Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Day The Mountain Views News Defended Sharia Law

Sharia Law: Execution of a woman by stoning
Since Sharia Law and Jihadism in general will be a topic at today's Veteran's Day ceremony in Memorial Park, I thought we might want to take a journey back in time to November 27, 2010. That was the date our community's weekly adjudicated newspaper, The Mountain Views News, felt it needed to step forward and defend Sharia Law.

It was a very sad and strange moment in this community's history, and after being called out on it by any number of outraged residents, the paper never went down that path again. However, and this must also be said, the Mountain Views News never retracted any of its erroneous claims. Or apologized for the personal attacks, either. It all just vanished into thin air.

Just to set this up properly, it is no secret that the target of this bizarre MVN hit piece reproduced below, MaryAnn MacGillivray, is a conservative. And that barbaric and radical fundamentalist interpretations of Sharia Law have become a bete noir for those on the political right. The recent beheadings by ISIS certainly brought this to the fore. But are conservatives the only people who have spoken out against these grotesque distortions of Islam? Of course not. People of conscience everywhere have also condemned these terrible practices.

My survey of mainstream media, women and gay rights websites that deal with the topic of Sharia Law would indicate that this is hardly just a conservative cause. The stoning to death of women for "adultery" in countries such as Afghanistan, or the hanging of gay men in Iran because of their sexual preference, has not gone unnoticed on the liberal side of the political spectrum as well. The revulsion over such barbarity apparently now running across the entire gamut of political opinion.

With the apparent exception of the Mountain Views News, of course.

Here is a portion of the 2010 article in question (link), as penned by that paper's publisher, Susan Henderson. To view the rest of it you can go to the MVN website via the link I have provided here.


As I said above, The Tattler surveyed a number of websites dealing with Sharia Law. And it turns out it is not quite the Sunday School exercise that Ms. Henderson had claimed here. Let's start with Wikipedia.

(Adultery) In accordance with hadith, stoning to death is the penalty for married men and women who commit adultery. In addition, there are several conditions related to the person who commits it that must be met. One of the difficult ones is that the punishment cannot be enforced unless there is a confession of the person, or four male eyewitnesses who each saw the act being committed. All of these must be met under the scrutiny of judicial authority. For unmarried men and women, the punishment prescribed in the Qur'an and hadith is 100 lashes.

(Homosexuality) Homosexual activity is illegal under Sharia; however, the proscribed penalties differ from one school of jurisprudence to another. For example, these Muslim-majority countries may impose the death penalty for sodomy and homosexual activities: Iran, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Somalia.

This leads us next to something the website ukgaynews.org.uk covered in July of 2005 (link). Videos of these twin murders by Iran were posted to the Internet by that nation's government. 

Iran Executes Two Gay Teens In Public Hanging - LONDON, July 21  –  Two gay teenagers were publicly executed in Iran on 19 July 2005 for the ‘crime’ of homosexuality.  The youths were hanged in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad, in north east Iran.  They were sentenced to death by Court No. 19. Iran enforces Islamic Sharia law, which dictates the death penalty for gay sex.

One youth was aged 18 and the other was a minor under the age of 18.  They were only identified by their initials, M.A. and A.M. They admitted – probably under torture, London-based gay human rights group Outrage! suggests – to having gay sex  but claimed in their defence that most young boys had sex with each other and that they were not aware that homosexuality was punishable by death.

Prior to their execution, the teenagers were held in prison for 14 months and severely beaten with 228 lashes. Their length of detention suggests that they committed the so-called offences more than a year earlier, when they were possibly around the age of 16.

Ruhollah Rezazadeh, the lawyer of the youngest boy (under 18), had appealed that he was too young to be executed and that the court should take into account his young age (believed to be 16 or 17).  But the Supreme Court in Tehran ordered him to be hanged.

Under the Iranian penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be hanged.

The UK Daily Mail published an article on the brutal uses of Sharia Law in Iran in November of 2007 (link). In this article it is shown that such atrocities are visited upon both gays and women.

