Iran has held a woman in prison for THREE MONTHS for … watching a volleyball match!

Da due mesi in carcere, il web si mobilita per la 25enne che voleva vedere Iran-Italia di volley

Bring my sister home; #FreeGhonchehGhavami خواهرم را به خانه برگردانید

#FreeGhonchehGhavami خواهرم را به خانه برگردانید

Thrown in prison for going to a volleyball match

If anyone in the western world ever imagined that Islam is a tolerant religion, then the plight of a young British woman in Iran serves as a wakeup call to that utopian myth. She has spent three months in prison in Iran after trying to watch a men’s volleyball match, thereby challenging a ban on women attending all-male sports events.

Ghoncheh Ghavami has been locked up for more than six weeks of her custody in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin Prison, the equivalent of a Category A prison in the UK. It is also where the Iranian government holds political dissidents and anecdotal evidence points to some torture at the facility. The prison is situated in north-west Tehran and is locally known as ‘Evin University’, because of the number of academics, intellectuals and journalists that have passed through its doors.

The twenty-five year old lives in London but went home to visit her parents. She had recently been thinking about returning permanently, now that the government is lead by the moderate President Hassan Rouhani. She was detained at the stadium where the peaceful protest took place and was briefly released from custody, but when she went to collect her belongings a few days afterwards she was again arrested and returned to jail.

“The authorities kept promising she would be released at the end of this week, every week: It never happened and the family has lost patience,” said her brother, Iman Ghavami “My parents are working tirelessly to get Ghoncheh out. They are desperate now. We cannot understand why they would treat her like this for something so innocuous.”

Amnesty International has been told that she is likely to be charged with “spreading propaganda against the state”.

“We are extremely worried about Ghoncheh’s predicament. Her lawyer has had no access to her or any documents about why she’s being held,” said an Amnesty spokesperson.

Sign the petition demanding her release at


More summary executions, more war crimes, more crimes against humanity – but no action

Another innocent man dies at the hands of a (possibly Western born) war criminal who hides his cowardly face.

Another innocent man dies at the hands of a (possibly Western born) war criminal who hides his cowardly face.

At the same time that  over 700 journalists were covering the Gaza conflict earlier this week, there was little detailed media interest in the the mass slaughter of Yazidis and Christians in Iraq who, according to many sources, are on the brink of genocide by terrorists in the Islamic State.

Allegedly Abdel Majid  Abdel Bary, a British Islamic State terrorist, holds the severed head of  victim.

Allegedly Abdel Majid Abdel Bary, a British Islamic State terrorist, holds the severed head of victim.

In my daily list of reading today was the report that 80 more Yazidi men had been killed in northern Iraq. BasNews, a Kurdish news media website reported that the massacre rook place in the village of Kojo some 20 km south of Sinjar after it came under attack by the Islamic State radicals. If the example of the Prophet Muhammad is followed, the term men will include any male child who has reached puberty. This could result in children as young as 11 or 12 being slaughtered. All women and children, presumably with the exception of pubescent boys, were taken as ‘slaves’. The Qur’an and hadiths (apostolic witness statement)  consider slavery as an exceptional but necessary condition to be implemented in specific limited circumstances. Only children of slaves or non-Muslim prisoners of war could become slaves, never a freeborn Muslim, and this explains why Yazidi men are killed and all females and pre-pubescent males are held captive.

This is Islamic custom as set out in the Qur’an:  Surat an-Nisa 4:24 And forbidden to you [sexually] are wedded wives of other people except those who have fallen in your hands.” The last part of the Sura refers to slaves taken in Jihad.

Islamic jurisprudent Sayyid A’La Abul Maududi, wrote in The Meaning of the Quran.  (vol. 1, p. 319) commenting on this verse, explained that is it lawful for Muslims to marry women prisoners of war even when their husbands are still alive.

Condemnation of IS came a few days ago, when  two senior United Nations officials protested in the strongest terms the “barbaric acts” of sexual violence and “savage rapes” the armed group had perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control.

