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Religion News Blog, Mar. 13, 2003

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  • Anton Hein
    Religion News Blog, March 13, 2003 [Islam] To be a Muslim - and a Marylander http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00002694.html ... After such reports,
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 13, 2003
      Religion News Blog, March 13, 2003

      [Islam] To be a Muslim - and a Marylander
      :===Begin Quote===
      After such reports, Maryland's Islamic communities say they consider
      it part of their mission to educate non-Muslim neighbors about who
      they are - and who they are not.

      Dr. Mohammad Haq, a Waynesboro, Pa., physician who is active in the
      Hagerstown-area Islamic community, said that when he sees broadcasts
      of Osama bin Laden, "I say that this is a man who gave opportunity to
      the enemies of Islam to damage this faith. He is the man who hijacked
      our religion and gave a bad name to a peaceful religion."

      Haq, originally from Pakistan, says terrorists are to Muslims what the
      Ku Klux Klan is to Christians.
      :===End Quote===

      [Catholic Church] Judge orders Catholic leader's testimony
      :===Begin Quote===
      Auxiliary Bishop Agustín Román, one of the highest-ranking local
      Catholic leaders, must give a pretrial deposition within 60 days about
      alleged abuse by two other priests, said Miami-Dade Circuit Judge
      Ronald Friedman.

      The ruling puts intense pressure on the archdiocese, which is trying
      to fend off 20 molestation lawsuits -- including this case filed last
      year by a former altar boy, who claimed he was abused by two Catholic
      priests three decades ago.
      :===End Quote===

      [UFOs] Call to honour space aliens
      :===Begin Quote===
      Dan Foley, a Republican from Roswell, New Mexico, the area where some
      say aliens landed, proposed an "Extra-terrestrial Culture Day" every
      second Thursday in February.

      Mr Foley asked for the bill "in recognition of the many visitations,
      sightings, unexplained mysteries and technological advances... of
      alien beings" in New Mexico.
      :===End Quote===

      [Mennonites] Midwife Headed To Jail For Religious Beliefs
      :===Begin Quote===
      On Friday, Miller will go back to jail to finish her sentence for not
      telling a grand jury who gave her the prescription drugs she used to
      stop a woman from bleeding after delivering the woman's baby more than
      a year ago.

      Miller, who is Mennonite, strongly believes that giving the name would
      violate religious beliefs. "Because I have convictions -- religious
      convictions -- not to harm somebody else," she said. "If I did that, I
      wouldn't be true to my convictions."

      Midwives are not licensed to give drugs, so a judge found her in
      contempt of court when she wouldn't tell who gave her the
      :===End Quote===

      [Islam] Muslims could be mistakenly eating pork
      :===Begin Quote===
      Muslims may be unwittingly eating pig DNA because processed chicken is
      not properly labelled, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) says.

      Islam forbids the eating of pork and Muslims look for the label
      "Halal" on food to see whether they can eat it. "Halal" is an Arabic
      word for lawful.

      Twelve out of 25 samples of chicken from EU plants were found to
      contain pork traces. Eleven of these were marked "Halal".
      :===End Quote===

      [Polygamy] Man charged with unlawful sex with minors
      :===Begin Quote===
      A Colorado City polygamist was charged with five criminal counts
      alleging he had unlawful sex with teenage girls who became his wives,
      according to prosecutors and court records.

      A complaint filed Feb. 27 in Mohave County Superior Court alleges
      Orson William Black Jr. had sexual relations with Roberta LeAnn Stubbs
      when she was 15 to 17 years old. Black faces similar charges involving
      Roberta's sister, Beth M. Stubbs.
      :===End Quote===

      [AUM Shinrikyo] Asahara silently snatches air during gas attack trial
      :===Begin Quote===
      Court questioning of Shoko Asahara, the AUM Shinrikyo cult guru
      indicted over the lethal gassing of Tokyo subways in 1995, began on
      Thursday with Asahara ignoring his lawyers' questions and suddenly
      snatching at the air around him.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] High Court urged not to inquire into
      :===Begin Quote===
      The High Court has been urged not to engage in a "wholly impermissible
      type of religious discrimination" by permitting an inquiry into the
      truth or falsity of the Church of Scientology's religious claims.

      For the court to admit evidence from a psychologist which was critical
      of the practice of auditing - described as the core and single most
      important way in which Scientologists profess and practise their
      religious belief - would be akin to conducting a judicial inquiry into
      the legitimacy of the Sacrament of the Mass in Roman Catholicism, it
      was argued. This was impermissible under the constitutional guarantee
      of the free profession and practise of religion.

      In submissions on behalf of the church, it was argued Scientology had
      been recognised as a religion by many governments worldwide, and must
      be treated the same as any other religion here.
      :===End Quote===
      NOTE: Inquiring into the truth of falsity of religious claims is not
      akin to 'religious discrimination':

      Even the Jehovah's Witnesses, a cult of Christianity acknowledge this:

      :===Begin Quote===
      Can there be false religion? It is not a form of religious persecution
      for anyone to say and to show that another religion is false. It is
      not religious persecution for an informed person to expose publicly a
      certain religion as being false, thus allowing persons to see the
      difference between false religion and true religion.

      - The Watchtower (Official publication of Jehovah's Witnesses),
      November 15, 1963, p. 688
      :===End Quote===

      [Word of Faith Fellowship] Stepmother gets her son from WOFF
      :===Begin Quote===
      A 6-year-old boy was removed from a home at The Word of Faith
      Fellowship on Tuesday after his father and stepmother petitioned a
      judge for custody.

