Archive for the 'youth' Category



21
Jan
08

Niger: Where Childhood Ends On the Marriage Bed

Niamey

Fifteen-year-old Hadjo Garbo’s child-like features belie a history more tragic and life-altering than many adults four times her age will have experienced.Two years ago this petite girl, who likes to fiddle with her elaborately braided hair and once dreamed of being a housewife, was married to one of the older men in her village in the Dosso region of southwest Niger. She was just 13 years old.

The marriage was consummated, and by 14 she was pregnant with her first child. But before her 15th birthday she had lost the baby – and her husband.

Hadjo’s anatomy proved unready for the task of delivering a baby and after an excruciating three-day labour, the unborn foetus was cut out of her, stillborn.

The horrific labour left the girl with what gynaecologists call an obstetric fistula, a tearing of the tissue that develops when blood supply to the tissues of the vagina and bladder and/or rectum is cut off during prolonged obstructed labour. The condition mostly affects child victims of underage marriage.

Hadjo was ostracised by her husband and his family, and forced to secrete herself away from the prying eyes and laughter of her former school friends.

Not pedophilia

In many Western and Muslim countries what happened to Hadjo would be called paedophilia and the male attacker would be arrested and imprisoned.

In Niger that word is only applied to men who have sex with girls outside of marriage, said Idrissa Djibrilla, head of the Niger branch of Defence for Children International (DCI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

“Here we only talk about paedophilia when sex happens outside marriage,” Djibrilla said.

“If we look at it from the biological, physiological point of view, it’s clear that at nine, 10, 11 or 12 years old a girl simply is not ready for sex and child bearing. That’s the reality, but it is hard to make our communities understand.”

The effects can be long-lasting and extend beyond physical health, human rights workers and psychologists who have studied child brides say.

Forced sexual intercourse, denial of freedom and domestic violence are “frequently” found in child marriages, the long-term effects of which are poorly understood, according to a confidential NGO study shown to IRIN.

Eventually, the girls are likely to be abandoned when their polygamous husbands take another young bride. In Niger, women have little or no rights after a divorce.

Widespread problem

Hadjo’s case is not an isolated one in Niger. The problem affects all the regions of the country, Djibrilla said. At least a third of girls are married by the age of 15, and 75 percent before the age of 18, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

In reality, activists say 13 is a common age for marriage, and some girls are married off as young as nine or 10. They will be forced to have sex even before their first period.

Negotiations over the Family Code (Code de la Personne et de la Famille) – a piece of domestic legislation which would have defined the legal relationship between husbands and wives and children and parents, and included a legal minimum age for marriage and sexual intercourse – collapsed in 2006.

According to Alice Kang, a University of Wisconsin researcher who studied the process, the Family Code was “vilified and abandoned” after mainstream Islamist associations lobbied against it.

“Women’s NGOs [in Niger] sometimes compete with each other and therefore do not always get along together… the influence of religious leaders on politics is, more often than not, indirect… and the Family Code was an extremely contentious issue to the point of being a taboo subject in certain circles,” she wrote in a report after conducting research in Niger in 2006.

Reticence

Diadié Boureima, deputy representative of UNFPA in Niger, said the government is “a bit reticent” about tackling early marriage “because of the religious reaction” and said if things are going to change “the ‘marabout’ (religious leaders) will have to be involved.”

“If there was a law against paedophilia it would be applied here,” said Boureima. “But, instead, Islam has legalised it by saying the Prophet had a nine-year-old wife, even though that marriage was not consummated.”

(Page 2 of 2)

UNFPA wants the age of marriage to be changed to 18. It says that would give girls longer in school, give their bodies time to develop, and allow them to reach adulthood. It would also help curb Niger’s runaway demographic growth by reducing a girl’s reproductive lifespan.

Keeping girls in school has wider benefits, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). In a 2001 study, the agency found that women with seven or more years of education marry an average of four years later and have 2.2 fewer children than those with no education.

In Niger, only 15 percent of adult women are literate, and less than one-third of girls enrol in primary school.

Compromise with religious leaders needed

There are also economic reasons behind early marriages, Boureima noted. “There is the chance that the girl will go to a better home or just that the marriage will be celebrated with a good party and food,” he said.

University of Wisconsin’s Kang noted in her report that it is not just men who will have to be convinced of the need for change.

“I was… surprised to learn that there were some women who opposed the Family Code and publicly demonstrated against it, and the legal experts with whom I spoke emphasised that I study this,” she noted.

DCI’s Djibrilla – like all the officials IRIN spoke with – insisted nonetheless that reaching a compromise with religious officials is the most important part of ending the practice. “We have advocated that religious officials can perform marriage ceremonies between adults and children, but that people should not consummate the marriage until the child reaches puberty,” he said.

“The real problem is that at the national level the government is afraid to take certain measures,” he added.

Hadjo’s story

Hadjo’s story does at least have a somewhat happy ending. She underwent two operations for the fistula and spent 12 months at a recovery centre in Niamey, and is ready to go home again.

Hadjo’s husband abandoned her. Her father, a peasant farmer, insists that even if he were still around she would not be going back to him.

“No more husband,” the father insisted. “I was ignorant before but now I know what we did was very wrong.”

