New ISIS pamphlet justifies militants abuse of ‘Unbelieving’ captives; says Allah allows it

December 15, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Iraq, December 10, 2014: The Islamic State released a new pamphlet teaching jihadis why it is permissible, under Islamic law, to enslave, abuse, buy, sell and have forced sexual intercourse with religious minority female and child captives.

The Research and Fatawa (Islamic law) Department of the Islamic State released a set of guidelines last week in the form of a frequently asked questions-style pamphlet, which posed serious ethical questions about the militants’ sex slave practices. The questions are followed up with brief answers, using verses from the Koran and teachings of “Islamic scholars” to justify why Islamic law permits those actions. It also provides certain guidelines for the militants to follow.

According to the document, which was released on Dec. 3 and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, women of opposing religious views are viewed as a part of the al-harb (people of war). Once the women of the al-harb are captured, the pamphlet claims they are sexually permissible for fighters because of their state of “unbelief.”

“Unbelieving [women] who were captured and brought into the abode of Islam are permissible to us, after the Imam distributes them [among us],” the pamphlet reads. “It is permissible to have sexual intercourse with the female captive. Allah the almighty said: ‘[Successful are the believers] who guard their chastity, except from their wives or [the captives and slaves] that their right hands possess, for then they are free from blame [Koran 23:5-6].’”

Although the pamphlet claims that all women of unbelief are eligible to be taken captive and used sexually, the pamphlet says that Islamic scholars are undecided as to whether women who convert to Islam should be eligible for sexual intercourse with fighters.

“There is no dispute among the scholars that it is permissible to capture unbelieving women [who are characterized by] original unbelief, such as the kitabiyat [women believing in the Bible like Jews and Christians] and polytheists,” the pamphlet adds. “However, [the scholars] are disputed over [the issue of] capturing apostate women. The consensus leans towards forbidding it, though some people of knowledge think it permissible. We lean towards accepting the consensus.”

After explaining why it is divinely moral for their fighters to sexually abuse the captives, the pamphlet then addresses certain rules and rituals that militants must follow before using their newly captured religious minority woman or girl.

The pamphlet allows for fighters to have sex with a young captured girl who has not yet reached puberty, if “she is fit for intercourse.” But if she is not fit to have intercourse, the document says it is ok to have sensual relations with her in other ways.

The guide further explains that if a militant comes into possession of a captured virgin, he may immediately begin having sex with the woman, because her genital parts are already deemed pure. But if a fighter comes into the possession of a woman who is not a virgin, the woman must be cleansed.

“If she is a virgin, he can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession of her. However, if she isn’t her uterus must be purified,” the pamphlet asserts.

The pamphlet also justifies jihadis beating female slaves as a form of disciplinary action but the militant cannot simply beat or torture female slaves just for his own gratification. Additionally, fighters may not hit the women in the face.

Since the captured women are deemed a possession of their master, ISIS justifies the selling of the women, which the militants do frequently with a trafficking center in their stronghold of Raqqa.

“It is permissible to buy, sell, or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property, which can be disposed of [as long as that doesn't cause the Muslim nation] any harm or damage.”

There are a few guidelines that the pamphlet highlights that places clear restrictions on the militants. One such restriction is that if the fighter impregnates the captive, he can no longer sell her as she is now the mother of his child.

Also, fighters may not separate a mother from her child through the act or purchasing and selling. A mother or daughter can only be sold separately once the child is fully mature, although the pamphlet does not provide an age for the acceptable level of maturity.

Additionally, fighters may not have intercourse with a captive that is owned by more than one fighter. If two jihadis wanted to save money and buy one captive to share for sex, Islamic law would not allow them to have intercourse with the woman, according to the pamphlet.

- christian post

Religious minorities under threat as Burma President submits bills

December 15, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Burma ChristiansBurma, December 11, 2014: Burmese President Thein Sein has been criticised by human rights associations for approving a draft bill that curbs conversion to other religions and marriages between Buddhist women and men of other religions. Initially proposed by nationalist Buddhist monks who form the Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion, a group also known as Ma Ba Tha, the bill was signed on 3 December and submitted to Parliament for final approval.

If approved, the new bill will force anyone who converts to a different religion to seek a range of permissions from the authorities, or face penalties (not yet stipulated). And if a Buddhist woman wishes to marry a man from another religion, they must first apply to local authorities for permission. A public notice of the engagement will be produced and only if no objections are made can the couple get married. If they fail to follow this procedure, they could face a jail sentence of up to two years.

Although the new bill does not mention any religion in particular, some commentators believe that the new restrictions are proposed in a bid to prevent Muslim men from coercing Buddhist women to convert to Islam through marriage. Clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in 2012 saw more than 200 deaths.  It will also introduce other restrictions on family life.

