Our bi-weekly roundup of news on Islam, freethought, and secularism
Don't Insult the Turkish President -- Or Else
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has long combined two characteristics to make for an especially unpleasant rule: routinely playing footsie with Islamists and inching his country closer to autocracy.
Iranian Clerics: Amputate Fingers and Toes to Force Submission
The already-draconian response to protests in the Islamic Republic is, in the eyes of some, not draconian enough.
In Indonesia, Banning Premarital Sex is the Compromise
Indonesia’s new draconian criminal code, which any moralistic theocrat would celebrate as a victory, was—disturbingly—really a compromise from the perspective of religious hardliners. Plus: the brutish cruelty of the Iranian regime rages on.
Iran Near a Boiling Point
It has now been more than two months since the killing of Mahsa Amini, and the discontent and unrest show no signs of abating. Plus: blasphemy cases in Pakistan and India.
The Lies of the “New and Improved” Taliban
The Taliban have proven unsurprisingly contradictory in word and deed on women’s rights in their new Islamic Emirate. LGBT Afghans and Hazaras, along with many women who find themselves in new danger, are either fleeing the country or going into hiding.
The wolves descend on Afghanistan
The Taliban mounted a quick takeover of Afghanistan, condemning it to a dark future. In its respect for human rights, the country now seems likely to descend even lower, making countries where blasphemy prosecutions remain high appear enlightened.
The intensifying plight of Pakistan’s Ahmadi minority
Developments on blasphemy cases in Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, continuing persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan, a stabbing in London, and a look at Asia Bibi’s post-blasphemy-acquittal life in Canada.
An Iranian plot to kidnap an American regime critic
In the past few weeks: a plot to kidnap Masih Alinejad, Pakistan continues to prosecute blasphemy, Iran makes life harder for its religious minorities, and the Taliban continues to gain ground in Afghanistan.
Thoughtcrimes, blasphemy, and sexuality persecuted
This week: a progressive Islamic scholar's home raided by an Islamist mob, Pakistani feminists battle blasphemy accusations, Imran Khan flops attempt at compelling the West to limit free speech, and a 20-year-old beheaded by family in Iran for being gay.
Religious Havoc Everywhere, Persecution in Pakistan
In recent weeks: obstinacy from the theocrats of Pakistan, an alarming arrest in the UAE, and persisting religious madness of all stripes the world over.
Pakistan gives in to domestic terrorists, Afghan Taliban declares victory against the US, Iran censors female referee, and an Algerian academic is imprisoned
In the past few weeks: far-right Islamists in Pakistan take officers hostage, the Taliban in Afghanistan celebrate the withdrawal of US forces as a victory, Covid skyrockets in India, and an Algerian academic is given three years' imprisonment.
A trans madrassah, honor killings, and human rights flouted
In the last month: both progress and regression in the West, the opening of Pakistan’s first trans-only madrassah, persecution in the Indian subcontinent, the killings of two Egyptian women, and the death of Islam-critical feminist author Nawal El-Saadawi.
Burqa bans and blasphemy accusations
Over the last few weeks: burqa bans in Switzerland and Sri Lanka, new guidelines for Iranian cartoons, a women’s march in Pakistan pelted with blasphemy accusations, and developments in two high-profile cases in France and Australia.