However, she will not be able to have any more children, a grave condition in a country where women’s fertility is prized. Unlikely to be able to remarry and without having completed her education, her future might yet turn out to be just as difficult as her past.

This is the second story in a three-part series on maternal mortality and child marriage in Niger

AllAfrica

 

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07
Jan
08

[Update 4] Texas: Dis-Honor killing of two sisters

Comments closed. Cross posted at my current blog here. Those who wish to leave a comment can do so there.

Go to my follow up post to read comments by someone who claims to be Islam Said (Sarah and Amina Said’s) brother and Patricia (Tissie ) Said (their mother). I also have posted updated reward information. The reward has now doubled, from $10,000 to $20,000 thanks to a generous donation from THE NORTH TEXAS CRIME COMMISSION.

————————————
I am not going to knee jerk this and call it an honor killing. Although it is quite possible. I will play it by ear. As so far the info is minimal at best. Given the latest reports coming out on this case. I now wonder believe if it was an ‘honor killing’…

Please scroll down for updates.

Police seek father in teen daughters’ slayings

Yaser Abdel Said, the 50-year-old Lewisville father, remained at large, police said. He is accused of fatally shooting his 17- and 18-year-old daughters, police said.

Investigators did not describe the domestic issues or say who was involved.

Police said they suspect that Said may have shot his daughters — Sarah Yaser Said, 17, and Amina Yaser Said, 18 — and left them for dead in his taxi.

A 911 cellphone call, believed to have been made by one of the teens about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, alerted police to the shootings, but the caller couldn’t say where she was. Officers were dispatched to O’Connor Road and Riverside Drive but couldn’t find anyone.

An hour later, a witness reported seeing a suspicious vehicle in the 200 block of Las Colinas Boulevard in the parking lot of the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas.

“Someone walked by the vehicle and saw them inside,” said David Tull, an Irving police spokesman.

Officers found the two sisters dead in that vehicle, owned by Jet Taxi. Company

A MySpace profile picture registered to a Sarah Said of Lewisville depicts two young girls goofing around in funny hats.

sarah.jpg

Sarah Female
17 years old
LEWISVILLE, Texas
United States
Last Login: 1/1/2008

Police described Yaser Said as about 6-2, 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

yasser-abdel-said.jpg Yaser Abdel Said

He was last seen wearing a black turtleneck shirt and sweater, a brown coat and tan pants. (50 years old)
He may be armed, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Irving police at 972-721-2518.

Update:

saids.jpg

So beautiful. So young. So bright. So full of life…

Online video here, and a photo of the girls:

Dallas Morning News

Police provided no clues about the motive for the killings. “There are several things we’re looking into,” said Irving police Officer David Tull, noting that the suspect faces capital murder charges.

Officer Tull said there have been some “domestic issues” with the family, but he did not elaborate.

Police did say they are looking into the possibility that the father was upset with his daughters’ dating activities.

“It’s something well worth looking into,” Officer Tull told WFAA-TV (Channel 8).

Officer Tull said at a news conference that the mother of the victims is cooperating with police and that she and her 19-year-old son are in a safe place. He believes the couple is married, but he didn’t know whether they had been living together.

Mr. Said, who is from Egypt, has lived in the Dallas area since at least the mid-1980s, records indicate.

“The victims’ mother provided information that pointed to the victims’ father as the suspect,” the police report stated.

Friends describe Amina and Sarah as quiet but well-liked students at Lewisville High School. They played tennis and soccer and were in many Advanced Placement classes.

Sisters, Amina, 18, and Sarah, 17, were each shot to death. Friends of the girls say their father was Egyptian and critical of popular American lifestyles. “I’m definitely 100% sure that it was her dad that killed her,” said Kathleen Wong, a friend of the dead teenagers.

Wong says the girl’s father was verbally abusive and that Sarah, especially, lived in fear. “She’s always told me that she was always so scared of her dad,” says Wong. “Even at school if a teacher joked around like, ‘I’m gonna tell your parents about this’, she would like totally flip out and start crying like, ‘please don’t tell’.” (Emphasis added)

Liz Marines, secretary of the Lewisville High School Student Council, had classes with both of the sisters and also remembers their scholastic abilities.

“Amina was very nice with everybody. She helped me in [Advanced Placement English] class,” she said. Sarah was a sophomore when she took an Algebra II class with Liz, who was a junior at the time.

She said the sisters, who wore typical American clothes, didn’t talk much about their family. “I didn’t know they were Muslims until she told me they were Egyptian and Muslim,” Liz said.

Update 2:

The girls were well-liked and made good grades at Lewisville High School. Their father was strict and rarely let them spend time with friends. When Sarah, 17, recently met a boy at her job, she told a friend that her father would kill her if he found out.
Friends are now rethinking the way they understood that turn of phrase.

Chilling words after the fact.

Texas dad suspected of honor killings Fox News video link – Honor Killings?

Family members tell our Dallas Fox affiliate father was upset about the girls western clothing and behavior. Saying it brought him shame. If that was indeed the motive then these two teenage girls are just the latest victims of the so called radical islam honor killings.

Americas Most Wanted has posted the case No Islam connection mentioned.

Photos from rest in peace, sarah & amina – facebook

amina said myspace profile Amina Said MySpace profile

Update 3:

LEWISVILLE – The brother of two teenage girls who police believe were killed by their father this week pleaded Thursday night for his dad to surrender to authorities.

