Sunday, August 20, 2017

Pakistan: Right-Wing Activist Judge Urges Parliament to Prosecute Blasphemy Cases Under Terrorism Laws

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“We hold the judiciary in high regard, but it hurts to see senior judges showing religious prejudice in their observations as well as judgments.”

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court recommended
prosecution of the blasphemy cases under Terrorism Law of Pakistan. 
Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Morning Star News
By Morning Star News | August 19, 2017

LAHORE, Pakistan – In an expanded order to remove “blasphemous” content from social media in Pakistan, a high court judge included a recommendation that Parliament include terrorism charges against those accused of blasphemy.

Last Saturday’s (Aug. 12) recommendation by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court is unlikely to result in action by Parliament, but it reflects a radical strain of thought at high levels in Pakistan and will be seriously debated in the National Assembly, sources said.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Indonesia: Police interviews fugitive extremists cleric Rizieq Shihab in KSA over pornography distribution

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National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian confirmed on Friday that a team of investigators had been dispatched to Saudi Arabia to question Rizieq.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | AU Desk
Source/Credit: The Jakarta Post
By TJP (Edited by AT/TOA) | August 19, 2017

Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab expects to return to Indonesia from Saudi Arabia following the move by the National Police to question him in the Middle Eastern kingdom in relation to a pornography case.

Rizieq, who played a key role in street protests that called for the prosecution of former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja "Ahok" Purnama for blasphemy, was put on the police's most-wanted list after he fled to Saudi Arabia in late May.

Rizieq, a popular agitator of commotions against Ahmadiyah Muslims in Indonesia, was named a suspect in the pornography case following the spread of sexually explicit WhatsApp chats allegedly between him and Firza Hussein, who has also been named a suspect in the case.

US Commission wants to designate Pakistan as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’

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“Provincial textbooks with discriminatory content against minorities remain a significant concern. Reports also continue of forced conversions and marriages of Hindu and Christian girls and women.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: The Indian Panorama
By Panorama | August 19, 2017

Commission slammed both India and Pakistan for religious intolerance in its 2017 annual report 

WASHINGTON: The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), that researches and monitors international religious freedom issues, in its latest report has suggested that the US State Department should immediately designate Pakistan as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).

USCIRF’s 2017 annual report which was released on Aug 15, slammed Pakistani government as they ‘continued to perpetrate and tolerate systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations.’

UK: Leading Catholic theologian wants to change canon law to correct papal errors

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Fr Nichols said that neither the Western nor Eastern Codes of Canon Law contain a procedure “for enquiry into the case of a pope believed to have taught doctrinal error, much less is there provision for a trial.”

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Catholic Herald
By Dan Hitchens | August 18, 2017

Fr Aidan Nichols said that Pope Francis's teaching had led to an 'extremely grave' situation

A prominent theologian has proposed reforming canon law to allow a pope’s doctrinal errors to be established.

Fr Aidan Nichols, a prolific author who has lectured at Oxford and Cambridge as well as the Angelicum in Rome, said that Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia had led to an “extremely grave” situation.

Fr Nichols proposed that, given the Pope’s statements on issues including marriage and the moral law, the Church may need “a procedure for calling to order a pope who teaches error”.

Perspective: Pakistan | Past and Prejudice | Khaled Ahmad

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Our national poet and philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal — who was knighted by the Raj and didn’t give up his knighthood like Rabindranath Tagore after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre — was supposed to be our guide on ideology.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: The India Express
By Khaled Ahmed | August 19, 2017

What stares us in the face now is what Pakistan rejected of Iqbal.

I must confess my admiration for the Indian politician Shashi Tharoor. It has a lot to do with my “inebriation with the spoken word”. The occasion was the May 2015 Oxford Union debate, “Britain owes Reparations to Her Former Colonies” which I saw on video. After Tharoor was done with his speech, there was no doubt who had won the day. He has followed up with a book, An Era of Darkness, which I find convincing and informative in equal measure. It is a clever dig at Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul who wrote not so glowingly about India in An Area of Darkness (the book was initially banned in India). But Naipaul went on to even the scales by writing Among the Believers, which caused much consternation in Pakistan. This writer, who had given the book a positive review, was sent messages that barely concealed their threats.

