Islam in the News (April 2011)

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'Islam in the News' contains worldwide news concerning Islam and its followers. Further news covering the persecution of minorities, free speech, and some other issues can be found via the hub page


Contents

Libya: Gaddafi Threatens, We'll Take The War To Italy

We'll take the war to Italy. The latest threat by Libyan leader Muammar Gheddafi came after Italy's decision to meet US demands to take part in air strikes on Libya. The leader launched its threats as he gave an address early today on Libyan state television. During his speech he also said he was ready for a ceasefire and negotiations provided NATO stop its planes, but he refused to give up power as rebels and Western powers demand. The rebels and NATO rejected Gaddafi's offer, saying it lacked credibility. Gaddafi criticized the betrayal of the Italians and of his friend, premier Silvio Berlusconi, of whom he accused of committing a crime and to persist in the same fascist and colonial policy of the occupation time with a new Italian colonialism. Gaddafi spoke about the anniversary of the Ghardabiya battle, south of Sirt, which in 1975 marked a heavy defeat for the Italian colonialists and of the centenary of the invasion, in 1911. And he accused: Italy kills our children.

Pennsylvania court gives twice as much to sons as to daughters in inheritance case, in accordance to "Islamic Laws and Sharia"

"I think it's a solution in search of a problem," said North Carolina State Representative Joe Hackney in response to that state's proposed anti-Sharia law. Well, Hackney, here is your problem.

"Will Calls for Distribution 'According to Islamic Laws and Sharia'; Pennsylvania Court Gives Twice as Much to Each Son as to Each Daughter," by Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy, April 29
. . .
Prof. Abbass Alkhafaji died, and left a will that apparently said, in relevant part,

(4) About my pension, the beneficiaries are all my biological kids and my current wife, ... after reducing all costs associated with the house.... [The] rest of the pension, if any left, should be divided according to Islamic Laws and Sharia....
(9) In case I have additional monetary benefits from my job, such as life insurance, 401K, 403B or any other retirement funds that I am not aware of, Allah as my witness, They should be divided, after costs associated with the payment of those funds according to Islamic Laws and “Sharia.”

The trial court entered an order that concluded with, “(1) TIAA-CREF Individual and Institutional Services LLC, shall make distribution of the pension accounts of the TIAA-CREF certificates ... to the decedent’s surviving spouse, ... in accordance with decedent’s last will and testament dated July 17, 2007, and to his biological children, ... in accordance of the law of Sharia, mainly [sic], one-eighth share to the surviving spouse, ... and thereafter, the remaining balance to be divided, two shares each to the six male children, and one share each to the [two] female children.”

Now if Prof. Alkhafaji had specified in his will that he was leaving a 1/8 share to his wife, and then 1/8 to each of his sons and 1/16 to each of his daughters, that would be fine, regardless of whether his motivation was religious or secular. [...] People are free to discriminate based on sex, religion, race, and so on in their wills, including in their gifts to their children.

But apparently the will had no such specific provision; rather, it called for distribution under religious law.

Resurgence fears for outlawed Islamist group

Indonesian anti-terrorism authorities have begun a widespread inquiry into a shadowy, long outlawed Islamist group with a predilection for financial scams and the cultish indoctrination of members amid claims it may have hundreds of thousands of followers.

The renewed concerns about Negara Islam Indonesia (NII), or Indonesian Islamic State, follow the disruption last week of a plot to explode a 150-kilogram bomb near a Jakarta church during Good Friday services.

Pepi Fernando, the alleged mastermind of the plot, is a former NII member, and up to six of the suspected members of his cell were from a prestigious state-run Islamic university where NII is thought to have engaged in an aggressive recruitment campaign.
Resurgence fears for outlawed Islamist group
Tom Allard, Sydney Morning Herald, April 30, 2011

'They raped me with their hands': Reporter Lara Logan reveals terrifying details of mob sex attack in Egypt

Lara Logan has spoken out for the first time since her terrifying sexual assault in Egypt, describing how attackers 'raped her with their hands'.

The 39-year-old CBS foreign correspondent said she was convinced she was going to die when the frenzied mob tore her away from her film crew and bodyguard in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

A group of at least 200 men beat her, pinched her and tore at her clothes in a 40-minute attack that only ended when a group of women came to her aid.

She told the New York Times: 'For an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands...What really struck me was how merciless they were.

'They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence.'
. . .
The camera battery went down, forcing the crew to stop.

As they worked to replace it her Egyptian cameraman heard one of the men in the crowd say he wanted to pull her pants down in Arabic.

She told CBS: 'Suddenly, Bahar [the Egyptian cameraman] looks at me and says, "we've got to get out of here".


Strong couple: Ms Logan pictured with her husband Joseph Burkett while she was pregnant. She spent weeks at home recovering with her family

'I thought, not only am I going to die here, but it's going to be just a torturous death that's going to go on forever and ever and ever.'

She told the Times: 'That was literally the moment the mob set on me.'

Post-revolution Egypt backs Syrian regime, says rights advocate

Egypt, which recently saw the overthrow of its longtime dictator, is now backing Syrian diplomatic efforts to block a proposed U.N. resolution condemning Damascus’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, a human-rights advocate told Egyptian media.

“Egypt has introduced amendments to a proposed U.N. Human Rights Council [UNHRC] resolution, according to which the council should not condemn the bloody governmental crackdown on peaceful protesters in Syria,”
. . .
The death toll is now more than 450, according to Ziadeh, who attended the special session of the Geneva-based UNHCR.

