Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini
by, Ershad Alijani - Nazanin | France 24 | h/t Halal Pork Shop
A video has emerged of a man making a last-ditch attempt to flee his public execution in Iran, while onlookers cheer him on.
In the video below, the young man is about to be hanged in front of a large crowd that has gathered to watch the execution. He was condemned for having gang-raped a pregnant woman along with two other men back in 2008. As a result, the woman reportedly miscarried and lost her baby. The executions of all three men took place on February 26. According to Iranian media, they took place in three different suburbs of Karaj, where the crime occured. However, it’s not clear in which one the execution of the man in the video took place.
As he’s about to be publicly hanged, he begins crying and begs to see his mother one last time. When the executioners refuse his last request, he lashes out and knocks several of them down.
Immediately, swarms of policemen rush onto the platform to restrain the condemned man. They forcefully wrap the noose around his neck, before lifting him onto a podium. The public rally to his side, initially supporting his attempt to break free of his executioners. Moments before his death, he can be heard asking his mother and the public to pardon his crime. Some people in the crowd respond by saying they forgive him.
According to the United Nations, at least 80 people have already reportedly been executed in Iran so far this year. That puts the Islamic Republic second on the list of countries with the highest number of executions, behind China. The Iranian government says it carries out executions in public to set a “harsh example” to would-be criminals, in the hope that they’ll be deterred from carrying out crimes in the future.
“These executions have no deterrent effect on the population”
Nazanin is a journalist in Tehran who has covered public executions.
The authorities don’t announce the executions ahead of time. They usually take place in the early morning, and people in the neighbourhood realise that an execution is going to take place when they see the stage being set up.
At all the executions I have been to, I have noticed that the people who gather to watch them are above all curious. They just wanted to see what it’s like to see a human die. Sometimes, people who stop to watch don’t realise exactly what’s going on until it’s too late, and are quite shocked. Meanwhile, some have their young kids with them — I once suggested to a mother that she may want to cover her little boy’s eyes, and she said, “oh, he’s a kid, he’ll forget about this anyway.”
Usually, everyone stays silent. In recent years, people have started bringing their mobile phones to take pictures and short films and put them on social networks.
The onlookers often feel sympathy both for the victims of the crime, and the criminal who is about to die. People have told me things like, “it’s such a shame, he’s so young”. And in the next breath they’ll say, “but then again he killed someone, so he deserves it.”
I witnessed an execution of a famous criminal in southern Tehran once. He had killed multiple people, and everyone in the neighbourhood was terrified of him. But at his execution, he addressed the crowd. He admitted his sins and talked about the difficulties he had faced in his youth. The crowd started to feel sympathy for him. In my opinion, these executions have no deterrent effect on the population.
Iranian Naval Warship Fleet Headed Towards U.S. Coast.
by, Reuters | Yahoo News
An Iranian naval officer said a number of warships had been ordered to approach U.S. maritime borders as a response to the stationing of U.S. vessels in the Gulf, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Saturday.
“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message,” the agency quoted Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad as saying.
Haddad, described as commander of the Iranian navy’s northern fleet, said the vessels had started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via “waters near South Africa”, Fars reported.
Fars said the plan was part of “Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf.”
The Fars report, which carried no details of the vessels, could not be confirmed independently.
In Washington, a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, cast doubt on any claims that the Iranian ships were approaching U.S. maritime borders. But the official added that “ships are free to operate in international waters.”
The United States and its allies regularly stage naval exercises in the Gulf, saying they want to ensure freedom of navigation in the waterway through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports passes.
U.S. military facilities in the region include a base for its Fifth Fleet in the Gulf Arab kingdom of Bahrain.
Iran sees the Gulf as its own backyard and believes it has a legitimate interest in expanding its influence there.
Iranian officials have often said Iran could block the Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Gulf, if it came under military attack over its disputed nuclear program, and the Western war games are seen in the region as an attempt to deter any such move.
Fars said the Iranian navy had been developing its presence in international waters since 2010, regularly launching vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates operating in the area.
:گزارش به فارسی - Report in Persian:
Saamer Akhshabi was burned over 90 percent of his body, according to police. Photo Courtesy of: ajc.com
Dept. of Homeland Security search yields laboratory of chemicals in his apartment
by, Alexis Stevens | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A suspected Molotov cocktail and several plastic bottles filled with gasoline and kerosene were found in the Midtown apartment of a Georgia Tech graduate student severely burned, police said Wednesday.
Saamer Akhshabi remains in Grady Memorial Hospital with third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body from the fire started in his apartment Tuesday afternoon in the 200 block of 10th Street, police said.
Late Tuesday night, it wasn’t known what caused the fire. But an FBI spokesman said the man’s burns were possibly from an incendiary device.
“At this time, we are assisting in furthering the investigation to determine how the male received the injuries and how the fire started,” Officer John Chafee with Atlanta police said.
Several investigators were outside the apartment building late Tuesday. A resident of a nearby apartment, George Greenlee, said he was told to evacuate.