Gays should be tortured and hanged, says Iranian minister meeting British MPs Homosexuals deserve to be tortured and executed an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference, it emerged today.

Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality following recent reports that gay youths were being hanged. President Ahmadinejad, questioned by students in New York two months ago about the executions, dodged the issue by suggesting that there were no gays in his country.

The apparent executions, including those of two underage boys whose public hanging was posted on the internet, has alarmed human rights campaigners. Gay rights groups in Britain, such as Outrage!, accuse Iran of cloaking executions for homosexuality with bogus charges for more serious crimes.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the FCO released papers about the death penalty being used in Iran for homosexuality, adultery and sex outside marriage.

Minutes taken by an official describe a meeting between British and Iranian MPs at the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a peace body, in May. When the Britons raised the hangings of Asqari and Marhouni, the leader of the Iranian delegation, Mr Yahyavi, a member of his parliament's energy committee, was unflinching.

He “explained that according to Islam gays and lesbianism were not permitted”, the record states.“He said that if homosexual activity is in private there is no problem, but those in overt activity should be executed [he initially said tortured but changed it to executed]. "He argued that homosexuality is against human nature and that humans are here to reproduce. Homosexuals do not reproduce.”

Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Nigeria apply the death penalty for homosexuality, according to the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

On August 10th of 2010, The Post Chronicle newspaper published the following (link):

Taliban Executes Pregnant Widow: Whipped 200 Times, Shot - A pregnant widow has been executed by the Taliban in Afghanistan, but the woman was whipped 200 times before she was shot to death, reports CNN. Sanam Gul, also known as Sanam Bibi Sanubar, 35, was accused by the Taliban of becoming pregnant as a result of adultery by having "illicit affairs," and they summarily executed her with 3 shots to the head and chest after whipping her with 200 lashes.

The website The Religion of Peace.com gives the following explanation for the stoning of adulterers under Sharia Law (link):

Islamic law (Sharia) requires that adulterers be put to death, since it was the example set by Muhammad. In practice, the women are executed far more often, since they bear the burden of sexual responsibility (in a male dominated society) and are, perhaps, more likely to confess their indiscretion. Rape victims are sometimes convicted if they speak out. Reporting a rape means a confession of adultery under Sharia law if four male witnesses cannot be found to confirm the victim's claim.

While many Muslims today do find the practice distasteful, there is simply no arguing that killing grown adults over consensual sex is firmly rooted in Islamic theology. In fact, according to this recent fatwa, merely denying that it is appropriate to stone married adulterers in the modern age is a sign of apostasy.

Numerous examples of stoning adulterers under Islamic law persist, from the Islamist frontier of Somalia to the modern state of Iran. In 2010, the Taliban planted a couple having unauthorized sex in the ground and brutally pelted them with stones (the man had to be finished off with three gunshots) only a few days after flogging a pregnant woman 200 times and then shooting her in the head. In "condemning" the killings, the "moderate" president of Afghanistan would only say that they were wrong because they were not preceded by a trial.

The website Women Against Shariah describes its mission this way (link):

It is our position that shariah law imposes second class status on women and is incompatible with the standards of liberal Western societies and the basic principles of human rights and the protection of individual freedoms. The shariah code mandates the complete authority of men over women, including the control of their movement, education, marital options, clothing, bodies, place of residence and all other aspects of their existence.

Then there is this from the famed liberal news site Daily Kos (link):

15-Year Old Rape/Abuse Victim Sentenced, Under Sharia Law, To Public Lashing For 'Fornication' - On the paradise island of Maldives, where tourists delight in beaches, sex, and rose petal bungalow beds with breathtaking views, a 15 year-old girl was arrested after years of sexual abuse. Police discovered a dead newborn buried in an outdoor shower. The girl’s stepfather had been raping her for years. Her mother ignored the cries of her daugthter. When the girl became pregnant as a result of rape, they pulled her out of school and waited out the nine months, then killed and buried the newborn after delivery. The stepfather was arrested and charged with pre-meditated murder, child sexual abuse of and possession of pornographic materials. The mother, also arrested faces charges for concealing the alleged sexual offenses.

