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Iran: 3 Women Chained to Men and Paraded in Tehran

NCRI – Iran’s fundamentalist regime this week enchained and paraded three young women and two men in central Tehran, a derogatory act used to discourage social dissent by Iranian youths.

The degrading street-parade took place on Monday. All five victims were chained together and paraded on the back of a Toyota truck from the Lashgar Junction until Monirieh Square.

The suppressive security forces driving the truck repeated honked the horn to draw attention, but passers-by were visibly distraught and angered by this medieval and degrading act.

Authorities frequently parade young men, forced to sit backwards on donkeys, in their local neighborhood so as to embarrass and humiliate them. Previous such barbaric acts of parading youths targeted young men on charges of disregarding nightly curfews or showing disrespect towards security agents. This time women were also a major target.

Also this week two women were hanged in Iran.

In the first case, the mullahs’ regime on Wednesday hanged a 43-year-old mother in a prison in the city of Karaj, in Alborz Province, north-west of Tehran.

The woman, identified as Ms. Pari-Dokht Molai-Far, was hanged in the notorious Qezelhesar Prison. The mother of one had been imprisoned in the notorious Qarchak Prison for Women in the city of Varamin for the past three years and was transferred to Qezelhesar to face execution.

Qarchak Prison, also referred to as ‘Qarchak Death Camp’, was used by the Iranian regime as a place to brutally torture and rape those arrested during the 2009 anti-regime popular protests. The death of at least four young protesters under torture in Qarchak turned into a scandal for the Iranian regime.

A second woman was hanged in Iran on Thursday. She was among five prisoners who were hanged in the Shahab Prison in the south-eastern city of Kerman.

The deputy chief of the regime’s Social Security Organization on Thursday acknowledged the mullahs’ misogynist policies in Hassan Rouhani’s government.

Some 50,000 female employees have been fired from work in the past 18 month alone, the state-run news agency ISNA quoted the official as saying, adding that the dismissals took place while the women were on pregnancy leave.

In recent days, women in Iran’s western Kurdistan region have once again come under acid attacks by organized misogynist gangs affiliated to the regime.

RELATED ARTICLE: Iran: Men bound and humiliated in public before being charged

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of image is from a ceremonial Shia Ashura procession that celebrates the heroism of the prophet Mohammad’s grandson, Hussein, and his family. The girls and women in the photo symbolize Hussein’s sister, who was taken in chains to Damascus after he was beheaded.

Iran Book: How to Outwit U.S. and Destroy Israel

Palestine-by-Khamenei-240x300

Read Amir Taheri’ s highlights from a Shiite Islamic theocratic book by Ayatollah Khamenei published in today’s New York Post. It is a veritable manual on how he intends to erase Israel and replace it with a Muslim dominated state, “Palestine” the title of his road map.Justification for this Khamenei explains in this tract is rooted in Islamic that all places conquered by the sword of Jihad are a trust forever decreed by their god Allah and must be retaken and population subjugated and treated as dhimmi with few rights. His technique is to use low intensity conflicts making life uncomfortable for the majority Jewish population in Israel. Hence the rocket wars from proxies Hamas and potentially Hezbollah as occurred during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. These asymmetrical conflicts coupled with the threat of a nuclear attack by Iran would under Khamenei’s plan would force the vast majority of Jewish Israelis to return to their countries of origin.

Only such Jews could remain as subjugated dhimmi in his Muslim version of a state if they can prove they are descended from the original inhabitants. He would sponsor a referendum for eligible Palestinians to return, including the majority of residents in Jordan. Clearly Ayatollah is reflecting on how well President Obama caved to his demands during negotiations for the nuclear pact endorsed by the UN Security Council isolating Israel in the process. When translated from Farsi into Hebrew and English Khamenei’s “Palestine” will doubtless provide fodder for Israelis and Americans urging rejection of the Iran nuclear pact and consider taking pre emptive actions to quash the Ayatollah’s nightmarish pan Islamic plot. Maybe its time for their nemesis, the Dajjul their feared Jewish equivalent of an evil anti Shia jinn to arise from Khorosan with a force to destroy their apocalyptic vision. Just like the legendary Jewish rising in ancient Persia read in the Megillah of Queen Esther during the Festival of Purim, when the plot of Haman the agagite, vizier to King Achashverosh, to destroy all Jews was foiled and both he was hung along with his ten sons. Perhaps Khamenei is the contemporary Haman the agagite and will suffer the same fate at the hands of his own people. Alevai!


