Apostasy is not a federal crime in Malaysia, but critics say the country’s increasingly conservative trajectory is threatening religious freedoms.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia is investigating an international atheist organization, a minister said on Monday, after a picture of the group’s local chapter went viral, sparking claims that Muslim apostates were involved.
Apostasy is not a federal crime in Malaysia, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country. But critics say deepening fundamentalism within the Muslim majority is threatening religious freedoms.
Malaysian states, which have their own laws governing Islamic affairs, do not allow Muslims to formally renounce Islam, preferring instead to send them for counseling, or fining or jailing them.
The Kuala Lumpur chapter of Atheist Republic, a Canada-based organization, posted a picture of the group’s members attending a gathering last week, sparking uproar among some Muslims and leading to threats of death and violence against the group on social media.
The pic below is found in the “Atheist Republic” “fan section”.
Seculars protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, over the killing (BDNews24)
A Bangladeshi blogger and secular activist who was hacked to death on Tuesday would still be alive if Sweden had not blocked his planned visit to Stockholm this month to celebrate World Press Freedom Day, according to the Swedish chapter of PEN, an international writers group.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that its diplomats were “horrified by the murder” of Ananta Bijoy Dash, who wrote about secularism and science for Free Mind, a website that the Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy ran before being killed in February by machete-wielding assailants in Dhaka, the capital. Islamist extremists took responsibility for Mr. Dash’s death, near his home in the northeastern city of Sylhet.
The leader of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Asim Umar, has claimed responsibility for the murders of six people who were supposedly “blasphemers,” including Avijit Roy, a prominent atheist blogger. Roy, an American, was murdered in Bangladesh in February when his attackers assaulted him with machetes.
Umar’s statement came in a video that was produced by al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, As Sahab. The SITE Intelligence Group first obtained the video, which was released in several languages and includes English subtitles.
In addition to Roy, AQIS claims that its jihadists were responsible for killing Rajib Haider (a blogger murdered in February 2013), Muhammad Shakil Auj (who was the dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Karachi when he was shot in September 2014), Shafiul Islam (a professor at Rajshahi University who was killed in September 2014), Aniqa Naz (a Pakistani blogger), and Washiqur Rahman (a blogger who was killed in March).
Several of the slayings were committed in a barbaric manner similar to the murder of Avijit Roy, with the victims being hacked to death with machetes or knives…
This is where Islam goes if you don’t stand up to it.
Reclaim Australia will rally against “halal tax, sharia law and Islamisation”.
The Atheists Foundation says the protest is co-ordinated by Christian groups known for offensive and extreme claims.
While it doesn’t endorse religious beliefs, the foundation says it’s also against ignorance, bigotry, jingoism, racism, or xenophobia.
“It is fear mongering to even make the suggestion, or imply, that all Australians will one day live under Islamic religious rule,” it said in a statement.
Victorian police will be monitoring Melbourne’s Federation Square on Saturday, when Rally Against Racism participants plan to occupy the space Reclaim Australia intends to use for its protest…
Meanwhile, these same atheists are likely extremely hostile to Christians. I met a few like that. They know nothing about Islam.
Is anyone in the free world who has power and influence going to stand up and denounce this savagery, and offer a defense of the freedom of speech, explaining why submission to Sharia blasphemy laws not only encourages this kind of barbarism, but paves the way to tyranny? Almost certainly not.
“Bangladesh Killings Send Chilling Message to Secular Bloggers,” by Ellen Barry, New York Times, March 30, 2015:
DHAKA, Bangladesh — When the steamy, clamorous evening had settled over this city, and Oyasiqur Rhaman had finished his day’s work at a travel agency, he would turn to one of his favorite pastimes: Poking fun at fundamentalist Islam.
Mr. Rhaman, 27, blogged under the name Kutshit Hasher Chhana, or The Ugly Duckling, and he specialized in sharp-edged satire. In one post, he adopted the persona of a self-important believer fielding questions from an atheist. (An example: “See, the captive women, impressed at the heroism of the Muslim fighters, used to engage in sex with them willingly. Don’t you see that it gave pleasures to them as well?”) He posted photos of sausages wrapped in pastries, labeled “pigs in a burqa.”
On Monday morning, after he left home for the travel agency, Mr. Rhaman was killed for what he had posted. Three young men — among them students of madrasas here in the capital and in Chittagong — surrounded him and sliced at his head with machetes, cutting deep gouges into his forehead, face and throat. His body was left on the pavement in a pool of congealing blood.
Two men were captured by local residents and handed over to the police, according to Mohammad Salahuddin, who heads the district police station. Those men said an acquaintance known as Masum had instructed them to kill Mr. Rhaman because “he made some comments against Islam” on social media, but that they had not read the comments themselves…
All his political life, Lee Kuan Yew was aware of the need to keep the Muslim population in check. The laws he had passed, the regulations he enforced, were directed in large part to that end.
He knew about Muslim efforts to convert others, and he made sure that any convert had to immediately register with the government, so such efforts could be monitored, and then countered, by the government. A study of all the ways that Lee Kuan Yew dealt with Muslims, and took careful note of, and combatted, their natural aggressiveness and steady machinations, would be instructive for Western leaders, who have the same problem…
A whip, a leather strap or a long cane may be used to carry out floggings in Saudi Arabia. Source.
BERLIN, March 28 (Reuters) – Jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi has described in his first public remarks from prison how he “miraculously survived 50 lashes” as part of a conviction that sparked an international outcry, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Saturday.
