Atheist Republic News Summary: Another Brutal Honor Killing in Iran

1. Another Brutal Honor Killing in Iran
Location: Abdan, Iran

2. Atlanta Pastor Calls Slavery ‘White Blessing’
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

3. Malaysian Singer Harassed For Removing Hijab
Location: Malaysia

4. Atheist Sent Back to Jail for Not Attending Bible Study
Location: Colorado, USA

5. COVID19 Fear Triggers Global Rise in Prayer Searches
Location: Global

6. Death of Egyptian LGBT Activist Sara Hegazy
Location: Canada

7. 7-yr Imprisonment in India For Harming Cows
Location: Lucknow, India

8. Israeli Ministry Suspends Jewish Status of 2,200 Children
Location: Israel

9. Indian Godman Kissed Hands to ‘Cure’ Covid-19, Later Dies
Location: Ratlam, India

10. Iranian Medical Students Must Learn “Islamic Medicine”
Location: Iran


Video Description:

1. On June 14th, 19 year old Fatemeh Barhi was murdered by her 30 year old cousin, Habib Barhi, who she had been forced to marry a year earlier. After slitting her throat, he walked into the police station, and handed the murder weapon over to the police. Fatemah’s head had been completely decapitated from her body. Fatemeh’s sister had also been forcibly married off to a male family member, and was physically abused in that household. It seems Fatemeh did not want to suffer the fate of her sister. After her marriage, she escaped from home with the help of a friend, only to be returned, and subjected to violence, and ultimately killed.

2. Atlanta Megachurch Pastor Louie Giglio is facing criticism after arguing that slavery should be seen as a “white blessing.” Giglio, argued that the term ”white privilege” should be replaced with “white blessing,” because, according to Giglio, slavery was a blessing for white people. He said: “We understand the curse that was slavery, white people do, and we say, ‘That was bad.’ But we miss the blessing of slavery, that it actually built up the framework for the world that white people live in and lived in. And so a lot of people call this ‘white privilege.’...And I think, maybe, a great thing for me is to call it ‘white blessing,’ that I’m living in the blessing of the curse…” Pastor Giglio has since issued an apology for his choice of words.

3. Malaysian singer Zizi Kirana has asked people to stop harassing her on social media after she decided to stop wearing the hijab. The 35-year-old had donned the headscarf during Ramadan this year but chose to remove it recently, after deciding that she wasn’t ready for the commitment yet. “I feel like it’s better if we just pray for good things to happen amongst us instead of hurting ourselves by attacking others,” said Zizi. This is the second time the star chose to sport the hijab during Ramadan, her first being in 2019.

4. In 2015, when atheist Mark Janny was released from jail, his parole officer told him that if he wanted to remain out of prison, he would have to live at the Denver Rescue Mission, a Christian homeless shelter. That shelter’s rules required residents to participate in worship services, Bible studies, and faith-based counseling, none of which Janny had any desire to join. So Janny went to the shelter… but didn’t participate in the religious activities. And because of that, Gamez revoked his parole and sent Janny back to jail for five more months. The ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are now assisting Janny in a lawsuit.

5. In March 2020, the share of Google searches for prayer surged to the highest level ever recorded, surpassing all other major events that otherwise call for prayer, such as religious holidays. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11th, 2020. The level of prayer search shares in March 2020 was more than 50% higher than the average during February 2020. One of the most searched for prayer categories in March 2020 was "Coronavirus prayer", which are prayers that ask God for protection against the coronavirus, prayers to stay strong, and prayers to thank nurses for their efforts. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, more than half of Americans had prayed to end the coronavirus.

6. Egyptian LGBT activist Sarah Hegazy, was found dead in her home in Canada, where she lived in exile since 2018. Authorities have ruled that she committed suicide, having left behind a letter that reads: “To my siblings – I tried to find redemption and failed, forgive me. To my friends – the experience [journey] was harsh and I am too weak to resist it, forgive me. To the world – you were cruel to a great extent, but I forgive.” Hegazy rose to prominence due to her arrest alongside 57 other people, after rainbow flags were raised at the concert of Mashrou’ Leila. She was charged with “promoting sexual deviancy and debauchery,” and spent 3 months in prison. After she was freed on bail, she was granted asylum in Canada where she had been living in exile for the past few years.

7. In Uttar Pradesh, the UP Cow Slaughter Prevention Act has now been amended to award anyone who harms a cow or endangers its life with up to seven years’ imprisonment and 300,000 Indian Rupee fine. The new law will apply to anyone who tries to endanger a cow’s life or tries to illegally transport it or deny food and water to cattle. The ordinance also contains  a clause to shame offenders. An offender's photograph and name would be put up at prominent spots in the area of his residence.

8. The Israeli Interior Ministry has denied the Jewish status of more than 2,200 children born to immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Typically, the investigations begin when a citizen from the former Soviet Union has a child and registers it with the Ministry. It appears that when officials notice that an individual is from the former Soviet Union, they begin their investigations into their Jewish status by examining immigration documents. When the Interior Ministry flags up an individual they believe not to be Jewish, a letter is sent to them informing them of indeterminate issues with their Jewish status. The letter informs the addressee that, should they refuse to agree to their change in status and be unable to provide requisite proof that they are indeed Jewish, the ministry will seek a court order to change their status without their permission, and threatens that they will be liable to pay court costs as well.

9. A “Godman” in Ratlam India, named Alsam Baba, was reportedly kissing the hands of devotees to “cure” them of Covid-19 infection, and ended up losing his own life to the virus, after allegedly infecting many others. The local Superintendent of Police confirmed that several people had contracted the virus after being in contact with Aslam Baba. He said over 50 people were contact-traced after the godman’s death and put under quarantine. Nearly 150 people in the region where the Godman resided were also quarantined. They are currently being screened and the area has been declared a containment zone.

10. All students of medicine, dentistry and pharmacology in Iran must take courses in Islamic or traditional medicine, the health ministry has announced. This decision comes as the outbreak of COVID-19 caused more concerns in Iran about untrained people advocating traditional medicine. This includes a self-proclaimed Prophetic medicine man drinking camel urine as a “cure-all”, and another “Islamic doctor” advising people to insert a cotton ball dipped in violet oil into the anus at night to protect against coronavirus. Iranian doctors have often complained about advocates of traditional medicine who interfere in the treatment of patients and often bring more harm to people in need of a consistent scientific medical approach.

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