While most would assume the 15-year old girl would be put into child protective custody and receive immediate counseling and support, the girl was arrested, interrogated and charged with fornication. Authorities claimed during her 'interrogation', she confessed to having consensual sex with another man. She was sentenced to a pucblc flogging of 100 lashes and eight months of house arrest. The identity of this other man, or whether he was charged, is not known. And it might not matter.

In Maldvian Sharia-Common Law, in cases of fornication, 90 percent of those flogged, are women.

On Facebook the site WOMEN OF THE WORLD UNITED AGAINST ISLAMIC/MUSLIM SHARIA LAW details atrocity after atrocity, and on an almost daily basis. You can link to it here.

There is much more in this vein to be found on the Internet, but I think you get the point.

To answer the obvious question, no, I do not believe that The Mountain Views News advocates these acts of state terrorism by certain radical fundamentalist Islamic societies against their own people. Rather its publisher was so blinded by an irrational anger that she sided with something truly abhorrent on the strange assumption that if MaryAnn MacGillivray was opposed to it, then it must be good.

I guess we should be grateful that it wasn't the late 1930s and MaryAnn had been speaking out in defense of those brutalized by Nazi Germany.

To be perfectly clear, I do not mean to disparage anyone else's religion. One of the great virtues of American democracy is that its people are free to worship as they choose, and no government should ever be permitted to persecute those it feels have strayed from what they might arbitrarily call God's will. And after all, Islam is hardly the only religion to fall prey to that sort of thing throughout history. Any reading on the Spanish Inquisition or the religious pogroms of Tsarist Russia will help you get past any such misconceptions rather quickly.

However, if certain extremist elements within an otherwise benign religious community proclaim that their God has somehow empowered them to gruesomely murder people whose lifestyle choices don't gibe with theirs, and then use their positions of power to hold barbaric public executions to entertain the mob, then I'd say they are more than fair game for our criticism. These are acts that cannot be defended.

Despite what the woefully misinformed publisher of the Mountain Views News might have had to say on this topic one day not all that long ago.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

67 comments:

  1. Since you have now become an auxiliary anti-Islam website to Jihad Watch, I'd like to point out something: The photo you are using is not of a woman being stoned to death. It's from a movie. The photo is not factual. The photo is fiction. I also suggest that instead of copying and pasting text from anti-Islam websites, you might want to research Sharia and at least understand what it is. Not a single Muslim government practices pure Sharia, but interprets it in a manner to justify their oppression of their citizens, just as some secular countries do the same with their own constitutions. Stoning is a perfect example. Stoning is mentioned only once in the Qur'an and was implemented under special circumstance in a singular incident. Taken into context of the circumstances and the times in which this specific incident occurred, it hardly was meant to be used as a means of punishment today. The fact that an oppressive regime like the Taliban uses it to strike fear in Afghanis doesn't make it Sharia. It's just an excuse to commit murder. I highly recommend that you leave the study of religions and religious text to people who know what they are talking about. You're out of your depth here

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    1. Actually the photo comes from Amnesty International. If you put on your good reading glasses you can see that. The credit is in the lower right hand corner of the photo. Here is what it says beneath that picture:

      "Horrifying death ... a 1990s Amnesty International image of a woman being buried before she was stoned to death in Iran. The punishment has been written into the country's penal code since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Source: Supplied"

      The article attached says the following:

      "Stoning is not mentioned in the Koran, but it is used as a punishment under Sharia Law in a number of predominantly Muslim countries, including Iraq, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Pakistan. It has also been practised in some states of Nigeria and in Aceh in Indonesia.