Opponents of the draft bill have criticised it on the basis that it is discriminatory towards women and religious minorities. The proposed restrictions on changing religion would also affect Buddhists who want to convert to Christianity.  Speaking out on the subject, the Archbishop of Yangon, Charles Bo, said that “the right to marry, convert and vote are inviolable human rights”.

According to Human Rights Watch, improvements have been made in terms of Burma’s human rights record since Thein Sein was sworn in as president in 2011. Several hundred political prisoners have been freed and some laws have been amended. However, many repressive laws remain in place and the religious liberty situation remains a serious concern.

The US Secretary of State re-designated the country as a “Country of Particular Concern” with regard to religious liberty in August 2011, for engaging in or tolerating particularly severe violations of religious freedom, and again in 2014 for serious abuses against ethnic minority Christians in Kachin state during recent military interventions there. According to the 2013 report produced by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma, there is evidence of “the targeting of religious venues in military operations, forced labor of church members, restrictions on building places of worship, destruction of religious venues and artifacts, and prohibitions on some religious ceremonies”.

- barnabas team

Hyd Hindu Meet on 25 Dec. It’s like Nizam rule, says VHP’s Togadia

December 15, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

TelanganaHyderabad, December 11, 2014: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) international president Praveen Togadia Thursday alleged that injustice is being meted out to Hindus in the newly created state of Telangana.

He told reporters here that it was like a Nizam’s rule in Telangana as Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is showing discrimination against Hindus.

Togadia, who launched the website of Hyderabad unit of the VHP, said the state government is considering 12 percent reservations for Muslims, though both the high court and the Supreme Court have ruled against religion-based job quota.

He said it was a matter of concern that the state government was doing nothing to provide jobs to Hindu youths but is more bothered about the minorities.

The VHP leader also criticised the TRS government for its scheme to provide financial assistance for the marriages of poor Muslim girls and wondered why there is no such facility for the marriages of poor Hindu girls.

Togadia sought strict action to stop evangelist activity near the Tirupati temple.

He said authorities have failed to implement the orders which ban the preaching of other religions on Tirumala Hills.

He said a “Hindu sammelan” will be held in Hyderabad Dec 25-29.

- ians

Land dispute: Sena workers attack church guard

December 15, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

Chandigarh christians prayLudhina, December 11, 2014: Church of North India’s Chandigarh dioceses has complained of Shiv Sena workers attacking a security guard and forcibly entering the area near Kalvari church on Tuesday.

The security guard was seriously injured. The dispute is over three yards of land, which the RSS claim, belong to them, the Times of India reported.

At 3:30pm, Shiv Sena workers attacked with revolvers, swords, knives and wooden sticks. They also misbehaved with Father Darbara Singh.

Police officer Gurpreet Singh in the old city said an FIR has been filed against Shiv Sena members. “They came armed with weapons and threatened people. However, there was more of a verbal fight, weapons were not used,” he said.

According to Father Singh, at around 12 noon “they tried to enter the premises of the Diocese of Chandigarh forcefully.” When stopped, they injured the security guard, who is now hospitalized.

Arun Henry, a member of the church, said they came up with fake papers and claimed the land belongs to their friend Rajan T Singh.

Sources said the dispute over the three yards of land, presently with the Diocese, has been going on since 1998.

The two parties are Rajan T Singh and the united CNI. The land previously belonged to Afzal Chaudhary, who handed it over to the Diocese a long time ago. Ironically, Rajan belongs to the same community.

- times of india

Catholic nuns lead raids on brothels

December 15, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

TraffickingKolkata, December 11, 2014: Leaving their habits behind and disguised along with police in regular clothes, a small group of three or four nuns raid brothels in Kolkata, India, at night, snatching young women and girls as young as 12 from the clutches of their captors.

In four years, “we have put 30 traffickers in jail,” said Sister Sharmi D’Souza, a member of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate, told journalists at a Vatican news conference on Wednesday. She and a number of other religious women attended the event that presented Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace message, which urged everyone to fight modern forms of slavery.

“In one night, we saved 37 girls,” she said, adding that 10 were minors. The sisters take the women to safety and offer them support and assistance; the women also provide critical information to police, such as names of traffickers and the location of other brothels.

If police refuse to go with the nuns on a raid because they have been bribed by traffickers, the nuns go to someone higher up on the chain of command, “and they take action,” she said.

“We never go alone. We go along with other NGOs together. But we need our pastors to come along with us, our bishops, our priests to support us, because if they are with us we can still do more,” she said.

- cns

International leaders express concern for Christians in Middle East

December 15, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-world

Rally against Iraq and Syria Christians persecutionSyria, December 4, 2014: The Prince of Wales has spoken of his distress about the suffering of Armenian Christians in Iraq and Syria, as he visited London’s Armenian cathedral on 19 November. And at the end of a three-day visit to Turkey, Pope Francis signed a joint declaration with Patriarch Bartholomew I condemning the persecution of Christian communities in the Middle East. Also in solidarity with suffering Christians, Russia’s ambassador to the UK has pledged that his country will support Christians in Iraq and Syria.

