Tag Archive: ban

Tourism minister accepts 63,000 signatures to ban elephant rides

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) founder Ingrid Newkirk met the Union Minister of Tourism, Mr. K.J. Alphons and delivered digitally signed appeals on behalf of over sixty three thousand tourists from across the globe to the Ministry requesting a ban on elephant rides. The appeals were all signed in the last week, after a video showing an elephant used in the tourist trade being beaten so hard that the animal's leg broke along with the canes used for the beating spread across the globe. Earlier this week, PETA supporters wearing elephant masks and Modi jackets took part in a demonstration also calling for a ban on rides.

The Minister of Tourism Mr. K.J.Alphons expressed his deep concern for the plight of elephants, watched the video in horror, then replayed it, and made clear that he will put his office to good use to prevent cruelty to these intelligent, sensitive, and social animals by issuing an advisory to state governments and union territories.

"Representing tourists from all over the world, who would rather take home photographs of elephants living in nature than memories of a trip ruined by the sight of broken beasts, it was heartening to hear the minister express his compassion and respect for the plight of these social, intelligent and sensitive beings and pledge to help," says Newkirk. "Travellers to India will be encouraged that the end may be in sight for enslaved elephants in a country that at this point in time revers these animals in word, but not in deed."

Recently, Academy Award winner and star of The Darjeeling Limited Anjelica Huston, horrified at yet another video of a lame elephant being beaten by seven men at Amber Fort in Jaipur, sent a letter on behalf of PETA calling on the Ministry to support a ban on cruel elephant rides. The Darjeeling Limited was shot mostly in Rajasthan near Amber Fort.

An Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) report highlights substantial evidence that cruelty is inherent when wild animals such as elephants are violently trained to be used for rides and other performances. Their spirits are broken in order to make them obey human commands, they're kept chained when not used, and they're exhibited in crowded, noisy, and unnatural environments. The report also draws attention to the increasing number of incidents in which elephants have reacted to abuse and have hurt or killed many humans – as well as the prevalence of zoonotic diseases such as tuberculosis in captive elephants, which can spread to humans. According to figures compiled by the Heritage Animal Task Force, between 2001 and 2016, captive elephants killed more than 526 people in Kerala alone. In 2016, the AWBI issued an advisory to the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change in favour of a ban on the training, exhibition and use of elephants for performances in India.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to abuse in any way" – notes that while elephants in nature travel as far as 50 kilometres per day, in captivity, they often suffer from foot problems and arthritis as a result of long periods spent chained on hard surfaces. Many suffer from malnutrition or dehydration or die prematurely.

More than 100 travel companies – including global operators such as TripAdvisor, The Travel Corporation, Intrepid Travel, and TUI Group – have committed to not offering activities that exploit elephants, and in June, a group of American tourists contacted PETA after witnessing an elephant used for rides being violently beaten in Jaipur.

Talaq Talaq Talaq: India joins Pakistan and Bangladesh to ban Islamic instant divorce custom

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An Indian court has ruled the practice of instant divorce in Islam unconstitutional, marking a major victory for Muslim women, who’ve have had to live with the threat of instant divorce dangling over their heads like a sword.

India is one of a handful of countries where a Muslim man can divorce his wife in minutes by saying the word talaq (divorce) three times.

The landmark court decision came in response to petitions challenging the so-called "triple talaq" custom.

The cases were filed by five Muslim women who had been divorced in this way and two rights groups.

Women's rights campaigners have hailed the court's decision as a historic win.

There have been cases in which Muslim men in India have divorced their wives by issuing the so-called triple talaq by letter, telephone and, increasingly, by text message, WhatsApp and Skype. A number of these cases made their way to the courts as women contested the custom.

Triple talaq divorce has no mention in Sharia Islamic law or the Quran, even though the practice has existed for decades.

Islamic scholars say the Quran clearly spells out how to issue a divorce - it has to be spread over three months, allowing a couple time for reflection and reconciliation.

