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Blasphemy

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OPINION
October 27, 2010
The United Nations General Assembly may soon vote ? not for the first time ? in favor of a resolution opposing the "defamation of religions. " The idea, which may sound appealing at first blush, is particularly championed by Islamic countries, which would like to go even further and have the condemnation enshrined in international law. But a new report by Freedom House, a Washington-based human rights organization, demonstrates how such policies...
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Katy Perry has big life events going on these days. First came the news that she and John Mayer had split yet again, and now the "Roar" singer is reporting that she helped deliver a baby. "Finally you can add 'helps delivers babies in living rooms' to my resume! It's been a miracle of a day...Auntie Katy aka Stylist Auntie," Perry tweeted Wednesday evening. She didn't reveal who the mother was, though on social media fans were congratulating Perry's sister, Angela Hudson.
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NEWS
September 25, 2012 | By Michael McGough
President Obama did an admirable job in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in explaining why the United States does not punish those who engage in offensive speech like the infamous video defaming the prophet Muhammad. He was more expansive in defending protection for unbridled free speech than was  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, though not to the extent of explicitly challenging calls by Muslim leaders -- including the prime minster of Turkey, a NATO ally -- for  "international legal regulations against attacks on what people deem sacred.
WORLD
August 5, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson and Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - If Mexico had a crown jewel, it would be the giant state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex. Year after year, it has poured billions of dollars into the state treasury, historically paying for schools, hospitals, dams, highways, ports and more. The seizure of foreign oil companies 75 years ago that created the company is a cause for annual celebrations affirming Mexico's fierce sense of independence from outside interference. Yet even as the country's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, credits Pemex with building the nation, his administration acknowledges that the notoriously inefficient conglomerate is in trouble: If it is not opened to private and foreign investment, Mexico, the world's ninth-largest oil producer, will become a net energy importer by 2020, officials say. As Peña Nieto moves ahead with a plan to overhaul Pemex, he is navigating the most perilous political minefield of his young presidency.
WORLD
November 20, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A Pakistani court on Tuesday dismissed charges against a Christian girl accused of desecrating the Koran, ending a case that had cast a spotlight on the country's controversial blasphemy law and renewed questions about the treatment of minorities. The Islamabad High Court concluded there was no evidence to support allegations that Rimsha Masih, 14, had ripped pages from the Koran on Aug. 16 and burned them, said one of her lawyers, Akmal Waheed Bhatti. Rimsha spent three weeks in jail but was later freed on bail after police came across evidence they say shows an imam at a mosque in her neighborhood had  ripped pages from a copy of the Koran and planted them in a bag of ashes and trash that the girl was taking to a garbage bin. The cleric, Khalid Chishti, now faces charges of fabricating evidence against Rimsha.
WORLD
June 11, 2013 | By Raja Abdulrahim
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details. Protesters in the embattled city of Aleppo called for justice in the killing of a 14-year-old boy accused of blasphemy, blaming armed opposition groups for the youth's death. The killers have not been identified, but some in the city are pointing a finger at armed Islamist groups, an accusation that could ignite tensions among residents, activists and Islamic rebels in the city, about half of which is under opposition control.
WORLD
September 8, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
An Afghan journalist, whose death sentence for blasphemy was reduced to 20 years in prison on appeal, has been released and is living in exile in an undisclosed country, a media watchdog said. Parwez Kambakhsh, 24, a reporter with the Afghan Jahan-e Now daily, was sentenced to death in January 2008 by a court in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. He was arrested and imprisoned for downloading and distributing an Iranian article from the Internet that said the prophet Muhammad had ignored the rights of women.
OPINION
November 15, 2010
An atheist blogger rants about the idiocy of religion and its adherents, and forms Facebook groups in which he declares himself God and orders his followers to smoke marijuana. Here, we call this kind of thing the new normal. But in parts of the Muslim world, it can get you executed -- and in the West Bank, where a mild-mannered barber was recently arrested on heresy charges for "insulting the divine essence," it's posing a serious test for the Western-backed regime that would presumably rule a Palestinian state, if one ever comes into being.
