Islam in the News (December 2011)
|Islam in the News|
Indonesian Minister for Political, Legal & Security Affairs: Violence against Shia not my problem
“It is the role of the Religious [Affairs] Ministry to handle violence that is related to religion. The impetus should be more on religious leaders to create awareness that differences and disputes should be resolved peacefully,” he said on Friday.
Hundreds of Shiites in the village of Nangkernang in Madura Island fled their homes to safety after their boarding school, or pesantren, was attacked and destroyed by unidentified men on Thursday.
Shiites in the area have been facing intimidation and death threats from other Muslim communities in the area.
In April, a Shia cleric named Tajul Muluk was taken from his home by police officers, who claimed that it was for his own protection. But the Shia community believed that police were pressured by hard-line groups.
In September, a team of researchers from Human Rights Watch was also detained as they conducted a study on religious freedom there.
Police again argued that they were protecting the researchers from the wrath of the locals.
Hidayat Nurwahid, a senior Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician, said that the Nahdlatul Ulama, a Muslim organization with strong support in East Java, must mediate tensions between the groups.
“Many pesantrens in Sampang belong to NU and [people in Sampang] are mostly supporters of Gus Dur,” Hidayat said in reference to the late NU leader and former president Abdurrahman Wahid, who many see as a champion of religious freedom.
“This is homework for Said Aqil Siradj [the current NU leader] to remind people there about Gus Dur’s spirit.”
Siradj on Friday condemned the attack, saying that “violence is not acceptable to any religion.”
Sampang Police chief Adj Sr. Comr. Solehan said that police had deployed 800 officers to Nangkernang to prevent further violence.
“We will closely guard the victims, who in this case are Shiites and at the same time anticipate and monitor the movements of the Sunnis,” he said.
At least 225 Shiites were evacuated from the village.Separately, Fuad Amin Imron, head of the neighboring Bangkalan district, which also has a significant Shia community, said he was holding talks with religious leaders to prevent similar violence from spreading to the district.
Arientha Primanita, Ezra Sihite & Antara, Jakarta Globe, December 31, 2011
Libya: Gaddafi's captured son has part of finger and thumb amputated in prison
Human rights groups have expressed concern over the treatment of the dictator's son, who has been held in solitary confinement without access to legal counsel since his capture by local militia in Libya.
Mr Gaddafi has since had the ends of his right-hand forefinger and thumb amputated in his prison cell due to injuries sustained in a Nato airstrike before his capture.
Medics had to remove the top knuckle of his thumb and forefinger because the injuries he sustained had become gangrenous.
Colonel Gaddafi's son also has an injury to his right middle finger.
The first of Mr Gaddafi's trials could be heard as early as next month, according to The Times.
U.S.-based human rights group Watch said Saif al-Islam has been cut off from the world during his 33 days in detention, with no access to his family or a lawyer.
News of the legal proceedings emerged as Colonel Gaddafi's daughter demanded an international criminal court inquiry into the circumstances surrounding her father's death.
Aisha Gaddafi, who fled Libya in August prior to the capture of her father by rebel forces, said she has suffered 'severe emotional distress' by pictures of his death and the treatment of his corpse.
In a letter to ICC prosecutor Jose Luis Moreno-Ocampo, international lawyer Nick Kaufman said Gaddafi and his son Mutassim 'were murdered in the most horrific fashion with their bodies thereafter displayed and grotesquely abused in complete defiance of Islamic law.'
The letter continues: 'The images of this savagery were broadcast throughout the world causing my client severe emotional distress.'
Mr Kaufman is said to have posed the ICC a series of questions, including whether they are investigating the circumstances of the deaths, whether it had received postmortem exam reports, and why the ICC had not ordered its own independent exam.
An ICC official, Phakiso Mochochoko, said last week Libyan authorities had promised to investigate Gaddafi's death, according to The Guardian.
Meanwhile the head of the rebel government council in Zintan, in the Nafusa Mountains in Western Libya, said Gaddafi's son is still being interrogated and 'is not allowed to talk to anybody' during this period.
Last month Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke out over the fate of the former dictator’s one-time heir apparent.concerns have emerged that the former rebel faction that captured him is refusing to hand him over to the authorities in Tripoli, raising further doubts about the chances of a fair trial.
Chris Parsons, Mail Online, December 30, 2011
Maldives bans spas after Muslim protests claim they were a "front for prostitution"
The tourism ministry instructed all resort hotels across the nation's 1,192 tiny coral islands to shut their spas and health centres offering beauty treatments and massage with immediate effect.
The opposition Adhaalath party, a conservative religious movement whose website features an article criticising "lustful music," staged protests in the capital Male last week accusing spas of being used as brothels.
"An Islamic party has been agitating against spas hoping to embarrass the government," a senior government figure told AFP by telephone, confirming Thursday's ministry order but asking not to be named.
The tourism industry is a vital foreign exchange earner and employer in the Maldives, a popular high-end destination for well-heeled honeymooners and celebrities where luxury rooms can cost up to $12,000 a day.
The Indian Ocean country this year received more than 850,000 tourists, drawn to its secluded islands known for turquoise blue lagoons, as well as corals and reefs filled with multi-coloured fish.
The government bowed to the pressure less than a week after President Mohamed Nasheed called for a "tolerant" form of Islam in his nation of 330,000 people, who by law are all Muslims.
He urged Maldivians to reject religious extremism and support the more liberal "traditional form" of Islam that has been practised in the Maldives for centuries.
Despite the Islamic republic's reputation as a laid-back holiday paradise, burnished by frequent international marketing campaigns, there is growing concern about the influence of a minority of religious fundamentalists.
There have been anti-semitic protests recently about the transport ministry's decision to allow direct flights from Israel, while a restaurant that hung up Christmas decorations last year was also targeted.
In 2010, a marriage celebrant was filmed abusing a Western couple as "swine" and "infidels" in a religious-tinged hate speech during a ceremony conducted in the local Dhivehi language.
Most recently, UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay has sought to highlight the plight of Maldivian women who can be publicly flogged for having extra-marital sex.
Industry sources said they expected the government to revoke the decision on spas considering the huge revenue earned from the business.
The deluxe Huvafen Fushi, where an ocean view room can cost $10,440 per night, told AFP Friday that their spa was open on Friday and they were accepting bookings for the New Year.
"We have heard of this report, but our spa is open," a Huvafen Fushi manager said. The hotel boasts the world's first underwater spa treatment rooms where guests have a close up view of marine life.The government move to shut spas will directly affect an opposition leader, Gasim Ibrahim, head of the Jumhoory Party, who owns five, the independent Minivan news website reported.
Amal Jayasinghe, AFP, December 30, 2011
UK college which aims to "promote multiculturalism" sacks principal and wife for being white Christians
His wife Isabel Campbell-Nye, 42, alleges she was also forced out of her position as head of the college’s English language centre because she brought in too many students who were not Muslims or Arabs.
The independent college, sponsored by the Dubai royal family, advertises itself as a research-led institution “that promotes a greater understanding of different religions and cultures in a multicultural context, for the benefit of the wider community”.
However, the couple allege that its claims of multiculturalism were a charade and that Prof Nye was dismissed to make way for a Muslim replacement.
They are taking the college to an employment tribunal claiming racial and religious discrimination, and unfair dismissal.
Mrs Campbell-Nye is also claiming sex discrimination on the grounds that she was allegedly suspended and later dismissed because she is married to Prof Nye.
Prof Nye and his wife began working at the college eight and four years ago respectively and were so happy there that they chose to marry on the campus last year.
However, they believe they fell out of favour with leaders at the college, whose patron is Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, over fears they were pushing it in a more cosmopolitan direction.
They allege that Abubaker Abubaker, the director of operations, and Mirza al-Sayegh, chairman of its board of directors and private secretary to the Sheikh, decided to force them out because they were British, white and Christian.
Prof Nye said: “It is clear to me that there is collusion between these two individuals that I should be removed from my position on the basis that I am not an Arab and not a Muslim and that the person who has the role of principal should be Arab and/or Muslim.
“Multiculturalism and respect for cultural and religious differences are, I had thought, core values of the college.
“However, I believe that such inclusive multiculturalism no longer fits the particular type of multicultural vision of certain managers and the chairman, that is accepting of different cultures, so long as the majority of students are Muslims and/or Arabs and the ethos is distinctly Islamic.
“My face and lack of Muslim faith no longer fit.”
He said his suspension also came just days after he changed the college’s name from its former title: Al-Maktoum Institute for Arabic and Islamic studies.
The couple, from Perth, were frogmarched off the college grounds in June and suspended and have not been allowed to return since.
They claim they were given no reason for their suspensions and were dismissed in November despite no evidence of any wrongdoing.
The couple have also lodged grievances against the Labour peer Lord Elder, Chancellor of the college and a close friend of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, for his handling of what they describe as a "sham" disciplinary process.
Mrs Campbell-Nye claims Mr Abubaker also sought to remove her because she had attracted too many non-Muslim, European and Asian students to study English at the college.
“Some are from Arab and other Muslim backgrounds. However, a substantial number are from other parts of the world and other cultures.
“I believe Mr Abubaker does not feel happy with us recruiting students from these backgrounds as it does not fit the particular multicultural vision he has for English language.
“The only times Mr Abubaker has encouraged me to bring in students to English language are when they are Arabs or Muslims.
“I believe that Mr Abubaker’s discrimination against me, because I am not Muslim, I am not Arab, and I am also a woman – and because I have brought a number of non Muslim/non-Arab students to the college – is a significant reason for my suspension.”
Despite a waiting list to get on its English language courses, the college abruptly closed the department last month, leaving its two remaining tutors redundant at Christmas.The independent college, which operates as a charity in partnership with the University of Aberdeen, advertises in its prospectus that “multiculturalism is at the centre of our vision and structure”.
Murray Wardrop, The Telegraph, December 30, 2011
Horrific abuse of girls and women acceptable in Afghanistan
Women throughout Afghanistan are suffering domestic abuse, very often at the hands of their own family or in-laws. The BBC reports it was given a video which can be seen here, that reveals the extensive injuries inflicted upon a 15-year old Afghan child bride. The girl, Sahar Gul was married off to a 30-year-old man seven months ago, when she was 14.
Sahar was rescued by local police who were contacted by her family after they weren't able to see or visit her for several months. They found her locked up in the basement of her in-law's house, a dark room with no windows. She told them she had had her nails and clumps of her hair pulled out. Police say big chunks of the flesh on her body had been cut out with pliers.
Rahima Zarifi, director of the Women's Affairs Department in Baghlan, said the girl was severely tortured all the time, both physically and mentally, and that although the physical scars might heal, the psychological scars are not likely to.
Baghlan police official Jawid Basharat says Sahar explained that she was abused by her father-in-law, her husband, her sister-in-law, brother-in-law and her mother-in-law. She says it was the mother-in-law who pulled out her hair and nails.Authorities in northern Baghlan province say they were aware of reports that the girl was tortured after she refused to be forced into prostitution, but they were unable to confirm it.Police arrested Sahar's in-laws, but her husband managed to flee.
Human rights activists are concerned that the abuse of young and old females in Afghanistan, especially in its rural areas, stays on the sideline as the international community focuses on its military activities in that country, and puts little emphasis and less pressure on Afghan authorities over human rights.
In just the second quarter of this year alone, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission reports 1,026 cases of violence against women. That compares with the total of all of last year of 2,700. And the group points out that these are just the cases that are actually reported, as most cases go unreported. Many girls who are being abused in Aghanistan burn themselves to get out of the situation. Many kill themselves by this method, others are severely injured.Afghan law permits girls to be married at the age of 16. But almost half of them are married off when they are younger than that. Often, they have not even reached their teenage years. The torture occurs sometimes for no reason at all, or because the husband accuses the girl of having an affair, or orders her to become a prostitute to make money for him, and she refuses.
Joan Firstenberg, Digital Journal, December 29, 2011
The Islamic Community in Bosnia-Herzegovina calls on Muslims to "boycott New Year"
By taking part, said the organization, they would "violate Allah's boundaries, and do something their master hates and despises".
The Islamic Community statement on Wednesday quoted from a book by Almir Dumica, entitled, "Pearls of the Sunnah in the Mosaic of Time":
"On that night, turn off the lights early and let everyone see you're boycotting everything happening on that night. Do not fear anyone's objections. Don't you have a right to choose? Do not say, 'how can I do that, I will change nothing, most people do it... I will be declared a black sheep'."
Muslims are taught that by this behavior they can change a lot, and firstly demonstrate to themselves that the love for their master is much stronger and greater than the fear of objections made by people, said the quote.
"On that night go to bed on time, happy and satisfied that the Allah gave you many benefits that you do not consider often, and which you would become aware of only if you lost them," the Islamic Community release further said.
"Think about your health and family... the peace and security you enjoy. Then, each night of the year will be much more dear to you than the New Year's night is to any of those who eagerly await it all year, while a blessed feeling of triumph will overcome your soul and body, because piousness and reason will have won over passions and ugly customs," the message concluded.Muslims this year celebrated their New Year on November 25, marking it in mosques, by studying the Koran.
B92, December 28, 2011
Maldives 'considering' complete ban of alcohol and pork following demands by Muslim protesters
The President's Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair told journalists that the government is considering imposing a nationwide ban on alcohol and pork in response to the demands made by religious protestors on Friday.
"As you are aware of, more than 400 locals are living in some large resorts whereas the population of an island consists of only 200-300. Therefore, the government is looking into ways to completely ban the sale of alcohol and pork throughout the Maldives," he said.
Five demands were put forward at the protest organised by the civil society coalition and opposition parties on Friday.
The demands include removing the SAARC monuments in Addu, condemning UN human rights chief Navi Pillay's comments about Islamic Sharia, not allowing Israeli airlines to operate flights, closing down the brothels in Male and a reversed decision on declaring areas of inhabited islands uninhabited in order to permit alcohol sales.
Zuhair said the government will close down massage parlours in the country as such places are suspected of being run as brothels.
"Those places are not operated with a special permission from the government, but the government has now begun inspecting and classifying those places," he said.
Zuhair noted that the government will not obstruct any decision made by Addu City Council to remove the SAARC monuments set up in Addu.
Referring to the demand made to President Mohamed Nasheed to condemn the comments made by UN human rights chief Navi Pillay in Maldives, Zuhair said no controversial statements were made during the "courtesy call" she paid to the President.
He said the parliament could only respond to the comments she made at the parliament on flogging of women convicted of extra-marital sex, as the government did not arrange her to speak at the parliament.
The Press Secretary further stressed that the businessmen involved in the tourism sector will have to play a major role in preventing Israeli national airline from commencing operations to the Maldives."When tourists want to come they will first book the resort before booking the airline and if the resorts cancel their bookings they will not come to the Maldives. The airline will stop operations because it cannot run the business if there won't be any passengers to travel," he said.
Hussain Fiyaz Moosa, Haveeru News, December 28, 2011
US: Muslim convert who threatened a state senator, attacks police officer, shot dead on Christmas Day
Barnette, 53, apparently a recent convert to Islam, was under indictment for threatening several lawmakers, one of whom is New York State Senator Greg Ball whom Barnette sent a rambling, threatening letter in a box with a stuffed monkey with Stars of David pinned to it.
The letter read in part:
- it is apparent that you are the proud, dirty-white, goose-stepping, cross-bearing, flag-draped, Muslim-hating Christian ghoul marching to your own destruction," agents said Barnette wrote in the letter. "I have included a gift for you, your own miniature Jew that you can worship in the privacy of your own home. I will be scanning the obituaries to read the end of your saga. Enjoy your brief and evil life of fairy tales and hokum your evil Jew masters created for you because the Hell-fire is your final destination and the final destination of all of your colleagues.
Barnette also sent a bloody pig's foot and another anti-Semitic letter to Representative Peter King, also of New York.
On Christmas morning the Cobb County Police Officer responded to what they have called a "panic alarm" at the jihadi’s apartment complex. Upon arriving at Barnette's apartment, the woman attacked the officer with a knife and a gun. The officer reports that he shot her in self-defense. A department spokesmen said they didn't feel that this was a case of suicide by cop.
