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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Boycott gay weddings, even family, says Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler

RNS (Religion News Service), Christians should not attend a same-sex wedding — even of their own child — because it signals "moral approval" of the union, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said in a new book.
Boycotting weddings of gay friends and loved ones will be excruciatingly difficult, the Rev. Albert Mohler wrote in "We Cannot Be Silent," which goes on sale Oct. 27.
"At some point, attendance will involve congratulating the couple for their union," he wrote. "If you can't congratulate the couple, how can you attend?"
Even if scientists prove people are born gay, the "sinfulness of homosexuality" would not be eliminated because human sin taints the world, Mohler said in addressing other topics of sexual identity. He contended that transgender people who are "saved" should consult with their pastors about whether to have surgery to return to their original gender.

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Zambia President Edgar Lungu Calls for a day of Prayer
By: Leo Igwe - The Maravi Post 
Footballers in Zambia will not be slugging it out this Sunday because authorities have ordered Zambians to pray, not to play. Matches fixed for this weekend have been postponed because Zambians will be observing a national day of prayer.
In a typical Taliban style, entertainment has been banned. And bar owners have been asked to close their shops because the government thinks that their businesses would corrupt the supplications of Zambians on this 'sacred' day.
The country's President, Edgar Lungu, has made it clear that this Southern African nation needed a 'prayer-ful' day 'to ask forgiveness and reconciliation'. He thinks 'forgiveness and reconciliation' are the defining canons of the solutions to national problems particularly the economic challenges which Zambia is facing at the moment. But my question to President Edgar is this: What is the connection between economic difficulties and prayers? Which nation in the world has solved its problems by praying? Which economic challenge does prayer solve?

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Saudi Arabia summons Czech ambassador over 'Satanic Verses'

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia has summoned the Czech ambassador over a coming translation of Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses."
A Saudi Foreign Ministry official said the ambassador was asked Friday to censor the coming Czech translation because the book "distorts the true religion of Islam." The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to speak to journalists.
Many Muslims consider "The Satanic Verses" blasphemous. Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling for Rushdie's death in 1989, and the book is widely banned across the Muslim world.
Iran has offered a $3 million reward for anyone who kills Rushdie. It also said it would boycott this year's Frankfurt Book Fair over a planned opening speech by the India-born British novelist.

Parents, church members charged in death of teen, beating of his brother

According to Utica OD, Two brothers were severely beaten — one of whom died — inside Word of Life Christian Church Monday afternoon, but the events that led up to 19-year-old Lucas Leonard's death and the assault of his younger brother Christopher, 17, still are unclear.
Both victims suffered injuries to their stomachs, genitals, backs and thighs, police said.
Police offered no motive for why the boys' parents, Bruce and Deborah Leonard of Clayville, would be involved in reportedly inflicting such injuries on their own children, however. The couple pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned on felony first-degree manslaughter charges Tuesday afternoon in New Hartford Town Court.
Four other church members were charged with felony second-degree assault for allegedly injuring Christopher Leonard. They are Joseph Irwin, 26, of Chadwicks; David Morey, 26, and Linda Morey, 54, both of Utica; and Sarah Ferguson, 33 of Clayville. All pleaded not guilty.

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Jewish state school ordered to stop selecting children based on details of parents’ sex life

British Humanist Association - Following an objection submitted by the Fair Admissions Campaign(FAC), a Jewish state school in north London has been ordered by the Office of the Schools Adjudicator to remove from its admission arrangements the requirement that parents comply with a strict set of rules relating to their sex life. Hasmonean High School in Barnet had been seeking assurances from prospective parents that they adhered to the 'laws of family purity', which state that a husband and wife may not engage in sexual relations during the period of her menstruation, and for seven days afterwards. The British Humanist Association (BHA), a founding member of the FAC, has welcomed the adjudicator's decision.
Assessing whether or not the requirement, which appears as part of the Questionnaire for Rabbis, represented a fair, clear and objective criterion, as is required by the School Admissions Code, the adjudicator stated that 'some parents applying for places at the school may find it embarrassing or intrusive'. He went on to conclude that it would not be possible for a Rabbi to objectively assess observance of the law, and therefore ordered the school to remove the requirement from its admission arrangements.

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