Religion Rundown 9/28

Posted on September 29, 2012 by



Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s Religion Rundown as told by Tam Meuwissen. Let’s get started:

* On September 19th in Paris, after calling itself a defender of free speech and a denouncer of religious backwardness, a French satirical newspaper published several crude caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. In South Asia and the Middle East, protests continued throughout the week over an amateur video, titled “The Innocence of Muslims”. Given that context, the French government had urged the weekly newspaper to reconsider printing the illustrations, some of which depict Muhammad naked and in pornographic poses. The newspaper refused; after it arrived at newsstands on September 14, the government announced that French embassies, consulates, cultural centers and schools in about 20 countries would be closed Friday as a precautionary measure. The caricatures are meant to satirize the video and the violence it has stirred and to denounce that violence as absurd. In Egypt, where protesters attacked the American Embassy, the Muslim Brotherhood said the cartoons were blasphemous and hurtful, and called upon the French judiciary to condemn the newspaper.

* On September 23rd a suicide car bomber attacked a Catholic church conducting Mass in northern Nigeria killing two people and wounding another 45 in a region under assault by a radical Islamist sect, officials said. The attack took place in the city of Bauchi, which has seen a number of bombings and shootings blamed on the sect known as Boko Haram. The blast appeared to hit a parking lot alongside the St. John’s Catholic Church in the city. No group or individual had claimed responsibility for the attack, though suspicion immediately fell on Boko Haram. Attacks against churches by the sect have waned in recent weeks. Nigeria’s military claimed it killed the sect’s spokesman and a commander Sept. 17 outside the city of Kano, potentially shaking up a sect that has continued attacks despite a tighter military presence in northern cities.

In Islamabad on September 24th The Pakistani government distanced itself from an offer by one of its Cabinet ministers to pay $100,000 for anyone who kills the maker of the anti-Islam film, saying the offer does not represent official government policy.
The offer by Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour has drawn criticism in Pakistan even though anger against the film runs high in this predominantly Muslim country.
Bilour said Saturday that he would pay the reward money out of his own pocket. He also appealed to al-Qaida and Taliban militants to contribute to “a noble cause” of eliminating the filmmaker.
The film, made in the United States and entitled “Innocence of Muslims,” has enraged many Muslims around the world for its portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a child molester. At least 51 people, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, have been killed in violence linked to protests over the film.

* Also on September 24th, in Kabul, about 28 Taliban militants were killed and 54 others detained in different Afghan provinces on Monday morning. Afghan National Police and the Afghan army launched nine joint clearance operations in killing 28 armed Taliban insurgents and detaining 54 others.

They also found and seized weapons. 

In addition, the Afghan National Police also discovered and defused one anti- vehicle mine and 100 kilograms of explosives as a result of separate security operations in eastern provinces on Sunday. The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since the militant group launched an annual spring offensive dubbed “Al-Farooq” on May 3 against Afghan and some 100,000 NATO-led troops stationed in the country.

This past Wednesday September 24th marked the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, also known as Day of Atonement, which is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days or “Days of Awe”.

On Weptember 28th Nakoula Basselley Nakoula ,the filmmaker behind the anti-Islamic video “Innocence of Muslims” which has sparked violence across the globe, faces up to three years in federal prison after being arrested Thursday for alleged probation violations. His court hearing occurred amid high security, with the public only allowed to watch through a video feed in a separate courthouse blocks away. Before his arrest Thursday, Nakoula and his family had been in hiding, and his attorney said he had received threats to his safety.

That’s all I have for this week’s Religion Rundown. I’m Tam Meuwissen and thanks for listening!

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