Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Alleging blasphemy, fanatics hack lecturer’s hand

Posted in News by Skepdude on July 6, 2010

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT TIMES OF INDIA

In a horrific instance of Talibanism, Muslim fanatics in Kerala on Sunday chopped off the right hand of a college lecturer, accusing him of setting a question paper with a derogatory reference to the Prophet.

Lecturer T J Joseph was returning home from church with his mother and sister around 8.30 am in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district when he was accosted by the attackers. “We had just got into our car when a van pulled up in front. Around eight people armed with swords and knives emerged and pulled out Joseph after smashing the windscreen.
They then chopped off his right hand and stabbed him in the left thigh,” said Joseph’s sister, Mary Stella, a nun.

“When we tried to prevent them, they attacked me and and our mother before exploding bombs and fleeing.”

A police team recovered the severed hand from the compound of a house about 200m away. The 52-year-old lecturer was rushed to a private hospital where his condition is serious.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT TIMES OF INDIA

Girl gets raped in bakcwards muslim country….

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 27, 2010

I think you can guess how the story progresses, roughly right? Let me recap it for you: 16-year-old gets raped; she gets pregnant; “elders” issue fatwa against her and her family; she’s given 101 lashes; rapist is pardoned. Surprised?

The girl was raped by a 20-year-old villager in Brahmanbaria district in April last year.

Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper reported that she was so ashamed following the attack that she did not lodge a complaint.

Her rape emerged after her pregnancy test and Muslim elders in the village issued a fatwa insisting that the girl be kept in isolation until her family agreed to corporal punishment.

Her rapist was pardoned by the elders. She told the newspaper the rapist had “spoiled” her life.

“I want justice,” she said.

Guess God works in mysterious ways huh?

Submission Part 1

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on October 10, 2009

Egypt anger over virginity faking

Posted in News by Skepdude on September 28, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT BBC

A leading Egyptian scholar has demanded that people caught importing a female virginity-faking device into the country should face the death penalty.

Abdul Mouti Bayoumi said supplying the item was akin to spreading vice in society, a crime punishable by death in Islamic Sharia law.

The device is said to release liquid imitating blood, allowing a female to feign virginity on her wedding night.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT BBC

Sudan women ‘lashed for trousers’

Posted in News by Skepdude on July 14, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT BBC NEWS

Several Sudanese women have been flogged as a punishment for dressing “indecently”, according to a local journalist who was arrested with them.

Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, who says she is facing 40 lashes, said she and 12 other women wearing trousers were arrested in a restaurant in the capital, Khartoum.

She told the BBC several of the women had pleaded guilty to the charges and had 10 lashes immediately.

Khartoum, unlike South Sudan, is governed by Sharia law.

Several of those punished were from the mainly Christian and animist south, Ms Hussein said.

Non-Muslims are not supposed to be subject to Islamic law, even in Khartoum and other parts of the mainly Muslim north.

She said that a group of about 20 or 30 police officers entered the popular Khartoum restaurant and arrested all the women wearing trousers.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT BBC NEWS

Bloomberg has almost got it right…almost

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 1, 2009

A recent article on the NYTimes reports that the City Council voted to add two Muslim holidays to the public school’s holiday schedule. Mayor Bloomberg has a problem with this:

Spurred by a broad coalition of religious, labor and immigrant groups, the City Council overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Tuesday to add two of the most important Muslim holy days to the public schools’ holiday calendar.

But the vote, which was nonbinding, put the Council in conflict with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has the final say to designate the days off and has said he is resolutely opposed to the idea.

The mayor told reporters before the vote that not all religions could be accommodated on the holiday schedule, only those with “a very large number of kids who practice.”

“If you close the schools for every single holiday, there won’t be any school,” he said. “Educating our kids requires time in the classroom, and that’s the most important thing to us.”

I agree with this, however, Mayor Bloomberg seems to reach the wrong conclusion. It is true that you cannot accomodate every religion, therefore you should accomodate none! First of all,  kids don’t practice any religion. It is their parents that do so, so this issue is not about the kids who practice and how numerous they are. Second, since when is an argument from popularity acceptable when issues of civil rights and equal treatment are on the plate? Such argument only makes sense to the people on the majority. Furthermore, if the City Council felt pressured to pass this resolution it appears to me that the Muslim population must be quite numerous.

The current school calendar recognizes major Christian and Jewish holy days like Christmas and Yom Kippur, but no Muslim holy days.

Can you say discrimination? I don’t know about you, but I live in NYC and I can tell you that there are many, many practicing Muslims living here. If the state is going to honor Christian and Jewish holidays then they cannot discriminate against Muslim ones, based on some cowardly argument from popularity. In fact they should not be discriminating against any religious belief regardless of how numerous or not it’s followers are. The First Amendment to the US Constitution says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

Picking and choosing which religion deserves to be recognized in the public schools’ holiday calendar is in fact doing the opposite, by firmly endorsing and supporting the Christian and Jewish faith over the Muslim faith. As such the only solution that is in line with the US Constitution and which is equally fair to every US Citizen and resident is not to endorse any religious holidays and exclude all religious holidays from the calendar. If the holiday is so important to the parents of the children they can keep the kids home.

