Muslim Statistics - Persecution
Five of the nations ranked least peaceful in the world by the Global Peace Index are Islamic countries. Please note, the GPI does not take violence against women and children into consideration.
In 2010, 8 of the top 10 persecutors of Christians are Islamic countries.
Of the top 10 countries on the 2011 WWL, eight have Islamic majorities. Persecution has increased in seven of them. They are Iran, which clamps down on a growing house church movement; Afghanistan, where thousands of believers cluster deep underground; and Saudi Arabia, which still refuses to allow any Saudi person to convert to Christianity.
Others are lawless Somalia, ruled by bloodthirsty terrorists threatening to kill Christian aid workers who feed Somalia’s starving, impoverished people; tiny Maldives, which mistakenly boasts it is 100 percent Islamic; Yemen with its determination to expel all Christian workers; and Iraq, which saw extremists massacre 58 Christians in a Baghdad cathedral on Oct. 31.
Of the top 30 countries, only seven have a source other than Islamic extremists as the main persecutors of Christians.The top 10 in order are North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Laos, which has a Communist government. Iraq is new to the top 10 list while Mauritania dropped out, going from No. 8 to No. 13.
In 2011, 9 of the top 10 persecutors of Christians are Islamic countries.
Topping the list is North Korea, where the Stalinist regime enforces cult worship of its leaders.
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What’s more, a decade’s worth of Open Doors surveys shows that “the persecution of Christians in these Muslim countries continues to increase,” the group’s Dr. Carl Moeller reports.
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Afghanistan (2), Saudi Arabia (3), Somalia (4), Iran (5) and the Maldives (6) form a bloc where indigenous Christians have almost no freedom to openly worship. For the first time Pakistan (10) entered the top 10, after a tumultuous year during which the nation’s highest-ranking Christian politician, Cabinet Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated for his attempts to change the blasphemy law.
The rest of the top 10 is composed of Uzbekistan (7), Yemen (8) and Iraq (9). Laos was the lone country to drop from the top 10 list, falling to No. 12 from No. 10.
While persecution has worsened due to persecution by Muslim extremists, without question North Korea once again deserves its No. 1 ranking.
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There are significant moves on the World Watch List, including Sudan moving up 19 spots to No. 16 – the biggest leap of any country from 2011. Nigeria jumped 10 spots to No. 13. Egypt, racked by violent protests and upheaval during the Arab Spring, rose four positions to No. 15. Increased Islamic extremism triggered the upward movement of Sudan, Nigeria and Egypt.
Muslim-majority countries score worst for religious freedom and social hostilities involving religion.
The study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, released Tuesday, found that nearly one-third of the world’s population lives in countries where religion-related government restrictions or social hostilities rose significantly between mid-2006 and mid-2009.
Geographically, the Middle East/North Africa region boasted the largest proportion of countries – 30 percent – where official restrictions on religion increased over that three-year period.
Digging deeper, the 117-page report reveals that countries belonging to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) dominate many of the most serious measures tracked at the end of the survey period in mid-2009.
Seven of the ten countries with the highest – that is, worst – grades when it comes to government restrictions on religion were OIC countries – Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Maldives, Malaysia and Indonesia. The other three were China, Burma and Eritrea.
Of the 10 countries on that benchmark index, six are designated by the U.S. government as “countries of particular concern” for religious freedom violations – Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.
A separate index in the Pew report graded countries according to levels of social hostility involving religion. Eight of the top ten countries in that index were Muslim-majority states – Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Egypt. The other two, India and Israel, have Hindu and Jewish majorities respectively, and large Muslim minorities.
In an index measuring official interference with religious practice, 18 out of 26 countries (69 percent) whose government “prohibits worship or religious practices of one or more religious groups as a general policy,” were OIC members – Brunei, Chad, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The other eight were Burma, China, Eritrea, Laos, Madagascar, Monaco, Tuvalu and Vietnam.