Iran publishes book on how to outwit U.S. and destroy Israel

by Amir Taheri, New York Post, August 1, 2015:

While Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama do their best to paper over the brutality of the Iranian regime and force through a nuclear agreement, Iran’s religious leader has another issue on his mind: The destruction of Israel.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has published a new book called “Palestine,” a 416-page screed against the Jewish state. A blurb on the back cover credits Khamenei as “The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”

A friend sent me a copy from Iran, the only place the book is currently available, though an Arabic translation is promised soon.

Obama administration officials likely hope that no American even hears about it.
‘Reclaiming Muslim lands’

Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state.

He uses three words. One is “nabudi” which means “annihilation.” The other is “imha” which means “fading out,” and, finally, there is “zaval” meaning “effacement.”

Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon. His position is instead based on “well-established Islamic principles.”

One such principle is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. What matters in Islam is ownership of a land’s government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims.

Khomeinists are not alone in this belief.

Dozens of maps circulate in the Muslim world showing the extent of Muslim territories lost to the Infidel that must be recovered.

These include large parts of Russia and Europe, almost a third of China, the whole of India and parts of The Philippines and Thailand.

However, according to Khamenei, Israel, which he labels as “adou” and “doshman,” meaning “enemy” and “foe,” is a special case for three reasons.

The first is that it is a loyal “ally of the American Great Satan” and a key element in its “evil scheme” to dominate “the heartland of the Ummah.”

The second reason is that Israel has waged war on Muslims on a number of occasions,thus becoming “a hostile infidel,” or “kaffir al-harbi.”

Finally, Israel is a special case because it occupies Jerusalem, which Khamenei describes as “Islam’s third Holy City.”

He intimates that one of his “most cherished wishes” is to one day pray in Jerusalem.
‘Israel fatigue’

Khamenei insists that he is not recommending “classical wars” to wipe Israel off the map. Nor does he want to “massacre the Jews.” What he recommends is a long period of low-intensity warfare designed to make life unpleasant if not impossible for a majority of Israeli Jews so that they leave the country.

His calculation is based on the assumption that large numbers of Israelis have double-nationality and would prefer emigration to the United States and Europe to daily threats of death.

Khamenei makes no reference to Iran’s nuclear program. But the subtext is that a nuclear-armed Iran would make Israel think twice before trying to counter Khamenei’s strategy by taking military action against the Islamic Republic.

In Khamenei’s analysis, once the cost of staying in Israel has become too high for many Jews, Western powers, notably the US, which have supported the Jewish state for decades, might decide that the cost of doing so is higher than possible benefits.

Thanks to President Obama, the US has already distanced itself from Israel to a degree unimaginable a decade ago.

Khamenei counts on what he sees as “Israel fatigue.” The international community would start looking for what he calls “a practical and logical mechanism” to end the old conflict.

Khamenei’s “practical and logical mechanism” excludes the two-state formula in any form.

“The solution is a one-state formula,” he declares. That state, to be called Palestine, would be under Muslim rule but would allow non-Muslims, including some Israeli Jews who could prove “genuine roots” in the region to stay as “protected minorities.”

Under Khamenei’s scheme, Israel, plus the West Bank and Gaza, would revert to a United Nations mandate for a brief period during which a referendum is held to create the new state of Palestine.

All Palestinians and their descendants, wherever they are, would be able to vote, while Jews “who have come from other places” would be excluded.

