"United Kingdom U.K. Evangelicals Applaud Defeat of Religious Hate Crime Law Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2006 Posted: 1:24:32PM EST British Evangelicals on Tuesday celebrated the defeat of segments of the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill that they say could have criminalized Christians for preaching Biblical values. "We are immensely relieved that the political leaders of this country voted to protect every British citizen’s right to free speech,” Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance UK wrote in a press release. “We are pleased that the bill, which will now go for royal assent, is the one that has been substantially amended by the House of Lords.” In the unexpected defeat, British Members of Parliament (MPs) voted to keep two amendments of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Religious and Racial Hatred bill, ultimately “watering down” the effect of the law. The first defeat, by a 288 to 278 vote, ensured that the new laws would not affect the current racial hatred laws. Under current policy, Sikhs and Jews have full protection from incitement because the courts regard them as distinct races. The second vote, which the government lost by only one vote – 283 to 282 – said the law should only criminalize “threatening” behavior and not things that were just “abusive and insulting.” This means people can only be prosecuted if they intentionally stirred up hatred and not if they were merely being “reckless.” The final version of the law therefore contains specific freedom of speech safeguards that ensure people can be found guilty only if they intend to stir of hatred. In the past few months, Evangelicals worked to defeat the bill, persuading MPs to vote against the proposed legislation and rallying Christians to speak out against the bill. Evangelicals warned that the original law would have restricted the freedom of speech for all individuals, including Christians who preach about scriptural teachings on Islam or homosexuality. "Canada itself yet does not have adequate protection for the Christian's free speech stillThursday, Feb. 2, 2006 Posted: 8:34:54PM EST WASHINGTON – In a budget bill approved by Congress on Wednesday funds were given to grassroots groups who provide marriage education and relationship skills for low-income couples in order to avert divorce (unlike as in Canada where divorce is encouraged) .. On the other hand, part of the spending was applauded by a pro-marriage group with fund allocations relatively small compared to the cuts. About $500 million over five years was allocated to marriage strengthening programs and $250 million for fatherhood programs. "The health of American families built upon marriage affects us all," said Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage. "And this is why the president's plan to use a modest portion of welfare funding to invest in building stronger marriages in America is good social policy." He stated that spending money on supporting marriage would help to prevent problems that the government spends large amounts of money on, such as crime, drug-abuse and school drop-outs. The funds can be used to help organizations that provide marriage programs to guide low-income couples to train them in relationship skills, programs to address pre-marital education for engaged couples, and programs to decrease the probability of divorce.Note this Canadian Legal aid even does not provide money generally to contest a divorce.."Supreme Court out of line with swingers decision Jan 30, 2006 A couple of weeks before Christmas, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its ruling in a case concerning the owners of two licensed bars in Quebec who were using their establishments as swingers clubs. The question that was brought before the court was essentially this: Were these establishments in violation of or breaking the community's moral standards by allowing patrons to engage in consensual acts of voyeurism and group sex? The Supreme Court of Canada determined that the two premises had not transgressed any community standards. The reaction to this ruling made headlines in almost every major newspaper in the country. Apparently, there are several other swingers clubs operating across Canada. What are the ramifications of the Supreme Court's ruling? Two precedents may have been set. First, by ruling that consenting adults have the right to engage in group sex in a licensed establishment, it has given the proprietors of these properties carte blanche to essentially operate their premises as a brothel. The owners can set any fee they want if their patrons are willing to bear the cost to indulge their sexual fantasies. Also, the court, in determining that voyeurism does not violate community standards, has opened up a Pandora's box of legal challenges. What's to stop the establishment of a bar that offers live sex acts as they do in places like Amsterdam? Would it be off-base to suggest that swingers clubs will not remain the exclusive domain of couples only? What's to stop another form of club from opening that caters to singles? Surely the Supreme Court never considered in its ruling that having consensual group sex is to remain the exclusive right of couples. A proprietor could easily decide to make prostitutes available for patrons to indulge their fantasies. Circumventing the laws regarding prostitution wouldn't be that difficult if, ostensibly, the prostitutes came into the establishment under the guise of paying customers themselves. It was Pierre Elliot Trudeau who once said the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. Fair enough, because even if it did, it would never have the resources available to police the conduct of what its citizens are doing in private. Licensed establishments, however, even if they might have beds available for patrons, are in the public domain. Too often, it seems, Canada's top court is quick to trumpet the right of an individual regardless of the impact its ruling may have on the community in which that individual resides. In this most recent ruling, many communities across Canada might be wondering if the Supreme Court was using the high standards of Sodom, the city of biblical fame, as its moral reference point. Depravity is often a slippery slope. What might be considered tolerable in one place can just as easily be considered