A London Based Human Rights Organization “Article 19″ Seeks International Protection for Bloggers.
At the UNESCO World Press Freedom International Conference 2013, ARTICLE 19 launched The Right to Blog – a new policy paper that calls for lawmakers to better promote and protect the rights of bloggers domestically and internationally. The Right to Blog also gives practical advice to bloggers about their rights and explains how – and in what situations – they can invoke some of the privileges and defences that traditional journalists have found vital to the integrity of their work.
“Blogging plays an invaluable role in the free flow of information worldwide and is a true example of the democratisation of publishing in the online world” said Agnes Callamard, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19.
“In the 21st century, many bloggers will take their place as watchdogs, alongside traditional media. The international community and individual states must develop protection for bloggers, just as they have developed protection for traditional media. Similar protection must be provided to bloggers. ARTICLE 19’s policy, The Right to Blog, offers recommendations on how this should be done in practice” added Callamard.
Over the last two decades, the Internet has transformed the way in which we communicate. Where the printed press and broadcast media were once the main sources of information, the Internet has made it possible for anyone to publish ideas, information and opinions to the entire world instantly.
Blogging and social media now rival newspapers and television as dominant sources of news and information. The emergence of these new forms of online expression has called into question the very definition of ‘journalism’ and ‘media’ in the digital age.
Difficult questions have been raised. How can the activities of bloggers be reconciled to existing models of media regulation? Should bloggers be held to the same professional and ethical standards expected of a professional journalist? In what circumstances can bloggers be held liable for what they say online? Should bloggers benefit from the kinds of protection programmes that are usually available to professional journalists in order to prevent them from being physically attacked? How would this work?
The Right to Blog answers to these and other complex questions through drawing on international standards of freedom of expression.
The Right to Blog argues that it is no longer appropriate to define journalism and journalists by reference to some recognised body of training, or affiliation with a news entity or professional body. International human rights law must protect bloggers just as it protects journalists.
The policy suggests ways to address the key issues that bloggers are likely to face, including:
Real-name registration (in contrast to anonymity)
The protection of sources
Protection from violence
Why is The Right to Blog important?
The need for The Right to Blog policy is heightened by many cases of recent violations of bloggers rights.
In Brazil, ARTICLE 19 documented cases of violence against journalists and human rights defenders. The most serious cases of violence against journalists were directed towards people who were writing for popular blogs (44%). Among those cases was the murder of blogger Décio Sáon on 23 April 2012 in São Luís. Sáon denounced the relationships between moneylenders and local politicians in his blog. Other bloggers who received death threats in 2012 include Neto Ferreira, Gilberto Leda, Júlio César de Lima Prates, Gerlice Nunes, Armando Anache and Marcio Rangel.
In Tunisia, in March 2013, Olfa Riahi, a blogger and a university professor was charged with criminal defamation and the offence of “harming others or disrupting their lives through public communication networks” after posting information about alleged misuse of public funds by a former foreign minister, Rafik Abdessalem, before he stepped down from the post. She is facing a penalty of one to two years in prison and a fine of up to 1,000 dinars (app. £450).
In Bangladesh, blogger Asif Mohiuddin, whose blog won the best social activism blog from the Deutsche Welle Best of Blogs Awards 2012, was brutally attacked by unknown perpetrators in January 2013. The police later found out that he was attacked for his writing on the instruction of a religious extremist. In March 2013, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission requested somewhereinblog.net – the largest blogging platform in Bangladesh – to remove Mohiuddin blog from their side. The platform complied with the request.
In Chad, Jean Laokolé, author of one of the most popular blogs in the country, was arrested in March 2013 by the security forces in N’Djamena, the Chadian capital. He has been held without trial in an undisclosed location ever since. On his blog, Laokolé repeatedly criticized corruption, poor governance and nepotism in the country.
PAKISTAN: Last week, the capital police were informed that a 19-year-old woman had committed suicide in the Muslim Colony locality near Bari Imam Shrine.
The police arrived at the spot and found the circumstantial evidence suspicious.
So, they got an autopsy conducted on the body and also gathered information from the neighbours of the deceased. The autopsy report revealed that the death was a homicide.
Narrating the incident to Dawn, the investigators said on May 12 the victim’s paternal uncle informed the police that his niece had committed suicide.
Upon arrival at the house, the police found the body ready for burial. The family had already changed her clothes and given bath to the body.
On inquiry, the family members told the police that she had committed suicide by hanging and nothing was suspicious about the death. The police also found that the clothes, which she had put on at the time of ‘suicide’ and the scarf used in the hanging, had been washed.
It was also revealed that the victim had allegedly committed suicide in her maternal uncle’s house.
The victim’s family said as the girl had committed suicide they completed the rituals but later her uncle suggested that the police should be informed to avoid any complication. The police shifted the body to hospital for autopsy.
Later, the investigators approached the neighbours to gather information and came to know that the victim had run away from her parents’ house four days back – on May 8 – and returned to the house of her maternal uncle on May 11.
The autopsy on the body showed that she was four months pregnant. Besides, injuries were also found at nine spots on the body, including neck, cheeks, chin and hands.
The autopsy report said it was “homicidal strangulation.” In response, the police registered a murder case against unidentified killer(s) but believed that her family was behind the death in the name of honour.
According to the police investigation, the victim had fallen in love with a 16-year-old boy living in the same locality some two years ago and got pregnant a few months back.
When her family came to know about the pregnancy, she moved to the house of the boy and asked him to marry her.
In response, the boy’s father approached the girl’s family and asked them to bring her back from his house. He told the family that his son was too young to get married and shoulder the responsibility of taking care of the family.
When the parents of the girl tried to bring the girl back, she refused.
During the investigation, the victim’s aunt told the police that the girl was reluctant to go with her parents.
Later, she tried to persuade her to go home as it would bring a bad name to her family. She promised that her marriage would be held with the boy if she agreed to go home.
However, she refused and as a result her aunt took her to her own house where the incident took place the next day.
The aunt further told the police that on May 12, she was cooking meal in the kitchen while her husband was out of the house.
She said as she came out of the kitchen, she found the girl hanging with the ceiling of a room.
In the light of the autopsy report and circumstantial evidence, the police registered a murder case. The victim’s family hailed from Dir and her father sells edible items on a pushcart. The paternal uncle of the deceased is a driver by profession.
The police said the family did not want to register a case, so it was lodged on behalf of the state after making a policeman as a complainant.
The police said in such cases the families did not cooperate with them and protect the killers.
They also feared that if the killer(s) was a family member, he would be pardoned by the legal heirs.
The police said the samples collected from the body of the victim, including the foetus, were sent for DNA test to establish the parentage. After establishing the parentage, the man would be arrested on the charge of adultery.
Legal experts and senior police officers are of the opinion that honour killing should be considered as a crime against the state to curb the practice.
As the complainant in an honour killing case is the legal heir of the victim, who is also the relative of the killer(s), so the issue is settled out of court.
The killers always remain unpunished in honour killing cases, so the state should be the complainant instead of the legal heirs, they said.
editorial footnote: We do commend the government of Pakistan for bringing charges against the perpetrator(‘s) of this crime in an effort to criminally punish honor killing and bring an end to this barbaric practice.
Excerpted from Mustafa Kazemi
The 8-year-old girl whose story you’ll read in coming lines did not make it to the 2nd night of her wedding nor did she make it to her 9th or 10th birthday.
Her name unknown, my source telephoned me last week at 9:30 pm to tell me her story. At the first I thought it’s just going to be a short conversation but later it was unveiled that the story is different.
The story came from a village in Khashrood district of Nimruz province in Afghanistan.
A medical doctor assigned in the main hospital in Zaranj city, the capital of the province, who wished to remain unnamed confirmed that he was “made aware” of the incident and that it was “too late to do anything for her” as well the “remote area didn’t allow them to do anything”.
The girl was one of the several daughters of a man in his late 30s. For an unknown reason he gave his daughter to the Mullah of their village for a big amount of money. It is also common in Afghanistan’s rural areas or 3rd level provinces/cities to marry young girls to old men, and trading their daughters for their debts or other items.
The mullah is in his late 50s and is the mosque guy of the village where this incident happened.
The mullah is already married and has many children too.
The two families hold a tribal meeting, agree on the price that the groom’s family pay to the bride’s family, and they set a date for wedding.
In rural areas like this here there are no engagements or any ceremonies beforehand like there are some in the metropolitan and urban areas.
The two families planned a wedding party, the wedding and Nekah (The religious process in which a woman is officially married to a man) took place and the 8-years-old bride became the 50-years-old Mullah’s 2nd wife.
The celebration party was over and the sun downed – the time to have sex (not make love) with the 8-years-old bride.
The girl was just 8 years old and everybody understands the fact that she knows nothing about sex or wedding or making love or virginity or sexual related topics; not even at a basic level for two reasons, one being that she’s just a child – not even a teenager and that in that part of the country, nobody knows anything about these things nor they are given trainings or education about a healthy sexual life.
