Islam -- Facts

-- Another Example of peaceful Islam - 11/6/12
-- Egyptian revolution failing to deliver for women - 7/17/12
-- Ägyptische Revolution nicht zu liefern für Frauen - 7/17/12
-- Consulate attack planned as 2-part militant assault, Libyan official says - 9/13/12
-- Lawmakers push for Obama administration to get tough over embassy attacks - 9/13/12
-- Saudi Arabia to punish men over converting woman to Christianity - 5/13/13

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 Saudi Arabia to punish men over converting woman to Christianity: paper

RIYADH (Reuters) - A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced two men to lashes and prison terms for converting a woman to Christianity and helping her flee the conservative Islamic kingdom, the Saudi Gazette reported on Monday.

A Lebanese Christian was sentenced to six years in prison and 300 lashes for converting the woman, while a Saudi Christian was sentenced to two years and 200 lashes for aiding her escape abroad, the English-language daily said. It added that the pair had challenged the verdict and would appeal.
A spokesman at the justice ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.

In Saudi Arabia, it is against the law for Muslims to abandon their faith, a practice known as apostasy. Proselytising for other religions or practicing them openly is also illegal.

Judges have considerable leeway in how to interpret the kingdom's Sharia code of Islamic law and are not bound by sentencing guidelines or a system of precedent. Both capital and corporal punishment are legal.

The case emerged last year after the woman's family complained that she had been "brainwashed" by colleagues at the insurance company where she worked and that they had helped her leave Saudi Arabia via Bahrain on false documents.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was granted asylum in Sweden last year, the newspaper reported.

Last year King Abdullah, opened a center for religious dialogue (Proselytising for Islam) in Vienna that drew criticism because of Saudi Arabia's own lack of religious freedom. In 2008 he also did it in Spain.

(Reporting By Angus McDowall, Editing by William Maclean and Alistair Lyon)


 Pakistani parents say they killed daughter for eyeing boy

Posted November 6, 2012

ISLAMABAD A Pakistani couple accused of killing their 15-year-old daughter by pouring acid on her carried out the attack because she sullied the family's honor by looking at a boy, the couple said in an interview broadcast Monday by the BBC.

The girl's death underlines the problem of so-called "honor killings" in Pakistan where women are often killed for marrying or having relationships not approved by their families or because they are perceived to have somehow dishonored their family.

The girl's parents, Mohammad Zafar and his wife Zaheen, recounted the Oct. 29 incident from jail. The father said the girl had turned to look at a boy who drove by on a motorcycle, and he told her it was wrong.

"She said 'I didn't do it on purpose. I won't look again.' By then I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way," the girl's mother told the British broadcaster.

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Television footage of the couple showed them standing behind bars in separate, but adjoining jail cells.

The father said the family had already come under public censure because of their older daughter's behavior, but he did not detail what exactly he meant.

Pakistani officials initially said the attack occurred because the girl supposedly had an affair with a boy.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, at least 943 women were killed in the name of honor last year. Only 20 of the women were reported to have been given medical care before they died, the report said. The real toll is believed to be higher because many of the crimes go unreported.

"Throughout the year, women were callously killed in the name of honor when they went against family wishes in any way, or even on the basis of suspicion that they did so. Women were sometimes killed in the name of honor over property disputes and inheritance rights," the report said.

 Lawmakers push for Obama administration to get tough over embassy attacks

Published September 13, 2012

Lawmakers and other officials stepped up calls Thursday for the United States to put heavy pressure on the governments whose people are storming U.S. diplomatic posts across the Middle East and North Africa -- even if it means freezing aid and expelling diplomats from Washington.

The calls increased as anti-American demonstrations and attacks spread to Yemen, and as protests entered their third day near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. The clashes continued, after four Americans including the U.S. ambassador were killed Tuesday night during attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The attack came roughly a year after the U.S. and its allies helped Libyans overthrow dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News that President Obama should be putting particular pressure on Egypt and its president, Mohammed Morsi, over the sustained demonstrations there. King said the U.S. should suspend aid to Egypt until Morsi makes "absolutely clear" he is condemning the demonstrations and taking "forceful action" to protect the U.S. Embassy.

Obama, in an interview with Spanish-language network Telemundo, pushed back on the idea of suspending aid, saying the U.S. "doesn't have an option of withdrawing from the world."

On Egypt, he said pointedly: "I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we do not consider them an enemy."

King countered: "If he's not an ally, why do we continue to give him billions of dollars in aid?"

Egypt was slated to receive $1.6 billion this year in U.S. aid. Protesters earlier in the week stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and tore down the U.S. flag.