In addition to what police described as a Molotov cocktail — a container filled with flammable material, and often topped with a make-shift fuse — police said several gasoline- or kerosene-filled bottles were found in the apartment.
Police reported the incident to U.S. Homeland Security, and a police SWAT team, and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI were called in.
A spokesman for Georgia Tech said the institute is working with law enforcement officials.
“Our primary concern is to provide appropriate assistance to the victim and for his family as well as his classmates,” Matt Nagel, Tech spokesman, said in an emailed statement Tuesday night. “We continue to cooperate with the investigation.”
Akhshabi is studying in the College of Computing at Tech, where he has attended since 2009, according to his web page. He was scheduled to graduate in May, Nagel said Wednesday. Prior to moving to Atlanta, Akhshabi completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tehran in Iran.
— Photographer Ben Gray contributed to this report.
Sanaz Nazami, a vibrant 27-year-old native of Tehran, Iran, who could speak three languages, wanted to pursue an advanced degree in engineering. (AP Photo/Courtesy Sara Nezami)
by, Associated Press (AP) | FNC
A nurse in a Michigan hospital kissed the patient’s forehead. More than 6,000 miles away, Sanaz Nezami’s family in Iran watched on a laptop computer and wept.
Nezami, a vibrant 27-year-old woman who could speak three languages, wanted to pursue an advanced degree in engineering at Michigan Technological University. Instead, she was brain dead just a few weeks after unpacking her bags, the victim of a fatal beating by her new husband, according to police.
Technology allowed family in Iran to watch her final hours. The family’s faith in the hospital staff led to consent for an extraordinary donation: Nezami’s heart, lungs and other life-saving organs were transplanted to seven people in the U.S., a remarkable gift that occurs in less than 1 percent of all cases.
“We wanted God to perform a miracle and bring Sanaz back to life,” her sister, Sara Nezami, said in a phone interview from Tehran. “But this is a miracle. Sanaz gave her life in order to give life.”
A nurse who took care of Sanaz Nezami said the experience was “eye-opening” for hospital staff.
“The family was willing to trust us to know she wasn’t coming back,” Kim Grutt said.
In August, Nezami married Nima Nassiri in Turkey and lived with him temporarily in the Los Angeles area, where he was born and raised. Her sister said the two met over the Internet.
Nezami, a native of Tehran, had a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s in French translation. She wanted a doctorate degree in environmental engineering.
The newlyweds drove from California and found a rental home in November in Michigan. Nezami stayed in touch with family through e-mail, text message and video.
On Dec. 7, she asked her sister to proofread some English-to-Persian translation she was doing on the side.
“I was shocked,” Sara Nezami said. “Sanaz was a very precise girl, but she omitted some lines. I asked, ‘Are you OK?’ She told me there was no problem.”
The next day Sanaz Nezami was rushed to a hospital with severe head injuries and was transferred to Marquette General Hospital. Police believe she was assaulted by her husband, who has been charged with second-degree murder. His attorney, David Gemignani, declined to comment.
“Her brain was so swollen and so damaged, there was no longer any blood flow,” explained Gail Brandly, who supervises nurses at the hospital.
No one knew anything about Nezami, so Brandly ran her name through Google. Suddenly, the stranger who couldn’t speak for herself came alive through a resume posted online.
Nezami was fluent in French, English and Persian. She volunteered to cook for charities. As a teen, she wrote for youth newspapers and magazines and won first place in a 2001 literature competition with an essay on “friendships and the differences between us.”
After about 24 hours, the hospital reached relatives in Iran. Immediate travel to the U.S. was impractical due to visa requirements, so a laptop was set up so the family could see Nezami on life support and talk to nurses and doctors over Yahoo Messenger.
“It isn’t something we’ve done in the past. It’s not every day we’re dealing with family members so far-flung,” said Dave Edwards, spokesman for the hospital.
At one point, Grutt was asked to stroke Nezami’s head and kiss her forehead.
“They wanted us to do things for Sanaz that they would have done,” Grutt said. “They said, ‘Let her know we love her. We’re here.’ I felt completely comfortable.”
Nezami died on Dec. 9, but her critical organs — heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small intestine — could be used by others. With the family’s consent, they were removed and transplanted to seven people. No other details were released.
“The family was very clear. They want Americans to know Sanaz loved America,” said Wendy Mardak of UW-Organ and Tissue Donation, a regional organ donation agency.
Nezami was buried Dec. 18 in a local cemetery. As a light snow fell, the hospital’s chaplain, the Rev. Leon Jarvis, read Muslim prayers over the casket while about 20 people, mostly nurses and others who cared for her, watched.
Jarvis, an Episcopal priest, said he pledged to Nezami’s father that “as long as I draw breath and live in this city, your daughter will never be alone.”
“I’ve never seen anyone so quickly adopted by so many,” Jarvis said. “Considering our season right now, this was an incredible gift by Sanaz, but also a gift from the community as well. It’s realizing the goodness of humanity and what people can do in a real cynical time.”
