The two videos inside this article are Parts 1 and 2 of a seminar on "The Right of Blasphemy - No to Medieval Trials" which took place in Rome, Italy, on Sunday, October 30, 2016. The seminar aimed at raising awareness of the fierce campaign against the enlightening intellectuals in the Arab world. From assassinating the writer and intellectual; Nahed Hattar in Jordan, imprisoning the Islamic researcher; Islam Behery In Egypt, and the liberal blogger; Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, to sentencing the journalist; Mohamed Sheikh Walad Amkheter to death, to other, endless examples. “Blasphemy”is always a prefabricated accusation of anyone who tries to discuss or think differently. Of additional interest is the fact that the president of the secularist ADHOC organisation that held this very open-minded seminar was Syrian-born Randa Kassis, who recently met with Donald Trump Jr at the French 'think tank' the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, headed by her husband, Fabien Baussart, to discuss US-Russian cooperation. (See "Hope for Syria! Trump's son at Randa Kassis pro-Syrian French think tank in October."
DR NADIA OWEIDAT: "I have felt personally in my entire ten years of being an analyst in Washington [...] that I am constantly accused of being not authentic enough because I'm not an Islamist.
So there's somebody has decided that if you from the region and it doesn't matter like I come from the biggest tribe in Jordan - my tribe goes back to the time of the Pharaohs - [...] but that doesn't make me authentic because I'm not religious. I'm not Islamist. Not just not really, just I'm not Islamist.
So I've had this accusation and its really irritating who has decided that unless an Islamist I'm not an authentic voice from the Middle East. [...]
We have to fight this because this sympathy is really costing the entire world, because it's a huge imbalance in siding with Islamist as authentic. [...]
Political Islamist parties have proven over and over that they are very authoritarian and there's enough of us in the Middle East that are really sick and tired of authoritarianism. We would like to see real human rights, would like to see real engagement. We want to play a role in building our countries and were excluded from from that engagement. [...] Islam is like returning regimes exclude everybody [...] who doesn't carry their vision. It's not even vision their narrow-minded ideology. So this really needs to be tackled [...]" (Dr. Nadia Oweidat: Modern Islamic thought professor.)
It has been very difficult to discover the list of participants and all their names. Below is a list advertised on the International Humanist and Ethical Union, IHEU site in England.
1. Dr. Hamed Abdel-Samad: German-Egyptian writer and critic of Islamism.
2. Dr. Nadia Oweidat: Modern Islamic thought professor.
3. Dr. Saaed Nashed: Moroccan writer and intellectual, concerned with the issues of modernism and enlightenment.
4. Dr. Olfa Youssef: Tunisian writer, author, professor.
5. Dr. Elizabeth O’Casey: Advocacy Director of IHEU and representative at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
6. Mr. Majed Hatar brother of the assassinated Jordanian writer Nahed Hatar
Whilst one can obtain an automated transcript of the speeches via you tube's transcript function, the accuracy is poor. I have tried to transcribe parts of the first and the second speeches and may put these up later.
The deadly nightshade flower - an old symbol for falsehood.
Religion is unethical. It doesn't teach life's grey uncertainties between right and wrong. It preaches a belief system to perpetuate influence of that belief system made of invented rules and myths, and of course prejudice, politics, cronyism and control.
History riddled with it.
Scripture is brainwashing. How are Ron Hubbard's scientological teachings any less dogmatic than the anglican King James Bible or the Uniting Church's Good News for Modern Man Bible?
What is the purpose of projecting a guiding deity? It is to focus the faith of a religious order on a omnipresent mythical guardian so as to charm, enamour, ensnare, spellbind insecure and vulnerable people? Does it just prey on hope of the vulnerable seeking hope?...to thereafter insist on an absolute pledge of life-long loyalty?
Church is a form of cult, with milder varying degrees of orthodoxy, reliant upon the premise of truisms and a methodology of entrapment. So what has 'church' now meant to mean? Medieval christianity pervades our modern society unquestioningly more than we realise. But it has become increasingly irrelevant to the humanistic needs of modern society, evidenced by the demise of patronage and absence of youth attendance.
Children seek direction in life and that is when they are most vulnerable. If religion was barred from children until they were old enough think independently (say 16), then perhaps religion could lay claim that it is not a form of indoctrination and brainwashing, but it ain't. Religious orders intentionally grab children at an early age, knowing that they have them for life.
This warrants public questioning as is currently occurring and these churches are running scared. Old religious orders need to comply with ethical and moral standards of our 21st Century society, else they deserve labeling as fundamental extremists in the same category as the Afghani Taliban.
It is about time ethics, humanism and freethought were taught in schools by independent qualified experts. Humanism is an approach in study that focuses on human values and concerns. Freethought is about forming opinions on the basis of science, logic, and reason, rather than being blindly influenced by authority, tradition, or any other dogma.
