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Islamic scholar says the government — not vigilantes — should have executed Orlando gays

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Less than three months ago, Islamic scholar Farrokh Sekaleshfar gave a talk at the Husseini Islamic Center just outside Orlando where he said that the sentence for people who are found guilty of homosexuality should be death. Despite this, he is condemning Orlando shooter Omar Mateen for massacring 50 gay people in a club this weekend.

In an interview with Fusion, Sekaleshfar explained that even though he believes in the death penalty for homosexuals, he doesn’t think that gives anyone the right to go out and massacre them at a nightclub. He also noted that four people need to witness a gay person having sex in order for them to be convicted of sodomy and sentenced to death.

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“I never gave the call to a death sentence,” he said, while claiming that his remarks had been taken out of context. “I was explaining what Islamic law – in a country whose people democratically desired Islamic law to be exercised – states in relation to NOT homosexuals, but rather in relation to when the act of anal copulation is executed in such an aforementioned public.”

For the record, this is what Sekaleshfar had to say in late March about the proper Islamic penalties for homosexuality:

Death is the sentence. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence… We have to have that compassion for people. With homosexuals, it’s the same. Out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.

It’s entirely possible that someone could hear this declaration and use it as justification to take it upon themselves to kill gay people — after all, if an Islamic scholar says “let’s get rid of” gay people now, most people listening won’t be attuned to the nuances of when it is or isn’t purportedly “appropriate” to kill homosexuals just for being themselves. The easier path is to just say, “Killing homosexuals is wrong.”

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How Democratic women drove the 2018 blue wave

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After Hillary Clinton lost to a talking yam with criminal tendencies in 2016, a number of people got antsy about the idea that the country was really ready yet to embrace women in politics. But a huge number of Democratic women rejected that narrative and instead decided that the solution was for more women to run for office. The result? A record-setting number of women elected to Congress and a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

This artivcle first appeared in Salon.

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Pence adviser says that Trump’s phone call to Ukrainian president was ‘unusual and inappropriate’

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Jennifer Williams, a Special Adviser on Europe and Russia issues for Vice President Mike Pence's foreign policy team, told congressional investigators that she viewed President Donald Trump's July 25th phone call to Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky as "unusual and inappropriate." Williams had listened in on the phone call while it was happening, and a whistleblower revealing the controversial contents of that call prompted the current impeachment inquiry into Trump.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Jim Jordan childishly refuses to condemn Trump’s Ukraine call: ‘Democrats have been out to get the president’

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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Sunday argued that President Donald Trump should not be impeached because he never completed his quid pro quo with Ukraine.

During an interview on CBS, host Margaret Brennan explained that Trump only released aid to Ukraine after a whistleblower came forward with allegations that he was trying to bribe the country's president to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

"Most important, the Ukrainians did nothing, as far as investigations go, to get the aid released," Jordan opined. "There was never this quid pro quo, that the Democrats all promise existed before President Trump released the phone call."

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