Obama and the UN have chosen to reduce the sanctions against Iran and basically allow them to continue with their nuclear program despite their unending statements of destroying Israel.
As a result of that, we’ve decided to show you this is independent video which shows a realistic depiction of a nuclear attack on Israel by Iran.
The five-minute video takes place in the year 2013 and tries to simulate the final and worst case scenario of Iran using a nuclear bomb.
This video is FICTIONAL and is based on projections by the United States and Israel that Iran could produce nuclear weapons within a few months.
The film ends with a nuclear explosion in Israel and a mushroom cloud that envelops the characters.
This is a scenario we all hope will never EVER happen..!
Editorial Footnote: Israel is her own worst enemy. And I can assure her leaders of this:
If you barter away even one inch of land. If you negotiate and give-away even one grain of sand..what you see in this video will be your future.
Israel is the blessed, holy land of HaShem. No earthly leader has the right to give it way.
And to any leader who shall do so will bring forth the Wrath of HaShem upon Israel. A wrath greater than any that has been witnessed on this earth thus far.
Our Lord thy G-d will not be mocked.
N O T O N E G R A I N o f S A N D - N O T O N E I N C H o f L A N D
by, Raymond Ibrahim | Islam Translated
The same month that Obama tried to wage war on behalf of the jihadi rebels in Syria (citing “human rights” concerns), some of the war’s worst atrocities were committed against that nation’s Christian minority, most notably in Ma‘loula, an ancient Christian region where the inhabitants still spoke the language of Jesus.
There, among other things, the al-Qaeda-linked jihadis fired mortars and missiles onto at least two ancient churches before looting them; some 80 Christians trying to defend their homes were killed. Others who could not flee were forced on pain of death to convert to Islam.
One man’s last words before being slaughtered by the rebels were: “I am a Christian, and if you want to kill me for this, I do not object to it.” A nun involved with humanitarian relief said the man “Is a Martyr in Christ in the full sense of this word, since he was murdered solely because of religious hatred!”
Jihadists reportedly forced one man to convert to Islam at gunpoint and slit the throat of another Christian woman’s fiancé and then [mockingly] told her, “Jesus didn’t come to save him.”…. “I saw people wearing Al-Nusra headbands who started shooting at crosses,” the Christian senior told the AFP. One of the shooters, he said, “put a pistol to the head of my neighbor and forced him to convert to Islam by obliging him to repeat ‘there is no God but God’ [Islamic shehada]…Afterwards they joked, ‘he’s one of ours now.’”
In al-Thawrah, Syria, Christians were also singled out for attack by jihadi invaders. In one incident, they stopped three residents, releasing two who identified themselves as Muslims, while bludgeoning to death the third after identifying himself a Christian (graphic image). They also destroyed the Antiochian Orthodox church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus among other churches.
In Raqqah, a city in northern Syria, the al-Qaeda linked “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” broke the crosses off the area’s two Christian churches and placed al-Qaeda’s Islamic flags. They also set the contents of the churches—the Church of the Annunciation and the Church of Martyrs—aflame. In one video, a Muslim “freedom fighter” smashed a statue of Virgin Mary to shouts of Islam’s victory cry, “Allahu Akbar!”
These latest attacks come in the context of yet another fatwa appearing in September and issued by 36 Islamic scholars who legitimized “the right of the faithful Sunni Muslims to seize and take possession of goods, homes, property belonging to Christians, Druze and Alawite and members of other religious minorities ‘who do not profess the Sunni religion of the Prophet.’” (Earlier, before the “sex jihad” solved the problem by luring Muslim women from Tunisia and elsewhere to provide their sexual services to jihadis in Syria fighting to make Allah’s word supreme, another fatwapermitted jihadis to rape all non-Sunni women.)
Meanwhile, when publicly asked about the jihadi nature of the rebellion and the fact that the rebels often shout Islam’s supremacist war-cry, Allahu Akbar (such as when firing at Chrisitan churches), John McCain insisted that shouting “Allahu Akbar” is equivalent to a Christian saying “Thank God,” and that the rebels in Syria are “moderates and I guarantee you they are moderates.”
Similarly, when John Kerry was also asked in September about the jihadi and al-Qaeda elements of the Syrian rebels, the U.S. Secretary of State argued that “The opposition has increasingly become more defined by its moderation … more defined by its adherence to some, you know, democratic process and to an all-inclusive, minority-protecting constitution”—an assertion that prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin openly to call Kerry a liar.
The rest of September’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:
Pakistan Church Attack
In Peshawar, Pakistan, Islamic suicide bombers entered the All Saints Church compound right after Sunday mass and blew themselves up in the midst of some 550 congregants, killing nearly 90 worshippers—including Sunday school children, women, and choir members—and injuring at least another 120. The now destroyed Protestant church was built in Peshawar some 130 years ago. The Taliban claimed the attacks. According to Margrette, a parishioner who survived (though her sister’s status was unknown), “I heard two explosions. People started to run. Human remains were strewn all over the church.”
