Email Time!

I just got some email!

from    sayed sayed <tagerweb@hotmail.com>
to    <ian@irreligion.org>
date    Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 10:29 AM
subject    important for admin irreligion.org

Please delete the topic and photo

http://www.irreligion.org/tag/islam/

http://www.irreligion.org/2008/07/13/france-rejects-muslim-woman-over-radical-practice-of-islam/

http://www.irreligion.org/2008/11/22/top-islamic-body-yoga-is-not-for-muslims/

Because it disturbs more than one billion Muslims

Islam is a religion of the right

My Reponse:

from    Ian <ian@irreligion.org>
to    sayed sayed <tagerweb@hotmail.com>
date    Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 10:57 AM
subject    Re: important for admin irreligion.org

No.

I’m guessthing this asshole never saw this link: Islamic Cartoons

Top Islamic body: Yoga is not for Muslims

Top Islamic body: Yoga is not for Muslims

Malaysia’s top Islamic body on Saturday ruled against Muslims practicing yoga, saying it had elements of other religions that could corrupt Muslims.

The National Fatwa Council’s non-binding edict said yoga involves not just physical exercise but also includes Hindu spiritual elements, chanting and worship.

“It is inappropriate. It can destroy the faith of a Muslim,” Council chairman Abdul Shukor Husin told reporters.

He noted that clerics in Egypt issued a similar edict in 2004 that called the practice of yoga “an aberration.”

Though the council’s decisions are not legally binding on Malaysia’s Muslim population, many abide by the edicts out of deference, and the council does have the authority to ostracize an offending Muslim from society.

The Malaysia fatwa reflects the growing strain of conservatism in Malaysia, which has always taken pride in its multi-ethnic population. About 25 percent of Malaysians are ethnic Chinese and 8 percent ethnic Indians, mostly Hindus.

Recently, the council issued an edict banning tomboys, ruling that girls who act like boys violate the tenets of Islam.

The Fatwa Council took up the yoga issue after an Islamic scholar last month expressed an opinion at a seminar that it was un-Islamic.

But yoga teacher Suleiha Merican, who has been practicing yoga for 40 years, called yoga “a great health science” and said there is no religion involved.

“We don’t do chanting and meditation. There is no conflict because yoga is not religion based,” Merican, 56, told The Associated Press.

There are no figures for how many Muslims practice yoga, but many yoga classes have a sprinkling of Muslims attending.

Putri Rahim, a housewife, said she was no less a Muslim after practicing yoga for 10 years.

“I am mad! Maybe they have it in mind that Islam is under threat. To come out with a fatwa is an insult to intelligent Muslims. It’s an insult to my belief,” Putri said.

In a recent blog posting, social activist Marina Mahathir criticized the council for even considering a yoga ban, calling it “a classic case of reacting out of fear and ignorance.”

U.N. rights body condemns “defamation” of religion

Holy shit. These guys are seriously talking about making it illegal to defame religion? What. The. Fuck.

Basically, this would mean you cannot say anything negative about any religion. Since nothing in any religion can be proven, anything negative claim can be declared “false” by the religious nutjobs out there. This is one of the worst precedents in the violation of free speech I’ve ever seen. What the hell is this U.N. council thinking? I can’t believe more countries voted in favor than opposed. Fucking madness.

Fuck religion. It’s a bunch of delusional bullshit by people who are too scared to face their own mortality. Deal with it.

U.N. rights body condemns “defamation” of religion

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations top human rights body condemned “defamation” of religion on Friday and, in an apparent reference to the storm over the Prophet cartoons, said press freedom had its limits.

With the support of China, Russia and Cuba, Moslem and Arab states comfortably won a vote on the 47-state Human Rights Council to express concern at “negative stereotyping” of religions and “attempts to identify Islam with terrorism”.

