Atheist Republic News Summary: UK Drug Addict Jihadist Captured

1. UK Drug Addict Jihadist Captured
Location: London, UK

2. Man Executed for Drinking Alcohol in Iran
Location: Iran

3. Sentenced to 2 Years in Jail for Homosexuality in Tunisia
Location: Le Kef, Tunisia

4. American Football Player Posts Anti-Semitic Messages
Location: America

5. First American Civil Rights Lawsuit over Caste Discrimination
Location: San Jose, California

6. US Supreme Court says religious employers can refuse birth control
Location: USA

7. China’s Treatment Of Muslims Meets Definition Of Genocide
Location: Xinjiang, China

8. UK’s approach to male genital cutting is “indefensible”, says expert
Location: United Kingdom

9. Will Smith Irresponsibly Urges People Not To Elect “Godless” Leaders
Location: USA

10. Indian father gets his daughter a no-religion, no-caste certificate
Location: Ahmedabad, India

Video Descriptions:

1. A supporter of ISIS has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 14 years after admitting a plot to blow herself up in a bomb attack on St Paul's Cathedral in London. Safiyya Shaikh was born Michelle Ramsden in 1983 and converted to Islam in 2007 after being impressed with the kindness of a neighbouring Muslim family. Her adoption of the faith came after a deeply troubled upbringing. She'd spent time in care homes and later become an addict. Evidence from court shows that she was in contact with members of Al Muhajiroun, the British network headed by the jihadist preacher Anjem Choudary. Undercover agents intervened in her terrorist plot, and she was arrested a few days after receiving what she believed to be the bombs necessary for her act.

2. A prisoner was executed in Mashhad Central Prison for drinking alcohol. the prisoner sentenced to death for "drinking alcohol for the sixth time" was executed at dawn on July 9, 2020. This is one of the few recorded executions for drinking alcohol. Due to the lack of transparency in the Islamic Republic's judiciary, most executions in Iran are not declared officially by the authorities. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of Iran Human Rights said: "with this execution, the Islamic Republic's judicial system has once again proven that its views are no different from those of ISIS."

3. A Tunisian court sentenced two men accused of “sodomy” to two years in prison. The decision violates their rights to privacy and nondiscrimination under international law and Tunisia’s 2014 constitution. The police also attempted to subject the defendants to an anal exam, apparently to use as evidence in the case. The prosecutor of the Kef First Instance Tribunal charged the men with sodomy under article 230 of the penal code, which punishes consensual same-sex conduct with up to three years in prison. “Tunisia’s record of actively prosecuting people for consensual same-sex conduct is deeply worrying and a blatant invasion of their private life,” said Rasha Younes, LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “While states and international bodies have commended Tunisia for its progress on human rights, the criminalization and prosecution of homosexual conduct signals otherwise.”

4. Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson said he has no hatred toward the Jewish community and issued two separate statements of apology with "a promise to do better" after he posted on social media Monday an anti-Semitic message that he attributed to Adolf Hitler and admiration for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. He posted a quote that said white Jews "will blackmail America. [They] will extort America, their plan for world domination won't work if the Negroes know who they were." "We have spoken with DeSean Jackson about his social media posts," the Philadelphia Eagles said in their statement. "Regardless of his intentions, the messages he shared were offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling. They have no place in our society, and are not condoned or supported in any way by the organization.

5. The state of California’s Department Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is suing Cisco and its former managers for allegedly discriminating against a Dalit Indian-American employee on the basis of his caste. The lawsuit against Cisco is the first civil rights case in the US where a governmental entity is suing an American company for failing to protect caste oppressed employees and creating a hostile workplace. Thenmozhi Soundarajan, Executive Director of Equality Labs, stated: “This case will create a legal precedent that will open the door for other such cases [to be revealed] across the country. You see similar casteist networks in other fields that have Indian workers […].” Between 2010 and 2017, the number of Indian-origin people in America grew by 38%. Given this context, caste discrimination finds its way into the American workplace.

6. The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration may allow employers and universities to opt out of the Affordable Care Act requirement to provide contraceptive care because of religious or moral objections.  The decision greatly expands the ability of employers to claim the exception, and the government estimates that between 70,000 and 126,000 women could lose access to cost-free birth control as a result. The contraceptive case involves a long-running dispute over religious freedom versus the requirement that employers provide cost-free birth control for female employees. “The Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Trump administration to put control over people’s birth control in the hands of the whims of their bosses and employers is deplorable,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue.

7. A new report in Foreign Policy says that China's suppression of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other chiefly Muslim ethnic minorities in northwest China now meets the United Nations definition of genocide. This includes; mass sterilization, forced abortions and mandatory birth control part of a campaign that has swept up more than 1.5 million people. Researcher Adrian Zenz calls this probably the largest incarceration of an ethnoreligious minority since the Holocaust. He says that for the first time, the ongoing situation in China very specifically meets one of the five criteria set forth by the United Nations Convention for the Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide from 1948, which is the suppression of birth. Zenz called for “exclusion or sanctioning from multilateral institutions, either political or possibly economic sanctions, given that we also have a situation of forced labor.”

8. Dr. Kai Möller, associate professor of law at the London School of Economics, said genital cutting is wrong "as a matter of principle" in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. He writes: "The currently dominant view, according to which the common law creates an exception for the case of male genital cutting, has been shown to be arbitrary and indefensible." Möller says the argument that male genital cutting should be allowed because it is often performed for religious reasons while female genital cutting has no religious basis is "unconvincing". He says neither form of genital cutting can be justified from the perspective of religious freedom because the "right to manifest one's religion can, and in some scenarios must, be limited when this is necessary to protect the rights of others".

9. During an interview with CNN political commentator Angela Rye on her show “On 1,” actor Will Smith argued that what our country needs right now are people who don’t promote the “destructive aspects of loveless, godless leadership.” He said “As a country, I would hope that a part of what we’re learning right now is the destructive aspects of loveless, godless leadership. Do not elect people that don’t have God and love in their hearts.” After the interview aired he stated “Just to clarify, I’m not talking about Church or Religion.”

10. An Indian father, Rajveer fought relentlessly so that his 13-year-old daughter's school issued a graduation certificate that left the religion and caste columns blank. The father’s last name will also not be included on the certificate so as not to reveal the family’s caste and to avoid discrimination. He argued that on the basis of a previous court ruling that declared that Hinduism is not a religion, but a way of life, that it follows that Hinduism should not be included in the religion category of his daughter’s certificate. Last year, Rajveer had also filed a plea in the Gujarat High Court, seeking to get the status of an atheist on his own files. That case is still on-going.

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