A grading of countries where conversion from one religion to another is restricted was also dominated by Islamic states, accounting for 25 out of 29 countries listed (86 percent). They were Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Comoros, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen.
The four non-Muslim countries were Eritrea, India, Israel and Vietnam.
Taking the conversion issue a step further, among 13 countries where there were incidents of physical violence over conversions from one religion to another, 10 (77 percent) were Muslim – Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Comoros, Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria. The other three were India, Mongolia and Nepal.
Sixteen out of 26 countries/territories where “religion-related terrorist groups” perpetrated violence that resulted in ten or more injuries or deaths” were OIC members – Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Palestinian territories, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan and Yemen
The 10 non-Muslim countries were Central African Republic, China, Congo, Ethiopia, India, Israel, Nepal, Philippines, Russia and Sri Lanka. (The report does not provide a breakdown of actual attacks, but in at least some of those countries – India, Israel, the Philippines and Russia – terror activity is largely attributed to Islamist groups.)
The Pew report also examined the issue of “defamation” of religion, tracking countries where various penalties are enforced for apostasy, blasphemy or criticism of religions.
“While such laws are sometimes promoted as a way to protect religion, in practice they often serve to punish religious minorities whose beliefs are deemed unorthodox or heretical,” it said.
It found 21 Muslim countries in that category – Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Western Sahara and Yemen.
The study also found 23 non-Muslim countries where penalties are enforced for such criticism of religion – Austria, Brazil, Burma, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, India, Italy, Malta, Mauritius, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
“Eight-in-ten countries in the Middle East-North Africa region have laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion, the highest share of any region,” it said. “These penalties are enforced in 60 percent of the countries in the region. In Europe, nearly four-in-ten countries (38 per cent) have such laws and nearly a third (31 per cent) actively enforces them.”
The report did not, however, draw a distinction between the types of penalties enforced in Muslim and non-Muslim countries for breaching these laws.
A study by Human Rights First, released last March, documented more than 70 cases in 15 countries where the enforcement of blasphemy laws resulted in problems of various kinds since 2007.
Of the 70 cases, only four were not in Muslim countries. They were in Austria (where a woman was fined for “denigrating” Islam during a lecture); India (where nine people were charged over a magazine article said to have injured the sentiments of Hindus); Sri Lanka (where a convert from Buddhism to Islam was accused of offending Buddhism); and Poland (where a provocative rock star was accused of insulting religious sentiments in the predominantly Catholic country).
By contrast, the vast majority of the cases documented in the report took place in Islamic countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan – and included lengthy prison terms and the imposition of the death penalty, as well as extrajudicial retribution such as mob attacks and killings.
One country that did not feature in the Pew survey’s country scores was North Korea – not because it is not a problem, but because of difficulties obtaining accurate information in the reclusive Stalinist state.
“The sources clearly indicate that the government of North Korea is among the most repressive in the world with respect to religion as well as other civil liberties,” the report said. “But because North Korean society is effectively closed to outsiders, the sources are unable to provide the kind of specific and timely information that the Pew Forum coded in this quantitative study.”
The religious freedom advocacy group Open Doors has listed North Korea at No. 1 on its annual World Watch List of countries most hostile to Christians for the past nine consecutive years.The rest of the top 10 on its 2011 list were Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Laos. Apart from communist Laos, all are OIC member-states.
In 2012, Islamic countries, including Turkey, comprised 12 of top 16 'worst persecutors'.
This year, Uscirf named 16 countries as the most egregious and systematic religious freedom violators in the world and recommended them for official "Country of Concern" (CPC) designation by the U.S. State Department. They are: Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, (north) Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
I thought Afghanistan should be on the list as well and said so in my dissent, which is excerpted further down in this column.
