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“Happy” Video Director Linked to Rouhani Campaign Remains in Detention

Sassan Soleimani, the director of one version of the ”Happy in Tehran” video, remains in Rajaee-Shahr Prison in Karaj where he is being deprived of sleep, days after six people who appeared in the video were released from detention, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Soleimani, a 33-year-old filmmaker and animator, told Zendegi Ideal (Ideal Life) magazine in 2013 that when he was taking photos for Hassan Rouhani’s presidential election campaign, campaign officials asked him to suggest a color for campaign materials and he chose purple, which became Rouhani’s official color during the campaign.

Authorities had told Soleimani’s family that he could be released on bail but as of May 24 he was still in prison. The family was told to come back in one week for a visit.

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Pat Buchanan heaps praise on ‘anti-Obama’ Vladimir Putin for being ‘traditional Christian’

Former Nixon aide and longtime Republican standard-bearer Pat Buchanan published a column on Friday in which he heaped praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin for being a “traditional Christian” leader who “rejects the moral relativism of the West.”

According to Right Wing Watch the Suicide of a Superpower author published the remarks at “Birther” and conspiracy hub World Net Daily.

The column lamented the degeneration of the European Union into a “soft managerial state” with no real military or economic might.

Symptomatic of the dangerous “cosmopolitanism” that Buchanan claimed is sapping the power from ideas like “home,” “race,” “blood group,” and “fatherland” is the triumph of Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst in the 2014 Eurovision contest.

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Twitter Agrees to Block ‘Blasphemous’ Tweets in Pakistan

At least five times this month, a Pakistani bureaucrat who works from a colonial-era barracks in Karachi, just down the street from the former home of his country’s secularist founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, asked Twitter to shield his compatriots from exposure to accounts, tweets or searches of the social network that he described as “blasphemous” or “unethical.”

All five of those requests were honored by the company, meaning that Twitter users in Pakistan can no longer see the content that so disturbed the bureaucrat, Abdul Batin of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority: crude drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, photographs of burning Qurans, and messages from a handful of anti-Islam bloggers and an American porn star who now attends Duke University.

The blocking of these tweets in Pakistan — in line with the country-specific censorship policy Twitter unveiled in 2012 — is the first time the social network has agreed to withhold content there. A number of the accounts seemed to have been blocked in anticipation of the fourth annual “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” on May 20.

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Chicago-area porn-hating Catholic priest arrested for exposing himself at a gas station

A Chicago-area Catholic priest,who has campaigned in his parish against Internet pornography, has been arrested for publicly exposing himself at a gas station, reports WREX13.

Monsignor Aaron R. Brodeski, 44, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of public indecency relating to an incident at a Road Ranger Gas Station, where witnesses say he exposed himself inside the gas station and then again in the parking lot.

According to Winnebego County Sheriff Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro, Brodeski’s actions were observed by adults but no children were present.

Employees at the gas station contacted authorities who were able to track Brodeski down after being provided with his license plate number.

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Tunisia atheist activist back in prison after presidential pardon

Mejri receives same sentence handed down by court of first instance in April for insulting public official.

TUNIS - A young Tunisian freed in March after two years in prison for posting cartoons deemed insulting to Islam, saw his eight-month sentence on a separate charge confirmed on appeal Wednesday.

Jabeur Mejri received the same sentence handed down by the court of first instance in April for insulting a public official, his lawyer Ahmed Mselmi said.

Mejri, an atheist activist, was jailed in 2012 for seven and half years for posting caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, but walked free in March after receiving a presidential pardon.

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Conchita Wurst caused Balkan floods after Eurovision win, say church leaders

Conchita Wurst is responsible for the flooding in the Balkans that left over 50 people dead, according to church leaders

Conchita Wurst is responsible for flooding that left over 50 people dead earlier this month, church leaders in the Balkans have claimed.

The Austrian drag artist, whose real name is Thomas Neuwirth, seized international attention after winning Eurovision 2014 with his hit Rise Like a Phoenix.

