Arrests in Saudi Arabia over atheist video

Saudi Arabia’s religious police has threatened to jail those behind two videos, including one promoting atheism, according to local media.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the Haia) has denied a man who appears to be one of its personnel in a clip is a member of the Haia, according to Arabian Business.

In the video, the man, standing next to a Haia-marked vehicle threatens homosexuals and men who blackmail young women.

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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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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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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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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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Egypt campaigns against atheism

According to Al-Monitor, the Ministry of Awqaf (religious endowment), in partnership with the Ministry of Sports and Youth in Egypt, has begun a national campaign to fight the presumed spread of atheism among youth.

Thus, those state departments decided to break into the world of atheists without having the slightest information that would allow them to control this phenomenon in any possible way.

Both Sheikh Ahmad Turk, director of mosques at the Ministry of Awqaf and in charge of the campaign against atheism, and Nuamat Sati, who is in charge of the campaign at the Ministry of Youth, told Al-Monitor that the spread of the phenomenon of atheism, specifically among youth, is what pushed the ministries to undertake this campaign today.

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An Iraqi Group Helping Women and Gays Is Receiving Death Threats

By Jacob Siegel

According to The Daily Beast, Religious groups are threatening to kill the members one of the few Iraqi organizations dedicated to helping women and gays.

Dalal Jumaa, member of  the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq said “This morning they called and said if you do not move from this house we will kill you.”

It was the police who phoned the organization Sunday morning, she said. They told her they had heard she harbored gay men and runaway girls. But the threat, which the police were relaying, came from Asaib Ahl al Haq, a powerful and notoriously brutal Shia militia in Baghdad. “I cannot stop Asaib Ahl al Haq,” the policeman told her, “they received this information and will kill you if you don’t leave.”

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