The state’s job is not to decide which religion should be favored over which other religion. It’s job is to be equally indifferent to all religions. Mayor Bloomberg would do well to remember that.

To everyone who wants prayer in American public schools

Posted in Saganist by Skepdude on July 1, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT THE SAGANIST.

To everyone who wants prayer in American public schools: I say fine. That’s a great idea. In fact, it would be much more convenient, especially for the dhuhr, if it were led by school officials. That way, no students would have to worry about drawing attention to themselves when they take out their individual prayer mats at whatever time they deem best. After the recitation of adhan and iqama over the public address system, the gym would probably be the best place to gather for school prayer. That way, everyone can say the prayer together and no one will feel left out. There could even be markings on the gym wall to ensure that everyone knows the exact direction to Mecca.

prayerWhat’s that you say? You don’t want to take part in these prayers? I will remind you that Allah’s mercy is great for those who believe in him and obey, but he has little patience for infidels. Nevertheless, you will not be forced to take part in school prayer. You may sit around the edges of the gym and watch. Everyone is free to participate or not. There’s no need to feel you are being discriminated against, just because you choose not to take part in the historic American tradition of school prayer.

You’re still not satisfied with this arrangement? I thought you were the one who wanted school prayer in the first place! Oh, I see… you only want school prayer in the manner of your religion. Well, I’m sorry to say that not everyone believes in your religion, and we can’t have school prayers for every possible religion! That would be ridiculous! Why don’t you just pray silently to your own god while everyone else is reciting the school prayer?

Still not good enough? Okay, how about this compromise. Instead of trying to shove any particular religion into public schools, why don’t we just focus on educating the students instead?

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT THE SAGANIST.

Help the Freethinker caption this photo

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on June 23, 2009

Help The Freethinker with this photo. They want a smart ass caption. See if you can top the current entries. Click picture to go to the Freethinker website.

Wet Burqa

‘Religion of Beauty’ claims another victim

Posted in The Freethinker by Skepdude on June 21, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “THE FREETHINKER”

A YOUNG Christian in Pakistan who made the mistake of ordering a cup of tea from a “Muslims only” roadside stall was beaten and stabbed to death by a mob of 15, led by the stall owner.

According to this report, Ishtiaq Masih failed to see a sign warning non-Muslims to declare their religion before being served at the stall, located in Machharkay village, Punjab.

A typical tea stall in PakistanA typical tea stall in Pakistan

When Ishtiaq went to pay for his tea, the owner – a devout practitioner of  the Religion of  Beauty – noticed that the customer was wearing a necklace with a cross. He seized Ishtiaq – a passenger on a bus which had stopped for a break at the stall – and called for his employees to bring anything available to beat him for violating the rule.

The owner and 14 of his employees then beat Ishtiaq with stones, iron rods and clubs, and stabbed him multiple times with kitchen knives.

Other bus passengers and passers-by finally intervened and took Ishtiaq to the Rural Health Centre in the village. The doctor who examined Ishtiaq later told International Christian Concern that Ishtiaq had died of internal and external bleeding, a fractured skull, and brain injuries.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “THE FREETHINKER”

Married girl’s murder in cold blood

Posted in News by Skepdude on May 20, 2009

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT “DAILY TIMES”

RAWALPINDI: The family of a young girl killed in cold blood by her husband and mother-in-law has been shuttling between the offices of Regional Police Officer (RPO) Nasir Khan Durrani and City Police Officer (CPO) Rao Muhammad Iqbal for justice for over two months but of no avail.

Blinking back his tears, Usman Ali, the brother of ill-fated Saba Sehar, 22, told Daily Times in a choked voice that his sister was married to Azhar Aziz, a resident of Adiala Road, last year.

He said in February this year Azhar in assistance with his mother, Azizun Nisa, beat his sister in revenge for not giving the hand of their youngest sister to his younger brother. They beat Saba black and blue, and when she collapsed on the floor from torture and demanded water, Azhar poured acid in her mouth.

Usman said that his family shifted Saba to Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Hospital (BBSH) where she succumbed to injuries on March 13.

Suspended between life and death, the victim narrated the entire episode to the investigation officer of Saddar Bairooni police. The police registered a case under Section 302/34 against Azhar and his mother and sent the former to Adiala Jail on judicial remand. However, his mother being co-accused was not arrested despite registration of an FIR.

In her death statement registered by the police, Saba said, “My mother-in-law grabbed me by hair, while my husband punched and kicked me, making me almost unconscious. When I fell down on the ground and was in a daze, I called for water. But my husband poured a glassful of acid in my mouth.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT “DAILY TIMES”

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