Ridiculing Religion 2 - The Ridiculining

Discussion in 'Four Corners' started by gUt, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. gUt

    gUt Coach

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    Tax all churches, but especially this rabble-rousing scumbag:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-...istries-stripped-of-charitable-status/8189070

    Catch the Fire ministries stripped of charitable status after raising funds for Rise Up Australia party

    Controversial Melbourne evangelical church Catch the Fire, which solicits donations for the Rise Up Australia Party, has had its charitable status revoked by authorities.

    The ministries, based in the south-eastern suburbs, have been run by Sri Lankan-born pastor Daniel Nalliah since the late 1990s.

    Mr Nalliah launched the Rise up Australia party in 2013 on an anti-Islam, anti-multiculturalism platform and fielded candidates at last year's federal election.

    He openly preaches his political message from the pulpit and collects donations for the party at church services.

    As a registered charity, Catch the Fire had access to Commonwealth tax concessions including GST waivers, income tax exemptions and fringe benefit tax rebates.

    But the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) has now revoked its charitable status. Charities are not allowed to promote or fund political candidates.

    "Normally we're not able to talk about individual cases because of the strict privacy provisions that we have in our legislation," David Locke from the ACNC said.

    "But in this particular case Catch the Fire Ministries have themselves spoken to the media and set out that [the ACNC's] concerns were in regards to political activities they were undertaking and I can confirm that that is the case.

    Mr Nalliah said Catch the Fire had been an overtly political church since it began.

    "My response to them was 'what's new about that?'," he said.

    "From 1998, since we started Catch the Fire ministries, we've been publishing political opinions constantly.

    "In principal I think it's a very wrong thing to [say that] our organisation, because we're a charity that we don't have a political opinion. That's discrimination."

    Church services are separate to charity, Nalliah says
    In 2014 the church hosted a World Congress of Families conference, which endorsed anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage messages.

    The then-social services minister Kevin Andrews cancelled his planned address at the meeting after strong opposition to the event.

    For more than a year, there have been complaints in the community that Rise up Australia Party and Catch the Fire were indistinguishable as organisations.

    But Mr Nalliah strongly denied that charitable funds raised by Catch the Fire were ever funnelled to the political party.

    "We have church services on a Sunday, which is a separate entity not the charity, and people could come to a church service and put money into the donation tin and say this is for the purposes of Rise Up Australia party," he said.

    "People don't donate to the charity [at the service], they're donating it to the political organisation fully knowing they're doing it.

    "Church is a place where people have the right to do what they want to do."

    The regulator said it was currently investigating 37 complaints regarding political lobbying and warned charities not to fall foul of laws that forbid promoting or opposing political parties.
     
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  2. Game_Breaker

    Game_Breaker First Grade

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    Was that the guy who used to post here?

    or is that made up
     
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  3. Surely

    Surely Moderator Staff Member

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    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-...mond-cheek-sentenced-church-surprised/8259398



    Won't somebody think of the pedo

    Hang on the judge has
     
  4. Snoop

    Snoop Coach

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    He should have got a crushing life sentence.
     
  5. Surely

    Surely Moderator Staff Member

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    Just another entitled judge out of touch with community expectations
     
  6. Johnny_Knoxville

    Johnny_Knoxville Juniors

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    I'm Johnny_Knoxville and it makes me sad to see people bully other because of their religious beliefs!
     
  7. AJB1102

    AJB1102 Juniors

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    Have you tried praying for it to stop?
     
  8. Pantherjim.

    Pantherjim. Coach

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    Does this include Non-Muslims bullying Muslims GW? Ooops! I mean: Johnny_Knoxville?
     
  9. Rhino_NQ

    Rhino_NQ Referee

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    And some crushed testicles
     
  10. Surely

    Surely Moderator Staff Member

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    A Christian priest has called for women who wear jeans and other 'provocative' dress to be DROWNED for 'tempting men'.

    The priest, identified only as Father Sharlom, says he does not want to give communion to girls in jeans, trousers or shirts.

    He even asks, in a rhetorical flourish, whether the Bible gives permission to women to wear these types of clothes.

