Morocco: the new Constitution is not as good as it may seem

The new constitution “supports the human rights in all aspects, including a fair trial, no torture, no detention, no disappearance, and we need to guarantee the freedom of expression,” he said. The new constitution will also guarantee “freedom of religious worship.”

Foreign residents currently enjoy freedom of worship. Moroccan Christians, while not denied freedom of worship, “reportedly do not meet regularly due to fear of government surveillance and social persecution,” according to a US State Department report.

Yes, it guarantees freedom of religious worship, but not freedom of conscience: that is, if you are a Muslim, you won’t be able to change your religion.

But there is more: speaking about this constitution, the leader of the main opposition party (Islamist Justice and Development Party), said that:

“Morocco is a Muslim country whose state religion is Islam, and do not touch these fundamental principles. In Morocco, the freedom of worship is now guaranteed to Christians, Jews …, but not the freedom of conscience. A Muslim can not change his religion or even leave his practice in public, as happened last year when a handful of young men wanted to break the fast in a park in Mohammedia.

He also spoke about gays:

“We risk [with the new Constitution] to see people who publicly declare they are a sexual deviant,” was outraged. “The PJD reject this situation. Those who Fall in these sows should be hidden,” he said.

Shahbaz Bhatti, shot dead

Mr Bhatti opposed the “blasphemy law” and was killed two days ago. So did Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who was shot dead by one of his bodyguards last January.

I feel, even as I am not an active blogger now, that he merits a post. It’s difficult to be Christian in Pakistan as I have repeatedly blogged on the past. But to be Minister and to openly speak against the damned blasphemy law is even more difficult.

So, this is my tribute to a man, whose success I was very doubtful from the beginning I knew of his existence (in a country where a “cleric” can put a bounty on someone for allegedly “blaspheming” and no one gets him in jail and condemned because of it, you can understand why I was even hard on him back then). But nonetheless, we have to admire his courage for speaking in favour of Asia Bibi and others jailed on “blasphemy” charges, even if he was threatened by the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and several other groups,as he says in the video in the link above.

Requiescat in pace. Amen.

Hector Aleem’s trial for blasphemy: Mullahs gather outside of courtroom

As you probably know, Hector Aleem is being tried in Pakistan for blasphemy against Mohammed, Islam’s prophet. On October 21st and 25th, the days of the hearings, some Mullahs were assembled in the main entrance of the court at Rawalpindi to chant slogans calling for his death and against Christianity and to shout “Allah Akbar“. His family has made some videos from a mobile phone.

From the 21st hearing, you can go here to watch it.

From the 25th hearing:


Information on his case here,herehere and hereFree Hector Aleem on FB.

U.N.: Vote on ‘Religious Defamation’ Resolution to be held in December

For the sixth year in a row, the U.N. General Assembly will vote in December on a resolution presented by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) that calls on governments to act against “religious defamation.”

Similar resolutions have been passed every year since 1999 by the U.N.’s main human rights body. However, in both the UNGA and the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, the resolutions have drawn declining support in recent years.

Last December’s UNGA vote passed by 80-61, with 42 countries abstaining. The 19 vote margin was the smallest number yet; margins in the four previous years’ votes had ranged from 33 to 57.

Over the past five years, only seven countries have changed their position to “no.” The rest of the difference has been the result of non-Muslim developing countries shifting from supporting the measure, to abstaining.

Those who oppose the resolution, including religious freedom, freedom of expression, legal and humanist advocacy groups, believe that this trend will continue until the OIC measure fails altogether.

But the OIC is hoping that incidents over the past year, especially the Quran-burning and “Ground Zero mosque” episodes in the U.S. and the Swiss ban on the building of minarets, will help to rally supporters.

Although the OIC resolutions profess to cover all religions, only Islam and Muslims are cited by name. Last year’s text expressed concern that “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism” and referred also to the “ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities.”

While the resolutions themselves are non-binding, they open the door for the OIC’s attempts to amend the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which is legally binding.

Christian ministries working among persecuted religious minorities are ramping up their lobbying of governments that have voted for the resolution or abstained in the past, and are calling for public support.

via Christian Web News – cwnewz.com – U.N. to Vote on ‘Religious Defamation’ Resolution.

Open Doors USA has launched an advocacy campaign against this UN Resolution, on the basis that it’s against freedom of religion.

Germany: Turkish hackers attack CDU websites

Turkish hackers attack CDU websites – The Local:

Foto: Imago (Msn).

“Police and domestic intelligence agencies are now investigating in both the city-state of Hamburg and the northern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania after CDU officials said their party sites were paralysed overnight when hackers replaced their homepages with a black background featuring a Turkish crest and critical comments.

Hackers “GHoST61” and “Emre Y” had left their mark claiming responsibility for sabotaging the site, with the comment, “Hi Hamburg: We are from Turkey.”