I never thought this would happen,” said Islam Said, 19. “Tell him to turn himself in.”

Mr. Said also disputed widespread rumors and media reports that his Muslim father’s religion may have been part of the motive.

“It’s not religion,” he said, declining to speak in detail about a possible motive. “It’s something else. Religion has nothing to do with it.”

Zohair Zaidi, a close friend of Sarah’s, said she told him her father had recently threatened to harm Amina when he discovered she had a boyfriend.

“She said that one day when she came home – the day he found out about Amina’s boyfriend – he told Sarah, ‘I’m going to put a bullet through Amina’s head, and you better get used to her because she’s not going to be around much longer.’ “

amina-mspage.png From Amina’s MySpace page. H/T Hot Air

Lovely Mother Said (Patricia) was a Muslim child bride.

Patricia and Yaser Said were wed in February 1987 when she was 15 and he was 30, Tarrant County marriage records show. The two have had addresses in Euless, Bedford, Grand Prairie and Arlington, public records indicate.

Ok maybe not really young, but…he was 30!!!
and she was 15!!!

H/T JamieWearingFool Via Larwyn

Update 4:

Connie Moggio, the girls’ aunt, said there had been turbulence in the Said household for a while.

She said her sister married Yaser Abdel Said at the age of 15 and was pregnant shortly after, adding she had tried to leave her husband many times over the years, most recently, on Christmas Eve.

“A few days before she called me at my job and told me she was leaving because he had threatened the girls because they were dating,” Moggio told MyFOXDFW.com.

Dad, just turn yourself in and if you do, I’ll get you a lawyer to help you out.” The girls’ brother, Islam Said, made that emotion plea.

Maybe they won’t put you on death row, but you can sit in prison and think about what you’ve done.

Officials understand Yasser Abdel Said could be anywhere in the world, but police are concentrating on local contacts.

Schepps Dairy is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest and indictment.

EXCLUSIVE – Aunt of Dallas Muslim Honor Killings to Schlussel: THIS WAS AN HONOR KILLING, Blames ISLAM

Debbie
I am an aunt to these two beautiful girls! I am from the mother’s side. YES! This was an honor killing! You nailed it sweety! My sister tried to get those baby’s away years ago and you know…she was never allowed to see them again…well, they were brought to the hospital…only after she was comatose! My sister was punished for trying to tell the world what was going on! She died four years ago! But, these girls had no honor in life and no honor in death! Amina and Sarah both, told their mom if their dad killed them…they DID NOT WANT A MUSLIM funeral! Well, they had one anyway! Yeah, there was a “baptist” funeral before the muslim funeral….PLEASE, get out the word it was a farce! They were placed in a mUslim funeral home. The son, Islam…he walked out and went to get the Iman to stop it! My nephew got up and took him outside! The funeral proceeded but, many spoke and all but one…was a MUSLIM!

The Muslims who ran the funeral home…they had us all in a room a little larger than my walk-in-closet! The friends from school…..they could not fit in that room so, they lined them up, against the wall, and in front of the freezers for dead bodies! When it came time for the first song…we sat, sat, and finally, my husband told them he had a system just like theirs and would run it himself…OH…they miraculously got the music going! Then, they set it up so that they same song would play, instead of the other two. My hubby caught this and demanded it be paused, so that the other songs would play!!

As soon as the funeral was over, there was trouble, outside with the brother of Amina and Sarah, ISLAM, is his name! He got into it with one of his aunts and was telling her…get the f —, out of here and then started running through the parking lot yelling….this f-ing funeral is over ….LEAVE!

Yes, this was an honor killing and I believe with all my heart that ISLAM, the brother, is just as guilty as his dad. Why? Because Amina would not go back home! He went over, where she was staying and was crying. “Please come home Amina and talk things out with Dad! He will not hurt you, I give you my word! I promise, you will be safe!” She trusted those words and went with him. Not an hour later….Sarah made that infamous call! She died immediately after she called as he took his time killing her. In fact, all we have been told is, “she had multiple gunshots”…..I still have no clue how many bullets he fired at her. I do know she fought for her life as there is a bruise on her forehead which shows that she did not go out without a fight…one this precious and beautiful girl lost…to a man she knew as daddy!

Please feel free to contact me as I want their story told. They could not tell it but, Aunt Gail is making sure they are honored….even if it is by mere strangers!

Sincerely,

Gail

Now for a couple of comments left on this article by folks who state they either knew or are related to Sara and Amina Said

maestroI had the pleasure of educating one of the sisters in my class, along with her classmates. She had told me one time that her father expected her and her sister to marry a Muslim who resided in Egypt. She had the idea that right after graduation, he would take her there immediately to find a husband. Being only a 10th grader at the time, I didn’t really think she was too serious because she always had such a happy demeanor along with a warm smile. Both her and her sister were two very intelligent girls who really could have had a bright future. I hope they nail the bastard.

CAN’T SAY!! – i know how the story went i am one of there family members but yall post stuff up like they wanted you to be sad they wanted yall to be happy!!! i read on a thing that they posted up the day before they died “you live your life good because you never know when you die” another way to say it is they know that they were going to die but they didnt know it was that close i am very sorry to say this but they wanted you yall to be happy and right know i think yall need yo say a pray for there dad to be caught i know i will!!