Coptic ‘Dhimmitude’ in Egypt
After the ousting of President Morsi, when the Muslim Brotherhood incited its supporters to attack and destroy over 80 Christian churches, Brotherhood supporters began to extort money from Christians in Upper Egypt. In Dalga village, the 15,000 Christian Copts were forced to pay this jizya—the money, or tribute, that conquered non-Muslims historically had to pay to their Islamic overlords “with willing submission and while feeling themselves subdued” to safeguard their existence, in the words of Koran 9:29. In some cases, those not able to pay were attacked, their wives and children beaten and/or kidnapped. Some Copts were killed for refusing to pay. Later, authorities identified a gang specializing in overseeing operations to kidnap wealthy Copts in order to earn money.
While being driven in his car, Bishop Anba Makarios of Minya came under a hail of bulletsfrom several unidentified persons. The driver managed to get away, taking the bishop to the home of a local Copt for refuge, but the gunmen followed, surrounded the house and shot at it for over 90 minutes, when local security finally responded. The reason for this assassination attempt was that local Muslims thought the bishop had come to reopen St. Michael’s Church, the only church in the village, which was closed 10 years ago for security reasons.
After Muslims in al-Minya district accused a young man of having an illicit relationship with a Muslim woman, violence, in the context of “collective punishment,” erupted against the village’s Christians. After attacking and plundering the home of the Christian, Muslims, incited by loud-speaker calling them to further action, prowled the streets of the village throwing stones at Coptic homes, calling for revenge, and demanding the burning of their churches, homes, and shops.
Slaughter of Christians
Libya: A group of Muslims surrounded two Egyptian Christians living in Libya, aged 25 and 27, robbed and beat them. Then the Muslims demanded that the two men recite the shehada—“There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”—and convert to Islam. When the two Christians refused, they were tied up, severely beaten, and then shot. Both men died; one had his skull beaten in. No one has been arrested in connection with the killings. The attack marks the third time in two weeks that a Coptic Christian has been robbed and killed in Derna District.
Outside the city of Jos, five Christians, members of the Church of Christ in Nations, traveling in a minibus, were forced out of their vehicle by Islamic gunmen, and, after they declared themselves Christians, were forced to lie down in a ditch and shot in the heads. Two others, including a pregnant woman, were wounded.
In Adu, while Christians were preparing for Sunday morning church services at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Islamic tribesmen invaded the Christian village and slaughtered all whom they could find, killing seven members of just one family.
In Dorawa, Islamic militants killed a Christian pastor, his son, and 28 others, and torched their church.
Pakistan: While holding a dagger and shouting that he was killing “an infidel who blasphemed against Muhammad,” a Muslim in Karachi slit the throat of Boota Masih, a 58-year-old Christian man, and then proceeded to stab his body, as police and others looked on. In the words of Masih’s son, George: “We were told that Asif kept shouting that my father was an infidel and had spoken derogatory words against Muhammad [Islam’s prophet] as he mercilessly stabbed him. A large number of people, including four policemen and private security guards of the market, witnessed the entire scene, but no one tried to stop the killer, who walked away waving the dagger in his hand.” According to those close to the slain Christian, his slayer, a business competitor, was jealous of the Christian, and fabricated the blasphemy accuse as a pretext. (Earlier in Pakistan, another Christian man was slaughtered by a group of axe-wielding and envious business competitors.)
Somalia: The Islamic al-Shabaab group killed a 35-year-old Christian woman inside her home. Earlier her husband had found a note saying, “We shall come for you. You are friends with our enemies [Westerners, assumed to be Christians], and you are polluting our religion.” The man fled the area with his 4-year-old child. Separately, al-Shabaab kidnapped a 13-year-old Christian boy as he was returning home from school. His parents had secretly converted to Christianity and believe their son was kidnapped in an effort to find them and other Christians.
Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism
Afghanistan: A member of Afghanistan’s Parliament, Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, suggested that allAfghans who have converted to Christianity should be executed, according to Islamic law, in order to put a check to the growth of Christianity among Afghans, both within and without the country. His exact words: “Afghani citizens continue to convert to Christianity in India. Numerous Afghanis have become Christians in India. This is an offense to Islamic Laws and according to the Quran they need to be executed.”
Iran: The Islamic republic launched a public campaign dedicated to halting the spread of Christianity among Iranians, including by organizing meetings aimed at debating how and why especially Iranian youth are converting, often secretly, to Christianity. Mohabat News reported the government campaign involved meetings aimed at “distorting” public opinion: “It seems great crackdowns on churches and extraordinary waves of arrest of Iranian pastors and Christian converts have not been effective.” In fact, this move comes at a time when at least 13 Christians were detained in the past few weeks, including several beaten and threatened to recant Christianity.