Pakistan: 16 years old Christian boy arrested on blasphemy

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The conspiracy started several weeks ago when Maju started rumors about Stephen burning a copy of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, at the tomb shrine.

Members of a Christian advocacy groups record family statements
Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US desk
Source/Credit: Pakistan Christian Post
By AT/TOA | August 19, 2017

Lahore: Asif Stephen, a 16 years old Christian boy is held accused of blasphemy and authorities have charged him under sections 295-B of Pakistan Penal Code on 12th August 2017.

Mullah (cleric) Qari Rana Mohammad Arshad of the Village jhamkay Tehsil Wazeer Abad, District Gujranwala is the Complainant in this case and Mohammad Nawaz alias Majhu is reported as an eyewitness.

Asif collects papers and used plastic bottles from garbage and sell them to support his family. Asif also collects empty bottles from a local shrine, Sundhay Shah Tomb.

Muhammad Nawaz Maju also collects garbage and bottles from the Tomb and holds a competitive grudge against Asif for collecting bottles from an area Maju claims as his turf.

UK: Young Muslims from Kingston travel to Lake District to Run and Walk for charity to show True Islam

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The event is generally hosted in a different location each year, with previous locations including the Tower of London, Hyde Park, Battersea Park, Hampshire and the Yorkshire Dales.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Wimbledon Guardian
By Raza-ul Haq | August 18, 2017

The largest Muslim youth organisation in Britain, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) is to hold its 'Mercy for Mankind' Charity Challenge on Saturday 19th August in Fitz Park, Keswick.

Members of the organisation, some as young as 5, from Kingston and New Malden are joining other youth from across the country to practice the Islamic teachings of serving humanity by raising funds for British charities in the Half Marathon. They hope to dispel myths surrounding Islam by promoting its true peaceful values.

Over 700 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) are hoping to surpass £500,000 raised for UK charities, including, The Royal British Legion, Save the Children, NSPCC, Barnardos, CLIC Sargent, UNICEF, British Red Cross, Cumbria Community Foundation and others.

This year welcomes the 33rd Charity Challenge, which first began in 1985. Since its inception AMYA has raised in excess of £2 million for UK charities. The event is generally hosted in a different location each year, with previous locations including the Tower of London, Hyde Park, Battersea Park, Hampshire and the Yorkshire Dales.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Perspective: A Tale of State-Sponsored Persecution: The Ahmadiyyas of Pakistan | Akshay Shetty

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Ahmadiyyas were also barred from referring to their places of worship as mosques, or their calls to prayer as “Azan” along with other restrictions. The amendments were enthusiastically celebrated throughout Pakistan with joyous celebrations and festivities going on for days.

File photo: Cover pages of the 2014 Ahmadiyya Persecution Report. The report is
published yearly by Jama'at Ahmadiyya Pakistan
Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Youth Ki Awaz
By Akshay Shetty | August 18, 2017

In July 2014, an angry mob attacked and burnt five houses over alleged blasphemy in a neighbourhood in Gujranwala, Pakistan. Mubashara Jarra survived the attack even as she saw her seven-year old niece and mother die in front of her eyes. At the hospital where she received treatment, Mubashara gave birth to a stillborn. The only crime she and her family had committed was daring to dream of a peaceful life as an Ahmadiyya in Pakistan.

Ahmadiyya or Ahmadi is a minority sect who identify themselves as Muslims and follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the Quran. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad founded a Messianic movement that has its origins in British India, the Ahmadiyya community in 1889. He was born in Qadian, Punjab and was regarded by his followers as a messiah and a prophet. He declared that he had received divine revelation from Allah and claimed to be the ‘the awaited one’ – the Messiah foretold by Prophet Mohammad. Ghulam Ahmad believed that Islam and its society had severely deteriorated and divinely inspired reforms were required to reclaim it.

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