London Doctor Takes His Own Life After His Muslim Family Insists He’s Mentally Ill For Being Gay

The Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr is supposed to be a day of unity. For Nazim Mahmood, a British doctor, it appears to have been the day when his family rejected his being gay — with fatal consequences:

A Harley Street doctor killed himself by jumping from his luxury penthouse apartment after his mother asked him to seek “a cure” for being gay, an inquest heard. Dr Nazim Mahmood, fell four storeys to his death from the balcony of his £700,000 flat in a mansion block in West Hampstead, London, in July. An inquest at St. Pancras Coroners’ Court heard Dr Mahmood had told his mother he was gay and was in a 13-year relationship with his fiancée, Matthew Ogston, just days before his death.

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All Religions Are Beautiful — None More Than the Faith in the Picture of the Horse

To people who worship the Picture of the Horse, it’s hurtful and incorrect to think that they worship the horse in the picture. It’s a matter of settled doctrine that they worship the picture, not the horse.

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God Leaves an Impression: Louisiana Man Wanders Through Nature, Finds Uncanny Sign From Above

The Almighty rewarded a devout Louisiana surveyor with a glimpse of a heavenly creature, an encounter that gave the man goosebumps and a spot on the nightly news.

When Randy Marks went to work Wednesday morning, he never dreamed he would have a close encounter with what he calls “someone from above saying, ‘Hello.’” … What he saw was a fossil. Marks has found hundreds in his career, but this one was different.

“As I picked it up and I saw it, to me, it looked like an angel. Actually, a bald-headed angel.”

Heaven’s wig shop was evidently back-ordered when God took the angel’s imprint and placed it in a riverbed for Randy Marks to find.

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Texas Prosecutors Are Itching to Execute a God-Besotted Schizophrenic Inmate; Appeals Court Grants Reprieve

On Wednesday, less than eight hours before Texas inmate Scott Panetti was to die by lethal injection, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted him a reprieve. Panetti is on death row for killing his estranged wife’s parents in 1992.

His lawyers argued that he was too mentally ill to qualify for capital punishment, and they sought the delay so Panetti could undergo new competency tests. They noted that he acted as his own attorney during trial — dressed in a purple cowboy outfit — and tried to subpoena more than 200 witnesses, including the pope and Jesus Christ. …

The Hayward, Wisconsin, native had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1978, and had been hospitalized more than a dozen times for treatment in the decade before the shootings. At his trial, he took on an alternate personality, “Sarge,” to testify.

The article makes mention of Panetti’s religion, but not the prosecutors’. It doesn’t take a great leap of faith to surmise that, like the convict, they’re Christians — perhaps even the pro-life kind.

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Why We Can’t Be Sure If We Can Believe Yusuf Islam When He Sings “Peace Train” On His Current U.S. Tour

Via the Huffington Post’s religion channel, we learn that the folk-pop artist formerly known as Cat Stevens is currently on a tour of the United States. What we inexplicably don’t pick up from the article is why Stevens, who has gone by Yusuf Islam since the late 1970s, is persona non grata among many people who care about free speech (the HuffPo just gives us some vague allusions to “dragon-sized myths” and “unsavory controversies”).

I’d like to correct that oversight. We’re going to have to time-travel back to 1989.

Only a week after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued an Islamic death sentence against Salman Rushdie for publishing the supposedly blasphemous novel The Satanic Verses, Stevens/Islam was asked about the affair.

Before an audience of London college students, he answered:

“[Rushdie] must be killed. The Qur’an makes it clear — if someone defames the prophet, then he must die.”

The next day, he walked back that statement by explaining that he had only meant to illustrate what the Qur’an says about blasphemers and apostates. Mr. Islam hadn’t personally advocated Rushdie’s execution, he said.

And at that point, he might still have deserved the benefit of the doubt (although why anyone would follow a religion with such barbaric, illiberal precepts remains, as always, an open question).

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