Christians, Jews, Baha'is, Mandeans, Ahmadiyas, Rohingya Muslims, Yizidis, Alevis, Shiite and Ismaili Muslims in Saudi Arabia, African traditional believers in Sudan, Uighur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners, Sufi Muslims, Pakistani Hindus, independent Buddhists in Vietnam, Cao Dai, and many others groups and individuals are persecuted in these 16 countries. They suffer arrest, torture, imprisonment and even death for religious reasons, as well as other pressures. All these groups are covered in the Uscirf report.Christians are far from the only religious group persecuted in these countries. But, Christians are the only group persecuted in each and every one of them. This pattern has been found by sources as diverse as the Vatican, Open Doors, Pew Research Center, Newsweek, and The Economist, all of which recently reported that an overwhelming majority of the religiously persecuted around the world are Christians. Globally, this persecution is experienced by all Christian faith traditions from Pentecostal and evangelical to Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox.
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After the Dec.6,1992 incident in Ayodhya, India (destruction of the disputed Babri mosque) Anti-Hindu forces in the rest of the world reacted as follows:
Pakistan - 242 temples damaged/ destroyed.
Bangla Desh- 357 temples damaged/ destroyed...
Britain - 4 temples damaged.Attacks on 56 other temples in rest of the world.
This reflects the state of religious freedom in that country ten years after the United States first invaded it and overthrew its Islamist Taliban regime.
In the intervening decade, U.S. taxpayers have spent $440 billion to support Afghanistan's new government and more than 1,700 U.S. military personnel have died serving in that country.The last public Christian church in Afghanistan was razed in March 2010, according to the State Department's latest International Religious Freedom Report. The report, which was released last month and covers the period of July 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010, also states that “there were no Christian schools in the country.”
That is despite the fact that Jews have lived in Afghanistan for nearly three millenia, and had a local population that was 40,000 strong as of the mid-1800s
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The last Jew in Afghanistan is known by name. Also, there is only one synagogue left in that country.
But the State Department report says that synagogue is no longer “in use for a lack of Jewish community.”
According to media reports, by the end of 2004 there were only two known Afghan Jews left in Afghanistan. But one died in 2005, leaving just one survivor.
According to the State Department, “in the 20th century, small communities of Bahais, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Sikhs lived in the country, although most members of these communities emigrated during the years of civil war and Taliban rule.”“By the end of Taliban rule, non-Muslim populations had been virtually eliminated except for a small population of native Hindus and Sikhs,” reads the report.
Archbishop Chrysostomos II said that 120 churches have become mosques, museums, or storage facilities and that Turkey is attempting to eliminate Christianity in the area.
The number may increase to 250,000 by the end of 2011, according to Naguib Gabriel, the head of the Egyptian Federation of Human Rights, which released the report.
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Coptic lawyer Mamdouh Ramzy said 100,000 Copts have applied for emigration to the US, and others have applied to go to Scandinavian countries. He added that changes to the demography of Egypt will have extremely dangerous repercussions.
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Surveys suggest most in France do not object to mixed marriages, but in the suburbs the researchers were surprised find “a very large proportion of Muslim respondents said they were opposed to marriages with non-Muslims.”
The survey, which compares data from 2001 to data from 2010, was conducted by the Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (PPIM), an independent research centre at the State Islamic University (UIN) in Jakarta, headed by executive director Jajat Burhanudin.
Each year, the PPIM interviews about 1,200 Muslim men and women, 17 years and older, most of whom are elementary to junior high school graduates.
The data shows that Muslim opposition to churches and non-Muslim religious buildings rose from 40.5 per cent to 57.8 per cent.In 2010, around 27.6 per cent of those surveyed said they did mind if a non-Muslim taught their children at school, a 6.2 per cent increase compared to 2008 (21.4 percent), but still lower than in 2007 (33.5 percent).
The Indonesian Protestant Church Union, locally known as PGI, counted 54 acts of violence and other violations against Christians in 2011, up from 30 in 2010.
