This is our archive of news items tagged Taliban.

 memo You'll find articles about that subject in each of the items listed, even if the term does not necessarily occur within the headlines or descriptive text.

Scientology worship * Twitter Your Way to Paradise * Islamophobia

bullet If you have followed Religion News Blog for any length of time you know that we consider the so-called ‘Church of Scientology’ to be nothing more than a commercial enterprise that acts like a hate group and masquerades as a religion.

In our informed opinion, Scientology is a ruthless cult that pays lip-service to such popular causes as human rights and anti-drug education, while destroying lives and relationships.

So we pay close attention to the cult’s manifold efforts to try and gain a measure of legitimacy in various countries that — rightly, we believe — don’t buy into much of what Scientology claims to be and promote.

Currently, Supreme Court Judges in the UK are debating whether or not services in the Church of Scientology should be considered religious worship.

The Independent reports

The discussion in the highest court is the culmination of one couple’s five year legal battle to marry in a Scientology chapel in London. Louisa Hodkin, 24, first took the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths to court in 2008 after they said she could not marry her fiancé there because it was not a place of worship.

A decision in yesterday’s Supreme Court hearing was delayed so that the Registrar had time to send in further evidence on whether it should have been deciding at all what constituted a religious ceremony. A ruling is now not expected until October, after the summer break.

Another look at the case is provided by The Guardian, which notes that

The appeal is of wider significance since Scientologists have applied for certification at other premises in England that they claim are used for religious worship.

bullet The Southern Poverty Law Center, a human rights organization known for tracking and reporting on hate groups, has in recent years started to throw its weight around in areas that not everyone believes are covered by its brief.

The Washington Post says

On Friday (July 19) the New Jersey Superior Court will hear arguments in the lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against the group Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing.

The complaint says the Jersey City-based JONAH’s practices violate the state’s Consumer Fraud Act by falsely promising that it can help clients change their sexuality from gay to straight.

The paper notes that the suit comes one month after the Christian “ex-gay” advocacy group Exodus International announced it would be closing its doors — and that

The lawsuit comes against a larger backdrop of growing acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage, and admissions by ex-gay leaders that their movement is flawed.

In fact, Exodus International President Alan Chambers announced that he is launching a new organization whose goals “are to reduce fear and come alongside churches to become safe (and) welcoming communities.”

See also: Some Christians shift on gays

bullet Paradise is not just a few mouse click away, a senior Vatican official warns. That said, Catholics who follow Pope Francis’ tweets are now offered indulgences — which reduce the time Catholics believe they will have to spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins.

In the Middle Ages unscrupulous church leaders sold such indulgences for large sums of money, but nowadays one can earn them by performing tasks such as climbing the Sacred Steps in Rome.

The practice — which has no biblical basis whatsoever — is a reminder that while many consider the Catholic Church to be a Christian denomination, many others believe it to be theologically a cult of Christianity.

bullet June 2013 was not a good month for religious tolerance, says Tom Porteous, deputy program director at Human Rights Watch.

Vicious sectarianism is not solely afflicting Muslim countries — witness the attacks by monk-led Buddhists on Myanmar’s Rohingya minority and the growing Islamophobia in Europe. But the trend is particularly prevalent — and alarming — in the Muslim world, affecting areas where people have lived together for centuries. The violence is tearing communities apart and fueling political instability and horrific rights abuses. And authoritarian governments are using it as a reason to resist popular demands for political rights.

bulletIncidentally: Not addressed (and indeed seldom acknowledged) is that so-called Islamophobia in most cases is a direct response to the intolerant and violent nature of Islam.

The Quran refers to non-Muslims as, among other references, pigs and apes. And one only has to follow the news to know that Islam is a religion that does not play nice.

bullet Speaking of Islam-inspired intolerance: the Taliban is a collection of despicable creatures who all seem to suffer from mental illness and religious insanity.

What else can explain their penchant for violence in the name of their particular brand of Islam — which, fortunately, is rejected by the vast majority of Muslims.

A senior leader of this groups of criminals has indirectly sent a letter to schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head last year by Taliban gunmen.

The leader does not apologize for the attack, nor does he condemn it. Instead he claims Malala was targeted because she campaigned to “malign [the Taliban’s] efforts to establish the Islamic system”.

No one in his right mind can tolerate that kind of criminal nonsense.

bullet Here’s our favorite headline of the day: Beat Islamic fundamentalism by studying Henry V

More headlines for your consideration:

bullet And finally… having mentioned ‘religious insanity’ a while back, we take note of another kind of idiocy: Freedom from Religion Foundation objects to Star of David in Holocaust memorial.

That’s too sad for words.

Man Arrested in Afghan Woman’s Mutilation

An Afghan man who helped mutilate his young daughter-in-law after she tried to flee her marriage has been arrested for abetting the crime.

The father-in-law, named Suliman, is being held in an Afghanistan jail, according to Women for Afghan Women, and has confessed to holding a gun to the young girl’s head while her nose and ears were cut off.

Ayesha, the young woman, is safely in the United States where she is undergoing a series of reconstructive surgeries.

Police are still searching for her husband and her brother-in-law, who performed the mutilation.

Once known only as “Bibi,” Ayesha’s story has become an example of the brutality of the Taliban and also the resilience of a young woman.

Taliban nutters threaten the Netherlands with Islamic terrorism

The Taliban — a hate group consisting of despicable barbarians who have deluded themselves into thinking they represent true Islam — have warned of a possible terrorist attack against the Netherlands, according to a press report Monday, in the wake of the government’s decision to form a minority government backed by the anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders.

‘If the Netherlands enforce its anti-Islamic policies, it will ensure that they will be the target of an attack by a jihadist group,’ Taliban spokesman Sabiullah Mujahid told the de Volkskrant newspaper. [Read more...]

Attackers Hit Mosques of Islamic Sect in Pakistan

Ahmadiyya More than 80 worshipers of a minority Muslim sect, the Ahmadis, were killed and more than 110 wounded Friday in a coordinated assault by seven well-trained attackers on two mosques in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city, the authorities said.

The target was the Ahmadis, a group of about two million Muslims in Pakistan who are considered heretical by many mainstream Muslims because the Ahmadis believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who founded their movement in 1889, was the messiah foretold by Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. [Read more...]

Taliban Threatens To Kill More Christians

Taliban, a hate group masquerading as a religious movement In a letter sent to the Christian community in the northeastern city of Sargodha, Taliban militants said Christians should convert to Islam, pay an Islamic tax imposed on religious minorities, known as ‘Jizya tax’, or leave the country.

If Christians refuse to accept these choices, Christians “will be killed, their property and homes will be burnt to ashes and their women treated as sex slaves,” said the letter. [Read more...]

Islamist Lawyer Threatens to Kill Pakistani Charged with Blasphemy

Pakistan A Pakistani Christian charged with abetting blasphemy against Islam was denied bail for his own safety last week after an Islamist lawyer allegedly threatened his life in a court hearing.

Insulting Islam is a dangerous activity in the conservative nation of 170 million, but with the spread of the Taliban, non-Muslims fear their very existence will make them a target to fundamentalists. [Read more...]

Taliban-Inspired Attacks in Pakistan Hit Christians

Taliban, a hate group masquerading as a religious movement As Taliban control hits pockets of Pakistan and threatens the nation’s stability, Christians worry their province could be the next to fall under Islamic law.

Christians in Taiser town, near Karachi, noticed on the walls of their church graffiti that read, “Long Live the Taliban” and calls for Christians to either convert to Islam or pay the jizye, a poll tax under sharia (Islamic law) paid by non-Muslims for protection if they decline to convert. [Read more...]