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#ISIS states its justification for enslavement of women


In an online magazine, the terror group says it is legitimate under Islamic law.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN

(CNN) — In a new publication, ISIS justifies its kidnapping of women as sex slaves citing Islamic theology, an interpretation that is rejected by the Muslim world at large as a perversion of Islam.

“One should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar — the infidels — and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah, or Islamic law,” the group says in a an online magazine published Sunday.

The title of the article sums up the ISIS point of view: “The revival (of) slavery before the Hour,” referring to Judgment Day.

The Muslim world at large repudiates that interpretation as a perversion of Islam.

The fourth edition of the group’s English-language digital magazine called “Dabiq” said that female members of the Yazidi sect, an ethnically Kurdish minority living mostly in Iraq, may legitimately be captured and forcibly made concubines or sexual slaves.

The rationalization for a return to slavery — repudiated around the world — coincided with the release of a Human Rights Watch report on crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidis in Iraq based on interviews with 76 displaced people in Dohuk.

“The Islamic State’s litany of horrific crimes against the Yazidis in Iraq only keeps growing,” said Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch. “We heard shocking stories of forced religious conversions, forced marriage, and even sexual assault and slavery — and some of the victims were children.”

A 17-year-old kidnapped girl named Adlee recounts how a large bearded man forced her into a home in Falluja, where she was beaten and endured violent sexual advances before escaping two days later, the Human Rights Watch report reads.

ISIS forced tens of thousands of Yazidis to flee their homes in August when the extremists stormed many of the community’s towns and cities in Iraqi Kurdistan. Displaced families and monitoring groups reported jihadists kidnapped hundreds of Yazidi women and girls, and many were sold or given away to militants as “spoils of war.”

The terror group’s 56-page propaganda publication also boasts of a “massacre against (Kurdish) PKK soldiers” alongside graphic images of slain men dressed in fatigues. On the next page, ISIS glorifies its “Services for Muslims” with photographs of a care home for the elderly and a cancer treatment center for children.

The issue, titled “The Failed Crusade,” includes an alleged copy of slain American journalist Steven Sotloff’s last letter to his mother and says the victim’s Jewish identity warranted his beheading by ISIS.

Another ISIS captive, British journalist John Cantlie, allegedly pens the last section of the magazine, saying he expects to be killed soon, and “unless something changes very quickly and very radically, I await my turn.”


CNN.com.

Lego ends Shell partnership following Greenpeace campaign | #Greenpeace #Lego #Shell #Arctic


Toymaker will not renew current multimillion pound deal, that sees Shell-branded Lego sets sold at petrol stations, following a viral video against Arctic drilling by the green group.

Mini activist figures at a Shell gas station in Legoland in Billund, Denmark, part of a global campaign targeting Lego and highlighting Shell’s plans for Arctic oil exploration. Photograph: Uffe Weng/GreenpeaceMini activist figures at a Shell gas station in Legoland in Billund, Denmark, part of a global campaign targeting Lego and highlighting Shell’s plans for Arctic oil exploration. Photograph: Uffe Weng/Greenpeace

Adam Vaughan reporting,

Lego will not renew its marketing contract with Shell after coming under sustained pressure from Greenpeace to end a partnership that dates to the 1960s.

The environmental campaign group, protesting about the oil giant’s plans to drill in the Arctic, had targeted the world’s biggest toy maker with a YouTube video that attracted nearly 6m views for its depiction of a pristine Arctic, built from 120kg of Lego, being covered in oil.

Initially Lego had resisted Greenpeace, arguing that it ought to deal directly with Shell, but on Thursday it will relent. Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, the toy maker’s chief -executive, said Lego would honour its existing deal with Shell, which began in 2011, but “as things currently stand we will not renew the contract with Shell when the present contract ends”.

Lego toy sets are currently distributed at petrol stations in 26 countries, in a deal valued at £68m. Lego had previously argued that the relationship had a positive impact on the world by inspiring children with its toy sets.