In Hamburg the CDU took its website offline by mid-morning on Tuesday, spokesperson Anna Christina Hinze said.

The Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian arm of the CDU had a similar experience, discovering that their website had been replaced with an Ottoman Empire crest and some pointed questions about the party’s immigration policies. Their site was repaired by afternoon.

The hackers left a message asking: “Where is the money for integration? Where is the money for mosques?” and “Where is the tolerance? Where is the freedom of religion?“”

Does Turkey pay for non-Muslim temples? That’s somewhat strange if we consider that not a week ago Turkish Minister Faruk Çelik called Christians “kuffar. And they have a policy absolutely contrary to, for example, Constantinople’s Patriarchy, Turkish nationalists prayed in an ancient Armenian Cathedral and, lastly, there are some questions about Catholic priests murdered in the country, which haven’t been addressed.

That is called reciprocity and you can’t make others do what you aren’t prepared to do yourself.

Note: In the image it’s written “Between West and East. How well do you know Turkey?“.

Background:
Germany: 69% against Turkish entry in the EU, poll shows.
CDU politician calls to stop Muslim immigration.
“Muslims should obey Constitution, not Sharia”, Merkel says.
Conservative leaders reject Wullf’s remarks on Islam.
Germany agrees in making easier for Turks to get visas.
President Wulff will visit Turkey on Monday, while Merkel criticizes multiculturalism.
President Wulff urges Turks to ‘actively integrate’ in Germany in his visit to Turkey.

Egypt: Our friend Mubarak

Egypt Cuts a Deal: Christians Fed to Muslim ‘Lions’ :: Hudson New York

…Considering the citizenship rights Copts enjoyed in the early-to-mid-20th century, how did things come to this pass? Much of this reversion can be traced to Mubarak’s predecessor, Anwar Sadat, who altered Egypt’s Constitution — by adding Article 2, “sharia is the principle source of legislation” — only to be rewarded, ironically, with assassination by the Islamist “Frankenstein monster” he had empowered. Since then, there has been a tacit agreement between the government and the Islamists. As Youssef Ibrahim puts it, the agreement “turned over to Islamists control in media, education, and government administrations in return for allowing Mr. Mubarak’s rule to go on unchallenged, setting the stage … for his son, Gamal, to succeed him. As part of the deal, [Mubarak] agreed to feed Egypt’s Christians to the growing Islamic beast.

The Copts now find themselves in a dire situation. Magdi Khalil, a human rights activist at the forefront of the “Coptic question,” states that “Egypt is on the verge of chaos and change of regime, and there is a plan for Copts to pay the price of this predicted chaos, by directing the surplus violence, hate and barbarism towards them.” This redirection onto the Copts is obvious even in subtle things: aside from the habitual anti-Copt indoctrination that goes on in mosques — all of the demonstrations occurred immediately after Friday’s mosque prayers. Egypt’s state-run public education system also marginalizes, if not ostracizes, the Copts (see, for example, Adel Guindy‘s “The Talibanization of Education in Egypt.”)

More obvious proof of the government’s complicity is the fact that, not only has it not prevented or dispersed the increasingly rabid demonstrations against the Copts — the way it viciously and unequivocally does whenever any protests are directed against itself — but Egyptian security, as Magdi Khalil affirmed in a phone conversation, actually facilitates, and sometimes participates, in these mass demonstrations. After all, Islamists who publicly call for the death of the Pope do so, writes Ibrahim Eissa, “knowing quite well that State Security will not touch them, since demonstrations are directed against the Pope and not the President, the Church and not the inheritance issue [Gamal Mubarak as successor of his father]. Those who go out in Jihad against ‘inheritance,’ democracy and election fraud are beaten mercilessly by security forces, but those who go out to incite sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians believe …that they are the friends and ‘buddies’ of the police and the State Security.”

Iran: Pastor’s Wife Released as Husband Faces Execution

Worthy Christian News � NEWS ALERT: Iran Releases Pastor’s Wife as Husband Faces Execution:

“The wife of a prominent evangelical pastor in Iran was free Monday, October 18, after four months of detention, but her husband still faced the death penalty for abandoning Islam, the Church of Iran said.

Fatemeh Passandideh, the wife of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, was released October 11 by a court in Gilan province, in northern Iran, an official linked to the Church of Iran told Worthy News and its news partner BosNewsLife.

‘The release of Fatemeh Passandideh comes ten days after the announcement of the death sentence for her husband Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani,’ he said, speaking on earlier agreed conditions of anonymity, amid security concerns.

Pastor Nadarkhani was convicted of ‘apostasy‘, or leaving Islam, last month by the 11th Chamber of the Assize Court of the province of Gilan. The pastor’s attorney is expected to file an appeal against the ruling after he reportedly found ‘serious procedural flaws‘ in the case.”

Background:
Christian pastor sentenced to death for “thought crime”.