Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Islam Notes

This Twitter message has a couple of informative links.

Khaled Diab has solid credentials. His name is not a household word in America but his is a well-known and respected voice in the Middle East. 
Khaled Diab is an Egyptian-Belgian journalist, blogger and writer who grew up in Egypt and the UK and has spent around half his life in Europe and the other half in the Middle East, including nearly two years in Jerusalem. He currently moves backwards and forwards between Geneva, Switzerland, and Ghent, Belgium.
al-Baqra 256 refers to a verse in the Qu'ran indicating that this conviction and execution do not conform to the teachings of Islam.

The Newspaper link has details, including these paragraphs mentioning dervishes, a word I have only come across in the context of history. References to whirling dervishes have been part of the shallow, condescending Western caricature of one of the three principal Abrahamic faiths, in contrast to the origins of the term . 

Iranian authorities are sensitive towards those practising Islam in ways not conforming to the official line. In recent years, several members of Iran’s Gonabadi dervishes religious minority have been arrested and are currently serving lengthy prison terms.

Amnesty said last week that a group of nine Gonabadi dervishes were on hunger strike in protest at their treatment in prison. They were Mostafa Abdi, Reza Entesari, Hamidreza Moradi and Kasra Nouri, as well as the five lawyers representing them who have also been jailed: Amir Eslami, Farshid Yadollahi, Mostafa Daneshjoo, Afshin Karampour and Omid Behrouzi. 
“The men were mostly detained in September 2011, during a wave of arrests of Gonabadi dervishes. They were all held in prolonged solitary confinement, without access to their lawyers and families, and were sentenced, after two years and following grossly unfair trials, to jail on various trumped-up charges,” Amnesty said. “The men are prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for practising their faith and defending the human rights of dervishes through their legitimate activities as journalists and lawyers.” 
In Iran, Gonabadi dervishes face persecution, discrimination, harassment, arbitrary arrests and attacks on their prayer houses, Amnesty said.

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