A 7 year old Sunni child does the same as the sick, twisted Abdel Bary. (see footnote to article)

A 7 year old Sunni child does the same as the sick, twisted Abdel Bary. (see footnote to article)

In a joint statement from Baghdad, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence (SRSG) in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov urged the immediate protection of civilians. The officials condemned, in the strongest terms, the explicit targeting of women and children and the barbaric acts that IS has perpetrated on minorities. Acts of sexual violence are grave human rights violations that can be considered as war crimes and crimes against humanity, they warned. “We are gravely concerned by continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities,”  Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov said. “Atrocious accounts of abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov stated, pointing out that some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery. Mr. Mladenov called on regional Governments and the wider international community for the immediate release of the women and girls held in captivity and to support the Government of Iraq’s efforts to protect its citizens. He pledged that his Office would closely monitor the situation to ensure accountability and advocate for support to the survivors of the “barbaric acts.”

Thus it seems apparent that terrorists from the Islamic State – and make no mistake, they are terrorists not jihadis – are massacring all males from puberty upwards and taking the women as slaves, which will likely include being used as concubines.

In the midst and in light of this, columnist Matthew Parris has seen fit to tell his those reading his column that no one should “let the interventionists piggyback their misguided miltary [sic] desires on the back of a humanitarian disaster” . Brave words, apparently, though I wonder what this nation is becoming, what sort of ideals and morals we espouse, when we ignore genocidal massacres and war crimes as it is better not to get involved.

In his article, topped with a smiling photo of himself, Parris said The Kurdish region does not yet face an existential crisis” he says, Nothing decisive is about to happen. There is time to think.” Think? What about the massacres, the women who are being raped and the children that have to witness this? Must we tolerate this form of Islam and its inhuman behaviour and just think?

Their is witness testimony to this appalling depravity from a regional source:They arrived in vehicles and they started their killing this afternoon,” senior Kurdish official Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters.We believe it’s because of their creed: convert or be killed.”  Following the massacre of the male population Yazidi women were kidnapped from the village, another Kurdish official told Reuters.


Add to this caustic cocktail the ‘Stop The War’ coalition, some of whom I’m sure mean well, but ‘Stop The War’ seems to be becoming synonymous to ‘Stop The War Where Muslims Are Concerned’. I have good reason to make that comment: Have you seen them yet protest one Muslim-led war (sorry jihad) or, like me, have you seen an anti-West agenda in much of the protest?

In a recent letter of support from students’ organisations to ‘Stop The War’ (STW), over one-third of the office-holding signatories were Muslim. From a fatih population that comprises around 5% of the demography of Britain, to occupy over one-third of the Student Union’s official positions in local branches gives an indication of the organisation and support of Muslims behind STW. Do you see these people protesting the war in Iraq on Yazidis or Christians now? If these were Muslims being slaughtered by another religion, they would be out in Trafalgar Square today.

If the protests of STW were balanced and fair you could applaud the motive, but they aren’t. Did you ever see protests about Al-Qaeda from STW? Did they protest the war in Darfur? Why is STW focussed only on democratic countries as the instigators of war? What message does our reluctance to take military action send to extremists? Obviously one that we take no effective action to stop them slaughtering populations that can never be replaced; it rids the region of the ‘problem’ of religious and ethnic diversity by obliterating the minority element.

We need to stop and think, Mr. Parris, yes we do, but not when innocent people are being slaughtered, when even governments and supra-national bodies are claiming that genocide is likely a part of the Islamic State’s purpose. The people of the world need to protest about the very purpose and methodology of the Islamic State, the peaceniks should try and imagine their family being ravaged like this and there should be a worldwide military coalition to round up this filth and mete out justice to them. That is how it should be done, Mr. Parris, not by letting them get on with it.


United States Secretary of State John Kerry has seized on a “stomach-turning” photograph of a seven year old Australian boy holding a severed head in Syria to push for United Nations action on foreign Islamists returning from the Middle East.

Describing the photograph as one of the most grotesque images the world has ever seen, Mr Kerry said the US and Australia would ask a UN meeting next month to examine ways to address the threat from the returning jihadists.

The disturbing photograph was posted on Twitter by Khaled Sharrouf, an Australian jihadist in Syria, and shows the man’s son holding a decapitated head.

