- Iranian Protestors Sentenced to Death for Enmity Against God
Nationwide protests have gripped Iran since September 16th, sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman detained for "improper hijab." Iranian lawmakers, mainly hardliners and Revolutionary Guard officers, are scrambling desperately to end the protests. On Sunday, November 6th, Iran's parliament announced that the protesters were "mohareb," or enemies of god. 227 MPs of the 290-seat parliament called on the judiciary to issue death sentences for people arrested during the popular anti-government uprising. Some NGOS estimate over 15,000 people have been arrested and detained, and human rights grounds are sounding the alarm on the shocking threat of mass executions. On November 8th, two days after the parliament's announcement, Iran's judiciary announced heavy penalties for those arrested during the protests. More than 1,000 individuals arrested connected to what the regime called "riots" have been indicted. Most of the charges included "corruption on earth," "assembly and collusion against national security," and "confrontation with the Islamic Republic," charges that carry the death sentence as punishment. On the same day as the court's announcement, Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced protestor Mahan Sedarat to death.
- Pope Francis Dodges Question on Mahsa Amini & Iran Protests
Pope Francis answered questions from reporters aboard the papal plane on November 6th after his recent four-day trip to Bahrain. One of the questions asked was about Mahsa Amini, whose death sparked an outcry in Iran and worldwide, and whether the Pope supported the protests in the country. Iran's morality police detained 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for not wearing her hijab "properly." She died in police custody, causing massive demonstrations across the Islamic Republic and other countries.
Pope Francis didn't directly call out Iran or give a straightforward answer. Instead, he discussed how women in some countries are treated as second-class citizens and that the fight for women's rights worldwide remains a "continuous struggle." He stated, "We have to continue struggling for this because women are a gift. God did not create man and then give him a lapdog to play with. He created both equal, man and woman." Aside from giving a lengthy response on the general issue of women's rights, Pope Francis also called female genital mutilation a "criminal act" that must be stopped.
- Australian Muslim Student Allegedly Forced to Watch Muhammad Cartoon
A Melbourne school is under fire for allegedly forcing a Muslim high school student to watch a cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad, prompting an investigation from the Victorian state government. A teacher working for Mount Ridley College in Craigieburn, allegedly showed the material during a media lesson on October 14th. Depictions of the Prophet are forbidden in most denominations of Islam. The high school student's father said on Facebook that the cartoon caused "painful psychological and mental trauma" to his daughter. "My daughter also tried to express her discomfort at the video, but unfortunately, the teacher didn't care and continued to play the video, forcing my child to view that content," the father added in the post. Some sources indicate that the students were warned first before seeing the material and were free to leave if they wished. The Muslim student spoke against the cartoon but did not leave the class, and the teacher continued showing the material. Speaking to the Guardian and Daily Mail, the spokesperson for the Victorian education department said that the department began an investigation into the incident and promised to support students affected by the event.
- Blasphemous Video Sparks Protest of Thousands in Mali
On November 4th, thousands of Muslims protested in Mali’s capital, Bamako, against a “blasphemous” video on social media. The video in question reportedly shows a man insulting the Prophet, the Quran, and Muslims. Although the government has condemned the video, Mali’s 95% Muslim population is unsatisfied. The High Islamic Council of Mali (HCM) organized the protest and called for the death of the man in the video, who is so far unidentified. The protesters held signs reading, “No to blasphemous comments” and “No more attacks on Islam and the Prophet Mohammad.” According to the prosecutor’s office, six men have been detained for sharing the video. They are being held for information regarding the whereabouts of the person responsible. As of this writing, all six have refused to cooperate and are accused of complicity.
- Ancient Possibly Pre-Islamic Christian Monastery Discovered in UAE
On November 3rd, officials announced news of discovering an ancient Christian monastery, perhaps pre-dating Islam, on Siniyah Island off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The monastery possibly dates back to the years before Islam spread across the Arabian peninsula. It was the second monastery discovered in the Emirates after archeologists found the first Christian monastery in the country on Sir Bani Yas Island in the early 1990s. The carbon-dated samples from the ancient monastery's foundations determined that the monastery was founded between 534 and 656 AD. Prophet Muhammad was born around 570 AD and passed away in 632 AD after conquering Mecca in Saudi Arabia. A collection of buildings, possibly belonging to a pre-Islamic village, according to archeologists, were also located a few hundred miles from the monastery. Timothy Power, an Associate Professor of Archeology at the United Arab Emirates university, said, "It's a really fascinating discovery because in some ways it's hidden history — it's not something that's widely known."