Khamenei does not mention any figures for possible voters in his dream referendum. But studies by the Islamic Foreign Ministry in Tehran suggest that at least eight million Palestinians across the globe would be able to vote against 2.2 million Jews “acceptable” as future second-class citizens of new Palestine. Thus, the “Supreme Guide” is certain of the results of his proposed referendum….

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‘Islam’s Biggest Rock Star’ Banned in Iran After Performing in Israel

This story illustrates the intransigence of the mullahcracy and the depths of its Jew-hatred. Sami Yusuf didn’t perform for Israeli Jews, but for Muslims — but he did it in the “occupied territories,” and that was enough for the Iranians.

This is the regime that the Obama Administration is enabling to get nuclear weapons.

“‘Islam’s biggest rock star’ banned in Iran after performing in Israel,” i24 News, July 29, 2015:

“Islam’s biggest rock star” has been banned on Iran’s state-run television because he recently performed in an Israeli city, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.

Sami Yusuf, 35, who left Tehran for Britain with his family when he was three, performed for Israeli Arabs and Palestinians in Nazareth during the Ramadan.

Entekhtab, an Iranian news website, reported, “Sami Yusuf’s recent trip to the occupied territories (Christian and Jewish holy sites including the site of the baptism of Jesus Christ) is the reason why his works are banned from the state television.”

The singer issued a statement Monday on Instagram, Facebook and his website, writing: “I was very surprised to hear that the official state TV and Radio for the Islamic Republic of Iran has banned my music and likeness due to my recent performance in Nazareth.

“I was not aware that bringing smiles to the faces of my beloved Palestinian brothers and sisters could cause such offense to the government of Iran. I am sorry that my precious listeners in Iran will be denied my music for sometime, but I will not apologize for performing in Palestine.

“Music is permeable and was never meant to be confined to borders nor used for political ends, rather, it was meant to echo freely throughout space and time. May we one day see a Free Palestine.”

Yusuf, 35, who Time magazine has called Islam’s biggest rock star, is one of Britain’s most famous Muslims worldwide.

Traveling to Israel is a crime in Iran punishable by up to five years in prison.

RELATED ARTICLE: Ireland: Muslim cleric who led anti-ISIS demo praises Hamas jihadis

Raha Bahreini: Iran is Ruthlessly Crushing All Dissent

Raha Bahreini is an Iranian-Canadian human rights lawyer and advocate. She is the Iran researcher for Amnesty International and works to raise awareness of the multitude of cases of human rights abuses perpetrated by the Iranian regime.

She tweets here.

 One of the cases she is working on is that of Atena Farghandani, an Iranian cartoonist and human-rights advocate who lampooned the Iranian legislators by drawing them as animals, criticizing them for passing a law which severely restricts birth control for men and women.

For this, she was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison.

Raha Bahreini graciously agreed to speak with Clarion Project Research Fellow Elliot Friedland about the case.

Atena Farghandani's cartoon depicting Iranian legislators as animals.

Atena Farghandani’s cartoon depicting Iranian legislators as animals.

Clarion Project: When and how did the case of Atena Farghandani come to your attention? 

Raha Bahreini: Amnesty International first started working on the case of Atena Farghadani in February 2015 when she had started a hunger strike in protest at her detention in Gharchak Prison, in the city of Varamin.

Gharchak prison has no section for political prisoners and where conditions of detention are extremely poor.

On 25 February Atena Farghadani’s lawyer said that she had suffered a heart attack and had briefly lost consciousness as a result of her hunger strike. At the time, Atena Farghadani had said that she would not end her hunger strike unless the authorities met her request to transfer her to Tehran’s Evin Prison.

On 26 February she was taken to a hospital outside prison.

Atena Farghandani. (Photo: Justice for Iran)

Atena Farghandani. (Photo: Justice for Iran)

Clarion: She has been sentenced to 12.5 years just for drawing a cartoon. What is the Iranian regime so afraid of? 

Bahreini: Atena Farghadani’s conviction and long prison sentence is absurd but frightening.