Whatever her mental problem was (besides Islam) it was obvious this woman was headed to no good. We are fortunate that the only person that met death at the hands of this Islamofascist was her own self.
[Source 1: Woman shot, killed by police had threatened lawmaker - Richard Elliot, WSB Atlanta, December 26, 2011][Source 2: Woman killed amid attack on police officer - Geoff Folsom, Marietta Daily Journal, December 25, 2011]
Warner Todd Huston, ChicagoNow (blog), December 27, 2011
Islamic honor killing in Texas: Muslim dressed as Santa murders family on Christmas morning
Again and again we have seen honor killings in which fathers kill daughters who are dating non-Muslims or have supposedly besmirched the family honor by some sexual indiscretion. Lt. Todd Dearing says that motive isn't important -- which is generally only the case when Islam is involved.
"Neighbors horrified at news of family’s slayings in Grapevine," by Gloria Salinas and Scott Goldstein for the Dallas Morning News, December 26 (thanks to Steve):
- GRAPEVINE — Aziz Yazdanpanah seemed to be losing control of his life in recent months — his wife left him, his house was in foreclosure, and his 19-year-old daughter was dating a young man he didn’t like.
- Even so, the 58-year-old former real estate agent from Colleyville seemed to be holding it together. Neighbors say he would smile and wave as he drove through his middle-class neighborhood. Recently, he was seen raking leaves in his yard.
- “He was very friendly, a very good neighbor,” said Carrie Stewart, who lives across the street. “He was out here often doing yard work and he even watched our house for us when we went to Colorado.”
A decent fellow indeed.
- Yazdanpanah, a volunteer high school debate coach described as a doting father, is the focus of suspicion a day after a Christmas morning massacre in which a man dressed as Santa Claus killed six relatives and then committed suicide.
- Grapevine police arrived at the Lincoln Vineyard Apartment Homes a few minutes before noon and discovered bodies sprawled among opened presents and wrapping paper. The victims were ages 15 to 58....
- Citing public records and interviews with friends and neighbors, media reports Monday identified Yazdanpanah and others who had died: his estranged 55-year-old wife, Fatemeh Rahmati, their 19-year-old daughter, Nona Narges Yazdanpanah, and 15-year-old son, Ali Yazdanpanah.
- Friends of the family said Fatemeh Rahmati’s 58-year-old sister, Zohreh Rahmaty, and her husband, Hossein Zarei, 59, and daughter Sahra Zarei, a 22-year-old pre-med student at the University of Texas at Arlington, also were killed.
- Grapevine police Lt. Todd Dearing said investigators were working to piece together a timeline of the murders, but they may never know exactly what set off the gunman.
- “Motive is not really the primary point right now,” Dearing said. “It’s more along the lines of what happened, how it transpired and making sure that who we believe to be the shooter is the shooter. Motive is what comes afterward for us if we can get it.”
- He said a neighbor at the apartment complex saw the suspected shooter get out of his white sport utility vehicle dressed in a Santa outfit, including a full coat, pants, boots and belt. Based in part on that witness account, police believe the shootings occurred about the time a 911 call rang into the station at 11:34 a.m. Sunday.
- The line was silent....
- Grapevine police also searched the Colleyville home where Aziz Yazdanpanah had been living since he separated from his wife last spring. Public records show that the couple had filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and that the property was in foreclosure....
- Yazdanpanah said he bought a gun after expressing concern that his daughter’s boyfriend was stalking him. He also insisted on picking up his daughter from her job at a phone kiosk inside Sam’s Club in Grapevine because of concerns about the alleged stalker.
- The boyfriend has not been publicly identified.
- Neighbors said the family was Muslim but had always hung Christmas lights on their home — except this year.
- Terri Baum, who lives three homes down from Yazdanpanah, said she had seen him around the neighborhood in the last couple of weeks.
- “They were pretty quiet, but kind, very kind,” Baum said. “They were sweet, good parents, and they loved their kids very much.”
- Baum’s daughter, Allison, attended Colleyville Heritage High School with Nona, where the girls were part of an academic team focused on developing business leaders. They graduated together in May.
- “Allison would take her to school from here, and then when they moved out she would pick her up from the apartments,” Baum said. “It’s unbelievable because of the people we knew them to be, and their children were good kids, very focused.”
- Baum said she was horrified at the possibility the killings had been a murder-suicide.
- “All I want to say is, it is so unbelievably shocking because they loved their kids,” Baum said.
Yes, loved them to death.
- But a more ominous portrait emerged of Yazdanpanah in interviews with some of his daughter’s other classmates.
- “She would come to school crying and telling us her dad was crazy,” said Lacie Reed, 18. “He wouldn’t let her wear certain things. He was always taking her phone away, checking her call history and checking her text messages.”
- Friends said Nona’s father had installed cameras all around the home so he could watch the family’s comings and goings. Others said he nailed her bedroom window shut so she could not sneak out at night and see her boyfriend.
- “She couldn’t date at all until she was a certain age, but when he was going to let her date she couldn’t date anyone outside of their race or religion,” Reed said.
- Yiselle Alvarenga, 18, said Nona’s mother and brother seemed to come to her aid when her father punished her.
- “He would take her phone away and her mother would give it back to her and her brother would let her use his phone,” Alvarenga said. “She was doing good. She was just excited that her life was going to start and she was going to have control of it.”...
Islamic honor killing in Texas: "Santa" who murdered family on Christmas morning was Muslim who didn't like his daughter dating a non-Muslim
Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, December 27, 2011
Not a Merry Christmas: 110 Christians dead in Nigeria's Christmas attacks
Numerous people are in serious conditions. Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist organization aiming at the extension of the Sharia law throughout the region has claimed many of these attacks.
Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, December 26, 2011
Eastern Libya poll indicates political Islam will closely follow democracy
The poll sponsored by the International Republican Institute (a US-government funded non-profit) found a high degree of optimism about the future, concerns about the security situation in the country, and conservative (and somewhat contradictory) attitudes when it comes to faith and politics.In Eastern Libya, 83 percent said freedom of the press was "important," and 71 percent said it was important to have laws giving equal rights to "religious and tribal groups," which would seem to indicate concern for protecting minority rights. But 94 percent agreed with the proposition that "people should be prohibited from offending" religions and 85 percent agreed that "religion should be part of government" (68 percent of those "strongly agreed.") Asked about whether a "secular" state was a good idea, 69 percent of Libyans dissaproved against 14 percent that approved.
Dan Murphy, Christian Science Monitor, December 26, 2011
Nigeria: Christmas Day bomb attacks targeting churches and a suicide blast kill at least 40
The government blamed Islamist group Boko Haram and a purported spokesman of the sect claimed responsibility for the bloodiest attack, against a church outside the capital Abuja, and for other deaths.
The wave of killings stoked fear and anger in Africa's most populous nation and drew worldwide condemnation, with the White House decrying the "senseless violence" and the Vatican blaming "blind hatred".
Some victims at the Catholic church outside the capital -- where 35 people were killed -- ran toward a priest with dying pleas to be blessed, including one man who was mortally wounded.
President Goodluck Jonathan called the wave of attacks "an unwarranted affront on our collective safety and freedom" and pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice.
His national security adviser blamed Boko Haram for the attacks that saw worshippers killed as they were leaving church and burnt inside their cars. He said two people behind the bombing near Abuja were arrested.
Nigerian authorities were unable to prevent the attacks despite military crackdowns and claims of arrests of Boko Haram members in the country, which is divided between a mainly Muslim north and mostly Christian south.
One attack on Sunday saw a suicide bomber seek to ram a military convoy in front of a secret police building in the northeastern city of Damaturu, in an incident that killed the bomber and three security agents.
The area around the church blast outside the capital degenerated into further chaos after the attack, with angry youths starting fires and threatening to rush a nearby police station.
Police shot into the air to disperse them and closed a major highway. Emergency officials called for more ambulances as rescuers sought to evacuate the dead and wounded, before calm later returned to the area.
Other attacks included a bomb blast outside an evangelical church in the central city of Jos. A policeman who engaged the attackers was shot dead, said a spokesman for the governor, adding that one person was arrested.
Another explosion targeted a church in the northeastern area of Gadaka on Christmas Eve, but no one was reported killed.
Two other blasts hit the northeastern city of Damaturu on Christmas Day, including the suicide bombing.
Holes could be seen in the wall of the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla outside Abuja, the roof was badly damaged and a number of cars were destroyed from what looked to be a powerful blast.
National Security Adviser Owoye Azazi said in a statement that Boko Haram members threw improvised explosive devices from a moving vehicle.
Father Christopher Barde told AFP that the attack happened as the Christmas morning service was ending, and some of the wounded ran toward him for blessings, including one person in a critical state.
"It was really terrible," said Barde. "Some people ran towards me -- (saying) 'Father anoint me'."
Benjamin Ekwegbali, a social worker at the church, described scenes of horror and destruction, with "corpses littered everywhere".
"When the mass was over, all of us were coming out," he said.
He described a "very loud sound. It shook everywhere. When I looked back to see what happened, it was difficult to see anything. Everywhere was dark. Fire was burning."
Nigerian police affairs minister Caleb Olubolade visited the scene and said "this is like an internal war against the country".
Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sin", has claimed responsibility for scores of attacks in Nigeria, including the August suicide bombing of UN headquarters in Abuja that killed at least 24 people.
A string of bomb blasts in the central city of Jos on Christmas Eve 2010 was also claimed by Boko Haram.
In recent days up to 11 people were killed in three cities in the northeast in attacks blamed on the sect followed by a heavy military crackdown, authorities and a rights group have said.
Violence blamed on the sect has steadily worsened in recent months, with bomb blasts becoming more frequent and increasingly sophisticated and death tolls climbing, with at least 280 people killed since November.
There has been intense speculation over whether Boko Haram has links with outside extremist groups, including Al-Qaeda's north African branch.It launched an uprising in 2009 put down by a brutal military assault which left some 800 dead, then went dormant for about a year before re-emerging in 2010 with a series of assassinations.
Ola Awoniyi, AFP, December 25, 2011
In court on Friday he pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism. Justice Adeniyi Ademola adjourned trial to May 2.
Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the bombing of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, on the outskirts of Abuja, which killed 37 people and wounded 57, in the deadliest of a series of attacks at Christmas.
. . .
Boko Haram, which in the Hausa language of largely Muslim northern Nigeria means "Western education is sinful," is loosely modeled on the Taliban movement in Afghanistan.
Its fighters want an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria, a country of 170 million split roughly evenly between Christians and Muslims. Its favourite targets are the police, politicians and Christians.The group, or someone claiming to represent it, took responsibility for kidnapping a French family of seven in February, who French and Cameroonian authorities on Friday said had been released.
New York Times, April 19, 2013
Syria: Muslim Brotherhood responsible for deadly suicide bombings, say more attacks to come
The claim on Saturday contradicted assertions by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad that the blasts, which also wounded 166 people, were the work of al-Qa'ida and of the opposition Syrian National Council that the regime carried them out.
One of our victorious Sunni brigades was able to target the state security building in Kfar Suseh in the heart of the ... capital Damascus in a successful operation carried out by four of our kamikazes drawn from the best of our glorious men, leaving many dead and wounded from the ranks of the Assad gangs, it said on its official website.
We as defenders of the Syrian people and the sanctity of this nation send a message to Assad's gangs: This is the beginning of the liberation of Damascus and the tip of the iceberg, the statement added.
Hence we warn our fellow citizens and advise them not to approach government centres or security branches ... because our martyrdom brigades are in a state of maximum readiness to carry out quality operations in Aleppo, Damascus, and the blessed land of Syria in the next 10 days.
The statement was signed by the Muslim Brotherhood's media committee inside Syria.
The bombings, the first against the powerful security services in central Damascus since an uprising against Assad began in March, came a day after the arrival of an advance group of Arab League monitors who are to oversee a deal to end the bloodshed.
After the attacks, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Meqdad said this is the gift we get from the terrorists and al-Qa'ida, but we are going to do all we can to facilitate the Arab League mission.
The delegates were to hold talks with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Saturday.
Muallem has said he expects the observers to vindicate his government's contention that the unrest is the work of armed terrorists, not overwhelmingly peaceful protesters as maintained by the West and human rights watchdogs.
For its part, the Syrian National Council said the Syrian regime, alone, bears all the direct responsibility for the two terrorist explosions/
The regime wanted to create the impression that it faces danger coming from abroad and not a popular revolution demanding freedom and dignity, it added.
The UN Security Council condemned the attacks but remained deadlocked on a full resolution on the crisis with the Russian and US ambassadors trading personal barbs.
While not rejecting Syria's account of the events, France accused the regime of trying to mask the reality of the repression, notably by transferring political prisoners to secret jails.
Ban Ki-moon's spokesman said the UN leader was gravely concerned about the escalation and urged the government to fully and speedily mplement the Arab League plan.
Arab League Assistant Secretary General Samir Seif al-Yazal, head of the advance team, said after the bombings that what has happened is regrettable but the important thing is that everyone stay calm.
We are going to press on with our work. We have started today, and tomorrow (Saturday) we will meet Walid Muallem.
Yazal's nine-member team is making logistical arrangements for the arrival of the first observers, who will eventually number between 150 and 200.
In Cairo, the Arab League's Ahmed Ben Helli said the mission will head to Syria on Monday, grouping more than 50 experts in politics, human rights, military issues and crisis management, the official MENA news agency reported.
The mission is part of an Arab plan endorsed by Syria on November 2 that also calls for the withdrawal of the military from towns and residential districts, a halt to violence against civilians and the release of detainees.Syria says more than 2000 security force personnel have been killed in attacks by armed rebels since March.
AFP, December 25, 2011
Dearborn Muslims: “All-American Muslims” TV show doesn’t reflect the reality of practicing Islam
The Learning Channel show follows five Muslim families living in Dearborn, Mich., as they deal with issues of faith, customs and community and gives a glimpse into their daily lives.
Local Muslims say the reality TV show doesn’t reflect how a faithful Muslim behaves.
“I think that’s made for TV,” said James Hall, a Muslim, community activist and radio host. “It doesn’t speak for me as a Muslim.”
Islamic Society of Gastonia President Hossam “Sam” Shoukry said he’s not judging anyone or questioning the faith of those appearing on the show, but he also takes issue with the families selected.
Shoukry points to high school football coach Fouad Zaban, who often cusses while talking to his team.
“You should use the right word choice,” Zaban said.
Cast member Nina Bazzy Aliahmad wants to open a nightclub. That’s something that would also be frowned upon since alcohol is prohibited in the Koran.
“I wasn’t really impressed with the whole show,” Shoukry said. “I didn’t feel good about the first two, three episodes.”
Shoukry is an Egyptian native but his children were raised in the United States. His 24-year-old daughter also thought the show’s cast didn’t behave the way Muslims should.
Those who watch the show may think all American Muslims act that way when they aren’t good role models, both Shoukry and Hall said.
“I think the concept is great,” Hall said. “There needs to be a general understanding of how a true Muslim in America lives in America.”
But the families chosen don’t represent the majority of Muslims.
“Yeah, it’s an eye opener on us,” Shoukry said. “But at the same time I don’t know who chose them or why they chose them,” Shoukry said.The next episode of “All-American Muslim” will be broadcast at 10 p.m. on TLC Jan. 1.
Amanda Memrick, Gaston Gazette, December 25, 2011
Maldives: More than 3,000 protesters "urge" the government to enforce Islamic law
“We are here to show that will not support those policies, yet we are not extremist,” Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, who heads the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), was quoted saying by the privately-run Minivan News website.
“We will stay forever as an Islamic nation.”
Answering a protest call by the opposition Adhaalat, or Justice, Party and several other groups, more than 3,000 people accused President Mohammed Nasheed’s government of compromising principles of Islam and call for Islamic law.
“Islamic Shariah is equal to peace,’’ read some placards carried by protesters.
Going in mass rallies on Friday, thousands of protesters urged the Maldivian authorities to stop the sale of alcohol in the islands, shut down brothels operating in the guise of massage parlors.
