Archive for 06/06/2012

Malaysian Clerics Ban Sale Of Soccer Jerseys Containing ‘Dangerous’ Cross Symbol, ‘You Are Only Promoting The Devil’

06/06/2012 Leave a comment

1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Isaiah 5:20-21, 24, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness… who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight… as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust …”

Promotes the devil

Promotes the devil

By Joseph Mayton, Bikyamasr – “ELAKA, Malaysia: The small street seller had all the European club jerseys ready for sale on Saturday evening, as passersby wanted to grab their favorite international shirt ahead of this month’s Euro 2012. But for Portugal fans, the jersey was nowhere to be found.

‘We are not allowed to sell the jersey because it shows a cross,’ the shopkeeper told ‘I still love Portugal and will be rooting for them, but we are an Islamic country and don’t want to get people angry,’ he added.

While it is not officially banned in the country, a number of Islamic clerics have voiced their concern over the jersey, which has a large cross on the front, highlighting Portugal’s Catholic faith. But in Malaysia, symbols often find themselves under attack by the country’s virulent Muslim clerics.

However, one fan, who recently returned from a short trip to Thailand sports his Ronaldo jersey with pride. ‘I don’t care what those people say, this is just football and not religion,’ he said.

Portugal is not the only jersey to be pulled from the shelves. Brazil, which also boasts a large cross, has been barred by clerics. Manchester United, the world’s most popular club team, has also sparked the ire of clerics in the Southeast Asian country over its nickname, the Red Devils.

Despite the Old Trafford side having an estimated 81 million followers in Asia, one senior cleric said: ‘You are only promoting the devil.’

‘This is very dangerous. As a Muslim we should not worship the symbols of other religions or the devils,’ another added, in a Forbes report.

‘It will erode our belief in Islam. There is no reason why we as Muslims should wear such jerseys, either for sports or fashion reasons.’

Either way, Malaysians are gearing up for Europe’s continental tournament and are picking up their team’s jerseys in large numbers.

‘We are getting most of these sold all the time because of the tournament, so it’s good for business,’ added the shopkeeper.

But not for Portugal fans.” Source – Bikyamasr.

Flashback: Malaysia: Rise of Strict Islam Exposes Fears and Tensions, ‘If You Don’t Follow the Mainstream You Will Be Lynched’ – “Muslim women without headscarves are a common sight on the streets of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. But engaging them in a discussion about the hijab is difficult. Norhayati Kaprawi is a Malaysian activist whose recent documentary Aku Siapa (Who Am I) deals with the issue of how women in Malaysia should dress. She found some women unwilling to show their faces in her film – not on religious grounds, but becasue they feared reprisals. This is a damning reflection on Malaysia’s Muslim society, says Ms Norhayati.” Read more.

Australia: At Least 1,400 Fish Found Dead Along 8 Mile Stretch Of Swan River

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By JANE HAMMOND, The West Australian – “More than 1,400 fish have gone belly-up in the Swan River since June 1.

The fish, mostly black bream have been found in a 13km stretch of the river between Bassendean and West Swan.

Swimmers have been warned to avoid the water, not to catch or eat sluggish or dead fish found in the river and to keep pets away from the dead or dying fish.

Parts of the water have turned red and a fishy odour has also been reported associated with a deadly algal bloom.

The deaths are thought to be associated with levels of the potentially fish-killing microalgae Karlodinium veneficum in the upper Swan River.

Microalgae activity levels reported in the Trust’s weekly Microalgae Activity Report have been kept on alert since May 24.

A spokeswoman for the Swan River Trust said officers were on the river today undertaking a cleanup operation.

‘The oxygenation plants at Guildford and Caversham are continuing to be operated to maintain oxygen levels, which is critical as the algae affects the capacity of fish to extract oxygen from the water.

‘The algae is still prevalent in the area, but declining in density,’ a statement on the Trust’s website said.

Karlodinium microalga is found in most West Australian waterways and tends to increase in density between mid-summer and autumn.

‘The Karlodinium veneficum does not present a direct risk to public health but sensible precautions should be taken,’ the statement said.

The fish kill is the second major event of its type this year and follows the death of more than 4000 fish in the river in late January.” Source – The West Australian.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths

‘Disaster’: Disease Threatens National Food Security In Kenya After Maize Crops Destroyed

06/06/2012 Leave a comment

By Gilbert Kimutai – “Local leaders in Bomet county have asked the government to declare a disease that has destroyed maize crops in South Rift a national disaster and compensate the affected farmers.

The leaders said the disease is threatening the national food security and should be declared a disaster as the region will have no harvest this season. They also demanded that the government give alternative seeds to plant. ‘We demand that the farmers be compensated by the government either in monetary form or any other form for the loss they have incurred due to the outbreak,’ said former Bomet mayor Leonard Barsumei in a statement

Barsumei said farmers have suffered irreparable economic damage due to the disease saying the government is fully responsible since they did not act swiftly to avert spread of the disease. ‘We do not want to engage in blame game for the disease but the government is dragging in its feet in finding solution despite outcry from farmers,’ he said. They also expressed dissatisfaction on a visit by top Agriculture ministry official over the weekend to the region saying they did not give enough time to farmers to air their views.

Mr. Barsumei said the minister’s visit and her delegation was a Public relation gimmick meant to blind fold farmers that the government was working on a solution to the menace. Bomet Mayor Joyce Korir said the ministry should send official to access the damage and get the true picture so that farmers can compensate farmers. ‘If the government can had the ability to help flood victims and IDP through compensation then who are the farmers that are feed the entire nation not to be compensated?’ posed Mrs. Korir.” Read more.

