Moscow: Around 24,000 women were kidnapped and forced into marriage in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan in the past three years, an official report said. The ombudsman's office managed to prevent seven forced marriages in the first three months of 2012.
Last year, acting president Rosa Otunbayeva said 15,000 women are kidnapped and forced into a marriage every year, with many of them later committing suicide. Kyrgyzstan last year observed a national anti-bride-stealing month in November.
About 20 percent of all marriages in Kyrgyzstan are forced, according to rights activist Alexandra Yefrenko. Most marriages of the sort are sealed by Islamist clerics, not civil registrars, she said.
The Parliament has pushed in recent months to make civil registration mandatory for cleric-sanctioned matrimonial unions, effectively outlawing forced marriages. However, the bill was declined in January.
Legislator Asiya Sasykbayeva said at the time that her colleagues were looking to protect polygamy, an Islamic tradition formally banned but defacto present in Kyrgyzstan, EurasiaNet website reported. Many lawmakers have several wives, she said.
The Furor over Religious non-discrimination at Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt University alumnus John Murray published an op-ed in today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal on the furor in Tennessee raised over Governor Bill Haslam’s threat to veto state legislation opposing the university’s announced policies of non-discrimination for student religious groups on campus. The furor was created when it was revealed that the new university policy could force many Christian, Jewish even Muslim groups to go off campus because of the more than $24 million in state aid provided to this elite university in Nashville, nicknamed “the Harvard of the South”.
Haslam’s rationale for abetting cultural relativism at Vanderbilt, originally founded as a Christian institution, is that the legislation passed by both the House and Senate in Tennessee would interfere with the administration of a private university, hence, his veto threat. One Vanderbilt alumnus told us that for campus Christian and Jewish groups to remain on campus, they might have to elect a member of the Muslim Student Association to the board or even the head of these non-Muslim religious student activities as evidence of non-discrimination.
You may recall the University’s reaction to the furor raised by the Muslim chaplain at Vanderbilt Awadh A. Binhazim. He suggested in response to a student query during a program on “what it means to be a Muslim” that Shariah Islamic law condoned death sentences for gays. The exchange was:
"Under Islamic law, is it punishable by death if you are a homosexual?"
The University’s response was to consider Binhazim’s reply as protected speech (an extension of the 1964 US Supreme Court Brandenburg decision):
"No view expressed at a Project Dialogue or similar campus forum should be construed as being endorsed by Vanderbilt. The university is dedicated to the free exchange of ideas. It is the belief of the university community that free discussion of ideas can lead to resolution and reconciliation."
Fast forward to the current debate over the new Vanderbilt policy with regard to non-discrimination in religious student activities. Have we heard from the Vanderbilt Center for the First Amendment on this debate? A review of current press opinion from the First Amendment Center website found nothing on this topic.
Last week, Tennessee legislators sent a message to Vanderbilt University: Religious liberty matters. Large majorities in both houses passed a bill to prohibit the school from interfering in the ability of student groups to select their own leaders and members, define their own doctrines and resolve their own disputes—or Vanderbilt risks losing $24 million in state funding.
The legislation follows Vanderbilt's decision to stop recognizing campus religious organizations that require their leaders to accept certain religious beliefs on which they are founded. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Vanderbilt Catholic, Navigators and other groups—ministering to about 1,500 students—would effectively be moved off campus in the name of "nondiscrimination."
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has stated that although he opposes Vanderbilt's policy, he plans to veto the bill because it is "inappropriate for government to mandate the policies of a private institution." (Thirty-six members of Congress have urged the university to reconsider, stating that its exemption of fraternities and sororities but not religious groups "suggests hostility on the part of Vanderbilt toward religious student groups.") (Read More)
Erick Stakelbeck Threatened by Anti-Semites at Portland State University
Erick Stakelbeck, CBN’s premier analyst on Terrorism has an upcoming date to speak at Portland State University (PSU) on Monday May 14th. The event is sponsored by the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) campus chapter. The poster for the event has both Israeli and US flags and Stakelbeck’s bio on it. It was found by a Jewish student, as Stakelbeck pointed in his blog post, Anti-Semites Threaten Ahead of My May 14 Speech at Portland State University. This is not Stakelbeck’s first exposure on college campuses to anti-Israel and antisemitic pro-Palestinian activism equating Israeli 'occupation' of the disputed territories with the Nazi genocide that murdered six million Jewish men, women and children. He makes the point that Christians will not remain silent as many did during the Shoah.
He goes to elucidate why this has occurred:
Over the past four years, I've been privileged to give countless similar talks around the country, including many for CUFI. Yet the upcoming Portland State event is the first in which I've actually received a threat in advance: and a viciously anti-Semitic one at that.