Protesters also demanded demolishing monuments gifted by Pakistan marking a South Asian summit last month because they see them as idols.
Debates on religious issues have emerged since a group vandalized a monument gifted by Pakistan marking a South Asian summit last month with the image of Buddha.
Similar protests emerged last month following calls by UN human rights chief Navi Pillay to end the practice of flogging women committed of having extra-marital sex.
The UN rights chief's call has sparked protests in the island nation, with some protestors calling for Pillary's arrest.Protestors surrounded the UN Building, and demanded an apology from the UN and parliamentarians.
OnIslam, December 24, 2011
Twin suicide car bombings in Damascus leaves 44 people dead and another 166 people wounded
With world powers arguing about details of a U.N. resolution on Syria, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate end to the bloodshed and urged the Syrian government to implement a peace plan proposed by the Arab League.
The first batch of 50 Arab League monitors will head to Syria on Monday to assess whether Damascus is abiding by an Arab peace plan, Egypt's state news agency reported on Friday.
European and U.S. officials want the U.N. Security Council to impose an arms embargo and other sanctions on Syria's government because of its nine-month-old crackdown on protesters against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, which U.N. officials say has killed more than 5,000 people.
The suicide bombs, aimed at two security buildings, sent human limbs flying and streets in Syria's capital were littered with human remains and the blackened hulk of cars.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdesi said the attacks were carried out by "terrorists (trying) to sabotage the will for change" in Syria, and followed warnings from Lebanon that al Qaeda fighters had infiltrated Syria from Lebanese territory.
Some of Assad's opponents said the suicide attacks could have been staged by the government itself.
The U.N. Security Council condemned the "terrorist attacks."
"Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and ... any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable," its statement said.
Western powers say government security forces have been responsible for most of the violence in Syria. But Russia, an old ally of Damascus, wants any resolution to be even-handed.
"If the requirement is that we drop all reference to violence coming from extreme opposition, that's not going to happen," U.N. ambassador Vitaly Churkin said in New York after Russia submitted a revised draft resolution to the council.
"If they expect us to have arms embargo, that's not going to happen," he said. "We know what arms embargo means these days. It means that - we saw it in Libya - that you cannot supply weapons to the government but everybody else can supply weapons to various opposition groups."
German Ambassador Peter Wittig said the latest Russian draft did not go far enough. "We need to put the weight of the council behind the Arab League," he said.
"That includes the demands to release political prisoners, that includes a clear signal for accountability for those who have perpetrated human rights violations."
Assad has used tanks and troops to try to crush the street protests inspired by other Arab uprisings this year. Such rallies are now increasingly eclipsed by an armed insurgency against his security apparatus.
But Friday's blasts signaled a dramatic escalation.
"It's a new phase. We're getting militarized here," said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma who felt Friday's bombs were a "small premonition" of what may come in a country that some analysts see slipping towards civil war.
"This is when the Syrian opposition is beginning to realize they are on their own," he added, referring to Western reluctance to intervene militarily in Syria.
The interior ministry spokesman said 166 people were wounded by the Damascus explosions. It broadcast footage of mangled bodies being carried in blankets and stretchers into ambulances, a row of corpses wrapped in sheets lying in the street.
The United States condemned the attacks, saying there was "no justification for terrorism of any kind" and that the work of the Arab League should not be hindered.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Al Qaeda are Sunni Muslim militants. Assad and Syria's power elite belong to the Alawite branch of Shi'ite Islam while the majority of Syrians, including protesters and insurgents, are Sunnis.
"I'm defending my people," Ali, 45, an Alawite factory worker issued by police with a gun which he has used against protesters in the city of Homs, said in comments passed on to Reuters. "We can't let them topple the regime, they'll go after us and kill us all."
Syria has generally barred foreign media from the country, making it hard to verify accounts of events from either side.
The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 15 civilians were killed outside the capital on Friday, eight of them in Homs.
The Arab League peace plan stipulates a withdrawal of troops from protest-hit cities and towns, release of prisoners and dialogue with the opposition.
Damascus says more than 1,000 prisoners have been freed since the Arab plan was agreed and the army has pulled out of cities. Anti-Assad activists say no such pullout has occurred.
Syrian Oil Minister Sufian Alao said on Saturday that his country's oil production had fallen by about 30 to 35 percent as a result of sanctions imposed on Syria over its crackdown.The European Union has stepped up its sanctions against Syria's oil industry, including blacklisting state-owned firms. The Arab League has also imposed sanctions on financial and other dealings with Syria.
Erika Solomon, Reuters, December 24, 2011
UK Islamist's 2011 Christmas Message: Christmas is evil; Jesus will return one day & break the Cross
The following is a transcript of the video:
" … Hello to all of the non-Muslims. Christmas is a period when many events and many views are heard. In particular at this time of the year people think about Jesus – 'Issa (peace be upon him). Jesus was not a Christian, and, in fact, if Jesus was alive today he would be following the Muslims and Islam. Indeed, 'Issa (peace be upon him), said that the messenger Muhammad (SAW) would come after him, and he gave him one of the names which Allah has mentioned in the Koran – Ahmad. And indeed 'Issa was a Muslim. There are many people who want to attribute things which are not correct to 'Issa (peace by upon him). For example, that he believed in confession – confessing to a person to be forgiven for your sins. That he believed in Original Sin – that you are born sinful. That, in fact, they say that he allowed to eat and drink whatever you wish; and, in fact, he said: 'Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God what is God's,' whereas we know about the life of Jesus – 'Issa (peace be upon him) – that he rose against the Roman emperor in his time. He forbade cheating in the market. He forbade the promiscuity, and he forbade the Jewish judicial system in his own era."And, in fact, he said that you worship, and you obey, and you follow none but Allah. And that is the true message of Jesus as found in the Koran and in the statements of the Messenger Muhammad (SAW). And in this spirit as well, the Muslims – those who had the attribute of commanding good and forbidding evil – should realize that Christmas has many evils associated with it. Every true Christian, as well, knows that this has nothing to do with Christianity. This pagan festival where there is promiscuity, the abuse of alcohol, domestic violence, and all kinds of crimes. Break up of families, which are associated with it, is something which the Muslims must put on their agenda to forbid, and to invite people away from this debauchery into Islam – the pure way of life. And, indeed, Jesus will return one day and he will break the cross and he will pray behind the Muslims and he will declare with them that indeed, he believes in the finality of the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) and in al-Islam. … "
MEMRI, Special Dispatch No.4385, December 23, 2011
New Tunisian premier names coalition government dominated by Islamists
Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali of the long-banned Islamist party Ennahda said the 41-member government will focus on boosting the economy and fighting corruption.
Joblessness and corruption helped drive popular anger during protests a year ago that forced out hard-line President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, ending half a century of dictatorship. That uprising led to revolts around the Arab world.
After weeks of negotiations with the parties who won seats on a new constituent assembly in October elections, Jebali announced the new government Thursday. The government faces a confidence vote Friday morning in the assembly.
The government includes three women and a human rights minister, in an apparent bid by the Islamist prime minister to soothe fears that his party will roll back freedoms.
The Islamist party has control of most ministries, except for defense. Defense Minister Abdelkrim Zbidi is the only member of the former interim government to continue in his post.
A son-in-law of Ennahda’s chief, Rafik Abdessalem, was named foreign minister. The party insisted his international experience — he has a degree from London’s Westminster University and was a senior figure at Arab news network Al-Jazeera — and not his family ties were behind the appointment.Other ministries went to the parties that came second and third in the October elections, or to independents such as former soccer star Tarek Dhiab, now minister for youth and sports.
Associated Press, December 23, 2011
US: Top Muslim leader arrested by Police, admits molesting 10-year-old boy. Muslims still defend him
This guy is an imam, the highest ranking leader at a central Phoenix mosque.
Police say after his arrest he admitted to molesting a young boy. Still, members of the mosque are defending him.
“Everybody loves and respects him, I’m sure this must be some mistake,” says mosque member Jamil Aziz.
As news of the imam's arrest spread through the Muslim Community Mosque, members refused to believe it.
“It’s unbelievable to even think that because he’s caring to all the children here. Many children come in here,” says Aziz. “I’m sure it must be some mistake because his character here is spotless.”
54-year-old Muhammad Aziz Shah is accused of molesting a 10-year-old boy. Police say it happened two different times earlier this week inside a central Phoenix home.
According to court paperwork, the 10-year-old told his mom about the touching and she called police. The boy said he pretended to be asleep when Shah went into his room.
Detectives say Shah admitted to the victim's mom that he'd inappropriately touched the boy while the boy was sleeping. Then the imam confessed to detectives too.
Shah has been the imam at the Muslim Community Mosque for about 10 years. They currently have about 500 members.
Right now, Shah is being held without bond. Police say he told the victim's mom he was planning on leaving the country.Police say they don't have evidence of any other victims.
FOX 10, December 22, 2011
14 blasts kill 63 & injure dozens in co-ordinated attack just 5 days after US forces withdraw from Iraq
The co-ordinated attack designed to wreak havoc across the Iraqi capital is the worst violence to hit the country since a political crisis between Iraq's Sunni and Shiite factions erupted this weekend.
It also comes in the week that U.S. forces officially withdrew from the country - sparking fears that without an American presence the country will now quickly descend into anarchy.
The political spat, which pits Iraq's Shiite prime minister against the highest-ranking Sunni political leader, has raised fears that Iraq's sectarian wounds will be reopened.
Iraqi officials said at least 14 blasts went off early this morning in 11 neighbourhoods around the city. The violence ranged from sticky bombs attached to cars to roadside bombs and vehicles packed with explosives.
Most of the violence appeared to hit Shiite neighbourhoods although some Sunni areas were also targeted. The worst attack was in the al-Amal neighbourhood where seven people were killed in a blast that appeared to target rescuers and officials who came to the scene after a previous explosion.
At least four people were killed in one western Baghdad neighbourhood when two roadside bombs exploded.
In the southwestern neighbourhood of Karrada, where one of the victims was killed, sirens could be heard as ambulances rushed to the scene and a large plume of smoke rose over the explosion site.
Um Hanin, in western Baghdad, said: 'My baby was sleeping in her bed. Shards of glass have fallen on our heads. Her father hugged her and carried her. She is now scared in the next room. All countries are stable. Why don't we have security and stability?'
While Baghdad and Iraq have gotten much safer over the years, explosions like today's are still commonplace.
They come at a precarious time in Iraq's political history, just days after American troops pulled out of Iraq.
The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has accused the Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi of running a hit squad that targeted government officials. Al-Maliki is also pushing for a vote of no-confidence against another Sunni politician, the deputy prime minister Saleh al-Mutlaq.
Many Sunnis fear that this is part of a wider campaign to go after Sunni political figures in general and shore up Shiite control across the country at a critical time when all American troops have left Iraq.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the morning's violence. But the coordinated nature of the assault and the fact that the attacks took place in numerous neighbourhoods suggested a planning capability only available to Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Many of the neighbourhoods were also Shiite areas which are a favourite target of the terrorist organisation. The Sunni extremist group often targets Shiites who they believe are not true Muslims.
Al Qaeda in Iraq is severely debilitated from its previous strength in the early years of the war, but is still able to launch coordinated and deadly assaults from time to time.
U.S. military officials have said they are worried about a resurgence of the group after the American military leaves the country.If that happens, it could lead Shiite militants to fight back and attack Sunni targets, thus sending Iraq back to the sectarian violence it experienced just a few years ago.
Lee Moran, Mail Online, December 22, 2011
UK: illegal Iraqi immigrant attacks and rapes woman on a cycle path
Rebwar Omar got into a taxi at the same time as his 23-year-old victim, claiming he was going the same way.
When they got out at the Crown Island, Old Radford, Omar followed his victim before grabbing her around the throat and subjecting her to a serious sexual assault.
The terrified woman managed to get away and flagged down a taxi driver who saw her running in the middle of the road distraught.
Omar, a 29-year-old Iraqi national who is an illegal immigrant, was convicted of rape following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court. He was arrested at a car wash near Radcliffe-on-Trent after he was traced through DNA.
Detective Constable Shaun Pollard, from Central CID, said Omar's victim was left completely traumatised by the attack, which happened in the early hours of Saturday, April 16 this year.
He said: "She was absolutely terrified and in fear of her life at the time, and utterly distraught afterwards.
"It has had a significant impact on her life. She has not told any of her family or friends what has happened and, as a result, has been trying to cope with this on her own.
"Despite DNA evidence and injuries to the victim, Omar denied the offence.
"He has showed absolutely no remorse and by pleading not guilty has put his victim through the stressful ordeal of a trial in which she was cross-examined and had to relive the nightmare of her assault."
Omar, of Wollaton Road, Radford, will be deported once he has served his sentence.
Victims of rape or sexual assault can get help and advice at the Topaz Centre (Notts Sexual Assault Referral Centre), on 0845 600 15 88 or by e-mailing [email protected]Alternatively they can call Nottingham Rape Crisis on 0115 941 0440.
Nottingham Post, December 22, 2011
Yemen: Nearly 200, including 15 foreigners, killed in clashes between Sunnis and Shi'ites
The tension between the Salafi Islamists, who are Sunni, and the former Hawthi rebels, who are Shiite, escalated just as Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed in late November a U.S.-backed proposal crafted by powerful Gulf Arab neighbors, under which he transfers power to his vice president in exchange for immunity from prosecution. He agreed to step down after a 10-month uprising against his 33-year authoritarian rule.
The Hawthis fought a bloody and costly six-year war with Saleh's government in northern Saada province, along the Saudi border, until a cease-fire was reached early last year.
Salafi spokesman Surour al-Wadee said 71 Salafi fighters, among them an American and French, Russian, Algerian, Malaysian, Somalian, and Libyan citizens, have been killed in the clashes. A Yemeni military officials said more than 120 Hawthis have been killed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.Many of the foreigners were studying in the Salafi Dar al-Hadith school in Saada, which has attracted students from around the world. It was set up more than 20 years ago as a learning center to counter Shiite Islam in the area. Its funds often flow from Yemen's neighbor to the north, Saudi Arabia.
Ahmed Al-haj & Sofia Javed, Associated Press, December 22, 2011
UK: Baby at risk of Muslim 'honor killing' must be adopted, says Court of Appeal
Three senior judges rejected a bid by the one-year-old girl's natural father to have her come and live with him and his wife.
The child's natural mother is in favour of adoption so that her own family will not find out about the birth.
Lord Justice Munby, Lady Justice Black and Lord Justice Kitchin said in a joint judgment the case involved "exceptionally difficult adoption proceedings".
The judges imposed unusually wide reporting restrictions banning the publication of all names and locations linked to the case because of the continuing dangers faced by mother and child.
The appeal court rejected an appeal by the father "F" against a decision of High Court Family Division judge Mrs Justice Parker last July refusing him a residence order allowing the baby to come and live with him.
The judge ordered that "baby Q" should be adopted by a couple, also Muslim, from the same country as the mother, but from a different community.
She found there would be "a very significant risk of two and two being put together" if the child went to the father because Q was quite obviously not the child of his wife, who had a child of her own.
If the child's maternal grandfather found out about the affair "it would be a matter of intense almost unimaginable shame to him and his family", said the judge.
The appeal court said today: "It was plainly the judge's view that this might provoke action to preserve the family's honour."
The mother had consented to the adoption by the couple, who had been looking after her since December 2010.The appeal judges ruled: "In the particular circumstances of this case, the judge rightly regarded the risk of physical harm to Q and M (her mother) as being of major importance."
Huffington Post, December 21, 2011
Quebec allows hijab for prison guards after Muslim files complaint with human rights commission
The Quebec Public Security Department agreed to change rules to allow prison guards to take on hijab at work.
"They have to make a written demand and it won't be automatically granted," said Valerie Simard, a spokeswoman for the department.
The change came after a Muslim girl filed a complaint with the human rights commission in 2007 to be allowed to wear hijab while on duty.
The complaint came after the then 19-year-old girl refused to remove her headscarf during a training to become a Quebec prison guard.