India: Muslim Extremists Torch Church, Threaten Christians

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Barnabas Fund – “A 119-year-old church was torched by Muslim extremists in an Indian state where Christians are under mounting pressure; over 400 have fled their homes as a result of threats from Muslims.

The church in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, was set ablaze on 23 May; while the guard was away, the offenders threw a petrol bomb into the building.

Bishop Peter Celestine Elampassery of Jammu-Srinagar said that the Muslim fundamentalists want Christians to leave the state, and because they are a minority, cannot resist the pressure.

He said that the church had filed a case with the police but had been advised not to ‘play up’ such incidents.

Earlier this year, the church minister’s motorcycle was set on fire while parked on the veranda of his residence.

Christians are coming under growing threat from Kashmir’s Muslim majority. A Christian human rights group in India said that over 400 Christians have been displaced as a result.” Read more.

Flashback: India: Christian Couple Distributing Pamphlets About Christianity Arrested in Muslim Kashmir for ‘Promoting Enmity’ – “The Jammu and Kashmir Police has arrested a Christian couple on charges of ‘promoting enmity’ while they were allegedly distributing pamphlets about Christianity in the border township of Bandipora in north Kashmir. The police said the couple from Delhi, along with a local girl, was distributing pamphlets in the Bandipora market when people raised a hue and cry and called the police. Sensing trouble, the police seized the pamphlets and immediately whisked them away for sustained questioning.” Read more.

Flashback: India: Police Detain, Beat Converts from Islam to Christianity in Muslim-Majority Kashmir Valley – “Police in India’s Kashmir Valley detained and beat converts from Islam and were expected to arrest Christian workers after Muslim leaders alleged that Muslim youth were being ‘lured’ to Christianity. Police in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley picked up seven converts who were recently baptized in All Saints Church in Srinagar, a local Christian who spoke to the converts after their release on Nov. 2 told Compass… The source, who requested anonymity, said police beat the converts and asked if Christians had given them money for their conversion. Most of the converts were from Budgam district, about 18 miles from Srinagar, and pastors there fearful of being arrested were in hiding, he added.” Read more.

Uptick In Church Closures, Anti-Christian Attacks In Indonesia

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Compass Direct News – “The number of violations of Christians’ religious rights in Indonesia reached 40 in the first five months of the year, nearly two-thirds the amount of anti-Christian actions in all of last year, according to the Jakarta Christian Communication Forum.

The Christian minority in Indonesia faced 64 cases of violations of religious freedom last year, up from 47 in 2010, said Theophilus Bela, president of the group. Bela said he was worried about the growing incidence of violence and church closures, as his group recorded just 10 anti-Christian incidents in 2009. There were 40 such incidents in 2008, he said.

At least 22 churches have been forced to close this year, including 18 in the Singkil regency of Aceh Province that were sealed last month (see, ‘Harsh Era Looms in Aceh, Indonesia,’ May 16), as local authorities either sided with or came under pressure from extremist Islamist groups in this Southeast Asian archipelago that is home to the world’s largest Muslim population, according to Bela.

The closures in Aceh followed last month’s election of a hard-line Islamic governor. Bela said that after his organization’s intervention the closed churches in Aceh began worshipping again on May 13, but unconfirmed reports indicate other churches in the area have since been forced to close.

Violence against Christians has also increased, with most incidents taking place in areas surrounding Jakarta and Singkil, said Bela, who is also secretary general of the Indonesian Committee on Religion and Peace, a group that promotes inter-religious dialogue.” Read more.

Flashback: Massive Increase of Radical Islamism Spreads Throughout Indonesia, Including ‘Top-Quality’ Universities – “The suicide bombing of a church in Central Java on Sept. 25 pointed not only to a new level of attacks on religious minorities in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country but to a political bent that accommodates Islamist extremism. ‘Radicalization of Islamic teachings and understanding is a problem in Indonesia,’ admitted Dr. H. Nasaruddin Umar, director general of Islamic Community Guidance under the Ministry of Religious Affairs. ‘There’s a need to re-explain the concept of jihad.’ Pino Damayanto, aka Ahmad Yosepa Hayat, who blew himself up wounding over 20 members of the Sepenuh Injil Bethel Church (Bethel Full Gospel Church) in Solo on Sept. 25, apparently believed it was his religious duty to kill ‘the enemies of Islam,’ according to his understanding of ‘jihad.’” Read more.

‘Bizarre’: Thousands Of Dead Sardines Wash Ashore In Isumi City Of Chiba Prefecture, Japan

06/06/2012 Leave a comment

RocketNews24 – “Something terribly fishy is going on at the fishing port of Ohara (pronounced Oh-hara) in Isumi City of Chiba Prefecture, and it has nothing to do with espionage or political corruption. There are tons and tons of dead sardines washing up on the shore, and not only is the sight disturbing, but the huge amount of dead fish is literally smelling up the entire surrounding area.

According to the news, the dead fish started washing up around noon of June 3rd, and as of early afternoon on June 4th, the situation still remained pretty much out of control. The amount of dead sardines that has washed up is thought to total several dozen metrics tons, so you can imagine how bad the smell of rotting fish must be.

We’ve seen the pictures uploaded onto Twitter, and the port looks completely filled with fish – it almost looks like a carpet of sardines. It doesn’t seem likely that any fishing boats will be setting sail from this port soon. There are also, of course, the usual posts and comments on the internet on how this could be an omen, a sign of a coming great natural disaster.

When we inquired with a local inn, we were told that the port was scheduled to be closed from June 1st to 5th, but given the emergency, local fishermen are currently out in full force trying to resolve the situation. Already more than 2 full days into the bizarre occurrence, the smell has to be almost unbearable, but the people of Ohara still have no idea when they will be able to get rid of all the sardines. We sincerely hope they will be able to solve the problem quickly.” Source – RocketNews24.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths
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