abhorrent in another. That crumbling cornerstone of decency we call the Supreme Court of Canada has somehow cornered the right to impose its will in every area of our country. Perhaps it's time ordinary citizens and the communities in which they live demand a "notwithstanding clause" of their own. As a final note on the subject to all those who make use of swingers clubs, I'm curious enough to ask this question: If you're bored with having sex with the same individual over and over again, have you ever tried to figure out what you're doing wrong? " Dennis KeeferIt does not take any wise person to know that sex swapping, adultery is still immoral." Muslims rally in Halifax over Muhammad caricatures Sun, 05 Feb 2006 00:42:14 CBC News A crowd of about 200 Muslim protesters rallied in front of Denmark's consulate in Halifax on Saturday, angered by a Danish newspaper's publication of editorial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The satirical depictions of the Prophet have spurred days of demonstrations throughout the Middle East and elsewhere by Muslims, who were offended because Islamic law forbids any depictions of Muhammad in order to prevent idolatry. "Everyone's Freedom of speech is righfuly not a right to slander, abuse, insult any others who do not think like us.. the Jews, Christians, Muslims too, and all persons now have the same human rights too."- Back in September 2005, the liberal Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published several cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad—at least one as a terrorist—although any physical representation of the prophet is forbidden in Islam. There was no immediate backlash, but last week, after several other European newspapers reprinted the cartoons, the reaction went global. Many Muslims took to the streets in protest, NEWSWEEK's Charles Ferro spoke with Flemming Rose, the Jyllands-Posten editor who made the original decision to publish the cartoons, about his actions, the reaction and the bigger issues at stake—freedom of speech and religious sensitivity. Excerpts:
Why do you think Muslims are expressing such outrage now, when other religiously offensive cartoons have been published in the past? I think you have to separate this story into two parts. One part [is the debate] inside Danish borders—that has been going on for four months. On the [one] hand, what does freedom of religion imply, what does respect for other people's feelings and religions imply? You have different points of view, and I think it's problematic if any religion—it doesn't matter if it's Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, any religion—tries to impose its own taboos on the public domain. When I go to a mosque, I behave by the rules that exist in that holy house. I will not stand up and make a cartoon of the holy prophet in a mosque. But I think if any religion insists that I, as a non-Muslim, should submit to their taboos, then I don't think they're showing me respect. I think they're asking for my submission. This is a key issue in this debate. You [also] have the international story, and I believe it has little to do with our cartoons. The people in Saudi Arabia and some other countries who have started the action have never seen the cartoons. They are acting on false rumors, misinformation and direct lies.
Didn't your newspaper commit blasphemy by depicting Muhammad? Danish prosecutors determined around a month ago that the cartoons were not blasphemous.
The “caricature war” between the Moslem world and the West in all likelihood has an artificial cause and is likely to develop into a “war of civilisations” some Russian analysts say. “The caricatures of Prophet Mohammad published as far back as last September angered the entire Islamic world but especially the countries where Iran’s influence is the strongest, and the apex of the conflict coincided precisely with the discussion of the Iranian nuclear dossier at the IAEA,” Some belive that “the fuss around the caricatures was made artificially” and the caricature uproar provides a “pretext for showing how coherent Moslems are”. The Protest over caricatures of the Prophet has become just another excuse to promote Islam world wide The controversy over Danish caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad has mushroomed and it has predictably escalated rapidly with imams around the world fanning the fire in last Friday's mosque sermons. European nations also have a long time ago decided not to give any more grounds to the rapid rise of Islam.. Local politics, too, are a complicating factor. Militant Danish and European Muslims helped push Arabs to join the fray and more confrontation are expected still to come. I would be more impressed with the imans, the Muslim's protests if for a start they had themselves practiced the peace, rights they themselves preach to others.. Islam, Muslim are not at all a peaceful, peace loving religion by their own follower's acts as we still can see world wide.. and too many Muslims do not protest when any of the others are abused or when they abuse them themselves still too? in reality now we all can too readily know that too many Muslims themslves now do not respect the other person's freedom of religion for a start.. or their freedom of life.. and they Muslims they now do even use their freedom of speech to bash either both Jews and Christians unacceptably. I too would be more impressed with their Muslims protests if for a start they had themselves practiced themselves what they preach to others.. as I rightfully do not accept any others too dictating to me what I can and cannot do.. the fanatical Muslims included now too.
The former imam of Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, a radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza was convicted today of inciting his followers to murder non-Muslims and Jews. Hamza, 47, was also convicted of stirring up racial hatred and possessing a terror "manual", the Encyclopaedia Of The Afghani Jihad. He was also convicted of two charges under the Public Order Act 1986 of "using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with the intention of stirring up racial hatred". The cleric was further convicted of a charge of possession of video and audio recordings which he intended to distribute to stir up racial hatred.and what good is really being done about all of this too now?