Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday pardoned an Afghan woman serving a 12-year prison sentence for having sex out of wedlock after she was raped by a relative.
Karzai's office said in a statement that the woman and her attacker have agreed to marry. That would reverse an earlier decision by the 19-year-old woman, who had previously refused a judge's offer of freedom if she agreed to marry the rapist.
Her plight was highlighted in a documentary that the European Union blocked because it feared the women featured in the film would be in danger if it were shown.
Islam in the Classroom
From HistoryTextbooks.org (via WND.com)
What the textbooks tell us:
Many political and religious groups try to use the textbook process to their advantage, but the deficiencies in Islam-related lessons are uniquely disturbing. History textbooks present an incomplete and confected view of Islam that misrepresents its foundations and challenges to international security.
Misinformation about Islam is more pronounced in junior high school textbooks than high school textbooks.
Outright textbook errors about Islam are not the main problem. The more serious failure is the presence of disputed definitions and claims that are presented as established facts.
Deficiencies about Islam in textbooks copyrighted before 2001 persist and in some cases have grown worse. Instead of making corrections or adjusting contested facts, publishers and editors defend misinformation and content evasions against the record. Biases persist. Silences are profound and intentional.
Islamist activists use multiculturalism and ready-made American political movements, especially those on campus, to advance and justify uncritical Islam-related content makeover in history textbooks.
Particular fault rests with the publishing corporations, the boards of directors, and executives who decide what editorial policies their companies will pursue.
Publishers have developed new world and U.S. history textbooks at three different grade levels. Errors about Islam that occurred in older textbooks have not been corrected but reiterated. Publishers have learned of contested facts and have had the time to correct imbalances. But instead of making changes, they have sustained errors or, in deliberate acts of self-censorship, have removed controversial material.
An Arizona judge sentenced an Iraqi immigrant on Friday to more than 34 years in prison, about two months after his conviction for running over his 20-year-old daughter because he claimed she'd become "too Westernized."
A Maricopa County, Arizona, jury in February convicted Faleh Hassan Almaleki, 50, of one count of second-degree murder in the death of Noor Faleh Almaleki. He was also found guilty of aggravated assault for causing serious injuries to Amal Edan Khalaf, the mother of Noor's fiance, as well as two counts of leaving the scene.
On Friday, Judge Roland Steinle sentenced Almaleki to a total of 34½ years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for his crimes. That includes 16 years -- less than the maximum possible sentence of 22 years -- on the murder charge, which will be served concurrently with a 15-year aggravated assault sentence. In addition, Almaleki will get consecutive 3½-year terms for leaving the scene.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery applauded the judge's decision, saying "Mr. Almaleki will have an appropriately long time in prison to ponder this truth."
President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s suggestion that antigovernment protesters in the capital were in violation of Islamic law because women were allowed to mix with men stirred a women’s rights march in the capital on Saturday, as thousands of women in this staunchly conservative country made Mr. Saleh an object of public derision.
Mr. Saleh’s comments on Friday, in which he called on the antigovernment protesters at Sana University “to prevent the mixing on University Avenue, which is not approved by Islam,” seemed only to further embolden female protesters in Yemen, where virtually all women are covered in black head to toe, including a niqab, or face veil.
“The reason why people are upset is that you cannot talk about women’s honor here,” said Atiaf Alwazir, a Yemeni woman raised in the United States who is now a youth organizer. “That is really a big shame. It’s a black shame. It shames the tribe, the husband, the brother, the whole family.”
“You tell us mixing is haram,” she added, using the Arabic word for sin. “Killing is haram.”
The angry, aggressive crowd formed within minutes of my arrival. Dozens of Muslim men, all in ankle-length galabias, came together in the middle of the dusty dirt path leading to the Church of the Two Martyrs in this poor Christian and Muslim village some 130 miles (210 km) south of Cairo. They were determined to block access to what has become a sectarian sore: a church overrun by Muslim locals and desecrated, an act that has prompted desperate national calls to maintain the inter-religious unity forged in Tahrir Square during the uprising that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak.
"You can't see it!" a group of men screamed. Several women in niqabs, or full-face veils, scurried away, carrying plastic bags of produce. In an armored personnel carrier, several soldiers in red berets watched the fracas from farther up the road. Closer by, at least a dozen soldiers in flak jackets and helmets marched down an adjacent side street, barring anyone from following them.
"You are not allowed to pass," some of the men in galabias yelled at me. "Leave! Leave now!"
"Are you Christian?" another asked.
"What are you going to see?" asked Mahmoud Mohammad, 30, who appeared to be their spokesman. "Destroyed walls and a burned building?" I told him I wanted to reach the church.
"It's not a church," he said, raising his voice. "It is a meeting place, and we don't want a church here," he added before grabbing my notebook, ripping out several pages and forcibly marching me out of the village.