It shows that the Iranian authorities stop at nothing in their attempts to frighten young activists into silence and submission and crush their hopes for a brighter future. Atena Farghdani is among dozens of women activists who have been arbitrarily arrested and jailed in Iran for vaguely worded  charges such as “spreading propaganda against the system”, “insulting state officials” and “gathering and colluding against national security.”

These charges are frequently used by the authorities to curb the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression, and squeeze the life out of Iran’s civil society.

Amnesty International Iran Researcher Raha Bahreini. (Screenshot)

Amnesty International Iran Researcher Raha Bahreini. (Screenshot)

Clarion: What is Amnesty International doing to pressure the Iranian regime to release her? 

Bahreini: Amnesty International has issued numerous urgent actions and press releases to raise awareness about the appalling way in which Iranian judicial authorities have treated Atena Farghadani and violated her rights to freedom of expression and association.

Touched and outraged by this terrible story of injustice, tens of thousands of Amnesty members and supporters from around the world have raised their voice and signed Amnesty International petitions.

In May 2015, Amnesty International UK held a demonstration in front of the Iranian Consulate in London and tried to deliver 33,681 signatures to the Iranian authorities.

Amnesty International UK tried to deliver 33,000 of these signatures to the Iranian consulate in UK but the authorities refused to accept it.

Since then tens of thousands of more signatures have been collected in different countries and we are mailing them to the Iranian authorities.

Supporters of Amnesty International attempt to deliver a petition demanding the release of Atena Farghandani to the Iranian Consulate in London. (Photo: Supplied).

Supporters of Amnesty International attempt to deliver a petition demanding the release of Atena Farghandani to the Iranian Consulate in London. (Photo: Supplied).

Clarion: What can ordinary people do to support the campaign to release her? 

Bahreini: We encourage people to write in Persian, English or their own language calling on the Iranian authorities to release Atena Farghadani immediately and unconditionally.

She is a prisoner of conscience held solely for the peaceful exercise of her rights to freedom of expression and association, urge Iran to ensure that her conviction and sentence are quashed; and remind them that Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party, protects the right to freedom of expression, which includes artistic activities.

The appeals should be sent to the following authorities:

Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: (via website) http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter
Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English), @Khamenei_ar (Arabic), @Khamenei_es (Spanish).
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, 2 Azizi Street intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency 

President of the Islamic republic of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
The Presidency
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter:@HassanRouhani (English), @Rouhani_ir (Persian)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, seated before a picture of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, seated before a picture of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.

Clarion: The Iranian regime is trying to muzzle all forms of free speech. Do you see human rights activists like Atena growing in number?

How can future activists be protected from suffering the same repression as Atena? 

Bahreini: Yes, Atena Farghdani is among hundreds of human rights activists who have been and continue to be sentenced to years in prison on charges stemming from her peaceful activism.

In the same month that Atena Farghdani was sentenced to 12 and a half years in Prison, two other young human rights activists with whom she worked, Atena Daemi and Omid Ali Shenas were also sentenced to more than a decade in prison. Such harsh and unjust sentences seem to be part of a disturbing trend in Iran, where the cost of voicing peaceful dissent is escalating.

Punishments are now even worse than those issued in the post-2009 election crackdown

Generations of young activists in Iran have been targeted for arbitrary arrest and detention in a ruthless attempt to crush dissent.

In order for this appalling situation to change, the Iranian authorities must immediately amend laws that include vague and overly broad national security-related offences or offences such as “insulating officials or Islamic principles” that criminalise the exercise of civil and political rights.

They must also address serious abuses in Iran’s criminal justice system including in relation to the independence of the judiciary, the lack of legal safeguards against torture and other ill-treatment, lack of access to an independent lawyer of one’s own choosing, and the right to reparation and remedy for victims of human rights violations.

For years, these shortcomings have facilitated a fast-track to prison for countless dissidents and peaceful demonstrators.