Badawi was arrested in 2012 for offences including insulting Islam, cyber crime and disobeying his father, which is a crime in Saudi Arabia. He was sentenced last year to 10 years in jail, a fine of 1 million riyals ($266,000) and 1,000 lashes.
In his remarks, Badawi recalled how he received the first round of lashes in January while surrounded by a cheering crowd that chanted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest), Der Spiegel said.
“All this cruel suffering happened to me only because I expressed my opinion,” Badawi was quoted as saying in what the magazine said was his first letter since being jailed.
“He’s in a poor condition,” the magazine quoted his wife Ensaf Haidar as saying, adding that her husband suffered from high blood pressure and that he was mentally very stressed…
Obama And Islam’s Non-Existent Golden Rule
The problem with the good teachings of Muhammad is that they are reserved for fellow Muslims. When the hadith says “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself,” it is talking about the fellow Muslims. The brotherhood in Islam does not extend to everyone…
Ms Wallstroem had been invited as an honorary guest to the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, pictured, in praise of her government’s decision to recognise Palestine as a state
A Swedish minister has accused Saudi Arabia of banning her from giving a speech at a meeting of the Arab League after she previously criticised the kingdom’s human rights record.
Sweden’s foreign minister Margot Wallstroem has claimed that her criticism of Saudi Arabia over its treatment of blogger Raif Badawi resulted in her speech being cancelled at the meeting in Cairo.
However, an Arabic diplomat confirmed that Riyadh had stopped her from making her opening speech.
Ms Wallstroem said: “The explanation we have been given is that Sweden has highlighted the situation for democracy and human rights and that is why they do not want me to speak”…
The moral of the story is that you cannot please the Muslim world by making concession on Israel and Palestine.
WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/13/15) — On Wednesday, January 14, representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a media availability at the Muslim civil rights organization’s Capitol Hill headquarters in Washington, D.C., to offer reaction to the publication Wednesday of Charlie Hebdo magazine in France featuring a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover.
“Just as Charlie Hebdo has the right to publish, we have the right to peacefully challenge negative portrayals of our religious figures,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “The answer to speech one disagrees with should not be violence, but should instead be more speech promoting tolerance and mutual understanding.”
Awad noted that the issue is not about religion, because Islam protects freedom of speech and respectful interactions with others, even when there is disagreement…
…Awad noted that after years of being insulted, defamed, attacked, mistreated, and having his followers tortured and killed by the people of Mecca, the Prophet Muhammad returned victorious to that city and forgave its people, then said, “Go your way, for you are all free”…
An earlier insulter of Islam in jail: March, 2007. Crime: he “had criticized conservative Muslims and was convicted of insulting Islam and Egypt’s president, court officials said.” Source.
CAIRO: An Egyptian court has sentenced a student to three years in jail for announcing on Facebook that he is an atheist and for insulting Islam, his lawyer said Sunday.
Karim al-Banna, a 21-year-old whose own father testified against him, was jailed by a court in the Nile Delta province of Baheira on Saturday, lawyer Ahmed Abdel Nabi told AFP.
“He was handed down a three-year prison sentence, and if he pays a bail of 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($ 140 or 117 euros) the sentence can be suspended until a verdict is issued by an appeals court,” Abdel Nabi said, adding that an appeal was to be heard on March 9.
Abdel Nabi said his client’s father had testified against his son, charging that he “was embracing extremist ideas against Islam”.
Banna’s name had appeared in a list of known atheists in a local daily after which his neighbours harassed him, said Ishaq Ibrahim, a researcher on religion and beliefs at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights…
People take part in a vigil in Place de la Republique hold a banner with one of the legendary front pages of the magazine.
The French satirical newspaper whose staff was decimated in an Islamist attack will publish as scheduled next week, one of its surviving staff members told AFP on Jan. 8.
Charlie Hebdo will publish next Wednesday to defiantly show that “stupidity will not win,” said columnist Patrick Pelloux, who is also an emergency room doctor.
He added that the remaining staff held a meeting on Jan. 8 to discuss its future.
“It’s very hard. We are all suffering, with grief, with fear, but we will do it anyway because stupidity will not win,” said Pelloux.
He said that the publication would have to be put together outside Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters, which were not accessible following the massacre…
After minting their own currency and brutal warnings to “their” people, they have now published a sort of “penal code” detailing punishments for specific crimes.
Blasphemy carries a death sentence in the code, even in the case of repentance, as does adultery, which leads to stoning to death if the perpetrator was married and 100 lashes and exile if he or she were unmarried.
Those guilty of sodomy – including homosexuality – will also be killed, even for those suffering it as victims, as will those “spying for the unbelievers.”
Those who kill and steal will be crucified, and those who only kill will be executed but not crucified.
Those found guilty of “banditry” will have a hand and a leg amputated, while petty thieves will only lose a hand. Dozens of lashes are prescribed for those who drink alcohol, steal and slander.
The code, reports the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which found it online in recent days, is “a warning and a reminder to the people living under its rule” and makes reference to Sharia law…
GENEVA (Reuters) – Amid a global decline in religious belief, some governments are stepping up efforts to portray atheists and secularists as a danger to society and even as terrorists, according to a report issued on Wednesday.
The study, by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), pointed to “hate campaigns” launched by public figures against those who renounce the dominant or state religion in Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Egypt.
It said “the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers” as set out in U.N. treaties, adding that 13 states, all of them Muslim, had made apostasy or blasphemy against religion a capital offence…