NEWS
May 8, 1998 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Thousands of mourners Thursday demanded repeal of a law that bans blasphemy against Islam, one day after a Roman Catholic bishop killed himself to protest a death sentence against a Christian convicted under the law. Bishop John Joseph, 65, shot himself in the head Wednesday at the courthouse in Punjab province where fellow Catholic Ayub Masih was tried and sentenced to death April 27. "We should not call it suicide," Lahore Archbishop Emmanuel Yousuf Mani said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 1, 1993
Blasphemy or balance? In the name of the father and the mother, the son and the daughter, and the holy spirit. Amen, awomen, all humankind. SHANNON JACKSON Sierra Madre
WORLD
June 11, 2013 | By Raja Abdulrahim
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details. Protesters in the embattled city of Aleppo called for justice in the killing of a 14-year-old boy accused of blasphemy, blaming armed opposition groups for the youth's death. The killers have not been identified, but some in the city are pointing a finger at armed Islamist groups, an accusation that could ignite tensions among residents, activists and Islamic rebels in the city, about half of which is under opposition control.
WORLD
November 20, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A Pakistani court on Tuesday dismissed charges against a Christian girl accused of desecrating the Koran, ending a case that had cast a spotlight on the country's controversial blasphemy law and renewed questions about the treatment of minorities. The Islamabad High Court concluded there was no evidence to support allegations that Rimsha Masih, 14, had ripped pages from the Koran on Aug. 16 and burned them, said one of her lawyers, Akmal Waheed Bhatti. Rimsha spent three weeks in jail but was later freed on bail after police came across evidence they say shows an imam at a mosque in her neighborhood had  ripped pages from a copy of the Koran and planted them in a bag of ashes and trash that the girl was taking to a garbage bin. The cleric, Khalid Chishti, now faces charges of fabricating evidence against Rimsha.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 14, 2012 | By Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times
Blasphemy New and Selected Stories Sherman Alexie Grove Press: 480 pp, $27 Sherman Alexie's characters live in a kind of dreamscape, a limbo between Native American and white culture, between city life and the reservation. All sorts of fantastic, improbable things happen in this in-between space. Students channel famous Indian warriors in their high school classes. Donkeys are taught to excel at basketball, the national sport of every Indian tribe. Against all odds the Native American characters in "Blasphemy," Alexie's new anthology of short stories, wander, stumble and blunder their way into moments of clarity and redemption.
NEWS
September 25, 2012 | By Michael McGough
President Obama did an admirable job in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in explaining why the United States does not punish those who engage in offensive speech like the infamous video defaming the prophet Muhammad. He was more expansive in defending protection for unbridled free speech than was  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, though not to the extent of explicitly challenging calls by Muslim leaders -- including the prime minster of Turkey, a NATO ally -- for  "international legal regulations against attacks on what people deem sacred.
OPINION
March 9, 2012 | By Jonathan Turley
The recent exchange between an atheist and a judge in a small courtroom in rural Pennsylvania could have come out of a Dickens novel. Magisterial District Judge Mark Martin was hearing a case in which an irate Muslim stood accused of attacking an atheist, Ernest Perce, because he was wearing a "Zombie Mohammed" costume on Halloween. Although the judge had "no doubt that the incident occurred," he dismissed the charge of criminal harassment against the Muslim and proceeded to browbeat Perce.
WORLD
August 27, 2011 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Gunmen on Friday kidnapped the son of a liberal provincial governor assassinated this year in retaliation for his opposition to Pakistan's blasphemy law. The abduction of Salman Taseer's son Shahbaz in the eastern city of Lahore raised concern that Islamic extremists were intent on targeting members of the Taseer family, some of whom have continued to speak out against intolerance in Pakistani society after the Punjab province governor's slaying...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 16, 1996
Every time I hear Joan Osborne sing "One of Us," I bristle. Forget the "controversial" references, this is grammatical blasphemy. For God's sake, the proper usage is, "What if God were one of us." It's conditional tense, and guess what--it sings just as well. So listen up, "songwriters": Let's enrich culture without compromising language. God only knows what's next--I hope not a cover of "If I Was a Carpenter." ZACK DAVIS Studio City
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Katy Perry has big life events going on these days. First came the news that she and John Mayer had split yet again, and now the "Roar" singer is reporting that she helped deliver a baby. "Finally you can add 'helps delivers babies in living rooms' to my resume! It's been a miracle of a day...Auntie Katy aka Stylist Auntie," Perry tweeted Wednesday evening. She didn't reveal who the mother was, though on social media fans were congratulating Perry's sister, Angela Hudson.
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