Kazakhstan: Religious freedom means “one nation – one religion”

The president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarba...

Kazakh President Nazarbaev. Image via Wikipedia

Of course, this means there is actually no religion in the country:

For Kazakhstan’s new Agency of Religious Affairs (ARA), religious freedom means “one nation – one religion”. In fact, Kazakh authorities have announced new measures to increase controls on religious groups, including legal penalties.

On 22 July, Kazakh President Nazarbaev said, “It is necessary to strictly suppress the spread of elements of extremist religious ideology in the country, especially, open actions which are aimed at undermining the constitutional system and which pose a threat to citizens’ lives and health“.

At a meeting of the country’s Security Council, the president said that local governments “should step up educational and preventive measures, as well as keep a close watch on religious associations’ strict compliance with the existing legal norms.”

This set off alarm bells among religious minorities. In April, Nazarbaev had already called for greater controls against an unspecified “extremist religious ideology”, which was followed by a police crackdown against religious minorities and a hostile campaign against them in state media.

In fact, in the absence of any clear definition of “religious extremism”, ARA has gone on an offensive against all Muslim groups that do not adhere to what it considers mainstream moderate Islam.

via KAZAKHSTAN Religious freedom in Kazakhstan means “one nation – one religion” – Asia News.

Really dangerous move: would Ahmadis be considered “mainstream moderate Islam”? I guess not.

When a Govt wants to forbid something, the 1st rule of all consists in stating very clearly what are the actions which are no longer allowed. And has anyone an idea of what is a “mainstream moderate Islam”? Because defining that into a law, would be really hard to do… 😯

Kosovo: Muslims sue imam for hateful remarks about Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa 1985 cropped

Image via Wikipedia

I normally post bad news, but this seems to be a good one, although I would like to know on what basis they do it.

On July 21, the most respected Kosovo daily, Koha Ditore (Daily Times), reported that two lawyers, a writer, and an ordinary citizen of Pristina, capital of the territory, had commenced civil legal measures against Shefqet Krasniqi, imam of the city’s Grand Mosque, for his hateful remarks about Mother Teresa, made in a sermon two years ago.

 At that time, Krasniqi declared that the deceased founder of the Missionaries of Charity, considered the outstanding Albanian personality in recent history, was in “the middle of hell, deep,” because she was not Muslim. Krasniqi further alleged that notwithstanding her celibacy the Albanian nun “could have all the men she wanted,” among other insults.

via Kosovo: Muslims sue imam for hateful remarks about Mother Teresa | eChurch Blog.

Anyway, I don’t see this Krasniqi fellow being very supportive of the Alliance of Civilizations and the harmony between religions and so on…

Turkey: the new Turks are very similar to the old ones

Turkish people

Turkish people. Not a lot of prospects that their descendants will look like them, if we consider the results of this poll, Image via Wikipedia

In the year 2011, 23 percent of Turks think men should be able to marry up to four wives, but not the opposite – against 10 percent in 1996. Interestingly, 60 percent, both male and female, think women should obey men, while 33 percent think women deserve to be beaten by their husbands if they do not obey – compared to 19 percent in 1996. And, naturally, 70 percent think children may be damaged if mothers work. The political findings of the survey are no less interesting. Seventy-five percent of Turks think the West is at fault for poor relations with Muslim nations. And 53 percent blame the U.S. and West for poverty in Muslim countries. Unsurprisingly, 82 percent have a negative opinion of Christians while only 4 percent have a favorable opinion of Jews. Forty-five percent and 41 percent think that the most violent religions are Christianity and Judaism, respectively. And only 9 percent of Turks believe Arab groups carried out the attacks on 9/11.

via Enjoy your New Young Turk – Hurriyet Daily News.

Anyway, let them enter the European Union… as a “gesture of conciliation with the Islamic world”… 😯

TX to MFS.

Israel: Preaching the Gospel in a Muslim neighbourhood

A green version of http://commons.wikimedia.or...

Image via Wikipedia

Holy Land Missions recently purchased a building in a Muslim neighborhood to use as a youth center. A week before the youth center opened, Khoury was summoned to the courthouse.