Greenpeace activists also targeted Legoland in Windsor by dressing as Lego figures, while the campaign video, entitled “Everything is not awesome” attracted 5.9m views.

Greenpeace video calling on Lego to end its partnership with Shell

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said the response from the public to its campaign had been extraordinary in terms of scale and -creativity. “It did touch a bit of a raw nerve about the partnership between the two companies that people thought was completely inappropriate – for a toy company like Lego to partner with an oil corporation – which is a sign of changes that are happening [in public attitudes towards fossil fuel companies],” he said.

He added that he hoped the move by Lego would prompt other organisations that work with Shell, such as London’s Science Museum, where Shell sponsors a climate change exhibition, to think twice about their partnerships.

“Clearly Shell is trying to piggy back on the credibility of other brands. It’s a good PR strategy if you can get away with it. But as we’ve shown, if you can’t get away with it, that social licence is taken away. It does damage them a lot,” he told the Guardian.

Knudstorp, CEO of the Lego Group, said in a statement on Thursday: “The Greenpeace campaign uses the Lego brand to target Shell. As we have stated before, we firmly believe Greenpeace ought to have a direct conversation with Shell. The Lego brand, and everyone who enjoys creative play, should never have become part of this dispute between Greenpeace and Shell.

“Our stakeholders have high expectations of the way we operate. So do we. We do not agree with the tactics used by Greenpeace that may have created misunderstandings among our stakeholders about the way we operate, and we want to ensure our attention is not diverted from our commitment to delivering creative and inspiring play experiences.”

A spokesman for Shell said that the company enjoyed a successful and productive relationship with Lego. Of the Greenpeace campaign, he said: “We respect the right of individuals and organisations to engage in a free and frank exchange of views about meeting the world’s growing energy needs. Recognising the right of individuals to express their point of view, we only ask they do so in a manner that is lawful and does not place their safety or the safety of others at risk.”

In January, Shell shelved its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic this summer, citing poor market conditions and internal failures. But in August, the company submitted a new offshore drilling plan to US authorities that could pave the way for the company to explore for oil in the Arctic in 2015, off the coast of north-west Alaska.

A Shell oil drilling rig which ran aground in Alaska on 1 January 2013. Photograph: Rex FeaturesA Shell oil drilling rig which ran aground in Alaska on 1 January 2013. Photograph: Rex Features

Mark Borkowski, a brand consultant and founder of PR company Borkowski.do , said the co-promotion with Lego would have had “huge value” for Shell. “Kids have a very honest and pronounced view on things such as the Earth and animals. I wondered why Lego with such a strong brand and such dominance would get into bed with Shell,” he said.

“Greenpeace have done an outstanding job, to apply the pressure. This is a wake-up call to oil and gas and other energy companies, that need to recognise they cannot lobby the [younger] generation that is going to inherit the Earth. Their spin machines need to wake up to that.”

Lego’s partnership with Shell dates to the 1960s and has involved Shell-branded toy sets being sold around the world.

The Danish company prides itself on its green credentials, from energy efficiency to the use of renewable energy, and says that it is looking for alternatives to the crude oil from which it currently makes its bricks.


The Guardian.

Brittany Maynard will die on November 1 in Oregon after choosing to end her life due to a brain tumour #glioblastoma #braintumour


Right to die ... Brittany Maynard, 29, has opted to end her life on November 1. Picture: Brittany Maynard.Right to die … Brittany Maynard, 29, has opted to end her life on November 1. Picture: Brittany Maynard.

Brittany Maynard knows she is going to die on November 1, however she says there is “not a cell in my body that is suicidal.” The 29-year-old explains why she has decided to die.

After experiencing a spate of headaches, Ms Maynard was diagnosed with a brain tumour in January.

She was told she would have a maximum of 10 years to live. But after more tests it was discovered that the brain tumour she had was growing rapidly.

Ms Maynard was told that she had glioblastoma, the deadliest form of brain tumour and given just six months at most to live.

Brittany Maynard

She believes ending her life is her best option. So she spoke to her husband, Dan, and the rest of her family and the couple moved from San Francisco to Oregon, one of five US states that have “dying with dignity” laws.