PSU's CUFI chapter has put up posters around campus to promote the event, which is open to the public. The posters feature the American and Israeli flags, plus my picture and bio. Well, as you can see vandals defaced the posters, drawing swastikas over the Star of David and scrawling pro-Palestinian slogans.
[ . . .]
This kind of vandalism and anti-Semitic rhetoric has become commonplace on college campuses throughout the country, as has open support for jihadist genocide against the Jews. How bad is it? This bad. Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany due to Israel's supposed oppression of the Palestinians (a "genocide" that is "worse than the Holocaust," as some pro-Palestinian fanatics have told me in the past) is a favorite tactic of radical Islamists and their allies on the radical left. Notice the slogan scrawled on the poster above: "Never again includes Palestinians." The term "never again" is commonly used by Jews as a reminder that the days of pogroms, genocides and forced expulsions are over--thanks in large part to the existence of Israel--and can never be allowed to return. For pro-Palestinian radicals to co-opt it and suggest that Israelis are the equivalent of the greatest Jew-hating machine of all time is not just insensitive and absurd: it's pure evil.
My third thought: who was behind the vandalism? I don't have that answer, but based on history, my best guess is that it was either elements of the radical left or Islamists on campus, or perhaps a combination of both. I've long documented the work of Muslim Brotherhood-tied groups at American universities. And with Portland State offering courses like this, it's not surprising that good little Leftists--who are invariably hostile to Israel--are being produced.
Portland State University administrators and campus police have been notified about the threats and I'm fully expecting that they will launch an investigation and have ample security on hand for Monday night's event. If they do not, and if they allow anti-Semitic radicals to disrupt my speech, run amok during the Q and A or intimidate others in the audience (click here to watch a particularly egregious 2010 example from UC-Irvine) you will surely hear about it in this space come Tuesday morning.
Islamists attempted--and failed--to hijack my last speech for CUFI on a college campus. And if they attempt a repeat at Portland State, they will fail again.
Anti-Semites beware: This is not 1944. Bible-believing Christians will not sit idly by in shameful silence and watch as Jews are threatened, once again, with extinction. As my friends at CUFI so often say, quoting the Book of Isaiah, "For Zion's sake, I will not remain silent." No matter how many threats are thrown our way, we will continue to stand strong and speak the truth with boldness.
Kol Hakavod (outstanding in Hebrew) to Erick and the courageous CUFI chapter at PSU for sponsoring his talk this coming Monday, May 14th.
Matthew Dooley, Or, Censoring The No-Nonsense Truth-Tellers
From The Hindu:
May 11, 2012
U.S. military embarrassed by Islamophobic lectures
First it was the Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones, who was in no way connected to the U.S. government.
This week a man deeply embedded in the Obama administration, Virginia-based military instructor Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, raised the spectre of a disturbing ["disturbing to whom? To the appeasement-minded Indian Narayan Lakshman writing for "The Hindu:" apparently, but not to everyone] American Islamophobic trend once again, when he virtually called for [no, he did not "call for" butr suggested intelligent consideration of various possiblities] a “Hiroshima, Nagasaki” – style “destruction” of the holy Islamic sites of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
Within what Dooley described to his increasingly nervous classroom [how does the writer know that his classroom was "increasingly nervous"? Apparently only a few people complained, though that was enough to trigger the idiotic shutting down of Dooley's effort, which though blunt, was a "useful corrective" to the usual self-deceiving mush, and even salutary] last month as a potential “Counter-Jihad Op Model” for the U.S. he spoke of the need to reach a position where “Saudi Arabia [is] threatened with starvation, Mecca and Medina destroyed [and] Islam is reduced to cult status.”
When several students raised objections and brought the material to the notice of superiors in late April, the Department of Defence (DOD) suspended the course and was also said to have suspended Dooley, although he reportedly still has his job teaching at a city college in Norfolk.
At the time Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ordered the directors of joint military education institutions to examine the scope and content of training and education courses dealing with Islamic extremism “to ensure they are appropriate and in keeping with U.S. values and principles,” according to officials.[which "values and principles"? Truth? The instinct for self-preservation? Or the fearful desire not to offend Muslims, and those who collaborate unthinkingly with them?]
In his talks Dooley also had harsh words for efforts within the U.S. to promote inter-faith harmony. Specifically he addressed the controversial “Ground Zero Mosque” project, called the Cordoba Initiative, asking the class, “Why the name Cordova? Why timed to 10 year anniversary of 9/11?” [and what is wrong with this question?]
Reacting to the now publicly-available text of the lectures, General Dempsey was quoted as saying, “It was just totally objectionable, against our values, and it wasn't academically sound. ... We're pushing back on liberal thought. This was just objectionable, academically irresponsible.” ["We're pushing back on liberal thought"? What does this mean? And why exactly was what Dooley presented "objectionable" and "academically irresponsible"? Detailed objections, not attitudinizing, are required. But none are offered, none even thought necessary to offer.]
