Atheist Republic News Summary: China Forces Birth Control on Muslims

1. Chinese Forces Birth Control on Muslims
Location: Xinjiang, China

2. ExMuslim Atheist Human Rights Activist Faces Dangerous Deportation to Tunisia
Location: Denmark/Tunisia

3. U.S. Supreme Court Endorses Taxpayer Funds For Religious Schools
Location: Montana & USA

4. KPOP Group BLACKPINK Criticized For “Disrespectful” Use Of Ganesha
Location: South Korea

5. U.S. Catholic Church Spent Over $200 Million on Child Sex Abuse Cases in 2019
Location: United States of America

6. 68,000 Female Genital Mutilation Victims in Germany
Location: Germany

7. Iranian-Canadian ExMuslim Fired After Condemning Honour Killings
Location: Canada

8. Malaysia bans Muslims from using FaceApp
Location: Malaysia

9. California accuses Cisco of job discrimination based on Indian employee's caste
Location: California, USA

10. Jewish watchdog calls out Black Lives Matter for anti-Israel tweets
Location: UK

Video Descriptions:

1. The Chinese government is taking measures to slash birth rates among Uighur Muslim population. Individual women have spoken out before about forced birth control, but the practice is far more systematic than previously known, according to an AP investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with 30 ex-detainees, family members and a former detention camp instructor. According to interviews and data, state regularly conducts pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands of minority women. Even while the use of IUDs and sterilization has fallen across other parts of the nation, it is rising sharply in Xinjiang Province. Those who fail to comply are punished with heavy fines, or worse, sent to re-education camps. The birth control campaign has resulted in a climate of terror around having children.

2. Nacer Amari, a ExMuslim and LGBT Tunisian human rights activist, reportedly fled his home country in 2012 after receiving death threats from Islamists, and temporarily resided in Romania. In 2019, Amari traveled to Denmark, where he subsequently applied for asylum. His case was rejected on appeal on 17 June 2020, after the Danish Refugee Appeals Board argued that his atheism and human rights-related activities will not cause him issues if he is returned to Tunisia. Having expressed overtly secularist views and criticized Islamist parties in Tunisia, Amari is at risk of persecution if he were to be returned to his home country. Tunisian atheists, secularists and freethinkers face considerable obstacles to exercising their rights to freedom of religion or belief, expression and opinion, including being attacked by Tunisian Islamists because of their worldview.

3. The U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the separation of church and state in a major ruling, in a decision that is paving the way for more public funding of faith-based institutions. The court backed a Montana program that gave tax incentives for people to donate to a scholarship fund that provided money to Christian schools for student tuition expenses. The court sided with three mothers of Christian school students who appealed after Montana’s top court invalidated the tax credit for violating the state constitution’s ban on public aid to churches and religious entities. “A state need not subsidize private education,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “But once a state decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

4. The immensely successful KPOP group has come under fire for their recently released music video titled “How You Like That.” In the video one idol, Lisa, is seen sitting on a throne with a statue of the Indian god Ganesha placed on the floor next to her, which is seen as immensely disrespectful to the deity. Hindus believe that the statue of gods should always be placed on high surfaces. Lisa is also wearing shoes near the idol, which is seen as further disrespect as shoes are strictly not allowed near statues and temples. Many Hindus have now taken to social media to demand an apology from the entertainment company behind the group, and a removal of that shot from the music video.

5. According to a yearly audit of the Catholic Church by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the number of allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy members skyrocketed to 4,434 between July of 2018 and June of 2019, in comparison to 1,451 cases in 2018. The increased number is likely due to a new church-run compensation program for victims, as well as a new culture of survivors coming forward after the numerous abuse scandals in the recent years. A number of states had legislated a one-year window for victims who had previously missed filing criminal charges before the statute of limitations expired to come forward with any allegations. As a result in 2019, the Church says it spent more than $280 million on child abuse settlements, and other costs related to the lawsuits. Of that over $200 million, only $41.5 million was covered by insurance, meaning the rest likely came from donations and  tithe money.

6. The amount of women and girls in Germany who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) has increased to 68,000, the families minister announced Thursday. The increase, up 44% from the last estimated total calculated in 2017, was attributed to greater immigration from countries where FGM is more common. Minister Franziska Giffey called for new measures in local communities to prevent the number from rising further. The rise from 44,000 in 2017 was so large because of increased immigration from countries like Eritrea, Somalia, Indonesia, Egypt and Nigeria, Giffey said.

7. A man, who will remain anonymous, was let go from his position at a top Vancouver prep school after sharing a condemnation of Iranian honour killings on his personal Facebook page. In his post, which shared article from Iran Human Rights Monitor, he also had harsh words for radical Islam, which sanctions the killing of young women by their male family members. In response to these killings, he wrote “F*** Islam. F*** honour killing. And f*** you if you believe in any of these barbaric stone age ideologies.” He was raised Muslim, in Iran, and is now an atheist. The Facebook post was quickly reported to the school’s headmaster. The headmaster told him “Your anti-Islamic social media post is in direct contradiction with Mulgrave School and Canadian values. It is racist and highly offensive. As a result, I am immediately terminating any further relationship with you...”

8. Malaysia has prohibited Muslims from altering a photo of one’s face using the face-swapping app FaceApp. “The use of FaceApp is akin to encouraging the tendency of changing God’s creation even though it is not done through physical means. Hence prohibition is needed to curb the tendency to change God’s creation through the sadd al-zariah principle (blocking the means),” the Federal Territories Mufti office said in a statement posted on its website. The Mufti’s office also added that the app’s gender-swapping feature, may lead to confusion as to one’s true identity and that using the app to change the face to make it younger or older could also mislead people from the truth, adding that people can’t predict what they will look like in the future, as they are not meant to know what the future holds.

9. California regulators have filed a suit against Cisco Systems Inc., a major multinational technology conglomerate, accusing the company of allowing an Indian-American employee to be harassed by two managers on the basis of his caste. US employment law does not specifically bar caste-based discrimination, but California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing contends in the lawsuit that the Hindu faith's lingering caste system is based on protected classes such as religion. The lawsuit states that the victim has been a principal engineer at Cisco's San Jose headquarters since October 2015 and that he was born at the bottom of caste hierarchy as a Dalit, once called "untouchables." Like other large Silicon Valley employers, Cisco's workforce includes thousands of Indian immigrants, most of whom were born Brahmins or other high castes. The civil rights group Equality Labs in a 2018 report cited in the lawsuit found that 67% of Dalits surveyed felt treated unfairly at their US workplaces.

10. On June 28th, Black Lives Matter UK tweeted: "As Israel moves forward with the annexation of the West Bank, and mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism and Israel’s settler colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand beside our Palestinian comrades. FREE PALESTINE." The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) responded to the tweet, writing that “The Black Lives Matter movement should embrace solidarity from Jews. There have been calls for violence against us from prominent BLM supporters with no official condemnation. Now from the official UK BLM account, we hear the lie that fighting antisemitism has ‘gagged’ legitimate debate. BLM UK also called several times for parliamentarians and governments to implement "sanctions, effective measures and an end to Israel's impunity."

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