Morocco: In a courtroom hearing, Mohamed el-Baldi, a Muslim convert to Christianity, was fined and jailed for “shaking the faith of Muslims.” Preaching Christianity is prohibited under article 220 of the Moroccan penal code. Apparently to make an example of him, although the maximum sentence is six months’ imprisonment, el-Baldi was sentenced to two-and-a-half years. During the hearing, his mother “implored Allah to exact revenge on whoever tampered with her son’s mind,” causing him to convert to and preach Christianity.
[Contempt for and Dehumanization of “Infidels”]
Central African Republic: Heavily armed Islamic rebels from the Seleka organization, reportedly from Sudan, attacked the mission of Our Lady of Fatima in Bouar, assaulting, gagging, and taking hostage an Italian missionary and a deacon. They also plundered the premises stealing among other things money, a computer, camera, and mobile phone.
Indonesia: Islamists in Jakarta demanded the removal of a new political appointee in West Java because she, Susan Jasmine Zulkifli, is a Christian. Among other complaints, her critics said she would not be able to participate in Muslim religious ceremonies and that she should be transferred to a Christian region.
Iraq: The Assyria Council of Europe and the Assyria Foundation released their 2013 Human Rights Report on Assyrians in Iraq, detailing the persecution suffered by the nation’s indigenous Christian minority, including things like forced prostitution.
Philippines: Security forces placed Zamboanga City, a large predominantly Christian port city in the Philippines, in lockdown mode while they pursued a Muslim rebel group accused of launching an air-and-sea strike against the region. According to the Washington Times, “The Muslim group is still believed to be holding 170 hostages from the city, a largely Christian community that’s nestled among a sea of Muslim villages.”
Sudan: Agenzia Fides reports that “There are increasing acts of intimidation against priests and missionaries on behalf of the authorities of Sudan…. In particular, in September four priests were summoned several times by the security services (Sudan National Security Intelligence Agency) in order to be questioned.” After describing one incident, the report concludes, “this episode is just one example of intimidation carried out by the Sudanese authorities against the Catholic Church. Recently, in fact, some church centers were closed, several priests and foreign missionaries were forced to leave the country… There are fears now that the future of the Catholic Church in Sudan is at risk.”
Zanzibar (Tanzania): Catholic priest Joseph Anselmo Mwagambwa survived an acid attack in the same area where two other priests were shot by al-Qaeda linked Muslims, “in what was seen as a wider crackdown on devoted Christians… One priest was wounded last year and the other killed in February,” reports BosNewsLife.
About this Series
While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching pandemic proportions. Accordingly, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, persecution of Christians.
To show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.
Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws that criminalize and punish with death those who “offend” Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or second-class, “tolerated” citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination.
Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to India in the East—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.
PLEASE WATCH! PLEASE SHARE! Thank you.
They will worship and uplift him to the office of the peace leader of the world – He will be made the leader of the New World Order and the head of the One World Government – He will come in peaceably on a platform of prosperity, peace and safety for all nations and all religions. He will deceive the majority.
“..For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape..” - 1 Thes. 5:3
He will make peace contracts with all warring individuals, religions and nations.
“..And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many..” - Daniel 8:25
Thank you to Blazing Cat Fur for the video.
by, Robert Spencer | Jihad Watch
Muhammad said: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. But Mariam Naqqash was only given four years in prison, thus proving that the Iranian regime really is made up of “moderates,” as has been the recent claim.
“Iran: Woman who converted to Christianity jailed,” from AKI, October 11 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Tehran, 11 Oct. (AKI) – A court in Tehran has sentenced to four years in prison an Iranian woman who converted to Christianity, the Iranpressnews website reported on Friday.
The court found Mariam Naqqash guilty of “endangering national security by spreading religious propaganda in the country”, the website reported.
Naqqash was also accused of spying for Britain and Israel and is being held in Tehran’s Evin prison.
Rights activists report that numerous underground churches have sprung up in Tehran and the nearby cities amid a sharp increase in recent years in the number of young people converting to Christianity from Islam.
Conversions from Islam to Zoroastrianism and the Bahai faith have also been on the rise, according to the activists.
Iran’s Sharia law does not allow conversations from Islam to other religions and renouncing the Muslim faith is punishable with the death penalty.
Over 300 Iranian converts to Christianity have been arrested over the past two years, according to opposition websites.
Conversions from Islam to other faiths often take place in secret.
Pres. Candidate Abdul Rasoul Sayyaf was a mentor to Osama bin Laden
by, Jennifer Griffin | RAWA News
A well-known former Afghan warlord who welcomed Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda fighters to his training camps in the 1990s and was a mentor to the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks is one of the candidates running to be the country’s next president in elections next April.
Abdul Rasoul Sayyaf, 67, registered as a candidate Thursday in Kabul, saying, “I am hopeful that the nation will decide wisely and that their decision will lead to a prosperous future, which will ensure the honor and pride of this nation in this world and the world after.”
The next Afghan president will decide whether to allow any U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan after next year.
President Hamid Karzai by law can’t run in the next election.