The number of such incidents against religious minorities in general also grew, from 198 in 2010 to 276 in 2011, but the worst is perhaps yet to come if authorities continue to overlook the threat of extremism, said a representative from the Jakarta-based Wahid Institute, a Muslim organization that promotes tolerance.
Rumadi, who goes by a single name, said his Wahid Institute also observed an attempt to institutionalize intolerance in this archipelago of about 238 million people, of whom about 88 percent Muslim. At least 36 regulations to ban religious practices deemed deviant from Islam were drafted or implemented in the country in 2011.
A Jakarta-based civil rights group, the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, noted that both the government and groups in society were responsible for the incidents, with the main violators including religious extremist organizations such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).
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The Setara report cited a February incident in which a mob of about 1,500 Muslim extremists brutally killed three members of the Ahmadiyya community, which is seen as heretical by mainstream Muslims, in the province of Banten near West Java.
The report, part of a larger HRW publication monitoring human rights in more than 90 countries, also said violence continued to rack Papua and West Papua. The report said the authorities used excessive force against peaceful protesters in these Indonesian provinces, where a low-level separatist insurgency has been going on for decades.
Elaine Pearson, the group’s deputy Asia director, said attacks on religious minorities and police violence in Papua “got a lot worse in 2011.”
“The common thread is the failure of the Indonesian government to protect the rights of all its citizens,” she said.
The report said senior government officials, including Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali, Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi, and Minister of Human Rights and Law Patrialis Akbar, “continued to justify restrictions on religious freedom in the name of public order.”Incidents of sectarian violence “got more deadly and more frequent” last year, with 184 cases of religious attacks in the first nine months of 2011, the rights group said. Churches as well as Ahmadi mosques and communities in various places came under assault.
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Indonesia's Christians have suffered most, perhaps. The Indonesian Communion of Churches says about 80 churches have been closed each year since President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono took power in 2004, and an additional 1,000 congregations have faced harassment.
In 2006, Mr. Yudhoyono, in a new decree on “religious harmony,” tightened criteria for building a house of worship. The decree is enforced only on religious minorities... More than 400 such churches have been closed since Mr. Yudhoyono took office in 2004.
Although the government has cracked down on Jemaah Islamiyah, an Al Qaeda affiliate that has bombed hotels, bars and embassies, it has not intervened to stop other Islamist militants who regularly commit less publicized crimes against religious minorities.
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Mr. Yudhoyono is not simply turning a blind eye; he has actively courted conservative Islamist elements and relies on them to maintain his majority in Parliament
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One section of this report focused on religious minorities. A total of 214 case reports were recorded by the Statistics section. These reports indicate that during the last year, 378 citizens were arrested, on nine occasions religious minorities were prevented from conducting their religious services . There were four instances of beating, 13 cases of destruction or closure of religious minorities' property, 30 cases of harm to their employment security, three occasions where minorities were prevented from burying their dead. In 18 cases religious minorities were prevented from conducting financial activities, in 106 instances they were summoned by security or judicial entities. İn addition, 186 other cases of Human Rights violations for religious minorities were reported.
Some 116 religious minorities were sentenced to a total of 3,572 months in prison, 204 months of suspended imprisonment sentence, 25 Million Rial (2,500 dollars) of fines, 250 lashes and 1716 months of deprivation of social rights.
From the 214 extracted reports, 274 violations of religious minorities' rights affecting 876 people were recorded. Baha'is with 100 occasions were in first place, Darvishes with 46 instances were in second place, Christians with 29, Sunni Muslims with 26 and Ahl-e-haqs with 6 were in the next places.
In this regard, Baha'is with 47% topped the watch list of the Rapporteurs on Human Rights. Dervishes with 21%, Christians with 14% and Sunni Muslims with 12% were ranked from 2 to 4 on the watch list.This summary report reveals only a small fraction of the broad violation of human rights against religious minorities in Iran. This unit stated that the report reflects only 3% of statistical errors. The news' from news agencies, official authorities of the regime and also NGOs were cited as sources used in compiling the report.