Iran’s criminal justice system requires a major overhaul in all these areas in order to put an end to this system of repression and ensure that future activists are protected from the repression suffered by the likes of Atena Farghdani.

A guard at Iran's notorious Evin Prison. (Photo: © Reuters)

A guard at Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion: Do you have a message for Atena and others in Iran suffering under the repressive dictates of the regime? 

Bahreini: The momentum for change within Iran is being driven primarily by a courageous movement of human rights defenders and activists.

These people have highlighted miscarriages of justice and human rights abuses and called, bravely, for freedom and justice.

Amnesty International stands in solidarity with these struggles. Our vision is for every person in Iran and elsewhere in the world to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Amnesty International Researcher Raha Bahreini. (Source: Facebook)

Deal Leaves Behind 3 Americans Cruelly Imprisoned in Iran by Meira Svirsky

Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been held in an Iranian prison since 2012, said that no deal should have been signed until Iran agreed to release the American citizens being held in Iran.

Far from the pronouncement by U.S. President Barack Obama that insisting on the Americans’ release would have weakened the hand of the U.S. in negotiations, making a deal contingent on their release could have easily been incorporated into any agreement.

Three Americans who are being held on dubious and falsified charges and who are suffering severe health issues could certainly have been released in a “magnanimous” humanitarian gesture by the Islamic republic.

Abedini, 35, was arrested in Iran while setting up an orphanage for children. Although he is now an American citizen, he travelled frequently to his native country to visit family and help the country’s citizens. He was charged with undermining state security and received an eight-year prison term.

His family reports he has been beaten severely and now suffers from life-threatening injuries for which he is not receiving adequate medical treatment

“The Iranian government claims to want constructive engagement with the world. Yet, Iran refuses to free Boise [Idaho] Pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned since 2012,” said U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho)  in a statement.

Another lawmaker from Idaho, Senator Jim Risch, similarly weighed in saying, “The failure of the administration to secure the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini, which should have been a simple task, even at the outset of negotiations, has been ignored despite the chorus of pleas to achieve this goal.” Other Abedini supporters questioned Obama’s statement that releasing Abedini is a “priority.”

Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, who has been helping the Abedini family, said in a statement. “It is unconscionable that the Obama Administration would sign a deal with Iran without securing the freedom of Pastor Saeed who has been imprisoned for nearly three years simply because of his Christian faith.”

“President Obama told the Abedini family face-to-face that he considered the release of Pastor Saeed a ‘top priority.’ How could that be a ‘top priority’ when a deal is reached and Pastor Saeed is left behind??” he asked.

Two other Americans are being held in Iran:

Jason Rezaian

Jason Rezaian

Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaianand bureau chief for the Washington Post in Tehran, was arrested close to a year ago in what was originally called a “technical investigation.” After seven month in prison, Iran charged Rezaian with being a spy, saying he gave sensitive information about Iran and its economy to “hostile governments.” He was also charged with “spreading propaganda.” A sporadic trial, under the auspices of a particularly harsh judge, has been closed to the public and press. Rezaian could face 20 years in prison if convicted

Amir Hekmati

Amir Hekmati

Amir Hekmati, 30, went to Iran to visit his grandmother and other family members. Before he travelled to Iran, Hekmati told the Iranian authorities that he was a former U.S. marine (he had been a translator in Iraq, among other positions in the military) and asked them if that would Amir Hekmati create any problems for him. His paperwork was processed and Hekamti set off for Iran, as he had done without problems on two previous visits.

A few weeks after his arrival, Hekmati was arrested and accused of being a spy for the CIA. A court case in January 2012 rendered a conviction, and Hekmati was sentenced to death. However, three months later the conviction was annulled. Yet to date, Hekmati remains imprisoned in Iran.

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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Iran’s President: “Zionists Have Tried to Block This [Nuclear] Deal but Failed”

Khamenei-Israeli-flag-252x300

Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei trampling Israeli flag after nuclear agreement.