The 9/11 commission report describes Sayyaf as a mentor to 9/11 planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, saying he “provided KSM with military training” at one of his camps.
But former U.S. officials who served in Afghanistan say it would be a mistake to write off Sayyaf – that he is a staunch opponent of the Taliban and also no friend of Iran.
Robert Neuman, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, calls Sayyaf “a man who knows which side his interests lie on. They lie very much with the United States, with the coalition. I would not, I’m not really worried about his moving toward Al Qaeda or his being a terrorist. I’m worried about whether he could govern Afghanistan.”
He added, “I’m not trying to whitewash the guy, but there are multiple sides here and we, and the news media, frankly, should be looking at all of them, particularly in view of thinking about what kind of a country someone’s going to have govern.”
A Human Rights Watch Report from 2005 outlined the actions of Sayyaf’s militia in the 1990s as “crimes against humanity,” saying, “The acts detailed… amount to war crimes. Commanders involved in specific commissions of these crimes, and factional leaders who ordered abuses, are liable and can be prosecuted.”
Kathy Gannon, author of “I is for Infidel: From Holy War to Holy Terror in Afghanistan,” called Sayyaf “probably the closest of the leaders to the Arab fighters in Afghanistan who came during the 1980s, including Usama bin Laden, who came to Afghanistan to fight against the Soviets.
Gannon, an AP reporter, recalls in her book how Sayyaf’s militia raped and scalped five ethnic Hazara women during the 1990s when he was in Kabul. An old Hazara man threw the blood-soaked hair at her feet and then showed her the bodies of the five women, who were his relatives.
01 October 2013
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech at the UN General Assembly.
נאום ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו בעצרת הכללית של האומות המאוחדות.
וידאו: רועי אברהם, לע”מ
Young girls in Chah Bahar, Iran. Iran’s body of clerics and jurists has not yet vetted the new legislation on child marriage. Photograph: Jamshid Bairami/EPA
Human rights activists say approved bill, making girls vulnerable to the ruling from age 13, ‘legalizes paedophilia’
by, Saeed Kamali Dehghan | The Guardian
Parliamentarians in Iran have passed a bill to protect the rights of children which includes a clause that allows a man to marry his adopted daughter and while she is as young as 13 years.
Activists have expressed alarm that the bill, approved by parliament on Sunday, opens the door for the caretaker of a family to marry his or her adopted child if a court rules it is in the interests of the individual child.
Iran’s Guardian Council, a body of clerics and jurists which vets all parliamentary bills before the constitution and the Islamic law, has yet to issue its verdict on the controversial legislation.
To the dismay of rights campaigners, girls in the Islamic republic can marry as young as 13 provided they have the permission of their father. Boys can marry after the age of 15.
In Iran, a girl under the age of 13 can still marry, but needs the permission of a judge. At present, however, marrying stepchildren is forbidden under any circumstances.
As many as 42,000 children aged between 10 and 14 were married in 2010, according to the Iranian news website Tabnak. At least 75 children under the age of 10 were wed in Tehran alone.
Shadi Sadr, a human rights lawyer with the London-based group Justice for Iran, told the Guardian she feared the council would feel safe to put its stamp of approval on the bill while Iran’s moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, draws the attention of the press during his UN visit to New York.
“This bill is legalising paedophilia,” she warned. “It’s not part of the Iranian culture to marry your adopted child. Obviously incest exists in Iran more or less as it happens in other countries across the world, but this bill is legalising paedophilia and is endangering our children and normalising this crime in our culture.”
She added: “You should not be able to marry your adopted children, full stop. If a father marries his adopted daughter who is a minor and has sex, that’s rape.”
According to Sadr, officials in Iran have tried to play down the sexual part of such marriages, saying it is in the bill to solve the issue of hijab [head scarf] complications when a child is adopted.
An adopted daughter is expected to wear the hijab in front of her father, and a mother should wear it in front of her adopted son if he is old enough, Sadr said.
“With this bill, you can be a paedophile and get your bait in the pretext of adopting children,” Sadr said. Some experts believe the new bill is contradictory to Islamic beliefs and would not pass the Guardian Council.
An initial draft of the bill, which had completely banned marriage with adopted children, was not approved by the council and it is feared that MPs introduced the condition for marriage to satisfy the jurists and clergymen. This is why Sadr fears it can pass the council this time.
The bill has prompted backlash in Iran with the reformist newspaper, Shargh, publishing an article warning about its consequences. “How can someone be looking after you and at the same time be your husband?” the article asked.
Shiva Dolatabadi, head of Iran’s society for protecting children’s rights, has also warned that the bill implies that the parliament is legalising incest. “You cannot open a way in which the role of a father or a mother can be mixed with that of an spouse,” she said, according to Shargh. “Children can’t be safe in such a family.”
Execution of juvenile offenders in Iran has also been in spotlight in recent years amid confusion between the age of majority – when minors cease to be legally considered children – and the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which is 15 for boys and nine for girls under Iranian law.