Other officials said the U.S. needs to make clear to these countries that they are accountable for what happens at the U.S. embassies.

"When you attack an embassy, you're attacking America," Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., told Fox News.

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under the George W. Bush administration, said Obama should communicate privately to Egypt and Libya that if this happens again, "we're cutting off all assistance."

"That message has to go all across the Middle East," he said.

Some lawmakers were trying to carve out U.S. aid to Libya in the stopgap funding bill hitting Capitol Hill this week.

The House approved the $1.047 trillion bill in a 329-91 vote.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, went further, saying Wednesday that the U.S. should send a signal that "this barbaric behavior will not be tolerated" by suspending aid, closing U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya and expelling their diplomats from the U.S.

King, though, said the fledgling government in Libya should be treated a little differently.

He said the U.S. might "reconsider" aid, but stressed that the government is fragile there -- and still forming after the downfall of Qaddafi -- and that Libyan security personnel did try to protect Americans during the Benghazi attack Tuesday night.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the U.S. should distinguish the government and people of Libya from the "small and savage" group that launched the attack on the consulate. A number of officials stressed that the relationship with a new Libya must endure despite the attack.

Obama called the presidents of both Libya and Egypt on Wednesday about the demonstrations and attacks.

According to the White House, Morsi "expressed his condolences for the tragic loss of American life in Libya and emphasized that Egypt would honor its obligation to ensure the safety of American personnel."

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 Consulate attack planned as 2-part militant assault, Libyan official says

Published September 13, 2012     FoxNews.comA Libyan official said Thursday that the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was a planned, two-part operation that included a raid on a supposedly secret safe house -- an account that comports with what a top U.S. lawmaker told Fox News a day earlier. 

On Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers told Fox News that the strike was a "coordinated, military-style" operation. 

Wanis al-Sharef, eastern Libya's deputy interior minister, then said on Thursday the attacks were suspected to have been timed to mark the 9/11 anniversary and that the militants used civilians protesting an anti-Islam film as cover for their action. 

The same official also told Reuters that arrests have been made in connection with the investigation. It's unclear whether those arrested are chief suspects. Sharef said four people were in custody and being interrogated "because they are suspected of helping instigate" the attack, but stressed the Libyan government is still "gathering evidence."

Separately, Sharef offered new details about the operation behind the attack Tuesday. He said U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and another official were killed in the consulate, but that the attackers timed a second wave on the safe house just as Libyan and U.S. security forces were arriving to rescue evacuated consulate staff. 

He said that second wave killed two more Americans and wounded nearly 30 Libyans and Americans. 

The comments continued to contradict initial reports that the attack was a product of angry and violent protests over an anti-Islam film. 

Rogers told Fox News he has "no doubt" it was a planned attack and had nothing to do with the film. 

"It was a coordinated, military-style, commando-type raid," Rogers said. Based on his own briefings, Rogers said "military movements" were involved. 

"This was a well- planned, well-targeted event. No doubt about it," Rogers said. He said the Al Qaeda-linked Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades is one group being looked at by officials. 

Senior Obama administrations who discussed the attack late Wednesday could not say whether it was coordinated or spontaneous. 

But they, too, described a two-phase assault. 

They said the attack started at about 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday, when the main consulate building started taking fire. Shortly before midnight, everybody in that building was evacuated to a nearby annex. 

However, at midnight the annex came under fire as well. During the two-hour attack, officials said, two more Americans were killed. 

Fox News' Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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 Egyptian revolution 'failing to deliver for women'

17 July 2012     By Paul Danahar    BBC Middle East bureau editor, Cairo

Egyptian women stood on an equal footing with men to demand freedom

Nisreen was young, brave and full of hope for the new Egypt she was in the process of creating.

It was 6 February 2011 and she, like hundreds of other women, was sleeping in Tahrir Square to physically protect it from the Mubarak-government forces trying to take it back.

Nisreen told me that day she believed that after the uprising things had changed for women in Egypt. She felt safe in the square she told me because "There is no harassment".

So she was ready to stay "one day, one week, one month, one year" to topple the regime. She didn't have to wait that long for President Hosni Mubarak to go.

His regime was already crumbling. But her hopes, shared by many others, that things had changed for women would be brutally disappointed.

'Virginity tests'

In the weeks and months that followed Egyptian women were subjected to appalling violence. They were beaten and sexually assaulted by the security forces.

The state subjected them to humiliating "virginity tests" and now in the square, where Nisreen had once felt so safe, gangs of men are preying on young women like packs of animals; stripping them naked, sexually assaulting and then dumping them in the gutter.

"In last year's protests, Tahrir Square was a place where women stood on an equal footing with men to demand their freedom. Now it has become a place where women are singled out for sexual harassment," was how Amnesty International's Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui responded last week to the attacks.

