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Religion News Blog, June 27, 2003

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  • Anton Hein
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, June 27, 2003 [Islam] A trap for Muslim women in Europe http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003614.html ... Western Europe is
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 27, 2003
      ReligionNewsBlog.com, June 27, 2003

      [Islam] A trap for Muslim women in Europe
      :===Begin Quote===
      Western Europe is increasingly a house divided against itself. While non-Muslim
      Europeans live in democracies, most Muslims in the same countries inhabit
      theocratic enclaves where they are expected to tread a narrow path or suffer the

      Muslim women have it worst. Not only are they subject to the often tyrannical
      authority of husbands, fathers and community leaders, if they seek to escape
      that authority, they cannot necessarily expect support from the police and other
      government agencies, which often feel that "intruding" in such matters would
      show disrespect for immigrant culture.
      :===End Quote===

      [Nokulunga Fiphaza] Three in court for mysterious Umtata grave case
      :===Begin Quote===
      Bongani Ntanjana, the investigating officer in the case, told the court the
      post-mortems had been completed, but said he was not in a position to say how
      the deceased had died. The case was postponed to September 1, and the accused
      were ordered not to go near the compound until the case had been finalised.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] Church moves to relocate civil trial
      :===Begin Quote===
      The Church of Scientology says that media coverage of the landmark Lisa
      McPherson wrongful death case has turned back the clock to days of "overt hate
      mongering and media-fueled public animus" and it can no longer get a fair trial
      in Tampa Bay.

      The church on Wednesday filed a motion seeking to move the wrongful death trial
      to either Palm Beach or Broward county.

      Church attorneys blame a "barrage of negative media coverage" about the lawsuit
      for widespread community prejudice against Scientology, documented in a random
      survey of shoppers at Tyrone Square Mall in early spring.
      :===End Quote===
      NOTE: Lying and other unethical behavior is part and parcel of Scientology's
      teachings and practices - behavior taught, condoned, and promoted by the hate
      group's founder, L. Ron Hubbard. It is the cult's own record of hate and
      harassment activities that continues to influence public opinion.

      [Hate Groups] White supremacist charged with lying to federal judge
      :===Begin Quote===
      The jailed leader of a white supremacist group, already charged with soliciting
      the murder of a federal judge, was accused in a fresh indictment Wednesday of
      obstructing justice by lying to her as well.

      Matthew Hale, 31, of East Peoria was accused of lying to U.S. District Judge
      Joan Humphrey Lefkow in a letter he wrote to her last December concerning a
      copyright infringement lawsuit against his organization.

      The charge came on top of an indictment announced in January accusing Hale of
      soliciting Lefkow's murder after she ruled against him in the copyright case.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups] White supremacist leader faces more charges
      :===Begin Quote===
      Federal prosecutors hit white supremacist Matt Hale with new and more detailed
      charges Wednesday, including allegations that Hale appreciated violence done on
      behalf of his racist church because it focused media attention on him and his
      :===End Quote===

      [Jehovah's Witnesses] Watchtower site may soon be up for sale
      :===Begin Quote===
      A giant waterfront building owned by the Jehovah's Witnesses in Brooklyn Heights
      could soon go on the block - with an early estimated price tag of $120 million.

      The society used the building as its principal shipping facility for Bibles and
      publications - and has for years been plagued by community complaints of truck
      pollution and noise.

      Last fall, the Jehovah's Witnesses decided to shift the shipping facility to
      their Wallkill, N.Y., center and other facilities around the world, said Daniel
      Rice, a spokesman for the group.
      :===End Quote===

      [Nokulunga Fiphaza] Cops dig for more graves at Eastern Cape church
      :===Begin Quote===
      It was reported that the perimeter of the compound was excavated while police
      searched for more bodies that could still be buried.