The girl, who had passed all preliminary tests, was told that she could not don the veil for safety reasons.
The human rights commission found that the rules banning prison guards from wearing hijab were “discriminatory”.
The commission said Tuesday that it has reached a deal with the Quebec government to allow Muslim women to wear hijab at work.
To comply with safety regulations, the department will provide a Velcro-fastened hijab to its staff.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
The rule change to allow hijab for prison guards has drawn criticism from some Canadian groups.
"This is completely unacceptable," said Carole Poirier, the Parti Quebecois critic for secularism issue."The guards are state employees and should not wear any conspicuous religious symbols, especially not in a jail where the neutrality of the state should be obvious."
OnIslam, December 21, 2011
Kuwaiti pedophile stalks underage girls online, hundreds of victims in the UK alone
The man is known mainly to target girls aged 12 and over, although some boys are also involved, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) said.
It is believed that in the UK alone there could be hundreds of victims.
The appeal follows the arrest of a man in his mid-twenties in Kuwait.
He was arrested and detained for the suspected sexual abuse of children, Ceop said. 'Sex acts'
Ceop said a non-UK offender gained access to his victims' e-mail accounts and passwords by pretending to be a friend of the child or young person.
He would then tell them that personal information would be sent to their family and friends unless they performed sexual acts via a webcam.
Ceop said it believed the alleged abuse had been going on since 2008.
West Yorkshire Police contacted Ceop in March regarding a suspect who had allegedly targeted a young girl online. Police enquiries uncovered a number of other victims who described performing sexual acts via a webcam.
The investigation was co-ordinated by Ceop, which worked with the authorities in the UK and Kuwait, and a number of other law enforcement agencies in other countries. A number of UK police forces are also involved.An NSPCC helpline has been set up - 0800 614 458 - and Ceop has urged possible victims to seek advice and support.
BBC News, December 21, 2011
UK: Afghan "teen" rapists caught on camera 'elated' after horrific sex attack on woman
Jailat Khan and Shahzada Khan, both just 16, were caught after they were captured on CCTV celebrating their sickening attack in Leeds city centre.
The victim, in her early 20s, was on the phone to her boyfriend asking him to get her a taxi at around 2am when she was dragged into a doorway.
He could hear her screams for 30 seconds before the line went dead. She was then raped.
The pair have now been jailed for the shocking attack.
A court heard the pair, both Afghanis, were prowling the streets on June 12 this year looking for an easy target when they came across their victim.
The defendants spotted the woman and followed her after she left the HiFi club in Leeds, West Yorkshire, and one spoke to her when she stopped at a bus stop while the other was looking around assessing the area.
The pair then struck from either side bundling her into a fire exit doorway.
Jason Pitter, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court she was pushed to the ground and when she screamed Shahzada put his hand over her mouth.
She could hear Jailat laughing and tried to struggle but was overpowered. Jailat raped her while his accomplice held her down.
Mr Pitter said: 'While on the mobile phone to her boyfriend, he had the misfortune of hearing the attack begin.
'He heard her become distressed then say ‘Get off, get off, what are you doing’. He heard her scream for 30 seconds before her line went dead.'
The defendants ran off when they were disturbed but Shahzada was then captured on CCTV making a playful bowling motion. The prosecutor said they appeared 'elated' after the attack.
'Those actions do not portray the grave nature of their conduct moments before,' said Mr Pitter.
Two men heard the victim’s distress and went to her assistance. She was hysterical and pleaded with them not to leave her alone saying 'Why has this happened to me? Why have they done this to me?' When the police arrived they found her sitting in the doorway hugging her knees, shaking, crying and muttering.
Jailat Khan, of Beeston, Leeds, was ordered to be detained for five years and Shahzada Khan, of Leeds, was ordered to be detained for four years after both admitted kidnap and rape.
Sentencing the pair on Tuesday, Judge Christopher Batty said they had targeted a vulnerable woman alone in the city centre and the effect on her was 'immeasurable'.
'Not a day passes without her suffering flashbacks and nightmares. She has not been out since these events, her confidence has gone and she is currently taking anti-depressant medication.'
The judge, who lifted a ban on their identities because of the severity of the attack, said: 'I have been to that alleyway and it is a very cold, miserable, frightening place and I can’t even begin to imagine how the complainant felt. It is a very dark and lonely spot.'
He told them had they been adults the sentence would have been longer but he had taken into account their plea sparing the victim a trial and their age.
Stephen Crossley, for Jailat Khan, said he arrived in the UK in 2009 and was given discretionary leave to remain until July next year following the deaths of his father and brother in Afghanistan and loss of contact with his mother and sister in that country.
Neither he nor Shahzada Khan knew their ages and both had been given a statutory birth date of January 1, 1995.
Catherine Silverton, for Shahzada Khan, said he was brought up in Afghanistan, Pakistan and then the UK by a couple he thought were his parents but discovered when he was remanded they were his aunt and uncle, his real parents having died in a car crash when he was young. He had expressed remorse.
She added: 'Nothing I say on the defendant’s behalf is intended to suggest that these offences were anything other than the stuff of nightmares.'The Khans were identified following an appeal. Jailat Khan’s DNA was found on the woman and while in custody, he was found to have a 'worrying attitude to women' and threatened to rape a member of staff.
Charles Walford, Mail Online, December 21, 2011
US: University Muslim chaplain hails convicted terrorist as "brave," paints US as oppressive infidels
"They say that she took up a machine gun while they held her captive in the other room and was ready to attack her captives. What a brave woman she is," Abdullah Faaruuq said at a Dec. 8 fundraiser for Aafia Siddiqui.
Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist also known as "Lady al-Qaida," is serving an 86-year prison sentence after being convicted of attempting to assault and murder American officers in Afghanistan. Prosecutors say she grabbed an Army officer's M-4 rifle and fired it at another officer and other members of a U.S. interview team at an Afghan police compound in July 2008. She was originally detained by Afghan officials who found in her possession notes about a "mass casualty attack" in the United States, along with a list of New York landmarks.
The fundraiser, "In Support of our Sister, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui," was held at the Islamic Center of Worcester. Speakers repeatedly cast her prosecution and conviction as unjust.
"What a brave woman she continues to be, and how much her bravery and her faith and her belief warrants our support at this time," said Faaruuq, an imam at Roxbury's Mosque for the Praising of Allah. "It is said that we're trying to raise $30,000 tonight. I would say it's better that we've raised your awareness and raised your ire, as your anger against a government who would level the charges that they have against this woman and they say she is guilty. I would say she's only guilty of defending herself."
In addition to lauding Siddiqui's "bravery," Faaruuq also condemned American soldiers, the very people who defend America, as "kafirs," meaning infidels.
"And if my mother was in the same place," he said, "she would have took (sic) her West Indian machete and cut her way through those kafirs."
He repeated an unsubstantiated claim that Siddiqui was abused while in custody. Muslims around the world are "cowering at the hand of the disbeliever," Faaruuq said, "and this one woman locked up deep down, possibly raped and abused, and they're saying that she was a terrorist, afraid of a 100-pound woman. And I say they call this the land of the free and the home of the brave. And I call it the land of the coward and the home of the slave."
The presiding judge who reviewed all the evidence saw things differently. U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said "significant incarceration" was called for because Siddiqui's acts were premeditated. In his sentencing, he also noted anti-American statements witnesses said were made by Siddiqui while firing on the soldiers, like "I want to kill Americans" and "Death to America."
It's not the first time Faaruuq has engaged in violent rhetoric while standing up for Siddiqui. Boston-based watchdog of radical Islamists Charles Jacobs wrote in October that Faaruuq sees cases like Siddiqui's as part of an effort to target Muslims in America. Muslims should "grab onto the gun and the sword, go out and do your job" in response, Faaruuq said.Faaruuq also is advocating for Tarek Mehanna, on trial in Boston for conspiring to support terrorists and to kill Americans in a foreign country.
Steve Emerson, FamilySecurityMatters, December 20, 2011
Commentary: The terrifying truth behind the so-called Arab Spring
Stripped above the waist — save for her bright blue bra — the protester lies in a street just off Cairo’s Tahrir Square, seconds before a soldier stamps on her naked torso.
She has been dragged around by her arms and beaten by frenzied soldiers wielding metal batons, but still they won’t let her escape to safety.
This brutal scene from Egypt has sent new shockwaves around the West in the past three days, as the military regime has become ever more brutal towards pro-democracy protesters. Ten people have been killed and more than 400 wounded.
For the ‘girl in the blue bra’, as she has been dubbed by outraged bloggers across the globe, it is a gross violation of human rights — as well as contradicting conventional wisdom about Arab respect for female dignity and modesty.
For the watching world, it encapsulates the reality that Egypt is rapidly sliding back into brutal tyranny. The overthrow of President Mubarak’s despotic regime in February is already a distant memory, and hopes for a new era of freedom following the Arab Spring have turned to dust.
But it is a serious mistake to believe that this woman somehow represents the Egyptian people — violated and oppressed by military savagery.
For just as much of the uplifting narrative about the Arab Spring was based on wishful thinking in the West, so the protests in Tahrir Square are being hopelessly misinterpreted.
This is not the climax of a battle between a great mass of the Egyptian people and a despised military establishment. It is the last gasp of a tiny idealistic minority as they fight to the death for their core beliefs.
The majority of the conflict-weary public have now sided with the armed forces — who are seen as upholding order against the continued, anarchic impulses of the demonstrators.
In Egypt in recent days, there has been no groundswell of outrage at the girl’s treatment. Nor have there been any mass rallies in support of the protesters or calls for the overthrow of the military establishment in the main Egyptian newspapers.
Partly this is because the revolutionaries in Tahrir Square are so small in number — probably no more than 3,000 in a nation of 84 million. Their position has been weakened by the military, which has portrayed them, with much success, as conspirators and criminals bent on chaos.
And this process has been helped by the deeply conservative attitudes of most of Egypt’s population. The widespread response to the picture is not anger at the soldiers’ actions, but puzzlement as to why the woman’s family let her join the protest.
Such hostility reflects the deeper reality that the Cairo uprising earlier this year was driven by economics rather than politics. Egyptians were fed up with the fall in living standards, widespread poverty and mass unemployment that the Mubarak government had caused.
Questions of democracy, liberty, and freedom of expression were of little interest to the majority of the population.
It is, of course, easy to sneer at such attitudes. Yet opinion polls show that most British people have little time for the tent city occupiers outside St Paul’s and would welcome their eviction.
Similarly, during the August riots, the overwhelming majority of the British public wanted tough action taken by the police and courts against the rioters. There were even widespread calls for the Army to be deployed.
That is the way most Egyptians view the tiny band of violent activists in their own midst. But in a country more used to meeting force with force, and knowing that the public is on their side, Egypt’s generals are moving in for the kill.
There has been little condemnation from the Islamist political parties, led by the Muslim Brotherhood.
That is because the Islamists, no allies of the pro-democracy movement, are playing the long game. Ultimately, what they aim to construct is a Muslim state run according to strict, fundamentalist Sharia law. And they are well on their way to that goal.
In the first round of the recent Parliamentary elections last month, they emerged as the dominant force.
In the second round, currently underway, it looks as though the Muslim Brotherhood, and the even more extreme Salafi Muslim parties, will again win around 70 per cent of the vote — compared with just over 10 per cent for the parties set up by revolutionaries.
As they march along this road towards a Muslim theocracy, the Islamists are happy for the time being to let the military establishment remain in charge.
Rule by the generals, which has effectively been the method of governance in Egypt since Gamal Abdel Nasser’s coup in 1952, allows the Islamists to avoid the blame for unresolvable economic and social problems.
More importantly, where the Islamists really want to concentrate their energies is in the imposition of their cultural fascism.
Anyone who wishes to understand where Egypt is heading should take a look at the coastal city of Alexandria. For a century this was an open, thriving cosmopolitan port — almost European in its atmosphere of laid-back tolerance.
But, in the early Eighties, the Islamists made it their base and, ever since, freedom has been in retreat. These days Alexandria resembles nothing so much as totalitarian Saudi Arabia. And be in no doubt, what has happened in Alexandria over the past three decades will be repeated throughout Egypt — only in a much shorter timescale, since the Islamists now have a political mandate.
Last week, they announced they want to ban mixed-bathing, bikinis on the beach, and the consumption of alcohol in popular Red Sea resorts like Sharm El-Sheikh. The same strictures might soon appear across swathes of North Africa.
Already Tunisia and Morocco, both historically renowned for their openness, are becoming dramatically more repressive as the Islamists take control.
In Tunis, for instance, radical Islamists recently announced the formation of a religious police to impose radical Islamist social norms.The military establishment in Cairo might like to think it can maintain its power in Egypt, as it has for the past half century, for the Egyptian chiefs have no ideological unpinning and are happy to work with the Muslim hardliners. Their sole concern is protecting their own privileges and positions.
John R. Bradley, Mail Online, December 20, 2011
Parents knew brutal truth of Pakistani madrassah dungeon and approved of treatment
When police raided the Islamic school on the northern outskirts of Pakistan's largest city Karachi last week they made another shocking discovery: an underground dungeon where teenage drug addicts were beaten and abused.
Yet parents of some of the boys have told The Daily Telegraph they knew what was going on in the madrassah cellars – and even approved of the brutal methods they believed were the only way to deal with teenage delinquents.
One claimed to have aided the Madrassah Zakarya's approach. When Umar Khan took his two sons to the single storey, whitewashed school he brought with him two sets of chains and padlocks.
"They are young and so naughty I was worried they would run away. This was to straighten them out for a month," he said.
The madrassah is now closed. Its headteacher is on the run and two members of staff have been arrested.
For now that means Mr Khan's two sons, Mohammed Haroon, 13, and Mohammed Shazwar, 10, have returned home.
"If they are naughty I'll send them to an even worse place where they are chained even tighter," he said, roaring with laughter.
. . .
At Madrassah Zakarya, some parents paid an extra £20 a month for its rehabilitation services.
Haji Habibullah said it was money well spent on his 19-year-old son, whom he brought to the madrassah five months ago for help with drug and alcohol abuse."Now he is fine," he said. "He is just down the road running a shop and is engaged to be married."
Rob Crilly, The Telegraph, December 18, 2011
Saudi Arabia: Half-naked drunk girl leads police to party with alcohol, drugs and sexual tools
Members of the Gulf kingdom’s feared religious police watched the drunk girl as she swayed half-naked along the beach in the western Red Sea port of Jeddah.
“They suspiciously followed as she headed back for her chalet without realising she had led them to a vice hideout,” Sabq newspaper said.
“When she was in, they came to the chalet and knocked at the door…when it was opened, they found three women and four men who were all drunk…they also found several bottles of alcohol, some drugs and sexual tools.”The paper did not identify the seven but said they were all arrested by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
Emirates 24/7, December 18, 2011
Denmark: Muslims attack Hare Krishna temple, media hypocritically ignore Muslim violence
The award-winning blog Uriasposten received an internal email from the temple, describing the incident in detail.
Sappho called the temple, which confirmed the attack. The violence happens as a result of the many calls for attacks — and attacks now happening — against non-Islamic groups in Islamic countries.
The temple is now urging its supporters not to wear the distinctive orange robes near the temple to avoid physical attacks.
The reason for the attack in Copenhagen may have been that a Muslim motorist was annoyed that a Hare Krishna follower criticized his awkward parking.
Minimal help from police
Extract from the Hare Krishna email (translated from English [and then back into English]):
"On Dec. 6 pm. 20.45 The temple in Copenhagen was attacked by a group of young people who obviously had a Muslim background. The first stone was thrown at the front of the temple, smashing the window of mathaji asrama.
The temple president summoned the police immediately. A single police officer arrived and took note of the damage.
Half an hour later a large group of the same attackers arrived, threw stones into the garden and smashed windows of the Tulasi room and all the lower windows facing the street. Finally, they tried to enter the house, to instigate a direct physical confrontation. ...
Police assistance has so far been minimal. It took them over half an hour to come, and at the second attack they did not come. If the attackers had succeeded in entering the house, people might have been killed, because the attackers were armed with baseball bats and other weapons. Seen from the window most of them seemed to be under 18, and several of them could not even speak proper Danish."