If women have found themselves driven from their public space the revolution has also pushed them further out of the political arena.

The now dissolved parliament, which was formed after the revolution, had fewer women in it than during the time of Mubarak.

There was optimism that the women would be better off after the uprising

Market forces

Mona Eltahawy is a prominent journalist and blogger. She was left with two broken arms and was sexually assaulted after she was arrested and detained during a pro-democracy rally just before the parliamentary elections last year.

But she told me recently she was still optimistic that women would be eventually better off after the uprising.

"If you [looked] at the parliament in Egypt and see that 70% of it is Muslim Brotherhood or Salafi you can make the argument that we now have people in politics who do not believe in women's rights.

"But what it's done is put us on notice that we have to fight because sometimes you need that sharpened awareness of what you are butting heads against.

"Under those so-called secular regimes every first lady would adopt a feminist cause and it actually hurt feminism because it became associated with the dictators wife, but now we are taking feminism away and making it of the street and not of the dictators wife."

They may have been done with the worse intentions but there is a risk that the few freedoms women were given by the dictatorships may now be lost.

But the President of the American University in Cairo, Lisa Anderson, says those reversals may be more a consequence of revolution in an autocratic state than about the make up of the people who inherited power afterwards.

"When you have these authoritarian big state regimes those are always 'good' for women because there is recruitment into the public sector.

"If you look at what happened after '89 in Eastern Europe unemployment among women went up dramatically and representation in parliament declined. The market is just less friendly to women than the public sector so the weaker the public sector, the stronger the private sector, the worst for women at least in the immediate term."

'Fault with society'

The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt is the biggest lightning rod for concerns about women's rights.

Sandos Asem runs the Brotherhood's English twitter feed and she took part in the revolution from day one. She says those fears are misplaced.

"The Islamists have not ruled and corrupted Egypt for 60 years it was actually secular governments. I see an Islam that empowers women. I concur that some Islamists are very extreme in their views towards women and we think this is not right."

It is also Egyptian society more than politics that is more to blame for the string of attacks on women in Tahrir Square.

Many blame attitudes in Egyptian society for attacks on women Law and order disappeared from the streets of the capital three days after the uprising began and it still has not returned.

Those 18 days in Tahrir Square, while the revolution played out, have taken on a mythical status in the minds of many. Few now want to taint their memory of the Square with the reality of today's violence.

But it may not be just remnants of the old regime who are behind these attacks but also men who once stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the women they are now attacking. Even thieves and rapists do not like living under a dictatorship.

It is important for Egyptians to recognise that perhaps a tiny minority of the people in Tahrir Square then and now may have shared the revolutions aim but they do not share its values.

 Ägyptische Revolution 'nicht zu liefern für Frauen'

17. Juli 2012      Von Paul Danahar     BBC-Nahost-Bureau-Editor, Cairo

Ägyptische Frauen gleichberechtigt mit Männern auf Nachfrage Freiheit Stand

Nisreen war jung, mutig und voller Hoffnung für das neue Ägypten, dass sie bei der Verwirklichung war.

6. Februar 2011 war und sie, wie hunderte von anderen Frauen, schlief in Tahrir Square physisch vor die Mubarak-Regierungstruppen versuchen, es wieder zu schützen.

Nisreen erzählte mir an diesem Tag glaubte sie, dass nachdem der Aufstand Dinge für Frauen in Ägypten verändert hatte. Sie fühlte sich sicher auf dem Platz, den sie mir erzählte, weil "Es keine Belästigung gibt".

So war sie bereit, "eines Tages, einer Woche, einen Monat, ein Jahr" zu bleiben, um das Regime zu stürzen. Sie hatten nicht zu warten, die lange für Präsident Hosni Mubarak zu gehen.

Sein Regime war schon bröckelt. Aber ihre Hoffnungen, geteilt durch viele andere Dinge für Frauen verändert hätten wäre brutal enttäuscht.

'Jungfräulichkeit testet'

In den Wochen und Monaten, die ägyptische Frauen folgten schreckliche Gewalt ausgesetzt waren. Sie wurden geschlagen und sexuell angegriffen durch die Sicherheitskräfte.

Der Staat unterzogen sie demütigende "Jungfräulichkeit Prüfungen" und jetzt auf dem Platz, wo Nisreen einmal so sicher gefühlt hatte, Banden von Männern sind Jagd auf junge Frauen wie Packungen mit Tieren; Diese nackte, sexuell angreifen und sie dann in der Gosse dumping.