      However, nothing was found.
      :===End Quote===

      [Nokulunga Fiphaza] Residents raid cult buildings
      :===Begin Quote===
      Local police were shouldered aside as chanting Mandela Park residents broke
      locks and entered the controversial Ibandla lika Krestu church with a crowbar

      As anti-crime committee members entered, onlookers shouted vula vula, vula (open

      Police refused residents' demands to demolish the houses and check the
      foundations for more bodies. Other residents suggested the houses be burnt.
      :===End Quote===

      [Nokulunga Fiphaza] Member of cult church speaks out
      :===Begin Quote===
      Ex-members of the controversial cult known as the Awaiting Christ Group, or
      Ibandla lika Krestu, have been left numb by the closure of their church at
      Mandela Park here.

      While Mandela Park community members called for the building to be demolished
      yesterday, the Daily Dispatch, flanked by community leader Chief Jongisizwe
      Ndzambule, visited former cult members.

      A short distance from the church compound, 26-year-old Busisiwe Ncetani sat
      outside a two-roomed mud house with her Bible.

      She was reportedly the closest cult member to its leader, Nokulunga Fiphaza, and
      the last person to see her, but has refused to give information to the police.

      Ncetani lashed out at those who called the cult the Awaiting Jesus Group. "Our
      church has no name, it is just a group of born-again Christians," she said.

      The group is fuelled spiritually by a strict regimen of four daily prayer
      sessions and marathon fasts that last 20 or 30 days.
      :===End Quote===

      [Islam] Schumer Warns of Extremist Imams in NY Prisons
      :===Begin Quote===
      Sen. Charles Schumer testified before a Senate panel Thursday, warning that
      extremist imams are a dangerous influence in New York's and the nation's prison
      systems, and possibly the United States military.

      Schumer spoke to a Senate judiciary subcommittee on terrorism during the first
      of several scheduled hearings into links between the Wahabi school of Islam and
      terrorist networks.

      The committee heard from several witnesses, including a Treasury Department
      official who described connections between supposed charity groups and terror

      Schumer, D-N.Y., has argued the Wahabi sect is led by radical extremists
      fostering hate and violence against non-Muslims and non-Wahabi Muslims, like
      Shias and moderate Sunnis.
      :===End Quote===

      [Mormon Church] Web sites provide confidential community for former and wavering
      :===Begin Quote===
      Eight years ago, Eric Kettunen built the Web site exmormon.org to help people
      who were struggling with their decision to leave the Mormon church.

      He hoped to offer a dozen or so people the kind of help and support others had
      given him and his wife when they left the faith years earlier. It took two
      months to get 2,000 ''hits'' on the site. Now, exmormon.org gets that many in 15

      The main draw: Mormons who wouldn't dream of questioning church doctrine or
      history publicly can do so privately as part of a large online community where
      people aren't required to identify themselves.

      While there are people who post bitter messages on exmormon.org calling for the
      church's downfall, most participants seek clarification on church teachings or
      ask for help and support as they make their decisions to leave the church and
      suffer the subsequent personal and family turmoil.
      :===End Quote===

      [Eric Rudolph] Rudolph named in new indictment
      :===Begin Quote===
      grand jury re-indicted Eric Rudolph in a deadly abortion clinic bombing in
      Alabama, issuing a new capital charge to comply with a court ruling issued
      during the five years he was a fugitive.

      The two-count indictment, announced Thursday, replaced one issued in November
      2000 and spelled out the aggravating circumstances prosecutors could use to seek
      the death penalty.

      A statement by prosecutors said the new indictment was to comply with a decision
      last year in which the Supreme Court said judges could not determine aggravating
      circumstances on their own.
      :===End Quote===

      [Al Ma'unah] Malaysian sect member gets ‘life' for holy war
      :===Begin Quote===
      Malaysia's highest court Thursday substituted the death penalty for a sentence
      of life imprisonment imposed on a Muslim sect member convicted of planning a
      "holy war" to topple Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

      The court handed down the decision after hearing appeals from 19 members of the
      Al'Maunah group, three of whom had already been sentenced to death, while the
      other 16 had been given life imprisonment, the official Bernama news agency

      The martial arts sect, which taught members they were invulnerable to bullets,
      sparked one of the country's biggest ever security alerts in July 2000 when they
      disguised themselves as soldiers and stole more than 100 weapons from two
      military armouries.
      :===End Quote===

      [Terrorism / Aum Shinrikyo] Ottawa aiming to thwart cyber-terrorists
      :===Begin Quote===
      Stepping up its war against on-line terrorism, the federal government is
      launching an effort to anticipate and stop cyber-attacks before they happen.