“The resolution is tabled in the expectation that it will compel the international community to acknowledge and address the disturbing phenomena of the defamation of religions, especially Islam,” said Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

The resolution was opposed by Western states which said it focused too much on Islam. The job of the Council was to deal with the rights of individuals not religions, they said.

“The European Union does not see the concept of defamation of religion as a valid one in a human rights discourse,” a spokeswoman for the delegation of Germany, which holds the EU presidency, told the Council.

The resolution urged countries to ensure their laws gave adequate protection against acts of “hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions”.

While everybody had the right to freedom of expression, this should be exercised according to limitations of the law and respect for others, including respect for religions and beliefs, it said.

In 2006, violent protests rocked cities from Morocco to Malaysia over Danish cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Mohammad published in September 2005, which Muslims regarded as sacrilegious and an attack on their beliefs.

The vote was 24 countries in favor of the resolution, 14 against and with 9 abstentions.

Catholic bishops plan to forcefully confront Obama

Catholic bishops plan to forcefully confront Obama

BALTIMORE – In a direct challenge to President-elect Barack Obama, America’s Roman Catholic bishops vowed on Tuesday to accept no compromise for the sake of national unity until there is legal protection for the unborn.

About 300 bishops, gathered in Baltimore for their national meeting, adopted a formal blessing for a child in the womb and advised Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, president of the conference, as he began drafting a statement from the bishops to the incoming Obama administration. That document will call on the administration and Catholics who supported Obama to work to outlaw abortion.

“This is not a matter of political compromise or a matter of finding some way of common ground,” said Bishop Daniel Conlon of Steubenville, Ohio. “It’s a matter of absolutes.”

The bishops, long one of the leading political forces against abortion, spent the first part of Tuesday behind closed doors reportedly debating the merits of “Faithful Citizenship,” a nuanced guide for Catholic voters issued last November.

Though the document made clear that “the direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life is always wrong and is not just one issue among many,” it also advised Catholics to weigh issues like poverty, war, the environment and human rights when choosing candidates.

But some bishops said they were surprised to see Catholics cite the document as justification for selecting candidates–like Obama–who support abortion rights. A slim majority of the nation’s Catholics voted for the Democratic candidate.

Several bishops said that Catholics could not in good conscience vote for a candidate who favored abortion rights after Obama pledged to pass legislation that would overturn state’s restrictions on abortion such as late-term abortion bans and requirements of parental consent.

“Any one of us here would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow–die tomorrow!–to bring about the end of abortion,” said Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hermann of St. Louis.

Bishops Thomas Paprocki of Chicago said such legislation could threaten laws that allow health-care workers to refrain from carrying out procedures that violate their conscience, putting Catholic health care institutions in jeopardy.

“There are grave consequences,” Paprocki said in an interview. “If Catholic hospitals were required by federal law to perform abortions, we’d have to close our hospitals.”

“I don’t think I’m being alarmist,” Paprocki told the bishops.

George agreed that losing federal funds would put Catholic health care facilities, which make up a third of the nation’s hospitals, out of business. Closing Catholic hospitals would put many patients seeking charitable care from those facilities at risk, he added.

In crafting the statement to Obama, the bishops urged the cardinal to indicate a desire to work with the administration in areas of economic justice, immigration reform, health care for the poor and religious freedom. But they stressed the church’s “intent on opposing evil” and “defense of the unborn child.”

They vowed to oppose any law or executive order that might loosen restrictions on abortion.

They emphasized that efforts to advance abortion rights would “permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans and would be interpreted by many Catholics as an attack on the Church.” They also urged Catholics in public life to be committed to the teachings of the church.

Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pa., vice president-elect Joe Biden’s home town, called on his brother bishops to be more punitive against Catholic officials who are “stridently anti-life.”

“I cannot have the vice president coming to Scranton and saying he learned his values there when those values are utterly against those of the Catholic Church,” Martino said.

