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Resources updated between Monday, May 12, 2014 and Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 16, 2014

"Meriam Ibrahim, a 26-year-old Sudanese woman who is the daughter of a Muslim father and an Orthodox Christian mother, was sentenced to death on Thursday for refusing to deny that she was Christian. Judge Abbas Khalifa convicted Ibrahim of 'apostasy'-abandoning her faith-on Sunday, but gave her until Thursday to change her mind. When the grace period expired, he handed down the chilling penalty of death by hanging...
The judge had previously sentenced Ibrahim to 100 lashes as a punishment for adultery-since her marriage was forbidden under Islamic law."

Pregnant Sudanese woman faces hanging for refusing to recant Christiani​ty Document

ISRAEL TO SEEK UN RECOGNITION OF YOM KIPPUR AS HOLIDAY

Israel is seeking UN recognition of Yom Kippur as an official holiday on the U.N. calendar. The U.N. already officially recognizes two Muslim holidays - Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha - and two Christian holidays – Good Friday and Christmas – but not one Jewish holiday.

The 10 official holidays at UN New York Headquarters are: New Year's Day, Presidents' Day; Good Friday; Memorial Day, Independence Day, Eid al-Fitr, Labor Day, Eid al-Adha, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

"Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor has distributed a letter among U.N. ambassadors as a first step in a comprehensive campaign to highlight Israel's request, paving the way to bring it for a General Assembly vote."

Israel Wants Yom Kippur to be Official UN Holiday, Like Muslim and Christian Days Article

May 14, 2014

On April 30, 2014, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom released the 2014 Annual Report on religious freedoms in various countries around the world. The Commission recommended re-designation of eight countries as "countries of particular concern," or CPCs, under the U.S. International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for egregious religious freedom violations: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan. It also recommended that eight additional countries be designated as CPCs: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.

This is some of what the 2014 Report found on religious freedom in Iran:
"The already-poor religious freedom conditions in Iran continued to deteriorate...The government of Iran continues to engage in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and exe­cutions based primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused...Over the past few years, the Iranian government has imposed harsh prison sentences on promi­nent reformers from the Shi'a majority community... Iranian state television regularly airs programs demonizing Sufism...As of February 2014, at least 135 Baha'is, nearly twice the number than in 2011, are being held in prison solely because of their religious beliefs ...Over the past year, there were numerous incidents of Iranian authorities raiding church services, threaten­ing church members, and arresting and imprisoning worshippers and church leaders ...The government continues to propagate anti-Semitism and target members of the Jewish community on the basis of real or perceived "ties to Israel." Numerous programs broadcast on state-run television advance anti-Semitic messages... "

The religious freedom record of China includes the following abominations:
"The Chinese government continues to perpetrate particularly severe violations of religious freedom. For Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims, conditions are worse now than at any time in the past decade...Protestants and Catholics who refuse to join the state-sanctioned religious organizations continue to face severe restrictions, including efforts to undermine and harass their leaders, arrest and detentions...The Chinese government continued its 15-year cam­paign to eradicate Falun Gong activity and pressure practitioners to renounce their beliefs... Practitioners who do not renounce their beliefs in detention are subject to torture, including credible reports of deaths in custody and the use of psychiatric experiments and possible organ harvesting."

The record of Saudi Arabia includes the following:
"Saudi Arabia remains unique in the extent to which it restricts the public expression of any religion other than Islam. Not a single church or other non-Muslim house of worship exists in the country. The govern­ment privileges its own interpretation of Sunni Islam over all other interpretations. It also has arrested individuals for dissent, apostasy, blasphemy, and sorcery...The CPVPV (Commission for the Promo­tion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which reports to the King and is not sub­ject to judicial review, officially enforces public moral­ity and restrictions on public religious manifestations and practice by both Saudis and non-Saudis... its members have been accused over the past year of beating, whipping, detaining, and otherwise harassing individuals...
High school textbooks in use during the 2013–2014 school year continue to teach hatred toward mem­bers of other religions and, in some cases, promote violence. For example, some justified violence against apostates and polytheists and labeled Jews and Chris­tians 'enemies'."

