Pakistan: Taliban-linked cleric offers $5,800 reward for anyone who kills Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi

A hardline, pro-Taliban Pakistani Muslim cleric Friday offered a reward for anyone who kills a Christian woman sentenced to death by a court on charges of insulting Islam.

The sentence against Asia Bibi has renewed debate about Pakistan’s blasphemy law which critics say is used to persecute religious minorities, fan religious extremism and settle personal scores. Non-Muslim minorities account roughly 4 percent of Pakistan’s about 170 million population.

Asia Bibi's family

Maulana Yousef Qureshi, the imam of a major mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar, offered a $5,800 (3,700 pounds) reward and warned the government against any move to abolish or change the blasphemy law.

We will strongly resist any attempt to repeal laws which provide protection to the sanctity of Holy Prophet Mohammad,” Qureshi told a rally of hardline Islamists.

Anyone who kills Asia will be given 500,000 rupees in reward from Masjid Mohabat Khan,” he said referring to his mosque.

via Hardline Pakistan cleric offers reward to kill Christian woman – The West Australian.

Background:

  1. Pakistan: Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.
  2. Pakistan: your signature to save Asia Bibi.
  3. Asia Bibi: Pope appeals for “full freedom“.
  4. Pakistan: Asia Bibi NOT pardoned, protests are announced in case she is.
  5. Pakistan: Both Minister of Minorities and Punjab Governor threatened by Islamists over Asia Bibi’s release.

Found here.

Asia Bibi’s family photo.

Indonesia: foiled attack against Catholic shrine

In the courtyard of the shrine of the Virgin Mary in Sendand Sriningsih District of Prambanan, Yogyakarta a disabled child discovered four bottles filled with gasoline, cables and detonators, last December 1.

According to local Catholics and Mr. Ignatius Lastoyo Warne, site manager of the sanctuary, the bomb had a specific purpose: to kill hundreds of pilgrims from neighboring parishes who attended the monthly Mass in the shrine town, on December 2.

Search operations are still ongoing.

The discovery of these four homemade bombs occurred when a local Catholic, owner of a stall near the shrine, found his son playing with the suspect material: fluid-filled bottles, cables and detonators. The bombs failed to explode only because of human imprudence. The village chief, after seeing the bomb, called the police and military personnel, who immediately rushed to the scene.

Mgr. Johannes Pujasumarta Pr, Archbishop of Semarang, has asked the site manager to implement tighter security measures to avoid any provocative behavior by foreign “infiltrators“. He said: “This is a serious challenge; we must fight any behavior that can destroy religious harmony.”

Brigadier General Ondang Sutarsa, Yogyakarta police chief, confirmed that the materials found near the shrine of the Virgin Mary were used to create a bomb. During a press conference, the general explained: “This is a bomb is small, but highly flammable, since the cable was attached to bottles full of petrol.” Gunpowder and matches were also found on the site.

via INDONESIA Yogyakarta, foiled attack on Catholic shrine – Asia News.

In the last decade 700 churches have been attacked in Indonesia.

UN: poverty chief to quit luxury Italian villa

Kanayo Nwanze

This is really enraging.

The head of the UN agency for tackling rural poverty is to move out of his luxury villa in Rome and cut his spending by 20 percent, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday in the wake of an expenses scandal.

Italian media had accused Kanayo Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), of spending up to 300,000 euros (404,000 dollars) a year on a sprawling villa in Rome’s wealthy Via Appia Antica area.

“The president has asked IFAD to cancel his contract on the house and has found a new residence,” Cassandra Waldon told AFP, adding that Nwanze hoped to move out of the villa before the end of the year once the terms were finalised.

IFAD said the media reports contained “inaccuracies” and were “misleading”.

Waldon declined to reveal the cost of renting the villa complex — which boasts its own swimming pool, football pitch and ancient Roman ruins — but said the new accommodation was likely to cost 13,000 euros a month or less.

via UN poverty chief to quit luxury Italian villa –  Latest news around the world and developments close to home – MSN Philippines News.

