Rimsha Masih’s Unending Nightmare

Frank Crimi in FrontPage After being acquitted in January 2013 of blasphemy charges, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has now reopened the case against Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old Pakistani Christian girl believed to suffer from mental disabilities. Rimsha’s case had drawn international attention as well as corresponding outrage after the young girl was arrested  at her home in August 2012 and charged with blasphemy upon being accused by a Muslim neighbor of allegedly burning pages from a Koran. It should be noted that running afoul of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws can earn sentences of death or life in prison for those convicted of desecrating Islam’s holy book or insulting its Prophet Muhammad. For her part, Rimsha, who worked as a maid at the time, denied through her attorney any blasphemous wrongdoing, claiming she was simply burning garbage and “did not know a Koranic book was among the papers because she cannot read.” Moreover, Pakistan’s Minister for National Harmony, Paul Bhatti, said that given Rimsha’s mental disorder, it was unlikely the young girl had “purposefully desecrated the Koran.” Unfortunately, Rimsha’s illiteracy and mental impairment

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Saudi Arabia to Give Public Beheadings the Axe?

Frank Crimi in FrontPage A lack of qualified swordsmen may relegate the barbaric Saudi practice of public beheadings to the historical ash heap, although such a change is unlikely to slow down the swelling numbers of people being put to death in the Saudi Kingdom. Saudi Arabia’s Sharia-based judicial system has long considered public beheadings, along with the occasional crucifixion and stoning, to be acceptable Islamic forms of capital punishment. While those punishments come to those convicted of murder, rape, sodomy, drug trafficking, and armed robbery, other offenses, such as apostasy, adultery, drug use, and witchcraft can also earn a date with the swordsman. However, a Saudi government committee has found that an alarming “scarcity of swordsmen and their unavailability in a number of regions” cannot keep pace with the several thousand people estimated to be on death row throughout Saudi Arabia’s 13 administrative regions. As a result, the committee recommended that firing squads be used as an acceptable method of execution for capital sentences, one which would not only be cost effective but limit the unprofessional specter of executioners

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Torching Christians in Pakistan

Frank Crimi in FrontPage In the latest act of bruising intolerance being perpetrated by Muslims against Pakistan’s besieged Christian community, a Muslim mob recently burned down over 150 Christian homes and two churches over allegations that a Christian man had committed blasphemy. The rioting, which occurred in the Pakistani city of Lahore, began after a Muslim man accused Sawan Masih, a Pakistani Christian, of insulting the Prophet Muhammad, an allegation punishable by death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Even though Pakistani police had swiftly arrested Masih, Christian families nevertheless hurriedly fled the area in fear of Muslim reprisals, an exodus which proved fortuitous given the ensuing Muslim rampage. Once the mob’s fury had been spent, Christians slowly made their way back to their burned-out homes, leaving one Christian surveying the destruction to lament, “Nothing is left here. I don’t know why this happened.” The answer to that question, unfortunately, is exceedingly clear given the type of barbaric treatment routinely meted out by Muslims to those Christians and other religious minorities unfortunate enough to run afoul of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws. Those

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The Kidnapping of Coptic Girls

Frank Crimi in FrontPage When a rumor circulated last week that a Muslim woman in the southern Egyptian city of Kom Ombo had been forcibly converted to Christianity, a mob of Muslims felt compelled to riot, attacking and firebombing the city’s local Coptic Christian church. The rioting in Kom Ombo had begun when local Muslim residents believed a missing 36-year-old Muslim woman had been forced to convert to Christianity and was being held against her will in the Church of Mar Girgis, Kom Ombo’s largest Coptic Church. That transgression was apparently egregious enough to induce hundreds of local Muslims to surround the church for three days hurling Molotov Cocktails and rocks, a melee that caused injury to over two dozen Christians and Egyptian police. Of course, it should be noted that Copts, who make up 10 percent of Egypt’s populace, are used to being on the receiving end of Muslim ire, having seen over the past several years scores of their churches routinely attacked and burned. In fact, Muslim rage at Coptic churches and their parishioners extends beyond Egyptian borders,

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Al Jazeera Star: Death to Apostates

Frank Crimi in FrontPage Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, host of a popular Al Jazeera television show and a highly influential Islamic cleric with a long history of poisonous views toward women, homosexuals and Jews, has now sanctioned the killing of those who leave Islam. The 86-year-old Egyptian-born cleric, who has been called the spiritual and intellectual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, aired his enlightened views on the deadly Islamic punishment for apostates on a recent broadcast of Shariah and Life — his long-running program that enjoys an estimated worldwide audience of 60 million viewers. Qaradawi addressed his Al Jazeera viewers, quoting from a series of Koranic verses and hadiths, which read in part, “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle is that they should be murdered or crucified…Kill whomever changes his faith [from Islam]…” Moreover, according to Qaradawi, Islam’s diligent use of executing apostates had served to ensure Islam’s survival since the 15th century, telling viewers that “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment Islam wouldn’t exist today.” Unfortunately, Qaradawi’s on-air fatwa carries some

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Afghan Woman Forced to Marry Her Rapist

Frank Crimi in FrontPage A year after she was pardoned from prison on the condition she agree to marry her rapist, a young Afghan woman, faced with distressingly few options, has now reluctantly wed her attacker. In 2009, Gulnaz, then 16 years old, gained international attention after she was raped by her cousin’s husband and sentenced to 12 years in an Afghan prison for “forced adultery,” during which time she gave birth to a daughter fathered by her defiler. Unfortunately, being imprisoned for having the temerity to be a victim of rape is not unusual in Afghanistan, evidenced by the fact that more than 50 percent of Afghanistan’s female prison population has been jailed for moral crimes, such as “forced adultery” or “zina” (extramarital sex). Yet, nevertheless, after spending two and a half years in jail, Gulnaz was offered a pardon in December 2011 by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, albeit on the condition Gulnaz marry her rapist. Karzai’s decision, however, wasn’t particularly surprising given that the Afghan police and judicial response to violence inflicted upon women — deeply rooted in

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The Selling of Syria’s Refugee Child Brides

Frank Crimi in FrontPage A growing legion of Muslim men from the Mideast and Europe are scouring Syrian refugee camps in order to purchase underage girls, some as young as 12, as child brides, many of whom end up being sold for use in temporary “pleasure marriages.” For most of the Syrian women and girls who have fled the genocidal horrors of Syria’s civil war, rape — whether by pro-government or rebel forces – has been identified as one of the primary reasons for their exodus from that war-torn country. Now, having supposedly escaped that nightmarish reality, Syrian girls are being subjected to a new horror, being auctioned off by their families to unknown Muslim men for use as sexual toys in coerced and forced early marriages. These pleasure marriages, also known as “misyar” marriages, are legally nonbinding marital contracts which have long been used in Islamic countries to give religiously legitimate cover to a sexual relationship, especially those relationships involving underage girls. In fact, so popular are temporary misyar marriages among upscale Muslim men that a cottage industry has

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