In Sudan the Commission found the following:
"The government of Sudan led by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir continues to engage in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of freedom of reli­gion or belief. It imposes a restrictive interpretation of Shari'ah law on Muslims and non-Muslims alike, using amputations and floggings for crimes and acts of "indecency" and "immorality" and arresting Chris­tians for proselytizing... These religious freedom violations, as well as the violence in Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur, are the result of President Bashir's policies of Islamization and Arabization...Conversion from Islam is a crime punishable by death...Three men were sen­tenced to death by crucifixion after being found guilty ofr murder ... As in previous years, several amputation sentences for those found guilty of theft were reported. Hundreds of women were flogged or fined for 'inde­cent' dress."

This is just part of the religious freedom record of North Korea:
"The government of North Korea tightly controls all religious activity and perpetuates an extreme cult of personality venerating the Kim family as a pseudo-reli­gion. Individuals engaged in clandestine religious activ­ity are arrested, tortured, imprisoned, and sometimes executed. Thousands of religious believers and their families are imprisoned in penal labor camps, includ­ing refugees repatriated from China...North Korea maintains a songbun system, which classifies families according to their loyalty to the Kim family; religious believers have the lowest songbun rating. Spreading Christianity is a political crime. Many religious believers are incarcer­ated in infamous penal labor camps...Recently-published ref­ugee testimony indicates that the wife of a Chinese mili­tary officer was publicly executed in 2009 for possessing a Bible..."

And the record of religious freedom in Pakistan includes:
"Violence against Christians continued... During the reporting period, individual Ahmadis contin­ued to be murdered in religiously-motivated attacks...Allegations of kidnapping of Hindu women, followed by forced conversions to Islam and forced marriages to Muslim men, continued to arise throughout the report­ing period...
Blasphemy Laws
...USCIRF is aware of at least 17 individuals on death row and 19 more serving life sentences [for blasphemy]. Many others have been charged and await trial. The Pakistani government continues to block YouTube out of concerns that its hosts 'blasphemous content.' Blasphemy laws...the so-called crime carries the death penalty or life in prison, does not require proof of intent or evidence to be presented after allegations are made, and does not include penalties for false allegations. Further, the laws do not provide clear guidance on what constitutes a violation, empowering accusers to apply their personal religious interpreta­tions."

Commission on Religious Freedom 2014 report: the real human rights villains Article

Iranian authorities have reported more hangings of the following unrecognizable human beings: (1) L. B. (2) M. T. (3) A. A. (4) H. R. K. (5) A. Kh. (6) M. J. (7) A, Gh.(8) M. Gh. - and another (9) M. Gh.

According to the Iran Human Rights web-site, the Iranian Judiciary in Khuzestan province reported that the nine nameless prisoners were hanged for the unconfirmed charges of "possession and trafficking of drugs."

Nine Prisoners Hanged in Southwestern Iran Article

May 13, 2014

UN "International Meeting on the Question of Jerusalem", Ankara, Turkey

Yet another UN meeting on Israel proved the perfect opportunity for the head of the 57-member Islamic group of states to call for an "end" to Israel as one more "apartheid" state.

Iyad bin Amin Madani, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was speaking on May 12, 2014 in Ankara at "The International Meeting on the Question of Jerusalem" organized by the UN "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People." This UN Committee was created in 1975 to implement the infamous Zionism-is-racism General Assembly resolution.

He said: "On this occasion we need to recall how it was only through an international, unified and firm stand that the Apartheid regime in South Africa was brought to an end. Accordingly, Israel's reversal of its illegal practices is contingent on its realizing that there is a price to pay for its transgressions, and that the world can no longer put up with its practices."

Albeit the UN secretariat routinely explains away criticisms of the UN as the fault of member states, Robert Serry UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process - speaking on behalf of Ban ki-Moon - said he was "pleased to send greetings to all participants" and "thanked" the Committee, the Government of Turkey and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation "for organizing" the event.

