Created on Thursday, 18 December 2014 16:08
Harsh penalties for sodomy, theft, drinking alcohol
According to The Washington Free Bacon, the Islamic State (IS) has published it own penal code, which harshly penalizes actions such as sodomy and blasphemy with punishments including execution, crucifixion, lashing, and the severing of limbs, among other penalties.
IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS) issued the detailed document as a “warning and a reminder to people living under its rule” that any behavior not in accordance with strict Islamic law will be cruelly punished, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which translated a copy of the penal code posted at a radical online depot known as the Jihadi Media Platform.
Created on Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:09
According to Reuters, the self-styled sheikh behind a siege at a Sydney cafe had been charged as an accessory to murder and with multiple sexual offences. He also harbored deep grievances against the Australian government and had found little kinship in the city's large Muslim community, where he was seen as deeply troubled.
Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee described by those who knew him as a loner, was killed early on Tuesday after heavily armed police stormed the Lindt Chocolate Cafe to end a 16-hour hostage drama that made global headlines.
Created on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 23:59
According to Independent, ISIS has executed at least 150 women for refusing to marry militants in Iraq, Turkish media has reported.
A statement released by Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights on Tuesday said the militants had attacked women in the western Iraqi province of Al-Anbar before burying them in mass graves in Fallujah.
Some of the women killed were pregnant at the time, according to the Anadolu Agency.
"At least 150 females, including pregnant women, were executed in Fallujah by a militant named Abu Anas Al-Libi after they refused to accept jihad marriage," the statement said.
Created on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 23:51
According to Independent, the Taliban gunmen who stormed a school in Pakistan killing 148 people, including 132 children, have been identified by the militant group.
The Pakistani Taliban released the pictures as they issued a statement claiming the attack was justified because the Pakistani army had long been killing innocent children and families of their fighters.
Pakistani Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khurasani also vowed more attacks as he warned civilians to detach themselves from all military institutions.
Created on Monday, 15 December 2014 09:21
According to Arabian Business, ISIL's self-declared police force in western Syria decapitated four men after accusing them of blasphemy, a rights group monitoring the Syrian conflict said on Saturday.
The men were beheaded in the countryside east of the city of Homs by the militant group's "Islamic Police", the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Observatory, which monitors the conflict using sources on the ground, reported a similar killing on Tuesday, when ISIL beheaded a man in a town square in the north of the country.
Created on Tuesday, 09 December 2014 20:21
By Atika Shubert, CNN
It was a killing choreographed for maximum brutality: The simultaneous beheading of 22 Syrian captives held by ISIS.
In November, ISIS released a propaganda video titled "Though the Unbelievers Despise It." It featured the apparent murder of an American hostage, Peter Kassig (known as Abdul Rahman Kassig after his conversion to Islam), and the mass killing of what appear to be nearly two dozen Syrian soldiers.
Created on Friday, 21 November 2014 04:22
WRITTEN BY BERKELEY STUDENT FRANCES HUANG WITH MARK KOLSEN, AAI NEWS TEAM
Does it make sense to talk of ‘secular spirituality’? Well-known atheist and author Dr Sam Harris thinks it does. I attended Harris’s San Francisco lecture on 17 September which coincided with the release of his new book Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. The lecture series (also presented in Los Angeles and New York) tried (and mostly succeeded) in getting to the core of human consciousness, mindfulness and secular spirituality.
First, Harris skilfully argued that since the very beginning, suffering has its origins in the illusion of self. This ‘self’ claims to be the thinker of our thoughts and the experiencer of our experiences. When we are wandering in our thoughts, those little persons in our heads are the ‘selves’ that we seem to experience. However, as Harris pointed out in both the lecture and the new book, ‘a persistent and unified self’ is merely an illusion since it is the whole brain and the firing of neuronal networks that make us who we are. Our thoughts and our behaviors are wholly caused by our brain, which also changes with time. As Harris argued in his book Free Will (2012), free will, like the sense of self, is also an illusion.
Created on Thursday, 11 December 2014 19:24
According to AP, Schools in Berlin haverecognized World Humanist Day as a holiday on a par with All Saints' Day, Yom Kippur and Eid al-Fitr.
The decision means Berlin pupils who subscribe to humanism — a philosophy that rejects the existence of deities — can apply for a day off to celebrate their belief in the same way as Christians, Muslims and Jews do for their holy days.
Arik Platzek, a spokesman for Germany's Humanist Association, said Wednesday the decision "is a positive signal and a good example."
Created on Saturday, 22 November 2014 07:56
According to The Hindu, Indonesia must stop subjecting female police recruits to physical tests in an effort to determine whether they are virgins, a leading human rights group said Tuesday, describing the practice as degrading and discriminatory.
The report was based on interviews with female police officers and police applicants in six Indonesian cities who had undergone the “two-finger” test to determine whether their hymens are intact. The requirement is even posted on the jobs website for Indonesia’s national police.
On Tuesday it read, “In addition to the medical and physical tests, women who want to be policewomen must also undergo virginity tests. So all women who want to become policewomen should keep their virginity.”
Citing medical experts, Human Rights Watch said the physical tests are useless in determining virginity.
Indonesian police spokesman Maj. Gen. Ronny Sompie urged people not “respond negatively” to the tests, saying they were aimed at ensuring applicants were free from sexually transmitted diseases.
He said both male and female recruits also get blood tests for STDs. “All of this is done in a professional manner and did not harm the applicants,” Maj. Gen. Sompie said.
Created on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 06:27
WRITTEN BY MARK KOLSEN, AAI NEWS TEAM
In his 1776 pamphlet Common Sense, Thomas Paine argued that the colonies should replace the English monarchy with a representative democracy. Although he offered few details on how the U.S. constitution should be structured, Paine argued that when deciding on laws, representatives “are supposed to have the same concerns” as the people who elected them, and when voting on laws, should “act in the same manner as (the people) would act were they present.” To ensure the representatives’ “fidelity” to the public, Paine said that Americans should have “elections often,” that is, annual elections as done typically in colonial legislatures. To Paine, “the strength of the government and the happiness of the governed” depends on the people and their representatives having a “common interest.”