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Books and Documents

Islam and Human Rights

The Human Rights Watch report demonstrates that Afghan fighters younger than 18 have died in Syria, and it sheds new light on the recruitment of Afghan Shiites to fight in Syria, where Iran backs the Syrian government in a multisided war. Iran is home to many Afghans, who have travelled there to work or as refugees fleeing conflict in their country. Human rights groups have long expressed concern that vulnerable Afghan refugees are being pressured by the Iranian authorities to fight in Syria....

 

The scene was quite dramatic as masked security men stormed houses with cameras, filming everything and confiscating papers, books and computers. The arrested are accused of being recipients of Qatari money and part of a grand Qatari-backed conspiracy. It anguishes me to speak with other Saudi friends in Istanbul and London who are also in self-exile. There are at least seven of us — are we going to be the core of a Saudi diaspora?...

 

“One thing that’s hardest for me to wrap my mind around, and I think least credible, is the idea that Iranian weapons are coming in commercial grain shipments or on container ships,” he said. “That’s just not how it’s going to get done.”....

 

Hamas, Hezbollah, the Islamic State, and other terrorist groups have a demonstrated propensity to use human shields to protect the infrastructure they use to stage attacks. They direct men, women, and children to place themselves on roofs and next to rocket launch sites to deter retaliatory measures. The use of civilians to protect military targets is a flagrant violation of international law and a war crime.....

 

While in prison, the regime's agents harassed and tortured my brother in front of my eyes. They used to beat him, saying "no one knows about you outside of these walls." The loudmouth agents would add while still beating him: "No one is paying attention to what is happening to you here, and everyone will forget about you because you don't matter. Those words still echo in my brain: "No one knows about you outside of these walls..."..

 

The majority of African-American Muslims, while still honouring the great achievements of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, have embraced the universal teaching of Islam that accepts all races as natural creations of Allah. Collectively the very presence of African-American Muslims — individuals who very often change their family names and observe different holidays, among other changes —serves as a catalyst for moving civil rights in America forward....

 
International Collaboration to End Violence
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
International Collaboration to End Violence
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Burmese scholar and activist, Dr Maung Zarni has been indefatigable in his efforts to raise awareness of the Burmese government's genocidal assault on the Rohingya Muslim population in Burma. He has also not shied away from drawing attention to democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi's complicity in this genocidal assault....

 

Pakistan is already one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, but the blasphemy issue has made it even more dangerous for them. Blasphemy is a sensitive topic in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, where around 97 percent of its 180 million inhabitants are Muslim. Rights advocates have long been demanding a reform of the controversial blasphemy laws, which were introduced by the Islamic military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s. ....

The Bangladeshi government has not only failed to protect dissenting voices or hold accountable the armed groups that threaten them, it has also stifled freedom of expression through a slew of repressive tactics and new laws…

 

He used to work as a security guard in a pub but then he met a group which trades in organs. His job is to find people desperate enough to give up parts of their body for money, and the influx of refugees from Syria to Lebanon has created many opportunities. "I do exploit people," ....

 

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by Western nations, which sides with the president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, is finalising plans to invade and take the port. An attack is imminent, say UN observers. A successful raid could push rebel forces—a combination of Shia revivalists, Houthis and soldiers loyal to the former president....

 
Is Free Speech Good for Muslims?
Mustafa Akyol
Is Free Speech Good for Muslims?
Mustafa Akyol

This is not to say that Muslims who ask for freedom in the West must be held accountable for the lack of freedom in “Islamic” states. But it does mean that Muslim opinion leaders — imams, scholars, intellectuals — should give serious thought to a key question: Is liberalism a good or bad thing for Muslims? Should they embrace freedom or not?...

If this newspaper were published in Turkey the rest of this column might be entirely blank, except for an author photograph at the top and the words, printed in large type, “124 days deprived of freedom”. That’s what the country’s most important surviving oppositional newspaper, Cumhuriyet, regularly prints for its imprisoned columnists – with the tally of days in jail ticking up and up. One leading columnist, Kadri Gürsel, recently sent a moving letter that begins: “I salute you all with love from B block, ward number 25 of Silivri prison number 9.”...

