Court in Egypt Sentences Young Christian for ‘Insulting Islam’

Egypt In a show of partiality to Muslims who go unprosecuted for like offenses against Christianity, a juvenile court in Egypt sentenced a Coptic Christian teenager to three years in prison for allegedly insulting Islam.

The court claimed that he posted cartoons on his Facebook account in December that mocked the Islamic religion and its prophet, Muhammad.

Geert Wilders acquitted of all charges

Geert Wilders A court in Amsterdam has acquitted MP Geert Wilders of charges of inciting hatred and insulting Muslims as a group.

The charges had been brought by individuals who felt they had been discriminated against by the anti-Islam nationalist MP.

Jordan to try Danish artist over Mohammed cartoon

Muslim terrorism Danish artist Kurt Westergaard, known for his controversial caricature of the Prophet Mohammed, said Friday he had not been informed of a trial against him in Jordan and said he would in any case not attend.

“I have not done anything illegal in Denmark. I only did my job and I will always defend the right to freedom of expression,” he said, reiterating meanwhile that he had “never had the intention to offend Muslims and their faith with my caricature.”

Christian News Agency Ordered To Register With Hungary’s Media Authority

BosNewsLife Central and Eastern Europe’s first online Christian news agency, BosNewsLife, was ordered Wednesday, February 9, to register with Hungarian authorities under a new controversial law that critics say is part of a crackdown on independent media.

Under the new law electronic media such as BosNewsLife could face fines of over $100,000 and broadcasters nearly $1 million if their news coverage is deemed unbalanced, immoral or violating human dignity.


The US government says “At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information.”

Reporters Without Borders condemns the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at, the website dedicated to the US diplomatic cables. The organization is also concerned by some of the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

Couple turns hotel loss into blessing for community

A Christian couple in Liverpool whose hotel business was left crippled after they were arrested for criticising Islam, have told a US news channel of their exciting new plans to use the hotel to help the community.

Many considered the arrest to be unfounded. The court dismissed the case after a judge questioned the character of the Muslim convert who brought the complaint.

Still, in the aftermath of the Muslim woman’s attack on free speech the couple’s business was destroyed.

The couple has now told CBN of how they bounced back from their loss to start a new non-profit making business designed to provide a host of valuable services to their local community.

The Bounty House TLC Centre now provides a range of services including rehabilitation for former soldiers, arts and crafts lessons for the elderly, help and advice for families, and life skills courses.

When blasphemy is a crime

The United Nations General Assembly may soon vote — not for the first time — in favor of a resolution opposing the “defamation of religions.” The idea, which may sound appealing at first blush, is particularly championed by Islamic countries, which would like to go even further and have the condemnation enshrined in international law.

But a new report by Freedom House, a Washington-based human rights organization, demonstrates how such policies have too often been used by countries to suppress freedom of speech and freedom of religion, leading to serious human rights abuses.

See also: Free Speech and Radical Islam

Dutch court to hear Geert Wilders case over again

Geert Wilders A Dutch court approved on Friday a request from anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders to have new judges for his trial on charges of inciting hatred against Muslims, forcing the court to start the case over again.

It is alleged that one of the judges tried to influence one of Wilders’ witnesses.

Dutch prosecutor requests some charges against Geert Wilders be dropped

Prosecutors in the hate speech case against Dutch politician Geert Wilders on Tuesday requested the court drop charges of insulting Muslims from the list of crimes being considered.

Although prosecutors would continue pushing for a conviction on charges of discrimination and inciting hatred against Muslims, they said incendiary statements Wilders had made about the Koran and Islam could not be construed as a direct insult to people of the Muslim faith.

Dutch anti-Islam MP’s trial to go on

The hate speech trial of Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, set to become a shadow partner of the next government, will go ahead as planned after a court on Tuesday refused to dismiss his judges for alleged bias.

Wilders is charged with five counts of giving religious offence to Muslims and inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims and people of non-Western immigrant origin, particularly Moroccans, in comments made between October 2006 and March 2008 in Dutch newspapers and on internet forums.

Seven days of hearings have been scheduled in the month of October, with judgment expected on November 4.

Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) came third in June 9 national elections, and is concluding a deal to support a new minority government of Christian Democrats and liberals in return for a voice in policy-making.

Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders on trial for inciting hate

Geert Wilders Dutch anti-Islamist politician Geert Wilders, who plays a controversial but pivotal role in the formation of a new Dutch government, went on trial on Monday for inciting hatred against Muslims.

