!
Do you feel passionate about Iranians fighting for their freedom but unsure what you can do to help? If you’re an American, there is a significant way that you can help; call your congressperson and tell them to support House Bill H.R.9203! H.R.9203 is the “Mahsa Amini Human rights and Security Accountability Act” or the “MAHSA Act,” and it levies targeted sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, President Ebrahim Raisi and his cabinet, and other relevant government branches and officials. The Iranian-American community has been pushing hard to garner more support for this bill, and now is the time for the Atheist Republic community to help!If you follow this link, you will find everything you need to make a difference; an easy guide on finding your Representative and their contact information, as well as a pre-written email and script to express your support. Never forget that your elected officials work for you, and now is the time to use the power we have to be the voice of Iran. Even one email or phone call can make a difference. Contact your Representative today!
Taliban Revives Mass Whippings & Commits First Public Execution
Location: Afghanistan
Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 2021, punishments against those accused of various crimes have intensified. The first public execution took place on December 7th. The person who was publicly executed was convicted of a murder reportedly committed five years ago. He was executed by the father of his murder victim, who shot the murderer three times as the crowd watched. This act was possible due to the Islamic legal tenet of “Qisas,” which calls for personal retribution for crimes, which is similar to the “eye for an eye” Biblical commandment from the Book of Exodus. After the public execution of the murderer, 18 men and nine women were lashed in front of the public for alleged crimes of adultery, theft, and drug offenses. Some women were even whipped for “running away from home.” The alleged criminals were lashed around 25 to 39 times. An unspecified number of the accused were imprisoned for two years in Parwan’s provincial capital, Charakar. Human rights organizations and activists, including the United Nations, expressed their concerns over the public floggings and executions, and demanded an immediate moratorium. However, the Taliban repeatedly defended their actions, saying that the executions were conducted correctly in Sharia law.
Egyptian Sheikh Declares “No Difference” Between Terrorism & Homosexuality
Location: Egypt
On October 30th, the Deputy Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Al-Dhawini, compared homosexuality to terrorism, calling it a “moral perversion” and urging religious authorities to fight against homosexuality. He made these remarks during a “Listening and Speaking” conference held by the Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism. He stated that homosexuality must be judged based on Sharia law and mustn’t be judged based on “people’s inclination to present things as fair or ugly.” He insisted that religious institutions should obey their duty by combating extremism and moral perversions that causes young people to reject the principles and values of Islam and lose their identity. After the conference, the Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism issued a closing statement, explaining the issue of homosexuality extensively, arguing that “modern science has proved that homosexuality often stems from psychological, social or physiological problems.” Throughout the conference they used the term “Islamic jihad” and the neutral Arabic word for homosexuality, mithliyya, as examples, saying that using these words subverts efforts to address problems and confuses the minds of young people.
Shocking Rise in Anti-Sikh Hate Exposed in FBI Report
Location: USA
AN FBI report, published on December 12th, showed a 140% increase of anti-Sikh hate crimes in the United States from the previous year. Sikhs comprise approximately 0.1% of the American population, with most of them living in coastal cities. One of the first well known cases of anti-Sikh hate crime was Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was killed by a man seeking revenge four days after the 9/11 attacks. Sikhs also face workplace discrimination, primarily due to their religiously mandated beards and turbans, which are stereotyped as associated with terrorism. Statistics show that Sikhs are subjected to secondary screenings by airport security during travel so frequently that in 2021, the Sikh Coalition created an app called FlyRights which would lodge an official complaint to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in real time. The report by the FBI was generated solely through the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). However, nearly 7,000 out of the country’s more than 18,000 departments did not submit any data on hate crimes, which suggests that anti-Sikh hate crimes are severely under-reported.
Mob Abducts Woman After She Rejects Marriage Proposal in India
Location: India
On December 9th, a violent mob in India, armed with sticks and iron rods, attacked vehicles and people before abducting a woman in broad daylight. A video of this incident went viral online. On December 11th, the Telangana state police detained 31 people related to the abduction. However, at the time of reporting, the instigator of the mob attack, Kodudula Naveen Reddy, is still on the run. The victim was rescued by the police on the day of the abduction. According to the victim and her family, Reddy had been stalking her for months before the abduction. Reddy had proposed to the women to get married, which she had refused. After being refused, Reddy decided to abduct her using a mob attack before she could get engaged to another man. The victim was physically abused and threatened by Reddy during the duration of her kidnapping. Recently, abduction of women has become a prevalent issue in India. Official data records show that 76,263 women were kidnapped in 2020, and 28,222 of which were taken away to “compel her for marriage.”