 

More heart-wrenching was the story of two brothers who were acquitted of the murder charge levelled against them in 2002, after they had been hanged in October 2015...

 

We call upon the United Nations Human Rights Council to note that many voices of opposition raised against the Pakistani Government’s deliberate policy to keep the people of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan subjugated have been silenced permanently.  The brutal killing of Sardar Arif Shahid, Chairman of the All Parties National Alliance and a very prominent Kashmiri political leader, in Rawalpindi on May 13, 2013 by the Pakistani intelligence services is a clear reflection of the reprehensible policy adopted by the Government agencies to remove sane voices of peaceful resistance....

 

Each time you are transferred to a new prison, there is something called “the party”. They show you who’s boss. In most cases it’s beatings, but in one, we were stripped, told to lie down facing the ground with our arms behind our back, and they started to jump on our backs, from one prisoner to the next. It’s normal to be cursed, stripped naked, beaten with a bar, or put in solitary confinement or the “tank” (a pitch-black 3.5m x 5.5m cell). They might also torture another prisoner in front of you. Of course you never forget. Ever....

 

But capital punishment for Palestinian assailants will not help fight terrorism, nor will it solve any aspect of the conflict. It will not deter future attacks, as the promoters of the legislation had claimed. It is a thoughtless, vengeful reaction to a problem many Israelis increasingly believe is unsolvable. ...

 

There are immediate steps Bangladesh can, and must, take to improve the situation. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the country now fear they could become the next target for violent groups. These include free thinkers like Niloy Neel, members of Bangladesh's beleaguered LGBTI community, or minority religious groups like the Hindus. ....

 

Some people, even among the clergy, have risen to her defence. “They met in prison, of course they can be friends,” said Fazel Meybodi, a reformist cleric from the Shiite holy city of Qum. Noting that not all Islamic scholars agree that the Bahais are spiritually impure, he added: “These are just two humans meeting. What is the problem?”...

 
Baha’i Seven Mark Eight Years Behind Bars in Iran
Parliament of the World's Religions

Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, who was one of the lawyers for the seven, stated that there was no evidence to sustain any of the charges against them. Nonetheless, each of them was sentenced to twenty years in prison – the longest sentences of any prisoner of conscience in Iran today...

 

He pointed to ... Iran’s majority-Shiite regime, where Sunnis, Christians and Baha’is have been persecuted, imprisoned and even sentenced to death on dubious unrelated charges. And in Pakistan more people are on death row or serving life sentences for blasphemy charges than in any other nation in the world....

With the inmate kneeling at his feet, head facing the floor, the soldier grabbed a sharp weapon and started hacking at the base of his skull, severing the spinal cord from the head. Then he ordered another patient to drag the body to the bathroom. The U.N. report says of Hospital 601, “Many patients have been tortured to death in this facility.” The soldier called himself Azrael, after the archangel of death; other survivors recall him murdering patients in similarly horrifying ways.....

 
Human Rights and the Expatriate
Tariq A. Al-Maeena
Human Rights and the Expatriate
Tariq A. Al-Maeena

The Saudi media over the years had not been overwhelmingly kind to the presence of the expatriates in this land, and had often generalized them as money-hungry carpetbaggers or worse yet criminals, an unfair tag maligning countless generations of expatriates who have unflinchingly submitted their body, sweat and blood towards the building of the country....

 

Iran doesn’t deny it executes juvenile offenders but often disagrees with numbers reported. The authorities also argue they are trying to make changes. In January in a meeting with the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, Mahmoud Abbasi, deputy for human rights and international affairs at the justice ministry, said that reforming policies would not work without changing the attitudes “particularly of policy-makers and those directly involved with children”.....

 

“Pakistan's province of Punjab has recently passed the Women's Protection Act despite stiff opposition from conservative clerics, religious and feudal leaders. However, we appreciate it as it gives legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence. Forced conversion of Christian and Hindu girls, rape, gang-rape, domestic violence, honour killing (Karo Kari), Vani (exchange of women in settling the disputes), and forced/child marriages are some examples of women's rights violations in Pakistan. There is need to do more and abolish all evil practices and discriminations, violence against women and young girls in Pakistan.” Said Shaukat Kashmiri....

 
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