Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Kentucky Printer Wins Religious Freedom Battle
A custom message printer in Kentucky is legally allowed to decline orders that ask him to print messages that conflict with his religious beliefs.
A Kentucky court ruled Monday that the government cannot force the Lexington business Hands on Originals (HOO) to print messages that conflict with the owner's religious and moral beliefs.
The ruling comes a year after the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission ruled that HOO owner Blaine Adamson must print all messages customers order.
The Alliance Defending Freedom appealed the ruling to the Fayette County Circuit Court.
"The government can't force citizens to surrender free-speech rights or religious freedom in order to run a small business, and this decision affirms that," ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell said.
"The court rightly recognized that the law protects Blaine's decision not to print shirts with messages that conflict with his beliefs, and that no sufficient reason exists for the government to coerce Blaine to act against his conscience in this way," he added.
Adamson came under fire when he declined to print custom T-shirts promoting a gay pride festival.
Since he did not agree with the message conveyed on the shirts, he offered to connect the customer with a different printer who would produce the shirts at the same price he would have charged.
Unsatisfied with that solution, the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization filed a complaint against Hands on Originals with the county Human Rights Commission charging HOO with illegal discrimination.
But the Fayette County Circuit Court concluded this week that Adamson did not violate the law when he declined to print the gay pride T-shirts.
The court reasoned that since Adamson employs and regularly does business with people who identify as homosexual, his decision not to print the shirts was not about discriminating against a homosexual customer, but rather about defending his freedom to decline to convey a message with which he disagrees.
"In short, HOO's declination to print the shirts was based upon the message of GLSO and the Pride Festival and not on the sexual orientation of its representatives or members," the court said.
The court continued, "There is nothing in the record before the Commission that the sexual orientation of any individual that had contact with HOO was ever divulged or played any part in this case."
Ex-Muslim: Koran Revealed a Religion I Did Not Like
GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- Mona Walter is on a mission. Her mission is for more Muslims to know what is in the Koran. She says if more Muslims knew what was in the Koran, more would leave Islam.
Walter came to Sweden from Somalia as a war refugee when she was 19. She says she was excited about joining a modern European nation with equal rights for women. But as a young Muslim woman, that was not the Sweden she encountered.
A Real Introduction to Islam
It was in Sweden that she first experienced radical Islam on a daily basis.
"I discovered Islam first in Sweden. In Somalia, you're just a Muslim, without knowing the Koran. But then you come to Sweden and you go to mosque and there is the Koran, so you have to cover yourself and you have to be a good Muslim."
Walter says she grew up in Somalia never having read the Koran.
"I didn't know what I was a part of. I didn't know who Mohammed was. I didn't know who Allah was. So, when I found out, I was upset. I was sad and I was disappointed," she recalled.
And it was in Sweden that Walters says she discovered Allah is a god who hates, and that Islam is not a religion of peace.
"It's about hating and killing those who disagree with Islam. It's about conquering. Mohammed, he was immoral. He was a bloodthirsty man. He was terrible man, and Muslims can read that in his biography -- what he did to Jews, how he raped women, how he killed people. I mean, he killed everyone who didn't agree with him," she explained.
Discouraged, Walter left Islam and became an atheist, until one day a family member encouraged her to read the Bible. She still remembers the first time she read Matthew 5:44, where Jesus said to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Christianity, a New Perspective
"It was very strange for me to 'love your enemy,' because in Islam it is 'kill your enemy.' 'Kill your enemy and anyone who refuses Islam.' But Jesus Christ was all about love and peace and forgiveness and tolerance, and for some reason, I needed that," she said.
She went to see Pastor Fouad Rasho of Angered Alliance Church, a Syrian immigrant who ministers to former Muslims in Sweden.
"She started to believe and she came to me. And that was the beginning of her trusting," he said.
When she accepted Christ, Walter said she felt "so happy" and "filled with joy."
Walter says the Lord gave her a burden for Muslims who still do not know the truth about Islam. And she began to study the Koran, and began copying verses from the Koran and handing them out on the street to Muslim women.
Rescuing Muslims with Truth
"Sometimes they listen and sometimes they become very upset, and I tell them, 'You know your husband has a right to beat you if you don't obey him?' And they say 'No, It does not say that.' 'Yes, it does say that.' I thought if I tell them about Muhammed and about the Koran and about this god of Islam who hates, who kills, who discriminates against women, maybe they will have a choice and leave," she explained.
But in politically correct Sweden, Walter has come under attack for simply repeating what is in the Koran.
"I've been called an 'Islamophobe,' and yeah [they tell me], 'You've been bought,' 'You're a house nigger,' and stuff like that, terrible things, " she said.
She has also been called a racist. Walter warns that Islamic radicalism is a serious threat in Sweden, and says Swedish society should care more about women trapped in Islam.
"[Swedes] will think, 'Oh, we're in Sweden; we have freedom of religion,' but Muslim women don't have freedom of religion. They live under the law of Allah, not under Swedish law. So they will suppose everyone has freedom of religion. We don't have freedom of religion. It's not for Muslim women. It's for everyone else," Walter argued.
Walter lives under death threats and sometimes travels with police protection. She wanted to show us Muslim areas around Gothenburg, but had to first dress as a Muslim. She believes if she were to show her face, she would be attacked.
"I can never go to those areas just being me, flesh and blood Mona. I would never get out of there alive," she said.
"I mean, Muslims are normally good people like everyone else," she continued. "But then when they read the Koran, then they become a killing machine."
"This so-called ISIS or el Shabab or Boko Haram, they're not like extremists. They're not fanatical. They're just good Muslims, good Muslims who follow the teachings of Islam. The prophet Mohammed, he did that. They're doing what he did," she explained.
Walter now uses videos and speaking appearances to spread her message. And she says she won't stop, even though her life is in danger.
Watch here: CBN report