Saudi actor arrested by religious police for taking selfies with female fans in mall

By Adam Withnall - Independent
A popular actor and TV presenter has been arrested in a mall in Saudi Arabia after his appearance caused a huge commotion among young female fans.
Abdul Aziz al-Kassar, a Saudi national who lives in Kuwait, was on a working visit to Riyadh when he was mobbed by fans trying to take pictures and selfies with him.
Kassar had publicised his visit to the Al Nakheel shopping centre on Friday evening, asking his social media followers for recommendations of "the best mall to visit", Gulf News reported.
But in a TV interview at the weekend, he told the Gulf Rotana network he had not expected the "overwhelming" welcome he received from fans.

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According to NL Times, the Dutch branch of the Church of Scientology has lost its tax status as "public welfare institution", and the tax benefits that go along with it, in a ruling made by the court in The Hague on Wednesday.
The court decided that the sales of the Church's expensive courses and therapy sessions are clearly aimed at making a profit, and thus it does not belong on the tax authorities' charity list.
Scientologists believe that there are two major divisions of the mind – the reactive mind and the analytical mind, according to Wikipedia. The reactive mind stores painful and debilitating images, "engrams", that move people further away from their true identity. The Church promises believers that they can get rid of these engrams with special techniques and eventually achieve a "clear" state – a sort of super human with a clear mind. The Church offers courses and therapy sessions to work towards this "clear" state, and these quickly cost thousands of euros.

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Indonesia's Aceh introduces strict anti-gay law

According to BBC, Strict laws against homosexuality have come into effect in the conservative Indonesian province of Aceh.
Gay sex between Muslim men or women, both locals and foreigners, can now be punished with 100 strokes of the cane.
The law, passed in 2014 but only now being enforced, has faced opposition by rights groups.

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Bomb blasts kill 61 in Maiduguri, Yola mosques

Acoording to The Sun News, Blood dripped yesterday in the ancient towns of Mai­duguri, the Borno State capital, and Yola, Ad­amawa State capital, as bombers suspected to be members of Boko Haram sent over 60 persons to their early graves.
It started in Maiduguri, where a male suicide bomber ran into a mosque in busy area of the metropolis and deto­nated explosive devices, which killed at least 11 worshippers.

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Why are Indian Sikhs angry?

BBC - Sikhs in the northern Indian state of Punjab have staged protests, enforced strikes and blocked roads in several towns and cities in the past week.
The spark for the current bout of protests came after a torn-up copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib - Sikhism's holy book - was found in the village of Bargari, near Kot Kapura in Faridkot district.
The alleged desecration of the holy book angered many who came out to protest in Behbal Kalan, a nearby village, last Wednesday.
As tempers soared, police opened fire. They say they shot in the air, but two protesters were killed and dozens of others wounded.
The killings have further angered Sikh community members who have taken to blocking highways and bridges, demanding action against those who they say desecrated the holy book.

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Al-Shabab recruits return to Kenya after quitting group

According to BBC, Nearly 700 recruits have returned to Kenya after quitting militant groups, a report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.
The report warns that a failure to reintegrate returnees may lead to further radicalisation.
Somalia's Islamist al-Shabab militants are believed to be recruiting heavily in neighbouring north-eastern Kenya.
Kenya has seen a series of militant attacks with one at a university earlier this yearkilled 148 people.

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Who Is Afraid of Mauritanian Mohamed Cheikh? It Is About Slavery Not the Prophet!

By Elham Manea - Huffington Post 
You probably did not hear about his case. And if you did, his fate may not have mattered much to you.
His name is difficult any way! Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir. How do you pronounce such a name?
And his country? Mauritania! Among the poorest in the Middle East and North Africa. So remote, so poor, so far away.
His charge? Apostasy! Blasphemy. Again.
He was sentenced in December 2014 to death for writing an article that was construed as 'critical of Mohammed', the Prophet of Islam. Today, he awaits his execution.

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Battling for India’s soul, state by state

According to RNS (Religion News Service), an ascendant Hindu nationalist group wants minority Muslims and Christians to accept that India is a nation of Hindus, and is pushing some of them to convert.
An election in the volatile state of West Bengal has become a prime target in its game plan.
The group's strategy: To spread its Hindu-first ideology to all corners of India by propelling the ruling party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power in as many states as possible. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) provided the foot soldiers in last year's landslide general election victory by Modi, who joined the movement in his youth.

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