Better if it costs less. The best thing has been that, searching for this guy in internet, I have found that Rebelión.org (a very extremist leftwing site published in Spanish) published an interview with this guy considering him as a hero.

I have taken part in the G8 summit in Aquila, Italy. The resulting decision which has allocated $ 20 billion to combat poverty, especially focused on Africa, is a very important signal. I must emphasize the leadership of President Barack Obama in this decision and its application to other rulers, to fulfill this commitment. A new collaborative and genuine  effort between North and South.

Heh, and why this guy didn’t choose to live in a slightly less luxurious house and give the difference ($ 250,000, which is not a little amount) to poverty? Sure, of course, it’s better to live in a mansion with swimming pool and Roman ruins as if you were a rich man’s imperial. Specially if you don’t pay for it….

By the way, now that governments are reducing public expenditure, why these organizations aren’t seeing their bugets reduced?

Related: Kanayo Nwaze page at IFAD’s website.

Israel: Carmel fire, the worst Israel has suffered

fuego en el Monte Carmelo (Israel)

At least 41 people have died and scores have been injured in what is thought to be the country’s largest forest fire.

Spanish aid will arrive tomorrow because of the bad weather we are having right now. It is very cold here and snowing… you know, global warming… 🙄

Spanish aid, consisting of four seaplanes Canadair CL2T Spanish Air Force, will take off from Torrejón Air Base “as soon as weather conditions permit currently affecting the Iberian Peninsula and the western Mediterranean”, and “could arrive in Israel tomorrow afternoon, “said the Embassy of Spain in Tel Aviv in a statement.

Fotos tomadas: de aquí.

Iran: Rights Groups Criticize Iran Over Mohammadkhani’s Mistress’ Execution

Everybody knows that can’t condemn someone solely on the accuser’s confession. And everybody also knows that a death penalty’s condemned should have the opportunity to appeal. In this case, none of these conditions have been fulfilled.

International human rights groups failed to convince the Iranian government against executing 1980s football star Nasser Mohammadkhani’s mistress, who was accused of killing the footballer’s wife. Groups were campaigning since 2002 for Shahla Jahed’s release. Her lawyer on Wednesday confirmed that the 40-year-old woman was hung in Tehran.

The Council of Europe vehemently criticized the Iranian government and said that it had no respect for human rights.

Organization’s Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland said he was dismayed to hear how inhumanly the execution was carried out. This was the 146th execution Iran carried out this year.

If local media reports are to be believed, Jahed was present at the court’s final hearing. She also prayed before her hanging and called the executors to spare her life. Jahed had been living with Mohammadkhani in a temporary marriage practice known as sigheh, a valid thing under Shia Islam.

via Rights Groups Criticize Iran Over Mohammadkhani’s Mistress’ Execution | AHN.

I wonder what is the real motive to hang this woman after so flawed a trial…

PS: some say the son of the murdered wife, some her brother, was the one who kicked away the stool on which Jahed was standing with the noose around her neck in application of “eye for an eye” law.

Kurdish Government Promises More Action on Honour Killings

Good news. Now, let’s hope the measures they take will serve for something:

Eliminating gender-based violence in Kurdistan, the conservative northern region of Iraq where “honour”-based killings are still common, remains a battle. But the regional government has reaffirmed its commitment to tackle the tribal traditions that devalue women’s lives.In a conference on 25 November to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Kurdish Prime Minister, Barham Salih, said honour killings were a result of “social backwardness and a patriarchal domination” and the government would take measures to end the “embarrassing” act.

According to Aso Kamal, a human rights activist with the Doaa Network Against Violence, more than 12,000 women died in honour-based killings between 1991 and 2007, a figure dismissed by the regional government, whose statistics show a decline in recent years, the New York Times recently reported.

Kurdish academic Nazand Bagikhani, who has co-authored a Kurdish Regional Government-funded research on honour killings, said accurate figures on gender-based crimes were difficult to compile because the violence happened in the home.

In her 168-page report, the first study of honour killing in the semi-autonomous region, Bagikhani highlighted the mentality in many parts of Kurdistan that sees family honour as more important than the lives of women.

via Kurdish Government Promises More Action on Honour Killings.