The Obama Administration and the mainstream media are saying that the deal is advantageous to both sides. The Iranians are saying otherwise. Of course, Obama and the mainstream media may not think that a deal that harms Israel is disadvantageous.

“Hailing deal, Rouhani slams ‘usurper Zionist regime,’” Times of Israel, July 14, 2015:

Toward the end of an address to the the Iranian people on state television, Rouhani takes a jab at Israel, saying that the Jewish state had “failed” in its attempts to stop the country’s nuclear project.

“Today people in Lebanon and Palestine are happy because Zionists have tried to block this deal but failed,” Rouhani says.

“Do not be deceived by the propaganda of the usurper Zionist regime,” he notes, adding that “the Zionist state has failed in its efforts” to obstruct the deal and Iran’s nuclear program.

EDITORS NOTE: Iran is the greatest exporter of soldiers of Allah (Fitnaphobes). Iran’s mission is to stop the Fitna regionally, globally and establish a neo-Islamic Caliphate. The Caliphate will then become the leader of the Global Islamic Movement whose mission is to stop any and all resistance to Islam and shariah laws (Fitna).

An Iran with nuclear weapons will make this a reality.

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The Iranians continue to show in numerous ways that their hostility to the U.S. has not dimmed to the slightest degree, and that any nuclear agreement with them would be foolhardy in the extreme. For Obama and Kerry, however, it is full speed ahead.

“Iran-flagged ship targets U.S. Navy with laser,” by Barbara Starr, CNN, July 9, 2015:

Washington (CNN)A U.S. Navy ship and helicopter were repeatedly targeted by a laser device on board an Iranian-flagged merchant ship beginning on Sunday in the Gulf of Aden, according to a U.S. defense official.

No U.S. personnel were hurt or equipment damaged in the incidents which ended on Wednesday, the official said.

The bridge area of the USS Forrest Sherman and one of its helicopters were targeted, the official said.

The Navy is not certain exactly what the device was, or how powerful it was, but believes it was not of industrial or military grade quality since there was no damage.The incidents are viewed at this point as harassment from the Iranians.

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Iranian City Offers Combat Training Program for Children

The municipality in the city of Mashhad (a large city in northeastern Iran) has launched a combat training program for children called the City of Quranic Games and Resistance. The program was under the supervision of clerics from the Iranian system of hawzas, Shiite religious seminaries.

Cleric school the children in the Quran and combat

Cleric schools children in the Quran and combat.

According to the official site of the Mashhad municipality, “The purpose of this program that began a few days ago is to introduce the children to the concepts of resistance, war, holy defense, knowledge of the enemy and fighting Saudi Arabia and America.”

Children participating in the combat training program

Children participating in the combat training program.

The children are training in groups of 10-15 in seven different types of martial arts. They wear military uniforms with headbands bound across their foreheads with the word “resistance” written on them.

Iranian human-rights activists say the program is to prepare the children to be jihadis similar to how ISIS is training children in Iraq and Syria.

Children are trained at the camp with weapons

Children are trained at the camp with weapons.

Last month, Iraq’s al-Sumaria satellite TV network reported that the Islamic State had kidnapped at least 1,227 children from various neighborhoods in Mosul to be trained as “Cubs of the Caliphate.” The information was given to the network by the Kurdish Democratic Party spokesman in Mosul, Saeed Mamouzini.

Earlier this month, Iraqi police reported that 500 Iraqi children had been taken by the terror organization, 400 from Anbar, in the west, and 100 from Diyali, in the east.

The children are subsequently brainwashed and used as fighters, executioners and suicide bombers. Reports surfaced on July 8 that a14-year-old suicide bomber sent by the Islamic State killed himself long with 50 Kurdish fighters by driving a truck filled with explosives into a military checkpoint in Hasakah (northern Syria) Sunday night.

The latest Islamic State execution video shot in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, featured 25 “cubs” ranging in ages from 10-16 who executed 25 Syrian soldiers.