Lamenting the plight of Armenian Christians in the Middle East, the UK’s Prince Charles denounced the destruction of the Armenian church in Deir el-Zour, Syria by Jabhat al-Nusra Islamists as well as the devastation of a 1,800-year-old church in Mosul, Iraq by Islamic State (IS) earlier this year. Condemning the persecution of Christians in the Middle East as “the most soul-destroying tragedy” and a “grotesque and barbarous assault” he said, “Our prayers for those who have to endure this continuing horror, seem so hopelessly inadequate under such dreadful circumstances, but please, please just know how truly heartfelt they are.”

Although many church buildings have been attacked, the targeting of these two highly significant churches comes as a blow to those for whom they mean so much. The Armenian church in Deir el-Zour was built to remember the 1.5 million Armenians massacred under Turkish Ottoman rule in a decades-long  genocide that peaked in 1915. Commemorated annually on 24 April, Armenians in Syria flock to the church; 2015 will mark the centenary, but there is little hope that anyone will reach the church ruins next year.

Meanwhile, in modern-day Turkey, the Christian population is now as low as 0.1% or less, with around 100,000 believers although Christians accounted for over 20% of the Ottoman Empire before the Armenian genocide. Patriarch Bartholomew I, who is Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, welcomed Pope Francis at Istanbul on 30 November. Together, they expressed concern for the Christians who have been forced to leave their homes in the Middle East and urged the international community to assume its duty to care for the oppressed and the displaced.

Elsewhere, according to a statement on 26 November by the Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian experts are working on a document that examines the possibility of implementing a UN Human Rights Council draft decision to protect Christians in the Middle East and North Africa.

Dr Yakovenko also wrote that Russia is set to defend the case of persecuted Christians in the region at the OSCE Ministerial Council that is currently meeting in Basel, Switzerland. “Preventing the persecution of Christians in this part of the world is one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities,” he said.  The report highlights Russia’s concern about the suffering of Christians in Iraq and Syria who have been victims of an enforced head tax [the traditional Islamic jiyza tax on non-Muslims] and forced to leave their homes as IS militants attempt to impose aggressive laws.

Dr Yakovenko also commented, “We believe that Europe, including the UK, should make its contribution to these efforts, taking into account the Christian roots of the European civilization.”

- barnabas team

I’ve learned

December 15, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

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If you will take the time to read these.
They’re written by Andy Rooney, a man who had the gift of saying so much with so few words.

I’ve learned …That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve learned …. That when you’re in love, it shows.

I’ve learned …. That just one person saying to me, ’You’ve made my day!’ makes my day.

You made my day

I’ve learned …. That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I’ve learned …. That being kind is more important than being right.

I’ve learned …. That you should never say no to a gift from a child.

I’ve learned …. That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.

I’ve learned …. That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I’ve learned …. That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I’ve learned …. That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

Walk with Father

I’ve learned …. That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I’ve learned …. That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.

I’ve learned …. That money doesn’t buy class.

I’ve learned …. That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I’ve learned …. That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I’ve learned …. That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I’ve learned …. That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I’ve learned …. That love, not time, heals all wounds.

I’ve learned …. That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I’ve learned …. That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile..

I’ve learned …. That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

I’ve learned … That life is tough, but I’m tougher.

I’ve learned …. That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

I’ve learned …. That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I’ve learned …. That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.

I’ve learned …. That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I’ve learned ….. That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

smile

I’ve learned ….. That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you’re hooked for life.

I’ve learned …. That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

I’ve learned …. That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

- fwd: vathan shettigar

US teenager arrested & beaten by police for refusing to remove rosary beads

December 11, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-lead

refusing to remove rosary beadsTexas, December 8, 2014: In what activists are claiming is a clear use of excessive police force and a violation of civil liberty, an eighth grader at a Texas middle school was arrested and slammed face-first in the ground by a police officer during a school football game after the student refused to remove his spiritually beloved rosary beads from his neck.

Jacob Herrera, an eighth grade student at Sam Houston Middle School in in Amarillo, Texas, was arrested and detained overnight by local police in late October after he argued with an officer over his right to wear rosary beads on school grounds. The rosary was given to him by his now-deceased brother and has religious and sentimental value to him.

While the Amarillo Police Department holds that rosary beads are symbolism for association with gang violence and asks that students in the Amarillo Independent School District not wear them on school property, Herrera had acquired prior approval from the school’s principal that allowed him to wear rosary beads underneath his clothing while in school.

Before Herrera attended one of the school’s football games on Oct. 29, he was granted further approval from administrators allowing him to wear and display his beads while at the football game, without having to keep them underneath his clothing, his mother claims.

