NEWS OF RELIGIOUS CONFLICT & INTOLERANCE DURING 2003-MAR.
|2003-MAR-2: Unification leader blames Jews for the Nazi Holocaust:
In a speech to his followers in Arlington VA, Rev. Sun Myung Moon -- the
founder of the Unification Church -- said: "Who are the Jewish members
here, raise your hands! Jewish people, you have to repent. Jesus was the
King of Israel. Through the principle of indemnity Hitler killed 6 million
Jews. That is why. God could not prevent Satan from doing that because
Israel killed the True Parents. Even now, you have to determine that you
will repent and follow and become one with Christianity through Rev.
Moon....If you follow Rev. Moon, you will not go down. In the future those
who hear my words and believe will go to heaven, those who don't will
not." Rev. Moon also discussed the creation of a theocracy in Korea.
He stated: "To unify Korea we must unify church and state. We must
establish a political party and then unify church and state."
|2003-MAR-5: WA: Republican lawmaker attacks Islam: The state
House of Representatives in Olympia, WA has traditionally invited a
religious leader to deliver a prayer at the start of each week's session.
In the past, priests, Buddhist monks, Protestant ministers, Muslim imams,
and Native American shamans have performed this function. On MAR-3, it was
a Muslim cleric, Mohamad Joban. Lois McMahan (R-26), an Evangelical
Christian, declined to attend. She
is reported as saying: "For personal reasons, I chose to remain off of
the House floor." She allegedly told a reporter: "It's an
issue of patriotism. The Islamic religion is so ... part and parcel with the
attack on America. I just didn't want to be a part of that. Even though the mainstream Islamic religion doesn't profess to hate
America, nonetheless it spawns the groups that hate America."
Cary Condotta (R-12) walked out of the room while the prayer was in
progress. Mohammad Joban, in an interview, said: "If it's true, they
did not know better. They probably have never met a Muslim. My fellow
Muslims are citizens of America. We are dedicated to America. We love
America. So I say to them, 'Meet me, talk to me, read the holy Koran, and
then you will respect me'." Some Muslim groups asked that Republican
Party leaders apologize, and a repudiate McMahan's and Condotta's acts.
None was received. No non-Muslim group came to the defense of Islam.
Imam Mohamad Joban was invited to return to the House of
Representatives and deliver the opening prayer on MAR-7. After the prayer,
Representatives McMaha and Condotta shook the cleric's hand and apologized
for their previous actions. Joban accepted the apologies and invited the
politicians to visit him at the Islamic Center of Olympia. He said,
in part, "We pray that God guides the hearts of all good people of all
faiths to see what we all have in common and pray that it makes us a
stronger community in nation."
In a written statement, McMahan said she stood at her desk on MAR-7 "to
show my support for Imam Mohamed [sic] Joban's God-given freedom of
|2003-MAR-7: Morocco: Fourteen musicians jailed: Fourteen heavy
metal rock musicians were given jail sentences ranging from one to twelve
months. They were found guilty of "possessing objects which infringe
morals" and of "acts capable of undermining the faith of a Muslim."
Morocco, like many other Muslim countries and Greece lack religious
freedom. In the case of Morocco, one can receive a jail sentence of up to
three years for attempting to convert a Muslim to another faith. Newspaper
articles had described the accused as "Satanists"
who recruited for an international cult of devil-worship. According to
Yahoo: "Driss Ksikes, chief editor at TelQuel magazine, said that with
this verdict, 'Morocco's young people will not feel at home in their own
country. I think our judicial system needs psychologists if they don't
understand that young people are by essence subversive and like to shock'."
|2003-MAR-16: "This is True" included the following item in their
weekly mailing: "Local councils across Britain have ordered schools to
not serve hot cross buns for Easter to avoid offending non-Christians. One
London-area council said there had been 'a lot' of complaints about the
ecclesiastical pastries, but when pressed could not come up with an actual
number. A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain called the ban
'very, very bizarre,' noting that 'British Muslims are very concerned
about the upcoming war with Iraq and are hardly going to be taken aback by
a hot cross bun.' The buns date back more than 2000 years and came out of
pagan tradition.(London Telegraph) ...How come the PC squads never
consider the offense their actions cause people of common sense?"
|2003-MAR-19: Baptist in northwestern Azerbaijan ordered to cease
preaching: According to Forum 18: Anzor Katsiashvili, a Baptist in
Belokani, Azerbaijan was ordered by the local procurator to stop holding
religious meetings in his home. He is apparently in a Catch 22 situation:
he was told that, as a non-citizen, he was not permitted to preach.
However, he has been refused citizenship in the past because he is a
preacher. Ilham Babayev, head of the local passport department, denied
that his office had obstructed Katsiashvili's application for Azerbaijani
citizenship and local registration. He said: "As soon as he comes in
we'll give it to him - tomorrow if necessary." Azerbaijan is a
multi-faith country whose people are about 93% Muslim and 5% Russian
2003-MAR-23: Two child murderers to be discussed at UN: Two
16 year old youths are having their cases discussed at the United
Nations Human Rights Commission. Lionel Tate was 12 years of age when he was sentenced to
life in prison without parole for killing a 6-year-old girl in
Florida. Nathaniel Brazill was 13 when he fatally shot his teacher.
He was given a 28 year prison sentence. Rev. Thomas Masters is
president of Under Our Wings, a group working to eliminate
the adult prosecution and punishment of children. He has discussed
the cases at the Vatican and will present them to the UN body in
Geneva this week. According to the Associated Press, "Laws
in Florida and many other states allow lengthy adult sentences for children and send some...to prison for
life without parole. Opponents say those laws are inhumane,
immoral and unjust while supporters argue they are needed to
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news source. Their home page is at:
- "Father's words and Hoon Dok Hae," Unification Home Page,
- Tomas Alex Tizon, "Under Fire for Prayer Stand: Decision by a GOP lawmaker to forgo an
Islamic service at state House angers many," Los Angeles Times, 2003-MAR-5, at:
- "Court Jails 'Satanist' Heavy Metal Fans," Yahoo! News,
- "Legislators make peace with Muslim prayer. Cleric returns to worship before attentive state House after snub," WorldNetDaily™, 2003-MAR-8, at:
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- Felix Corley, "AZERBAIJAN: Baptist warned not to hold home
meetings," Forum 18, at:
- "Lionel Tate's case to be presented at U.N. human rights meeting,"
Associated Press at:
Copyright © 2003 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2003-MAR-7
Latest update: 2003-MAR-24
Author: B.A. Robinson