Most Islamic countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned triple talaq, but the custom has continued in India, which does not have a uniform set of laws on marriage and divorce that apply to every citizen.

Three of the five Supreme Court judges called the controversial practice "un-Islamic, arbitrary and unconstitutional".

One of the judges, Justice Kurien Joseph, said the practice was not an essential part of Islam and enjoyed no protection.

The judges also said it was "manifestly arbitrary" to allow a man to "break down marriage whimsically and capriciously".

Chief Justice JS Khehar, in a differing opinion, said that personal law could not be touched by a constitutional court of law. The opposing judgements also recommended that parliament legislate on the issue. However this is not binding and is up to parliament to take up.

The Indian government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has supported ending the practice. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought up the issue several times including in his Independence Day address on 15 August.

Activists are hailing the decision as a major step forward for the rights of Muslim women.

Ban on religious wear is “not discriminatory”

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ANGRY: Bana Gora (CEO, Muslim Women’s Council) delivering a speech on Muslim Women’s Rights

ANGRY: Bana Gora (CEO, Muslim Women’s Council) delivering a speech on Muslim Women’s Rights


Outrage after European Court of Justice (ECJ) says Employers are entitled to ban workers from the "visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign”

In a devastating blow to human rights and the right to religious freedom, this week’s  ruling from the ECJ, which says employers have the right to ban any visible religious attire and signs, has caused outrage.

The case was prompted after Samira Achbita, a receptionist for global company G4S in Belgium was fired from her job, after three years with the company, when she began to wear a headscarf to work.

She claimed she was being discriminated against because of her religion But when the Belgian's court of cassation referred the case to the EU's top court for clarification, they cleared G4S of any discriminatory charges.

G4S claimed in their workplace regulations  they forbid employees "from wearing any visible signs of their political, philosophical or religious beliefs and/or from engaging in any observance of such beliefs.”

This is the court's first decision on the issue of Islamic headscarves at work and whilst they have instigated the ruling, it must be based on internal company policy requiring all employees to "dress neutrally.”

Covering up: Muslim women wear the hijab for modesty as part of their faith

Covering up: Muslim women wear the hijab for modesty as part of their faith


Now human rights groups say that the suggestion that the hijab is not part of a “neutral” dress code merely implies that it is a provocation, and it only serves to undercut the religious freedoms of Muslim women, a group who are already bearing the brunt of rising Islamophobia in Europe

Bana Gora (CEO, Muslim Women’s Council) said: “This ruling is a violation of women’s rights and autonomy.

“Given the alarming rise in hate crimes, the timing of this ruling will only embolden growing far-right sentiment which has been resurrected since Brexit.

“Instead of focussing on the hijab, which has been so grossly dissected by the media and politicians alike, we must focus on the more pressing issues on our doorstep. The last thing we want to do is to alienate Muslim women who are already heavily disenfranchised.”   

FREEDOM: 2012 saw the first Sikh men given permission to wear turban in armed forces

FREEDOM: 2012 saw the first Sikh men given permission to wear turban in armed forces


Of course, the ban doesn’t just have implications for the female Muslim community; Sikh men who wear the turban may face persecution in the workplace now as a result of the ruling.

Only in 2012, were communities celebrating the first Sikh guardsman to be given permission to wear a turban instead of a bearskin while on duty outside Buckingham Palace. This ruling now threatens to undermine the progress made by a range of religious and minority groups to express their freedom in the workplace.

Burkini beach riot

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BEACH BAN: Burkinis will not be allowed to be worn on Corsican beaches

BEACH BAN: Burkinis will not be allowed to be worn on Corsican beaches

Corsica follows Nice in imposing a ban on controversial beachwear

The Mayor of Corsica has this week announced a ban of the modesty swimwear – known as burkinis – from local beaches after a violent riot broke out following a tourist photographing a Muslim family.

Tensions on the idyllic island are still running high after the mass brawl broke out on a beach between villagers and three Muslim families.

