May 10 – May 24, 2021
thoughtcrimes, blasphemy, and sexuality persecuted
This week: progressive Islamic scholar Abu Layth home raided by an Islamist mob, Pakistani feminists embattle blasphemy accusations, Imran Khan flops attempt at compelling the West to limit free speech, China declares UN event on Xinjiang “total blasphemy”, Yemeni model slated for virginity test by Houthi rebels, 20-year-old beheaded by family in Iran for being gay, EXMNA and other secular groups hold a historic meeting with White House.
In the midst of the Palestinian crisis, hate-mongering trolls stitched together clips of the progressive Islamic scholar, Mufti Abu Layth, to make it appear as though he stood against Palestine. After influential Islamists, including Muhammad Hijab, propagated the clip and “exposed” Abu Layth as a “traitor”, an angry mob raided his home in Birmingham and traumatized his 6- and 9-year-old daughters.
A video of the attack circulated online showing the Palestinian-flag-waiving thugs smashing his windows with bricks, kicking down his door, and marching upstairs to his and his wife’s bedroom in the dead of night all while yelling that he had “disrespected Palestine.”
In that other Islamist-controlled territory known as Pakistan, feminists have found themselves harangued with fabricated accusations of blasphemy which have recently been weaponized as lawsuits. Militant Islamic groups, taken seriously by courts in Pakistan, have sued the organizers of the International Women’s Day rallies held in Islamabad and other cities. The organizers’ crime? Using “Westernized slogans” such as “My body. My choice,” which, according to the plaintiffs, “symbolically insulted the Prophet of Islam.”
To garner support, activists doctored videos with edited audio clips to make the feminists appear as though they were explicitly opposed to Islam. As expected, this and similar tactics generated the death threats required to force at least one women’s rights activist to flee the country.
Blasphemy, the mutual concern of Pakistan and China.
While the prosecution of thoughtcrime on the streets and at home remains squarely under the purview of private thugs, Imran Khan’s administration has taken it upon itself to ensure that everyone’s favorite 7th-century warlord escapes the potty-mouth of such inglorious Westerners as Emmanuel Macron. After meeting with ambassadors of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)’s member states in his office, Khan charged the divine task force with ensuring the universal adoption of blasphemy laws satisfactory to the ummah.
However, as Pakistan’s only true prophet—Pervez Hoodbhoy—pointed out in his recent letter to the PM, the enterprise is a colossal farce. Not only has the country failed to take any meaningful diplomatic or economic action against France itself before calling on others to do the same, but Pakistan is also, at this very moment, having its preferential trade status as a GSP+ nation reconsidered by EU on the grounds of its “alarming” abuse of domestic blasphemy laws in recent months.
Engaged as he must be in all this very prudent business, Imran Khan can perhaps be excused for neglecting the genocide and brainwashing campaign of biblical proportions currently being perpetrated against the Uighur Muslims. Or maybe, as he confessed last year, he just “doesn’t know much” about the situation in Xinjiang.
Whatever his excuse for failing to address the plight of the Uighurs, China’s reason for hushing the matter up is loud and clear. For the United Nations to discuss the topic, announced China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman last week, is nothing other than “total blasphemy”. Perhaps Khan agrees.
And yet, for all this piqued concern in insulting things holy, India’s religious appear to have had little worry about dumping more than a hundred cadavers into the Ganges river—many of which are suspected to belong to Covid victims.
Meanwhile, God continues to obsess over genital affairs.
With his most important subjects perpetually engaged in protecting the dead from insults and other varieties of hand-waving, one can almost understand why God has opted to devote his attention to affairs of the genital. Luckily, his followers have found just enough time to execute his wrath and will in this domain as well.
Most recently, Houthi moral police in Sana’a have fulfilled God’s ardent desire to ascertain the virginity of Entisar al-Hammadi, a 20-year-old Yemeni-Ethiopian model. Al-Hammadi, who dared to wear non-traditional clothing and skip the headscarf on occasion, was charged with and arrested on the naturally consequent suspicion of prostitution. And while this count must wait until the results return on her virginity test, authorities immediately made sure to acquire her confession on drug possession through the tried-and-true means of having her sign a document whilst blindfolded.
Still, al-Hammadi will be lucky to experience even the pretense of due process. For only a few days ago in Iran, 20-year-old Alireza Fazeli-Monfared had only his family to thank as judge, jury, and executioner. Alireza was beheaded by his brother and cousins for the crime of being gay. His body was thereafter left to rot by a tree. Unfortunately for Alireza, his fate would not have been much different had state authorities gotten to him first—under the Shariah in Iran, the punishment for homosexuality is death.
A most satisfying month, no doubt, for the lord on high.
Back in the States:
On Monday, the 17th of May, EXMNA participated in a historic meeting with the White House alongside other prominent secular groups organized by the Secular Coalition for America. The occasion marked the first meeting of ex-Muslims with the white house.