Ms Maynard said it took awhile to get her family on side with her decision but that they are now fully supportive of the brave woman’s choice.

“Those who love you are never going to jump on board right away,” she told US ABC News. “We all just realised that I am terminally ill and I’m dying and I would just prefer to die with less pain and less suffering.”

“I can’t tell you the amount of relief that it provides me to know that I don’t have to die the way that I have been told that my brain tumour will take me on my own,” she said.

Ms Maynard has chosen November 1 because it is her husband’s birthday the day before and she wants to celebrate with him one last time.

Activist ... Brittany maynard says she is an introverted person but felt she needed to spend her last few weeks campaigning to expand death with dignity laws across the US. Picture: Youtube.Activist … Brittany maynard says she is an introverted person but felt she needed to spend her last few weeks campaigning to expand death with dignity laws across the US. Picture: Youtube.

Then she will be given medication from her doctor and die with her husband, mother, stepfather and best friend by her side.

She bristles when people say that she is suicidal, choosing instead to be seen a realist.

“There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die,” she told People Magazine. “I want to live. I wish there was a cure for my disease but there’s not.”

Despite only having a few short weeks left, Ms Maynard this week became an activist. She launched the Brittany Maynard Fund to expand dying-with-dignity laws across the US.

Supportive husband ... Brittany Maynard says her family, including husband Dan, needed some convincing when she told them she wanted to end her life before her brain tumour did. Picture: Brittany Maynard.Supportive husband … Brittany Maynard says her family, including husband Dan, needed some convincing when she told them she wanted to end her life before her brain tumour did. Picture: Brittany Maynard. Picture: Brittany Maynard.

Her video has gone viral and she says even though she describes herself as introverted, she simply had to fight to allow other people to have the same option as her.

“I think the idea of education and advocacy for this cause is just something that when I was asked, I just couldn’t turn my back on,” she said.

Ms Maynard has travelled to Alaska and Yellowstone National Park in the past few months and hopes to see the Grand Canyon. However her health is deteriorating rapidly and has been hospitalised for seizures.

She says that has only strengthened her desire to end her life. Until then though she is enjoying every moment she can with her friends and family.

“I hope to enjoy however many days I have on this beautiful Earth and spend as much of it outside as I can surrounded by those I love,” she said in the video.


new.com.au.

From soldier to student and medical aide: fifth western hostage under threat of death | #ISIS #Syria #Sera


Family of American Abdul-Rahman Kassig, an aid worker, call for prayers for their son and freeing of all innocent people held by militants.

US aid worker Abdul-Rahman (formerly Peter) Kassig delivering aid with the relief organisation he founded, Sera. Photograph: SeraUS aid worker Abdul-Rahman (formerly Peter) Kassig delivering aid with the relief organisation he founded, Sera. Photograph: Sera

Emma Graham-Harrison reporting,

The parents of a 26-year-old medical aid worker identified in an Isis video as the next western hostage the militants will murder unless the US-led coalition stops its bombing campaign have called on the world to pray for their son, Abdul-Rahman Kassig.

Ed and Paula Kassig said their son had been working for the relief organisation he founded, Special Emergency Response and Assistance (Sera), when he was captured a year ago on his way to Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria. The couple released a video statement on Saturday night (see below) that includes a personal message from Paula Kassig to her son.

They also said in a written statement: “As Muslims around the world, including our son Abdul-Rahman Kassig, celebrate Eid ul-Adha, the faith and sacrifice of Ibrahim, and the mercy of Allah, we appeal to those holding our son to show the same mercy and set him free.”

Kassig first went to the Middle East in 2007 as Peter Kassig, a US soldier with an elite ranger unit. Five years later he felt compelled to revisit the region in an attempt to help ordinary people caught up in the fighting. He worked as a medical aide for Palestinian refugees and Syrians injured on both sides of the vicious civil war. The friendships he built drew him even deeper into the conflict and eventually he set up his own tiny aid group to ferry blankets, food, cooking gas, medical supplies and other necessities into some of the most dangerous parts of Syria.