Restaurant Refuses Service to Christian Group Due to Anti-LGBT Views
Location: Virginia
On December 1st, the Metzger Bar and Butchery in Richmond, Virginia, canceled a private event of a Christian group. The Christian group is associated with the Family Foundation, a Virginia-based conservative Christian organization which is exceptionally vocal about its opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people. The owner of the German-inspired restaurant, celebrity chef Brittanny Anderson, expressed that it respects all the groups who “deserve dignity and a safe working environment.” The Family Foundation talked about the incident on a blog post headlined, “We’ve been canceled again!” The Director of Family Foundation, Victoria Cobb, made a comparison of the current situation with “an environment from the 1950s and early 60s” when people of color and minorities were denied services because of their skin color. Professor Elizabeth Sepper, from the University of Texas, stated that these two situations can never be compared. Sepper said, “It’s about the overall positions and policies the group has taken – it’s not about Christian vs. non-Christian.”
Putin’s Anti-LGBT Crackdown Just Got Even Worse
Location: Russia
Recently, the Russian president signed a bill that prohibits “any action or the spreading of any information that is considered an attempt to promote homosexuality in public, online, or in films, books or advertising.” He initially signed a law in June 2013 which called for the ban of “gay propaganda” in Russia. The law’s text stated that it was created to protect children from “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships.” However, the new law affects Russians of all ages. The law is often used to silence LGBTQ+ activist outlets, as well as to harass teachers and break up “non-traditional” families. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and several civil rights activists around the globe have severely criticized the law. On the other hand, religious leaders against LGBTQ+ and right-wing political leaders from the U.S. showed support for Putin’s law and praised him for it.
Mormons Come to the Middle East: First Temple in United Arab Emirates
Location: United Arab Emirates
Recently, Mormons have planned to establish the very first formal temple in the United Arab Emirates. Officially known as the Church of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the organization first announced this plan during a meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2020. LDS President Russell M. Nelson said, “The plan for a temple in Dubai comes in response to their gracious invitation, which we gratefully acknowledge.” He added, “It will serve a large population, wider than the UAE. Other members will want to visit Dubai because there is a temple.” Discussions regarding the design of the temple have taken place with the Emirati authorities. The decision to build a Mormon temple in the UAE also comes as the Gulf state commits to promoting religious diversity. There are also plans to build an additional space in Dubai to teach more about the religion. Currently, the Mormons congregate weekly at a church in Abu Dhabi, built in 2013, which is the only Mormon church in the Middle East. Once the temple’s construction is finished, it would be the first Mormon place of worship in the Middle East where followers of the religion can conduct marriages, baptisms, and other religious activities.
Saudi Officials Say Normalization with Israel is Only a “Matter of Time”
Location: Saudi Arabia
According to senior officials from both Israel and Saudi Arabia, both countries may normalize ties with each other and join the Abraham Accords. However, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir agreed that both countries are taking directions toward normalizing relations, but he noted that this could take some time. During a conversation between an American delegation to Riyadh and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, the Saudi prince listed three demands, all aimed at Washington. These demands were the affirmation of ties between the US and Saudi Arabia, a commitment to send more weapons to the country, and an agreement allowing the Gulf state to exploit its uranium reserves for a civil nuclear program. Imam Mohammad Tawhidi, an Iranian Shi’a Muslim scholar and vice-president of The Global Imams Council, said peace between Israel, Iran, and even between the Sunni and Shi’a branches of Islam is closer than ever. Many religious leaders and senior officials from 30 countries also joined the Abraham Accords Global Leadership Summit, where they agreed on the values of tolerance, co-existence, and religious diversity as well as economic peace.
Sexy Goddess Kali Scandal Featured in Academic Journal!
Location: India
Many people will remember the Atheist Republic Sexy Kali episode of 2020 and the blasphemy backlash that took India by storm. This episode has recently been discussed in the academic journal Global Sceptical Publics in an article titled Ungodly visuals: confrontations, religion and affect in the everyday lives of atheists in India by Neelabh Gupta. In this article, Gupta uses a scholarly lens to dissect experiences of silence that Indian atheists must navigate and the myriad of ways in which they utilize the digital sphere to build spaces of self-expression and community. Gupta also examines the memes and visuals that Indian atheists use to challenge and interrogate the religiosity they are confronted by; this is where the infamous Sexy Kali becomes relevant. Atheist Republic’s CEO Susanna McIntyre was interviewed for this article and gave insight into how the organization faced the outrage of organized online Hindutva. Interested in reading the full piece? This journal and article are publicly available, and you can find a PDF available for free download here!