    Father Sharlom continues to rant about how women should and shouldn't dress during the horrifying sermon in a church in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

    A video of his rant was shared online by a woman named as Jasmine PK.

    [​IMG]© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: CEN
    In the footage, Father Sharlom is shown saying: "When I go for prayer meetings in some churches, especially during the Holy Mass, I feel like leaving because of some women who I see in front of me. I feel it’s better to kick them out of the church premises."

    The issue of whether the Bible gives men the right to wear such clothes remains unaddressed.

    He also criticises young women for showing off on social media and even refers to such women as "things".

    He goes on: "After I lecture young men on the ways of God, they come to me later and tell me, ‘Father, after absorbing all the knowledge you give us, we exit and are exposed to semi-naked women. We’re involuntarily provoked and aroused’.

    "What have the preachings taught us about this? ‘It’s best to tie the source of provocation down to the depths of the sea.’

    "When a father or a young man has come to the church to offer themselves to the God, if you’re standing beside him, having dressed provocatively enough to distract him, you’re a sinner, and you deserve to be tied down to the depths of the sea.

    "And then you complain that you can’t find a groom or a job. Why? Thanks to the way you dress."

    Fellow Kerala priest Father Paul Thellakkat from Kochi condemned his colleague.

    He said: "What that preacher has said is unwarranted. No priest has the right to dictate a dress code to women. Men and women are a reflection of God and both are equal and beautiful."

    The rambling six-minute video sparked fury among viewers online.

    Biny Mary Chandy said: "This is just unacceptable... absolutely disgusting."

    Aeirin-lisa Puthanveettil commented: "If dressing is the cause for all bad things happening to women, then why are girls in purdah and uniforms raped?"

    Habel Kurien called the preacher "disgusting" and added: "I hope Pope Francis will set him right."

    There are no reports that Father Sharlom has been punished or condemned by higher authorities in the Church.

    It is also unclear if he is a member of the Catholic Church or of another Christian denomination.


    http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world...-horrifying-sermon/ar-AAnERjW?ocid=spartandhp



    looks like somebody has a camel toe phobia
     
  11. mave

    mave Bench

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    Just another religious fkwit, in a long line of religious fkwits.
     
  12. gUt

    gUt Coach

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    The Catholic Church is not just a child rape cult. It's a child rape and child murder cult.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-...-in-sewer-may-prompt-inquiry-widening/8330504

    Dead babies found in sewer of ex-home for unwed mothers may prompt Ireland to widen inquiry

    Ireland will widen an inquiry into former church-run homes for unmarried mothers if needed, Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said, calling the discovery of long-dead babies in the sewers at one home "truly appalling".

    The remains of babies ranging from newborn to three years old were found in the sewers of one of the country's mother and baby homes following a "shocking" excavation, government-appointed investigators announced on Friday.

    The Government ordered the inquiry in 2014 after a local historian's research suggested up to 800 children may lie in an unmarked grave at the home in the western town of Tuam.

    Opposition politicians and advocacy groups have urged the Government to excavate more sites.

    "Back in 2014, I described the way that babies of single mothers were treated in this country as being akin to some kind of sub-species," Mr Kenny told national broadcaster RTE.

    "It's appalling. Truly appalling.

    "This is not something that happened way back in the dawn of history, this happened, in some cases, in our own time."

    He said if the commission's terms of reference needed to be extended, "then this would happen", according to RTE.

    The commission is already investigating 17 other church-run homes, but advocacy groups said there were many more and little was known of what went on, including burial practices and grave locations.

    "We are aware of over 180 institutions, agencies and individuals who were involved with Ireland's unmarried mothers and their children," the Justice for Magdalenes Research group said in a statement.

    "We reiterate our call for an expansion of the commission's terms of reference to include all institutions, and to include investigations of burial practices at all of these locations.

    "It is well known that the systematic abuse extended far beyond the homes the commission is investigating."

    One quarter of 'illegitimate' children died
    The Catholic Church ran many of Ireland's social services in the 20th century, including the mother and baby homes where tens of thousands of unmarried pregnant women — including rape victims — were sent to give birth.

    Government records show that in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the mortality rate for "illegitimate" children was often more than five times that of those born to married parents.

    On average, more than one in four children born out of wedlock died.

