Man and woman allege 'noise' five times a day meant they couldn't relax
A couple has lost their bid for compensation from a travel agent after they said their holiday to Turkey was ruined by the call to prayer from a nearby mosque.
The man and woman, who have not been named, demanded half of the £1,900 they spent on the all-inclusive break, claiming they were disturbed by the sound of the Adhan repeated five times a day.
They alleged their holiday, to the Turkish town of Doganbey on the Aegean coast, was ruined by the 'noise', which summoned Muslim worshippers to prayers from a loudspeaker mounted on a nearby mosque from 6am.
The German couple filed the complaint against a travel agent in Hannover, saying they were not able to relax at the five-star Angora Beach Resort Hotel.
This month, as reported by Reuters, the Egyptian government announced new measures to increase “supervision over all Egypt's mosques so that they do not fall into the hands of extremists and the unqualified.” The removal of thousands of clerics—numbering 12,000, according to the government’s statement—comes in the context of the ongoing struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military-backed regime.
Outside observers of this struggle may be tempted to frame it as a contest between an Islamist theocracy and a secular state, albeit an alarmingly iron-fisted one. However, as revealed in a discussion of the future of Egyptian democracy by academics, journalists, and activists convened at The Immanent Frame, the situation is far more complex.
While the government’s recent measures will strike many as draconian, they’re unfolding within an environment of established law, as presented in a fine-grained analysis by Amr Ezzat, a journalist and researcher on religious freedom with the Cairo-based Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. By law, all sermons, religious instruction, and charitable activities taking place in and around the country’s mosques are subject to the oversight of the Ministry of Endowments, which seeks compliance with a “moderate” Sunni conception of the faith as represented by the intellectual orthodoxy of al-Azhar.
A doctor in Egypt is set to stand trial on Thursday in relation to the female genital mutilation (FGM) of a child who died of complications. It is the first attempt to prosecute over a procedure banned in Egypt since 2008.
Thirteen-year-old Soheir al-Batea, from the small northern village of Diyarb Buqtaris, succumbed to an allergic reaction to penicillin on June 6, 2013, allegedly after being cut by Dr. Raslan Fadl, according to forensic reports seen by Equality Now, an international rights NGO that has pushed for the prosecution.
The teenager’s death has formed what is being seen as a test case on the issue in a country where four in five young women reportedly undergo the procedure, despite the ban.
Some Egyptian women and feminists say they hope the prosecution of Raslan Fadl will start a precedent to enforce laws against the practice. But others say the share of girls who undergo the procedure behind closed doors at home — often in less sanitary conditions — may grow. At present, UNICEF estimates that around 70 percent of procedures are carried out surreptitiously at a medical clinic.
The top official of the first ever Atheism Association founded in Turkey has invited religious people to become members too, ruling out atheist proselytizing.
Tolga İnci, interim chair of the association based in Istanbul’s Kadıköy neighborhood, told daily Hürriyet that they had 11 founders and 90 supporting members so far. He said their doors “are open to everybody.”
“You don’t have to be an atheist to come. Anybody who understands and accepts the charter of our association can become a member. Even religious people should come and see what kind of people atheists are,” İnci said, stressing that his association would not get involved in politics.
In an interview with daily Agos last month, the founders had said their main goal would be providing legal support to people facing problems as atheists in Turkey.
The European Parliament passed three resolutions on 17 April, supporting the recommendations of the UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in North Korea; expressing deep concern at the increase in sectarian violence and religious intolerance in Pakistan; and condemning the recent attacks against religious and ethnic communities and the suffering of women and children in Syria.
Persecution in Pakistan
MEPs are gravely concerned that the controversial blasphemy laws are open to misuse which can affect people of all faiths in Pakistan. They ask the authorities to review them and their application. They also call for hate material to be removed from the curricula and for teaching on community and religious tolerance to be included in the basic syllabus.
All acts of violence against religious communities and all kinds of discrimination and intolerance on the grounds of religion and beliefs are strongly condemned by MEPs, who are concerned that minority women and girls often suffer twice, through the practice of forced conversion and targeted sexual violence.
The Shi'ite Islamic community in Iraq is divided a week before the countrywide elections on April 30 with Grand Ayatollah's disputing what kind of candidate Iraqi Shiites should vote for.
Photo: (Left) Grand Ayatollah Kazem Haeri, (right) Moqtada Sadr
Asharq Al-Awsat informs us that an Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah in Iraq named Kazem Al-Haeri has recently issued a fatwa (religious decree) which forbids the election by Shiites of any "secular" candidate in this upcoming election.
Haeri used to be a member of the Dawa Party which is headed by the present Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, whose second term in office — which began in 2010 — is coming to an end. The Shi'ite parties that helped him win reelection back then — the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and the Sadrist Movement — are quite critical of his performance in the last three years, particularly whereby issues pertaining to security and stability in that volatile and unstable country are concerned.
Middle East Monitor has a useful and comprehensive overview of Maliki himself and the opponents he will be facing in the upcoming election.
Ahmad Shaheed, the UN rapporteur on human rights in Iran, has expressed grave concern regarding the trial, alleged confessions and imminent execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari.
On Monday April 14, Shaheed called for a reconsideration of the judicial sentence against the 26-year-old Jabbari.
Jabbari was arrested seven year ago for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a physician and former employee of the intelligence ministry. Jabbari stabbed Sarbandi at his office after suspecting that he intended to sexually assault her and fled the scene.