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Sudan Convicts Alleged Gang-Rape Victim

Sentence will be suspended because she's pregnant

(Newser) - A Sudanese court has convicted a pregnant 18-year-old of "indecent acts" for having the temerity to be the victim of an alleged gang-rape last August. The Ethiopian woman, then 3-months pregnant, was house hunting when seven men allegedly pinned her down, raped her, and filmed it, inside an otherwise... More »

Saudis Arrest Free Huggers

But they're unrepentant, will hug again

(Newser) - Offering free hugs to strangers is not cool with Saudi Arabia's religious police. Earlier this week, a young Saudi man named Bandr al-Swed posted a video to YouTube in which he walked through the streets of Riyadh with a "Free Hugs" sign, giving them out happily to men... More »

Cain: Tenn. Mosque Infringes on Religious Freedom

GOP contender thinks it will spread Shariah law

(Newser) - Surprise, surprise: Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is not a fan of the controversial mosque proposed in Tennessee . Cain says the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, which has been protested as well as challenged in court, "isn't an innocent mosque," but is rather "another way to try... More »

Did Bachmann Just Call for a Ban on Porn?

She's the first to sign sweeping conservative 'Marriage Vow'

(Newser) - Michele Bachmann became the first GOP presidential hopeful to sign an extremely socially conservative pledge that might sorta call for a ban on porn. The pledge, which is being put forth by an Iowa-based group called The Family Leader, is ostensibly primarily about marriage; it’s called “The Marriage... More »

25 Killed in Nigeria Bomb Blasts

Beer gardens targeted

(Newser) - Suspected members of an Islamic sect bombed three beer gardens in northeastern Nigeria, killing 25 people and wounding 12 others today, authorities say. Police blame the attack on a group known locally as Boko Haram, which earlier this month carried out an attack on the nation's police headquarters. Authorities... More »

What If Schools Had to Teach Islam in Science Class?

And how is 'intelligent design' any better?

(Newser) - Legislators in at least seven states have introduced “stealth creationism” bills this year, requiring educators to teach some form of “intelligent design” in schools—and some of those same people have also pushed laws banning Islamic Sharia rules from being used in the courtroom. The message is clear,... More »

Pakistan Frees Accused Gang Rapists

Mukhtar Mai's alleged assailants go free

(Newser) - Pakistan’s supreme court has freed 13 of the 14 people accused of raping Mukhtar Mai, the activist who earned global acclaim for speaking out about her assault, a rare act in Pakistan’s sexist society. Human rights groups are outraged, and Mai says she’s terrified. “I am... More »

14-Year-Old Beaten to Death for Adultery Was Raped

Doctor listed Hena Akhter’s death as a 'suicide'

(Newser) - The family of a 14-year-old girl who was beaten to death in Bangladesh says she didn’t commit adultery—she was raped. Hena Akhter’s family talked to CNN this week, and offered a heartbreaking story of the girl’s death. In their telling, Akhter’s much older cousin, Mahbub... More »

Florida Judge Will Consult Islamic Law in Suit

He'll use it in case involving mosque, fired trustees

(Newser) - A judge in Florida trying to resolve a convoluted case involving a mosque and four of its fired trustees says he will consult Islamic law to settle one aspect of the case, reports the St. Petersburg Times . The decision is drawing flak from conservative bloggers who say sharia is being... More »

Tennessee Bill Would Outlaw Shariah Law

Muslims would get 15 years in prison

(Newser) - Two Tennessee lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make following the Islamic code of ethics known as Shariah law a felony punishable by 15 years in prison. The bill exempts the peaceful practice of Islam, according to the Tennessean , but it labels following Shariah “treasonous,” claiming that... More »

South Carolina Mulls Ban on Sharia Law

Would 'prevent a court from enforcing foreign law in this state'

(Newser) - South Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill that would explicitly state that "foreign law" could not be enforced in the Palmetto State—the latest in a series of laws that some critics say are really just trying to preemptively ban sharia law, Talking Points Memo reports. State Sen. Michael... More »

Bombay Stock Exchange Offers 'Sharia Index'

Officials hope to woo Muslims with 'Sharia-compliant' shares

(Newser) - In the latest sign of the times, the Bombay Stock Exchange is offering a new index of Indian stocks from companies whose practices comply with Sharia, the legal code of Islam. The BSE TASIS Sharia 50 index is based on guidelines of an Indian Sharia advisory board and includes the... More »

Newt's Doing a McCarthy Impression

Rants against sharia, 'stealth jihadis' are Red Scare-esque

(Newser) - Don’t you wish American judges would quit imposing harsh Islamic sharia law? Eugene Robinson, for one, thinks all these stonings and beheadings are really getting out of hand. Where did he get the crazy idea? “Why, Newt Gingrich told me,” he writes in the Washington Post . This... More »

Is 'Sharia' Evil?

Muslims say word being unfairly vilified

(Newser) - The word “sharia” has become almost a slur in conservative discourse recently. Protesters at Ground Zero wave signs showing the word in blood. A pamphlet at a recent tea party event asked, “Why do Muslims want to take over the world and place us under Shariah law?” And... More »

Iran Grills Mom Sentenced to Stoning

Tehran wants to know who helped spread her story to the world

(Newser) - Iranian authorities have been interrogating Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the 43-year-old mother of two who garnered international attention when she was sentenced to death by stoning last month on charges of adultery. Authorities want to know who helped Sakineh spread her story to the media, and have warned her that if... More »

Indonesia Cops Hunt Down Women in Jeans

Police stop 18 women, confiscate pants

(Newser) - Religious police in Indonesia are cracking down on denim. During a raid yesterday,18 women caught riding motorbikes wearing headscarves and jeans were taken into custody and given long skirts to wear. Police also confiscated their pants. "I am not wearing sexy outfits, but they caught me like a... More »

Malaysia Canes 3 Women for Adultery

Minister: 'It was carried out perfectly'

(Newser) - For the first time in Malaysia's history, three women have been caned under Islamic law for having extramarital sex. "It was carried out perfectly," the country's home minister tells Reuters . "Even though the caning did not injure them, they said it caused pain within them." Amnesty... More »

Saudi Police Begin Valentine's Day Crackdown

The holiday, and any item invoking it, are banned

(Newser) - The Saudi religious police are cracking down on stores selling items that are red or in any other way allude to the banned celebration of Valentine's Day. A Saudi official says policemen are inspecting shops for red roses, heart-shaped products, and gifts wrapped in red, and ordering store owners to... More »

Malaysia Busts 104 for Premarital Sex

Morality cops raid budget hotels in New Year's crackdown

(Newser) - Malaysian morality police burst into budget hotels just before dawn on New Year's Day, and arrested 52 unmarried Muslim couples, officials announced today. The couples, most of them students or young factory workers, could face fines and up to two years in prison. More »

Nigerian Rebel Leader Dies in Police Custody

(Newser) - The leader of an uprising set on introducing Islamic law in Nigeria died in custody today, the BBC reports. Mohammed Yusuf was captured in his in-laws’ goat pen in Maiduguri—and was later seen standing and with no visible injuries by a Reuters reporter. “He has been killed,”... More »

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