Atheist Republic News Summary: Man Accused of Blasphemy Shot Dead in Court

1. Man accused of blasphemy shot dead in court
Location: Pakistan

2. Malaysian police can force trans people through ‘Islamic education’
Location: Malaysia

3. Doctor retweeted by Trump has warned of alien DNA, sex with demons
Location: USA

4. #WhereIsMyName Afghan women campaign to reveal their name
Location: Afghanistan

5. Sudan: Thousands protest repeal of Islamic restrictions
Location: Sudan

6. UK rapper accused of antisemitism after likening Jews to Ku Klux Klan
Location: United Kingdom

7. Effeminate man sexually abused & harassed by cops in India
Location: Kolkata

8. Wife of detained Nigerian humanist pleads for 'proof of life' #FreeMubarakBala
Location: Nigeria

9. Death Sentences of Five Protesters Upheld in Iran #StopExecutionsInIran #اعدام_نکنید
Location: Iran

10. Is social Justice is Destroying Atheist Groups?
Location: USA

Video descriptions:

1. A Pakistani Muslim who was on trial for blasphemy has been shot dead while in court. It was not immediately clear how the murderer, identified as Khalid Khan, managed to get into the court on July 29 amid tight security. The attacker was subsequently arrested. The suspect told police the prophet Muhammad had ordered him to kill the man standing trial, Tahir Nasim, because he had belonged to the Ahmadi faith. The victim, Nasim was arrested two years ago on blasphemy charges after claiming he was Islam’s prophet. While authorities have yet to carry out a death sentence for blasphemy, even the mere accusation can cause riots or mob lynchings.

2. Human rights activists in Malaysia have condemned an order by the religious affairs minister that gives “full license” for police to arrest and detain trans people. On 10 July, minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri announced on social media that he had given the religious police (Jawi) “full licence to carry out its enforcement actions” against transgender people in Malaysia. He elaborated that his order goes beyond arrests, but also allows police to subject trans people to “religious education” so that they will “return to the right path”. Trans people in Malaysia are already heavily persecuted under Sharia law, but activists fear Al-Bakri’s order takes this criminalisation a step further by sanctioning enforced conversion therapy.

3. Stella Immanuel appeared in a video this week published by the right-wing outlet Breitbart News. It shows a group calling itself “America’s Frontline Doctors,” and in the video, Immanuel argues that “you don’t need masks” to prevent the spread of COVID-19. She also claims that studies showing that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating the disease are “fake science” and sponsored by “fake pharma companies." President Trump posted versions of the video on Twitter; and were later removed. Immanuel has said in recorded sermons that gynecological issues are caused by sexual contact with “spirit husbands” and “spirit wives.” Immanuel said in 2015 that alien DNA is used in medical treatments. In another 2015 sermon, she claimed that researchers are currently working on a vaccine to prevent individuals from being religious.

4. In Afghanistan, family members often force women to keep their name a secret from people outside the family, even doctors. Using a woman's name in public is frowned upon and can be considered an insult. Many Afghan men are reluctant to say the names of their sisters, wives or mothers in public. Women are generally only referred to as the mother, daughter or sister of the eldest male in their family, and Afghan law dictates that only the father's name should be recorded on a birth certificate. But some Afghan women are now campaigning to use their names freely, with the slogan "Where Is My Name?" The campaign appears to have taken a big step in the past few weeks. A source close to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he had instructed the Afghanistan Central Civil Registration Authority (Accra) to look into the possibility of amending the country's Population Registration Act to allow women to have their names on their children's ID cards and birth certificates.

5. The Sudanese government recently passed a number of laws that repealed various Islamic legal restrictions introduced while former president Bashir was in power, including the outlaw of apostasy and restrictions on women's dress. The new legislation also prohibited Female Genital Mutilation and allowed the consumption of alcohol for non-Muslims and for mothers to travel with their children without the permission of the father. Thousands of Sudanese Islamic groups and supporters of ousted president Omer Al-Bashir staged a protest in the capital Khartoum against a new set of laws that have scrapped various Islamic laws. "We're ready for jihad to defend Islam," a protester said as he chanted "Nasur Aldin is an enemy of Allah" referring to the minister of justice who spearheaded the new laws.

6. Wiley, the popular UK rapper and producer, made number of antisemitic comments on Twitter. In a string of recent tweets, he said: “Listen to me Jewish community, Israel is not your country, I’m sorry … The Star of David that’s our ting … Some people have gotten too comfortable on lands that don’t belong to them.” He also wrote “Israel is ours”, apparently referring to the black community. He also advanced an antisemitic trope, that Jewish people control business interests, in an incendiary comparison with the Ku Klux Klan. “There are 2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge Jewish & KKK but being in business for 20 years you start to understand why… Red Necks Are the KKK and Jewish people are the Law...Work that out.” He added: “If you work for a company owned by 2 Jewish men and you challenge the Jewish community in anyway of course you will get fired.”

7. An effeminate youth was allegedly termed as a 'thief' and was sexually abused and harassed by cops in Kolkata. The youth said that he was tortured by cops outside a shopping mall. The youth alleged that he was taken to the police station last week where he was sexually abused. At around 9 pm on July 20, the youth was on his way back to his friend's home when a group of men intercepted him. The men were police officials who were in civil clothes. When the youth resisted, one of the men allegedly flew into a fit of rage and slapped him. Another man held the youth's hair and started dragging him towards his bike. The men allegedly started abusing the 23-year-old youth. When people heard the youth's voice, they rushed to the spot and one of the accused claimed that the man was a thief.

8. The wife of a prominent Nigerian humanist accused of blasphemy has pleaded for information about his well being on the eve of the three-month anniversary of his detention. Mubarak Bala, the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was arrested at his home in Kaduna state on 28 April and taken to neighbouring Kano. In the weeks before, he had posted comments critical of Islam on Facebook that caused outrage in the deeply religious and conservative part of the country. “I don’t know whether he’s dead or alive, in prison or not,” his wife, Amina Mubarak, said. “At this point, I’m not even begging for his release, I just want his proof of life.”

9. The Iranian Supreme Court in Isfahan has upheld the death sentences of five protesters arrested during the December 2017-January 2018 uprising, with some sources saying they received two death sentences; one for “waging war against God” and one for taking arms against the government. They are Mehdi Salehi Ghale Shahrokhi, Mohammad Bastami, Majid Nazari Kondori, Hadi Kiani, and Abbas Mohammadi. The regime routinely sentences protesters to heavy prison terms, lashes, and even death in an attempt to prevent further protests. Iran has the 2nd largest number of executions in the world, with over 123 executions taking place thus far in 2020.

10. On July 21st, Atheists For Liberty released a statement in support of the Executive Director of Atheist Alliance International (AAI), Michael Sherlock, after he was temporarily suspended from his role at AAI for a tweet describing religion as a “retarded relic” and then referring to a woman who criticized him for the use of this word a “cunt.” The statement is titled “Social Justice is Destroying Atheist Groups – A Response to Attacks on Atheist Alliance International and Michael Sherlock” and reads in part “Sadly, toxic social justice activism continues, through call-out culture and cancel culture, further dividing and diminishing the atheist community. This is far away from the core aims of defending separation of religion and government, normalizing atheism, and refuting religious claims.” and continues “Atheists for Liberty stands against destructive social justice entryism and the overblown response to an atheist activist calling religion a “retarded relic.” Atheists for Liberty instead prioritizes the free exchange of ideas, individual liberties, religious freedom (including non-belief), Enlightenment values, and secular government.”

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