The mullah takes off the bride’s clothes as well as his owns and with apparent so much happiness approaches her for sexual intercourse with the 8-years-old bride.
Because of the Mullah’s huge physique which gave him a big penis, he threw himself on her and started to penetrate the girl’s vagina.
After several tries that led him to failure to penetrate her vagina, the Mullah was frustrated.
He failed because the 8-years-old girl who was about to die was physically thin and had a very tight vagina opening.
Sourced from the Mullah’s animal behavior, he took out the sharp knife that he always carried with himself in his pocket and tore apart the girl’s vagina from the clitoris side upwards as well as tore it downwards towards her anus in order to make the vagina larger enough so he can enter his penis into her vagina.
Naturally, she started to bleed in a very bad amount, but the mullah was too annoyed for not being able to have sex with her, to care for what he did or her bleeding or her wounds that he gave her.
The girl had her scarf stuffed in her mouth, crying and trying to not raise her voice because others were there in the room adjacent to or outside.
It is a rule in some of the areas in Afghanistan that the groom brings out a piece of cloth that he cleaned his wife’s hymen blood with it as a proof that the girl was virgin.
Mullah entered his penis into the girl’s severely bleeding vagina and had sexual intercourse with her on a blood-covered bed, and then got up and cleaned himself with a cloth.
The girl, who now has lost everything, was bleeding and there was nobody to help her neither could the Mullah ask for help as it was a shame for him and the girl’s family (who were sitting over a cup of tea in the other room, would kill him).
Our 8-year-old bride bled and went into a traumatic shock because of both forced sex as well as severe bleeding. She had lost so much blood, this I can tell for certain.
She bled and bled as herself was in trauma shock until morning and early in the morning around 5 when the sun was about to rise, she passed away.
According to the Mullah, she was pale and her eyes were open when she died. The bed, as he described, was all red with her blood and she was lying in her blood only. No cloth beneath her was recognizable and everything was in dried blood because a whole night had passed on the blood.
She was pale because she had lost all her body’s blood. Her eyes were open as she was shivering when she died and her hands were tied in a praying position, saying her death time prayer.
The Mullah called in the same person and asked him to clean up the mess around and prepare a reason to tell the others for her death. Because the man was a close friend or family of the mullah, he did whatever he could, including every piece of cloth that was bloody.
They wrapped her in a piece of white clothes and called the others that she has passed away.
That morning her family mourned her death in the saddest manner without looking for proper explanation about her death, and then took her to wash her body as a religious ritual.
Because the Mullah had a great influence on the village, none of the women who washed the girl’s body dared to ask or seek the reason for the wounds around her vagina.
By 10 am or so they rallied the now-dead 8-years-old bride to the graveyard and buried her.
Her life ended.
The close friend of mullah, who knew everything, was very upset and shared the story with my source that then called me and told me the story.
Another doctor that I asked in Zaranj said that he wasn’t aware of the case, but he remembers that he used to treat the now-dead bride when she was 4 or 5 years old.
This doctor also asked me to not name him anywhere but only said that he was “deeply saddened that incidents like that still happen in Afghanistan”.
He called it one of the reasons of Afghanistan no going forward: People’s idiocy and uncivilized behaviors and traditions.
This story reached to me was told the exact way as it happened by the Mullah to a very close friend of him after the girl’s dead body was buried. According to the Mullah, he had a “bad conscience” about it.
Iran Legalizes Men to Marry Girls Under 10-Years-old
Officers are preparing to bust the biggest paedophile network ever seen in the country, with police set to swoop within days
At least 54 evil child grooming gangs are being investigated by police.
It comes as officers in the North of England are preparing to bust the biggest paedophile network ever seen in the country, with police set to swoop within days.
Our disturbing figures can be revealed after reporters contacted every force across England and Wales, but the true number is likely to be much higher as many failed, or refused, to reply.
Child exploitation came into focus this week when seven paedophiles were convicted of sexually torturing girls as young as 11 in Oxford.
Thames Valley Police missed several opportunities to rescue the girls from the abuse over six years.
The same force has now revealed it is investigating 14 more networks – with some gangs even using women to help groom the youngsters.
Chief constable Sara Thornton said: “We are looking at double figures for the number of suspects.”
She went on: “I think the vast majority are men but there are a couple of women who might have been facilitating exploitation.”
As a result of our inquiries, police chiefs admitted to at least 54 investigations.
Out of 43 forces in England and Wales, 31 responded to our request for information.
Seventeen said they had ongoing probes, including Merseyside, which would only say it was investigating a “number” of grooming rings.
Three – Staffordshire, Norfolk and Humberside – refused to tell us how many investigations they had, and 12 did not get back to us.
At 14, Thames Valley has the largest number of probes, followed by six in Lancashire – where one of the worst paedophile gangs was caught in Rochdale last year.
Nottinghamshire and Greater Manchester said they were looking into five alleged sex cells each.
Steve Heywood, chief constable at Greater Manchester, admitted child exploitation was now the force’s “number one priority”.
The Met Police in London said its officers were probing four gangs.
Three probes are active in South Yorkshire, Northants and Suffolk.
There are two each in Surrey, Northumbria and West Yorkshire. South Wales, Kent, West Mercia, Devon and Cornwall and Cambridgeshire each have one investigation.
Staffordshire, Humberside and Norfolk would not say how many investigations they had.
West Midlands, Sussex, Wiltshire, North Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Hampshire, Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire, Cheshire, Cleveland, Dorset and Dyfed Powys did not reply
There are no investigations in Derbyshire, Warwickshire, North Wales, Hertfordshire, Gwent, Cumbria, Durham, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire, Essex.
The figures come as 10 men are preparing to stand trial this week accused of exploiting a girl over a four-year period in High Wycombe, Bucks.
All deny the charges.
Last month we revealed six men were held in Peterborough, Cambs, in a new case with potentially the biggest number of victims by one gang.
It is one in a worrying string of already known child sex cases.
Earlier this year seven men were charged in Newham, East London, for allegedly raping a vulnerable girl who was under 16.
And five men were charged with rape in Stockport, Greater Manchester, last year after a probe showed they had 39 potential victims.
editorial footnote: Always remember, when the system fails to seek or find justice for the innocent victim, it is not only the duty but the responsibility of the citizens to ensure justice is found.
In this video below.. it appears the Russian citizens are conducting their own research into a cure for pedophilia. Early test results appear positive and many more studies are needed before conclusive results can be determined.
by, Robert Spencer
Umar Lee, a convert to Islam from St. Louis, was once enough of an Islamic supremacist to write to a rival: “I could cut your neck with the sword of islam and watch you squeal like a bitch like daniel pearl.” In an email exchange with me, he endorsed the death penalty for apostasy.
But now he has left Islam and returned to Christianity. Watch the video; in it he makes many, many important points about how converts to Islam are lied to, and how Islam establishes an empire of fear.
Note especially this, starting at 4:04:
“We can talk about the grievance industry, CAIR, etc., trying to hype up the threat of Islamophobia. Islamophobia is very minor. You want to talk about religious bias? You convert to Christianity in Saudi Arabia, you’re murdered. You convert from Islam in so many Muslim countries, it’s the death penalty. Why are Muslim societies so afraid of missionaries? Why are Muslim societies so afraid of freedom of speech? Why are Muslim societies so afraid of the Gospel? Why are Muslim societies so afraid of the message of Jesus Christ? If you believe Islam is the truth, why don’t you believe Islam can compete in the marketplace of ideas? Obviously you don’t, or you wouldn’t kill people that convert to Christianity and put missionaries in jail.”
Clearly they don’t believe Islam can compete in the marketplace of ideas. Just yesterday I offered to debate UC-Berkeley’s professor of “Islamophobia,” Hatem Bazian. He responded: “Racist are not to be debated they are to be shunned.” (Yes, this university professor wrote “racist are.” He didn’t explain what race jihad terror is. They never do. This “racism” business is just a cover for what Umar Lee says: their knowledge of and fear of the fact that they know their ideas can’t compete, or hold up to scrutiny.
editorial footnote: We are requesting that all of our readers please take one moment to visit Umar’s Facebook page and send him a message of support and love or send him a tweet at his address below. He is a very brave man that has possibly even put his life on the line to become Islam’s latest apostate. I have sent him a friend request on facebook and I encourage you to do the same. Thank you.
Federal Judge Issues Ruling: “Suppression of Christian Speech Allowed..”
A federal judge has issued a startling ruling that suppressing Christian speech is allowed when Muslims threaten violence because they’re upset over the message.
The ruling from Judge Patrick J. Duggan in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted Wayne County’s motion for summary judgment of a lawsuit brought by a team of Christians who were badgered, bullied and targeted with garbage thrown by Muslims who disliked their message at last year’s Arab Fest in Dearborn, Mich.
Officials with American Freedom Law Center, who have been arguing the case on behalf of the Christians, also said the judge denied AFLC’s motion requesting that the court issue an order preventing the Wayne County Sheriff and his deputies from restricting the Christian evangelists from displaying their banners and signs on the public sidewalks outside of this year’s Arab Festival.