      It came nearly 12 hours after a judge ordered the sheriff to take the
      child into custody and deliver him to his stepmother.

      The removal also came after an attorney representing the child's aunt,
      who is a member of Word of Faith Fellowship and had physical custody
      of the child, contacted a judge seeking an emergency stay of the
      judgment, but opted not to seek the order.

      The boy is the nephew of Gene Worley of Forest City who is currently
      embroiled in a legal battle with his estranged wife Denise Worley over
      custody of their three children.
      :===End Quote===

      [Amway] Once-barred Amway becomes booming business in China
      :===Begin Quote===
      The store -- and about 100 other Amway outlets across China -- is part
      of a strategy the company has used to bounce back from the
      business-world equivalent of a death sentence: Its longtime sales
      model, which relies on independent sales representatives selling door
      to door and deriving income from their recruits' sales, was declared
      illegal five years ago by a Chinese government directive that lumped
      direct sellers like Amway with illegal pyramid schemes.

      "Never take for granted that people will understand your business
      model," says Eva Cheng, chairman of Amway (China) Co. Ltd. "You need
      to be in aggressive communication mode all the time."
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Crimes] FBI says war could lead to hate crimes against Muslims,
      Arabs in U.S.
      :===Begin Quote===
      U.S. war with Iraq or another terrorist attack could trigger a wave
      of hate crimes against Muslims and Arab-Americans in the United
      States, the FBI said Wednesday.

      The FBI, in its weekly bulletin to 18,000 state and local law
      enforcement agencies, said most such attacks have been "isolated acts
      directed at targets of opportunity" rather than the result of a
      broader conspiracy against specific ethnic groups.

      The crimes have included murders, attempted murders, assaults and
      arson against mosques, Arab-owned businesses and Islamic centers.
      :===End Quote===

      [Human Rights Violations, USA] Supreme Court Stops 300th Texas
      :===Begin Quote===
      The Supreme Court on Wednesday stopped Texas from executing its 300th
      inmate since capital punishment resumed in the United States in 1977,
      granting a dramatic last-minute stay to condemned killer Delma Banks.

      Banks' claims that he was wrongly convicted of a murder 23 years ago
      were backed by three former federal judges.
      :===End Quote===

      [Iglesia ni Cristo] Police dismiss cult links in massacre
      :===Begin Quote===
      Police looking into the Tuesday morning massacre of four Iglesia ni
      Cristo members in Upper Batinguel, dismissed speculations that the
      killer could have been a member of a cult or a satanic group.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups] Duke sentenced to 15 months and $10,000 fine under plea
      :===Begin Quote===
      Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke got the sentence agreed to in a
      plea bargain on a tax and a mail fraud charge - 15 months in prison
      and a $10,000 fine.

      Duke, 52, must report to prison by noon April 15; the Federal Bureau
      of Prisons will decide which prison, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said

      In brief comments to reporters after his sentencing, Duke said he
      would speak more freely about the investigation and charges against
      him after his release from prison in 2004.

      "When I'm out of the jaws of the federal government I'll have a lot to
      say," Duke said, accompanied by two daughters and a granddaughter.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] Copyright law for the digital age is
      intolerably skewed
      :===Begin Quote===
      Let's admit it -- we made a mistake. It seemed like a good idea at the
      time, but we screwed up. It's time to make things right and repeal the
      Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

      In March 2002, the Church of Scientology used the DMCA to pressure
      Google and other search engines to remove links to sites critical of
      the church. Scientology claimed that these sites contained copyrighted
      material and that Google was helping to provide people with access to
      them. The DMCA is structured such that Google faced a huge legal
      liability if the links were not removed immediately.

      I'm sure you see the pattern here. The DMCA is used by large
      organizations to shut down individuals or small companies doing
      anything they don't like. There have, in fact, been few actual
      lawsuits. The DMCA is used primarily to threaten. Since the law is
      weighted overwhelmingly in favor of the copyright holder, defending
      oneself against it is extremely expensive and risky.
      :===End Quote===

      [Human Rights Violations, Morocco] Moroccan Court Grants Bail for
      Heavy Metal Fans
      :===Begin Quote===
      Defense lawyer Mahfoud Billeh said on Wednesday the 11 were freed on
      Tuesday night by the Casablanca court pending hearing of appeals
      against sentences of between one and six months.

      They were convicted on March 6 under laws covering distribution of
      written or visual material which "undermines good morals" and "making
      people listen, with bad intent, to songs which contravene good morals
      or incite debauchery."

      The three refused bail were sentenced to a year in prison for
      "employing seductive methods with the aim of undermining the faith of
      a Muslim."
      :===End Quote===

      [Mungiki] 700 'Mungiki' sect member surrender
      :===Begin Quote===
      More than 700 Mungiki followers have surrendered following a state
      amnesty as the government maintained the hunt for the outlawed sect's
      coordinator Ndura Waruinge continues.

      Internal Security Minister Chris Murungaru today said those who gave
      themselves up to the police had been bonded to keep the peace, and
      released back to the community.
      :===End Quote===

      [Deepak Chopra] 'Mickey Mouse Peace Plan' urged
      :===Begin Quote===
      A Middle Eastern Disney World would ensure lasting peace in Iraq by
      easing fear and anger among children, according to Dr. Deepak Chopra,
      an American self-help guru, the National Post reported yesterday.

      The idea is one of 10 suggestions Chopra outlines in an essay that is
      to appear today in several European newspapers. He also suggests free
      access to CNN news and MTV music videos would encourage Iraqis, who
      face the imminent threat of a U.S.-led attack to unseat their
      president, Saddam Hussein, to "feel like part of the world."
      :===End Quote===

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