Former Miss Turkey May Do Jailtime For Poetic Instagram Picture That “Insulted” Islamist President Erdogan

Merve Buyuksarac was crowned Miss Turkey in 2006. Now she’s back in the spotlight — because a Turkish prosecutor wants to teach her a lesson for having allegedly insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with an Instagram picture.

Buyuksarac’s lawyer told reporters that an Istanbul prosecutor is attempting to take Buyuksarac to court for insulting a public official. If found guilty, she could face up to two years in prison.

While the post has since been deleted, Hurriyet Daily News describes it as a satirical text titled “The Master’s Poem.” …

Insulting the Turkish leader has become a risky proposal since Erdoğan made the leap from the prime minister’s office to the president’s office last year.

On this score, I beg to differ with the Washington Post. Even as prime minister, Erdoğan’s skin was always as thin as cigarette paper. I wrote about that ten years ago. And again. And again.

Here, via the Telegraph, is the current scope of how censorious this ridiculous man and his judicial cronies are:



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GOP Congressman, a Leader in the House Science Committee, Admits He Didn’t Vaccinate His Children

Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk made a startling admission during a town hall meeting last week.

He told the crowd that he didn’t bother vaccinating his children (1:26:40)



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Humanist’s Remarks at Interfaith Gathering Focus on Chapel Hill Shootings

Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, was recently invited to join Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s inaugural Interfaith Advisory Task Force. Regardless of how you feel about interfaith work or the need for such a task force in the first place, I’m glad he had a seat at the table.

Epstein gave the closing remarks at their meeting last night and I thought his words, referencing the recent shootings in Chapel Hill, were worth restating here:

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Atheist Jamila Bey at CPAC: “Embrace Me. Let Me Vote for GOP Candidates”

Earlier today, as I posted about earlier, atheist Jamila Bey spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

A proud black female atheist isn’t the norm for the CPAC crowd, so what did she say and what was the response?

Raw Story has the footage:



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Austria Outlaws Foreign Funding For Mosques, Requires Imams To Be Able To Speak German

More than a hundreds years ago, Islam became an official religion in Austria. The BBC says that the 1912 law

… has been widely held up as a model for Europe in dealing with Islam.

Now the Austrian parliament has issued an update, and it appears to be a mixed bag.

A key aspect of the new law is that mosques and imams may no longer accept foreign donations. That’s a problem if you take equality seriously, because no such restrictions have been placed on clergy of the Jewish and Christian faith.

Muslim groups … say the [legislation] reflects a widespread mistrust of Muslims and some are planning to contest it in the constitutional court.

[Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz] told the BBC the reforms were a “milestone” for Austria and aimed to stop certain Muslim countries using financial means to exert “political influence.” “What we want is to reduce the political influence and control from abroad and we want to give Islam the chance to develop freely within our society and in line with our common European values,” he said.



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