Charlie Hebdo Tribute

Je pense donc je suis Charlie – I think therefore I am Charlie.

Nous sommes TOUS Charlie – We are ALL Charlie.

These taglines identify supporters of freedom of expression and resisters of religious threats. In this context, AAI est Charlie.

In solidarity we stand proudly with the people of France and her cartoonists who worked for Charlie Hebdo magazine and who were victims of religion-inspired terrorism on the 7th January 2015. Organised religion has always had a great deal on its conscience and now it has even more to answer for. In the case of Charlie Hebdo, seventeen people have been shot and killed and eleven more wounded. Minutes after this following cartoon that lampooned religion was published and tweeted from Charlie Hebdo magazine, religious terrorists stormed the magazine office and opened fire.

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France to deploy soldiers after spate of attacks

According to BBC, France is to step up police and military patrols in areas frequented by the public following recent attacks, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said.

He said up to 300 soldiers would be deployed around the country to boost security over the Christmas period.

The attacks, seemingly unrelated, in Nantes, Dijon and Tours have left more than 20 people injured.

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Berlin grants humanist pupils own holiday

 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."

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Half of Irish electorate supports abolition of blasphemy

Government to hold referendum to delete offence from Constitution in 2015

According to Irish Times, Exactly half the electorate supports the abolition of the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution, but a substantial number of people have not made up their minds on the issue, according to the poll.

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Reports of Witchcraft-Related Child Abuse On the Rise in London

By: Alexander Smith 

According to NBCNews, Kevani Kanda was just six years old when her family accused her of being a witch. She was being molested by a relative and the trauma made her wet the bed and sleepwalk.

But instead of trying to find out what was wrong, Kanda's family were convinced she was possessed by an evil spirit. For the next five years, she was starved, forced to eat her own vomit, beaten repeatedly and given suppositories containing spices to "get rid of the evil spirits." And the torture occurred in a London suburb.

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POPE CALLS OUT “BAD SHEPHERDS” AS CONSERVATIVES PREPARE TO FIGHT CHANGE

According to Religion Dispatches, just a day before gay marriage in the U.S. received a significant boost from the Supreme Court, the much-anticipated Extraordinary Synod on the Family opened in Rome yesterday with Pope Francis pointedly criticizing “bad shepherds” who seek money and power and “lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others, which they themselves do not lift a finger to move.”

As some 190 bishops and a collection of lay advisors meet to discuss “pastoral challenges” facing Catholic families, divisions are being laid bare in the church that were largely suppressed in the Pope John Paul II/Benedict years, with a cabal of conservative bishops (presumably the “bad shepherds”) looking to beat back any liberalization of church doctrine promoted by more moderate cardinals.

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It’s official: We’ll have a referendum to remove blasphemy from the Constitution

According to The Journal, Irish voters will have be asked to vote on whether to remove the crime of blasphemy from the Constitution, it was announced this morning.

Junior Minister Aodhán Ó’Ríordáin told the Dáil:

“The Government accepts the main recommendation of the [Constitutional Convention], which is that a referendum should be held on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution.”

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'Trojan Horse' Scandal 'Worse in London than Birmingham' Claims Department for Education

Some schools in east London are being taken over by Muslim extremists who are trying to convert pupils and staff to their hardline ideology, according to a report in today's Sunday Times.

The newspaper spoke to a contact within the Department for Education (DfE) who clams the problem there is even worse than in Birmingham, where a 'Trojan Horse' plot to take over schools was revealed this year.

"Tower Hamlets is expected to be the next Birmingham," said the DfE source, "but even worse, because the problems surrounding Muslim fundamentalists imposing their views on education seems to be more embedded."

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Stephen Hawking Says 'There Is No God,' Confirms He's An Atheist

According to Huffington Post, Stephen Hawking says he's an atheist, arguing that science offers a "more convincing explanation" for the origins of the universe and that the miracles of religion "aren't compatible" with scientific fact.

"Before we understood science, it was natural to believe that God created the universe, but now science offers a more convincing explanation," the celebrated physicist said in a video posted by Spanish newspaper El Mundo. "What I meant by 'we would know the mind of God' is we would know everything that God would know if there was a God, but there isn't. I'm an atheist."

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Two Austrian girls stopped in route to join ISIS

 Acoording to RT, the Austrian authorities have stopped two schoolgirls who were willing to leave the country and join the jihadists in the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). A third girl was planning to join them, but was stopped by her mother.

A 14-year-old girl and her friend, 15, both from Vienna, were earlier reported missing, said Interior Ministry official Alexander Marakovits.

The third girl, who is 17 years old, was planning to join them in Graz, the second-largest city in Austria. However, her mother became suspicious of the large suitcase she was taking and stopped her from going.

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Salafist Muslim Group Forms 'Sharia Police' Patrol in Germany

In the city of Wuppertal in Germany a group of Salafist Muslims have created a squad of "Sharia Police", enforcing Sharia Law during the night in the city.

There is no surprise in the message of the Sharia Police:

"No gambling, no music, no alcohol, no kafirs." 

According NBC News, small groups of hardline Salafist Muslims have been patrolling the streets of a German city hoping to "influence and recruit young people," police said. The groups were seen in the western city of Wuppertal wearing bright orange reflective vests with "Shariah Police" on the back. "This was seen as a violation against Germany’s public assembly law and charges were filed,” police spokesman Andre Schwanicke told NBC News. Officials say they have increased the police presence in the city.

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