“Mr. Khoury, there are many complaints that you are going to begin outreaches in the youth center, and many people are afraid these outreaches will be noisy,” a government official told him. “A lot of trouble can come if you are active in that controversial neighborhood.”

Pastor Khoury promptly responded, “Well, it is very interesting that you have been warned about this because we have not even begun yet. So how will those that are concerned about our presence in the neighborhood know if we will cause trouble or noise?”

The government official agreed to let HLM begin its work in the neighborhood, but he warned Pastor Khoury that he expects to see him again.

The same week Pastor Khoury was summoned to the courthouse, a Muslim family threatened to harm HLM pastors and vandalized the center’s locks. The family said they would “break the legs” of anyone who enters the youth center’s gates. “You can break my legs, but you can’t break my faith,” responded the pastor’s son, Steven.

From Beliefnet.com.

Italy: Muslim destroys the statue of the patron saint of Agrigento in Sicily

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Image by eli_chan via Flickr

An immigrant from the Maghreb has entered the sanctuary of Saint Calogero and has destroyed the image of the patron saint, last July 9th.

The church was open for the 7:30 mass, when the immigrant, of North African origins, has entered and gone directly into the sacristy, where the statue of Saint Calogero was. He took it and threw it violently against the wall, destroying it completely.

A believer who was at the church had tried to arrest the immigrant, but was hurt. Four policemen were needed to control the man and then to arrest him.

Saint Calomero, a Greek saint, lived in the city in the Vth century, evangelised Sicily and is much revered in the island. He is always represented as a black man. In fact, the Agrigento’s archbishop has praised him as “an example of integration between people”.

Video (Italian):

UK: Christian peer questions the government’s role in Pakistan

The coat of arms of Pakistan displays the nati...

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A Christian peer\’s speaking out about the persecution of minorites in Pakistan. Lord Alton has asked a question in the House of Lords inquiring what the government is doing to support the religious in the country.

via Christian peer questions the government\’s role in Pakistan | Premier.org.uk, Current News.

Very interesting link: it has lots of information about the persecution that Pakistani Christians are suffering.

Malaysia: Islam’s Persecution of Christians

A MESSAGE FROM THE "FRIENDLY" ISLAMI...

Image by SS&SS via Flickr

An interview with IBA co-blogger The Anti-Jihadist:

Deciding that Islam as an ideology (and not Muslims per se) was my enemy was a personal Rubicon for me, a step that, once taken, could never be retracted. I understood how serious this was, from my own studies of Islam, from my knowledge of what’s happened to other critics of Islam, and from the repeated warnings here in Malaysia regarding ‘insults’ to Islam — i.e. being too truthful about it.  And the pointed Malaysian warnings about being ‘respectful’ of all religions (‘respect’ for Islam is all the government here really cares about) make it very clear that criticism of Islam is a big, big red line that should never be crossed.  Furthermore, in Malaysia it’s quite legal for anyone to be arrested and held indefinitely without charge, trial or access to legal council.  It’s a law called the ‘Internal Security Act’ or ‘ISA’ for short and it’s positively medieval. ISA is one of the reasons that you rarely hear criticism of Islam from anyone in this country, in public and even in private, no matter how outrageous things get.

…On a more personal level, Muslims in Malaysia have on numerous occasions destroyed churches, sometimes with official backing on the flimsiest of pretexts (like for supposed ‘code violations’). The same has also happened to Hindu and Buddhist temples. Bibles are sometimes seized in carload lots by the (Muslim) authorities on one technicality or another. New church construction is heavily discouraged, and it takes years if not decades for new churches to be approved and built. And they must be built in a ‘low profile’ manner if they are allowed to be built at all.

All of these restrictions and the drip-drip-drip of discrimination, or worse, creates a tense and foreboding atmosphere for Christians. It’s pointless for Christians — who are mostly Indians and Chinese — to petition the Malay (Muslim) government for any sort of redress of grievances, because the police, courts and judges here are all owned and operated by Muslims. So increasingly, the ‘infidels’ are leaving — permanently. The same sort of Islamic repression of Christians that has played out in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and virtually every other Muslim-ruled country is also playing out here.

via Islam’s Persecution of Christians in Malaysia | FrontPage Magazine.