"Im letzten Jahr Proteste, Tahrir Square war ein Ort, wo Frauen gleichberechtigt mit Männern, ihre Freiheit zu verlangen Stand. Es hat inzwischen einen Platz, wo Frauen für sexuelle Belästigung, ausgesondert werden"war wie Amnesty Internationals Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui letzte Woche auf die Attacken reagiert.

Wenn Frauen, sich aus ihren öffentlichen Raum getrieben gefunden haben hat die Revolution auch sie weiter aus der politischen Arena geschoben.

Das nun aufgelöste Parlament, das nach der Revolution gegründet wurde, hatte es als weniger Frauen während der Zeit der Mubarak.


Mona Eltahawy ist ein bekannter Journalist und Blogger. Sie war mit zwei gebrochenen Armen verließ und wurde sexuell missbraucht, nachdem sie wurde verhaftet und, während einer demokratiefreundlichen Kundgebung kurz vor den Parlamentswahlen im vergangenen Jahr inhaftiert.

Aber sie erzählte mir kürzlich, dass sie nach wie vor optimistisch war, dass Frauen nach dem Aufstand schließlich besser dran wäre.

"Wenn Sie [sah] im Parlament in Ägypten und sehen Sie, dass 70 % der muslimischen Bruderschaft oder Salafi Sie dem Argument, die machen können haben wir jetzt Menschen in der Politik, die nicht in die Rechte der Frau glauben.

"Aber was geschieht, es ist uns auf Mitteilung, die wir haben zu kämpfen, denn manchmal braucht man das geschärfte Bewusstsein für was Sie Köpfe gegen butting sind.

"Unter diese sogenannten säkularen Regime würde jeden First Lady eine feministische Ursache anzunehmen und es tatsächlich verletzt Feminismus, denn es verbunden mit der Diktatoren-Frau war, aber jetzt wir sind unter Feminismus entfernt und es von der Straße und nicht die Diktatoren-Frau."

Sie können mit den schlechteren Absichten getan worden, aber es besteht die Gefahr, dass einige Freiheiten, die Frauen wurden von den Diktaturen gegeben jetzt verloren.

Aber der Präsident der American University in Kairo, Lisa Anderson, sagt, dass diese Auflösungen mehr eine Folge der Revolution in einem absolutistischen Staat als über das Make-up der Menschen sein können, macht danach erbte.

"Wenn man diese großen Obrigkeitsstaates Regime sind diejenigen immer 'gut' für Frauen, da Einstellung in den öffentlichen Dienst.

"Wenn man sich was geschah nach 89 in Osteuropa Frauenarbeitslosigkeit ging dramatisch und Vertretung im Parlament abgelehnt. Der Markt ist nur weniger freundlich zu Frauen als die also je schwächer der öffentliche Sektor, desto stärker der Privatwirtschaft, das Schlimmste für Frauen zumindest kurzfristig öffentliche."

'Fehler mit der Gesellschaft'

Der Aufstieg der Muslimbruderschaft in Ägypten ist der größte Blitzableiter für Bedenken über die Rechte der Frau.

Sandos Asem läuft der Bruderschaft englische Twitter-Feed und sie nahm Teil an der Revolution vom ersten Tag an. Sie sagt, dass diese Befürchtungen unbegründet sind.

"Die Islamisten nicht beherrscht und Ägypten seit 60 Jahren war es tatsächlich säkulare Regierungen beschädigt. Ich sehe ein Islam, das Frauen verschafft. Ich schließe mich, dass einige Islamisten sehr extrem in ihren Ansichten gegenüber Frauen sind und wir denken, dass dies nicht stimmt."

Es ist auch ägyptische Gesellschaft mehr als Politik, die mehr für die Zeichenfolge der Angriffe auf Frauen in Tahrir Square Schuld ist.

Recht und Ordnung verschwand aus den Straßen der Hauptstadt drei Tage nach der Aufstand begann und es ist immer noch nicht zurückgekehrt.

Diese 18 Tage in Tahrir-Platz, während der Revolution zu Ende gespielt, haben einen mythischen Status in den Köpfen vieler übernommen. Nur wenige wollen nun ihre Erinnerung an das Quadrat mit der Realität der heutigen Gewalt zu verderben.

Aber es kann nicht nur Überreste des alten Regimes, die hinter diesen Angriffen, sondern auch Männer, die einst Schulter an Schulter standen mit den Frauen, sie greifen jetzt an. Auch Diebe und Vergewaltiger mag nicht unter einer Diktatur zu leben.

Es ist wichtig für die Ägypter zu erkennen, dass vielleicht eine winzige Minderheit der Menschen in Tahrir Square damals und heute Revolutionen Ziel geteilt haben kann, aber sie nicht seine Werte teilen.

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