“Before 2003, there were around 2.1 million Christians in Iraq, but now there are not more than 500,000 of them,” Masho said.He criticized the Iraqi government for being unable to protect Christians, and said that it did not even fulfill its promises to compensate them.
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Among the Christian victims of 2010 there are 33 children, 25 elderly and 14 religious. In 2010 Hammurabi recorded 92 cases of Christians killed and 47 wounded, 68 in Baghdad, 23 in Mosul and one in Erbil.
Around 27 percent of minority women faced discrimination in admission to educational institutions and were forced to take Islamic studies for absence of any alternative subject, said National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) executive director Peter Jacob.
A study titled "Life on the Margins" conducted by the commission with rights activists, media and people from various walks of life has just been released.
The research, based on interviews with minority women, was led by Jennifer Jag Jivan and Jacob and assessed by three prominent minority women, Asiya Nasir, Ernestine C. Pinto and Pushpa Kumari.
Jacob said the study looked into social, political and economic conditions of minority women with a baseline survey conducted in 26 districts of Punjab and Sindh, the two provinces where 95 percent of minorities in the country lived.
As many as 1,000 Hindu and Christian women were interviewed.The study looked into issues such as legal disparity, laws concerning minorities, religious and gender biases, forced conversions that affected everyday life of minority women.
These were the findings of an annual report, the Persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan, released by the Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan on Wednesday.
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“There have been 210 deaths after the imposition of these discriminatory laws in 1984, 254 assassination attempts on various Ahmadis, 23 Ahmadi places of worship were demolished and 28 were sealed by the administration, 16 places of worship were forcefully taken over, 29 graves of Ahmadis were opened and desecrated and 57 Ahmadis were refused burial in common graveyards,” the report read further.
The report also read during 2011 Ahmadis were not allowed to build places of worship anywhere in Pakistan.
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Furthermore, without Computerised National Identity Cards, over 150,000 non-Muslims have been unable to register their children for secondary school examinations since 2001.Hindus are also unable to get their marriages registered in the absence of formal laws in the country.
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While authorities claim to have arrested dozens of suspects in attacks against Shia since 2008, only a handful have been charged, and no one has been held accountable for these attacks.
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies scanned about 40,000 Arabic and English posts on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, message boards, and similar sites from January to June 2011.
Wahhabi Muslim clerics are using Facebook and other sites to push extreme anti-Western views."A staggering 75 percent of the Arabic-language posts we saw reflected xenophobic beliefs, or hostility toward the United States, the West, and non-Muslim cultures," FDD Vice President for Research Jonathan Schanzer said.
Turks intolerant of non-Muslims. Please note; The religion of 99% of the population of Turkey is Islam
Furthermore, when asked whether they would feel uncomfortable if people from Turkey's non-Muslim communities were employed by top state institutions, 57 percent of respondents expressed discomfort with the idea of someone from these groups being employed by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), while 55 percent stated that they did not want non-Muslims to be members of the judiciary or the police force.
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The findings on tolerance toward religions are remarkable as well. Ninety percent of the Turkish population reported having a positive view toward Muslims, but this ratio dropped to 13 percent for Christians and around 10 percent for Jews. Those who said they have highly positive views about non-believers of any religion totaled 7 percent.
When it comes to accepting political candidates from different religions, 37 percent of Turks said they would absolutely not accept this and 12 percent said they would most likely not accept it. However, 23 percent said they would absolutely accept it and 24 percent say they would probably accept it. Eleven percent of Turks said people from different religions should absolutely be allowed to organize public meetings to express their ideas, while 24 percent said they should be allowed to do so.Thirty-six percent said people from different religions absolutely should not be allowed to organize such meetings, while 23 percent said they should not be allowed to do so.
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Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland recently said during a meeting that there are currently 16,000 ongoing cases against Turkey, making it the country against which the second-highest number of cases have been filed.