      DOES IT TARGET WOMEN?
      Predominantly. One of the crimes punishable under Sharia law is adultery, but activists argue that stoning “disproportionately targets and polices women and their conduct”. According to Amnesty, women in societies that permit stoning are more likely to be treated unequally before a court, more likely to be illiterate (and hence likely to sign confessions to crimes they did not commit) and more likely to suffer discrimination in other areas of their life that could leave them susceptible to a conviction for adultery. Homosexual activity by men and women is also punishable by stoning in some societies."

      Here is the link. http://www.news.com.au/world/what-you-need-to-know-about-stonings-and-honour-killings/story-fndir2ev-1226934316113

      I am stunned that you have decided to defend this sort of thing. You have chosen to become the Neville Chamberlain of Sierra Madre.

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    2. Here is an article from Amnesty International about women in Afghanistan who have risked their lives to fight death by stoning. Rather than being an apologist for this sort of thing as 5:54 seems to be doing, or just claiming it doesn't exist, they put it all on the line.

      In May 2014, 10-year-old Brishna, from Kunduz Province, was raped by Mullah Mohammad Amin.

      After Brishna was released from hospital and activists heard her family plotting to kill her, she was taken to a shelter run by Women for Afghan Women (WAW) for protection. The head of the shelter, Dr Hassina Sarwari, said male relatives had threatened to "kill her and dump her in the river".

      Rape victims in Afghanistan are at risk of honour killing as they are deemed to have brought "shame" on their family by an act of which they are the victims. Dr Sarwari also received death threats from the girl’s family, religious leaders and powerful community members for her role in protecting Brishna.

      Mullah Amin was arrested and charged with rape of a minor and transferred
      to a prison in Kabul to await trial.

      An Afghan woman wearing a head scarf © Flickr / DVIDSHUBAlthough men can fall victim, most honour killings involve women and girls © Flickr / DVIDSHUB
      In a move hailed by women’s activists as a huge victory, the mullah was convicted under Afghanistan’s Elimination of Violence Against Women law.

      Although her father and other male family members have given written guarantees that they will not harm her – risking criminal punishment if they do – Brishna has been taken out of school and remains at risk of reprisals . She is being closely monitored by WAW, as well as the authorities and other human rights organisations in Afghanistan.

      http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/35919/

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    3. I didn't know Amnesty International went into the film business.

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    4. I'm shocked that the mod dropped the 'Neville Chamberlain' uppercut in the first round...

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    5. It looks like it was a one round fight.

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    6. Only once, 5:54, is enough.
      It takes the testimony of 4 men to substantiate what 1 woman says, or the Islamic court does not accept what she says.

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    7. Why did 5:54 lie about the Amnesty International photo? Makes him or her look like a bit of an arse.

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  2. is 5:54 Stoned? this early?

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    1. The commenter needs no drugs. 5:54 is already high on herself.

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    2. wait, do you mean 'stoned' or 'stoned'?

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    3. "Let's go get stoned." - Ray Charles

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    4. “I feel sorry for people who don't drink. They wake up in the morning and that's the best they're going to feel all day.” ― Dean Martin

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    5. ...it was the smoking not the drinking that got Dean in the end.

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  3. 5:54 seems to be confusing Sharia Law with the Koran. Two very different things. It also a bit of a straw man argument. Conflating Sharia Law with the teachings of the Koran, and then claiming someone is anti-Islam, is intellectually dishonest.

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    1. Saying that because the article condemns the use of Sharia Law in this manner means the author is anti-Islamic is a shoddy lie.

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    2. 5:54 is the epitome of what the KGB used to call "useful idiots."

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  4. Some people seem to be afraid of pointing out the truth because it may offend someone. The problem is that, in the name of Sharia Law, alot of bad things have happened to put it mildly - people are being killed in horrible ways every day. The Muslim community needs to speak out at least as forcfully or more forcefully about stopping these atrocities than then they do about any perceived slights to their religion. There is a cancer on Islam and it will continue to mastasticize until Muslims themselves speak out against that radical interpretation and until westerners like Susan Henderson stop using it for pollitical purposes to accuse good people like Mary Ann of discrimination.