It is scheduled for June.
In his ruling, Duggan said, “The court finds that the actual demonstration of violence here provided the requisite justification for [the Wayne County sheriffs'] intervention, even if the officials acted as they did because of the effect the speech had on the crowd.”
The case had been filed by the AFLC after several Christian evangelists were violently assaulted by a hostile Muslim mob while preaching at the festival last year in Dearborn, which has the largest concentration of Muslims in the United States.
The lawsuit, which will be appealed to a higher court, alleged the county, sheriff and deputies refused to protect the Christians from the attack, and they threatened to arrest the Christians for disorderly conduct if they did not halt their speech activity and immediately leave the festival area.
Robert Muise, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, said, “The First Amendment was dealt a severe blow today as a result of this ruling. Indeed, this ruling effectively empowers Muslims to silence Christian speech that they deem offensive by engaging in violence. And pursuant to this ruling, the Christian speakers are now subject to arrest for engaging in disorderly conduct on account of the Muslim hecklers’ violent response to their speech. In short, this ruling turns the First Amendment on its head.”
David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, added: “This fight for our fundamental right to freedom of speech does not stop here. We have filed an immediate appeal of this ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. While Judge Duggan may have been the first judge to rule on this issue, he won’t be the last. Indeed, we are prepared to take this case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary because it is imperative that our free speech rights not be subject to mob rule. This is the United States, not Benghazi.”
The violence developed at the 2012 events when Christian evangelists walking on public sidewalks surrounding the event while carrying signs with biblical messages were assaulted with stones, bottles and debris by attendees of the festival.
The signs that brought on the attack included “Know the God of the Bible” and “Trust Jesus.”
Several of the Christian demonstrators walked away bruised and bloodied from the attack. Ruben Israel, the leader of the group, pleaded with law enforcement officials to intervene so that the demonstration could continue peacefully.
However, the officer refused and demanded the Christians leave the premises or face arrest for disorderly conduct.
Shortly after, Israel contacted AFLC, which filed a federal lawsuit against Wayne County and several officials from the Wayne County sheriff’s office. AFLC charged that the officers failed to uphold their constitutional duty to protect the Christians.
A video has been released of the 2012 confrontation that explains authorities not only failed to protect the Christians, they ordered them to leave the Arab festival under threat of arrest for “disorderly conduct.”
However, not one Muslim was arrested for the attack, which left several members of the Christian group injured, the video says.
The video, and a related complaint, showed the crowd – reminiscent of a rock-throwing “intifada” scene from the Middle East – hurling a dizzying barrage of objects at the Christians, who were standing passively with their signs.
WND later learned that the Christian crowd had been carrying a pole with a pig’s head attached to the top, further angering the Muslim crowd. At the beginning of the video, Christian street preachers shout, “God is good, and God is not Allah!”
A the 2:17 mark of the video, the mob can be heard screaming: “You want to jump ‘em? C’mon, let’s go!”
One boy yells, “Let’s beat the sh-t out of them!”
A girl shouts, “Go home! Do you understand English?!”
Despite the attacks the Christians endured, a man identified in the video as Deputy Chief Dennis Richardson of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office tells them, “You’re a danger to the safety right now.”
Officers claim they don’t have the manpower to protect the Christians at the festival.
“Your safety is in harm’s way. You need to protect everybody,” said Deputy Chief Mike Jaafar of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. “You do have the option to leave. I just want to make that clear.”
Israel replied, “You have the option to stand with us” as Jaafar walked away, leaving the Christians to the mob.
When police leave, the crowd continues harassing the Christians and screaming profanities.
Then police begin escorting the Christians away from the crowd.
Richardson tells Israel: “We have the responsibility of policing the entire festival, and obviously your conduct is such that it’s causing a disturbance and is a direct threat to the safety of everyone here. Someone could get hurt. You already have blood on your face. One of the festival people, one of my officers, anybody can get hurt. Now we’re going to escort you out.”
Israel explains that the mob throws things and becomes more aggressive when police leave the scene.
“Part of the reason that they throw things on someone is because you tell them stuff that enrages them,” Richardson argues.
AFLC said the Christians were wearing shirts with Scripture quotes and Christian messages.
By Jim Kouri
Members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Boko Haram allegedly assassinated a Christian leader on Tuesday in Nigeria’s northeast Borno State, according to an Israeli police intelligence analyst who monitors African Islamist groups.
According to the Rev. Ayo Oritsajafor, a spokesman from the National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Faye Pama Musa was shot dead at about 7:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday at his residence in Maiduguri by Boko Haram jihadists.
“The Borno secretary has been killed. We’ve got the report and the national president received it with heavy heart. It is very sad,” the spokesperson added in a statement.
The Israeli police source said that there were reports that the deceased Christian pastor had “attempted to run away but his assailants caught him and they “shot him at close range.”
The killing of the popular Christian pastor occurred shortly after Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the most troubled states in the northeast part of the country where Boko Haram is believed strongest.
The states most at risk for Boko Haram attacks are Yobe, Adamawa, and Borno, the source noted.
Also on Monday, the Boko Haram sect claimed responsibility for the recent major assault on Baga and Bama, in Borno state, in which up to 200 people, including soldiers, policemen, prison warders and civilians, were massacred.
Meanwhile, last week Nigerian police and security forces reported that upwards of 60 people were fatally wounded when suspected al-Qaeda affiliate Boko Haram Islamists attacked security formations in Nigeria’s terrorist-infested Borno region, according to Jorge Vega, an international counterterrorism and security expert.
A Nigerian spokesman for the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno, Col. Sagir Musa, reported that the gunmen attacked Bama, a commercial town about 200 miles away from Maiduguri, which is the Boko Haram-controlled region.
“Suspected Boko Haram terrorists in 18-seater buses and vehicles mounted with anti aircraft machine guns, attempted an attack on 202 Battalion Barracks in Bama, about 10 insurgents were killed during exchange of fire. We lost 2 soldiers during the attack,” Col. Musa said in a statement. “They came in army uniforms pretending to be soldiers but were able to detect them,” he added.
According to Jorge Vega, the Boko Haram terrorists also executed 14 Nigerian prison officials in cold-blood and they freed more than 100 Islamist prisoners, who will probably return to the battlefield.
The suspected terrorists also torched a police station and its adjoining police barracks, as well as a local courthouse and Bama’s government complex where some of the buildings were totally destroyed.
During the attack, the terrorists perpetrated extensive arson on the divisional police station and police barracks. More than 20 police officers lost their lives, while three Children and a woman were burned to death.
In April, a fierce battle in Baga, Nigeria between security forces and Islamic terrorists left at least 200 Nigerians dead in that nation’s northeast coastal region, an Israeli terrorism analyst who monitors jihad in Africa said.
The source said that the terrorists initiated the attack with rocket-propelled grenades and soldiers retaliated with intense machine-gun fire in Nigerian neighborhoods and many of the casualties were civilians.
The fighting in Baga forced civilians to flee into the surrounding community adjacent to Lake Chad.
After the violence subsided, government officials were able to view the destruction firsthand, and their inspection revealed homes, small business establishments, and automobiles and trucks were torched as a result of the intense battle, according to local media.
The terrorists living in the northeast part of Nigeria, including Baga, are said to be armed with military-grade weapons, according to the Africa Daily.
The Islamic jihad in Nigeria started as a riot in 2009 by members of an Islamist group known as Boko Haram. That first encounter turned into a full-blown gun-fight between Boko Haram and its supporters and the police and the military.
Since 2010, Islamists have perpetrated drive-by shootings and suicide bombings that have killed 1,548 people. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sacrilege,” has said it wants its imprisoned Islamists released and for the current Nigerian government to institute Sharia law throughout the nation.
DOSWELL, Va. — Officials in the county where the remains of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev have been buried say they were stunned to learn of the burial and they are looking into whether the law was followed in the process.
“As long as everything was done legally, there’s really very little we can do,” said Floyd Thomas, chairman of the board of supervisors of Caroline County. “What we would do is make sure that all of the laws regarding this particular burial were adhered to. If they were not, then I believe we would have to look at undoing what happened.”
Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa Jr. said he had alerted Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli about the incident, and was told Cuccinelli was looking into whether all laws were followed.
Tsarnaev was buried in a small Muslim cemetery in Doswell, a community about 15 miles from Richmond, the state capital.
Tsarnaev’s remains are interred at the Al-Barzakh Cemetery, the first Muslim cemetery in central Virginia, according to the Virginia woman who helped arrange the burial and to Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia.
The burial was coordinated by Martha Mullen, 48, who saw news reports about the protests outside the Worcester funeral home where Tsarnaev’s remains languished for nearly a week, and decided to help.
“It portrayed America at its worst,” she told the Globe this morning in a telephone interview. “The fact that people were picketing this poor man who was just trying to help [funeral director Peter Stefan] really upset me.”