While officials admitted that the course had been taught at the staff college since 2004, it was only this week that the details of the class curriculum came to light, with Wired.com’s Danger Room blog obtaining hundreds of pages of course material and reference documents from a source familiar with the contents of the class.
Among the more troubling arguments contained within the lectures, Dooley spent significant time disputing against the presence of a moderate, tolerant mainstream Islam. “We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam,” Dooley noted in his July 2011 presentation.
“It is therefore time for the U.S. to make our true intentions clear. This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction,” he argued.
He also pressed the point that the U.S. was founded under a “Judeo-Christian” ethic of reason, and said to the young recruits in his class, that as professional soldiers their oath forced them to pick a side.
The crossword has been compared to coded messages used by the French Resistance in WWII
A Venezuelan crossword writer says he has been questioned by intelligence agents after being accused of hiding a coded assassination message in a puzzle.
Neptali Segovia denies using his crossword in the newspaper Ultimas Noticias to incite the murder of President Hugo Chavez's brother, Adan.
Answers to clues included the words "kill" and "Adan".
The accusation was made by a pro-government television commentator.
Political tension has been rising in Venezuela ahead of October's presidential election and because of uncertainty over the health of President Chavez, who is being treated for cancer.
'Nothing to hide'
Ultimas Noticias said Mr Segovia went voluntarily to the headquarters of Venezuela's intelligence service after agents came looking for him at the newspaper's office in Caracas.
"I went because no-one is more interested in clarifying this than me," the paper quoted him as saying.
"I have nothing to hide because the work I have been doing for 17 years only has a cultural and educational intention," he added.
Mr Segovia said he had denied the accusation and had been treated respectfully.
The accusation against him was made earlier this week by television pundit Miguel Angel Perez Pirela, who presents a programme on the state channel VTV.
He said a team of psychologists and mathematicians had concluded that the Spanish-language crossword contained a coded assassination plot against President Chavez's brother Adan.
"These sorts of messages were used a lot during World War II," he said, comparing it to secret codes used by the French Resistance.
Correspondents say the story has caused widespread amusement, but also highlights an atmosphere of growing political polarisation in Venezuela.
President Chavez and his supporters have frequently accused opposition groups of plotting violence in the run-up to October's presidential election.
The opposition have in turn accused government supporters of planning to hang on to power by force if Mr Chavez loses the election to challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski or is unable to stand because of ill health.
Adan Chavez is governor of Barinas state and has been named as a possible successor to his brother.
Hugo Chavez has said he is determined to beat cancer and win the election, but secrecy about his illness has fuelled persistent rumours that it may be worse than officially admitted.
The Venezuelan president, who has been in power since 1999, has in the past accused his opponents and the US of plotting to assassinate him.
Accueil > Monde > Tunisie: légalisation d'un parti islamiste qui prône la chariaâ
Tunisie: légalisation d'un parti islamiste qui prône la chariaâ
TUNIS (AP) — Les autorités tunisiennes ont donné leur aval pour la légalisation d'un nouveau parti, le "Front de la réforme", qui prône la chariaâ, la législation islamique, a-t-on appris vendredi auprès de son fondateur, Mohamed Khouja.
L'autorisation a été accordée par le gouvernement dirigé par Hamadi Jebali, numéro 2 du mouvement islamiste modéré "Ennahdha", au pouvoir, et publiée fin mars au journal officiel de la République tunisienne (JORT), a-t-il précisé.
C'est le deuxième parti islamiste, après Ennahdha, à entrer sur la scène politique tunisienne qui compte quelque 120 formations, la quasi-totalité reconnues après la chute du régime de l'ancien président Ben Ali en janvier 2011.
Un autre parti, "Hizb Ettahrir", très actif, attend sa légalisation qui lui a été refusée par le gouvernement transitoire précédent.
"Notre stratégie vise à instaurer un Etat civil islamique basé sur la chariaâ qui respecte les convictions religieuses des minorités, et qui soit l'émanation d'une demande de la société et non pas imposé", a expliqué M. Khouja, un médecin de 62 ans, dans un entretien téléphonique à l'Associated Press.
Selon lui, "il n'y a pas d'Etat religieux en islam, mais plutôt un Etat civil". Il a admis l'orientation salafiste "positive et pacifique" de sa formation, en se démarquant de "l'acception colportée par les médias qui assimilent le salafisme à la violence et au radicalisme pour faire peur aux gens".
Il a attribué les actes violents attribués à des "salafistes" à "des comportements individuels".