THEY WERE GOOD PEOPLE AND YALL HAVE TO KNOW THAT!!!

Welcome AR15 readers! Thanks NimmerMehr!

Welcome Atlas Shrugs Readers!

Related:
When religious devotion outweighs the sanctity of life

Original post date Jan 3 2008 a.m.

05
Jan
08

Britain: Third Party Forced Marriage Protection Order In The Works

Teachers could get power to stop forced marriages

January 4, 2008

Teachers, social workers, women’s rights groups and local councils may be given the power to stop forced marriages, under government plans to protect vulnerable teenagers.

Ministers are preparing a list of third parties who would have the authority to go to court to try to prevent families from forcing children into marriage in Britain and abroad.

Eighty-five per cent of victims of forced marriages are women, most are aged 15-24, 90 per cent are Muslim and 90 per cent are of Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage.

The plan is aimed at helping those who are too young, too unwilling or too frightened to go to court to stop their families from marrying them out.

A third party seeking to prevent a forced marriage would be able to ask the courts for a forced marriage protection order, which would result in a jail sentence if broken.

“An application made on a victim’s behalf allows the victim to be one step removed from the court proceedings,” according to a paper drawn up by the Ministry of Justice.

“Victims may feel unwilling or unable to take action against the perpetrators who may be members of their family.”

Those served with a forced marriage protection order would be required to stop the marriage and keep away from the victim, and may also be required to hand over their passports to the courts.

Police would have the power of arrest where there was a risk of significant harm to the victim. Anyone breaching the order would be in contempt of court and liable to a heavy fine or up to two years in jail.

The third party would not need to get the victim’s permission before going to court to ask for the order.

Bridget Prentice, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, said: “This is really vital work. When you look at the situations some of the people affected by forced marriages will be in, it is clear that not all of them will be able to apply personally to the courts for protection. And some victims might not want to take court actions against members of their own family.”

Among the organisations the Ministry of Justice has indicated could act as third parties are Victim Support, Asian women’s groups, women’s refuges, groups that help victims of domestic violence and the local authorities.

The ministry’s consultation paper said: “There are many people and organisations that support victims of forced marriage. There are voluntary and charitable organisations dedicated to offering support and assistance to forced marriage victims. They often work closely with local communities and offer frontline practical support.”

Pragna Patel, of Southall Black Sisters, a London-based organisation that helps black and Asian victims of domestic violence, said that the change to the law was absolutely necessary. “We are looking to help people who might not have the confidence to seek help. We are talking about young girls, sometimes held against their will and some in isolated places,” Ms Patel said.

“They may be being monitored by their family and members of the extended family which makes it very difficult for them to go and get help for themselves”. The consultation paper contains an analysis of the likely effects of the legal change. This suggests that between 5 and 50 cases a year would end up in court.

The Government’s Forced Marriage Unit receives about 5,000 calls for advice annually. Of these about 300 become cases, with a quarter resulting in overseas rescue of victims and their return to Britain.

Latest figures published by the Home Office show that 15 per cent of the 300 cases involved men and 30 per cent minors.

A total of 250 girls aged between 13-16 were taken off the school rolls in Bradford last year because they failed to return from a trip abroad. (one town!)

In conjunction with the introduction of the forced marriage protection order, the Home Office plans to raise from 18 years to 21 the minimum age at which someone can sponsor a spouse or be brought to the UK as a spouse.

The Home Office has also outlined a plan that would allow young men and women who were sponsoring a foreigner’s trip to Britain for the purpose of marriage to make a confidential statement about the motives for the visa application. This would give the sponsor the chance to express reservations and allow immigration authorities to turn down a visa without other members of the family being alienated.

The forced marriage protection order will come into force later this year and will give the civil courts much stronger powers than they have already. At the moment courts can ban a person from molesting someone but the forced marriage protection order will go much farther in the restrictions it will be able to make.

An order can be made against a wide range of people including a person who is in England and Wales; who is outside England and Wales; who is or may become involved in other respects as well as the person who is trying to or has forced another into marriage and other persons who are, or may become, involved in other respects of any kind such as relatives.

Unlike other orders in the 1996 Family Law Act, an application for a forced marriage protection order can be made by an “interested party” such as a teacher.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article3129016.ece

Chew on that MCB!

“FORCED MARRIAGE – A Wrong not a Right”
Thu 08 Dec 2005
MCB Response to Consultation Paper[doc.]
The MCB welcomes this opportunity to respond to the Home Office consultation document – “Forced Marriage” – Wrong not Right”.
The response is based upon wide consultation amongst out affiliates and reflects a strong consensus of views amongst the Muslim community in Britain.

The practice of, “arranged marriages” has sometimes been confused by the media and ill intentioned persons as “forced marriages”. An arranged marriage is one where the marriage is facilitated and certainly not forced upon parties.

The consultation paper attempts to address the problem of forced marriages in the United Kingdom and as we understand it does not raise any concerns on the practice of arranged marriages followed in some cultures

MCB is of the firm opinion that, as appears acknowledged in the paper, there are already laws in place to prosecute the perpetrators of this offence. In the circumstances the MCB sees no justification for a new law in this regard.