    While run by nuns, the homes received state funding and, as adoption agencies, were also regulated by the state.

    The church's dominance of Irish society has declined sharply after a series of scandals over the abuse and neglect of children.

    "It is now imperative that the terms of reference of the commission are extended to include all institutions," Mary Lou McDonald of the opposition Sinn Fein party said in a statement.

    "This is the only way to get to the truth."
     
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  13. gUt

    gUt Coach

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    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...ril-consumerism-temptations-sex-a7613406.html

    Church blames 'consumerism' and 'temptations of body' after Catholic priest 'rapes 15-year-old girl'

    The Catholic Church has sparked outrage in India after it blamed "consumerism" and bodily "temptations" for the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl.

    Priest Mathew Vadakkacheril, from Kerala in India, was accused of raping the child and later arrested.

    The girl was allegedly raped several times and became pregnant, according to India Today. The child has since been delivered at a private hospital and since taken to an orphanage, reportedly without the mother's consent.

    Yet it is the response to the incident among the Christian community in India that is now making headlines.

    A Christian weekly magazine, which is backed by a Catholic Sabha or association, blamed the alleged victim for the event and said Mr Vadakkacheril may have momentarily “forgotten his position”.

    “Daughter, why did you forget who a priest is?" read an extract in the Sunday Shalom, according to an India Today translation. "He has a human body and has temptations. He may have forgotten his position for a few seconds, my child who has taken the Holy Communion, why didn't you stop or correct him?"

    Father Paul Thelekat from the Bishops’ Council, also commented on the incident and blamed consumerism for the rape.

    "Consumerism is indeed a situation affecting everyone in the world and priests are also in the world. It is in celibacy and in virginity the crisis become apparent first, then it will become a crisis of fidelity in marriage with extra-marital and premarital sex,” he told The News Minute.

    “Women are presented as commodity both in media and in advertisements and all commodities are marketed with girls and women, where [the] human body is dehumanise[d]."
     
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  14. gUt

    gUt Coach

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    It seems not everyone is taken in by this conman:

    https://areomagazine.com/2017/03/06/reza-aslans-cynical-careerism-and-cnns-believer/

    REZA ASLAN’S CYNICAL CAREERISM AND CNN’S ‘BELIEVER’

    With the premiere of his CNN series Believer, Reza Aslan has seemingly cemented his position as the go to expert on all things religion for mainstream American news organizations. For many on the Left he is a calm and reasoned defender of religion and a charming and articulate spokesperson for Islam. Critics of Aslan argue that he responds to any criticism of Islamic ideology with obscurantism and apologetics. After the first episode of his series, it seems he has also made clear his shameless careerism.

    For those unfamiliar with Aslan’s latest venture, the pitch for Believer is reminiscent of the BBC’s Going Tribal, but with the sole focus on religion. According to the CNN synopsis, the aim of the show is for Aslan to immerse “himself in the world’s most fascinating faith-based groups to experience life as a true believer.” In an interview with the Huffington Post early this month, Aslan commented, “I guess what my job is, by immersing myself into these religions, is to subvert your view of them. To challenge you to recognize the connection that you have with people who may not look like you or talk like you or pray like you.” With such aims and a six episode series, it’s a sensible assumption that Believer would focus on the world’s major religious traditions. Instead Aslan mostly focuses on obscure religious sects, among them: a doomsday cult in Hawaii, “reform” Scientology and Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel. The more one finds out about the series the more it seems counterproductive to the stated aims and increasingly sensationalist.

    If that is an unfair criticism of a series yet to be aired, it is already well earned after the first episode. The premiere saw Aslan attempt to immerse himself with the Aghori, a religious Hindu sect that attempts to defy social norms of purity. The Aghori are an odd choice to broaden an audience’s knowledge of religion. They are both a fringe sect and very small in number. A series on Hinduism may well benefit from their inclusion sensibly discussed by a scholar of Hinduism but their presence as the sole representation of Hinduism comes off as exoticism. Sadly, that appears to be the precise reason for their inclusion. As a basic knowledge of Hinduism is needed just to explain the beliefs of the Aghori surrounding ritual purity, Aslan opens with a quick Hinduism 101 in Varanasi. This only serves to prove his lack of expertise in Hinduism. He offers false claims about ghats (of 87 ghats in Varanasi, only two are used for cremation), misleading statements about karma and reincarnation, and a facile and simplistic critique of the caste system.