Dans son programme, ce parti entend oeuvrer à asseoir un Etat qui applique la chariaâ islamique dans tous les domaines de la vie politique, social et économique.
Le Front de la réforme se dit favorable à "l'alternance au pouvoir en recourant aux urnes".
Il vise à "l'établissement d'une société où prévaut l'entraide, l'équité et la paix sociale, et à la prémunir contre toutes les formes de dérives intellectuelles et morales" en luttant contre la corruption et le despotisme.
S'agissant de la femme, il se propose de renforcer sa place et son rôle dans l'éducation des jeunes générations et au foyer, ainsi que ses droits dans les domaines politique et économique "conformément aux recommandations de la chariaâ".
Ken Timmerman Surges in Poll of Maryland Congressional Race
Timmerman’s campaign to unseat incumbent Chris Van Hollen in the redistricted Maryland 8th Congressional District.
Timmerman, noted author, commentator and Nobel Peace Prize nominee won the Maryland 8th CD GOP primary on April 3rd. A recent poll of the district on May 2 to 4th shows Timmerman closing the gap with his Democratic rival, at 40% versus Chris Van Hollen 47%. He may be within striking distance for Van Hollen, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s assistant. Some political analysts say that Van Hollen is an apparatchik too close to Ms. Pelosi and may be vulnerable in a close Presidential race pitting presumptive GOP nominee George Romney against President Obama. The latest Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows Romney ahead of Obama by 7 points, 50% to 43%.
Timmerman, who is a veteran Iran watcher and international human and religious rights advocate. He has received endorsements from former US UN Ambassador John Bolton, a fellow Nobel Peace Prize nominee, R. James Woolsey, ex-CIA Director and Chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, former Navy Secretary under Reagan, John Lehman, a key adviser to Romney on national security matters, Frank Gaffney, Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, and Andrew C. McCarthy, former federal prosecutor in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial and author of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the West Sabotage America. He has been endorsed by a host of Maryland local and state GOP leaders and GOP Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who is running for re-election in the redistricted Maryland 6th CD. When he ran for the US Senate in 2000, Timmerman received the endorsement of the revered late Holocaust Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal. Timmerman was the only political candidate in the US to receive Wiesenthal’s endorsement.
Timmerman had a successful trip last weekend to southern California where he raised more than $26,000 in one night. He will need a war chest of approximately $1.2 million for an effective direct mail, print and cable TV ad campaign. On May 2nd Matthew Crow, a veteran of four presidential campaigns and numerous Congressional campaigns, joined Timmerman as campaign manager.
Timmerman’s human rights and international religious freedom stands are reflected in recent comments on events in both Iran and China, as well as his work on behalf of the beleaguered Assyrian Chaldean Christian community in Iraq.
On conviction of dissidents in Iran Timmerman said:
"The conviction without trial of a prominent human rights lawyer in Iran shows the cynicism of the Islamic regime and its confidence that the Obama administration is more interested in a "peace in our time" deal with Tehran than in standing up for religious freedom”.
On the recent episode involving the blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, Timmerman commented:
“The deceptive and forced removal of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng from protection in the US Embassy in Beijing is a shameful act by the Obama administration”.
Timmerman has had a long term admiration and acquaintance with leading personalities in the Jewish State of Israel. That arises in part due to his experience during his kidnapping and imprisonment by the PLO-Fatah in Beirut during the First Lebanon War in 1982. Because of that background he recently spoke out about the Soros-backed, Jewish anti-Zionist group, J Street. Timmerman issued a statement in mid- April blasting his Democratic opponent Van Hollen for endorsing J Street:
My opponent is just plain wrong when it comes to Israel, as his support for J Street’s mistaken attempt to put pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians when they don’t even have a Palestinian negotiating partner who recognizes their right to exist,” Timmerman said.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen joined members of the radical Congressional Progressive Caucus in signing onto a J-Street letter that pressures Israel to announce its negotiating positions before formal peace talks with the Palestinian authority have even begun.
J Street unveiled the letter calling for a “two-state solution” at its annual convention in Washington, DC last week, where Israel’s number two diplomat in the United States, Barukh Binah, issued an unusual public rebuke of the organization during a dinner speech.
“Chris Van Hollen is out of touch with the citizens of Maryland’s 8th District, who overwhelmingly support Israel’s right to determine its negotiating positions without second-guessing by leftists who reject the Zionist enterprise and to make sovereign decisions over questions of national survival without pressure from the United States,” Timmerman said.
Timmerman’s activist track record, his premier command of both international human rights and religious freedom issues should appeal to fiscally responsible concerns of voters in the Maryland 8th CD. Coupled with his ability to speak cogently on the stump that should also win over independent and dissident Democratic voters in the Maryland 8th CD to achieve electoral victory on November 6th.