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God at the Centre of Zambia’s Independence Celebration

WRITTEN BY JO STEPHANIE, AAI NEWS TEAM

On 24th October Zambia will celebrate 50 years of independence from British colonial rule. Several events have already taken place to celebrate Zambia’s golden jubilee. The theme for this year’s independence celebrations is “Commemorating God’s favour of 50 years of independence, for continued peace, unity, democracy, patriotism and prosperity”. God can be found in so much of the independence rhetoric, not just in this official jubilee theme. Speakers on radio and television programmes tell us we must thank God for our freedom and that we need to continue to look to God to maintain the peace we have. So many Zambians are buying it.

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Boko Haram: How Political Islam Has Underdeveloped Northern Nigeria

BY LEO IGWE 

When the drafters of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria enshrined in section 10 that “The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion,” they envisaged the divisive and polarizing nature of mixing faith and politics. They knew that for a religiously pluralistic entity like Nigeria to survive and develop, thrive and flourish, the state must be neutral in religious matters. Unfortunately, subsequent state actors in Nigeria have ignored this crucial constitutional principle to the detriment of the Nigerian nation. Segments of the Nigerian Federation or state have continued to mix religion and politics in ways that have undermined progress, unity, tolerance and development across the country.

In particular, political Islam rules in the Muslim majority states in the north. Contrary to the constitution, sharia is the state law, Islam is the state religion, and jihad is a way of retaining, restoring, or securing the Islamic political status quo.

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Meriam Ibrahim death sentence draws formal complaint against Sudan

Four African rights organisations step up pressure on Khartoum to release woman convicted of apostasy

 According to Guardian, pressure on the Sudanese government to release Meriam Ibrahim stepped up on Monday with a formal complaint against authorities in Khartoum brought by four African organisations alleging multiple violations of fundamental rights.

The death sentence imposed on the Sudanese mother, who has been in prison since February, should be suspended, and she and her two children immediately released, they say.

The four organisations – the African Centre of Justice and Peace Studies, the Sudanese Organisation for Development and Rehabilitation, the Sudanese Human Rights Initiative, and the Justice Centre for Advocacy and Legal Consultancy – together with Redress, a London-based anti-torture group, say Sudan has violated Ibrahim's fundamental rights as enshrined in the African charter on human rights, which the Khartoum government ratified in 1986.

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Complaint lodged after Scottish Parliament used to launch evangelical Christian manifesto

 Secular campaigners in Scotland have lodged a formal complaint after the Scottish Parliament was used by an evangelical Christian group to launch a manifesto ahead of the Scottish independence referendum taking place in September.

Edinburgh Secular Society (ESS) claims official guidance was breached when Holyrood was used by Evangelical Alliance Scotland (EAS) to host a reception to mark the publication of its manifesto entitled What Kind of Nation?

Official guidelines say organisations "are not permitted to use the parliament complex for official launches of any kind". In its complaint to Scottish Parliamentary, the ESS say the event constitutes a "clear and extremely serious "breach of the rules

For more details please check National Secular Society 

Myanmar lawmakers to debate law curbing religious conversions

Lawmakers in Myanmar debate proposed laws that aim to protect the country’s majority Buddhist identity by regulating religious conversions and interfaith marriages.

According to Reuters, the proposals come amidst rising sectarian tension in Myanmar, which has exploded in violent clashes between Buddhists and Muslims, killing at least 237 people and displacing more than 140,000 since June 2012.

The vast majority of victims were Muslims who make up only about 5 percent of Myanmar's population of 60 million.

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Apostasy woman in Sudan sentenced to death forced to give birth 'with her legs chained'

A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for apostasy was forced to give birth in prison with her legs chained, her husband has claimed.

Daniel Wani said his wife Meriam Yahya Ibrahim gave birth to a girl in the early hours of Tuesday morning in the hospital wing of Omdurman Women’s Prison.

"They kept a chain on her legs," he told The Telegraph. "She is very unhappy about that."

Amnesty International said Ms Ibrahim has been shackled in heavy chains since being sentenced to death, a customary practice for prisoners facing execution.

Meriam, the 27-year-old doctor, whose father was Muslim but was raised as a Christian by her mother, was convicted of apostasy and adultery and sentenced to death by a court in Khartoum after refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

For more details go to Independent

 

 

Turkey sentences Twitter user to jail for blasphemy

A Turkish court on Thursday sentenced a teacher to 15-month jail term over Twitter posts deemed religiously offensive,  Hurriyet newspaper reported on Thursday.

The court in the eastern city of Mus ruled that the man, identified as Ertan P., insulted Islamic values with his Twitter handle -- @allah (cc) -- and a series of tweets he posted.

He pretending to tweet as god: "In my present state of mind, I would not have created the little finger of human beings".

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Saudi Arabia amending laws to monitor social media

The Saudi authorities are reviewing the Anti-Cybercrime Law to amend it so as to initiate legal proceedings against social networking sites such as Twitter for allowing accounts which promote adultery, homosexuality and atheism, according to a report published in a section of the Arabic press on Sunday.

according to Alarabiya, Researcher and consultant of new media uses and Shoura Council member Dr. Fayez al-Shehri told Al-Hayat Arabic daily that there are around 25,000 accounts on Twitter targeting Saudis. There are around 4,500 accounts that promote atheism. Around 15,000-25,000 of such accounts are in Arabic language.

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Do not walk your dog here! Muslims don't like dogs

A sign declaring a London park an “Islamic area” and ordering dog walkers to stay away because “Muslims do not like dogs” is being investigated by police.

The warning, branded “alarming and divisive” by the local council, appeared in Bartlett Park in east London’s Poplar.

It read: "Do not walk your dog here! Muslims do not like dogs. This is an Islamic area now."

Local Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick alerted police to the sign after a dog walker complained.

The problem is that police is not sure whether Muslim done this or anti-Muslim groups. But anyway it is alarm bell for intolerance and dividing society.  

For more details check Independent

 

Total 123 Years of Imprisonment For 8 People Active On Facebook In Iran

The Tehran Revolutionary Court, sentenced 8 men and women, active on Facebook to more than 123 years of imprisonment.

These 8 people were charged with assembly and collusion against the national security, insulting the Supreme Leader, insulting the authorities, propaganda against the regime, blasphemy, and spreading lies and disturbing the public’s peace.

According to the Kaleme website, these people who were arrested last year and were interrogated at the IRGC Ward 2-A in Evin prison, were tried and sentenced collectively to more than 123 years of imprisonment in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Moghayeseh,.

The sentences issued by lower court are as follows:

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Pregnant Woman Stoned by Family

25-year-old pregnant woman has been stoned to death by her own family members, with her father dubbing the atrocity an “honor killing.”

Farzana Parveen was killed in broad daylight by nearly 20 members of her family before a crowd of onlookers outside the High Court in the eastern city of Lahore, Pakistan.

As she walked up to the court’s main gate with her husband Mohammad Iqbal, relatives waiting for the couple’s arrival fired shots in the air and attempted to snatch her away. When she resisted, the attackers, who included her father, two brothers and her former fiancé, started beating her and her husband, before escalating the attack with bricks obtained from a nearby construction site.

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