Faith? Spirituality? Personally, give me pantheism any day. But I'd sooner worship a fly crawling up the wall before turning desperately to religion.
Religions are all about one group of people trying to dominate others. It is all about power and wars have been fought over it. It preys on the vulnerable. It starts with children while they are vulnerable and brainwashes them. Catholicism is all about controlling people through guilt. Each religion doesn't recognise the other. Look what happened last month at the Mosque of Cordoba.
Religion has held a monopoly on spirituality for eons. Now that our society is free thinking and free spirited, people are realising that their are spiritual alternatives to religion - ones that are orthodoxy-free and diety-free. And of course the dominant religions are worried of losing their sphere of influence. The Sydney Anglican diocese claims a new controversial trial of secular ethics classes has ''decimated'' protestant scripture classes in the 10 NSW schools where it has been introduced as an alternative for non-religious children, with the classes losing about 47 per cent of enrolled students. (Scripture classes lose half of students to ethics, say Anglicans)
The anglican church is so desperate that it has created a fund-raising website to ''protect SRE'' (special religious education). The website says the values underpinning ''Australia's moral framework.''
Morality? Well, another week, another dodgy priest exposed. The christian church has the reputation of a pedophilic cult. Go to any newspaper online and type the word 'priest'. Woa Hoa!Start with the Sydney Morning Herald...
'Priest defrocked over sexual misconduct' (today's headlines)
AN ANGLICAN priest has been defrocked after a professional standards board discovered he had engaged in multiple sexual liaisons, including with at least one woman from his parish.
'Flood of new priest abuse allegations'
A Belgian committee probing allegations of pedophilia by priests has been flooded with complaints since the resignation of a bishop who admitted abusing a boy.
'German priest to leave US in abuse case'
A German priest has been suspended and ordered home from a posting in the US as he faces allegations he abused teenage girls in Germany two decades ago.
'Priest, 83, under house arrest for abuse'
An 83-year-old Brazilian priest detained on allegations of sexually abusing young boys has been moved from jail to house arrest.
'Brazilian priest charged with pedophilia'
Brazilian authorities charged a 74-year-old Catholic priest with pedophilia after eight children in his church choir accused him of sexual abuse.
'Priest sex video on sale in Brazil'
A video of a priest receiving oral sex in a church from a former choir boy was being sold in the streets of Brazil.
'Priest, 84, in sex act with choirboy'
An 84-year-old Brazilian priest caught on camera in a sex act with a choirboy has been arrested and put in detention.
'Belgian priest tells of 300 sexual abuse cases'
BRUSSELS: Belgian bishops have failed to punish any clergy over 300 complaints of child sexual abuse brought to their attention in the 1990s, a priest who helped many victims claims.
'Pope urges Catholic penance over priest scandal'
Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday urged Catholics to "do penance" and a top cardinal called for a mass rally by clergy to support the pontiff under fire over widespread paedophile priest scandals.
'French priest admits child abuse'
A French Catholic priest has admitted sexually assaulting a minor, and sees his arrest as a "deliverance" after years of private torment, his lawyer says.
'Malta hosts pope under priest sex abuse cloud'
Pope Benedict XVI was due to give mass Sunday in front of St Publius Church on Malta, even as the controversy over child-molesting priests followed him to the tiny Mediterranean island.
'Priest jailed over sex with altar boy'
A former Anglican priest has been jailed for a second time on child sex offences.
'More child-sex charges for NSW priest'
A NSW Catholic priest already facing multiple child sex charges has again been arrested over a further allegation of similar offences.
'Vatican accused in new US priest case'
The Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI have come under fire in the US for allegedly covering up for another predator priest and doing nothing to remove him.
'Rome waited to ban pedophile priest'
The future Pope Benedict XVI took over the abuse case of an Arizona priest, then let it languish at the Vatican for years despite repeated pleas from the bishop for the man to be removed from the...
'Vatican comments on US priest case'
The Vatican's lawyer says then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told a bishop to make sure a priest didn't abuse children while the church worked to defrock him.
'Priest suspended over sex abuse'
MUNICH: The priest at the centre of a German sex-abuse scandal that has embroiled the Pope continued working with children for more than 30 years, even though Pope Benedict was personally involved in...
'Church swamped by priest abuse claims'
Norway's Roman Catholic Church received so many tip-offs about possible paedophile priests following revelations of abuse by a bishop that its computer crashed.
'Priest preyed on deaf children, victim says'
ST FRANCIS, Wisconsin: Arthur Budzinski says the first time the priest molested him, he was 12 years old, alone and away from home at a school for the deaf.
'Irish priest defends sex abuse cover up'
A Catholic bishop in Ireland has ordered a priest to remain silent over his views that church officials should not tell police about child abusers.