In the view of the MCB the solution to this evil act is to raise awareness in the communities of the existing laws that apply to situations of forced marriages rather than create a new law.

A new law on forced marriages will have the real risk of being seen to target ethnic minorities.

Any law in this regard which is promoted as a tool to help the victims and deter the offenders is most unlikely to be effective because of the nature of the problem and the cultural as well as familial sensitivities involved. A coercive tool in a family and cultural setting is rarely, if ever successful

The family bond and loyalty will deter many from using the law. The tool when used will in effect tear the family unit and create division and distress.

Shameless…

Related: Forced Marriages: Sexual Slavery Rape Child Molestation

03
Jan
08

Iranian “Islamic Democracy”

Leader: Iranians to maintain confidence

Wed, 02 Jan 2008

ayatollah-seyyed-ali-khamenei.jpg Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution has called on Iranians to maintain their self-confidence to defuse propaganda of the enemies.

Addressing an assembly of people in the central city of Yazd on Wednesday, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei hailed the courageous contribution of the Muslim people of Yazd in defending the very identity of the Islamic Revolution.

He asserted that the Iranian nation needs to maintain its self-confidence in order to secure its ideals, stressing that it has achieved great progress through this self-confidence.

“For many decades, our enemies tried to shred our historic identity and destroy us and confound us as a nation with no identity,” said the Leader, calling on the nation to preserve the Islamic values that have been subject to attacks by enemies.

Ayatollah Khamenei added that prominent local martyrs, POWs and their families are witness to the courageous presence of the people of Yazd on political, religious and cultural scenes.

“We are moving toward an Islamic society in which Islamic values are comprehensively observed by strong and powerful people who are subservient to the Almighty. They are happy with the dictates of the Almighty,” he continued.

Highlighting the role of Islamic democracy in the country, the Leader touched on the West’s failure to establish social justice and liberal democracy, saying Westerners are faced with moral problems.

”Man will not be happy with only scientific progress. Welfare also requires spiritual and moral security,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

He urged the Iranian nation to maintain its vigilance and commitment and as before, to elect the most qualified candidates. These candidates should be quite familiar with the problems of the people, he said.

Iran’s Leader described the city of Yazd as a center of religion and science, saying the people of Yazd are modest, talented and full of religious beliefs, a people who enjoy innovative ideas.

The Leader also said the Iranian nation should consider the upcoming parliamentary election the most important event this year.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=37218&sectionid=351020101

What is Iranian “Islamic democracy” exactly? Is there such an animal?

Families of detained Iranian students protest outside UN office in Tehran

NCRI- On Monday, the families of detained Iranian students staged a protest outside the UN office in Tehran to call for the unconditional release of their loved ones despite extensive efforts by the Iranian Regime State Security Forces (SSF) to prevent them.

The protestors who carried the photos of detained students called on the United Nations to take urgent action to release their children. The UN office representative met with protestors and promised them to consider their requests.

The overwhelming confidence shown towards their leaders is astounding!

Iran – Democratic Movement gets a boost from student protest

Early in the week, despite extraordinary measures by the State Security Forces and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), more than 3,000 Tehran University students staged an anti-government protest. The occasion for the protest was the National Student Day. Its target, however, was the entirety of the ruling regime.

None of these measures proved effective, however. In the mid day, with hundreds of students protesting inside the campus and shouting “death to dictator” and “no fascism,” hundreds of students from other universities were blocked by the security agents at the university’s gates. That did not last long. Students crushed the huge gate and rammed through it to join those inside. Before long, the chants of “Down with the fascist regime,” “Death to this deceitful government,” and “Live free or die” were heard all over the campus and beyond.

The vociferous protest also drew a sharp line between these students and some state-sponsored student organizations which, under of the banner of peace, work to derail the movement for democratic change when they shouted “yes to peace, no to fascism,” and “students would rather die than live under suppression.” In clear and uncompromising statements, the students showed that genuine peace could only be brought about with rejection of the religious dictatorship.

ahmad-batebi.jpg Do any of you recognize this photo?

Hosseinkhah, Javaheri: jailed in Iran

p2pnet news | Freedom:- Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi says bail set for two jailed Iranian women’s rights activists, whom she says are innocent of charges laid against them by the country’s ruling authorities, is far too high.

All Iranian websites offering news about the country have been forced to register with the culture ministry, says RWB, adding:

“According to the council of ministers, insulting Islam or other monotheistic religions, spreading separatist ideologies, publishing false news (according to the council) or publishing news that invades privacy are all grounds for declaring a website illegal.”

Democracy in action! /sarc

Hosseinkhah and Javaheri are among those who want to change Iran’s Sharia-based laws for women by collecting a million signatures online and in person, says AFP, adding:

“The two women were among the 33 women arrested in March outside a revolutionary court where fellow feminists were on trial for organising a protest in June 2006 in a Tehran square.”

This horrifying story should open up eyes otherwise closed. And send shivers down your spines.

DOCTOR SAYS ZAHRA KAZEMI WAS TORTURED AND RAPED IN PRISON

TORONTO, First of April (IPS) Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was savagely beaten, tortured and raped while in Iranian custody in 2003, according to Dr. Shahram A’zam, an emergency-room doctor who examined her before she died.