In Iran, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, has been sentenced to death by stoning
by, EMMA BATHA | The Independent
Two months ago, a young mother of two was stoned to death by her relatives on the order of a tribal court in Pakistan. Her crime: possession of a mobile phone.
Arifa Bibi’s uncle, cousins and others hurled stones and bricks at her until she died, according to media reports. She was buried in a desert far from her village. It’s unlikely anyone was arrested. Her case is not unique. Stoning is legal or practised in at least 15 countries or regions. And campaigners fear this barbaric form of execution may be on the rise, particularly in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Women’s rights activists have launched an international campaign for a ban on stoning, which is mostly inflicted on women accused of adultery. They are using Twitter and other social media to put pressure on the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to denounce the practice.
“Stoning is a cruel and hideous punishment. It is a form of torturing someone to death,” said Naureen Shameem of the international rights group Women Living Under Muslim Laws. “It is one of the most brutal forms of violence perpetrated against women in order to control and punish their sexuality and basic freedoms.”
She said activists will also push the UN to adopt a resolution on stoning similar to the one passed last year on eradicating female genital mutilation – another form of violence against women often justified on religious and cultural grounds.
Stoning is not legal in most Muslim countries and there is no mention of it in the Koran. But supporters argue that it is legitimised by the Hadith – the acts and sayings of the Prophet Mohamed. Stoning is set out as a specific punishment for adultery under several interpretations of sharia or Islamic law. In some instances, even a woman saying she has been raped can be considered an admission to the crime of zina (sex outside marriage).
In one case cited by Shameem, a 13-year-old Somali girl, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was buried up to her neck and stoned by 50 men in front of 1,000 people at a stadium in Kismayu in 2008. Her father told Amnesty International she had been raped by three men but was accused of adultery when she tried to report the rape to the al-Shabaab militia in control of the city.
Iran has the world’s highest rate of execution by stoning. No one knows how many people have been stoned but at least 11 people are in prison under sentence of stoning, according to an Iranian human rights lawyer, Shadi Sadr.
Sadr, who has represented five people sentenced to stoning, said Iran carried out stonings in secret in prisons, in the desert or very early in the morning in cemeteries. “Pressure from outside Iran always helps. The Islamic Republic pretends that they don’t care about their reputation, but they do care a lot,” added Sadr, who lives in exile in Britain.
In 2010, the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman sentenced to death by stoning for alleged adultery, caused international outcry. The authorities have suspended her sentence but she remains in prison. Officials withdrew stoning from a new draft penal code last year, but have since reinserted it.
Stoning is also a legal punishment for adultery in Mauritania, a third of Nigeria’s 36 states, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
In some countries, such as Mauritania and Qatar, stoning has never been used although it remains legal. However, in other countries, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, stoning is not legal but tribal leaders, militants and others carry it out extrajudicially. “In Afghanistan, warlords are manipulating religion to terrorise the population for their own political ends. Stoning is one way of doing that,” said Shameem, a human rights lawyer who is co-ordinating the Stop Stoning Women campaign.
Stoning has been used as a form of community justice throughout history in various religious and cultural traditions, many pre-dating Islam. Unlike beheading, which is performed by a single executioner, stoning is carried out by a group.
The practice has been documented among the Ancient Greeks to punish people judged to be prostitutes, adulterers or murderers. It is also mentioned in the Jewish Torah, the first five books of the Bible, and the Talmud. Today, it is predominantly associated with Muslim culture. However, clerics are deeply divided. Supporters of stoning say the Hadith depicts the Prophet as occasionally ordering stoning in cases of extramarital sex.
But some scholars say these acts and sayings – recorded several hundred years after the Prophet’s death – have been misinterpreted. Others argue that the Prophet was simply following prevailing customs and Jewish law. Modern laws sanctioning stoning as a punishment for adultery emerged with the revival of political Islam in the late 20th and early 21st century.
Campaigners say women are more likely to be convicted of adultery than men because discriminatory laws and customs penalise women more for extramarital sex.
If a man is unhappy with his wife he can – depending on the country – divorce, take other wives or marry another woman temporarily. A woman has few options. She can divorce only in certain circumstances and risks losing custody of her children. Men accused of adultery are also more likely to have the means to hire lawyers, and their greater physical freedom makes it easier for them to flee in situations where they risk extrajudicial stoning.
Activists say trials are often unfair. Convictions are frequently based on confessions made under duress. As adultery is difficult to prove, judges in Iran can also convict on the basis of gut feeling rather than evidence.
Even the manner of stoning is loaded against women. People sentenced to stoning in Iran are partially buried. If they can escape they are spared. But women are customarily buried up to their chests while men are only buried up to their waists.
Stoning contravenes a host of UN treaties including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that no one should be subjected to torture, or cruel or inhuman punishment. The treaty, which Iran and Pakistan have signed, allows countries to execute people only for “the most serious crimes”.
