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We also have a list of religious tolerance news for this month. 
Sad to say, these are usually much shorter lists.

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bullet2003-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." 11
bullet2003-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.  12

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 religion." 13
bullet2003-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'.14
bullet2003-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?" 15
bullet2003-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 Orthodox.  16
bullet 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 protect society." 17

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  1. DayWatch is a daily service of Maranatha Christian Journal. It provides "a daily summary of news headlines with a Christian perspective..." The newsletter is free on request. Their web site is at: http://www.mcjonline.com 
  2. ReligionToday™ provides free newsletters to which you can subscribe at: http://www.ReligionToday.com. These summaries are part of GOSHEN.net, which also includes LiveIt.net, Devotionals.net, ChristianShareware.net, ChristianClassifieds.net, ChristianMessageBoards.net, BibleStudyTools.net, MediaManagement.net, WorldNewsToday.net, WebCastGuide.net, and ChristianCollegeGuide.net
  3. Reuters is "the world's leading financial information and news group. Their web page is at: http://www.reuters.com/ 
  4. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): E-mail: cair1@ix.netcom.com
    URL: http://www.cair-net.org To join CAIR-NET, CAIR's read-only mailing list: Send subscribe cair-net in the body of a message to majordomo@cair-net.org
  5. EWTN News carries Roman Catholic news from Catholic World News, Vatican Information Service, ZENIT, CWNews.com. See: http://www.ewtn.com/news/ 
  6. Ecumenical News International (ENI) in Geneva Switzerland distributes news free religious news highlights to subscribers. They can be contacted at PO Box 2100, CH - 1211, Geneva 2, Switzerland. Telephone: (41-22) 791 6087/6515. Fax: (41-22) 788 7244 Email: eni@eni.ch. Their web site is at http://www.eni.ch 
  7. ZENIT.org is "an International News Agency based in Rome. Our mission is to provide objective and professional coverage of events, documents and issues emanating from or concerning the Catholic Church for a worldwide audience, especially the media." Their web site is at: http://www.zenit.org/english/ 
  8. Anglican Communion News Service provides information from an Anglican perspective. See: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/index.html A companion Episcopal News Service is at: http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/ens/ 
  9. AANEWS is distributed by American Atheists.
  10. CNSNews.com -- Cybercast News Service -- is a conservative news source. Their home page is at: http://www.cnsnews.com
  11. "Father's words and Hoon Dok Hae," Unification Home Page, 2003-MAR-3, at: http://www.unification.net/news/
  12. 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: http://www.latimes.com/news/
  13. "Court Jails 'Satanist' Heavy Metal Fans," Yahoo! News, 2003-MAR-7, at: http://story.news.yahoo.com/
  14. "Legislators make peace with Muslim prayer. Cleric returns to worship before attentive state House after snub," WorldNetDaily™, 2003-MAR-8, at: http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=31413
  15. "This is True" free subscriptions, and information on book collections or other products is at:  http://www.thisistrue.com They have a free weekly mailing of the most improbable events.
  16. Felix Corley, "AZERBAIJAN: Baptist warned not to hold home meetings," Forum 18, at:  http://www.forum18.org/
  17. "Lionel Tate's case to be presented at U.N. human rights meeting," Associated Press at: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/

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How you got here: Home page > Intolerance news >  here

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Copyright © 2003 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-MAR-7
Latest update: 2003-MAR-24
Author: B.A. Robinson

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