The day also clarified a central feature of UN-based antisemitism: the very existence of Israel from 1948 is the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict, not the1967 so-called occupation. These UN conferences also make no effort to mask antisemitism, and attacks on "Judaization" - the crime of a Jew on Arab-claimed land. The proceedings on the first day alone included, for example:

  • Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, who said that "the meeting was an important and historical one, which Turkey was pleased to host." He also said that "those living in Jerusalem had been suffering since 1948" while "Jerusalem under the dominance of Muslims was open to all faces and religions."
  • Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Palestinian Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs, said the meeting "came at a time when the Palestinian people everywhere, not only in Palestine, were remembering the sufferings and the Nakba, the pain felt since 1948" and that "Jerusalem had fallen to Israel in 1967 and lived in sadness and suffering ever since."
  • Wasfi Kailani, Director, Hashemite Fund for the restoration of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, accused Israel of "judaization of the heritage of Jerusalem" and said "there is no example in different parts of the world of what Jerusalem is really suffering".
  • Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, Qadi and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, said Jerusalem was an issue which concerned the "Arab and Islamic world and the whole world" and that "Israel was trying to judaize the city in many ways."
  • Abdul Hadi, Chairman, The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Jerusalem, said "it was important not to fall into the trap of the Jewish Zionist narrative shaking or distorting the history and the facts."
  • Palestinian journalism student from Gaza said "that more than a war was going on in Palestine...an inhuman life...It was worse than a war."

Islamic states use latest UN event to call for an "end" to "apartheid Israel" Development

UN Security Council

France has circulated a draft Security Council resolution that would "refer the situation in Syria since March 2011" to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible crimes against humanity and war crimes, "noting the violations by all parties".

The discussions on the draft resolution are "expected this week and France is pressing for a vote next week."

Observers expect Russia to veto the resolution, since protecting Assad, and the Russia-Iran-Syria alliance is Putin's top "human rights" priority.

The draft also "notes" reports of the UN Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry, created back in August of 2011 in response to the atrocities in Syria. The Commission has established a list of individuals and entities which contains names of persons criminally responsible for hostage-taking, torture and executions; names of the heads of intelligence branches and detention facilities where torture occurs; names of military commanders who targeted civilians; airports from where barrel bomb attacks are planned and executed; and armed groups involved in attacking and displacing civilians.

The UN has, however, refused to make the 'perpetrators list' public.

UN asked to place Syrians before the International Criminal Court. Russian veto anticipated. Article

Chinese dissident Xiang Nanfu

"A Beijing man who supplied information to a dissident-run U.S.-based news website has been detained on charges he made up stories that disparaged the Chinese government, police announced Tuesday. Xiang Nanfu was accused of providing false stories to Boxun.com of organ harvesting and live burials by the Chinese government, according to a police statement. It said Xiang worked with Boxun.com to incite public dissatisfaction against the government. Boxun.com, founded in 2000 and based in New York City, is known for publicizing allegations of high-level Chinese corruption and human rights abuses. Access to the site is blocked in China. Xiang, 62, was detained under a law against troublemaking, according to the police statement. Violators usually are punished with fines, but the law also allows a prison sentence of up to five years. Xiang was shown on the national state television noon newscast confessing and expressing contrition. 'I have made up things that are not facts,' said Xiang, who was shown wearing the green vest of a jail inmate. 'My behavior has had a very bad impact. I realize that I have smeared the ruling party and the government.' The founder of Boxun.com, Watson Meng, denied the site had reported that organ harvesting or live burials occurred. But he said an April report described petitioners who made such allegations in front of the Beijing office of the United Nations. 'The authorities could have used some means to extort the public confession, although we do not know what means they have used,' Meng said by phone from New York. Meng said that Xiang had backed up his reports with photos and video footage and called him trustworthy."

China Detains Man Who Wrote for Foreign Website Document