    He then moves onto his immersion with the Aghori. For the first half of the show, the audience is treated to a caricature of Hinduism from Indiana Jones. Aslan seeks knowledge about Aghori practices from self-styled gurus with appropriately long beards: one accordingly drinks honey from a human skull, the other his own urine. Despite acknowledging that only a very small number of Aghori take part in such extreme practices, this is the point at which Aslan chooses to immerse himself. The ensuing antics make clear why they chose to do this and it has nothing to do with enlightening the audience. We see Aslan psych himself up to bathe in the Ganges, get smeared with human ash, eat human brain matter and have urine flung at him as he runs away from his “baba”. It sounds more like an Adam Sandler film than a serious documentary or even popular anthropology. That Aslan’s “baba” seems to be dubious is no accident. Aslan and the producers clearly wanted the most salacious and comedic encounter they could muster.

    The second half of the show sees Aslan seek a more moderate version of Aghori practice. He finds this among a network of practitioners in Varanasi who care for orphans and those with leprosy attempting to overturn societal discrimination against marginalized groups. Finally Aslan has found the Hinduism he was looking for! Nevermind that it happens to be the predominant sect among the Aghori and while we are at it let us ignore too that many mainstream Hindus also work to overturn discrimination.

    Encapsulated in this episode is the central conceit of Believer: it appears to be nothing more than a sensationalist vehicle for Aslan’s careerism. The fringe groups used in the series come across as Aslan’s version of a circus sideshow with platitudes added in for when he is accused of misrepresenting other religious groups — a criticism he has often used himself against anyone even trying to critically discuss Islam. But of course he has been roundly criticized by Hindu groups for, what they argue, is a misrepresentation of their faith. American Hindus were encouraged to live tweet the Hindu American Foundation of their concerns while watching the episode and if their retweets are any indication, their final assessment of the show was far from positive.

    But creating controversy seems to be all part of the plan too; during the premiere of Believer Aslan tweeted a link to an interview on the Huffington Post entitled “Every Episode of Reza Aslan’s ‘Believer’ Will Piss Somebody Off (And It’s Awesome).” It is essentially click-bait for TV. It’s what makes his opportunistic cornering of the market on religious scholarship so blatant. When Islam has been criticized using examples from Saudi Arabia or Iran, he has argued that contextualization is key and it is misleading to characterize Islam based on two countries. Regardless of Aslan’s obvious obfuscation, it is a fair criticism of Believer to say that it sensationalizes a view of Hinduism that if done to Islam, would have Aslan on the next CNN panel stating it was nothing more than bigotry. His positions with regard to religion appear to change with how much screen time he can garner from them.

    For anyone looking for any genuine scholarship on or meaningful critique of religion, this is a waste of time. Despite his self-styling as THE scholar of religions, there are many more erudite and intelligent academics and scholars who are specialists in religions such as Hinduism, they simply do not have a TV deal from CNN but they have written books. And I can only assume one would have to be unfamiliar with Aslan’s previous facile defenses of religion to think he could ever offer an interesting critique of religious beliefs and practices. The only reason to watch Believer is if you want to watch Aslan pontificate about a religion in which he is no expert and desperately try to find opportunities to make banal comments such as “You want to know what putting your faith into practice looks like? This is what it looks like” while looking meaningfully into the camera.

    I would hope that after seeing an entire series of Aslan strut around offering vacuous observations, those on the Left that have been his stalwart champions will be so bored of him that they will let him gently recede back into a quiet life in academia. Sadly, I think by the end of the series, he will have probably secured a second.
     
  15. gUt

    gUt Coach

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    This is a cult that presumes to tell the world how to live and behave morally.

    The Catholic church is ‘shocked’ at the hundreds of children buried at Tuam. Really?

