Bahram Radan deleted tweet in support of US supreme court decision after criticism from hardline media and homophobic abuse
According to The Guardian, a leading Iranian actor has apologised after coming under pressure over a tweet he posted in support of a historic US supreme court ruling on gay marriage.
Bahram Radan, who is known as the Iranian Brad Pitt, created controversy in the country when his tweet hailed a verdict last week which made same-sex marriage a legal right across the entirety of the US. Homosexuality remains a taboo subject inside the Islamic republic and is punishable by death.
"The US supreme court's ruling that same-sex marriage is legal was historic, perhaps on the scale of the end of slavery ... from Lincoln to Obama," the award-winning actor tweeted in Persian at the weekend.
But within a few hours, after many users bombarded him with homophobic abuse and hardline media criticised him, Radan deleted the tweet.
South Sudan's army and allied militias "abducted, torched and gang-raped girls" during fighting against rebel forces, a UN report says.
According to BBC, investigators found that at least 172 women and girls were abducted and subjected to sexual violence, it added.
One woman was "dragged out of her hut and gang-raped in front of her three-year old child", the report said.
The government denies its army has committed atrocities but says it will study the report.
The UN Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) said abuses during the 18-month civil war had reached a new scale of intensity and horror in recent fighting in the oil-producing Unity State.
BY REUVEN FIRESTONE – USC Annenberg
"I know that not all Christians are right-wing extremist terrorists, but why are all right-wing extremist terrorists Christians?"
This is the question I'm never asked. But as somebody who actually knows something about Islam and about the complex history of Muslim relations with Jews and Christians, I am often asked the following: "I know that not all Muslims are terrorists, but why are all terrorists Muslim?"
Last week, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Columbia, walked into a study session at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. After sitting for an hour he shot nearly everybody at the meeting. That was an act of terror. He was not a Muslim. As far as we know he was acting alone, like the Tsarnaev brothers, though both were undoubtedly influenced by organized groups through social media and other electronic sources. Was Christianity the motivation for Roof's brutal violence?
One could make the case. The Christian Crusades were a violent European military movement directed not only against infidels, but against people of color living outside the boundaries of Europe. That's a parallel to the argument that I often hear among non-Muslims that Muslims were bent on a violent conquest against all infidels. But more to the point, many of the white supremacist groups in the US are united under the banner of "Christian Unity," while the Ku Klux Klan websiteclaims that its "better way" is "the Christian way."
According to Pink News; a US pastor has threatened to set himself on fire to stop loving gay couples from being legally recognized.
Texas pastor Rick Scarborough made the claim ahead of an anticipated ruling from the Supreme Court later this month – which could bring same-sex marriage to all 50 states including Texas.
One-upping the Australian Christian couple who have threatened to divorce if the ban on same-sex marriage is lifted, the Texan appeared to threaten to burn himself alive.
He said: "We're simply being pre-emptive and saying, no matter what the cost, we are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and we will burn."
The preacher also claimed that religious leaders should offer themselves up to be shot dead.
Police in France are still questioning a man suspected of carrying out an attack on a factory near Lyon, in which a man was found decapitated.
According to BBC, Yassin Salhi, 35, caused an explosion by ramming his car into an area containing flammable liquids, prosecutors say.
His boss, the owner of a delivery firm, was found beheaded alongside flags with Arabic inscriptions.
President Francois Hollande is holding a security meeting with ministers.
Yassin Sahli had been investigated in the past about his alleged links with Islamist militants.
France is on its highest state of alert after the attack in the small town of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier some 40km (25 miles) from Lyon.
A deeply divided Supreme Court on Friday delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5 to 4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live.
The court's action rewarded years of legal work by same-sex marriage advocates and marked the culmination of an unprecedented upheaval in public opinion and the nation's jurisprudence.
Marriages began Friday in states that had previously thwarted the efforts of same-sex couples to wed, while some states continued to resist what they said was a judicial order that changed the traditional definition of marriage and sent the country into uncharted territory. As of the court's decision Friday morning, there were 14 states where same-sex couples were not allowed to marry.
By Tom Porter - International Business Times
At least 30 people have been killed after gunmen attacked an African Union military base in Somalia.
The attack on the base in Leego, southern Somalia, has been claimed by Islamist group al-Shabaab, which claims that its fighters have taken control of the base and raised their black flag over it.
The BBC reports that 30 are believed to have been killed, with scores more injured.
The fighting was the heaviest ever around this area. "The al-Shabaab fighters took full control of the base and killed many soldiers," Alinur Mohamed, an village elder from Leego, told AFP.
The base was manned by 100 Burundian soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
According to BBC, an Islamic court has sentenced nine people to death for insulting the Prophet Muhammad in the northern Nigerian city of Kano.
The accused, who were all Muslims, had pleaded guilty, the head of Kano's religious police, Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa, told the BBC.
The trial was speedily done in secret after a section of the court was burnt down by angry protesters last month.
It is not known if they will appeal against the sentence.
The alleged offence was committed last month at a religious gathering in honour of Sheikh Ibrahim Niasse, the Senegalese founder of the Tijaniya sect, which has a large following across West Africa.
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