The latest Islamic “honor killing” has claimed a feminist and YouTube star in Pakistan. Qandeel Baloch who challenged many religious and cultural norms for women in Pakistan was strangled to death by her brother, who has now admitted to the murder. Waseem Azeem told police that he was tired of ridicule by other Muslims for his nonconforming sisters and “I was determined either to kill myself or kill her.” Despite the universal view that the former option would have been far better than the latter, he decided to choke the life out of his own sister to uphold his view of Islamic morality.
It is the prototypical French scandal: CoiffeurGate. While U.S. leaders are hounded by national security lapses or fraud allegations, President François Hollande is under fire for paying roughly 10,000 euros per month to his personal hairdresser. The unpopular socialist has failed to deliver on key campaign promises and has reversed early disastrous policies that resulted in an exodus of wealthy people from the country. However, his pricey hair maintenance appears the final blow for many who are outraged as the excess of the President. To put it in perspective, Holland’s hair costs roughly the same as what one of his government ministers make in a year. What is particularly curious is that there does not appear a whole lot of hair up there to cultivate, but it is enough for a wonderfully French scandal.
Turkey’s rising dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has prevailed from a military coup — a victory claimed in the name of the very democracy that Erdogan has been systemically disassembling. We have followed the ruin brought to the once fledging democracy of Turkey by Erdogan. His government has arrested the very journalists that he counted on to spread the word of his resistance, including Western reporters like Dutch journalist, Ebru Umar, a well-known atheist and feminist journalist. Umar wrote a piece critical of Erdoğan for the Dutch daily Metro, extracts of which she then tweeted. Her last tweet chillingly said “Police at the door. No joke.” Now, with the support of the United States and opposition parties, Erdogan has cloaked himself as the very personification of freedom and is clearly moving to wipe out any remaining opposition in the military and country with the justification of the coup. While no one should support a military coup, we should not delude ourselves: a dictator has survived and democracy in Turkey will die with his rise.
There is an interesting question of liability raised in a frightening encounter of a wedge-tailed eagle and a little boy at a wildlife show in central Australia. The eagle tried to fly away with a terrified boy at a popular wildlife show in central Australia at the Alice Springs Desert Park. Fortunately the boy only suffered superficial injuries. The question in torts is one of animal liability, though the laws in Australia are different.
Israel is in the midst of a growing controversy over the replacement of chief rabbi, Brig. Gen. Rafi Peretz, of the Israeli Defense Forces. His replacement will be Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim, who has been denounced for suggesting that Israeli soldiers are morally justified in raping Muslim women during wartime as well as other misogynistic statements.
The growing tensions in the South China Sea just got more tense. A tribunal in the Hague has ruled that there is no legal basis for China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea. With a huge investment in the construction of artificial islands, China has responded by simply dismissing the arbitration ruling on international law. China boycotted the proceedings before the five-member panel from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. Many felt that the boycott reflected the weakness of the Chinese claims, which were unanimously rejected by the panel. Immediately after the ruling, China issued a statement that said that China “solemnly declares that the award is null and void and has no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it.”
We have previously discussed cases involving the view of many Muslims that dogs are unclean. Now, Saudi Arabia has again taken Islamic values to a far extreme by arresting two men for simply organizing a dog pageant in Jeddah. That’s it. They simply wanted to pick the 10 best dogs in the Kingdom so they were arrested for an “un-Islamic” act .