Wilders is charged with inciting hate and discrimination against Muslims in comments he made in the media and for insulting Muslims by comparing the Islamic faith to Nazism.

Danish book about the Muhammad cartoons controversy goes ahead despite the usual threats

A book about the publication of cartoons in Denmark that angered Muslims by showing images of the Prophet Muhammad will be released despite recent terror threats, the publisher said Wednesday.

“The book will come out as planned,” said Karsten Blauert, of Jyllands-Posten Editions.

The book, titled “The Tyranny of Silence,” is due out Thursday, five years to the day after the cartoons first appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Our take: Good for them! People in the civilized world can not allow a bunch of barbarians, who claims to act in the name of their religion, to violate their freedom with threats of violence and other acts of terrorism.

Bringing blasphemy back from the dead

Advertising is a free speech issue. To say ‘you can’t say that’ in an advert – to say that mocking Roman Catholicism, no matter how tongue-in-cheek, is not suitable advertising content – is as censorious as excluding a work of art from an exhibition.

‘If you ban our ad’, Antonio Federici’s spokesman told spiked, ‘you might as well ban any controversial story about the church – that’s the logical conclusion’.”

Muslim minister’s media manners plan triggers German storm

A plan by Germany’s first high-level Muslim official to teach manners to the media triggered a storm of outrage Friday, with news editors accusing her of censorship.

Aygul Ozkan, minister of integration in Lower Saxony state, had asked media to sign a charter to abstain from racist reporting.

The draft proposed that signatories ‘use culturally sensitive language,’ educate readers to think ‘interculturally’ and devote news attention to ‘the challenges of integration.’ She suggested leading editors meet in August to publicly sign the charter.

Editors of Lower Saxony newspapers slammed the Ozkan plan.

‘It’s the crassest attempt by any politician for a long time to guide newspapers and the electronic media,’ said Rolf Seelheim, editor of the Nordwest Zeitung in the city of Oldenburg.

Scientology has a hard time silencing online critics

As support for local councillor John Dixon shows, Scientologists may have a harder time silencing critics online than elsewhere.

That’s a good thing, given the destructive cult’s record of hate- and harassment activities — unethical behaviour dreamed up Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

Councillor faces inquiry over ‘stupid’ Scientologists tweet

Scientology A councillor is facing a disciplinary hearing after calling the Church of Scientology “stupid” in a post on the Twitter website.

Wales’ public standards watchdog said John Dixon is likely to have breached the code of conduct for local authority members with his short message last year.

Religion News Blog, whose publishers consider Scientology to be a destructive cult, often files news about the organization under the header ‘hate group’ — in light of the cult’s lengthy history of hate- and harassment activities.

4 missionaries charged in Dearborn festival proselytizing

Four Christian missionaries were arraigned today on misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace following their June 18 arrest at the Arab International Festival.

Negeen Mayel, 18, of California; Nabeel Qureshi, 29, of Virginia; Paul Rezkalla, 18 of New York, and David Wood, 34, also of New York, face fines of up to $500 each and up to 93 days in jail. Dearborn authorities said the four “chose to escalate their behavior, which appeared well-orchestrated and deliberate” as they handed out religious literature and talking with people at the festival. The woman and three men are members or founders of a group called “Acts 17 Apologetics.”

Festival rules require religious groups to distribute information at paid booths or outside the event. Indeed, Christians who followed the festival’s rules have not encountered problems this year or any other year they attended.

Twin Cities Gay Pride Fest Cannot Bar Evangelist

The Twin Cities Pride Festival cannot prevent an evangelical Christian from passing out Bibles and discussing his views against homosexuality at this weekend’s event, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Twin Cities Pride argued that its rights should take precedence because it’s paying $36,000 to lease Loring Park on the edge of downtown Minneapolis for the two-day event. The group also said Johnson contradicts the festival’s “message of celebration and pride in being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.”

But the judge ruled that the 42-acre park is a public forum, so Johnson’s free-speech rights must be honored. Tunheim said Johnson is entitled to go ahead with his plans as long as he remains undisruptive.

Christian evangelists arrested at Arab festival in the USA

On Friday four Christian men were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly trying to convert Muslims attending the 15th annual Arab International Festival in Dearborn, MI. Despite a lower court ruling upholding restrictions on proselytizing at an Arab festival in Dearborn this past weekend, a Christian ministry was allowed to walk around and […]
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