Here are two news items that have started me thinking:
(1) From a Voice of the Martyr's email Update (see www.persecution.com):
A Christian girl has gone into hiding in Pakistan to escape Muslim in-laws who beat and raped her for fleeing her forced marriage and refusing to practice Islam. Asya Khadim, 15, won a divorce from her abusive Muslim husband in February and sought shelter with a local aid organization to avoid reprisal attacks. Khadim had been married to Tanveer Qadir for almost 13 months when her mother filed the divorce case on her behalf in January 2006. "They tried to force me to read the Koran," the Christian girl told Compass. "My husband beat me every day for two months because I refused." Khadim's case highlights ongoing national debate over the controversial Hudood Ordinances that some say encourage domestic violence against women. Under this law, a woman who has been raped must produce four Muslim male witnesses to prove the allegations. According to the Peace Council of Pakistan, at least 50 percent of women who report rape are jailed and accused of adultery.
Pray God will comfort Asya Khadim and keep her safe. Pray our omnipotent Father will put a stop to the Hudood Ordinances. Pray our God of love will remove Muslim authorities' hearts of stone and give them hearts of flesh.
When I read this, the sentence that stuck out to me was this one: "Under this law, a woman who has been raped must produce four Muslim male witnesses to prove the allegations." This is state-sanctioned opression, rooted in sin, symbolized by the burqa, and carried out by people consistent with their Allah-inspired religion.
(Photo credit: The burqua is from http://www.stringer.it/Stringer%20Photo/Srinagar/images/burqa.jpg)
(2) My summary from an email sent to my dad:
During the months of August and September, Mars will be the closest it has been for at least 5,000 years. That's a scant 34,649,589 miles! The Red Planet will be closest to our own planet at 12:30 AM on August 27, 2006. Its magnitude will be -2.9 and its width will be 25.11 arc seconds. Aren't you glad you'll have a front row seat on Planet Earth?