Many prominent Muslim clerics have spoken in support of a ban on stoning, deeming it un-Islamic and antithetical to the Koran’s emphasis on repentance and compassion. Shameem said stoning mostly happened in conflict or post-conflict areas where politicians, warlords and militants exploit people’s religious beliefs as they jockey for power. Mali saw its first case last year after Islamist militants took control of the north of the country. It is not clear why, in Bibi’s case, the tribal court should have justified stoning as a punishment for owning a mobile phone. Shameem said stoning and the threat of stoning was being used “to control women, constrain their freedoms, and police their sexuality”.
The threat of stoning has even happened in Tunisia, a relatively liberal country with no history of stoning. This year, the head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Tunisia called for a teenage activist to be stoned to death for posting nude protest images of herself online.
Campaigners plan to present an online petition to Mr Ban and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
by, BosNewsLife Middle East Service
TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)– Iran’s Islamic leadership has launched a public campaign to halt the rapid spread of Christianity among Iranians, BosNewsLife learned Monday, September 2.
The government’s think-tank and the Iranian intelligence service are organizing meetings aimed at debating the “conversion from Islam” and to analyze why especially Iranian youth convert to Christianity, well-informed Iranian Christians said.
One of the first gatherings was reportedly attended by experts from France and Italy. A follow-up meeting has reportedly been scheduled for September 6 in the influential Sarcheshmeh Cultural Center.
The events come at a time when at least 13 Christians were detained across the Tabriz, Isfahan and Tehran areas in the past six weeks, said Elam Ministries, a mission group founded by senior Iranian church leaders.
Mohabat News, an agency of activists and Christians, isn’t surprised about the government campaign involving meetings aimed at “distorting” public opinion. “It seems great crackdowns on churches and extraordinary waves of arrest of Iranian pastors and Christian converts have not been effective,” the agency commented in a statement to BosNewsLife.
“Christianity is spreading in Iran rapidly…The increasing growth of house-churches in the country and the tendency of Iranian youth and their families to convert from Islam has turned into a major concern for the security organizations, especially Shi’ite Islamic clerics.”
However, “The question is, do these expensive meetings, with especially hand-picked foreign guests, help the Islamic regime to interrupt the work that God has started among Iranians and dissuade Iranians from giving their hearts to Jesus Christ?”, wondered Mohabat News.
Elam Ministries doesn’t think so. “In 1979, there were less than 500 known Christians from a Muslim background in Iran. Today the most conservative estimate is that there are at least 100,000 believers in the nation,” it said in an assessment.
Yet the mission group acknowledged that living as a devoted Christian can be dangerous.
It said a fresh crackdown on Christian converts,began in Tabriz last month when three men, Farshid Modares, Aval Samad Kazemi and Hamid Reza, were detained on July 10 following raids on their homes. “Fellow believer Yashar Farzin No was arrested the following day and Mohammad Reza Piri, on July 17.”
Prior to his detention, Yashar Farzin No and his wife were “repeatedly” pressured by authorities “to recant their new Christian faith and return to Islam,” Christians said.
Elam Ministries also cited reports of other Christians subsequently arrested in Tabriz whose identities remained unknown Monday, September 2.
“Mohammad Reza Piri sustained serious injuries after being tortured and severely beaten during interrogations and had to spend four days in the hospital of the central prison of Tabriz. Mr. Kazemi was released on bail a few days after his arrest, but the rest of the group remains detained,” Elam Ministries added.
Five additional Christian converts were recently detained during a raid on a house church in western Tehran, Iranian Christians said earlier.
The house raid, which occurred on August 9, was reportedly violent and the five individuals, Parham Farazmand, Sara Sardsirian, Sedigheh Kiani, Mona Fazli and one unnamed Christian, were taken to an unknown location. A week before the arrests in the capital Tehran, three Christians, Sedigheh Amirkhani, Mahnaz Rafiee, and Mohammad Reza Peymani, were detained in the city of Isfahan, according to Iranian Christian activists.
Mostafa Bordbar, a Christian convert who was sentenced to ten years imprisonment in July on political charges, remains in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison and was believed to be awaiting an appeal hearing. Ebrahim Firouzi, a Christian from Robat-Karim, has reportedly been sentenced to one year imprisonment and two years exile to a remote border town for his Christian activities.
Reverend Sam Yeghnazar, Executive Director of Elam said he was “deeply grieved to see the ongoing brutal persecution” of Christians in Iran.
“My prayers and thoughts are with those currently detained and their families.”
He said recently elected President Hassan Rouhani, who has expressed his determination to re-open the lines of dialog with the West, should also include “significant improvement in the treatment of Iran’s religious minorities.”
Yeghnazar said, “Iranian authorities cannot continue terrorizing and abusing its own citizens in this manner and expect to remain in dialog: we must pray and speak out to ensure that the new president has no doubt of what the international community expects.”
Iranian authorities have in the past defended arrests of Christians, saying those detained violate laws of the strict Islamic nation and threaten security with “foreign-backed” groups.