World Briefs 3-13-12

Download this story in Microsoft Word here

Iranian female activists pose nude to protest women’s rights

Several Iranian women living in exile in Europe have starred in a campaign for women’s equality by posing nude for a series of videos. The women in the videos recited the slogan “I believe in the equality of women and men and my thoughts, my body, my choice,” reported the Daily Mail.

The women also appeared in the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar, released in honor of International Women's Day. The entire campaign is dedicated to an Egyptian woman who posted a nude photo of herself online last year in protest of sexual discrimination in Islam.

“They demand that we be veiled, bound, and gagged. In the face of this assault, nudity breaks taboos and is an important form of resistance,” said Maryam Namazie, who produced the calendar.

-JointMedia News Service

Anti-Israel NGO uses rape image to describe settlers

The official Facebook page of the international NGO “Solidarity Movement” displayed a photo of a woman being raped in order to illustrate how Israel is allegedly being “raped” by settlers of the Migron village. In the picture the woman is pinned down and her mouth is held open. The caption reads: “if they were residents of Haifa, Be’er Sheva or Ashdod they would be in jail. But they are settlers. So shut up, bend down, swallow, you probably know that you want it!!!”

The image was eventually removed but appeared long enough to spark outrage from Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, who released a statement that "Individuals and organizations that claim to promote human rights and liberal values in the context of a broader conversation have a moral obligation to condemn this … This specific image is deeply offensive to women."

The Israeli government actually recently agreed to evacuate settlers from Migron by 2015, though Israel’s Supreme Court could order the site dismantled by the end of this month, the Los Angeles Times reported.

-JointMedia News Service

Ambassador says Obama is focused on improving relations with Muslims

Click photo to download. Caption: Ambassador Alan Solomont touted Obama administration's efforts to improve relationship with Muslims worldwide. U.S. Ambassador Alan Solomont recently apologized to Muslim immigrants for America’s foreign policy actions in the Middle East at a gathering in Barcelona, Spain, saying the U.S. is not an “enemy of Islam.”

“There are things that the United States has done badly, but now the Obama government wants to improve relations with Muslims,” Solomont said.

Solomont’s remarks are indicative of President Obama’s broader foreign policy strategy of outreach to the world’s Muslim population, allegedly intended to empower Muslims and give them alternatives to jihad and terrorism.

The Obama administration has been criticized for a seeming desire to apologize for every real or perceived slight against Islam. The administration has also been accused of an effort to connect with individuals who have connections to radical Islamist groups. According to the Stonegate Institute, the U.S. recently sponsored a speech by Imam Hussein Halawa of the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland, despite Halawa’s connection to the radical Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

—JointMedia News Service

IAEA: Iran ‘sanitizing’ nuclear facility before receiving inspectors

Satellite images of an Iranian military facility appear to show trucks and earth-moving vehicles at the site, indicating an attempted cleanup of radioactive traces possibly left by tests of a nuclear-weapon trigger, diplomats recently told The Associated Press. The report comes on the heels of comments by Yukiya Amano, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, accusing Iran of not being open about its nuclear program despite its assurances of being forthright.

The assertions from the diplomats, all nuclear experts accredited to the IAEA, could add to the growing international pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, which Tehran insists has peaceful purposes.

In an interview with CNN, Amano said that, “Iran is not telling us everything. That is my impression.”

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Israeli lecturer flees Jordan after protests

An Israeli expert on mental health was forced to flee and cancel his speaking engagement at a Jordanian university after hundreds of students protested outside Amman's University of Jordan last week.

The protesters not only demanded the cancellation of Dr. Gideon Anholt's lecture, but also demanded that authorities expel Jordan’s Israeli ambassador and cancel the 1994 peace treaty, according to reports. Protesters bragged that they succeeded to cancel “the Zionist’s lecture” on Facebook, after a university official agreed to give in to their demands.

Dr. Anholt had to be smuggled out the back door. “This event saddens me but has not changed my feelings,” he said. “It’s a pity fanatics are allowed to ruin prospects of collaboration. I understand that the current atmosphere is very complex but I will still try to promote as many scientific initiatives as I can. It won't be easy though,” he said.

—JointMedia News Service

French Prime Minister criticizes kosher slaughter

Click photo to download. Caption: French Prime Minister Francois Fillon criticizes Kosher slaughter. Credit: Marie-Lan NguyenFrench Prime Minister Francois Fillon said religions should “reflect” on outdated culinary traditions, specifically criticizing the ritual slaughter of animals for kosher meat.

Subsequently, Fillon made plans to meet with Jewish leaders in an effort to dispel concerns about those comments, which he made on French radio. He assured Jewish leaders that he was not targeting their religion, The Associated Press reported.

The ritual slaughter issue has entered the French national spotlight in advance of the country’s presidential elections next month. On top of its Jewish community, France is home to more than 5 million Muslims, who also slaughter animals according to the Halal tradition.

—JointMedia News Service


Posted on March 12, 2012 and filed under Briefs, World.