1. Indian Dalit girl raped to death, body forcefully cremated by police #DalitLivesMatter
Location: Delhi, India
2. Muslim man denied German citizenship for refusing to shake woman's hand
3. Thousands gather in Paris to pay respects to murdered teacher Samuel Paty
Location: Paris, France
4. Televangelist says: If Biden is Elected, "Perverse Sex" with Cows will Ensue
Location: United States
5. Texas social workers can now turn away LGBTQ & disabled clients
Location: Texas, United States
6. Pope Francis Voices Support for Same-Sex Civil Unions
Location: Vatican City, Vatican
7. Same-sex marriage in presence of Sikh holy book sparks anger
Location: Sacramento, California
8. James Randi, Magician, Skeptic, & Paranormal Debunker, Dies at 92
Location: United States of America
9. Indian Muslim cop suspended for keeping beard
Location: Uttar Pradesh, India
10. Signs of progress in Mubarak Bala’s legal defence #FreeMubarakBala
1. A 17-year-old Dalit girl was raped to death in her landlord's house, where she worked as a maid. The girl had been working in the landlord's house and experiencing mental and physical abuse, and she was forced to sleep in the driver's room and was restrained and threatened by the landlady when she tried to inform her relatives. She was found raped by the landlord's son and driver, hanged in the driver's room. Later, the police removed the body and did not inform the family. About 12 relatives of the girl assembled at the landlord’s home searching for the body, and were taken to police custody and beaten. The next morning, the police sent the body for autopsy. They allowed the family members to view the body for around five minutes, which was later forcefully cremated in the presence of 300 police officials.
2. A German court recently ruled that a Muslim man who refused to shake a woman's hand should not receive German citizenship. The Lebanese doctor, who came to Germany in 2002, said he refuses to shake women's hands for religious reasons. The Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg ruled that a person who rejects a handshake due to a "fundamentalist conception of culture and values" due to seeing women as "a danger of sexual temptation" was rejecting "integration into German living conditions." The doctor applied for citizenship through naturalization in 2012 and passed the naturalization test with the best possible score. However, he was not granted citizenship due to his refusal to shake hands with the female official at the naturalization ceremony in 2015. The German court found that anyone who refuses to shake hands on gender-specific grounds is in breach of the equality enshrined in the German constitution.
3. A sea of signs proclaiming #jesuisprof & #jesuissamuel ("I am a teacher," and "I am Samuel") covered the Place de Republique in Paris on Sunday, October 18th. The beheading of teacher Samuel Paty on the previous Friday sparked outrage across France and evoked memories of the 2015 massacre that occurred at the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Paty had been the target of online threats for showing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. France 24 interviewed a number of teachers at the event. “As a kindergarten teacher, I came here to defend my mission to educate, to sharpen the critical thinking skills of my pupils,” said an educator. “This makes me want to teach even more. There will be a before and an after this horrible event.”
4. American televangelist Frank Amedia warned his viewers that if Trump loses the election, folks are going to marry cows and have “perverse sex with them.” He stated “This is about morality, this is about same-sex marriage not being approved and blessed in this country. This is not about us changing genders into five and six different meanings now... How far do they want us to go? Wait until animalism becomes acceptable and somebody can marry a cow and have perverse sex with them. You think I’m laughing. That’s what’s going to come.” He also urged his audience to pray to shift the upcoming elections on both the state and federal level.
5. The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners unanimously voted to change a section of its code of conduct following a recommendation from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to remove anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. According to The Associated Press, Abbott’s office said this change was suggested because the board’s nondiscrimination clause went beyond the state legislature's policy on social work. Equality Texas released a joint statement alongside 6 other organizations stating: “The social workers code of conduct previously helped ensure ethical treatment of all clients and prevented bias-motivated misconduct. Now with the removal of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression from the code, LGBTQ+ folks who experience discrimination could face more obstacles to getting the help they need.”
6. In remarks revealed in the recently released documentary film, "Francesco," Pope Francis expressed support for same-sex civil unions. He reiterated that he stood up for his view that gay people are children of God and said, “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.” However, Francis’s opposition to gay marriage within the church remains absolute. The Pope also stated, “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.” Church teaching does not consider being gay a sin, but it does consider homosexual acts as “intrinsically disordered” and by extension holds that a homosexual orientation is “objectively disordered.”
7. Taking "strong notice" of the homosexual marriage conducted in the presence of the Sikh holy book, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, in Sacramento, California last month, a high-ranking Sikh holy man has directed for the holy book to be removed from the care of the local clergyman who conducted the ceremony. Earlier, the North American Sikhs were directed to trace the person who completed the religious customs in this marriage between the two men. The clergyman who performed the "unethical" ceremony has also been summoned to Akal Takht, a Sikh high holy site and political institution in Punjab, India, to receive chastisement.
8. James Randi, the famed magician known as “The Amazing Randi,” and scientific investigator who exposed fraudulent paranormal and occult occurrences, passed away at the age of 92. The James Randi Foundation announced his passing from “age-related causes” on Tuesday, Oct. 20th. Born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge in 1928, Randi co-founded the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and founded James Randi Educational Foundation, organizations dedicated to the promotion of scientific inquiry and education, critical thinking, reasoning, and the debunking of pseudo-scientific claims. Randi was survived by his husband Deyvi Orangel Peña Arteaga, and will be remembered as an legend of the skeptical movement.
9. A Muslim policeman of Uttar Pradesh has been suspended for violating dress code norms by keeping a beard without a superior's permission. But the officer, Intsar Ali, claims that his submission for permission has been pending with the authorities since November 2019, and that the beard was never a problem in his previous 25 years of service. The police dress code manuals state that apart from those belonging to the Sikh community, other police personnel cannot keep a beard without permission. The Baghpat police released a statement saying, “Intsar Ali was earlier served with a notice for not following uniform protocol and trimming beard...Despite this, Ali continued to flout dress code norms without any permission from the concerned authorities.” ThePrint India reached out to his superiors to ask why Ali's plea was pending, but were informed that they were not available for comment.
10. Mubarak Bala, an ExMuslim atheist and President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, has been detained without charge in Kano state for 179 days in connection with a Facebook post allegedly blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad. On October 19th, Mubarak Bala’s Fundamental Rights case was heard in Abuja. This is a welcome sign that his legal defence is finally moving forward. No defence was entered by the authorities. The judge has adjourned provisionally until December 10th for judgement. The lead lawyer for the #FreeMubarakBala campaign, James Ibor, said after the hearing, “Our hope is rekindled, and we are optimistic that justice will be served.”