Controversies

Iran mulls death penalty for Internet crimes

TEHERAN - Iran's parliament is set to debate a draft bill which could see the death penalty used for those deemed to promote corruption, prostitution and apostasy on the Internet, reports said on Wednesday.

MPs on Wednesday voted to discuss as a priority the draft bill which seeks to "toughen punishment for harming mental security in society," the ISNA news agency said.

The text lists a wide range of crimes such rape and armed robbery for which the death penalty is already applicable. The crime of apostasy (the act of leaving a religion, in this case Islam) is also already punishable by death.

However, the draft bill also includes "establishing weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy", which is a new addition to crimes punishable by death.

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"The Secret of Armageddon"

Iranian TV Series Affirms Protocols of Elders of Zion, Promotes Conspiracy Theories, Claims Jews Are Planning "the Genocide of Humanity" and Iranian Jewish, Baha'i Communities are Plotting to Take Over Iran

{josquote}Just like the Zionists considered Palestine to be their promised land, the Baha'is talked about Iran as the promised land.{/josquote}

Following are excerpts from "The Secret of Armageddon," an Iranian television series. In it, Iranian scholars, historians, researchers, academicians, and scholars criticize Christian Zionists, affirm the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, promote various conspiracy theories, discuss the Jews' "genocidal plan for the genocide of humanity," claim that Iranian Jewish and Baha'i communities are plotting to take over Iran, and more.

The series aired on the Iranian news channel IRINN in May and June 2008:

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1802.htm.

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Anatomy of Apostasy

I was trawling through old archives looking for something, when I came across a whole bunch of letters I’d written. They are, I guess, an anatomy of my “apostasy” from the Baha’is.


November 16th, 1998

Dear Members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United Kingdom,

I am writing in regard to the recent National Spiritual Assembly’s “Spirit and Form” seminar being hosted by Local Spiritual Assemblies throughout the United Kingdom.

First let me congratulate the Assembly’s endeavors to fully implement the instructions of the Universal House of Justice in improving the practice of its financial affairs and safeguarding the assets of the Faith, as well as imparting this knowledge to the body of Local Spiritual Assemblies and believers under its jurisdiction. I heartily welcome this seminar as a sign of the continuing maturation of the institutions of the administrative order of the Blessed Beauty.

I recently attended one such seminar hosted by the Local Spiritual Assembly of S— in which the National Spiritual Assembly’s Treasurer Mrs C— W— instructed the participants that it was the National Spiritual Assembly’s desire to abolish the use of “Fund boxes” at Nineteen Day Feasts.

My concern is not with the use of the actual Fund boxes themselves, but that I believe such a policy would practically remove the ability for believers to contribute small sums of money anonymously, conflicting with the Guardian’s instructions in this matter.

{josquote}...may Baha’is still donate funds anonymously, and if so how?{/josquote}

As Mrs W— rightly pointed out, the Baha’i Faith is perhaps the only religion in the world in which non-adherents are forbidden from contributing funds. Given this fact, it is a logical extension that fund-receiving institutions must make sure all monies come from Baha’i sources. Thus, the only vehicle of which I am aware that Baha’is may contribute anonymously, is by using a receptacle provided at the Nineteen Day Feast: by virtue of the fact that only Baha’is may attend. Removing Fund boxes makes giving anonymously unattainable.

{Test command}

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Apostasy redux

I’m a bit grumpy this evening, as someone in the Cabal of Anti-Baha’i Internet Activists forgot to send me their minutes of the last meeting about their intention to write miffed replies (1) to the editors of Religion regarding Mojo’s diatribe against us. Not being in on the latest Evil Plan, I just blogged a few bemused remarks instead (here and here).

And my academic feathers are ruffled. Apparently only one of the apostates is directly employed in academia (presumably, he means Juan). Now, let me set my Apostate Academic Credentials straight. I may only be in the middle of my doctoral work, but I am also employed by my University as a researcher (last year I even took leave from my doctorate and was employed on a full-time contract thank you very much). I worked hard to get my office and business card with University logo.

Apparently Bill has now been de-listed as an apostate, so we’ll unenroll him from the Cabal list accordingly.

The Moojster writes (my comments are in square brackets):

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