The cemetery was tucked away, off a gravel road and around a wooden fence when a Globe reporter visited this afternoon. Forty-seven marked graves were each designated with a small green sign, the person’s name, and the date of death. The dates range from June 21, 1993, until April 16, 2013. There were also four unmarked plots, one of which presumably contained Tsarnaev’s body.
One of the unmarked plots had a half dozen red roses atop it that seemed like they had been there for several days. Three dusty wheelbarrows leaned against a nearby shed.
It was quiet. Birds chirped and traffic was light. Only a few local news trucks sat nearby.
But word was beginning to spread. One man heard it on the news and drove out near the site. Still, he didn’t want to see the grave, saying if he did, he would spit upon it.
“They should have burned him and sent him back to his mama,” said Wayne Pierce, a 61-year-old restaurant owner. “I just can’t believe this. I don’t know how they slipped him in like this.”
Asked about how he felt about his county becoming Tsarnaev’s burial place, Thomas, the county official, said, “We probably feel about this the way the rest of the nation does.”
“The reality is this was … a horrific event in Boston,” he said. “We sympathize with all the people in Boston. We do not necessarily wish to be the home of the remains of one of those perpetrators.”
“This was a horrific act. This was a terrible crime,” Thomas added. “We don’t want the county to be remembered as the resting place for the remains of someone who committed a terrible crime.”
The cemetery is licensed by the county, but the county does not routinely get involved in burials. Some county officials didn’t even know there was a Muslim cemetery in their jurisdiction.
Lippa has stationed a deputy sheriff at the cemetery, but Lippa wouldn’t say how long the deputy would stay there. He noted that defaming a plot in a cemetery is a felony. “Are we taking security measures?” Lippa said. “I can assure you we are.”
He said the area had already become a public safety issue, given traffic and aggravated neighbors. But the county has no money in the budget for cemetery protection, and it is unclear how long a police officer will be stationed there.
Lippa and Thomas said at an afternoon press conference that they had not been able to confirm or deny that Tsarnaev was buried in their county. They had not seen a death certificate, and had not been able to reach the owner of the cemetery. (A death certificate released by the city of Boston today listed the Virginia cemetery as the place of burial.)
The only thing they had confirmed was that there was a burial. They emphasized that they were not consulted, were not aware, and provided no permission for the burial.
“I know of no Virginia law enforcement agency that was notified of this event,” Lippa said. He said he learned of the burial from news reports. “It caught all of us off guard,” Lippa said. “None of us know anything about this. Had we known ahead of time, it would have raised other questions.”
Mullen, the woman who stepped forward to arrange the burial, said that she had reached out to Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia, which is associated with the Islamic Society of Greater Richmond. The Islamic organization secured a burial plot in the cemetery and coordinated the body’s secret transfer Wednesday night.
“What Tsarnaev did is between him and God,’’ the Islamic organization said in a statement. “We strongly disagree with his violent actions, but that does not release us from our obligation to return his body to the earth.’’
On the official Virginia tourism webpage, Doswell is described as a village once known as Hanover Junction because two railroads lines that played a role in the Civil War are located nearby. Doswell is part of Hanover County, which is listed as the birthplace of Triple Crown winner Secretariat.
Tsarnaev’s body was removed from the funeral home without any public notice. Only after it was buried did Worcester police publicly announce both the removal of the remains and their entombment somewhere outside Worcester.
Tsarnaev, 26, died April 19 after a shootout with police in Watertown, four days after prosecutors say he and his brother, Dzhokhar, allegedly detonated two bombs that killed three people and injured more than 260 near the Marathon finish line.
Dzhokhar, 19, allegedly drove over his brother as he fled the scene. He was captured about 18 hours later. He faces federal charges that could bring the death penalty. The brothers also allegedly killed MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.
Since last Friday, when Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s remains arrived at the funeral home, the cities of Cambridge and Boston and cemeteries in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey had refused to accept Tsarnaev’s remains.
On Tuesday, a proposal to bury him on the grounds of a Massachusetts state prison fell apart. Worcester Police Chief Gary J. Gemme then publicly appealed for someone to come forward and provide a burial site for Tsarnaev.
Worcester police said Thursday that Gemme’s public appeal was successful and a “compassionate individual” had agreed to resolve the stalemate that had forced police to guard the funeral home, which was besieged by protesters and the media.
After Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s death, his widow, Katherine Russell, waived her right to decide where her husband should be buried and handed that responsibility to Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, a Maryland resident who conducted Muslim burial rites on his nephew.
Police barred Jews from entering the Temple Mount after Muslim groups threatened violence over a planned visit by Jewish children.
By David Lev
Police barred Jews from entering the Temple Mount on Thursday, after Muslim groups threatened violence in the wake of a plan to bring Jewish children to visit the site. The plan, organized by groups encouraging Jewish visits to the Mount, was meant to be an educational program that would demonstrate rituals associated with the Temple, such as the bringing of bikurim (“First Fruits”, the gift to the Temple brought on Shavuot).
Over the past few days, chatter on Islamic web sites indicated that the groups would be met by rioters. Instead of seeking to defuse the situation or defend the groups of visiting children, police chose to capitulate to the threats, and announced that they were closing the Mount to all non-Moslems out of “concern for public safety.”
The decision came only a little while before the tour was set to begin, at 8:30, and after dozens of children and their families – many coming from far distances – had already gathered at the Kotel.
Groups sponsoring the visit strongly criticized the police for their decision. In a statement, the groups said that the police decision was “unfair, and gives a prize to violent attackers who threaten the victims – simple, peaceful families whose only desire was to visit the Temple [site] with their children and observe the special rituals of the Shavuot holiday. We look forward to the day that Israel will have more worthy security organizations, and to the day that police will understand their role, and stop avoiding it,” the statement said.
Over Shavuot itself, the groups reported, hundreds of Jews were able to visit the Mount – but they were a small percentage of the thousands who sought to get in. Police severely limited Jewish access to the Mount, with visitors being allowed to enter only in small groups beginning on Tuesday, the day before Shavuot. In several instances, dozens of Muslims sat and blocked the entrance of the Mughrabi Gate, used by non-Muslims to ascend the Mount. Those Jews who did manage to run the Arab gauntlet – with little, if any, police assistance – were followed and harassed by Muslims, and verbally assaulted the entire time they were on the Mount.
Police intervened only after a riot broke out – with their response to close the gates of the Mount to Jews altogether, evacuating the Jews who had managed to enter via a side exit.
CHURCH IN BANGLADESH UNDER THREAT AMID VIOLENT ISLAMIST PROTESTS
Barnabas Aid has received requests for prayer and practical help from Christian leaders in Bangladesh as the Church is endangered by a violent uprising by Islamists who are demanding that the country become an Islamic state.
Christian homes have been torched and churches threatened as increasingly volatile protests have rocked the country.
Scores of people have been killed in the clashes, which erupted in February. At least 37 died earlier this week as police tried to quash protests in the capital, Dhaka, where 70,000 Islamist demonstrators took to the streets on Sunday (5 May), calling for the introduction of an anti-blasphemy law.
This was the deadline that one Islamist group, Hefazat e-Islam Bangladesh (HIB), had given the government to implement its demands, which include sharia rule, virtual segregation of women and the death sentence for those who insult Islam or Muhammad.
An anti-blasphemy law would be disastrous for Christians in Bangladesh. Their counterparts in Pakistan suffer grievously as a result of the blasphemy laws there, under which they are vulnerable to malicious, false accusation. Devotion to Muhammad is a particular feature of South Asian Islam, and the Pakistani law specifies a death sentence for anyone who insults him.
Jama’at-e-Islami (JI), the largest Islamist political party in Bangladesh, has threatened to “kill all the Malauns [infidels]”. Muslims view Christians and other non-Muslims as “infidels”.
In 2010, a constitutional amendment that had allowed religion-based politics was declared null and void, a move intended to underline the secular nature of the state. The government has, however, indicated, that the ban on religious parties will not be strictly enforced, giving groups like HIB and JI a platform ahead of the general election due early next year.
by Ibn Warraq
Islam is deeply anti-woman. Islam is the fundamental cause of the repression of Muslim women and remains the major obstacle to the evolution of their position. Islam has always considered women as creatures inferior in every way: physically, intellectually, and morally. This negative vision is divinely sanctioned in the Koran, corroborated by the hadiths, and perpetuated by the commentaries of the theologians, the custodians of Muslim dogma and ignorance.
Far better for these intellectuals to abandon the religious argument, to reject these sacred texts, and have recourse to reason alone. They should turn instead to human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted on December 10, 1948, by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris and ratified by most Muslim countries) at no point has recourse to a religious argument. These rights are based on natural rights, which any adult human being capable of choice has. They are rights that human beings have simply because they are human beings. Human reason or rationality is the ultimate arbiter of rights – human rights, the rights of women.
