A formerly beloved Pakistani pop singer-turned-Islamic televangelist, Junaid Jamshed, is now in hiding in London and has no plans to return to his home country after being accused of blasphemy for allegedly insulting one of the wives of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in a video sermon that has gone viral on the Internet.
Jamshed, who was the frontman for a prominent Pakistani pop band called Vital Signs before quitting music in 2001 to dedicate his life to Islam by joining the conservative Islamic movement Tableeghi Jamaat, is now the focus of a serious local police investigation over his alleged blasphemous remarks.
The investigation, which formally began last Tuesday, was spawned after an opposing Muslim party, the Pakistani Sunni Tehreek, issued a formal complaint to authorities about the content of one of Jamshed's video preaching sessions, which was later posted online. more >>
More than 50,000 gamers from around the world have signed a change.org petition seeking to ban the Bible after the Australian arm of retail giants Target and Kmart pulled Rockstar's "Grand Theft Auto V" from their shelves earlier this month when when customers complained about the "sickening" level of violence against women in the game.
The petition parodies another change.org petition launched by three survivors of sexual violence who call on Target to remove the violent game from store shelves.
The gamers petition that seeks to ban the Bible claims: "It's a book that encourages readers to murder women for entertainment. The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get 'god' points — and now Target are stocking it and promoting it for your Xmas stocking." more >>
At least four people have died, while over a million people were forced to evacuate their homes after Typhoon Hagupit hit the Philippines over the weekend. But many people are thankful that the damage wasn't worse, given that last year's "super typhoon" Haiyan killed thousands.
"We're happy that we've learned our lessons from our past experiences. This is a good sign," said Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross.
"We saw that with preparation and being alert we prevented tragedy and harm, we took our countrymen away from harm," added Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas. "It is sad to hear news of deaths, but this is very low, way below what the potential was." more >>
Amid calls for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's prosecution before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, authorities are apparently restructuring the country's vast network of prison camps, which involves subjecting prisoners to relocation and arbitrary executions, according to an international coalition against genocide, which is urging support for dissidents.
North Korea is "clearly implementing" a "policy of genocide to eliminate the camps" in an attempt to cover its tracks, said Worldwide Coalition to Stop Genocide in North Korea, an international NGO and human rights watchdog, in a statement Sunday.
"The regime is transferring the inmates one by one during the night so that their movement can't be detected by satellites," South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported on Oct. 28, quoting a source and referring to Camp 15 at Yodok, one of the DPRK's most notorious concentration camps. more >>
A South African pastor and his teenage children were recently killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan after three extremists attacked the compound they were living in because they believed he was a "secret Christian missionary."
Forty-six-year-old Werner Groenewald, a former South African pastor who was working for the U.S.-based education group Partnership in Academics and Development (PAD) in Afghanistan for the last 12 years, was killed, along with his son and daughter (aged 17 and 15), in a coordinated three-hour Taliban gunfire and explosion operation on the PAD residential compound in the capital city of Kabul on Nov. 29.
Groenewald's wife, Hannelie, was working during the attack and not present at the guesthouse the family was staying at. With her husband and two kids gone, Hannelie Groenewald has lost her family and most of everything she owned. more >>
A pregnant Christian women living in Pakistan is no longer expecting her baby after suffering a miscarriage that resulted from being stripped naked and beaten by two Muslim men earlier in November.
Twenty-eight-year-old Christian Elishba Bibi, who was three months pregnant at the time, was stripped naked and beaten by two Muslim brothers, Muneeb and Mobeel Gondal, after she allegedly had an argument over her faith with the brothers' mother and sister on November 16 in the Sheikhupura district in the Punjab province.
UCANews reports that Bibi told police that after she had an argument with the two muslim women, the two brothers proceeded to beat her with iron pipes, stripped out of her clothing and then dragged her into the street, where she later fell unconscious. She additionally reported that the two men also robbed her of her cellphone, gold necklace and the equivalent of about $10. more >>