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  5. I think the bigger issue here is that big-party policy makers are creating hotpoint issues to influences activate their voter base, usually through fear. Once these talking points are created they are disseminated down through their party ranks disseminated and filtered by the media as fear-based issues make good ratings. The US has enough laws on the books that there is no chance something like Sharia Law could ever be relevant here... particularly at a Town Council meeting. And so issues that are actually relevant to your everyday life take a side seat to the manufactured ones that the parties use to control you.

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    1. Sometimes evil really does exist. Just because you don't care to talk about it doesn't mean it all goes away.

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    2. This is an online forum; by posting, they are talking about it...

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    3. Good thing, too.

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    4. Somehow a point has been missed. At a strategic plan meeting, the question was asked about what are the negative forces out there that could impact a community. MacGillivray mentioned Sharia law as one. The other staff and council persons scoffed at this, but one said he'd like to learn more about it. Some others then also expressed that they might like to learn more. Thus, the book given out to the council. As usual, Henderson got it wrong in an attempt to smear MaryAnn.

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    5. Henderson's hatred of MaryAnn so blinded her that she sided with one of the truly great evils of our time.

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  6. Sir Maundry must be having a slow-news weekend. But nice to weave a Henderson hit into the narrative. That always makes for good reading.

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    1. Somebody needs to write Susan's biography. It really is quite a story.

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    2. Would Sharia Law punish her for shopping at Victoria's Secret?

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    3. There should be a law against some of the ridiculous sweaters MaryAnn wears.

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    4. I am not sure that anyone would ever describe a burka as being "bootylicious."

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    5. http://www.zazzle.com/you_sure_you_want_me_to_wear_a_burka_tees-235527861508027263

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    6. You've never heard of burka twerking?

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    7. The pettiness of 8:32 is stunning.

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    8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    9. Should Henderson's husband (and it would have to be a husband, or she's be killed) wanted her in Victoria's Secret frills, he would get them for her. That's how it works.

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  7. "...their God has somehow empowered them to gruesomely murder people "
    Be careful only cast a stone if you are not guilty: "carpet bombing" is a way to gruesomely murder people by the thousands, and the U.S. is the only one that does that.

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    1. Soviet Air Power: Tactics and Weapons Used in Afghanistan - Lieutenant Colonel Denny R. Nelson

      THE Soviet war in Afghanistan has provided a plethora of information about the Soviets and their use of military power. Additionally, the war has allowed the Soviets to learn many lessons and has offered them the opportunity to train, apply various tactics, and experiment with different weapons. Curiously, however, although the Soviets paralyzed the Afghan government initially with troops airlifted into the capital city of Kabul and since then have used helicopter, fighter-bomber, and bomber operations in the war, very little has been compiled heretofore in open U.S. sources regarding Soviet air power experiences and tactics. By studying Soviet use of air power in Afghanistan, we might gain a better understanding of Soviet air power doctrine and how the Soviets may employ air power in future conflicts.

      Soviet fighter-bombers have been employed exclusively in the air-to-ground role, since the Afghan guerrillas offer no air-to-air threat. They have been used for carpet bombing, terror bombing, and scorched-earth bombing in efforts to destroy the guerrillas or drive them from the country. Combined with helicopter attacks, Soviet fighter-bombers have pounded settlements throughout the country. Half of the city of Herat (Afghanistan's third largest city, with a population of 150,000) was leveled in an extremely heavy, brutal, and prolonged attack.25

      Most Soviet fighter-bomber crews are trained for close air support roles with ground troops in the European theater. In Afghanistan, they have also proved their value on sorties against targets deep inside guerrilla territory. Houses, crops, livestock, vineyards, and orchards in some areas have been systematically bombed and rocketed in what appears to be a scorched-earth campaign aimed at denying the guerrillas food and shelter. Terror bombings of villages, by both MiG aircraft and helicopters, have reportedly become commonplace in areas that are sympathetic to the guerrilla movement. To complete the destruction, ground troops often enter these areas after an air assault and shoot at anything alive, eventually turning everything of value into rubble.

      http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/aureview/1985/jan-feb/nelson.html

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  8. I bombed Korea every night.
    My engines sang into the salty sky.
    I didn't know if I would live or die.
    I bombed Korea every night.