- Radical Hindu Leader Publicly Assassinated in India
A right-wing Hindu leader has been shot dead in broad daylight in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab. The 58-year-old Sudhir Suri, head of the fundamentalist religious group Hindu Shiv Sena, was shot dead while participating in a protest outside the temple Gopal Mandir in the city of Amritsar. Sandeep Singh, the local shopkeeper who shot Suri, was immediately arrested, and police seized the licensed weapon used in the crime. Local reports said that before the incident took place, Suri was seen engaging in an argument with the management of the temple over the alleged desecration of idols. He was live on Facebook, showing footage of some Hindu idols as he exclaims that they were, "shamelessly dumped in the garbage." "We will not tolerate such sacrilege, even if by fellow Hindus," Suri said during his live stream. According to the reports, Suri collapsed after five shots were fired at him. He was immediately taken to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries. Suri had been accused of derogatory and blasphemous comments against the Sikh community in the past, which may have provided the motivation for this attack.
- Hindu Mob, Including Off-Duty Policeman, Attack Christian Gathering in India
Recently, a mob of right-wing Hindu fundamentalists, accompanied by an off-duty police officer, launched an attack on a private home where the Christians had gathered for a prayer meeting in the east-central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. According to the UK-based human rights organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the mob initiated the attack on the Christian's home at around 9 pm on the night of October 21st in Chhattisgarh state's Sukma District. Roughly 15 Christians were physically assaulted. Reportedly, the attackers also demanded that the Christians renounce their faith. However, the following day on October 22nd, when the victims went to register a First Information Report (FIR), the Station House Officer allegedly verbally abused them, insulted their religion, and refused to accept their complaints. The police refused to file a complaint, claiming they didn't have permission to register any case related to Christian persecution.
- Indian Hindu Woman Kills Herself After Muslim Boyfriend Killed by Mob
On November 2nd, a Hindu woman, Tanu Saini, age 19, committed suicide after receiving the news of her partner, Zia-ur-Rehman, age 20, being bludgeoned to death in a village of Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur. The details regarding this incident are still unclear. Some reports say that the couple was married and a mob beat the man. Others say that they were in a relationship but not married, and the woman's family opposed the interfaith relationship. According to the Superintendent of Police (Dehat), Suraj Rai, Tanu's family members beat Zia and handed him unconscious to the police. However, Tanu's brother has said that Zia was assaulted by a mob of six students who thought the man was a thief. Tanu's body was found hanging at around 11 A.M. on November 2nd. Her mother, Sunesh Devi, claimed that the youth killed herself out of shock when she learned about Zia's death. "She went to her room, saying she was going to change her clothes, and minutes later, her elder sister found her hanging with a dupatta from the ceiling," she stated. Both families filed FIRs against each other, but the police haven't arrested anyone yet.
- Qatar World Cup Ambassador Calls Homosexuality “A Damage In The Mind”
A Qatari ambassador for the World Cup received criticism after describing homosexuality as "damage in the mind" during an interview with a German public broadcaster. Khalid Salman, a former player for the Qatari national soccer team and an ambassador for the World Cup, made these remarks as Qatar prepares to officially begin the global tournament in less than two weeks, where around 1.2 million people are expected to attend. During the interview with German broadcaster ZDF, Salman discussed homosexuality, which is illegal in Qatar. "During the World Cup, many things will come to the country. Let's talk about gays," Salman said in English. "The most important thing is, everybody will accept that they come here. But they will have to accept our rules," he added. "(Homosexuality) is haram. You know what haram (forbidden) means?" Salman continued during the interview. In Islamic law, if something is haram, it is considered forbidden. When the reporter asked why homosexuality was haram, Salman replied: "I am not a strict Muslim, but why is it haram? Because it is 'damage in the mind.'" He also went on to say that being gay causes "spiritual harm." According to the ZDF, a press officer for the World organizing committee immediately cut the interview short. Reuters asked Qatar's World Cup organizers for a comment regarding the issue, but they declined the request.
- Imam Domination Art Series!