Tag: justice

German Government Set To Pay Compensation To Gays Convicted Of Violating Anti-homosexuality Laws

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.

gay-pride-flagA long-overdue measure to compensate persons convicted of violating Germany’s 19th century anti-homosexuality law–since repealed–is to finally arrive. The German government set aside a reported thirty-million euros to be distributed among potentially an estimated fifty-thousand men convicted of homosexuality. The award stems for convictions spanning seventy years since the destruction of the Nazi Government.
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Court Sentences Man To 13 Years For Removing Turkish Flag

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Flag of TurkeyIn an injustice to both the liberty of a Kurdish man and free speech in general a court in Turkey handed down thirteen year sentence to a defendant accused of removing a Turkish flag at a military base near Diyarbakir, Turkey. The disproportionate sentence followed an outraged Recep Erdogan who declared after the act, “[w]e don’t care if he is a child. Even if a child dares to take down our sacred flag both him and those who send him there will pay a price.”

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Woman Beaten To Death And Set Alight In Afghanistan Was Wrongly Accused

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Farkhunda
Farkhunda

If it was possible to add another injustice levied against Farkhunda, a woman who suffered a brutal murder at the hands of a mob in Afghanistan that insisted she burned a Koran, authorities publicly announced she was in fact innocent of these claims.

In response to this outrage, a day of national morning occurred during her funeral and burial. Various leaders including Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned her murder as a heinous attack. Reports of police standing nearby and indifferent to the incident lead the president to call for fundamental reforms in the nation’s police forces.

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Religion, Justice and The Just World Hypothesis

By Mark Esposito, Weekend Blogger

Can religious beliefs actually retard our intuitions for justice and fairness? Research seems to suggest it might well. The Christian religion has imbued Western thought with the fundamental belief that God presides over a just world – one where sin is punished and rightly-held beliefs and actions are rewarded. We see this attitude in every aspect of human interaction. Today, in some sparkling sports stadium an earnest athlete is bound to thank his deity of choice for the good fortunes that befell his team or his game changing performance. By extension, the loser ( a value loaded word if ever there was one) will decry his lack of luck. From the Book of Job to Pinocchio and Cinderella, this belief in what some psychologists call “immanent justice” or “The Just Word Hypothesis” seeks to explain our plight and our success. It also hardens our attitudes about the poor, victims of crimes and those folks either buoyed or sunk by pure chance.

The Book of Job gets us into the mindset. A saintly man if ever there was one as the Bible itself acknowledges, God allows Satan to test Job with all manner of suffering to determine his worthiness. Stripped of his wealth, prestige and power, Job then loses his children and ultimately his health and vigor. Still, Job endures and never ever curses his fate – or his God. He does consult his friends for some inkling as to the cause of his travails. Their answer, which comes like a thunderclap is: “Behold,” one of them declares, “God will not cast away an innocent man, neither will he uphold evildoers” (Job 8:20). Classic “Blame the Victim” mentality from this coterie of advisers.

Puzzled but resolute, Job however concludes that despite his worldly righteousness, he can never know divine justice and according to the story prostrates himself silent before his Master’s “Just World.’ For that, he is rewarded with the resumption of his wealth and status. He even replaces his children with seven new ones. The clear message to the world however is the same: God handles the world’s justice and we are powerless to exact our own except on only the most superficial level.

Jesus himself gets in on the act in the New Testament. Addressing the multitude in the Sermon on the Mount, he has two distinct things to say about justice and our expectations of it: Blessed are…..those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (Matt. 5:6) and Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 5:10). In modern speak, “Don’t worry God will handle it in his own way and, if you let him do so, you’ll get the whole enchilada. The pearly gates, the mansions, those singing and harp-playing cherubim … you, my faithful believer, get it all.”

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Sudan Foreign Ministry States Christian Woman Sentenced To Death For Apostasy Will Be Freed

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

meriam-yehya-ibrahim-apostasy-sharia-law-sudanAfter an international outrage and widespread condemnation following the death sentence of a pregnant, Christian Sudanese woman accused apostasy and adultery for her marriage to a Christian man, the Sudanese Government has publicly stated it would instead release Meriam Yehya Ibrahim from custody.

BBC News reports that Abdullahi Alzareg, an under-secretary at the foreign ministry, said Sudan guaranteed religious freedom and was committed to protecting the woman who was to be release in a few days.

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Lawyer Representing Doctor Accused Of Aiding The US To Find Bin Laden Quits Case After Receiving Death Threats

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Flag of PakistanIn an interview with the BBC, Lawyer Samiullah Afridi said his defense of Dr. Shakil Afridi Would end due to continual death threats against him over the last two years. Samiulla, who is not related to his client, had at one point left the country out of fear for his safety.

We previously discussed the worsening situation for lawyers in Pakistan defending those accused of infamous crimes and civil rights issues in the Murder of Attorney Rashid Rehman.

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Sharia Law Becomes Effective In Brunei: Law Permitting Stoning To Death Of Gays, Adulterers And Apostates Will Follow

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

The Sultan of Brunei
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah

Absolute monarch Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei announced in January a harsh form of sharia law will be enacted. Effective in three phases beginning now and spanning two years, the edict eventually allows for the stoning to death of homosexuals, adulterers, and apostates; for amputation of limbs for those convicted of theft; and flogging for abortions and the consumption of alcohol. The capital offense provisions of the law reportedly apply only to Muslims.

Sultan Bolkiah claims this is a step in solidifying a long cultural tradition in the sultanate which was established in the fourteenth century. Increasingly conservative Muslim politicians and officials in Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia are beginning to move from sharia being limited to family matters to now criminal law and capital offenses. Acheh in Indonesia is included especially. While Brunei enjoys one of the highest per capital income in the world, has many social benefits such as effectively free health care and education, its population of over 416,000 individuals now is seeing human rights restricted in a trend that is generating international condemnation in the West. Al-Jazeera reported that many members of the Muslim ethnic Malay majority have voiced cautious support for the changes. However, non-Muslim citizens, who are fifteen percent of the population, led a rare burst of criticism on social media earlier this year, but largely went silent after the sultan called for a halt.

Emblem of Brunei“Theory states that God’s law is harsh and unfair, but God himself has said that his law is indeed fair,” the sultan said.

But will Western governments be willing to isolate countries engaging in abuses of individuals and oppression of the human rights of populations or is trade and money going to become the focus and inconveniences such as abuse continue to be ignored?

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