Unfortunately, in practice, in Muslim countries one cannot simply leave the theologians with their narrow, bigoted world view to themselves. One cannot ignore the ulama, those learned doctors of Muslim law who by their fatwas or decisions in questions touching private or public matters of importance regulate the life of the Muslim community. They still exercise considerable powers of approving or forbidding certain actions. Why the continuing influence of the mullas?
The Koran remains for all Muslims, not just “fundamentalists,” the uncreated word of God Himself. It is valid for all times and places; its ideas are absolutely true and beyond all criticism. To question it is to question the very word of God, and hence blasphemous. A Muslim’s duty is to believe it and obey its divine commands. Several other factors contribute to the continuing influence of the ulama. Any religion that requires total obedience without thought is not likely to produce people capable of critical thought, people capable of free and independent thought. Such a situation is favorable to the development of a powerful “clergy” and is clearly responsible for the intellectual, cultural, and economic stagnation of several centuries.
Illiteracy remains high in Muslim countries. Historically, as there never was any separation of state and religion, any criticism of one was seen as a criticism of the other. Inevitably, when many Muslim countries won independence after the Second World War, Islam was unfortunately linked with nationalism, which meant that any criticism of Islam was seen as a betrayal of the newly independent country – an unpatriotic act, an encouragement to colonialism and imperialism. No Muslim country has developed a stable democracy; Muslims are being subjected to every kind of repression possible. Under these conditions healthy criticism of society is not possible, because critical thought and liberty go together. The above factors explain why Islam in general and the position of women in particular are never criticized, discussed, or subjected to deep scientific or skeptical analysis. All innovations are discouraged in Islam – every problem is seen as a religious problem rather than a social or economic one.
Islam took the legend of Adam and Eve  from the Old Testament and adapted it in its own fashion. The creation of mankind from one person is mentioned in the following suras: 4.1. 0 Mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multiple of men and women. 39.6. He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate. 7.189. He it is who did create you from a single soul and therefrom did make his mate that he might take rest in her.
From these slender sources Muslim theologians have concluded that man was the original creation – womankind was created secondarily for the pleasure and repose of man. The legend was further developed to reinforce the supposed inferiority of women. Finally, the legend was given a sacred character so that to criticize it was to criticize the very words of God, which were immutable and absolute. Here is how Muhammad describes women in general: “Be friendly to women for womankind was created from a rib, but the bent part of the rib, high up, if you try to straighten it you will break it; if you do nothing, she will continue to be bent.” God punishes Adam and Eve for disobeying his orders. But there is nothing in the verses to show that it was Eve (as in the Old Testament) who led Adam astray. And yet Muslim exegetists and jurists have created the myth of Eve the temptress that has since become an integral part of Muslim tradition. Muhammad himself is reputed to have said: “If it had not been for Eve, no woman would have been unfaithful to her husband.”
The Islamic tradition also attributes guile and deceit to women and draws its support from the Koran. Modern Muslim commentators interpret certain verses to show that guile, deceit, and treachery are intrinsic to a woman’s nature. Not only is she unwilling to change, she is by nature incapable of changing – she has no choice. In attacking the female deities of the polytheists, the Koran takes the opportunity to malign the female sex further. 4.1 17. They invoke in His stead only females; they pray to none else than Satan, a rebel.
53.21-22. Are yours the males and His the females? That indeed were an unfair division!
53.27. Lo! it is those who disbelieve in the Hereafter who name the angels with the names of females. Other verses from the Koran also seem of a misogynist tendency.
2.228. Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. 2.282. But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if the one erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember. 4.11. Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females. 4.34. Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart; and scourge (beat) them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great. Equally, in numerous hadiths on which are based the Islamic laws, we learn of the woman’s role – to stay at home, to be at the beck and call of man to obey him (which is a religious duty), and to assure man a tranquil existence.
Here are some examples of these traditions:
• The woman who dies and with whom the husband is satisfied will go to paradise.
• A wife should never refuse herself to her husband even if it is on the saddle of a camel.
• Hellfire appeared to me in a dream and I noticed that it was above all peopled with women who had been ungrateful. “Was it toward God that they were ungrateful?” They had not shown any gratitude toward their husbands for all they had received from them. Even when all your life you have showered a woman with your largesse she will still find something petty to reproach you with one day, saying, “You have never done anything for me.”
• If anything presages a bad omen it is: a house, a woman, a horse.
• Never will a people know success if they confide their affairs to a woman.
It will be appropriate to include two quotes from the famous and much revered philosopher al-Ghazali (1058-1111), whom Professor Montgomery Watt describes as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad. In his “The Revival Of The Religious Sciences,” Ghazali defines the woman’s role: 
She should stay at home and get on with her spinning, she should not go out often, she must not be well-informed, nor must she be communicative with her neighbours and only visit them when absolutely necessary; she should take care of her husband and respect him in his presence and his absence and seek to satisfy him in everything; she must not cheat on him nor extort money from him; she must not leave her house without his permission and if given his permission she must leave surreptitiously. She should put on old clothes and take deserted streets and alleys, avoid markets, and make sure that a stranger does not hear her voice or recognize her; she must not speak to a friend of her husband even in need. … Her sole worry should be her virtue, her home as well as her prayers and her fast.
If a friend of her husband calls when the latter is absent she must not open the door nor reply to him in order to safeguard her and her husband’s honour. She should accept what her husband gives her as sufficient sexual needs at any moment. … She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs at any moment. Such are some of the sayings from the putative golden age of Islamic feminism. It was claimed that it was the abandonment of the original teachings of Islam that had led to the present decadence and backwardness of Muslim societies. But there never was an Islamic utopia. To talk of a golden age is only to conform and perpetuate the influence of the clergy, the mullas, and their hateful creed that denies humanity to half the inhabitants of this globe, and further retards all serious attempts to liberate Muslim women.
The inequality between men and women  in matters of giving testimony or evidence or being a witness is enshrined in the Koran: sura 2.282 (quoted above).
How do Muslim apologists justify the above text? Muslim men and women writers point to the putative psychological differences that exist between men and women. The Koran (and hence God) in its sublime wisdom knew that women are sensitive, emotional, sentimental, easily moved, and influenced by their biological rhythm, lacking judgment. But above all they have a shaky memory. In other words, women are psychologically inferior. Such are the dubious arguments used by Muslim intellectuals – male and, astonishingly enough, female intellectuals like Ahmad Jamal, Ms. Zahya Kaddoura, Ms. Ghada al-Kharsa, and Ms. Madiha Khamis. As Ghassan Ascha points out, the absurdity of their arguments are obvious.
By taking the testimony of two beings whose reasoning faculties are faulty we do not obtain the testimony of one complete person with a perfectly functioning rational faculty – such is Islamic arithmetic! By this logic, if the testimony of two women is worth that of one man, then the testimony of four women must be worth that of two men, in which case we can dispense with the testimony of the men. But no! In Islam the rule is not to accept the testimony of women alone in matters to which men theoretically have access. It is said that the Prophet did not accept the testimony of women in matters of marriage, divorce, and hudud. Hudud are the punishments set down by Muhammad in the Koran and the hadith for (1) adultery – stoning to death; (2) fornication – a hundred stripes; (3) false accusation of adultery against a married person – eighty stripes; (4) apostasy – death; (5) drinking wine – eighty stripes; (6) theft – the cutting off of the right hand; (7) simple robbery on the highway – the loss of hands and feet; robbery with murder – death, either by the sword or by crucifixion.
On adultery the Koran 24.4 says: “Those that defame honourable women and cannot produce four witnesses shall be given eighty lashes.” Of course, Muslim jurists will only accept four male witnesses. These witnesses must declare that they have “seen the parties in the very act of carnal conjunction.” Once an accusation of fornication and adultery has been made, the accuser himself or herself risks punishment if he or she does not furnish the necessary legal proofs. Witnesses are in the same situation. If a man were to break into a woman’s dormitory and rape half a dozen women, he would risk nothing since there would be no male witnesses. Indeed the victim of a rape would hesitate before going in front of the law, since she would risk being condemned herself and have little chance of obtaining justice.
“If the woman’s words were sufficient in such cases,” explains Judge Zharoor ul Haq of Pakistan, “then no man would be safe.” This iniquitous situation is truly revolting and yet for Muslim law it is a way of avoiding social scandal concerning the all-important sexual taboo. Women found guilty of fornication were literally immured, at first; as the Koran 4.15 says: “Shut them up within their houses till death release them, or God make some way for them.” However this was later canceled and stoning substituted for adultery and one hundred lashes for fornication. When a man is to be stoned to death, he is taken to some barren place, where he is stoned first by the witnesses, then the judge, and then the public. When a woman is stoned, a hole to receive her is dug as deep as her waist – the Prophet himself seems to have ordered such procedure. It is lawful for a man to kill his wife and her lover if he catches them in the very act.
