The Week in Review: May 1 thru 7

A Journalist in Turkey Was Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Reprinting a Charlie Hebdo Cover

from Reuters

A Turkish court sentenced two journalists to two years in jail for blasphemy on Thursday, their newspaper said, after they reprinted a controversial cover from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo above their columns last year.

The judgement is likely to inflame concerns about freedom of expression in Turkey, where opposition newspapers have been seized and a number of journalists have been sued for insulting President Tayyip Erdogan.

Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya, columnists for Cumhuriyet daily, had faced jail terms of up to 4-1/2 years for “insulting religious values” after they reprinted the caricature of the Prophet Mohammad following the January 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

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Village Elders in Pakistan Sedated, Strangled, and Then Burned a 16 Year Old Girl to Death Because She Helped a Couple Get Married

by Mushtaq Yusufzai at NBC News

Village elders burned a 16-year-old girl to death in rural Pakistan after she helped a local couple elope, police said Thursday.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Saeed Khan Wazir said the victim’s mother and 15 members of a village jirga — a group that resolves local disputes based on its interpretation of Islam — were arrested on Wednesday over the crime.

The slain girl was named Ambreen but also was known as Haleema, Wazir said, without providing a family name. Police said Ambreen was taken from her home in Makol, which is 22 miles south of the garrison city of Abbottabad in northeast Pakistan, on April 28.

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A Former Student Filed a Lawsuit Which Accuses Rabbi of Raping/Molesting Him Hundreds of Times

by Dave Collins at AP

A Connecticut rabbi is accused of raping and molesting a teenage boy hundreds of times when the boy was a student at a Jewish boarding school in New Haven from 2001 to 2005, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court.

The former student, Eliyahu Mirlis, now 28, of New Jersey, accuses Rabbi Daniel Greer, principal of the Yeshiva of New Haven school, of sexual abuse. The Associated Press generally does not name people who allege sexual assault, but Mirlis wanted to come forward, said his lawyer, Antonio Ponvert.

Greer did not return messages seeking comment Monday and Tuesday. His lawyer, William Ward, said the rabbi denies the allegations and is now forced to prove they are false. Ward asked the public to demand evidence before rushing to judgment.

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After Refusing to Allow Dan Barker to Deliver the First Secular Invocation to the U.S. House of Representatives, the Freedom from Religion Foundation Filed a Lawsuit Against U.S. House Chaplain Patrick Conroy, His Staff, and U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

by The Freedom From Religion Foundation

Today, on the National Day of Prayer, The Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing U.S. House Chaplain Patrick Conroy for barring FFRF Co-President Dan Barker from delivering a secular guest invocation to the House because he does not believe in God.

Barker and FFRF sued Conroy, members of his staff and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who oversees the chaplain’s office, for discrimination against nonbelievers, who constitute one-fourth of the U.S. population.

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, who represents the Madison, Wis., district, sponsored Barker to deliver a guest invocation in February of 2015. The chaplain’s office informed Baker’s staff that it requires “guest chaplains” to be ordained and to submit an ordination certificate. Barker, who was a Christian minister for 19 years, retains a valid ordination, which he still uses to perform weddings.

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A Group of ‘Quiverfull’ Christian Men Are Planning a Retreat, so They Can Arrange Marriages for Their Daughters – Without Their Consent

by Vyckie Garrison at Raw Story

Wanna hear a true American horror story?

A group of ultra-conservative Christian men are planning to meet up in Kansas later this year to arrange marriages for their pubescent daughters … and they don’t believe their daughters’ consent is actually necessary.

Quiverfull patriarch, Vaughn Ohlman, who runs a website promoting early, “fruitful” marriage for Truly True Christian™ children, has announced plans for a “Get Them Married!” retreat where fundamentalist fathers will find, and TAKE, suitably submissive young brides to bear many babies for their adolescent sons.

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After Being Refused Permission to Display a Secular Monument, a Maryland Resident Is Suing His County over Their Courthouse’s Ten Commandments Display

by Heather Wolford and Greg Larry at Cumberland Times-News

Allegany County officials say they will fight to keep a Ten Commandments monument on the front lawn of the local courthouse, despite a federal lawsuit that calls for its removal.

The suit is brought by Jeffrey Davis, of Swanton, who says the structure violates separation of church and state laws. While Davis complained about the monument in the past, this time he filed a civil action lawsuit, dated April 29, in the U.S. District Court.

Civil action number 16CV689 lists the county’s three commissioners as defendants. Davis states in his complaint the monument violates the United States Constitution. Although he lives in Swanton, the complaint states Davis owns property in Allegany County and is a municipal taxpayer.

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Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore Is Once Again Suspended for Refusing to Comply with a Federal Court Ruling – This Time, It’s the U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling About Same-Sex Marriage

by Campbell Robertson at The New York Times

An Alabama judicial oversight body on Friday filed a formal complaint against Roy S. Moore, the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, charging that he had “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority” in ordering the state’s probate judges to refuse applications for marriage licenses by same-sex couples.

As a result of the charges, Chief Justice Moore, 69, has been immediately suspended from the bench and is facing a potential hearing before the state’s Court of the Judiciary, a panel of judges, lawyers and other appointees. Among possible outcomes at such a hearing would be his removal from office.

“We intend to fight this agenda vigorously and expect to prevail,” Chief Justice Moore said in a statement, saying that the Judicial Inquiry Commission, which filed the complaint, had no authority over the charges at issue.

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For the First Time, London Has Just Elected a Muslim to Its Mayor

by Phil Helsel and the AP from NBC News

Sadiq Khan, the son of an immigrant bus driver, became the first Muslim elected mayor of a major Western city after winning the hard-fought contest to lead London.

Khan, 45, was sworn in Saturday at a multi-faith ceremony in Southwark Cathedral, where he received a standing ovation surrounded by London’s police chief, Christian and Jewish leaders, and stars of stage and screen.

“Good morning. My name is Sadiq Khan and I’m the mayor of London,” he told the packed Anglican cathedral, a few miles north of the state housing project where he grew up in the city’s district of Tooting. “I will be a mayor for all Londoners.”

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