    The discovery of remains at a former home for unmarried mothers shows that Ireland is still in denial over a horrific legacy

    It has been confirmed that significant numbers of children’s remains lie in a mass grave adjacent to a former home for unmarried mothers run by the Bon Secours Sisters in Tuam, County Galway. This is exactly where local historian Catherine Corless, who was instrumental in bringing the mass grave to light, said they would be. A state-established commission of inquiry into mother and baby homes recently located the site in a structure that “appears to be related to the treatment/containment of sewage and/or waste water”, but which we are not supposed to call a septic tank.

    The archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, says he is “deeply shocked and horrified”. Deeply. Because what could the church have known about the abuse of children in its instutions? When Irish taoiseach Enda Kenny was asked if he was similarly shocked, he answered: “Absolutely. To think you pass by the location on so many occasions over the years.” To think. Because what would Kenny, in Irish politics since the 70s, know about state-funded, church-perpetrated abuse of women and children? Even the commission of inquiry – already under critique by the UN – said in its official statement that it was “shocked by this discovery”.

    If I am shocked, it is by the pretence of so much shock. When Corless discovered death certificates for 796 children at the home between 1925 and 1961 but burial records for only two, it was clear that hundreds of bodies existed somewhere. They did not, after all, ascend into heaven like the virgin mother. Corless then uncovered oral histories from reliable local witnesses, offering evidence of where those children’s remains could be found. So what did the church and state think had happened? That the nuns had buried the babies in a lovely wee graveyard somewhere, but just couldn’t remember where?

    Or maybe the church and state are expressing shock that nuns in mid-20th century Ireland could have so little regard for the lives and deaths of children in their care. The Ryan report in 2009 documented the systematic sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children in church-run, state-funded institutions. It revealed that when confronted with evidence of child abuse, the church would transfer abusers to other institutions, where they could abuse other children. The Christian Brothers legally blocked the report from naming and shaming its members. Meanwhile, Cardinal Seán Brady – now known to have participated in the cover-up of abuse by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth – muttered about how ashamed he was.

    The same year, the Murphy report on the sexual abuse of children in the archdiocese of Dublin revealed that the Catholic church’s priorities in dealing with paedophilia were not child welfare, but rather secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of its reputation and the preservation of church assets. In 2013, the McAleese report documented the imprisonment of more than 10,000 women in church-run, state-funded laundries, where they worked in punitive industrial conditions without pay for the crime of being unmarried mothers.


    So you will forgive me if I am sceptical of the professed shock of Ireland’s clergy, politicians and official inquiring bodies. We know too much about the Catholic church’s abuse of women and children to be shocked by Tuam. A mass grave full of the children of unmarried mothers is an embarrassing landmark when the state is still paying the church to run its schools and hospitals. Hundreds of dead babies are not an asset to those invested in the myth of an abortion-free Ireland; they inconveniently suggest that Catholic Ireland always had abortions, just very late-term ones, administered slowly by nuns after the children were already born.

    As Ireland gears up for a probable referendum on abortion rights as well as a strategically planned visit from the pope, it may be time to stop acting as though the moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy of the Catholic church are news to us. You can say you don’t care, but – after the Ryan report, the Murphy report, the McAleese report, the Cloyne report, the Ferns report, the Raphoe report and now Tuam – you don’t get to pretend that you don’t know.

    Two members of my family were born in the Tuam home, lived short lives there, and are likely lying in that septic tank – sorry, in that structure that “appears to be related to the treatment/containment of sewage and/or waste water”. Their mother died young, weakened from her time in the custody of the church. Because of this I understand that otherwise good, kind people in Ireland handed power over women and children’s lives to an institution they knew was abusive. And I wrestle with the reality that – in our schools and hospitals – we’re still handing power over women and children’s lives to the Catholic church. Perhaps, after Tuam, after everything, that’s what’s really shocking.
     
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  16. Surely

    Surely Moderator Staff Member

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    Pope Francis has urged governments to get migrants and refugees out of holding centres, saying many have become "concentration camps".

    Greek island of Lesbos last year.

    He met a Muslim refugee from the Middle East there, who told him how "terrorists came to our country".

    Islamists had slit the throat of the man's Christian wife because she refused to throw her crucifix on the ground.

    "I don't know if he managed to leave that concentration camp, because refugee camps, many of them, are of concentration [type] because of the great number of people left there inside them," the Pope said.