In the case where a man suspects his wife of adultery or denies the legitimacy of the offspring, his testimony is worth that of four men. Sura 24.6: “If a man accuses his wife but has no witnesses except himself, he shall swear four times by God that his charge is true, calling down upon himself the curse of God if he is lying. But if his wife swears four times by God that his charge is false and calls down His curse upon herself if it be true, she shall receive no punishment.” Appearances to the contrary, this is not an example of Koranic justice or equality between the sexes. The woman indeed escapes being stoned to death but she remains rejected and loses her right to the dowry and her right to maintenance, whatever the outcome of the trial. A woman does not have the right to charge her husband in a similar manner. Finally, for a Muslim marriage to be valid there must be a multiplicity of witnesses. For Muslim jurists, two men form a multiplicity but not two or three or a thousand women.
In questions of heritage, the Koran tells us that male children should inherit twice the portion of female children:
4.11-12. A male shall inherit twice as much as a female. If there be more than two girls, they shall have two-thirds of the inheritance, but if there be one only, she shall inherit the half. Parents shall inherit a sixth each, if the deceased have a child; but if he leave no child and his parents be his heirs, his mother shall have a third. If he have brothers, his mother shall have a sixth after payment of any legacy he may have bequeathed or any debt he may have owed. To justify this inequality, Muslim authors lean heavily on the fact that a woman receives a dowry and has the right to maintenance from her husband. It is also true that according to Muslim law the mother is not at all obliged to provide for her children, and if she does spend money on her children, it is, to quote Bousquet, “recoverable by her from her husband if he is returned to a better fortune as in the case of any other charitable person. Therefore there is no point in the husband and wife sharing in the taking charge of the household; this weighs upon the husband alone. There is no longer any financial interest between them.” 
This latter point referred to by Bousquet simply emphasizes the negative aspects of a Muslim marriage – that is to say, the total absence of any idea of “association” between “couples” as in Christianity. As to dowry, it is, of course, simply a reconfirmation of the man’s claims over the woman in matters of sex and divorce. Furthermore, in reality the woman does not get to use the dowry for herself. The custom is either to use the dowry to furnish the house of the newly married couple or for the wife to offer it to her father. According to the Malekites, the woman can be obliged by law to use the dowry to furnish the house. Muslim law also gives the guardian the right to cancel a marriage – even that of a woman of legal age – if he thinks the dowry is not sufficient. Thus the dowry, instead of being a sign of her independence, turns out once more to be a symbol of her servitude.
The woman has the right to maintenance but this simply emphasizes her total dependence on her husband, with all its attendant sense of insecurity. According to Muslim jurists, the husband is not obliged under Islamic law to pay for her medical expenses in case of illness. Financial independence of the woman would of course be the first step in the liberation of Muslim women and thus it is not surprising that it is seen as a threat to male dominance. Muslim women are now obliged to take equal responsibility for looking after their parents. Article 158 of Syrian law states “The child – male or female – having the necessary means is obliged to take responsibility for his or her poor parents.” The birth of a girl is still seen as a catastrophe in Islamic societies.
The system of inheritance just adds to her misery and her dependence on the man. If she is an only child she receives only half the legacy of her father; the other half goes to the male members of the father’s family. If there are two or more daughters, they inherit two-thirds. This pushes fathers and mothers to prefer male children to female so that they can leave the entirety of their effects or possessions to their own descendants. “Yet when a new-born girl is announced to one of them his countenance darkens and he is filled with gloom” (sura 43.15). The situation is even worse when a woman loses her husband – she only receives a quarter of the legacy. If the deceased leaves more than one wife, all the wives are still obliged to share among themselves a quarter or one-eighth of the legacy.
Muslim jurists  are unanimous in their view that men are superior to women in virtue of their reasoning abilities, their knowledge, and their supervisory powers. And since it is the man who assumes financial responsibility for the family, it is argued, it is natural that he should have total power over the woman. These same jurists, of course, totally neglect changing social conditions where a woman may contribute her salary to the upkeep of her family – power over women remains a divine command and “natural” or “in the nature of things.” Muslim thinkers continue to confine Muslim women to the house – to leave the house is against the will of God and against the principles of Islam. Confined to their houses, women are then reproached for not having any experience of the outside world!
According to theologians,  the husband has the right to administer corporal punishment to his wife if she
1. Refuses to make herself beautiful for him;
2. Refuses to meet his sexual demands;
3. Leaves the house without permission or without any legitimate reason recognized by law; or
4. Neglects her religious duties.
A hadith attributes the following saying to the Prophet: “Hang up your whip where your wife can see it.” There are a number of other hadiths that contradict this one. In those, Muhammad explicitly forbids men to beat their wives – in which case the Prophet himself is contradicting what the Koran, enshrining divine law, permits.
Case Histories: The Women of Pakistan
In Pakistan in 1977, General Zia al-Haq took over in a military coup declaring that the process of Islamization was not going fast enough. The mullas had finally got someone who was prepared to listen to them.
Zia imposed martial law, total press censorship, and began creating a theocratic state, believing that Pakistan ought to have “the spirit of Islam.” He banned women from athletic contests and even enforced the Muslim fast during the month of Ramadan at gunpoint. He openly admitted that there was a contradiction between Islam and democracy. Zia introduced Islamic laws that discriminated against women. The most notorious of these laws were the Zina and Hudud Ordinances that called for the Islamic punishments of the amputation of hands for stealing and stoning to death for married people found guilty of illicit sex. The term zina included adultery, fornication, and rape, and even prostitution. Fornication was punished with a maximum of a hundred lashes administered in public and ten years’ imprisonment.
In practice, these laws protect rapists, for a woman who has been raped often finds herself charged with adultery or fornication. To prove zina, four Muslim adult males of good repute must be present to testify that sexual penetration has taken place. Furthermore, in keeping with good Islamic practice, these laws value the testimony of men over women. The combined effect of these laws is that it is impossible for a woman to bring a successful charge of rape against a man; instead, she herself, the victim, finds herself charged with illicit sexual intercourse, while the rapist goes free. If the rape results in a pregnancy, this is automatically taken as an admission that adultery or fornication has taken place with the woman’s consent rather than that rape has occurred.
Here are some sample cases. 
In a town in the northern province of Punjab, a woman and her two daughters were stripped naked, beaten, and gangraped in public, but the police declined to pursue the case.
A thirteen-year-old girl was kidnapped and raped by a “family friend.” When her father brought a case against the rapist, it was the girl who was put in prison and charged with zina, illegal sexual intercourse. The father managed to secure the child’s release by bribing the police. The traumatized child was then severely beaten for disgracing the family honor.
A fifty-year-old widow, Ahmedi Begum,  decided to let some rooms in her house in the city of Lahore to two young veiled women. As she was about to show them the rooms, the police burst into the courtyard of the house and arrested the two girls and Ahmedi Begum’s nephew, who had simply been standing there. Later that afternoon, Ahmedi Begum went to the police station with her son-in-law to inquire about her nephew and the two girls. The police told Ahmedi they were arresting her too. They confiscated her jewelry and pushed her into another room. While she was waiting, the police officers shoved the two girls, naked and bleeding, into the room and then proceeded to rape them again in front of the widow.
When Ahmedi covered her eyes, the police forced her to watch by pulling her arms to her sides. After suffering various sexual humiliations, Ahmedi herself was stripped and raped by one officer after another. They dragged her outside where she was again beaten. One of the officers forced a policeman’s truncheon, covered with chili paste, into her rectum, rupturing it. Ahmedi screamed in horrible agony and fainted, only to wake up in prison, charged with zina. Her case was taken up by a human rights lawyer. She was released on bail after three months in prison, but was not acquitted until three years later. In the meantime, her son-in-law divorced her daughter because of his shame. Was this an isolated case? Unfortunately no. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in its annual report that one woman is raped every three hours in Pakistan and one in two rape victims is a juvenile.
According to Women’s Action Forum, a woman’s rights organization, 72% of all women in police custody in Pakistan are physically and sexually abused. Furthermore, 75% of all women in jail are there under charges of zina. Many of these women remain in jail awaiting trial for years.
In other words, the charge of zina is casually applied by any man who wants to get rid of his wife, who is immediately arrested, and kept waiting in prison, sometimes for years. Before the introduction of these laws the total number of women in prison was 70; the present number is more than 3,000. Most of these women have been charged under the Zina or Hudud Ordinances. 
The Western press naively believed that the election of Benazir Bhutto as Pakistan’s prime minister in November 1988 would revolutionize women’s role not just in Pakistan, but in the entire Islamic world. Under Islamic law of course, women cannot be head of an Islamic state, and Pakistan had become an Islamic republic under the new constitution of 1956. Thus, Benazir Bhutto had defied the mullas and won. But her government lasted a bare 20 months, during which period Nawaz Sharif, who was the prime minister briefly in the early 1990s, is said to have encouraged the mullas in their opposition to having a woman as the head of an Islamic state. Benazir Bhutto’s government was dismissed on charges of corruption, and her husband imprisoned in 1990.