In the usually peaceful commune of Sisco, four people were injured – including one man who was harpooned.

Riot police were later called to prevent a crowd of 200 Corsicans marching into a housing estate with a high population of people of North African origin, shouting ‘this is our home’.

A police investigation is under way to determine the cause of the violent brawl.

Witnesses told local media that a father from one of the Muslim families complained about someone taking a photograph of his wife. A quarrel took place and a group of teenagers are reported to have then called their parents.

The local deputy prosecutor said four people, including a pregnant woman, were taken to hospital for treatment, while bottles and stones were thrown, and three cars were set alight. About 100 police officers attended the scene whilst a police cordon was set up to protect the Muslim families.

Full-body swimsuits, known as ‘burkinis’, have also been banned from the beaches of Cannes this month, with the mayor citing ‘public order concerns’ in his reasoning.

Cannes’ mayor, David Lisnard,  labelled the swimwear a ‘symbol of Islamic extremism’ after announcing the new legislation, adding that anyone caught flouting the rule could face a fine of £33.

The burkini ban follows France’s banning of the full Islamic vale, known as the burka, back in 2011, as well as the partial face covering material – a niqab.

The new ruling reads: “Access to beaches and for swimming is banned to any person wearing improper clothes that are not respectful of good morals and secularism.

“Beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order.”

The ruling came into force for the first time at the end of July with no persons yet being apprehended for wearing burkinis.

Mr Lisnard also told local media that other religious symbols would still be permitted on Cannes’ beaches – including the Kippah and Christian cross.

He said: “I simply forbid a uniform that is the symbol of Islamic extremism.

“We live in a common public space, there are rules to follow.”

On 14th July, at the nearby Riviera city of Nice, 85 people were killed by a Daesh extremist who ploughed a truck into crowds packed onto the seafront as they celebrated the French national holiday.

Less than two weeks later, a priest was killed in the North of France by two attackers who claimed their allegiance to Daesh.

Where burkas and niqab are banned

  • France, since 2004
  • Belgium, since 2011
  • Chad, since 2015
  • Cameroon, in five provinces, since 2015
  • Diffa, Niger, since 2015
  • Brazaville, Congo, since 2015
  • Tessin, Switzerland, since 2016


Donald Trump’s Muslim ban is condemned by fellow Republica Member Paul Ryan

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RACIST: Trump wants a ban on all immigrants into the US

RACIST: Trump wants a ban on all immigrants into the US

Not all Republicans want Muslims out of the US 

US Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposed ban of immigrants and visitors into the US was condemned by House Speaker Paul Ryan at a lobby for the Republican National Committee on Tuesday.

He said: “What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for and more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for. Not only are there many Muslims serving in our armed forces, dying for this country, there are Muslims serving right here in the House working every day to uphold and defend the constitution.”

Paul Ryan went on to say: “Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islamic terror are Muslims, the vast, vast, vast majority of whom are peaceful, who believe in pluralism and freedom, democracy and individual rights.”

Trump’s comments came in response to a mass shooting and attempted bombing by a husband and wife in San Bernardino, California on 2nd December.

 DEFENCE: Paul Ryan has criticised Donald Trump

DEFENCE: Paul Ryan has criticised Donald Trump

14 people were killed and more than 20 were injured when the couple targeted a training event and holiday party, opening fire on about 80 employees in a rented banquet room. The FBI believes the couple was radicalized by al Qaeda. American-born Syed Rizwan Farook was of Pakistani descent and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, entered the US on a fiancée visa.

A reporter at the lobby asked if Ryan would support Trump if he became the Republican nominee for president. He replied: “I’m going to support whoever the Republican nominee is...and I’m going to stand up for what I believe in as I do that.”

Celebrities have been vocal about their distaste for Trump’s racist proposals. Muhammad Ali, the Muslim former boxing world champion, said: “I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam.”

Recent polls suggest that Trump continues to connect with ‘ordinary’ American voters. Republicans broadly back his stance on banning Muslims entering the US until security can be improved.