When unknown assailants tried to set fire to a mosque in Brønshøj, it was in almost all media.
The Muslim attack on Hare Krishna has still not been mentioned anywhere in the mainstream media.[Source: Muslimer angriber Hare Krishna-tempel med sten og baseball køller - Nicolai Sennels, Sappho, December 17, 2011]
Gates of Vienna, December 17, 2011
Canada: Imam quickly back-pedals, apologizes for comparing Muslims now to Jews before Holocaust
Syed Soharwardy said on Friday that he regretted the portrayal of his comments.
He said he did not mean to compare the banning of the niqab to the treatment of Jewish people during the Holocaust. Rather, he said, Muslims in Canada are starting to feel as if they are under attack much as the Jewish people were in the years leading up to the Holocaust.
“I said the current situation of Muslims that we are facing is trending towards a situation that will be very horrible,” he said on Friday. “I created a similarity just to make a point, not to insult, not to be unrealistic or insensitive or incorrect.”
Controversy flared after the Calgary imam gave an interview to CTV last week explaining his point of view on the government’s decision to bar the niqab during citizenship ceremonies. Then Soharwardy said: “Muslims are going through that situation right now where the Jews faced before the Holocaust.”On Friday, the imam tried to clarify his intent, saying he and other Muslims like living in Canada and that he is aware that there is no comparison to be made to the conditions the Jews suffered under Hitler.
International Islamic News Agency, December 17, 2011
Nigerian Bishop: Muslims leaving Islam for Christianity due to Islamic terrorism
It is reported that you believe that Boko Haram is working in favour of the expansion of the gospel. Can you throw more light on this?
I know, for the interest of those who understand the power of the gospel and how the gospel itself moves. I know that the gospel itself is a gospel of peace. When there is peace, then we can have more effect in terms of Boko Haram, knowing well it is extremism on the part of Islam. Right now, the youths in Europe are scared of Islam, because you know they are more civilized.
They are also more economically opportune. A religious body where the extremists are always killing human beings without thinking twice; it is difficult to get a younger person into Islam in Europe and I believe that the same thing is already happening here in the Northern part of Nigeria.
A lot of youths who are Muslims are turning to Christ; turning en mass to Christ. A young person will be looking for a place where you can give him hope; where you can give him job and so on and so forth. That is why I feel that this violence will make Muslims lose. In the time past, they were losing members, not to talk of now when there is all kind of violence and wickedness.
Look at this whole thing about Boko Haram; it is an offshoot of wickedness. How do you kill a fellow human being? Every Nigerian that loves this country should be able to know that Boko Haram does not mean well for this country. Look at the bombing of the United Nation’s building in Abuja.
If not for the way the government handled it, that would have given us a very bad image in the international world. So that is one of the reasons I said if the church continues to preach the word and be kind to fellow human beings, there is no way the Boko Haram issue is not going to give the church more members and increase the number of Christians in the country.
What do you recommend Government should do for churches that were burnt in the North and Christians who were killed since Boko Haram started?
The government should think of how to compensate those who Boko Haram have killed their people. Do you know there was a week I was unable to sleep because of those Boko Haram killed. All Boko Haram killed, government should compensate.
. . .
Let them rise to solve this problem, if not, watch the Northern states, the unemployment is going to rise because nobody want to go where there is no peace. Who will invest money in a place where there is no peace?
. . .
Is the church is doing enough to address the issue of Boko Haram, given the loss of lives and property of Christians particularly in the Northern part of the country?
I think the church has been trying but we Nigerians have never taken nationhood as a priority. Europeans built Europe, Chinese built China and Americans built America. Nigerians should try and build Nigeria. When you talk of the church, you are talking of a very large body, because the information we are getting now is that Christianity has out numbered in Islam in terms of population.
We are doing all that we can. You know how painful it is to hear that a pastor who is in the church is killed. They killed one, killed two, some cases 15 were killed. We have been doing the little we can; we contribute money, we also send food. Sometimes ago, we loaded trailers through PFN and through CAN to our affected members in the North.
We have tried, but if the church can wake up to the reality of number one, brotherhood; number two, building of the nation only then I think we can do much better.
How will you rate the population of Christians to Muslims in the country today? Is it in anyway affected by the violence in the North?
Before the violence, the Christian percentage has been higher. Even before the emergence of Boko Haram, the percentage of Christians were over 50 against about 40 percent of Muslims. There is a valid document that stated so, even before the existing of Boko Haram sect. With this Boko Haram, it is obvious that the percentage of Christianity is going to rise to between 60 to 65 percent. I think, right now, it is close to 60 percent.
Then another thing that is going to give the growth of the church in the world is the death of Gadhafi. Because Gadhafi, you know when he came into this country, he came like a god. He disregarded all our security arrangements; came with his own security, came with his own vehicles and all that. And not only that, the man boasted that he would spread Islam across Africa. You know, when you are talking of Africa, Nigeria is more than 50 percent. So now that he has fallen, it is also going to affect the population of Islam negatively.
. . .
Do you foresee an end to the Boko Haram crisis? How and when? And what is your view on Islamic banking?
Festus Ahon, Vanguard, December 17, 2011
Talaq! Islamic SMS divorces prevalent in UAE, Kuwait, Tajikistan & Malaysia, comes to India
Shahid’s wife Parveen on Wednesday had received an SMS with talaq typed three times sent by him. The Imam’s version came to light when Parveen’s uncle Sajid said that the Imam told the families that the two cannot unite now as their marriage has been nullified by the talaq (divorce) via SMS.
Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid Syed Imam Bukhari, when contacted also seconded the decision, but said that the marriage will be considered void only if the husband confirms that the message was sent by him. Bukhari said, “There are different ways of giving talaq. It can be given orally, in written or even, over the phone or through an SMS. In this case, the marriage will be considered terminated if the husband confirms that the message was sent by him.” The couple had married three months ago, but Parveen had returned to live with her parents due to some differences. Reportedly, Shahid tried to bring her back but failed to do so after which he had sent the SMS, Sajid said. Reportedly, many other local maulvis in Murdanagar have given their sanction to the high-tech split.Though the practice of terminating marriage via this technology is prevalent in countries like UAE, Kuwait, Tajikistan and Malaysia, it is not a common practice in non-Muslim countries. The first incident of such practice was reported in India from Lucknow in 2005 when 24-year-old Saba Khaliq from Moradabad was found at the ‘receiving end’ of modern technology when her husband sent her an SMS with the dreaded words talaq, talaq, talaq. A similar dramatic way of divorcing one’s spouse had come in news in March 2009 when Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Chand Mohammed divorced his wife Fiza over phone and through SMS, accusing her of making ‘false’ allegations against him.
Daily Pioneer, December 16, 2011
UK: Man glassed and pregnant woman punched in the stomach by "Asians" in cinema brawl
Liam Aspin, 20, his girlfriend Rebecca Maher, 18, and her three-month pregnant friend Danielle Hulme, 20, were at the Bowlplex bar when Shabaz Ahmed Nawaz offered to buy the women a drink.
Nawaz, 27, was ignored by the group, but then shoved Mr Aspin before his friends Mohammed Danish Junaid, 22, Hassan Waqqar Malik, 25, joined in the assault with kicks and punches.
Eye witnesses described the group as acting ‘like a pack of wild animals’.
Pool cues were used as ‘improvised weapons’.
Anthony Walsh, 42, and his partner Sharon McDermott, 43, saw what was happening and went to intervene as ‘Good Samaritans’, police said.
But the gang turned on them and they were both assaulted in the melee.
Ms Hulme was punched in the stomach by one of the men.
Mr Aspin tried to help and was again assaulted, with Malik kicking him and then smashing a glass on his head as he was on the floor.
He was left with pieces of glass embedded in his skull.
The group, who had been at the Vue and Bowlplex building in Peel Leisure and Retail Park, Lower Audley Street, celebrating a friend’s wedding, jumped into flash hire cars including a Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce and sped off.
At Preston Crown Court, Junaid, 22, of Taylor Street, Brierfield; Malik, 25, of Pringle Street, and Nawaz, 27, of Edith Street, both Blackburn, all admitted violent disorder.
After a short trial, Malik was convicted of wounding Mr Aspin. They will all be sentenced in January.
Police said the violent incident happened around 9.30pm on December 27 last year in front of shocked families enjoying a night out.
All the victims have made full recoveries and Ms Hulme has since given birth.DI Mark Winstanley said: “This was particularly cowardly attack.”
Asian Image, December 16, 2011
German court bans Muslim prayers in school after Muslim students begin to pray in school corridor
Germany's top administrative court has ruled that a Muslim student is not entitled to perform prayers at his school because the act has the potential to create "very severe conflicts."
Germany's Federal Administrative Court found that although the right to pray at school is guaranteed by religious freedom under the constitution (Grundgesetz), students lose that right if a conflict is created in the process.
The court also ruled that schools are not obligated to accommodate Muslims by providing them with separate prayer rooms.
The ruling in the landmark case has both legal and political consequences. Not only do schools across Germany now have a legal basis for banning Muslim prayers, but the widely-watched case also feeds into the larger debate about the role of Islam in Germany.
The case dates back to 2007, when a 14-year-old Muslim student and some of his peers at a high school in Berlin began a prayer session in the school corridor during a break from class.
The following day the principal informed the boy and his parents that praying was not permitted on the grounds of the school, which has students from 30 different countries and nearly all major religions. The principal said she feared for the peaceful running of the school.
The student had argued that because prayer times depend on the rising and setting of the sun, he had no other choice during the winter but to pray around midday while at school. He then filed a lawsuit in an effort to force his school into allowing him to pray at school. It became the first such case in German courts.
In September 2009, the highest court in the region, Berlin-Brandenburg, ruled that the student did have the right to pray on school grounds during his break from class. His high school subsequently granted him a special room for midday prayer, one of the five required daily prayers in Islam.
But the state of Berlin appealed the ruling out of concern that daily prayer would disturb the high school's routine and jeopardize its religious neutrality.
Now the federal court in Leipzig has overturned the original confirmation of the student's religious rights.
Capping a four-year legal battle, the Leipzig-based court ruled: "The court has decided that performing the prayer rite in the school corridor could exacerbate a threat which already exists to the peace of the school community. By 'peace of the school community' we mean an environment which is free of conflict and which allows lessons to take place in an orderly manner."
The court also said the student "is not entitled to perform prayer during school outside of class when this can disrupt the running of the school." It added that the "school was not able to organize a separate room for prayer."
The judges noted that conflict had broken out among Muslim students themselves after accusations that the student's prayer ritual was not in accordance with a particular teaching of the Islamic Koran.
The court stressed that the ruling did not mean that no student could pray at school. The decision should be made on a case by case basis.
Tilman Nagel, an expert in Islam who appeared as a witness at an earlier court hearing, said there is a big difference between how Muslims and Christians pray. He argued that the Islamic ritual of praying undertaken with sometimes very large groups of other people is very different from the Christian private act of praying, and was thus disruptive in a public space.
Ralph Ghadban, a Berlin-based expert on Islam, said Muslim groups are attempting to leverage German laws that guarantee religious freedom in an effort to Islamicize German schools. He argued that according to German law, the state has a duty to remain neutral but that Muslims were compromising that law by making the state show special favors for Islam.
Aiman Mazyek, the head of Germany's Central Council of Muslims, said: "In the past, schools have been more pragmatic and laid-back about the issue, but now that has been pushed back. Now, we have reached the final legal stage and that is why it has now turned into a political debate."
The court case has indeed become part of the larger debate over the question of Muslim immigration and the establishment of a parallel Islamic society in Germany, which is home to an estimated 4.3 million Muslims.
In November 2011, the German Federal Ministry of the Family released a 160-page report, "Forced Marriages in Germany: Numbers and Analysis of Counseling Cases," which revealed that thousands of young women and girls in Germany are victims of forced marriages every year. Most of the victims come from Muslim families; many have been threatened with violence and even death.
In September 2011, a new book "Judges Without Law: Islamic Parallel Justice Endangers Our Constitutional State," revealed that Islamic Sharia courts are now operating in all of Germany's big cities. The book argues that this "parallel justice system" is undermining the rule of law in Germany because Muslim arbiters -- imams [religious rulers] -- are settling criminal cases out of court, without the involvement of German prosecutors or lawyers, before law enforcement can bring the cases to a German court.
That same month, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich revealed that Germany is home to some 1,000 Islamic radicals who are potential terrorists. He said many of these home-grown Islamists are socially alienated Muslim youths who are being inflamed by German-language Islamist propaganda that promotes hatred of the West. In some instances, the extremists are being encouraged to join sleeper cells and to one day "awaken" and commit terrorist attacks in Germany and elsewhere.
In December 2010, an opinion survey, "Perception and Acceptance of Religious Diversity," conducted by the sociology department of the University of Münster, in partnership with the prestigious TNS Emnid political polling firm, showed that fewer than 5% of Germans believe Islam is a peaceful religion and that more than 40% of Germans believe that the practice of Islam should be vigorously restricted. Significantly, more than 80% of Germans agree with the statement: "Muslims must adapt to our culture."
In September 2010, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a think tank linked to the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), published a survey which found that many Germans believe their country is being "overrun" by Muslim immigrants. It also found that these views are not isolated at the extremes of German society, but are to a large degree "at the center of it."
In August 2010, a book titled "Germany Does Away With Itself" analyzed the social changes that are transforming Germany thanks to the presence of millions of non-integrated Muslims in the country.
In July 2010, the late German magistrate Kirsten Heisig, in her book, "The End of Patience," warned: "The law is slipping out of our hands. It's moving to the streets or into a parallel system where an imam or another representative of the Koran determines what must be done."In May 2009, Germany's Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), the domestic intelligence agency, reported that there are an estimated 29 Islamist groups in Germany with 34,720 members or supporters who pose a major threat to homeland security. Many of them want to establish a "Koran-state" in Germany: they believe Islamic Sharia law is a divine ordinance that is to replace all other legal systems.
Soeren Kern, Hudson New York, December 15, 2011
Indonesia: Women struck with a machete and gang-raped on a bus by the driver and his friends
According to the report filed with Depok Police, the victim, a 40-year-old vegetable seller, was on her way to the Kemiri Muka market in Bogor early on Wednesday morning.
At around 4 a.m., she got into an M26 angkot, which goes from Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta, to Bogor along Jalan Raden Saleh in Depok. Other than the driver, there were two other men riding in the vehicle.
“The three of them are believed to have been drunk,” Depok Police chief of detectives Adj. Comr. Febriansyah said.
The victim first suspected something was amiss when the driver took the angkot into the Cibubur area. Not too long after that, he stopped along a quiet road in Cikeas.
The woman shouted, but the men in the back struck her left shoulder with a machete.
They then covered her mouth, laid her on the vehicle’s floor and took turns raping her. Afterward, they dumped her on the road and drove off.
Police are now searching for the perpetrators, who also took the victim’s earrings and Rp 500,000 ($55).
Similar incidents in Greater Jakarta this year have prompted authorities crack down on public transportation drivers without uniforms or identity cards.
Transport authorities have said that all public transportation drivers were required to get a uniform, clearly post their routes and fares and display a photo ID on their vehicle’s dashboard.
These requirements have all been listed under a 2003 Transportation Ministry regulation, but compliance has been poor.
The crackdown was aimed at weeding out unlicensed drivers, who have been implicated in all three of the reported cases of rape and robbery of lone women aboard angkots.
On Oct. 8, a 38-year-old babysitter was raped in a secluded park in East Jakarta by an angkot driver.
On Aug. 16, a 21-year-old university student, Livia Pavita Soelistio, was raped and murdered by the driver and passenger of an M24 angkot in West Jakarta while on her way to school. Her body was dumped in a ditch in Tangerang and discovered five days later.
In September, a 27-year-old woman was gang-raped by four men on an angkot she caught in South Jakarta.