      In addition to having agents scour the Internet to get the latest buzz from
      hacker chat groups, a key tool available to Ottawa could be so-called honey pots
      -- special decoy computer systems placed on the Net that are designed to be
      easily penetrated and gather detailed information about attacks, including the
      techniques perpetrators use.

      He says the one group to keep an eye on is Aum Shinri Kyo, the Japanese cult not
      linked to any terrorist attacks since its 1995 sarin gas assault on Tokyo's
      subway system but which potentially poses the greatest threat, since many of its
      followers possess advanced computer skills.
      :===End Quote===

      [Falun Gong] Falun Gong Followers Claim Assault Outside U.N.
      :===Begin Quote===
      A group of Falun Gong followers said Thursday that they were verbally and
      physically assaulted outside a Manhattan restaurant after a dinner party to
      honor the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations.

      The confrontation Monday night involved at least six practitioners who were
      handing out fliers outside Yi Dong restaurant on East Broadway in Chinatown. The
      fliers were critical of the Chinese government's treatment of Falun Gong

      Falun Gong members said that after Ambassador Yingfan Wang and other diplomats
      left the dinner, the dinner's organizers proceeded to slap the fliers out of
      their hands and struck at least one practitioner, Jun Li, 48, of Flushing.
      :===End Quote===

      [Mormon Church] Waikato lecturer on Church hitlist
      :===Begin Quote===
      A Waikato University lecturer has been named on a website for Latter-Day Saints
      as anti-mormon.

      American history senior lecturer Dr Raymond Richards has accused the Mormon
      Church of irresponsible conduct after the site warns "if you don't want the
      target shot at, don't raise it".

      "I think the language is irresponsible, especially given the Mormon Church's
      history of violence. They have a sordid history of polygamy and massacres."

      He said he was not anti-Mormon but the religion was aggressive, racist and
      :===End Quote===

      [Cults] Reaching out to a higher power
      :===Begin Quote===
      "Doomsday" or "revitalisation cults", as they are also called, hold the promise
      of salvation for their followers.

      They occur in societies or groups that perceive themselves to be under some form
      of threat - whether social or cultural - explains Thea de Wet, professor in the
      department of Anthropology and developmental studies at the Rand Afrikaans

      Although they seek to change the status quo, they are in line with and draw on
      cultural traditions to legitimate themselves. Cults form around an alternative
      explanation of the world which is perceived by cult members to be hostile and
      :===End Quote===

      [Nokulunga Fiphaza] Cults of doom
      :===Begin Quote===
      Closer to home, the bodies of more than 800 cult members were found at the
      headquarters of the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God sect in Kanungu,
      Uganda. They had been convinced by their leaders that the world would end on
      December 31 1999. The followers were either slaughtered or died in a fire when
      this did not happen.

      Now police have dug up the bodies of eight members of the Awaiting Christ cult
      in Umtata. They, too, had been brainwashed and taught that the day of reckoning
      was close.

      The Scriptures are quite clear that we must watch out for false prophets.
      :===End Quote===

      [Life Space] Bizarre cult boss gets reduced sentence
      :===Begin Quote===
      One of Japan's most bizarre murderers had his sentence slashed by more than half
      after the Tokyo High Court ruled that he had not initially intended to kill his

      The court cut by eight years the 15-year sentence the Chiba District Court had
      handed out to Koji Takahashi, a self-professed guru and leader of the bizarre
      cult, Life Space.
      :===End Quote===

      [Panawave] Cult earns 2.2 billion yen from followers
      :===Begin Quote===
      Just like most people with a television, police have been wondering what's
      behind those white outfits.

      Over 2.2 billion yen in donations, for one thing, the Metropolitan Police
      Department announced Wednesday.

      The white-robed cult that calls itself Pana Wave Laboratory collected the money
      from its followers over the past 10 years, police said.

      But police have concluded the group did not coerce members into donating, and
      that it poses no danger to the public.
      :===End Quote===

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