The lot of the Muslim woman was harsh before Benazir’s election, and nothing has changed. She has pandered to the religious lobby, the mullas, the very people who insist that a woman cannot hold power in an Islamic state, and has repeatedly postponed any positive action on the position of women. Pakistan shows the same grim picture. Pakistan is one of only four countries in the world where female life expectancy (51 years) is lower than the male (52 years); the average female life expectancy for all poor countries is 61 years. A large number of Pakistani women die in pregnancy or childbirth, six for every 1,000 live births. Despite the fact that contraception has never been banned by orthodox Islam, under Zia the Islamic Ideology Council of Pakistan declared family planning to be un-Islamic. Various mullas condemned family planning as a Western conspiracy to emasculate Islam.
As a result, the average fertility rate per woman in Pakistan is 6.9. Pakistan is also among the world’s bottom ten countries for female attendance at primary schools. Some people put female literacy in the rural areas as low as 2% (Economist, March 5, 1994). As the Economist put it, “Some of the blame for all this lies with the attempt of the late President Zia ul Haq to create an Islamic republic. … Zia turned the clock back. A 1984 law of his, for instance, gives a woman’s legal evidence half the weight of a man’s” (Economist, January 13, 1990).
Indeed a large part of the blame lies with the attitudes inculcated by Islam, which has always seen woman as inferior to man. The birth of a baby girl is the occasion for mourning. Hundreds of baby girls are abandoned every year in the gutters and dust bins and on the pavements. An organization working in Karachi to save these children has calculated that more than five hundred children are abandoned a year in Karachi alone, and that 99% of them are girls. 
Little did Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, realize how literally true his words were when he said in a 1944 speech:  “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners.”
But we do not need to leave with a completely pessimistic picture. Pakistani women have shown themselves to be very courageous, and more and more are fighting for their rights with the help of equally brave organizations such as Women’s Action Forum (WAF) and War Against Rape. WAF was formed in 1981 as women came onto the streets to protest against the Hudud Ordinances, and to demonstrate their solidarity with a couple who had recently been sentenced to death by stoning for fornication. In 1983, women organized the first demonstrations against martial law.
by, Richard L. Russell
Americans of all political stripes have embraced the promotion of democracy as a centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy. But this American democracy crusade has caused huge, and largely overlooked, collateral damage since the 9/11 Al Qaeda attacks against the United States in 2001. The fall of authoritarian regimes throughout the greater Middle East has fueled growing persecution of minority Christian communities. The Pew Research Center has charted extensive government restrictions on non-Muslim religions in numerous countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iran, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. Pew also has gauged very high social hostilities in Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, the Palestinian territories, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
These government restrictions and social hostilities directed against Christians are causing many to flee the region. In the early twentieth century, Christians accounted for about 20 percent of the Middle East population, but now that figure is down to only 5 percent. In the aftermath of 9/11 and the “Arab Spring,” Christian communities throughout the greater Middle East find themselves increasingly besieged. While the United States seems to notice bits and pieces of this picture, the full magnitude of the horrific Christian plight is largely ignored.
Sieges against Christians in Lands “Liberated” by the American Military
A democracy enthusiast would anticipate that the Christian community would be thriving now that a “democratic” Afghan government was installed by American military power after the ouster in 2001 of the Taliban regime. After all, Afghanistan’s constitution, adopted in 2004, guarantees freedom of religion. But Afghan Christians today are compelled to worship in secret lest they be accused of apostasy for converting to Christianity from Islam, a charge punishable by death. Such persecution no doubt will grow after 2014, when American soldiers are largely gone and Washington is less able to influence the government in Kabul.
Across a troublesome border, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are wielded more and more aggressively against Christians by a weak civilian government propped up by Pakistan’s Islamized military and society. Christians, who make up only about 2 percent of Pakistan’s 180 million people, are living under growing fear of persecution and economic discrimination. The assassination in March 2011 of the only Christian minister in Pakistan, who bravely criticized harsh blasphemy laws that impose the death penalty for insulting Islam, has chilled the willingness of secular and liberal Pakistanis to speak out.
Iraq’s open warfare against its Christian community has led to a mass exodus of Christians from that country since the 2003 American and British military invasion ousted Saddam Hussein, whose repugnant regime was nevertheless relatively hospitable to Christians. Iraqi Christians are severely embattled by Sunni extremists linked to Al Qaeda and are discriminated against by Iraq’s Shia majority, largely in control of the government. Incidents such as the 2010 suicide bombing of Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, which killed fifty Christians and two priests, have terrified Iraq’s Christian population, which has dwindled to less than 500,000 from between 800,000 and 1.4 million in the time of Saddam.
Sieges against Christians in Lands Coping with the Arab Spring
The current Egyptian regime, dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, poses a far greater threat to Egypt’s sizable Coptic Christian community than its authoritarian predecessor under Hosni Mubarak. A Coptic church in Cairo was set ablaze by Islamists in 2011 and many Copts—an estimated 10 percent of Egypt’s 85 million people—live in fear that Egypt is on the path to being governed by Islamic law, or Sharia. In early April 2013, Egypt’s police sided with an angry crowd of young Muslims throwing rocks and firebombs in a siege of Egypt’s major Coptic Cathedral. Nor have Egyptian Copts, who have sought work in neighboring Libya, fared well in the chaos that has reined in that country since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. Christians were shocked in December 2012 by the bombing of a church in Misrata, Libya. That attack has stoked fears that Libyan Islamists are growing in power and more such attacks against Christians are in store.
Islamists also are emerging as a powerful force in Syria, generating fears that, should they gain power, they would persecute Syria’s Christian community. About three hundred thousand Christian Syrians have already fled the country and are refugees. A Christian patriarch in April 2013 warned, “The future of Christians in Syria is threatened not by Muslims but by…chaos…and the infiltration of uncontrollable fanatical fundamentalist groups.”
Now Syria’s violence is spilling over into neighboring Lebanon. The Shia Islamist group Hezbollah is flexing its military muscles and lending support to embattled Syrian forces. Many Lebanese Christians have fled over the years due to civil war and, more recently, in fear that Hezbollah eventually will control the country and turn it into an Islamic state. Christians made up about fifty percent of the country in 1932, during the last national census, but now by some estimates are only 34 percent of the population. A similar trend has long been under way in the Christian Palestinian community, caught in the middle of the conflict between the Israelis on one side and secular and Islamist Palestinians on the other. The Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem has lamented that the Holy Land is fast becoming a “spiritual Disneyland,” with holy sites as theme park attractions bereft of worshipping Christians.
In the small, rich Arab Gulf states, Christian communities, formed primarily by Asian immigrate workers, quietly practice their faith, but that isn’t happening in the region’s powerhouse Saudi Arabia. Qatar, for example, has allowed the construction of a Catholic church in Doha for one hundred and fifty thousand Catholics. Churches in Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are seen as a way to lure expatriate labor to those countries. These Gulf States have survived the political torrents of the Arab spring, but should they fall to street protests, successor regimes likely would resemble Saudi Arabia today, which forbids Christian worship by the estimated eight hundred thousand Catholics in the kingdom. The Saudi government publicly lauds interfaith dialogue, but Saudi-sponsored conferences take place outside the kingdom to avoid domestic religious-political backlashes from Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi religious establishment.
Sieges against Christians in Non-Arab Middle East Lands
The tightening sieges of Christian communities in the Arab Middle East is running parallel to sieges laid against Christian communities by non-Arab Muslims elsewhere in the region. The Assyrian Christian population in Iran has plummeted from about one hundred thousand in the mid-1970s to about fifteen thousand today. More than three hundred Christians have been arrested by Iran’s Islamic regime since mid-2010. Churches operate in fear. And Christian converts face persecution. Meanwhile, Turkey is praised in the West as a democratic success story in the Muslim world, and the government in Ankara often is characterized in the media as “mildly Islamic.” But the steady erosion of free-speech rights in Turkey, as evidenced by the increasing imprisonment of journalists and the government’s aggressive purging of the secular Turkish military, raises doubts about the future prospects for Turkish political and religious tolerance. Attacks against Christian leaders in Turkey have raised concerns about the security of roughly one hundred thousand Christians living in a country of 71 million Muslims. A Catholic bishop was stabbed to death in southern Turkey in 2010, and several years earlier a Catholic priest was murdered in a Turkish town along the Black Sea.
Demand for Blunt American Talk and Diplomacy
Democracies consist of more than just elections. They must also have divided powers among executive, legislative and judicial branches, as well as protected practices of freedom of expression and religious belief. The mistreatment of Christian communities throughout the Muslim Middle East powerfully undermines any assertion that Islamic societies are tolerant of other faiths, and will continue to rebuke such assertions so long as the regimes and societies writ large fail to protect Christian minorities with words and deeds.
The United States cannot be the world’s policeman in behalf of democracy and religious tolerance. The horrendous loss of our national treasure, both in fallen soldiers and enormous costs, vividly and painfully reminds Americans that we lack the power, means and interests to militarily intervene wherever there is human tragedy. Nevertheless, Americans ought to recognize that the “soft power” of rhetoric and diplomacy can influence world events at the margins. Regimes in the greater Middle East, like nation-states everywhere, want power and prestige in international relations, and they can be “shamed” in the eyes of world opinion. Washington should seek to embarrass governments and pressure them to lift the sieges of Christians that are now so prevalent throughout the Middle East. Then we would see whether they truly aspire to be called, and treated as, genuine democracies.