Police have arrested the prime suspects in the three cases, all of whom are unlicensed driversThe Jakarta transportation office has also said it would revoke the operating permits of angkots and buses whose drivers were involved in crimes if the charges were proven to be true.
Vento Saudale, Jakarta Globe, December 15, 2011
Pakistan: Horrors of sexual abuse in conflict-stricken Federally Administered Tribal Areas
This is one of the many tales of horror recorded in a report titled “Impact of crisis on women and girls in Fata”.
The report, released by human rights organisation “Khwendo Kor” (Sisters’ Home in Pashto) with financial support from UN-women, is based on case studies of women from the tribal belt living in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s IDP camps.
Women in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) are more susceptible to violence and abuse in a post-conflict scenario, whether or not they are part of the conflict, it says.
Another stark revelation made in the report is that women in camps were forced to have sexual intercourse in exchange for food and non-food items. Girls and widows were at greater risk.
The surveys from Nahqai and Jalozai camps further show that women were uncomfortable going to restrooms because there was little privacy as men constantly lurked around.
“A security officer forced me to have sex in exchange for cooking oil and pulses when I was collecting food at the main entrance of the camp,” a 22-year-old woman Nighat* from the Jalozai Camp is quoted as telling the discussion group.
The report claims that there was an increase in honour killings in which women were first raped and since the rape was considered a disgrace to the family, they were later murdered.
Forced marriages, honour killings, exchange of women between tribes and marriages with first cousins resulting in disabilities of offspring have made the women in the tribal areas increasingly dependent. The role of women in society has decreased from 39% to 19%.
Akhunzada Chattan, an MNA from the Bajaur tribal region, says that certain rituals practiced with the veneration of religion have deprived women of their rights.
“In Bajaur, the area that I come from, usury is not something against which the cleric will stand up, but if a woman demands her share of property she is stigmatised as culturally blasphemous,” he says.
The amendments to the Frontier Crimes Regulation have not significantly helped. Even now women first have to go through a jirga to seek justice. The jirga then decides how to proceed. “Women in Fata cannot directly appeal to any court of law,” says Chattan while speaking to The Express Tribune.Maryam Bibi, the woman behind the project, who belongs to Jani Khel (FR) Bannu, says the findings of the report are based on ground realities. “Although it is hard to digest the facts, this is what the women have to go through. Someone has to speak for change.”
Iftikhar Firdous, The Express Tribune, December 15, 2011
Iran: Muslim convert to Christianity sentenced to six years in prison for "having his baptism performed in Turkey"
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, Seyyedian’s lawyer, said that his client’s charges are “propaganda against the regime” and “acting against national security.”
“The judge said that by having his baptism performed in Turkey, he propagated against the regime. According to the judge, we have enough priests in Iran to baptize him,” said Dadkhah. “The judge’s interpretation was that by having his baptism in Turkey, my client’s intent was to express the lack of freedom in Iran.”
Dadkhah told the Campaign that Seyyedian’s court sentence explicitly noted that he propagated against the regime by holding his baptism in Turkey.
Seyyedian, who runs a house church, was first arrested in 2010 and released on $50,000 bail. His first court session was held at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court on 19 November 2011.
“The other allegations against my client were distributing videos of his baptism on the Internet and holding various interviews about [the baptism]. He is also charged with running a home church. He was holding regular meetings with other converts but they were not put on trial, only Alireza was. In any case, the judge noted all these items as propaganda against the regime and acting against national security,” said Dadkhah, adding that, “I tried defending my client by adding that these charges can all be considered propaganda against the regime, the sentence for which is only one year in prison.”
Dadkhah told the Campaign that since the contentious trial of Youcef Nadarkhani, he believes that courts, even if they are aware of certain facts of the case, don’t pursue them.“The judge asked many questions specifically about why he held his baptism in Turkey but my client did not reply to this question. He also didn’t deny the accusation of uploading his baptism’s video on various Internet sites. My client did not deny any of the accusations.”
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, December 14,2011
Commentary: Muslims going through the situation right now that Jews faced before the Holocaust?
Remember all those Jewish terror plots? Jews shouting "Shema Yisrael" as they blew themselves up in crowds of non-Jews and flew planes into buildings? Remember those captured internal documents of Jewish organizations saying they were working toward "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within" so that "the religion of Moses was victorious over other religions"?
Syed Soharwardy is by no stretch of the imagination an original thinker. As I have noted many times here, Leftists and Islamic supremacists tend to parrot the same talking points, as if they were all reading from the same script. I wouldn't be surprised if they had a database somewhere of themes to sound and stock answers to questions, since they repeat themselves with such dreary regularity. Soharwardy here is repeating talking points that we have heard before from the likes of dhimmi Jeffrey Goldberg, Islamic supremacist pseudo-moderate Reza Aslan, Muslim Brotherhood-linked Congressman Keith Ellison and Nicholas Kristof, among many others.
Christopher Hitchens ably took apart the central claim being made here when writing last year about the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero: "'Some of what people are saying in this mosque controversy is very similar to what German media was saying about Jews in the 1920s and 1930s,' Imam Abdullah Antepli, Muslim chaplain at Duke University, told the New York Times. Yes, we all recall the Jewish suicide bombers of that period, as we recall the Jewish yells for holy war, the Jewish demands for the veiling of women and the stoning of homosexuals, and the Jewish burning of newspapers that published cartoons they did not like."
Soharwardy's aim (and the aim of all the others who have repeated this) is to intimidate his hearers into thinking that criticism of Islamic supremacism leads to the gas chambers, and thus there must be no criticism of Islamic supremacism. The unstated assumption is that if one group was unjustly accused of plotting subversion and violence, and was viciously persecuted and massacred on the basis of those false accusations, then any group accused of plotting subversion and violence must be innocent, and any such accusation must be in service of preparing for their subversion and massacre.
The difference in this case is not only that Muslim leaders worldwide have made their intention to conquer and subjugate non-Muslims very clear, in a way that Jews never did in the run-up to the Holocaust; it is also that anti-jihadists nowhere advocate a "final solution" for Muslims, and never will -- we are merely calling upon them to drop the authoritarian and repressive aspects of Sharia and obey the laws of the Western societies in which they live. This is a movement in defense of freedom and equality of rights before the law.
But Syed Soharwardy wants to advance his repressive and authoritarian model for society, and in order to do so he has to smear those who are resisting the imposition of that societal model.
Also, Marisol observes:
- If you have a persecution complex, but actually want to lose sympathy, a surefire tool for success is to compare yourself to:
- 1. Nelson Mandela
3. The Jews in the Holocaust
Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, December 14, 2011
Cambridge University dons told to not shake hands with female Muslim students
The top university has cautioned its academics not to proffer their hand automatically in case the gesture causes an upset. A directive has also gone to admissions tutors which explains that some people are "culturally sensitive" to the traditional British style of greeting.
"Suitable body language conveys welcome just as well," Cambridge advises. But some dons are infuriated by the "advice", with one telling the Daily Telegraph they are being treated as "social misfits".
"It seems to be totally bonkers," one said. "We know when to shake someone's hand and when not to."
The academic, who asked not to be named, added that it all seemed "a bit stupid and pointless" and would make interviews "even more awkward".
The advice, published on Cambridge University's website, states "Apparently insignificant details of behaviour and language can offend disabled people."
Other "helpful" guidance includes: • You can use a common saying like ‘see you tomorrow’ with a visually impaired person • Don't lean on their wheelchair, if they have one • Talk to the disabled person - and not to their assistant or dog • Lip-reading is tiring; do trim your beard and moustache
A spokesperson for Cambridge University said the instructions only applied to Muslim women and people with certain disabilities.
"Dons should read the situation properly and bear in mind not all people will want to shake hands."
The university added the guidance had been blown out of proportion and it was "practical advice" for interviews.Universities and Colleges Union General Secretary Sally Hunt said academics were "intelligent enough" to know when to shake a person's hand.
Huffington Post, December 14, 2011
Kuwaiti youth attempts to rape a female Filipino masseuse
According to a complaint filed by the manageress of a health club, she received a call from a woman asking for a masseuse to be sent to her apartment in Hawalli.
When the masseuse arrived at the apartment a young man answered the bell and he requested her to wait for his sister. In the meantime, he allegedly attempted to rape the masseuse but the latter managed to escape.When police went to the apartment, the investigation revealed the apartments are being rented out on a daily basis. The caretaker has been summoned for interrogation.
, December 14, 2011
UK: Unrepentant man who sexually-assaulted a teenage girl has a "dinosaur-like attitude to women"
Javid Akhtar's behaviour towards the vulnerable girl was captured on CCTV equipment at the hairdressers at Swan Lane, Lockwood.
Judge Peter Benson told the 44-year-old that the knowledge of that must have increased the upset and distress caused to the victim.
Judge Benson said it was obvious that the complainant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, did not like what was happening to her.
He added: "You were persistent. You were a dirty middle-aged man who behaved in a wicked way towards a young girl who was vulnerable."
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that Akhtar still did not accept that his behaviour was wrong and Judge Benson said he was imposing a three-year community sentence so that his dinosaur-like attitudes towards women could be challenged by taking part in a sex offender programme.
Akhtar, of Cross Street, Crosland Moor, Huddersfield, admitted two sexual assault charges.
His barrister Nina Grahame told the court that he had now lost his business as a result.
As part of Akhtar's sentence Judge Benson also imposed a sexual offences prevention order which restricts his unsupervised contact with under-18s and he will also have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next five years.The judge warned Akhtar that if he breached the terms of the community sentence over the next three years the order would be revoked and he would send him to prison.
Graham Brown, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, December 13, 2011
Moroccan gunman attacks Christmas market in Belgium, killing 5 and injuring 122
Five people were killed, including an 18-month-old toddler, and 122 were wounded in the assault Tuesday that brought tragedy to the pre-Christmas season of students reveling in exam results and preschoolers enchanted by brightly lit trees and holiday stalls.
Herman Van Rompuy, a former Belgian prime minister who is now president of the European Council, said he was badly shaken by the attack. “There is no explanation whatsoever,” Van Rompuy said. “It leaves me perplexed and shocked.”
Of course there is an explanation. Amrani was a Muslim and he was waging his personal Jihad against the infidels. After over 18,000 terrorist attacks by the followers of the religion of peace since 9/11, the only thing that is inexplicable and indeed shocking is the surprise of the politicians and their inability to connect the dots between the terrorists and the hate mongering teachings of their prophet.
Two days earlier, another Muslim, calmly pointed his handgun and opened fire on passing cars near Vine Street and Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood while shouting Allahu Akbar. He injured one passerby before being killed by the police. In both cases the media refused to identify the killer as Muslim terrorist.
The Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said the attack was the act of a “lone assailant,” a man known to police who had “no links to terrorism.” “This is an isolated case. This is not about terrorism,” he stressed.
The truth is that Muslims don’t have to belong to any organization to carry out jihad. Any Muslim can arm him/herself with guns, grenades, poisonous chemicals, or even a kitchen knife and perform his religious duty, killing the infidels. The fact that a Muslim has been involved in drug trafficking, theft or pimping does not preclude him or her to become a jihadi. Most of the companions of Muhammad were thugs and ruffians, murderers and thieves prior to converting to Islam. After converting, they put their expertise at the service of their prophet. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was responsible for the murder of thousands of people in Iraq, was originally a car thief. Many Muslim converts are ex-convicts and many of them converted to Islam in prison. I know this first hand because many of them write to me and brag about their résumé of crimes prior to their conversion to Islam. Islam attracts criminals.
Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter and Faisal Shahzad, the Time Square bomber, were also acting as individuals. However, they were not without any connection to a terrorist organization. Islam is a terrorist organization. The multitudes of Islamic terrorist organizations don’t have a distinct ideology. They follow the Quran.Islamic terrorism will continue and more innocent lives will be lost. The leftist politicians and the leftist media will continue to hoodwink the public and deny any Islamic involvement. None of the major news media mentioned that Nrodine Amrani or the Hollywood shooter were Muslim, even though the latter was shouting Allahu Akbar while gunning down people in the street.
Ali Sina, Faith Freedom International, December 13, 2011
UK: Muslim immigrant guns down two Sikh hoteliers at point-blank range over parking space
After his car was blocked in by a van, Ayub Khan went to fetch a MAC-10 pistol capable of firing 1,000 rounds a minute.
Khan, then only 20, gunned down hotelier Amarjit Singh Tiwana and his nephew Rajinder Singh Tiwana at point-blank range.
He then turned the weapon on Amarjit’s daughter Harjinder but did not fire – possibly because the gun had jammed.
Khan fled the country after the attack but was extradited from Bangladesh in 2010.
At Woolwich Crown Court, he was found guilty of double murder and jailed for a minimum of 26 years.
The judge, Mr Justice Saunders, described the killings as ‘brutal, cold-blooded and pointless’.
It was in August 2003 that Amarjit, 52, and Rajinder, 25, parked their van outside the family’s hotel in Forest Gate, East London.
At around 2pm the drivers of two cars in the road found they could not get out and began sounding their horns. Amarjit moved the van and the first motorist drove off without incident.
But Khan got out and started arguing with Amarjit and Rajinder, shouting ‘look what you have done to my car’ and pointing to it as if it had been damaged. A witness saw Khan push Rajinder in the chest as if he wanted to start a fight.
When Amarjit tried to explain, Khan replied: ‘I don’t give a f***’ and repeatedly shouted ‘Shut up’.
Khan, who has previous convictions for robbery and possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply, looked ‘furious’ as he drove away. About ten minutes later three Asian men returned and started to damage the van which had blocked the road. One pulled out a gun from a bag and opened fire, killing both Amarjit and Rajinder.
Harjinder Tiwana watched in horror as the gunman aimed the gun at her, before the gang fled with hoods pulled over their faces. In February 2004 she identified Khan as the gunman. She told the court: ‘I will never forget the face of the man who murdered my father.’
Mobile phone evidence revealed that after leaving the scene Khan repeatedly phoned another man, Abu Bakr Mansha Khan – who was later jailed for six years in 2006 for plotting to kill a decorated British soldier, Corporal Mark Byles.
Jurors heard that Abu Bakr Mansha Khan was arrested in September 2003 but released and has not stood trial in relation to this incident. It also emerged that the MAC-10 gun used in the murders had been used in another shooting that year, in Coventry.
Prosecutor Nicholas Hilliard said: ‘Nobody hearing about this case could have been anything other than horrified. Two good, blameless men shot dead in broad daylight with a machine gun. It raises a whole host of issues that people feel strongly about – the availability of firearms, the use of extreme violence quite out of proportion to the nature of the original dispute, the heart taken out of a special family.’
Mr Justice Saunders said that 26-year-old Harjinder Tiwana’s witnessing of the killing was ‘a most appalling memory which will never leave her’.
He added: ‘That all this arose out of an argument about parking shows just how low a regard the culprits had for human life.’Members of the victims’ family wept in the public gallery as the unanimous verdict of the jury was announced. Kulbinder Kaur, sister of Rajinder, said in a statement: ‘The impact of this day has completely destroyed and broken the whole family.’
Colin Fernandez, Mail Online, December 12, 2011
Belgian police find a kalashnikov on a member of Sharia4Belgium
- DEURNE – Belgian police have searched a member of the extremist movement Sharia4Belgium and found a Kalashnikov some Belgian newspapers on Monday reported. According to the report police say it is a "very serious offense.” The courts and the police want to move now to keep a closer eye.
Tundra Tabloids, December 12, 2011
Saudi Arabia: University bans 4 students from sitting examinations for wearing "tight skirts"
The university in the northern province of Hail said it had deprived the four students from the examination because they defied the decision issued by the university’s management to ensure all students wear decent clothes.“Three of those students said they are deeply frustrated because this means their performance will be adversely affected…the fourth one has fallen ill,” the Arabic language daily Okaz said.
