THEIST_WATCH Msg : 60 Written : 08/03/94 04:11pm From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : To :

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THEIST_WATCH Msg : 60 Written : 08/03/94 04:11pm From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : To : ALL Subj : Muslim News In the Philippines when a bus convoy of teachers was stopped by Abu Sayaf (fundamentalist Muslim) guerrillas, fifteen of the Christian passengers were massacred for failing to recite Islamic prayer. ******************************* In Bangladesh, Islam has been declared to be the state religion. ************************************** In Pakistan the majority Sunni Muslims and the minority Shiite Muslims continue to raid each other's mosques. And in mid-July two young boys were killed when a grenade exploded as they prayed at a Sunni mosque in Lahore (the capital of Punjab province). Meanwhile hundreds of people languish in jail charged with blaspheming Islam while Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto continues to backtrack on promises to repeal controversial Islamic laws. In Pakistan the only possible punishment for blasphemy (insulting either Islam or its prophet, Mohammed) is the death penalty. A mob hacked to death a school teacher after a student accused him of insulting Islam. So far, two persons imprisoned solely because of their beliefs have been sentenced to death - which they awaiting pending their appeals. Another Christian, out of bail on blasphemy charges, was shot and killed in Lahore. And, a thirteen-year-old Christian boy spent five months in prison for the blasphemy. **************************************** In Egypt, a novelist, Al-Ahram - sentenced in 1991 to eight years in prison for writing a book questioning religion - is out of his job of thirty-five years (as a tax authority) for writing a book which has not as yet been published. The objection: the book may be too explicit in its description of sex. His eight-year sentence has been delayed since it must be approved by the country's prime minister, who has not got to it as yet. ************************************** In Manila, Muslim members of the Al Arqam sect have decided to abandon their green robes to avoid arrest after forty-one of them were picked up by the police for distributing literature. The sect (worth about $115 million) owns farms, food processing factories, and a chain of restaurants. The prime minister of the nation has charged the sect as "a security risk" since its members "deviate from Islam's teachings. Founded in 1968, the sect claims that a great Islamic reformer will appear "soon" in Uzbekistan and am Islamic movement will arise in the East. ******************************************* In Indonesia, Moslems account for about 85 percent of the 185 million population. Although the nation's constitution guarantees freedom of worship, and urges tolerance, President Suharto is on the alert for religious "extremism" which he immediately crushes. Last month troops entered a church and stamped on communion wafers, disrupting the service. In early July, students clashed with Indonesian troops in Dili, the capital, after two Roman Catholic nuns were insulted. THEIST_WATCH Msg : 111 Written : 10/04/94 10:24am From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : RcA To : ALL Subj : God, the ayatollahs, and airplanes GOD, THE AYATOLLAHS, AND AIRPLANES Faithful Muslims are required to kneel down in the direction of Mecca five times a day and pray. But not just any time will do; Muslims must pray at specific times each day. And that's the problem with the flight schedule of Iran Air. On Friday, September 9,in a sermon broadcast on Tehran Radio, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said that Iran Air should re-arrange its flight schedule so that it does not conflict with prayer times. All flights, he said, should be arranged so that passengers and crew can pray "at the airport before departure, or after arrival, or on the plane itself." But that's not all -- drivers of inter-city buses should stop for prayers. Those that do not, according to Jannati, should be reported to the highway patrol. Jannati is a member of the Guardian Council, which oversees parliament decisions. *********************************************************************** * * * American Atheists website: http://www.atheists.org * * PO Box 140195 FTP: ftp://ftp.atheists.org * * Austin, TX 78714-0195 * * Voice: (512) 458-1244 Dial-THE-ATHEIST: * * FAX: (512) 467-9525 (512) 458-5731 * * * * Atheist Viewpoint TV: avtv@atheists.org * * Info on American Atheists: info@atheists.org, * * & American Atheist Press include your name and mailing address * * AANEWS -Free subscription: aanews-request@listserv.atheists.org * * and put "info aanews" in message body * * * * This text may be freely downloaded, reprinted, and/other * * otherwise redistributed, provided appropriate point of * * origin credit is given to American Atheists. * * * ***********************************************************************

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