    The American Jewish Committee (AJC) later urged the Pope "to reconsider his regrettable choice of words" for using the term concentration camp.

    "The conditions in which migrants are currently living in some European countries may well be difficult, and deserve still greater international attention, but concentration camps they certainly are not," the AJC's head, David Harris, said in a statement.

    "The Nazis and their allies erected and used concentration camps for slave labour and the extermination of millions of people during World War II.

    "There is no comparison to the magnitude of that tragedy."

    The Pope praised countries helping refugees and thanked them for "bearing this extra burden, because it seems that international accords are more important than


    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-...nts-in-centres-to-concentration-camps/8465226


    I guess there's no room in Vatican City for a few ?

    Or how about using some of the churches vast wealth to improve conditions in theses "concentration" camps seeing as they are using the legal system to stop any being paid to sex abuse victims.

    The two faces of the Catholic church
     
  17. Bandwagon

    Bandwagon Coach

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    For a bit of balance they 'aint all bad. I was talking to a guy I know the other day who owns a bedding store to see how he pulled up after the flood, the local Catholic Diocese had purchased a couple of hundred mattresses off him and another store to donate to people who had lost beds in the flood.

    As you'd imagine a mattress shop wouldn't fare all that well under water, so it was a pretty practical measure, kept two businesses going by sourcing locally, and a coupla hundred people get a bed to sleep in they otherwise may not have had.
     
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  18. gUt

    gUt Coach

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    Religion is f**king useless

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-27/pope-francis-egypt-violence-coptic-christians/8475684

    Egypt's Coptic Christians under siege ahead of Pope Francis's visit

    As Pope Francis heads to Cairo this week, Egypt's Coptic Christians are reeling after a series of deadly terrorist attacks.

    On April 9 — Palm Sunday — two bombs went off within hours of each other, first in the Nile Delta city of Tanta and then in Alexandria, killing 28 and 18 respectively. ISIS militants claimed responsibility for both bombings, marking an escalation in the operations carried out by the group's Egyptian chapter.

    About a week later, the group also claimed responsibility for an attack on security forces at a checkpoint close to the ancient and symbolic Saint Catherine Monastery in the mountains of South Sinai, killing one policeman and wounding four more.

    While Egypt's Copts, the largest Christian denomination in the Middle East — thought to make up about 10 per cent of the country's population of 90 million — have said they largely appreciate Pope Francis's anticipated message of peaceful religious co-existence and respect, the community faces deep and intrinsic problems.

    'Justice is the key'
    In the last year alone instances of discrimination and violence against Copts abound.

    In May last year, in the southern Egyptian governorate of Minya, a 70-year-old Coptic woman was paraded through the street naked by a mob of about 300 armed men, who took her from her house after rumours emerged that her son had been involved in a romantic relationship with a Muslim woman.

    Even though Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi offered an apology to the woman, charges against the men were dropped after a court found there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute them.

    Peter Tadros, the spokesman for the Australian Coptic Movement, points to such examples to indicate the problems the community faces.

    "The victims are among the poorest in Egypt," Mr Tadros says.

    "The culprits are often freed after pointless 'reconciliation sessions' … The harsh reality is that Coptic Christians in Egypt are utterly vulnerable and they are a community living under siege with high profile attacks on their main cathedrals as well as local mob violence by extremists in the hinterland."

    "How can any civilised society accept this? Justice is the key."

    In December, a suicide bomber hit Cairo's St Peter and St Paul's Church, killing 29 worshippers, mostly women and children.

    And in February, more than 200 Christian families fled North Sinai — where Egyptian security forces are fighting Islamist insurgents loyal to ISIS — after seven Copts were brutally murdered. At the same time the militant group released a video calling Copts their "favourite prey".

    Samuel Tadros, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom in Washington DC's, says that the attacks and discrimination have led to an exodus of Copts from Egypt.

    "It's not just because of recent attacks, it has been going on for a long time but has become worse in the last five to six years. Look at the number of Copts in Australia, the US and elsewhere," he says.

    "What began as a wave has now become a tsunami."