However, several church leaders have now claimed the recent devastating flooding across the Balkans, which was the worst in a century and left over 50 people dead, was "divine punishment" for Conchita's victory.

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Dismantling an open letter from an American Muslim to Bill Maher

Opinion piece: Dismantling an open letter from an American Muslim to Bill Maher

WRITTEN BY FARAN J, AAI NEWS TEAM

It is no longer a surprise that after a horrible act is committed by violent Muslims, Muslim apologists and their friends on the left deny any link between Islam and the people who hold extremist or violent ideas and who justify their beliefs and actions by quoting Islam and Koran. Even some progressive Muslims are sick of it. Even after almost two decades of global terrorism by Islamic terrorists, we are still arguing whether the cause has anything to do with Islam or not! I came across one such piece in TIME magazine, written by an American Muslim who is addressing Bill Maher and his so called recent "Islamophobic rant" against Islam.

Frankly, Rabia Chaudry's letter to Bill Maher is so absurd that I decided to dismantle it completely. So here goes.

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Leaving Islam for Atheism, and Finding a Much-Needed Place Among Peers

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Women talked about “coming out,” being open with their families, leaving “the closet” at a conference here this month. But the topic was not sexuality. Instead, the women, attending the third Women in Secularism conference were talking about being atheists. Some grew up Catholic, some Jewish, some Protestant — but nearly all described journeys of acknowledging atheism first to themselves, then to loved ones. Going public was a last, often painful, step.

Anyone leaving a close-knit belief-based community risks parental disappointment, rejection by friends and relatives, and charges of self-loathing. The process can be especially difficult and isolating for women who have grown up Muslim, who are sometimes accused of trying to assimilate into a Western culture that despises them.

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Eight of the most homophobic things UKIP candidates and supporters have said

As many took to the polls at the European and local elections today, PinkNews took some time to reminisce on the top ten most homophobic things said by UKIP supporters and candidates over recent years.

From saying PinkNews readers should be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, to claiming that it is okay to be homophobic if you are over 70, the party has been a fountain of anti-gay remarks.

In no particular order, here are ten of the worst comments made by the ‘Kippers.

8. UKIP CANDIDATE WRITES ON FACEBOOK THAT “POOFTERS” SHOULD BE SHOT

On 17 February, John Lyndon Sullivan wrote on Facebook: “I rather often wonder if we shot one “poofter” (GLBT whatevers), whether the next 99 would decide on balance, that they weren’t after-all? We might then conclude that it’s not a matter of genetics, but rather more of education ;)”

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Ads on 20 Metro buses in the nation’s capital link Adolf Hitler with Islam, portraying “Islamic Jew-hatred.”

Washington -  Ads on 20 Metro buses in the nation’s capital link Adolf Hitler with Islam, portraying “Islamic Jew-hatred.”

The ads, placed by American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), show a photo of Hitler conversing with “his staunch ally” Haj Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem during WWII. The ads are scheduled to run until mid-June according to AFP.

“Islamic Jew-hatred: It’s in the Quran. Two-thirds of all US aid goes to Islamic countries. Stop racism. End all aid to Islamic countries,” states the ad, in addition to a disclaimer from the Metro transit authority.

Metro says they cannot remove the ads based on a case from 2012 that states bus advertisements are included in free speech protected by the Constitution.

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Saudi Arabia: Release Raif Badawi!

The International Association of Free Thought has learned with indignation of the increased criminal sanctions imposed against the Saudi liberal blogger Raif Badawi: ten years in prison, 1000 lashes and a fine of 1 million rials, for “insulting Islam.”

Saudi Arabia is a key part of the Western system of alliances in the region. Its allies do not burden themselves with the task of questioning this theocracy and its medieval practices.

In fact, the pronounced decree threatens all shades of freedom of expression since it considers as “terrorists” not only atheists, but also all those who dare to question the fundamentals of Islam as they form the basis of the Wahhabi monarchy. This can include Shiites, Sufis, Alawis, Ahmadiyya, indeed all Muslims, but also Christians and Hindus.

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