Sister Jamie Phelps, a theologian at Xavier University in Louisiana, also served on Obama’s National Catholic Advisory Board. She applauds the bishops for issuing the statement. But she said the Faithful Citizenship document made it clear that while the rights of an unborn child are a priority voters should consider a whole range of issues regarding the preservation and quality of life.

“That child has no voice if it’s not the voice of the bishops and the voice of Catholics,” she said. “But you can not pick and choose an intrinsic evil.”

George said the Faithful Citizenship document remains the guiding principle for Catholic voters. But he said future versions should be tweaked so portions are not “misused and misinterpreted.” He said Catholics seemed to overlook the “whole question of proportionate reason.”

George has attributed Obama’s victory to the economy, insisting that it was not a referendum on moral issues such as abortion rights.

The bishops also approved a blessing on Tuesday devoted to a child in the womb, intended to support parents, unite parishes and foster respect for human life within society.

“Obviously it’s a very tangible way for us to witness pastorally and sacramentally to the life of an unborn child,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville. “It’s very consistent with the priorities we’ve raised.”

New Metro ads likely to stir up controversy

New Metro ads likely to stir up controversy

WASHINGTON – It wouldn’t be the holiday season without a little controversy concerning God.

Starting next week, Metro will roll out a set of advertisements on its buses sponsored by the American Humanist Association (AHA), a non-theist group. The ads will show a picture of a fake Santa Claus and read: “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.”

“The idea being ‘why believe in a god?’ It is just not necessary,” says Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the AHA. “And ‘just be good for goodness’ sake’ meaning, why not truly do what we can to be good for the sake of goodness.”

The ads will be displayed on the sides and taillights of more than 200 Metro buses starting on Nov. 18. The interior posters will go up Dec. 1. The campaign is costing the AHA about $40,000.

“For the most part, we are reaching out to non-theists, to atheists who thought they were alone and now realize there is a way to connect with like minded folks,” Spekhardt says. “But this will also give those people on the fence something to think about.”

The AHA thought about campaigns in other cities, but chose D.C. because they believe the message will reach the widest swath of people without getting lost in the mix of other ads. The group defines humanism as “a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

The timing of the ads is also intentional.

“We really are hoping to reach out during the holidays. When Thanksgiving comes, and everyone gets around to say grace, maybe the non-theist in the room can say, ‘maybe I should be excused,’ or ‘maybe I can say something this time’ and say something that doesn’t give credit to something that doesn’t exist for all that we have done on this planet.”

The AHA says it will think about expanding the ad campaign, based upon the reaction it gets.

The campaign comes as conservative Christian groups gear up their efforts to keep Christ in Christmas. In the past five years, groups such as the American Family Association and the Catholic League have criticized or threatened boycotts of retailers who use generic “holiday” greetings.

In mid-October, the American Family Association started selling buttons that say “It’s OK to say Merry Christmas.” The humanists’ entry into the marketplace of ideas did not impress AFA president Tim Wildmon.

“It’s a stupid ad,” he said. “How do we define ‘good’ if we don’t believe in God? God in his word, the Bible, tells us what’s good and bad and right and wrong. If we are each ourselves defining what’s good, it’s going to be a crazy world.”

Also on Tuesday, the Orlando, Fla.-based Liberty Counsel, a conservative Christian legal group, launched its sixth annual “Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign.” Liberty Counsel has intervened in disputes over nativity scenes and government bans on Christmas decorations, among other things.

“It’s the ultimate grinch to say there is no God at a time when millions of people around the world celebrate the birth of Christ,” said Mathew Staver, the group’s chairman and dean of the Liberty University School of Law. “Certainly, they have the right to believe what they want but this is insulting.”

Best-selling books by authors such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have fueled interest in “the new atheism” – a more in-your-face argument against God’s existence.

Yet few Americans describe themselves as atheist or agnostic; a Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life poll from earlier this year found 92 percent of Americans believe in God.

There was no debate at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority over whether to take the ad. Spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said the agency accepts ads that aren’t obscene or pornographic.