“Our efforts, however small, are focused on providing acute logistical support and assistance in areas too difficult for other humanitarian organisations to effectively operate,” the Sera website proudly announces.

Most of the funding for Sera came from Kassig’s own savings, he said, and its biggest mission to date had cost just $2,000. But Kassig was confident, ambitious and already applying for bigger grants. “We don’t need millions of dollars to be effective,” he said in an interview with the Syria Deeply website last February.

He was organising an aid trip when he was captured on 1 October 2013 on his way to Deir Ezzor. His family and Sera had kept news of his kidnapping out of the media until Kassig appeared in an Isis video of the murder of British aid worker Alan Henning.

In the video released last Friday a masked man threatens that Kassig will be killed next in retribution for western air strikes on Isis positions, and names him as Peter Edward, although former hostages have said that he converted in captivity and changed his name to Abdul-Rahman. His newfound Muslim faith has been a source of comfort over the long months since he was seized, those prison friends have told his family.

Kassig grew up in Indiana and joined the US military at 18. Within months he was deployed to Iraq, but his tour of duty was cut short in 2007 when he was given an honourable discharge for medical reasons. He began studying for a degree in political science at Butler University in his home state, but after the violence and bloodshed he had witnessed in Iraq, he found college life unsettling. “I was going to school with kids who looked the same, were the same age as me, but we weren’t the same,” he told CNN in 2012. “I wanted more of a challenge, a sense of purpose.”

So in 2010 he dropped out to train as an emergency medical aide, got married but quickly divorced, went back to university and then dropped out again to put his medical skills to use in Lebanon. “I am not a doctor,” he said. “I am not a nurse. But I am a guy who can clean up bandages, help clean up patients, swap out bandages, help run IVs, and make people’s quality of life a little bit better.”

Although he had huge ambitions for his small organisation, he had no illusions about the risks the team were running. “The truth is, sometimes I really think I would like to do something else, but at the end of the day this work is really the only thing that I have found that gives my life both meaning and direction,” he said in an interview with Time magazine just a few months before his abduction.

■ British schoolteacher David Bolam has been released after being held hostage by militants in Libya, the Foreign Office has confirmed. A spokeswoman said Bolam was “safe and well after his ordeal” and that he has been reunited with his family. Bolam was working at the Benghazi European School when he was abducted earlier this year. His kidnapping had not been reported at the request of the Foreign Office and his family.


THE CAPTIVES

2012

22 November Journalists James Foley and John Cantlie kidnapped at an internet cafe in Binesh, Syria, while heading to the Turkish border.

2013

March British aid worker and former RAF engineer David Haines kidnapped near the Atmeh refugee camp, close to Turkish border, while assessing camp locations for a French agency.

4 August US-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff kidnapped near Aleppo, after crossing into Syria from Turkey.

1 October US soldier-turned-aid worker Peter Kassig detained on his way to Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria.

26 December UK aid worker Alan Henning abducted by masked gunmen in the Syrian town of Al-Dana. He was there as part of an aid convoy.

2014

19 August Video of Foley’s murder uploaded to YouTube. He was aged 40.

2 September Video of Sotloff’s murder found on file-sharing site. He was 31.

13 September Video of Haines’s murder released. He was aged 44.

18 September Isis releases the first of a series of propaganda videos featuring John Cantlie, discussing western foreign policy in the region. Experts said he appeared to be acting under duress.

3 October Video of Henning’s murder released. He was aged 47.


The Guardian & The Observer.

British Muslims Unite For Eid Prayers Of Remembrance For Alan Henning | #BritishMuslims #ISIS


As Muslims around the U.K. begin their Eid celebrations, Shaukat Warraich, editor of Imams online, calls for special prayers of peace for the family of Alan Henning, following the British humanitarian worker’s brutal killing by ISIS. See his message that these un-Islamic actions are appalling the British Muslim community as one.

Find out more about Imams Online on:

Website: http://www.imamsonline.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imamsonline
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ImamsOnline

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