Emirates 24/7, December 11, 2011
Charles Darwin and Evolution censored by the Turkish government's porn filter
The Council of Information Technology and Communications (BTK) released the "Secure Internet" filtering system on 22 November. Sites that includes the words "evolution" or "Darwin" are filtered if parents select the child-friendly settings on the filter, as though it's porn. Among the sites banned, according to Reporters Without Borders, is Richard Dawkins' website richarddawkins.net. The homepage of Adnan Oktar, an Islamic creationist, is still accessible. The system has already attracted controversy: apparently it bans terms linked with the Kurdish separatist movement, and Reporters Without Borders has accused the Turkish government of "backdoor censorship".
As New Scientist reported in 2009, Turkey is something of a centre for Islamic creationism. The editor of a popular science magazine, Bilim ve Teknik, was sacked that year after trying to run a front-page article celebrating Darwin's 200th birthday. The aforementioned Oktar, under his pen name of Harun Yahya, claims in large, lavishly illustrated books that evolution is a "disproved" theory (just for the record: it isn't. It's the absolute cornerstone of everything in biology, without which nothing makes sense) imposed by Western imperialists to keep Muslims in their place. A 2006 survey of 34 countries put Turkey 34th, just behind the US, in the rate of popular acceptance of evolution.This is seriously concerning. Turkey is in many respects the most secular of Islamic countries, so it is sad and disturbing to see its government undermine science.
Tom Chivers, The Telegraph, December 10, 2011
Maldives: Protesters calling for religious tolerance attacked with stones, threatened with death
Witnesses said a group of men threw rocks at the 15-30 demonstrators, calling out threats and vowing to kill them.
One witness who took photos of the attacked said he was “threatened with death if these pictures were leaked. He said we should never been seen in the streets or we will be sorry.”
Among those injured in the attack was Ismail ‘Khilath’ Rasheed, a controverisal blogger whose website was recently blocked by the Communications Authority of the Maldives (CAM) on the order of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
Rasheed suffered a head injury and was rushed to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).
“They started hitting us with bricks. They were aiming at our heads – we could tell they were serious and wanted to kill us,” Rasheed told Minivan News from hospital. “I was taken on a motorcycle to IGMH, but I could see them behind me still hitting my friends.”
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said police attended the scene after the attackers had departed, and were currently investigating the cause of the violence. No arrests had yet been made, he added.
The protesters, calling themselves ‘Silent Solidarity’, had earlier issued a press release stating that their intention was to “make the Maldives and the international community aware of the rising religious intolerance in the Maldives, and to condemn the Constitutionally endorsed suppression of religious freedom. We also denounce the increasing use being made of Islam as a tool of political power.”
“Silent Solidarity will be protesting against discrimination of all races, gender, sexual preferences and religious beliefs and supporting freedom of thought and expression. In our silence, we speak volumes,” the group’s statement said.
The Maldives has come under increasing international scrutiny following an apparent rise in religious intolerance.
Several monuments gifted to the Maldives by other SAARC countries during the recent summit in Addu have been defaced or stolen on the grounds that they are idolatrous. Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari has condemned the monuments while the opposition has hailed the vandals as “national heroes”.
Protests also erupted last month after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay spoke in parliament calling for the government and the judiciary to issue a moratorium and debate on flogging as a punishment for extra-marital sex.
“This practice constitutes one of the most inhumane and degrading forms of violence against women and should have no place in the legal framework of a democratic country,” Pillay said.
“The issue needs to be examined, and therefore I called for a countrywide discussion. It is much better if the issue is transparent and debated.”
Pillay also stated that requirement under the Maldivian constitution that all Maldivians be Muslim ”is discriminatory, and does not comply with international standards. I would urge a debate again on the issue to open up entrance of the constitution to all.”
Challenged by a local journalist that the Maldives was both obliged to protect the religion of Islam, she replied: “You have a constitution which conforms in many respects to universal human rights. Let me assure you that these human rights conform with Islam.”
She added that the Maldives had signed international treaties that are legally-binding obligations, “and such a practice conflicts with these obligations undertaken by the Maldives.”
The following day protesters gathered outside the UN building, carrying placards stating “Islam is not a toy”, “Ban UN” and “Flog Pillay”, and called on authorities to arrest the UN High Commissioner.
MPs roundly condemned Pillay’s statements.
‘”What we should be worried about holding discussions against the fundamentals of Islam in a 100 percent Muslim country such as the Maldives is that we may start questioning about worshipping God Almighty tomorrow,” said opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Dr Afrashim Ali.
Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed said the Maldives “will never ever open doors for religions other than Islam in the Maldives. We’ll not give the opportunity to speak against the fundamentals and principles of Islam in the parliament.”
MP Riyaz Rasheed, from the opposition-aligen Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) condemned the Speaker Abdulla Shahid from allowing Pillay to complete her address.“There is a good chance for us to directly say that Abdulla Shahid has made a good deal with this government to wipe out the religion of Islam from this country,” MP Rasheed said.
JJ Robinson, Minivan News, December 10, 2011
East London Mosque hosts speaker who has 'called for Jewish women to be enslaved and pillaged'
Last Friday, according to publicity material (above) and its Facebook page, the mosque was due to host that conspicuous moderate, Sheikh Saad al-Beraik, who has reportedly stated: “Muslim brothers in Palestine, do not have any mercy neither compassion on the Jews, their blood, their money, their flesh. Their women are yours to take, legitimately. God made them yours. Why don't you enslave their women? Why don't you wage jihad? Why don't you pillage them?”This is the second time Beraik has appeared at the mosque this year. He was due to speak at an event there in March, but after a row he appeared without speaking (the organisers said that they simply ran out of time to hear from him, and it wasn’t that he had been banned.)
Andrew Gilligan, The Telegraph, December 9, 2011
US: Gunman randomly opens fire on drivers and pedestrians in Hollywood, screams "Allahu Akbar"
KTLA, December 9, 2011
US: Muslim student let off easy for school shooting threat, child porn on his computer ignored
Ali Saad's online threat a year ago turned out to be false but no one knew it at the time.
Federal prosecutors on Friday recommended probation and six months of home confinement with an electronic tether. Federal Judge Stephen Murphy III said a tether wasn't necessary, but Saad must live with parents and follow a curfew for at least a year.
The 20-year-old Dearborn man apologized for his actions. Saad got a significant break. Authorities found images of child pornography on his computer but didn't pursue charges.He now is a student at the University of Michigan in Dearborn.
MyFox Detroit, December 9, 2011
Philippines: Muslim terrorists plan to bomb mosques so they can blame Christians
Col. Jose Johriel Cenabre, deputy commander for Marine Operations of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said on Thursday that the Abu Sayyaf’s next target are mosques in a bid to fuel hatred between Muslims and Christians and escalate violence in Mindanao.
Cenabre said his unit found the plot true after Marines found and disarmed at least eight bombs planted near a mosque in Barangay Panglahayan in Patikul, Sulu.“The resulting explosions could generate displaced anger against the government and Christians,” he said.
Julie Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao, December 8, 2011
Trinidad and Tobago: Muslim blames flooding on Allah's displeasure with women in leadership positions
Mohammed, who celebrated his 46th birthday yesterday, eight days after being detained on November 24, was the last of the detainees to be freed at the Eastern Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre, Santa Rosa on Monday night.
He was initially taken into custody while in Gulf View, La Romaine after conducting transactions at a bank.
The detainees were freed after police failed to provide sufficient evidence for them to be charged for the conspiracy to kill the Prime Minister and three Cabinet Ministers.
Dressed in a cream coloured kurtah, Mohammed sat in a relaxed position as he spoke to Newsday yesterday morning from the gallery of his home at Southern Main Road, La Romaine.
“You don’t have to be a political scientist to see that this was carefully orchestrated to put the Muslim community under siege. Is one thing the Prime Minister cannot accept about the position women should hold. This is clearly stated in the Islamic law, that man is the leader,” Mohammed said.
“It is not about me, I did not say this, but is what Allah has said. And he does not accept it and he is the authority. Allah says clearly that women cannot take up leadership roles in State affairs. But he said they could assist,” Mohammed explained.
Referring to the spate of flooding in Trinidad since the Prime Minister was elected, in May 2010, Mohammed said this was proof that women were not destined to take up leadership positions according to his interpretation of Islamic law.
“Look at the flooding we have had since she was elected Prime Minister,” he said.“If the Prime Minister has a problem, she should take it up with Allah, not the Muslims of the country. The Government made themselves look stupid. Muslims voted for her (Prime Minister). We don’t have a problem with her being the Prime Minister. The law is the law and we abide by it. I am not Allah. If you have a problem with what the Koran says don’t take it out on us,” Mohammed said.
Stacey Moore, NewsDay, December 7, 2011
Obama administration classifies Fort Hood terror massacre as ‘workplace violence’
Collins a Republican from Main also referenced a letter from the Defense Department depicting the Fort Hood shootings as workplace violence. She criticized the Obama administration for failing to identify the true threat which was al-Qaeda and radicalized Islam.
Intelligence agencies originally intercepted communications between the military psychiatrist Hasan whom murdered 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., and a radical cleric in Yemen known for his incendiary anti-American teachings. His name was Anwar al-Awlaki, once a ‘spiritual leader’ at a mosque in suburban Virginia where Major Hasan once worshiped and became radicalized.
Al-Awlaki left the United States to become the “regional commander” within the al-Qaeda terrorist organization in 2009. He repeatedly called for jihad against the United States. Al-Awlaki encouraged others to “fight jihad” he had a sermon in 2009 posted on his blog ”44 Ways to Support Jihad“.
After the Fort Hood shooting, on his website al-Awlaki praised Hasan’s actions, Hasan and Al-Awlaki communicated with at least 20 emails back and fourth before the Fort Hood terrorist act. Al-Awlaki acknowledged his correspondence with Hasan. Somehow the Obama administration refuses to connect the dots with Hasan to al-Qaeda despite these communications.
Faisal Shahzad, convicted of the attempted car bombing of Times Square in May 2010, told interrogators that he too was “inspired by” al-Awlaki, as well as Seattle Weekly cartoonist death threat among many other threats throughout UK and the USA including a passenger plan plot, a stabbing of a British minister and a cargo plan plot.
On September 30, 2011, in northern Yemen’s al-Jawf province, two Predator drones fired Hellfire missiles at a vehicle containing al-Awlaki and three other suspected al-Qaeda members, he was killed.
Rep. Peter King of New York said: ”There’s a definite threat from Islamic radicalization in various parts of our society, including within the military, and we can’t allow political correctness to keep us from exposing this threat for what it is.”
Also the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, said the military has become a “direct target of violent Islamist extremism” within the United States.Is the Obama administration delusional or simply trying to knowingly mislead the American people as to the real motivation behind Hasans’ terrorist act?
The Conservative Papers, December 7, 2011
Islamic cleric residing in Europe bans women from touching bananas, cucumbers for sexual resemblance
The unnamed sheikh, who was featured in an article on el-Senousa news, was quoted saying that if women wish to eat these food items, a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their a father or husband, should cut the items into small pieces and serve.
He said that these fruits and vegetables “resemble the male penis” and hence could arouse women or “make them think of sex.”
He also added carrots and zucchini to the list of forbidden foods for women.
The sheikh was asked how to “control” women when they are out shopping for groceries and if holding these items at the market would be bad for them. The cleric answered saying this matter is between them and God.
Answering another question about what to do if women in the family like these foods, the sheikh advised the interviewer to take the food and cut it for them in a hidden place so they cannot see it.
The opinion has stirred a storm of irony and denouncement among Muslims online, with hundreds of comments mocking the cleric.
One reader said that these religious “leaders” give Islam “a bad name” and another commented said that he is a “retarded” person and he must quite his post immediately.Others called him a seeker of fame, but no official responses from renowned Islamic scholars have been published on the statements.
Manar Ammar, Bikya Masr, December 6, 2011
Moroccan ‘pedo imam’ invited to attend a conference in the As Sunnah mosque in the Netherlands
The controversial Moroccan imam has been invited to attend a conference in the As Sunnah mosque in The Hague.
Al Maghraoui caused an uproar in Morocco in 2008 when he issued a fatwa approving a marriage with a nine-year-old girl. The fatwa has since been nullified by the Moroccan religious authorities and the controversial imam fled to Saudi Arabia to avoid prosecution. He reportedly repeated his fatwa when he returned to Morocco in 2011.
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders has also said the imam should not be allowed to visit the Netherlands.
The As Sunnah mosque has repeatedly been the subject of controversy. Earlier, the Salafist As Sunnah Imam Sheikh Fawaz Jneid called on his followers not to integrate into Dutch society.The mosque has declined to comment on the planned visit by the controversial Moroccan imam.
Radio Netherlands, December 6, 2011
Hundreds of moderate Indonesian Muslims attack deviant sect over alcohol, dress, and music
The attack by villagers from Seruni Mumbul on Sunday destroyed the hut, which sat atop a local hill, Pringgabaya subdistrict Police chief Adj. Comr. Eko Mulyadi said.
“The leader of the group that is suspected of being a deviant sect, Khairrudin Ahmad, and 20 of his disciples, were detained for their own safety so that the angry mob does not attack them,” Eko said.
Villagers alleged that the group’s Koranic reading ritual included making loud noise, indecent dress and the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
But, Eko said, “we do not yet know for certain what teachings they abide by. Therefore we will question the leader to see whether or not the teaching deviates from Islam.”
Eko said that on Saturday night villagers demanded that the sect disband or leave the area, prompting an exchange of harsh words between the two sides.
At that time police were able to disband the crowd, but demonstraters returned the next day to destroy the empty hut.
Abu Agna, a resident of Pringgabaya, said that every Thursday evening the sect conducted a ritual where they engaged in Koranic reading while drinking alcohol and listening to flute and gong music.
“Another thing that deviates from Islam is that the women and the men who are not related by family ties mixed” and did not dress according to Islamic codes, Abu said.
He added that the group had conducted meetings over the past two months.
He said that when the group’s leader was taken by the police on Sunday, he was only in his underwear and was clearly drunk, forcing police to actually carry him to the police vehicle that later took him to the subdistrict police station.
Residents, he said, found a number of kris daggers as well as five bottles of fermented palm wine inside the hut before they set it aflame.Saiful Muslim, head of the West Nusa Tenggara chapter of the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI), said that even though the council could not yet say whether the sect was deviant, he deplored the violence.
Jakarta Globe, December 6, 2011
Twin blasts at Afghan shrines on the Shi'ite holy day of Ashura leaves at least 59 dead
The attack in the capital and another in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif came a day after an international meeting in Germany aimed at charting a course for Afghanistan, 10 years after US-led forces drove the Taliban from power.
The Kabul blast alone killed 54 people, in the deadliest strike on the capital in three years, which President Hamid Karzai said was the first “terrorist” act on an important holy day.
Nato also condemned the attacks while the Taliban did not claim responsibility and instead denounced them as “inhumane” and blamed the bloodshed on the “invading enemy”. The explosion erupted at the entrance to a riverside shrine in central Kabul, where hundreds of singing Shiite Muslims had gathered to mark Ashura, with men whipping their bare backs as part of the traditional mourning.
“I was there watching people mourning when there was suddenly a huge explosion,” witness Ahmad Fawad said.“Some people around me fell down injured. I wasn’t hurt, so I got up and started running. It was horrible,” he said.
AFP, December 6, 2011
Iraq: Sunni bombers target Shi'ite pilgrims during Ashura ritual, at least 22 dead and 60 injured
The attacks, at the height of Ashura, which commemorates the death of Prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussein and defines Shi'ite Islam, underscored Iraq's fragile security as the last U.S. troops withdraw from the country by the end of the year.
In the first attack, a car bomb blasted the end of one Shi'ite procession, killing 16 mainly women and children, wounding 45 others and leaving bloody pools, shoes and tore clothes scattered across the street, police and witnesses said.
"A powerful and horrible explosion went off behind us, smoke filled the area," said Hadi al-Mamouri, who was taking part in the ritual. "I could only hear the screams of women and I could only see the bodies of women and children on the street."
A second attack involving two roadside bombs killed at least six more people at another procession in Hilla and wounded 15 more, police sources said.
The attacks came as the last 10,000 American troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2011, more than eight years after the invasion that ousted Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein and allowed the country's Shi'ite majority to ascend.