At the game, Herrera was confronted by a police officer working security who told him to remove the beads. Herrera didn’t want to remove the beads and tried to explain to the officer that he had been given permission to wear them.

When Herrera refused to remove the beads, police statements indicate that Herrera was told to put his hands behind his back, which he refused. He additionally did not comply with any of the officer’s other demands, which ultimately led to his arrest and painful physical police treatment.

“My son passed away two years ago, 2012, and he was teaching Jacob, you know about God and how you know, he should wear the rosary to protect him. So Jacob believes that that rosary protects him and its of his remembrance to his brother,” Herrera’s mother, Lori Martinez, told a local CBS affiliate.

According to a witness, Herrera was detained and was treated cruelly by the officers. Later, he had to be taken to the hospital due to injuries inflicted by the officer.

“You know, he handcuffed him, and then crossed him across the street right there and slammed him again and he repeatedly slammed the child on the floor,” witness Marviell Chavez said.

Coming to the legal defense of Herrera, The Rutherford Institute, a legal group dedicated to the defense of civil liberties, sent a demand letter to the Amarillo Independent School District on Dec. 4 demanding that the district rescind its dress code policy that states that students may not wear anything deemed as “gang apparel” by local law enforcement.

The letter also asked the school district to encourage law enforcement to drop its criminal prosecution of Herrera, and also said that the school district should issue a statement condemning the police department’s use of excessive force on young students.

“I think it was excessive force. The school should not be allowing this to happen. He is just an eighth grader,” Rutherford Institute founder John Whitehead said in a Monday interview with The Christian Post. “I understand that this [could be seen as] a gang symbol, but you can’t repress the symbol. It is a matter of religious freedom and is a First Amendment right. I think that they are overreacting to the gang issues, and if you have somebody wearing it legitimately, yes, they should be allowed to wear it. I think it is an important issue or we wouldn’t be involved.”

The Rutherford Institute has given the school district until Friday, Dec. 12, to respond to their demads. If the school district does not respond or give in to the demands by then, Whitehead said the institute has found a local lawyer who will take up Herrera’s case and could pursue a lawsuit against the school and police department.

Although Whitehead said that the letter was sent last Thursday, the Amarillo Independent School District’s communications director, Holly Shelton, told CP that they did not recevied the letter until Monday morning and will conduct a review of the the district’s policy.

“We will be reviewing our policies with the concerns addressed in the letter in mind,” Shelton said.

Herrara’s case is just one case representing a larger issue of school boards and local governments wrongly implementing rules that infringe upon the religious expression rights of their students and even teachers, Whitehead further addedd.

“I have heard of schools that say teachers can’t wear a cross. They can’t wear a reef on their lapel. Well, no court cases have ever held that. It is just an overreaction for political correctness,” Whitehead asserted. “I can see concern over gang symbols, but when you are lumping rosary beads in there with it, and Christian symbols, you got a problem.

“Then, when you have the cops slamming somebody face-down, and he had to go to the hospital over it, an eighth grader, holding him in detention like he is a master criminal, just doesn’t make any sense to me,” Whitehead added.

- christian post

5 lakh for Muslim, 2 lakh for Christian family to switch to Hinduism: Dharm Jagran Manch details cost

December 11, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

letterNew Delhi, December 11, 2014: Just how much does it cost to get someone to change their religion? If the Dharm Jagran Manch is to be believed, its costs Rs 5 lakh for a Muslim family and Rs 2 lakh for a Christian family to switch to Hinduism.

These figures have been given by Rajeshwar Singh, a leader of Dharm Jagran Manch, in a letter he sent out as part of the preparations for the planned mass conversion in Aligarh on Christmas.

On being asked about the figures, the Agra unit chief’s defense was that money was required for any event.

Upon further questioning he bristled up and said that the media had no right to question him. “You are not the law or judiciary, investigating is not your job. Why should I answer your questions? Are you giving me something? I don’t consider the media to be anything,” he snapped at the reporter.

- abp news

Karnataka: Worshippers attacked and church vandalised

December 11, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

Church vandalism in KarnatakaKarnataka, December 3, 2014: Around 25 extremist Hindu militants interrupted a Sunday worship service in Karnataka, southern India on 23 November. After vandalising the church, they attacked worshippers using wooden sticks and iron rods, warning them not to rebuild the church. Eight of the church members were injured, two of whom were hospitalised with broken legs.

Despite the fact that there is a local police station close to the church, the police did not intervene when they arrived at the scene of the attack. Instead, they took Pastor Robert Solomon D’Souza for questioning.

Pastor Robert told reporters that he had been threatened by Rajendran, leader of the BJP (a radical Hindu party), and told, “We do not want a church in this place. You better leave this place or face the consequences.”

- barnabas team

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