“This image, perhaps even an iconic photograph… is really one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed,” Mr Kerry said.

“That child should be in school, that child should be out learning about a future, that child should be playing with other kids, not holding a severed head and out in the field of combat. This is utterly disgraceful and it underscores the degree to which ISIL [now Islamic State] is so far beyond the pale with respect to any standard by which we judge even terrorist groups, that al-Qaeda shunted them aside.” Speaking in Sydney, Mr Kerry said he and his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop would push the UN to consider ways to prevent fighters returning to their home countries and causing “chaos and havoc”. Analysts estimate that thousands of foreign fighters from across the world have flocked to join the fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Will the Muslim-on-Muslim war now come to Britain?

When listening to the news about Islam in the UK, a term that is frequently heard is ‘British Muslim’, but I have been saying for almost a decade now that such a notion – certainly not just a name – is anathema to those who live in Muslim lands. Islam does not recognise frontiers and neither does it allow the gradation of being Muslim, which is exactly what the term implies, that is, if you are a British Muslim, then there must be something about the Islam that you follow that is different from other Muslims and their beliefs. In short it is considered heretical.  We in the West have acknowledged this subtle distinction for over a decade now, as it has been currency since the aftermath of 9/11, but the shift is not so subtle for hard-line Muslims abroad. Their core belief is ‘either you are a brother, or you’re not’. 

Muslims based in western democracies have had a hard time since 2001, as non-Muslims have attempted to elicit from them the condemnation that most people in a democratic society would want to hear, from those who share a religion with fundamentalist terrorists. That can’t have been easy as they grappled with the political and religious implications of what was taking place. Worse was to come.

British police issued a warning on Friday to prominent Muslims in the UK of a video made by extremists linked to Somalia’s al-Shabaab militants, which reportedly threatens the lives of prominent British Muslims who it claims are “enemies of Islam.” Don’t underestimate the threat therein: it is not just aimed at Britain and the deportation of Abu (the Hook) Hamza as it names several prominent Muslims that condemned terrorist attacks, such as the murder of Lee Rigby. They argue that  ‘British Muslims’ have assimilated into British society, thereby acquiring a bastardisation of the straight path – al mustaqeem – that the radicals deem is Islam.

The Prophet Muhammad is supposed to have lead a perfect life and the Qur’an is supposed to be the ‘perfect word of Allah’ thus neither can be changed, not by a covenant nor failure to emulate the Prophet in all his beliefs and deeds. An example of this is the Prophet’s marriage to 6 year old Aisha, which he consummated when she was 9. It is perfectly reasonable to argue that that is what happened 1,500 years ago and, indeed, many European kings contracted marriages to children in the middle-ages, though normally for the purposes of ensuring peace. However, the Prophet’s ‘protected’ and ‘perfect’ life leaves many arguing that what was good enough for the Prophet is good enough for them. This is but one example of the difficulties facing Islam in the 21 century.

The fact that Muslims are making jihadist death threats to other Muslims means that they no longer consider them to be following the faith – al mustaqeem – and thus they are kafireen because they are deemed to be ‘denying’ their religion.  This is indeed a serious and unprecedented development because now the intimidation and even execution of ‘British’ Muslims may well follow in the wake of this watershed threat.

One of the ghastliest images I have yet seen of war

Evidence of a chemical attack - dead Syrian children

Evidence of a chemical attack – dead Syrian children

Dr. Nidal Kabal, a former Syrian ambassador said today on the BBC that it would be “suicidal” for the Assad regime to use chemical weapons when the UN inspectors were present in Syria. That rather tells you that it would be the best time because it gives the Assad regime the best possible excuse: “What? Chemical weapons? Us? We would have to be mad do do such a thing at the moment”. Their response is logical, but it is also the sort of superb double-bluff that Arabs mire themselves in.

The UN inspectors are not in Syria to apportion blame but to establish whether chemical weapons have been used. The evidence is overwhelming: dead children in the hundreds, dead goats – whole herds of them, dead chickens and wild birds such as pigeons.  There is only one fact here: This was done by the Assad regime who can see their fate clearly written but are throwing every last ounce of horror into the pit of iniquity they have created.  I challenge anyone to look at the image given here and rationalise why civilised countries should ignore this inhumanly grotesque scene.