Dr.A’zam has recently received political asylum in Canada and was speaking with Canadian and Swedish newspapers about the murder of Ms. Kazemi.

iran-irgc-terror.jpg

Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, apostasy and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Iran’s Sharia law, practised since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

01
Jan
08

Forced Marriages: Sexual Slavery Rape Child Molestation

unicef-photo-of-the-year-2007-stephanie-sinclair.jpg

The UNICEF Photo of the Year – 2007 portrays a sad reality.

My heart and soul cry for these little girls.

Images of Extremes

Eva Luise Köhler honors Stephanie Sinclair for her picture taken in Afghanistan

The American photographer Stephanie Sinclair is the winner of the international photo competition “UNICEF Photo of the Year”. Her photo shows a wedding couple in Afghanistan who could not be more opposite. The groom, Mohammed, looks much older than his 40 years. The bride, Ghulam, is still a child; she just turned 11. “The UNICEF Photo of the Year 2007 raises awareness about a worldwide problem. Millions of girls are married while they are still under age. Most of theses child brides are forever denied a self-determined life”, says UNICEF Patroness Eva Luise Köhler at the award ceremony in Berlin. According to UNICEF, there are about 60 million young women worldwide who were married before they came of age, half of them in South Asia.

1st Prize for Stephanie Sinclair

Child brides

He’s forty, she’s eleven. And they are a couple – the Afghan man Mohammed F.* and the child Ghulam H.*. “We needed the money”, Ghulam’s parents said. Faiz claims he is going to send her to school. But the women of Damarda village in Afghanistan’s Ghor province know better: “Our men don’t want educated women.” They predict that Ghulam will be married within a few weeks after her engagement in 2006, so as to bear children for Faiz.

During her stay in Afghanistan, it consistently struck American photographer Stephanie Sinclair how many young girls are married to much older men. She decided to raise awareness about this topic with her pictures. Particularly as the official minimum age for brides in Afghanistan is sixteen and it is therefore illegal to marry children.

Early marriages are not only a problem in Afghanistan: worldwide there are about 51 million girls aged between 15 and 19 years who are forced into marriage. The youngest brides live in the Indian state of Rajasthan, where 15% of all wives are not even 10 years old when they are married. Child marriages are a reaction to extreme poverty and mainly take place in Asian and African regions where poor families see their daughters as a burden and as second-class citizens. Already in their younger years, girls are given into the “care” of a husband, a tradition that often leads to exploitation. Many girls become victims of domestic violence. In an Egyptian survey, about one-third of the interviewed child brides stated that they were beaten by their husbands. The young brides are under pressure to prove their fertility as soon as possible. But the risk for girls between the ages of 10 and 14 not to survive pregnancy is five times higher than for adult women. Every year, about 150,000 pregnant teenagers die due to complications – in particular due to a lack of medical care, let alone sex education.

For her project, Stephanie Sinclair also traveled to Nepal and Ethiopia. She wants to do research on the topic of child marriage in other regions as well and then publish a book on the issue.

Photo: Stephanie Sinclair, USA, Freeleance Photographer

Forced marriages do NOT include consensual sex. Each and every time a husband who married due to a forced marriage arrangement, has sexual relations with his so called wife he rapes her!!!!!!!

Forced marriages = rape
Family authorized rape, child molestation and incest.
Sex slavery disguised as marriage.
Young girls treated as chattel, bartered and sold, into what turns into life as a sex slave.

The Bride Price

Rather than a willing union between a man and woman, marriage is frequently a transaction among families, and the younger the bride, the higher the price she may fetch. Girls are valuable workers in a land where survival is scratched from the grudging soil of a half-acre parcel. In her parents’ home, a girl can till fields, tend livestock and cook meals. In her husband’s home, she is more useful yet. She can have sex and bear children.

Afghanistan is not alone in this predilection toward early wedlock. Globally, the number of child brides is hard to tabulate; they live mostly in places where births, deaths and the human milestones in between go unrecorded. But there are estimates. About 1 in 7 girls in the developing world (excluding China) gets married before her 15th birthday, according to analyses done by the Population Council, an international research group.

brides190650.jpg

Stephanie Sinclair for The New York Times

Roshan Qasem, 11, will join the household of Said Mohammed, 55; his first wife; their three sons; and their daughter, who is the same age as Roshan.

Unfortunately, there are no reliable data about the age of Afghans at marriage. Husbands are not ordinarily old enough to be their wives’ fathers or grandfathers, but such February-September couples as those pictured here are hardly rare either. In such marriages, the man is likely to view the age difference as a fair bargain, his years of experience in exchange for her years of fecundity. At the same time, the girl’s wishes are customarily disregarded. Her marriage will end her opportunities for schooling and independent work.

On the day she witnessed the engagement party of 11-year-old Ghulam Haider to 40-year-old Faiz Mohammed, Sinclair discreetly took the girl aside. “What are you feeling today?” the photographer asked. “Nothing,” the bewildered girl answered. “I do not know this man. What am I supposed to feel?”