    Red flowers bursting down below us.
    Those people didn't even know us.
    We didn't know if it was wrong or right.
    I bombed Korea every night.

    And so I sit here at this bar.
    I'm not a hero.
    I'm not a movie star.
    I've got my beer.
    I've got my stories to tell,
    But they won't tell you what it's like in hell.

    I bombed Korea every night.

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  9. I can't remember the last time a VFW Veteran's Day event got such a big build up here. I guess I am going to have to go.

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  10. The six basic principles of Sharia. Funny how it predate the U.S. Constitution.

    1. The right to the protection of life.
    2. The right to the protection of family.
    3. The right to the protection of education.
    4. The right to the protection of religion.
    5. The right to the protection of property (access to resources).
    6. The right to the protection of human dignity.

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    1. 7. The right to get stoned.

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    2. Actually there isn't a right to get stoned. At least in the alcohol or narcotic sense. Those people get executed as well.

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    3. Amnesty International: Addicted to Death - Executions for Drug Offences In Iran
      http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/090/2011/en/0564f064-e965-4fad-b062-6de232a08162/mde130902011en.pdf

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    4. Uh oh. There goes The Canyon.

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    5. 9:28, that is only for men.

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    6. There isn't a religion in the world that doesn't have a fine list of the best hopes for life and goodness.
      The actualizing falls short in all of them, but Islam wins the brutality prize in the modern world.

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    7. Sounds more like political campaign promises to me, 9:28. Ones that were never kept.

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    8. Those six principles of Sharia Law are only applicable if one is a Muslim.

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    9. Oh. I guess that explains the stoning of women, hanging of gays and beheadings of captive westerners.

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  11. that's what we should institute in this country to all the gays dancing around like a bunch of women.

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    1. Be sure to go and visit with your local ISIS recruiter.

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    2. Bigots love Sharia Law.

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  12. Henderson would never apologize - a con's first obligation is to keep up the illusion of confidence.

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  13. Tattler, thanks for your excellent remarks in the conclusion of the article.

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  14. To any liberal fool reading this:
    You are naïve to a point of absurdity.

    Your belief that :
    "oh if we're nice to them they will be nice to us"

    No.....they will not be nice to us....they will cut your head off slowly.

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  15. http://www.itv.com/news/central/2014-11-04/400-women-with-fgm-seen-in-midlands-hospitals-in-6-months/


    I predict England and other countries will follow 7 States in the US that just voted to ban Sharia Law
    When you are in this country you follow their laws or leave. Simple.

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    1. Yea we need to get that religious freedom thing out of the constitution.

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    2. Terrorism is a religion on your world?

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    3. It's not abut Religious Freedom, it's about following the laws of a country. If we were in Saudi Arabia...we would have to follow Sharia Law.
      These Islamists have ZERO tolerance for our laws and ZERO tolerance for any religion but their own.
      They recently blew up Buddhist temples.



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  16. Just got back from the Robert Spencer Veterans Day speech. Pretty remarkable. Crowd was on their feet at the end.

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    1. No protestors?

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    2. None. Except maybe Judy Chu. Kind of disappointing.

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  17. I didn't see Sharia Sue there.

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    1. She was at the Mecca Country Club getting in a little golf.

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  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  19. That's mean 2:57....John H. looked good.

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  20. The Veteran's program was very well done. The Post members did a great job organizing the event. The speaker was great. Another reason to be proud to be an American.

    Thank you Sierra Madre VFW. Barry Gold

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