Hopefully religion is in its final phase of self-destruction …

It is possible – from my viewpoint as an atheist – to rank religions by their ghastliness. For example, the Protestant faith (as in the British one) is likely a lot less ghastly than the tediously superstitious Church of Rome, further up the scale you get Scientology (OK, it’s a ‘cult’, though the difference is almost indiscernible) but the top slot for ghastliness has, for decades now, rested with Islam, that specialises in trumpeting the allusion to peace that is carried in its name, whilst behaving like a homicidal, self-harming drug addict in  the way it manifests itself to the world.

Islam has no spiritual leader – it lacks a Mahdi – the prophesied redeemer in Islamic eschatology,  though god knows Islam needs redeeming and that statement itself is an oxymoron to me as a heathen (I enjoy my heathen status). This leaves Islam in the hands of its followers, who have, in the last few days, submerged their religion into new found depths of depravity, and I chose my words carefully here.

The Taliban suicide bomber who struck in Kabul’s embassy district a few days ago must have known that  most of those who would be killed would be street children, in the neighbourhood to eke out a living selling souvenirs. One of the victims was 14-year-old Khorshid, far too free a spirit in the body of a female ever to survive in the day-to-day mayhem of the backward followers of Islam in Afghanistan. She was a keen skateboarder at a facility that gives refuge to the vulnerable street children that live their lives from one day to the next. Two other skaters from the skategroup were killed  – Nawab, who was 17, and 13-year-old Mohammed Eesa. Another child, Assad, Khorshid’s cousin, also died.

In neighbouring Pakistan, police and national security are moving an 11 year-old child with sever learning difficulties around between safe houses because she has been accused of desecrating a Koran (Qur’an) by burning pages of it with the household rubbish. She was briefly imprisoned for this ‘crime’ a fortnight ago but then released after an international outcry about her plight. Her family, having been threatened with being burnt alive in their home by outraged Muslim neighbours have joined their daughter in being shifted from place to place for their own safety, despite the fact that the Imam of the local mosque where they lived has been accused of planting the pages of the holy book in her bag of rubbish in order to see Christians driven from their homes. The man who blew the whistle on the Imam was one of the other Imams at the same mosque.

In Libya a mob attacked and burnt down the US consulate in Benghazi, inflamed by by a film called ‘Innocence of Muslims’, an anti Islam film posted online earlier this year. Clips of the film have since been shown on Arab TV stations, but it is not a serious piece of cinema in a historical sense, unlike Tom Holland’s Channel 4 documentary ‘Islam: The Untold Story’, which has caused offence among Muslims but not lead to violence. ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ portrays the prophet Muhammad as a womaniser and the bloodthirsty leader of a band of jihadists who enjoy killing. The Benghazi rioters that ransacked the building then set it on fire, killing the American ambassador to Libya and three other US workers in the compound. US state department officials say they are looking into whether the attack on the consulate was premeditated, as there is a strong suspicion that a jihadist, Islamic militant group may have been responsible for organising the sacking of the US diplomatic mission.

All this has left me wondering how it is that a religion that so often sells itself on the strength of its name alluding to peace can incite such grotesquely violent reactions from its followers. Do Muslims not see how ironic this statement is? The prophet Mohammed married Aisha, a 6 year old girl, and consummated the marriage when she was 9, a facet of the prophet’s life that is still copied by many Muslims to this very day. The prophet fought wars with a brutal cost in human life. He had captives that would not capitulate to Islam put to death and established the obligation of jihad, meaning struggle, which is the excuse, I have no doubt, that those who sacked the consulate in Benghazi and the suicide bombers in Kabul who murdered children, defiantly use to justify their sick actions. How Islam can ever put its house in order without a peace-seeking Mahdi is beyond me. My biggest worry though, is what would Islam be like if the coming ‘Mahdi’ was himself the warmongering husband of a 9 year old child? You have to ask what kind of religion would condone a 9 year old girl being married and yet has in the past beaten children for flying kites?