Be sure to click on the link: Photographs: Child Brides

Special Report: Muslim Forced Marriages In Europe

Women under Islam: Forced marriage – Part 2 of 4

The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain – Forced marriage

When Islam Breaks Down

Forced Marriage Troubles

12
Dec
07

When religious devotion outweighs the sanctity of life

Man tells Peel police he killed daughter; 16-year-old girl fights for life

hijab-strangling-victim-aqsa-parvez.pngA 16-year-old Mississauga girl is fighting for her life in hospital, after a man called Peel Regional Police this morning saying he had killed his daughter.
“At 7:55 we received a call on 911 from a man indicating that he had killed his daughter,” said Peel Police Constable J.P. Valade.
Police found the victim at an address on Longhorn Trail, in the Hurontario and Eglinton area.
The girl is in critical condition, and Peel’s homicide squad is monitoring the probe.
‘‘A 57-year-old male was taken into custody at the scene,’’ said Const. Valade.
At this hour, Peel police have set up a command unit at the scene, where officers are canvassing neighbours and a forensic unit is at work inside the large two-storey home. Neighbours told Global News that the family is new to the affluent cul-de-sac.
‘‘I didn’t know the family really well. You would see them around the neighbourhood but they would never talk to me,’’ said one neighbour, who said he believed the family was Muslim. Source.

Teen girl in critical condition after alleged dispute over hijab

UPDATE: Aqsa Parvez has reportedly died.

Chris Wattie filed this earlier story:

A 16-year-old girl is in critical condition after being choked by a man believed to be her father, apparently after a dispute with her family over her refusal to wear the hijab, the Islamic headscarf worn by some Muslim women.

Peel Regional Police arrested a 57-year-old man yesterday morning after receiving a 911 call from a suburban home in Mississauga from a man saying he had killed his daughter. When police and paramedics arrived at the house they found a 16-year-old lying on the floor without any vital signs, police said.

Constable J.P. Valade, a spokesman for Peel police, would not release the names of either the victim or the man arrested and would not give any details about what transpired inside the large, two-storey home in a well-to-do subdivision.

“We are not getting into the details of her injuries at this time,” he said. “We aren’t getting into any details about this case. This investigation is really in its infancy: officers are still canvassing the neighbourhood and talking to family members.”

However, early police reports indicated the teenager had been choked and that the attacker was her father.

The girl was rushed to Credit Valley Hospital and later transferred to the Hospital for Sick Children, where she was listed in critical condition last night with life-threatening injuries.

Her condition is so grave that police have not yet charged the man arrested at the scene until they know whether he will be charged with murder or attempted murder. He was scheduled to appear in Brampton court on Tuesday.

Friends of the teenager, a Grade 11 student at nearby Applewood Heights high school, identified her as Aqsa Parvez and said they were shocked by the attack on the outgoing, likeable girl, but said she had been threatened by her strictly religious family before.

“She got threatened by her father and her brother,” said Dominiquia Holmes-Thompson, who had known Aqsa since they both started high school together. “He said that if she leaves, he would kill her.”

Ebonie Mitchell, 16, another friend of the victim, said the conflict with her father over wearing Islamic dress came to a head at the beginning of this school year. “She just wanted to dress like we do,” she said.

“Last year she wore like the Islamic stuff and everything, the hijab, and this year she’s all Western. She just wanted to look like everyone else. And I guess her dad had a problem with that.”

Ebonie said her friend had left home once before, in September, for about two weeks. She returned home, but the fights with her family over what she wore just got worse.

Dominiquia, 16, said her friend had been arguing with her father for more than a year over the restrictions he imposed on her, including demanding that she wear the hijab at all times. “She wanted to go out with her friends, hang out and just be like a normal person,” she said. “But he was always trying to control her … he wouldn’t let her go out or do anything.”

The stricken girl’s friends said the fights with her father got so bad that she had left the family home to live with friends about a week ago. “She was going back, but just to get her stuff,” said friend Krista Garbutt. “She was scared to go home, but she had to get her clothes and stuff.”

Neighbours said as many as 11 people lived in the home, which was sealed off by crime scene tape and surrounded by police cars yesterday, all members of an extended Pakistani family. Const. Valade confirmed that there were other people in the home when the teenager was attacked.

“I didn’t really know any of them,” said one woman, who would not give her name. “There were a lot of them living in that house, always coming and going. They didn’t talk to me, maybe just to say hello once in a while. That’s all.”

The home where the teen was attacked is the listed address of Muhammad Parvez, a Mississauga cab driver. “He was Muslim and very devout, very observant,” said one of his fellow drivers at Mississauga’s Blue and White Taxi, who did not want his name used. “He was always stopping to take breaks and pray: three, four times a day.”

His eldest son, also named Muhammad, also worked as a cab driver and lived in the family home with his wife and at least one child, the driver said. Several people inside the home were questioned by police before being allowed to leave.

Neighbours said the family moved in just over a year ago. Source.

09
Dec
07

Denver: Gunman Opens Fire in Christian Missionary Center [Update 6]

Breaking news!

Gunman wounds 4 in missionary center

The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 12/09/2007 05:55:27 AM MST

DENVER – A gunman walked into a training center for young Christian missionaries in a Denver suburb early Sunday and opened fire, wounding at least four people.

The shooting happened at about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday at the Youth With a Mission center, Arvada Police spokeswoman Susan Medina said.

The extent of the injuries was not clear, and the gunman was still at large Sunday morning.