On Monday, an Iraqi Sunni Muslim insurgent group with links to Hussein's banned Baath party vowed to continue attacks on U.S. personnel staying in Iraq even after troops withdraw.
Sunni Islamist insurgents often target Shi'ite shrines and ceremonies in an attempt to inflame sectarian tensions still simmering close to the surface in Iraq.
Violence has eased sharply since its worst years in 2006-2007 when Sunni and Shi'ite armed groups killed thousands in intercommunal assassinations and bombings. But Sunni insurgents and Shi'ite militias still carry out deadly attacks.Iraq's security forces say they are generally ready to contain the stubborn insurgencies, but they acknowledge gaps in their abilities such as air defence and intelligence gathering once the American military depart.
Reuters, December 5, 2011
Former Miss USA Rima Fakih (supposedly a prime example of a peaceful "Muslim") jailed for drunk driving
I can't say I care much about what Rima does in her free time, apart from when it poses a threat to everyone on the road. (Young people do dumb things; let's hope she learns her lesson and doesn't do it again.) However, we should all be paying careful attention to the "Muslims" the media pushes on us as "proof" that Islam is peaceful. Islam commands Muslims to violently subjugate non-Muslims, to establish Sharia as much as possible, not to be friends with Jews or Christians, etc. Yet whenever we raise these points about Islamic teachings, the media responds by parading people like Rima Fakih before us. The message we're supposed to take away is that Islam can't possibly call for violence or intolerance, because there are so many peaceful and tolerant Muslims. So what happens when it becomes glaringly obvious that Muslims like Rima don't take Islam seriously at all? Can we now examine Islam's teachings without the silly parade response?
David Wood, Answering Muslims, December 5, 2011
Iraq: Father and son who were assembling a bomb are among six people dead in blasts
The two were killed in the northern city of Kirkuk on Sunday. Police Col. Anwar Qadir said the man's wife, daughter and another child were injured in the blast, which damaged their home.
In Baghdad, a roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi military convoy in the capital's western suburb of Abu Ghraib. A police official says four soldiers were killed.A health official confirmed the casualty figures from that attack. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.
Emirates 24/7, December 4, 2011
Egypt’s most well-known pro-reform activist: Egypt’s liberal activists ‘decimated’ in election
Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Prize laureate and possible presidential candidate, said he hopes moderate Islamists will rein in the extremists and send a reassuring message to the world that Egypt will not go down an ultraconservative religious path.
“The youth feel let down. They don’t feel that any of the revolution’s goals have been achieved,” ElBaradei told The Associated Press in an interview on the same day electoral authorities announced that Islamist parties captured an overwhelming majority of votes in the first round of elections last week. “They got decimated,” he said, adding the youth failed to unify and form “one essential critical mass.”The High Election Commission announced that the Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party garnered 36.6 percent of the 9.7 million valid ballots cast last week for party lists. The Nour Party, representing the more hard-line Salafi Islamists, captured 24.4 percent.
Marjorie Olster and Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press, December 4, 2011
UK: Muslims convicted of defrauding food firms by passing off meat as halal
Abdul Shakoor Yaqoob, of Broomer Street, Dewsbury, was given a 12-month community order for his part in the scam.
Two other men, Yakub Moosa Yusuf of Warley Road, Bradford, and Zulfiqar Alam, of Southgate Avenue, Hounslow, west London, were jailed for 18 month and three years respectively.
All were convicted of defrauding food firms by passing off meat as halal, say West Yorkshire police.
The cases were heard at Leeds Crown Court.
Quantities of meat, poultry and fish were transported in non-refrigerated vans and subsequently sold on to unsuspecting takeaways and restaurants across West Yorkshire.On some occasions the meat was passed off as halal, and as a result the jobs of honest hard-working people have been lost or put in jeopardy in these difficult times.
Huddersfield Daily Examiner, December 3, 2011
French minister of Arab origin hits out at Tunisians living in France who voted for Islamists
Jeannette Bougrab, a junior minister with responsibility for youth, told Le Parisien newspaper that legislation based on Islamic sharia law “inevitably” imposed restrictions on rights and freedoms.
Bougrab is of Algerian origin, whose father fought on the French colonial side during Algeria’s war of independence, and said she was speaking as “a French woman of Arab origin.”
“It’s very worrying,” she was quoted as saying. “I don’t know of any moderate Islam.”
“There are no half measures with sharia,” she added. “I am a lawyer and you can make all the theological, literal or fundamental interpretations of it that you like but law based on sharia is inevitably a restriction on freedom, especially freedom of conscience.”
She was reacting to electoral successes scored by the Ennahda party in Tunisia, the Justice and Development Party in Morocco and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has called for dialogue with such parties as long as they respect certain criteria, including the rule of law and women's rights.
Bougrab conceded that ousted Tunisian and Egyptian rulers Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak had used the Islamist “threat” to win backing from Western countries, but she added, “We shouldn’t go to the other extreme.”And she hit out at the 30 percent of Tunisians living in France who had voted for Ennahda in last month's polls. “I am shocked that those who have rights and freedoms here gave their votes to a religious party,” she said.
Al Arabiya News, December 3, 2011
US: Moderate Muslim receives death threats from al-Shabaab after CAIR publicly denounces him
Jamal says he began receiving the threats a few weeks ago on his Facebook page. Those threats are allegedly coming from Mogadishu and the terror group al-Shabaab.
Jamal tells FOX 9 he began receiving those threats after the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) criticized him and another Somali leader for being anti-Muslim .
The FBI is searching Facebook records to see if it can identify the individual sending the threats.
Omar Jamal and Abdi Bihi were the first to blow the whistle on the effort to recruit Minnesotan Somalis for terrorism in Somalia . Three of the young men who disappeared from Minneapolis would later become suicide bombers in Kenya and Somalia for the terror group al-Shabaab.
That stance earned them a seat on CAIR's bad side, and the group recently sent a letter attacking both men's education and experience while asking local police departments to boycott a Thursday conference where the two will be keynote speakers.
"These individuals, who have no credibility in the Somali community, are going to be educating law enforcement," the letter read in part.Yet, both men have been consulted by government leaders in the past. Jamal is now a United Nations representative of the Somali government. Jamal has also spoken before the National Press Club and has been sought after as a spokesman for the Somali community.
Tom Lyden, FOX 9 News, December 2, 2011
Pakistan: 13-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by her Qur'an teacher
The principal of the school on Chandari Road is in police custody for the rape of the class five student on November 27. A medical examination of the girl confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted.
Talking to The Express Tribune at her home, the child said she wanted to become a doctor, but some in her family did not want her to study further. “I want a higher education but my uncle said no. He said I should sit in the house,” she said.
Adil, her father, said that his older brother had advised him not to send the girl to any school. “Sending her to school will be the family’s decision,” he said, but added that he personally wanted her to get an education.
He said that his family was in shock over what had happened to her. “How can a man who teaches the Holy Quran do such a thing?” he said.
Meanwhile, residents of Kot Lakhpat near the school called for it to be shut down and for the owners to be prosecuted for putting children in harm’s way. Many of the students at the school have not been turning up for the last few days.
“They should close the school permanently,” said one parent. “What guarantee is there that this will not happen again?”
Omer, who lives near the school, said many families in the neighbourhood had stopped sending girls to school, even other schools, after the rape. “They fear that their daughters are not safe,” he said.The accused principal was arrested at Bhatta Chowk on November 30. The victim’s parents said that he had called her to the school on a Sunday on the pretext of preparing students for board exams. She said that he had threatened to kill her if she reported the rape to her parents or the police.
Rameez Khan, The Express Tribune, December 2, 2011
US: Muslims takeover Manhattan streets multiple times each day with illegal parking for "prayer"
But this picture was actually taken outside a Mosque during a prayer service - with 200 Muslim cabbies illegally parked.
Residents of the wealthy Upper West Side of Manhattan are outraged that their streets are being taken over multiple times each day for the 45-minute service.
The taxi drivers are double and triple parking in a huge line that forces traffic into the oncoming lane.
The situation has flared up and on one occasion a cop telling a taxi driver to move on was swarmed by other hacks - and had to call for reinforcements.
When several other police cars arrived the taxi driver was handcuffed and led away.
Muslims have been parking illegally at the Islamic Cultural Centre for four years but the row has blown up because a road that connects to it that has been closed for the whole time has now reopened.
Prayers take place five times a day but the busiest is on Fridays at lunchtime when up to 300 worshippers - and 200 taxi drivers - are in attendance.
Most of the taxi drivers appear unrepentant with one claiming: 'I have to pray. I have no choice but to break the rules.'
Cabbie Abdoulaye Diallo, a 30-year-old immigrant from Guinea, told DNA info that he had got several $75 fines for parking illegally outside the mosque but he did not care.
He said: 'For me, my prayer is more important, because that's what I'm going to take with me the day I die'.
Residents however are increasingly anxious that they cannot cross the road safely.
'It's an accident waiting to happen, said James Beale, the resident manager at a Trump tower block that is next to the mosque.
'It's a very dangerous situation. It's like all the rules of the road are thrown aside,' he told DNA info.
Abdur Rahman, an assistant imam at the mosque, said it had told worshippers to respect the parking rules but they had failed to do so.But he also claimed that the parking rules should be more flexible to accommodate worshippers' needs.
Daniel Bates, Mail Online, December 1, 2011
UK: Muslim women complain, demand council accommodates Islamic sex-segregation
They say that due to religious constraints they can not exercise when there is a man about, even if he is the instructor.
They want more women-only facilities in leisure facilities and have complained, in some centres, even the changing rooms are communal.
Councillor Pritam Grewal said: "We current run a significant number of women's sessions across our Leisure Centres. These include swim sessions, gym sessions and classes."
"However, none of the centres guarantee that there will be female only staff working."
He added it was hard to guarantee female only lifeguards, instructors or even changing facilities, but Isleworth Leisure Centre would see if they could expand on their women only swimming sessions.
Susan Hodgson, Hounslow Council's women and girls development officer for sport, said: "Over three years ago Hounslow council identified the need to increase women and girls' increase participation in sports across the borough.
"It is a very ethnically diverse area and for a lot of Muslim women they need to have reassurance that the instructor will definitely be female and there will not be able to be viewed by the public."She added that on Fridays she offered female only activities such as badminton, zumba and keep-fit from 5.15 to 7.15pm at Cranford Community College in High Street, Cranford.
Lima Curtis, Hounslow Chronicle, December 1, 2011
Egypt's Arab Spring: Brotherhood, Al Nour, Al Wasat, unofficial data shows landslide victory for Islamists
However, unofficial data of the elections in 9 of the 27 Egyptian electorates confirm the widely-expected success of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) are in the lead in Egypt, often followed by the Al Nour coalition of Salafi parties. Coming in third is the secular, moderate party coalition the Egyptian Bloc, with the Free Egyptians under Coptic tycoon Naguib Sawiris. The voting seems instead to have punished the former members of ex-president Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party, who ran as independents. In a number of constituencies the run-off for the uninominal is between a Freedom and Justice candidate and an Al Nour one. Generally speaking, according to press leaks reported by Egyptian online media, the most fundamentalist parties did very well in rural areas such as Al Fayyoum, where the Muslim Brotherhood say they raked in the highest number of votes, but not as well in Cairo where the Egyptian Bloc came out ahead in some of the more residential areas.
Yesterday the Muslim Brotherhood released two statements in which they cried victory, saying they had received 40% of votes, while for the time being Al Nour is remaining silent while awaiting for consolidated results. According to unofficial figures online, in the Brotherhood stronghold of Alexandria the FJP received 44% of votes, Al Nour 27% and the Egyptian Bloc 19%. In Port Said the Muslim Brotherhood are in the lead followed by Al Nour, while in third place there is the moderate Islamist group Al Wasat, giving Islamists - as noted by Al Ahram online - a landslide victory. In the uninominal, a Brotherhood candidate was voted in, while for the other seat at stake there will be a run-off between the leftist party Tagammu and the Salafi candidate. Also in Luxor, which it seemed for most of yesterday that the Egyptian Bloc would come out ahead, the FJP may be the one to claim victory in the end. In second place will likely be either Al Nour or the Egyptian Bloc, and in third the liberal party Wafd. In Assiut in Upper Egypt, there will be two run-offs: one between a Brotherhood candidate and an Egyptian Bloc candidate and another between a Salafi candidate and an independent.While awaiting official certification of the Freedom and Justice Party win, Mohamed Morsi has already made it clear that it will have to be the parliamentary majority to form the next government. The Egyptian Bloc is getting ready for the battle of the next two rounds, which will be held on December 14 and January 3, while Tahrir Square demonstrators have announced another protest for tomorrow.
ANSAmed, December 1, 2011
Commentary: The West’s shameless conspiracy against Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
The Western media and, by extension, the global press are awash with news of the capture of two key figures in the government of the deposed Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddffi.These are his most influential son and former heir apparent, Saif al-Islam Gadaffi, and the former administration’s intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Sanussi.
Journalists who flew in the plane that was dispatched to pick up Saif al-Islam in Awbari, an oil outpost in southern Libya, said the younger Gaddafi was captured in the dead of night with his most trusted lieutenants.
He was attempting to cross into Niger or Algeria to escape the fate that befell his father in his hometown of Sirte. As for the former Libyan spy chief, reports of his capture resemble that of Saif al-Islam.
As one of those who have closely monitored the unfolding events in Libya since February 17 to the day Al Jazeera broke the news of Col Gaddafi’s capture and his subsequent killing, I strongly reject the version of events reported by the Western press.
The coverage of the capture of Saif al-Islam and Sanussi in the southern Libyan desert has been stage-managed to suit the tastes and interests of the United States of America, France and the new boys in town – the National Transitional Council (NTC) and their allies.
What is happening in Libya should serve as a lesson for African leaders who mistakenly think that western powers are true friends. America and other imperialist nations are only interested in natural resources such as oil and the strategic importance of some African countries.
To western powers, Col Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam, Sanussi and any other perceived “rogues” are expendable human beings who should be eliminated in a way that will serve as a deterrent to others who resist imperialist demands and overtures. Also on this list are people like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.
It is thought that the capture of Saif al-Islam and Sanussi was carried out in collaboration with Niger government. This was possible because of the French government’s strong influence on its impoverished former colony.
Saif al-Islam and Sanussi crossed into Niger and reached the capital, Niamey, a few days after Gaddafi’s death. This fact was widely reported by the western press, which has since made a swift about-turn to safeguard their national interests.
News of Saif al-Islam’s and Sanussi’s presence in Niamey was confirmed by a senior State House official in the capital. The official, who did not reveal his name, told a western news agency that the two were in a Niamey hotel.
He confirmed that the Niger government treated the duo as refugees and that it was contacting Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC Chief Prosecutor, over the presence in Niger of the two key men in Col Gaddafi’s regime.
However, western intelligence services, particularly the France secret service, were plotting another plan behind the scenes. I recall Mr Moreno-Ocampo commenting on Saif al-Islam’s capture and saying the ICC will dispatch a plane to collect the duo.
But the western media said nothing about the plan to take Saif al-Islam to The Hague. They only resurfaced after the two were purportedly captured by pro-NTC militias in southern Libya before Saif al-Islam was flown to Zintan, a small town south of Tripoli.
The tragedy in Africa is that our rulers have no qualms about being used as diapers by Western powers dirties. Western powers sing day and night on the need to adhere to the rule of law, but the same nations look the other way when it comes to brutality meted out on their adversaries in developing countries.
Today western powers and their puppet regimes in Africa accuse Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Eritrea’s Isaias Aferweki of gross human rights violation, but they won’t touch the likes of Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi and Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The same powers which always attach good governance as a pre-condition for financial support to poor African nations did not raise a finger when Saudi and Qatari authorities violently clamped down on demonstrators who took to the streets to press for reform and change of government in the two oil-rich monarchies.The hanging of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was broadcast by western media to instill fear in other “rogue” leaders. This covert campaign of intimidation continues in Libya with the setting up by the western-backed NTC of a kangaroo court to try Saif al-Islam and Sanussi.
Lugenzi Kabale, The Citizen, December 1, 2011
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