*Richard L. Russell is Professor of National Security Affairs at the Near East and South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. He is the author of Sharpening Strategic Intelligence, Weapons Proliferation and War in the Greater Middle East, and George F. Kennan’s Strategic Thought.
By Farrukh Saleem
The writer is the Pakistani Executive Director of the Center for Research and Security Studies, a think tank established in 2007, and son in law of Khalilur Rehman of the Jang Group.
There are only 14 million Jews in the world:
seven million in the Americas
five million in Asia
two million in Europe
100,000 in Africa .
For every single Jew in the world there are 100 Muslims.
Yet, Jews are more than a hundred times more powerful than all the Muslims put together.
Ever wondered why?
Jesus of Nazareth was Jewish.
Albert Einstein, the most influential scientist of all time and TIME magazine’s ’Person of the Century’, was a Jew.
Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis was a Jew.
So were Karl Marx, Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman.
Here are a few other Jews whose intellectual output has enriched the whole humanity:
Benjamin Rubin gave humanity the vaccinating needle.
Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine.
Albert Sabin developed the improved live polio vaccine.
Gertrude Elion gave us a leukemia fighting drug.
Baruch Blumberg developed the vaccination for Hepatitis B.
Paul Ehrlich discovered a treatment for syphilis.
Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel Prize in infectious diseases.
Bernard Katz won a Nobel Prize in neuromuscular transmission.
Andrew Schally won a Nobel in endocrinology.
Aaron Beck founded Cognitive Therapy.
Gregory Pincus developed the first oral contraceptive pill.
George Wald won a Nobel for our understanding of the human eye.
Stanley Cohen won a Nobel in embryology.
Willem Kolff came up with the kidney dialysis machine.
Over the past 105 years, 14 million Jews have won 15-dozen Nobel Prizes while only three Nobel Prizes have been won by 1.4 billion Muslims (other than Peace Prizes).
Stanley Mezor invented the first micro-processing chip.
Leo Szilard developed the first nuclear chain reactor;
Peter Schultz, optical fibre cable;
Charles Adler, traffic lights;
Benno Strauss, Stainless steel;
Isador Kisee, sound movies;
Emile Berliner, telephone microphone;
Charles Ginsburg, videotape recorder.
Famous financiers in the business world who belong to Jewish faith include:
Ralph Lauren (Polo),
Levis Strauss (Levi’s Jeans),
Howard Schultz (Starbuck’s) ,
Sergey Brin (Google),
Michael Dell (Dell Computers),
Larry Ellison (Oracle),
Donna Karan (DKNY),
Irv Robbins (Baskins & Robbins) and
Bill Rosenberg (Dunkin Donuts).
Richard Levin, President of Yale University, is a Jew. So are Henry Kissinger (American secretary of state), Alan Greenspan (Fed chairman under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush), Joseph Lieberman (US Senator), Madeleine Albright (American secretary of state), Casper Weinberger (American secretary of defense), Maxim Litvinov ( USSR foreign Minister), David Marshal ( Singapore ‘s first chief minister), Issac Isaacs (governor-general of Australia ), Benjamin Disraeli (British statesman and author), Yevgeny Primakov (Russian PM), Barry Goldwater (US Senator), Jorge Sampaio (president of Portugal ), John Deutsch (CIA director), Herb Gray (Canadian deputy PM), Pierre Mendes (French PM), Michael Howard (British home secretary), Bruno Kreisky (chancellor of Austria ) and Robert Rubin (American secretary of treasury).
In the media, famous Jews include:
Wolf Blitzer (CNN), Barbara Walters (ABC News), Eugene Meyer (Washington Post), Henry Grunwald (editor-in-chief Time), Katherine Graham (publisher of The Washington Post), Joseph Lelyveld (Executive editor, The New York Times), and Max Frankel (New York Times).
The most beneficent philanthropist in the history of the world is George Soros, a Jew, who has so far donated a colossal $4 billion most of which has gone as aid to scientists and universities around the world.
Second to George Soros is Walter Annenberg, another Jew, who has built a hundred libraries by donating an estimated $2 billion.
At the Olympics, Mark Spitz set a record of sorts by winning seven gold medals; Lenny Krayzelburg is a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
Spitz, Krayzelburg and Boris Becker (Tennis) are all Jewish.
Did you know that Harrison Ford, George Burns, Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Sandra Bullock, Billy Crystal, Woody Allen, Paul Newman, Peter Sellers, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Kirk Douglas, Goldie Hawn, Cary Grant, William Shatner, Jerry Lewis and Peter Falk are all Jews.
As a matter of fact, Hollywood itself was founded by a Jew.
Among directors and producers, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Oliver Stone, Aaron Spelling ( Beverly Hills 90210), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple), Andrew Vaina (Rambo 1/2/3), Michael Man (Starsky andHutch), Milos Forman (One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Douglas Fairbanks (The Thief of Baghdad ) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) are all Jewish.
So, why are Jews so powerful? Answer : EDUCATION
Why are Muslims so powerless? There are an estimated 1,476,233,470 Muslims on the face of the planet: one billion in Asia, 400 million in Africa, 44 million in Europe and six million in the Americas . Every fifth human being is a Muslim; for every single Hindu there are two Muslims, for every Buddhist there are two Muslims and for every Jew there are 100 Muslims.
Ever wondered why Muslims are so powerless? Here is why: There are 57 member-countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), and all of them put together have around 500 universities; one university for every three million Muslims.
The United States has 5,758 universities and India has 8,407.
In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University compiled an ‘Academic Ranking of World Universities’ , and intriguingly, not one university from Muslim-majority states was in the top-500.
As per data collected by the UNDP, literacy in the Christian world stands at nearly 90 per cent and 15 Christian-majority states have a literacy rate of 100 per cent.
A Muslim-majority state, as a sharp contrast, has an average literacy rate of around 40 per cent and there is no Muslim-majority state with a literacy rate of 100 per cent.
Some 98 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Christian world had completed primary school, while less than 50 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Muslim world did the same.
Around 40 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Christian world attended university while no more than two per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Muslim world did the same.
Muslim-majority countries have 230 scientists per one million Muslims. The US has 4,000 scientists per million and Japan has 5,000 per million.
In the entire Arab world, the total number of full-time researchers is 35,000 and there are only 50 technicians per one million Arabs. (in the Christian world there are up to 1,000 technicians per one million).
The Muslim world spends 0.2 per cent of its GDP on research and development, while the Christian world spends around five per cent of its GDP.
Conclusion: The Muslim world lacks the capacity to produce knowledge!
Daily newspapers per 1,000 people and number of book titles per million are two indicators of whether knowledge is being diffused in a society.
In Pakistan , there are 23 daily newspapers per 1,000 Pakistanis while the same ratio in Singapore is 360. In the UK , the number of book titles per million stands at 2,000 while the same in Egypt is 20.
Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to diffuse knowledge.
Exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports are an important indicator of knowledge application. Pakistan ‘s export of high technology products as a percentage of total exports stands at one per cent. The same for Saudi Arabia is 0.3 per cent; Kuwait , Morocco , and Algeria are all at 0.3 per cent, while Singapore is at 58 per cent.
Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to apply knowledge.
Why are Muslims powerless?
…..Because we aren’t producing knowledge, …..Because we aren’t diffusing knowledge., …..Because we aren’t applying knowledge.
And, the future belongs to knowledge-based societies.
Interestingly, the combined annual GDP of 57 OIC-countries is under $2 trillion.
America , just by herself, produces goods and services worth $12 trillion; China $8 trillion, Japan $3.8 trillion and Germany $2.4 trillion (purchasing power parity basis).
Oil rich Saudi Arabia , UAE, Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $500 billion; Spain alone produces goods and services worth over $1 trillion, Catholic Poland $489 billion and Buddhist Thailand $545 billion.
….. (Muslim GDP as a percentage of world GDP is fast declining).
All we do is shout to Allah the whole day and blame everyone else for our multiple failures!
Muslims are not happy
They’re not happy in Gaza
They’re not happy in Egypt
They’re not happy in Libya
They’re not happy in Morocco
They’re not happy in Iran
They’re not happy in Iraq
They’re not happy in Yemen
They’re not happy in Afghanistan
They’re not happy in Pakistan
They’re not happy in Syria
They’re not happy in Lebanon
So, where are they happy?
They’re happy in Australia
They’re happy in England
They’re happy in France
They’re happy in Italy
They’re happy in Germany
They’re happy in Sweden
They’re happy in the USA & Canada
They’re happy in Norway
They’re happy in almost every country that is not Islamic!
Not their leadership…
THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN
And they want to change the countries they’re happy in, to be like the countries they came from, where they were unhappy.
Try to find logic in that!