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In its 2010 report, the Strasbourg-based court again listed Turkey as the country most often found to be in violation of the convention. The highest number of judgments finding at least one violation of the ECHR concern cases from Turkey (228)
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In its annual "Report on Human Rights Violations," released in January, the country's Association of Protestant Churches notes mixed indicators of improvement but states that there is a "root of intolerance" in Turkish society toward adherents of non-Islamic faiths.
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The report documented 12 attacks against Christians in 2011, including incidents in which individuals were beaten in Istanbul for sharing their faith, church members were threatened and church buildings attacked. None of the attackers have been charged. In some of the attacks, the victims declined to bring charges against the assailants.
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"There are at least five church leaders who have bodyguards, and at least two have a direct phone line to a police protection unit," the report states. "Several churches have police protection during worship services."
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Along with attacks, Christians in Turkey continue to have problems establishing places of worship.
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The report also identifies state policies that single out Christian children for harassment or vilification.
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“The social inquiries in Turkey show that 40 % of the population does not want to live with the Christian neighbor. And 58 % of them does not want to live with Jew neighbor”, Simavoryan noted.Expert also noted that Armenian community is on the eve of vanishing in Turkey as a result of the intolerance attitude. According to him media is very active in this issue. “Every action by the Christian Church is presented as negative action. Even the churches are presented as terrorist organizations”.
So reads the finding of a survey by the American University of Beirut, that comes at a time when some Middle-East countries are threatening to block certain sites on BlackBerry smartphones.
Taking in more than 2,700 university and high-school students in Lebanon, Jordan and the Arab Emirates, the study, which features in a report in business weekly Arabian Business, shows that around 40% of students are in favour of increased levels of censorship of the Web. Added to these, are 8% who believe that access to web content should be "completely limited or banned".Despite the support shown for censorship by the survey, students have Western habits when it comes to illegally downloading music, games and films. Four out of five interviewees in fact admitted to never having paid for online content despite having downloaded at least one. 
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These are the results of an opinion poll that Capacent har conducted for DR from a sample of 523 Muslims.
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The survey, conducted from 2001 to March 2006, found 43.5 percent of respondents were ready to wage war on threatening non-Muslim groups, 40 percent would use violence against those blaspheming Islam and 14.7 percent would tear down churches without official permits.
Iranian officials have, for over three decades, been waging what they call a "battle against the invasion of Western culture."
This has led to blockades of "immoral" internet sites and banned Western music and movies. However, pirated versions of those are easily available on the black market.The country recently established a cyberpolice unit to better police the internet and even plans to introduce its own national internet, though this has been postponed several times.
Since 2001, at least 50 Christians have been killed after being accused of blasphemy, the NCJP said. The list of victims of Muslim extremists also includes members of other religious minorities as well as Muslims. The Ahmadi community—a Muslim group that does not view Muhammad as the final prophet and is thus deemed heretical by Sunnis and Shias—has lamented the loss of at least 12 of its members this year. Since 1984, 107 Ahmadis have been murdered and 719 arrested.
She denies claims she insulted the Prophet Muhammad during a row with Muslim women villagers about sharing water.
Although no-one convicted under the law has been executed, more than 30 accused have been killed by lynch mobs.Critics say that convictions under the law hinge on witness testimony, which is often linked to grudges.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) deemed 586 Urdu words and 1,109 English words offensive or pornographic, according to reports in local media.
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Included in the list are words such as "intercourse," "condom" and "breast," as well as seemingly ordinary words like "period," "hostage" and "flatulence."
According to the legal expert, who cannot be named for security reasons, in most cases the law is abused by people bent on carrying out a personal vendetta.
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The number of blasphemy-related incidents shot up during Zia’s rule, during which 80 cases were reported to the courts compared to only seven such cases reported during the British rule from 1851 to 1947.