    'We weren't invited'
    Mr Tadros says that the Pope's trip is symbolically important for President El-Sisi, who came to power promising stability and security. He has since been accused of major human rights abuses and an inability to stop terror attacks and sectarian violence.

    "He [Pope Francis] is widely loved outside of the church and admired in the Western world … If Sisi gets a photo opportunity with him he could say, 'How come this man of peace is standing with me despite what Western governments are saying about human rights abuses?'"

    Sisi has made a point of appealing to the Coptic community and became the country's first president to attend a Christmas mass in 2015. He has repeatedly called for unity and brotherhood between Christians and Muslims. Pope Francis will speak with Pope Tawadros II as well as Grand Sheikh Ahmed Tayeb.

    In the impoverished Coptic neighbourhood of Manshiyat Nasr in the foothills of Cairo — nicknamed garbage city because most of the city's rubbish ends up here — the ABC had difficulty-finding Christians who were willing to speak on the record.

    But 31-year-old metal recycler Kerolos Taqawy Fakhry spoke cautiously. He said that while he respects Pope Francis coming to Egypt at such a difficult time for the Christian community and expects him to preach love and religious co-existence, he doubts it will make a difference to peoples' lives.

    He also felt slighted that no one from the neighbourhood was invited

    "It's only for VIPs. The government doesn't care about us. I want to leave Egypt — I work 18 hours a day and though it's our country, we can't even take our basic rights."
     
  19. 2_Smoking_Guns

    2_Smoking_Guns First Grade

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    well that's it.... just got off the phone to my brother in law and instructed him to sell off everything we own in Indonesia.... I will never set foot in that county again.....

    Jakarta's Christian governor Ahok found guilty in Islam blasphemy trial
    By Indonesia correspondent Adam Harvey
    Updated 51 minutes ago

    [​IMG]PHOTO: Ahok told the court he would appeal the verdict. (Reuters: Bay Ismoyo/Pool)

    The sentence was harsher than expected and will come as a shock to many of his supporters. TV news coverage of the scene outside the court showed some supporters weeping.

    [​IMG]PHOTO: The harsh sentence was not expected and shocked Ahok's supporters. (Reuters: Bay Ismoyo/Pool)
    Prosecutors had called for a suspended one-year jail sentence on charges of hate speech. The maximum sentence is four years in prison for hate speech and five years for blasphemy.

    Judges said he did it deliberately and did not show remorse. Ahok told the court he will appeal the ruling.

    Thousands of police have been deployed across the capital in case clashes break out between Ahok's supporters and hard-line Islamists who demanded he be sacked and jailed over the allegations.

    There was no immediate sign of any violence after the court's verdict.

    [​IMG]PHOTO: Police prepare their equipment near the court ahead of the verdict. (Reuters: Darren Whiteside)
    "Both groups will have the opportunity to demonstrate, but we are taking steps to prevent clashes," national police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said earlier.

    The Indonesian Government had been criticised for not doing enough to protect religious minorities but President Joko Widodo, a key ally of Ahok, urged restraint over the trial and called for all sides to respect the legal process.

    Ahok lost his bid for re-election in an April run-off, by far the most divisive and religiously charged election in recent years, to a Muslim rival Anies Baswedan — he will hand over to Mr Baswedan in October.

    [​IMG]PHOTO: Muslim demonstrators marching in protest againstAhok this week. (AP: Achmad Ibrahim, file)
    'Huge setback' for tolerance and minorities
    Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch said the guilty verdict against Ahok was "a huge setback" for Indonesia's record of tolerance and for minorities.

    "This is bad news for Indonesian minorities," he said.

    "If someone like Ahok, the governor of the capital, backed by the country's largest political party, ally of the president, can be jailed on groundless accusations, what will others do?"

    The tensions whipped up during the Jakarta election have raised concerns about the rising influence of Islamist groups in Indonesia, which is home to sizeable communities of Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and people who adhere to traditional beliefs.

    The Government said on Monday it would take legal steps to disband Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), a group that seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate, because its activities were creating social tensions and threatening security.

    Link
     
  20. Surely

    Surely Moderator Staff Member

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    2 years , holy f**k, what's wrong with the judicial system over there.

    Now we Malaysia using bum rooting and Indo using blasphemy to get rid of political opponents.
     

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