Religious intolerance

There’s good news and bad news out of Pakistan. The good news is that a lot of people have turned against the Taliban in this case:

Pakistani police have arrested several suspects in the case of a 14-year-old girl shot and wounded by the Taliban for promoting education for girls and criticizing the fundamentalist Islamic movement, officials said Friday.

The shooting of Malala Yousufzai along with two classmates while they were on their way home from school Tuesday horrified people in Pakistan and internationally.

It has been followed by an outpouring of support for a girl who earned the enmity of the Taliban for publicizing their acts and speaking about the importance of education for girls.

But it’s not like Pakistan has suddenly become tolerant of other views:

On Wednesday, a mob ransacked the home of Ryan Stanten, 16, after rumors spread that he had used his mobile phone to send blasphemous messages. Stanten and his mother, Rubina Brayn, had already gone into hiding soon after the allegations surfaced the previous day, police officials said.

Just in case you think this only happens in Muslim countries:

Argentina’s Supreme Court has ruled that a woman rescued from a prostitution ring must get the abortion she wants, and chastised public officials who put her in the center of a political firestorm.

In this case, a judge intervened anyway, saying there was no proof of rape even though the woman had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution.

The high court’s ruling Thursday night urged public health officials to urgently end the pregnancy, which was entering its 10th week. The woman was expected to have undergone the procedure by early Friday, but her lawyers gave no details about that.

The ruling, signed by six of the seven justices, also blames Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri and the judge who intervened, saying they revealed details that enabled anti-abortion protesters to converge on the public hospital where she was awaiting the procedure, and later on her private home as well.

Her lawyer, Pablo Vicente, told The Associated Press that hospital staff gave her personal information to protesters, enabling them to gather outside her home. Rather than help his client, the hospital’s priest joined the protests against her, said Vicente, who sued the group and the hospital director, alleging that her privacy was violated and her life threatened.

“They shouted that she’s a murderer, and threatened her that if she continues, that something really bad would happen to her,” Vicente said.

In case it’s not obvious, this attitude comes from the Catholic Church.

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