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Amerli: Iraqi town besieged by IS starving to death

By Lydia Green

According to BBC, Amerli is surrounded by towns and villages taken by the Sunni jihadist militants of Islamic State (IS), the residents of this small Shia Turkmen community about 180km (110 miles) north of Baghdad have been living under siege for two months.

There is no electricity, little medicine and food supplies are dwindling. Unlike recent US intervention to help save members of the Yazidi religious minority trapped on Mount Sinjar in north-western Iraq, there is no dramatic plan to rescue people here.

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British Woman Vows To Become First Female Jihadist To Kill American Or British Captive

In the wake of journalist James Foley's brutal beheading, a 22-year-old woman is vowing to copycat his execution and become the first female jihadist from the United Kingdom to kill a Western captive in Syria, according to Huffington Post

Khadijah Dare, originally from London, England, is married to a Swedish man and Islamic State fighter named Abu Bakr. The couple moved to Syria in 2012 and are currently living alongside the extremist militant group with their son, according to London's Evening Standard.

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India makes 'liking' blasphemous content illegal

According to engadget, India's previously criticized Facebook for not censoring material that was critical of its government, so let's agree that the country has something of a strained relationship with social media. 

Now, however, the south-west state of 
Karnataka has announced that even clicking 'like' on a post could land you in jail for 90 days before you even get to see a magistrate.

In June this year Mumbai Police had issued a similar warning to citizens directing them to not ‘like’ objectionable posts on Facebook. Mumbai Police told that the people would be booked under section 66A of the IT Act and section 295A of Indian Penal Code, which deals with ‘hurting religious sentiments’, in such cases.

Because India has no blasphemy laws, any material that could offend someone's religious beliefs is prosecuted as hate speech, and that includes uploading, forwarding, sharing, liking and retweeting something. We hate to be cynical, but we can't imagine it'll be long before the first dissenting voice gets thrown in jail to protect the feelings of the general population.








Saudi Businesswoman Condemned To Prison & 50 Lashes For Insulting Morality Police

According to Reuters, a Saudi Arabian judge has upheld a barbaric sentence against a business woman for exercising free speech. Her crime, as reported by The Arabic-Language Daily, was “cursing the morality police” and calling them “liars”. Her punishment is one month in prison and 50 lashes. The sentence was officially passed by a district court in Jeddah and has now been upheld by an appeals court in Mecca.

Members of the morality police entered the business woman’s cafe to ensure “…there were no breaches of morality or other laws in the conservative Muslim kingdom, and that some of her employees had then run away because they were breaking immigration rules.” It was at this point the woman cursed members of the morality police and called them liars.

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Syed Tabish could be deported to Pakistan in September

According to Atheism UK, on 12th August the Home Office refused the fresh asylum claim of Syed Mohammad Tabish. 

Atheism UK, Ex-Muslims of Britain and FaithFreedom provided evidence for his new asylum claim. 

However the Home Office rejected his asylum claim asserting that none of the evidence provided amounted to fresh new evidence. 

Syed Tabish faces being deported to Pakistan in mid September. The Taliban and his family have threatened to kill him on his return to Pakistan. 

Minister Approves Proposal to Fight and “Cure” Atheism in Egypt

According to Prime Magazine, minister of Awqaf (Religious Endowments), Dr. Mohamed Mokhtar Goma’a, approved a proposal prepared by a group of Awqaf scholars and experts in psychiatry and sociology to oppose atheism through forming an alliance between the Ministry of Awqaf and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

The plan aims to confront the atheistic “phenomenon” by making the youth aware of the danger it poses for religion, morality, and patriotism. Part of the plan also consists of “curing” atheists psychologically, religiously, and socially.

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The Rise Of Europe’s Religious Right

By J. Lester Feder

For too long a time in Europe, pro-life people did not really say clearly and directly what they believe.” After years on the margins of European politics, social conservatives are learning to fight back.

We believe — strongly — that there is a global tea party movement,” declared Bannon, who took over the American conservative new media empire after the death of its founder, Andrew Breitbart, in 2012. Speaking via Skype to a conference on Catholic responses to poverty, he said, “You’re seeing a global reaction to centralized government, whether that government is in Beijing or that government is in Washington, D.C., or that government is in Brussels… On the social conservative side, we’re the voice of the anti-abortion movement, the voice of the traditional marriage movement.”

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Foley beheading video shocks the world, Obama says

According to BBC, US President Barack Obama has said the beheading of US journalist James Foley is "an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world".

Mr Obama said the ideology of Islamic State (IS), the group which made a video of Mr Foley's killing, was "bankrupt" and would ultimately fail.

The group said Mr Foley's killing was revenge for US air strikes on its fighters in Iraq.

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China plans its own 'Christian theology'

According to BBC News, China says it may try to create a theology based on Christianity - that integrates the religion with Chinese culture and is compatible with the country's socialist beliefs, it's been reported.

Wang Zuoan, a senior official for religious affairs, says China supports the development of Christianity within the country. But "the construction of Chinese Christian theology should adapt to China's national condition,"the state-backed China Daily website reports. His comments came at a conference for Sinicization of Christianity in Shanghai.

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ISIS footsteps in Germany

Around 300 Yazidi took to the streets in the early evening. They were demonstrating against the attacks on members of their faith in Syria and Iraq and a religiously-motivated attack against their community earlier that day, Herford police reported.

According to The Local, the police decided to intervene after a large group of hooded people started attacking passers-by in the town centre, with at least one person injured. The police used pepper spray to control the mob, confiscating tools and one firearm, and took the details of 86 people involved. 

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Film Review: Contradiction

WRITTEN BY MARK KOLSEN, GUEST WRITER FOR AAI NEWS TEAM

In Contradiction, Jeremiah Camara’s intelligent film about religion’s seduction of African-Americans, Lawrence Krauss says “the rise of non-belief is the rise of science.”

Krauss refers of course to natural sciences like cosmology and evolutionary biology, disciplines now giving us empirically based theories for the origin of the universe and man; and to social sciences like sociology and psychology, which are now explaining how the brain generates religious beliefs and behaviors. These new scientific discoveries, Camara recognizes, “are clashing with biblical doctrine,” and exposing the contradiction between truth and African-Americans’ irrationality. In the film – to take just one example – we hear the muddled African-American view that god must have created us, that we could not have evolved from “monkeys” because on earth “we still have monkeys.” This illogic is followed by Richard Dawkins’ concise, scientific explanation of the human family tree. 

Contradiction seamlessly mixes this science with history. Camara traces religion’s stranglehold over African-Americans’ reason (today 76% of all African-Americans say they pray daily) to the institution of slavery, when African-Americans either went to church or faced their masters’ wrath. Slaves adopting Christian beliefs and attending Christian churches received special treatment, even if the ‘beliefs’ were dictated by their masters. And Camara nicely documents the similarities and differences between the roles religious belief and churches have served in African-Americans’ lives.

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