This information was revealed in a report titled: ‘Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan; Historical Overview’ launched on Friday by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS).
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Since 1987, more than 247 blasphemy cases were registered or raised, directly affecting the lives of some 435 people.
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The group [International Press Institute] based its release on a report published by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE, that said 57 journalists are currently in prison in Turkey. As of December, Iran and China each had 34 journalists behind bars.
“While Iran and China topped lists in December by reportedly jailing some 34 journalists each, Turkey, a candidate for membership in the European Union, has nearly doubled that number five months later, raising questions about the country’s commitment to freedom of the press and the legitimacy of its democratic image,”
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The IPI also drew attention to the fact that there are between 700 and 1,000 ongoing cases in Turkey that could result in the imprisonment of more journalists.
A lawmaker from the opposition Republican People’s Party told the newspaper Milliyet: ‘our studies have shown that over 120,000 websites in the country will be closed’ [because of the measure].
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Existing sites containing the offending words will be ordered to close.
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According to the Journalists Union of Turkey, ninety-four reporters are currently imprisoned for doing their jobs. More than half are members of the Kurdish minority, which has been seeking greater freedoms since the Turkish republic was founded, in 1923. Many counts of arrested journalists go higher; the Friends of Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener, a group of reporters named for two imprisoned colleagues, has compiled a detailed list of a hundred and four journalists currently in prison there.
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14 people, including 10 journalists were facing imprisonment by reason of alleged "insult" during the report period. 10 journalists were judged by imprisonment of 28 years and monetary fines of TL 20,000 (€ 8,626) and the others were facing imprisonment of 6 years and TL 10,000 (€ 4,313).
7 journalists were sentenced to imprisonment of 9 months and monetary fines of TL 13,500 (€ 5,822), 6 people were sentenced to imprisonment of 2 years 2 months 20 days and monetary fines of TL 8,480 (€ 3,657) by reasons of alleged "insult", attacks on "personal rights" and compensation claims. A newspaper was sentenced to monetary fines of TL 4,000 (€ 1725).
During the time of the previous quarterly report, 4 people were judged by imprisonment of 77 years 3 months in total within the scope of alleged "insult" and 3 of them were sentenced to 11 months of imprisonment and monetary fines of TL 10,580 (€ 4563).
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In the first 3 months, Özgür Gündem, Atılım, Demokratik Vatan, Demokratik Ulus, Yeni Demokratik Yaşam newspapers seized, suspended and banned under allegations of "propaganda for an illegal organization". The Newroz poster of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and concert posters of Grup Yorum were banned confiscated. An investigation opened about 10 books published by Aram Publishing.
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78% of British Muslims want limits on free speech when it comes to criticizing religion.
Also concerning freedom of speech, as the NOP Research survey reports, "hardcore Islamists" constitute nine percent of the British Muslim population. A slightly more moderate group is composed of "staunch defenders of Islam." This second group comprises 29 percent of the British Muslim population. Individuals in this group aggressively defend their religion from internal and external threats, real or imagined.The scary reality is that only three percent of British Muslims "took a consistently pro-freedom of speech line on these questions."
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- News India Times, March 1993
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- Minority women in Pakistan face harassment: Study - IANS, March 16, 2012
- Hate campaign against Ahmadis reaches new heights - Daily Times, May 3, 2012
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- Saudi Muslims Venting Radical Beliefs on Facebook - CBN News, May 9, 2012
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- Expert: 40 % of Turkish population does not want to live with the Christian neighbor - Times.am, May 18, 2012
- Internet: Survey, half of Arab students favour censorship - ANSAmed, August 6, 2010
- Orla Borg - Muslimer i Danmark: Forbudt at kritisere religion - Jyllands-Posten, April 27, 2009
- For further details, see: Websites Censored by Islamic Governments
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- Pakistan bans 'monkey crotch', 'Jesus Christ' - MSNBC, November 18, 2011
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