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Muslim man murdered pregnant prostitute for working near mosque

A Muslim man was yesterday jailed for 29 years after being found guilty of stabbing a pregnant Romanian prostitute to death after warning her not to work near a mosque.

The Daily Mail reports that Farooq Shah, 21, stabbed Mariana Popa in the chest while riding his bicycle along a stretch of road in Ilford, Essex, known for its sex workers. After being stabbed, Miss Popa staggered into a fast-food shop and collapsed in a pool of blood while her killer cycled away. She was pregnant with her second child.

CCTV footage showed Farooq Shah waiting on the forecourt of a petrol station late on 28 October last year. Miss Popa can be seen walking towards him and speaking to him before he stabs her twice in the chest.

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Urgent action needed to stem radical Islam risk: Dutch security service

According to Dutch News, the conflict in Syria has become a catalyst for radical Muslims in the Netherlands, with messages becoming more explicit and widespread, the Dutch security service AIVD said on Monday.

Radical texts spoken by young preachers and social media are leading to jihadist propaganda being spread more quickly, leading to 'further radicalization on a wider scale,' the AIVD said in a new report.

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ISIS establishes 'caliphate' in Iraq and Syria

Jihadist militant group Isis has said it is establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, on the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria.

According to BBC News, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) announced the establishment of the caliphate in an audio recording posted on the internet on Sunday.

Isis also said that from now on it would be known simply as "the Islamic State".

It also proclaimed the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as caliph and "leader for Muslims everywhere".

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Debate: Are 'New Atheists' Dangerous?

Dr Robert Grant, Lecturer in Philosophy at Trinity College, and Michael Nugent, CEO of Atheist Ireland, debate the merits of 'new atheism', as well as the manner in which some communicate their message.

According to even the last census, Ireland is still a Catholic country, with huge amount of people professing to believing in God.

But there is no doubt that atheism continues to gain in popularity.

Dr Robert Grant wrote an article in the Irish Times this week questioning how some atheists put forward their message, and even went so far to say that the way in which the message is sometimes coomunicated is 'dangerous'.

George Hook invited him onto the Right Hook this week along with the CEO of Atheist Ireland Michael Nugent, and a lively debate ensued.

Listen to this debate at Right Hook

 

 

 

The history of education, religion and the state in Australia

Last week, the High Court ruled against the current funding model of the federal government’s controversial school chaplaincy program. It's just the latest episode in a debate over education, religion and the state that goes back to the colonial era, writes Keri Phillips.

There are two strands to the dispute over education, religion and funding. The first concerns the government funding of private schools, almost all of which are run by or affiliated with religious organisations. The second concerns the place of religious instruction in public schools. Both have been the subject of referenda and legal challenges. The relationship between religion, education and the state has been controversial since the states began introducing compulsory public schooling in the second half of the 19th century. Until then, schools had been largely run by the churches and paid for by the government.

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What god does to your brain: Neurotheology aims to find out why people have faith

By Julia Llewellyn Smith, The Telegraph

When neuroscientist Andrew Newberg scanned the brain of “Kevin,” a staunch atheist, he realized that his brain operate in a significantly different way, compared with the Buddhist monks and Franciscan nuns.

 “He had far more activity in the prefrontal cortex, the area that controls emotional feelings and mediates attention. Kevin’s brain appeared to be functioning in a highly analytical way, even when he was in a resting state.” says Newberg.

When people speak in tongues, they’re gone, they’re in a completely altered state. But most of the time they’re normal people like us

 “When people speak in tongues, they’re gone, they’re in a completely altered state. But most of the time they’re normal people like us, with jobs and children – they don’t show any sign of being delusional,” says Newberg. “Scans of their brains – when they’re ’possessed’ – show very different results to scans of Buddhist monks or Carmelite nuns in prayer or meditation. There you see increased frontal lobe activity in the areas concerned with concentration, but the speakers in tongues had decreased activity in the same area, which would give them the sensation that someone else was ’running the show’.”

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Thousands of Twitter accounts promote atheism and decadence

Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Al-Awain, Al-Jazera

According to Saudi Gazette, there are over half a million Twitter accounts that target Saudi Arabia and attempt to wreak havoc in society. Only countries can run such a large number of accounts. Some of the accounts promote atheistic thoughts, some prostitution, others lewdness and homosexuality. They all have one common goal: to destroy religion and morality in society. 

There are around 4,500 accounts encouraging atheism. All of these accounts target Saudis, according to the report Dr. Fayez Al-Shehri sent to the Shoura Council.

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Christians set to become a minority in Australia

EASTER Sunday may be one of the most important Christian celebrations, but for many Australians it will just be about chocolate.

According to Northern Star, the proportion of Australians who identify as Christian is falling fast, down over 8% points in the last two years.

And if the current trend was to continue, Christians will soon be in the minority in Australia, the latest research from Roy Morgan shows.

In late 2011, Christians outnumbered the non-religious by more than two to one with  60.9% of Australians  (11.4 million) identifying as Christian compared with 29.2% (5.5 million) who said they had no religious affiliation.

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Atheists Face Discrimination On A Shocking Level (INFOGRAPHIC)

According to Huffington Post, it's a sad, but well-known truth that many people around the world are persecuted for their religious beliefs. But many people are also suffering for their lack of religious belief, though their stories are not as often shared.

The American Humanist Association created this infographic which shows some of the ways in which atheists are socially and legally discriminated against.

The rise of the religious "nones" in the United States show that more and more people are choosing not to affiliate themselves with an organized religion. But why is this so threatening to people of faith?

Commenter Jackie Martinez wrote, "I don't identify as Atheist (but definitely Agnostic), but I'm saddened by the state of our world when we trust a cheater or rapist more than an Atheist. It's discouraging and disheartening."

 

 

Nigerian man is locked up in a mental health institution after saying he is an atheist

According to The Guardian, a Nigerian man has been incarcerated in a mental health institution by his family after saying he had lost his belief in God.

Mubarak Bala, 29, is said to have been forcibly medicated for "insanity" for nearly two weeks, despite a doctor's opinion that he has no psychological problems.

Campaigners are calling for his release and say the case highlights the fact that atheists are a persecuted minority in many African countries.

Bala's Twitter account uses the handle "ExMuslim", and his profile says: "Chemical Process Engineer. I stand for Truth & Justice. Religion insults human conscience & reason, duped me that I have another lifetime. Agnostic Atheist."

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