Meanwhile in Gaza,  it is estimated that  close to 30,000 high school students in  in grades 10-12 will have  graduated from paramilitary training camps, by the end of the year, designed to train the students  “to follow in the footsteps of the suicide martyrs.”

With the support of the Hamas government, close to 8,000 students participate in the camps yearly.

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60% of Women in one Iranian Province have Undergone Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation “is a Central African problem. Eritrea has almost 90 percent female genital mutilation. It’s a Christian country. Ethiopia has 75 percent female genital mutilation. It’s a Christian country. Nowhere else in the Muslim, Muslim-majority states is female genital mutilation an issue.” — Reza Aslan

Oops. Wrong again, Reza, and not just about Eritrea and Ethiopia being in Central Africa.

This Al Jazeera article calls FGM a “cultural” practice, but actually it is sanctioned by Islamic law: “Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) (by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the bazr ‘clitoris’ [this is called khufaadh ‘female circumcision’]).” — ‘Umdat al-Salik e4.3, translated by Mark Durie, The Third Choice, p. 64

“Study reveals shocking FGM prevalence in Iran,” by Hajir Sharifi, Rudaw, July 4, 2015 (thanks toThe Religion of Peace):

A new study has found the practice female genital mutilation (FGM) to be common in areas of Iran, refuting repeated government claims that the practice does not exist in the Islamic Republic.

The comprehensive report about FGM in Iran, released June 25 by Kurdish social anthropologist Kameel Ahmady, identified FGM in at least four Iranian provinces, most notably Hormozgan where nearly six out of 10 women had undergone the practice.

The rate of FGM was discovered to be 21 percent in West Azerbaijan, 18 percent in Kermanshah, and 16 percent in Kurdistan, according to field interviews and research conducted by Ahmady and his team.

The southern Hormozgan province, with a rate of 60 percent, had the highest FGM prevalence in Iran. Hormozgan province is one of the most improvised and undeveloped provinces of Iran.

In June 2014, the United Nation’s Human Rights Council in a direct letter to the Iranian government asked Iranian authorities to “accept” the existence of the practice in Iran, and take active steps to eradicate the practice in that country. Women’s rights groups have for many years condemned Tehran for trivializing or officially denying the issue.

The UN noted that Iranian Shiite authorities justified their inaction by framing FGM as a religiously sensitive issue that would cause anti-Shiite sentiment among the Sunni minority if it were banned.

Research shows the four provinces associated with FGM also have high rates of other types of violence against women, such as honor killings, child brides, forced marriage and polygamy.

Religion is used to justify the practice by all practitioners of FGM,” the research found. Among the Sunni Muslims, a branch known as Shafi’i has the highest rate of the practice.

According to Shafi’ie faith, a woman becomes a Muslim only when she is circumcised. Although there are different interpretations of religious directives, Mohammad Rabi’ie, a distinguished cleric in Kurdistan, believes that “FGM is the Prophet Ibrahim’s tradition.”

The followers of the Shafi’ie faith believe that a woman’s sexual desire is harnessed after being cut and whatever she does subsequently become halal, or acceptable to Islam.

It is also believed by some that FGM facilitates marriage by reducing the a woman’s sexual desire and helps her to remain virtues and pious.

The recent study shows that the same religious interpretation dominates the current practice. “They usually believe that FGM was practiced during the early years of Islamic Kingdom when the Prophet’s and Imams’ wives and daughters were circumcised,” Ahmady said.

Among the Kurds in Iran, FGM is mainly practiced by Sunni Shafi’i Kurds who speak the Sorani dialect, but not among Sunni Shafie Kurds who speak the Kermanji dialect. Followers of the Sunni Hanafi sect do not follow the practice, research found.

The Kurdistan province in Iran is predominantly populated by Sunni Shafi’i but there is a Shiite religious minority.

“The prevalence of FGM in Kurdistan is patchy and varies sharply from one region to another,” the researcher said, adding that FGM is mainly practiced in rural and undeveloped areas….

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