According to its Web site, Youth With a Mission has about 1,000 locations worldwide and trains people to become missionaries. About 50 people were inside the Arvada site when the gunman opened fire.

http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_7677115

Update:

Witnesses told police that the gunman was a white male, about 20 years old, wearing a dark jacket and a skull cap. He may have glasses or a beard.

According to its Web site, Youth With a Mission has about 1,000 locations worldwide and trains people to become missionaries. About 50 people were inside the Arvada site when the gunman opened fire.

Update 2:

Police with dogs searched through the night and nearby houses were alerted via reverse 911.

Medina said residents should look out their windows to see if the shooter had left tracks in the snow overnight.

About four inches of snow had fallen in the area in the past day.

Update 3:

The dormitory is on the campus of the Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, about 13 miles west of Denver.

People bundled up against subfreezing cold trickled into the sanctuary for Sunday services as detectives conducted their investigation at the dormitory, about 300 yards from the church.

Darv Smith, director of a Youth With a Mission center in Boulder, said people ranging from their late teens to their 70s undergo a 12-week discipleship course that prepares them to be missionaries.

He said the center trains about 300 people a year.

Youth With a Mission was started in 1960 and now has 1,100 locations with 16,000 full-time staff, Smith said. The Arvada center at the Faith Bible Chapel campus was founded in 1984.

Update 4:

missionary_shooting.jpgAP Photo: A police car blocks the roadway leading to a youth ministry dormitory on the campus…

17 minutes ago

ARVADA, Colo. – A gunman walked into a training center dormitory for young Christian missionaries early Sunday and opened fire, killing two people and wounding two others. No arrests had been made by late morning.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071209/ap_on_re_us/missionary_shooting

coloshootingap.jpgA gunman entered the dormitory in Arvada, Colorado, early Sunday.

Peter Warren, the center’s co-founder, said a man and a woman were killed. He said the woman was from Minnesota and the man was from Alaska. He did not provide their ages.

“These kids were like our kids, you know?” he told CNN affiliate KUSA. “It’s just such a tragedy.”

He said a memorial service for the two would likely be held Tuesday or Wednesday.

One person remained in critical condition, according to Peter Iliyn, the regional director for Youth With a Mission. He did not give information regarding the fourth person wounded in the attack.

The names of the victims were being withheld pending notification of family members, police said.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/12/09/colorado.shooting/index.html

Another shooting 12 hours later at a Church which has a connection to the Mission Center in the first shooting incident. Sixty five miles away. Four shot.

Update 5:

29 minutes ago

ARVADA, Colo. – A gunman killed two staff members at a missionary training center early Sunday after being told he couldn’t spend the night, and about 12 hours later four people were shot at a busy megachurch in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs police Lt. Fletcher Howard said a suspect had been detained in the shootings at the New Life Church, but a source who was locked down at the church Sunday afternoon said a security guard had shot and killed the gunman. Authorities in Arvada, a Denver suburb about 65 miles north, said no one had been captured in the shootings there.

It was not immediately known whether the shootings were related, but Arvada authorities said they were sharing information with Colorado Springs investigators.

The mission training program has a small office at the church’s World Prayer Center on the New Life campus.

A gunman in a black trench coat and a high-powered rifle entered the church’s main foyer about 1 p.m. and began shooting, according to the source at the church, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the police department had asked that it release all information.

The church’s 11 a.m. service had recently ended, and hundreds of people were milling about when the gunman opened fire. Nearby were parents picking up their children from the nursery.

The gunman was killed by a member of the church’s armed security staff, the source said. Four people were shot, and the source did not know whether the shooter was one of the four. A SWAT team was searching the building for an explosive device, but the source could not confirm any details.

The conditions of the four people shot at New Life were not immediately known, El Paso County Sheriff’s Lt. Lari Sevene said.

The first shooting happened at about 12:30 a.m. at the Youth With a Mission center in Arvada, a Denver suburb, police spokeswoman Susan Medina said.

A man and a woman were killed and two men were wounded, Medina said. All four were staff members with the center, said Paul Filidis, a Colorado Springs-based spokesman with Youth With a Mission.

Arvada Police Chief Don Wick said the suspect spent several minutes speaking with people inside the dorm. Peter Warren, director of Youth With a Mission Denver, said the man asked whether he could spend the night.

When told he couldn’t stay, the man opened fire, then left on foot, Warren said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071209/ap_on_re_us/church_shootings

Update 6:

Colo. gunman may have warned of attacks

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Authorities believe the man who killed four people at a church and missionary training center posted an anti-Christian diatribe online that closely repeated a rant by one of the Columbine killers, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Matthew Murray, who was kicked out of a missionary training center where the first shooting occurred, is believed to have posted the message on a Web site for people who have left evangelical religious groups. His most recent post was Sunday morning in the hours between his attacks in Arvada and Colorado Springs, according to KUSA-TV in Denver, which first reported on the writings.

“You Christians brought this on yourselves,” Murray wrote, according to the station, which did not identify the site. “All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you … as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.”

What does that remind me of? Oh yes one of the comments left on this very post..

Kip While I am opposed to violence altogether, and murder obviously especially, these people are nothing more than casualties of war. A war, by the way, that they started.

God bless the deceased and their families. Prayers going out to all involved especially the surviving two. May they recover.

Youth With a Mission Denver




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