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Overview (10782) :: India (11)



India :: Radical Islam   ::   Print this Article
Reporters Arrested in India for Offending Islam
02-13-2009 6:00 am - Aaron Klein
Two newspaper executives were arrested yesterday on charges of "intent to outrage" the "religious feelings" of Muslims.

Their alleged crime? Republishing an article that refers to Islam as "oppressive" and states the religion's prophet, Muhammad, had sex with a 9-year-old girl and ordered the murder of Jews.

The incident unfolded in India, where Ravindra Kumar, an editor, and Anand Sinha, publisher of the country's Statesman newspaper, turned themselves into police following complaints from local Muslims. The complaints cited a law that makes illegal the "malicious intent" to "outrage religious feelings." The two were released on bail today.

The Statesman had republished an article Feb. 5 originally printed in Britain's Independent newspaper titled, "Why should I respect these oppressive religions?" The author, columnist Johann Hari, was lamenting what he said was the erosion of rights to criticize religion.

"I don't respect the idea that we should follow a 'prophet' who at the age of 53 had sex with a 9-year old girl and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn't follow him," Hari wrote.

Although the piece prompted little outcry in Britain, angry Muslims reportedly have been demonstrating in front of the Statesman's offices. Baton-wielding police broke up several protests the past two weeks.

Kumar already issued a public apology for reprinting the article.

"The essential ingredient of the law under which we are charged is malicious intent," Kumar told reporters today.

"But how could we anticipate the protest when the article generated no controversy in Britain, which has substantial Muslim population, after it was carried originally by the Independent?" he said.

India, the world's second most populous country, is mostly Hindu. About 13 percent of the population is Muslim.

As WND reported, a Saudi cleric, pointing to Muhammad as a model for marriage, has declared age is no hindrance to marriage under Islam, and sex at age 9 is fine.

"There is no minimal age for entering marriage. You can have a marriage contract even with a 1-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of 9, 7, or 8. This is merely a contract [indicating] consent. The guardian in such a case must be the father, because the father's opinion is obligatory. Thus, the girl becomes a wife," said Ahmad Al-Mu'bi, an officiant for marriages.




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