September 2009 (Rifqa frenzy clip)

By Amy L. Edwards, for the Orlando Sentinel:

The Department of Children and Families is trying to figure out who arranged for Fathima Rifqa Bary to join-in on a conference call with “thousands” of people and on which the 17-year-old delivered her testimony and a frenzied prayer.

Rifqa — the center of national political and religious debate — has been living at an undisclosed location in state foster care, where she was placed in August.

Rifqa, 17, said she ran away from her Ohio home in July out of fear that her Muslim family would harm or kill her because she converted to Christianity. She sought shelter from Orlando pastors whom she met through a Facebook prayer group.




FINALLY! By George Jahn, for the Associate Press:

VIENNA — Overriding Western objections, a 150-nation nuclear conference on Friday passed a resolution directly criticizing Israel and its atomic program for the first time in 18 years. Iran hailed the vote as a “glorious moment.”

The result was a setback not only for Israel but also for the United States and other backers of the Jewish state, which had lobbied for 18 years of past practice — debate on the issue without a vote. It also reflected building tensions between Israel and its backers and Islamic nations, backed by developing countries.

Of delegations present at the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting Friday, 49 voted for the resolution. Forty-five were against and 16 abstained from endorsing or rejecting the document, which “expresses concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities,” and links it to “concern about the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons for the security and stability of the Middle East.”

In an attempt to sway the assembly before the vote, U.S. chief delegate Glyn Davies spoke out against an “attempt to use this resolution to criticize a single country.”

Like that doesn’t happen to Iran? Double standards ?


From the Jakarta Post:

Around 5,000 Muslims from various districts across Surakarta gathered at Kotabarat square Friday to declare their fight against terrorism.

A number of Islamic organization and boarding school leaders took turns in denouncing acts of terrorism that had killed hundreds of people in the country.

“Islam doesn’t teach terrorism and terrorism cannot be connected with Islam,” said Ahmad Sukino, who chairs the Koran interpretation assembly.

He called on Muslims to avoid controversy over the use of terror to defend Islam, which he said never condoned acts of violence to justify means.



Charlemagne, for the Economist:

FOR all its grand central squares and lively cultural scene, the Belgian port of Antwerp is not always a happy town. Flemish old-timers share its gritty streets with Arabs, Africans, Asians and, in the diamond district, Hasidic Jews. Race relations are not easy: in the latest local elections, a third of the vote went to Vlaams Belang, an anti-immigrant, far-right Flemish nationalist party. The handsome stone bulk of the Royal Atheneum, a once-elite state school with a 200-year history, has produced legendary free-thinkers and radicals in its day. Now, however, it is enjoying unhappy fame: as the centre of an experiment in multiculturalism wrecked by intolerance. The story defies neat conclusions.


By Sara R. Johnson, for the Columbus Local News:

The findings of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement involving Fathima Rifqa Bary have been unsealed.

The department’s report says there’s no evidence to support the allegations that the 17-year-old girl has made, including her allegation that her father, Mohamed Bary, threatened her life because she converted from Islam to Christianity.

The report had been sealed by Daniel Dawson, a judge in Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit Court, for 10 days, following a Sept. 3 arraignment. During the recent hearing, her parents, Mohamed and Asyha Bary, denied the allegations that Mohamed Bary threatened his daughter’s life.
The New Albany High School student fled from her parents’ home on July 20, taking a Greyhound bus to Orlando, Fla. to stay with Blake and Beverly Lorenz, pastors at Global Revolution Church in Orlando.


D3709US0Limitations on free speech in the United States? Seems so. If this was a movie about Muslims, nobody would make a problem of it; in fact, people would probably encourage its distribution. Article by Lexington, for the Economist:

“HILLARY: THE MOVIE” is unwatchable. From the first frame, it presents a dreary caricature of Hillary Clinton as a power-crazed harpy with no redeeming qualities. She is cynical, manipulative, dishonest and ruthless—and so on for 90 excruciating minutes. Wasn’t there at least a dog she once omitted to kick, or a child whose lollipop she didn’t steal?

That said, “Hillary: the Movie” is no duller or more biased than much of what passes for journalism these days. And it is clearly political speech, which the constitution’s first amendment unambiguously protects. “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech,” it says. Not “thoughtful, balanced speech”; just “speech”. Yet the creators of the movie were forced to drop plans to distribute it via cable television for fear of stiff fines and long jail terms.


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