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Why Texas’ ‘death penalty capital of the world’ stopped executing people

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Since the Supreme Court legalized capital punishment in 1976, Harris County, Texas, has executed 126 people. That's more executions than every individual state in the union, barring Texas itself.
Harris County's executions account for 23 percent of the 545 people Texas has executed. On the national level, the state alone is responsible for more than a third of the 1,465 people put to death in the United States since 1976.
In 2017, however, the county known as the "death penalty capital of the world" and the "buckle of the American death belt" executed and sentenced to death a remarkable number of people: zero.
This is the first time since 1985 that Harris County did not execute any of its death row inmates, and the third year in a row it did not sentence anyone to capital punishment either.
The remarkable statistic reflects a shift the nation is seeing as a whole.
“The practices that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is following are also signifi…

US Muslim Preacher Who Called for Beheading of Gay People to Lecture in London

Hamza Sodagar
Hamza Sodagar
A US-based Muslim preacher who allegedly advocated killing gay people is giving a lecture series in London after being allowed to enter the UK.

The Home Office has been urged to retract the visa of Hamza Sodagar who is giving a series of lectures in the capital city between 3 October and 12 October.

Mr Sodagar appeared in an online video recorded in 2010 [watch YouTube video below] in which he details ways in which gay people can be ‘punished’ for their sexuality, including being beheaded or thrown off a cliff. 

Footage shows him apparently telling an audience: “If there’s homosexual men, the punishment is one of five things. One, the easiest one maybe, is cut their head off, that’s the easiest. The second is, burn them to death. Third, throw them off a cliff. Fourth, tear down the wall on them so they die. Fifth, a combination of the above.

“We have a hadith on that. Now, whether someone’s going to accept that, that’s up to the jurists to read that and understand. There’s definitely some of those apply… maybe the combination [fifth option]. These are things which are there.”

LGBT rights activist Peter Tatchell called on the Home Office to revoke Mr Sodagar’s visa. He said: “In a free society, Hamza Sodagar has a right to believe that homosexuality is sinful but not to preach about ways to kill lesbians and gay men. Many people with far less extreme views, who have never advocated violence, have been banned from entering the UK. Calling for death to LGBT people crosses a red line.

“The Home Office was wrong to grant him a visa and should now revoke it. The cleric should be ordered out of the country.”

His lectures are being facilitated by the Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission at the Islamic Republic Of Iran School in London. Literature advertising the lecture series has been posted on the group's website and Twitter feed.

ISIS terrorists throw a gay man off a building top in Irak in August 2016
ISIS terrorists throw a gay man off a building top in Iraq in August 2016
The Mission have defended their decision to host Mr Sodagar, saying his comments did not mean he endorsed murder of gay men and had been taken out of context. In a statement, the group said: “The unfortunate rise of right-wing extremism has resulted in a malicious campaign to misconstrue the positions of Islam and dehumanise Muslims.

We are saddened that the UK media is able to publish materials that clearly follow a right-wing extremist agenda of spreading hatred and Islamophobia.

“In remarks made in 2010, as part of a series of lectures delivered on mercy, love and hatred in Islam through a commentary of a supplication from the Islamic tradition, Shaykh Hamza explained the position of Islam on homosexuality, and that it is not compatible with Islam. This is a clear and undeniable position that is upheld by Islam as found in Islamic scripture and tradition. In this regard, it must be understood, as was mentioned in the very same lecture series, that Islamic penal code cannot be administered outside the framework of law-enforcement and legal process within a legitimate government.

"De-contextualised excerpts of this series, were used by right-wing media to suggest that Shaykh Hamza was calling for ‘the beheading and burning of homosexuals’. This is untrue and a mischievous and malicious accusation to make.”

When approached by The Independent, a Home Office spokesperson said they were unable to comment on individual cases. They said: “An individual can be excluded on the grounds that their presence is ‘not conducive to the public good’ if it is reasonable, consistent and proportionate based on the evidence available.”

Source: The Independent, October 7, 2016

U.S.-born Radical Islamist Preacher Who Called for Beheading of Gay People to Lecture in London


A U.S.-born radical Islamist preacher who released a video describing methods for killing gay people is to give a number of speeches in London over the coming days.

In the video, Shaykh Hamza Sodagar calls for gay people to be beheaded, set alight, thrown off cliffs and have walls torn down over them. When Sodagar suggests using a combination of these methods, his audience laughs.

Born in Washington, D.C., Sodagar has spent the past 14 years in Iran studying Islamic law and principles, reports the Express.

According to the website The Muslim Group, Sodagar is deemed a "role model by young Muslims around the world."

Organized by the Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission group, Sodagar will be speaking at the Islamic Republic of Iran School in London between October 4th and 12th.





Source: Towleroad, October 6, 2016

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