“I can’t believe that revolutionary Egypt is completely ignoring the massacres in Syria [and even] supporting the regime. Egypt shouldn’t support al-Assad,” said the Washington-based advocate.

University campuses 'a hotbed of Muslim extremism', claims Parliamentary security group

[UK] Although they have been aware of the problem for many years, university authorities are reluctant to combat it because they fear a decline in the number of foreign students, from whom they make millions of pounds every year, it has been claimed.

A report by a Parliamentary homeland security group said the evidence against universities was 'damning' and that there was no sign of the risk of student radicalisation diminishing.
. . .
Terror expert Professor Anthony Glees said the universities had failed to co-operate with the Government, making it much harder for them to tackle extremism.
. . .
He added: 'We are dealing with people who hate this country and the way that it is governed.

'Taxpayers would be sickened by the idea that taxpayer-supported universities are giving people the space to develop plans that will result in some of us being blown up.
. . .
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Homeland Security was set up in the wake of the alleged attempt by student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow-up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam, carrying 280 passengers, as it made its final descent towards Detroit on December 25, 2009.

The Nigerian studied at University College London between 2005 and 2008, and was the Islamic Society president from 2006 to 2007.
. . .

Shortly after the foiled Christmas bomb attack, it was revealed that security services believed 39 universities were 'at risk of extremism'.

Divorce via text message becomes popular in Tajikistan

A growing number of Muslim men in Tajikistan are using a simple, three-worded text message to divorce their wives, the Associated Press reports.

Decades of shared families, responsibilities and commitments can be ended with a message reciting the words, "Talaq talaq talaq."

The "triple talaq" is an Islamic ritual whereby a man can recite the Arabic phrase, "I will divorce you," three times and thereby end a marriage. In countries where it is permitted, the man does not need to go to court to file for divorce.
. . .

Singapore's religious authorities banned such divorce by text message in 2001, whereas Malaysia ruled it legal in 2003 and Saudi Arabia saw its first text-message divorce in 2009.

AFDI Denounces Clear Channel for Running Hate-Israel Billboards But Rejecting AFDI's Pro-Israel Ads

A prominent national human rights and advocacy organization has vowed to fight against the advertising group Clear Channel's inconsistent rejection of its pro-Israel advertisements in Seattle after accepting ads from an anti-Israel hate group.

The antisemitic group, Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign, is running ads that read, "Equal Rights for Palestinians: Stop funding the Israeli military." Seattle Metro had initially rejected these ads, but then reversed itself and accepted the ads. American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) Executive Director Pamela Geller then submitted ads to Clear Channel in Seattle depicting Muslim/Nazi collaboration during World War II, with the caption, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man." Another depicted various atrocities of the jihad terrorist group Hamas, with the caption, "One billion dollars to Hamas – your tax dollars at work."

However, after AFDI submitted its pro-Israel human rights ad to Clear Channel, the president of Clear Channel informed Geller that AFDI's ad had been "rejected due to community standards."

Muslim actress branded a ‘western slut’ after posing naked for Playboy

Sila Sahin, a 25-year-old Turkish German living in Berlin, has been branded a ‘whore’ and a ‘western slut’ after appearing topless on the cover of the men's magazine [Playboy].

Islamic fanatics have posted threatening Internet messages against her for ‘shaming Muslim womanhood’ and ‘prostituting herself for money’, reports the Sun.

"She needs to be very careful..." Another simply said: "She must pay," said a poster on the Jihad Watch website.

The Islamic Community of Germany has also called for a boycott of Sila.

Sila, raised in Germany by conservative Turkish parents, says she fears being ‘spat at’ and ‘shamed’.

Her parents are said to have reacted with ‘horror’ at the 12-page coverage, and her mother has apparently cut off all contact.

GCHQ intercept a large amount of Royal wedding "chatter" - claim

SOURCES at GCHQ have reportedly intercepted a large amount of "chatter" relating to the Royal wedding.

National newspapers claim that security chiefs at the Government's listening post in Cheltenham are monitoring electronic traffic mentioning "a ceremony" and "infidels in the big church".

Public prayers for Prince William and Kate Middleton were said for the first time yesterday at Westminster Abbey, where they will marry on Friday.
. . .
Sixty people who have been charged with public order offences are banned from the city of Westminster on the day as part of their bail conditions.
. . .
More than 5,000 police will be deployed on Friday, with 900 of them lining the route between Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

Helicopters of the Air Support Unit, equipped with thermograph, infra-red and video cameras, will be scouring crowds before and during the event.

Armed men set bus on fire, 15 burnt to death in Pakistan

At least 15 people, including four women and two children, were burnt to death when unidentified armed men set a bus on fire in Pakistan's insurgency-plagued southwestern province of Balochistan, provincial officials said on Tuessday.

Four men attacked the bus as the driver stopped at a roadside eatery on Monday night in Sibi area.

Two entered the bus, which was on its way to Quetta from Peshawar. They sprinkled the vehicle with petrol and set it ablaze.

The attackers fled on motorbikes before police arrived. Further details were not available.

WikiLeaks accuses BBC of being part of 'possible propaganda media network' for Al Qaeda

The BBC could be part of a ‘propaganda media network’ for al-Qeada, according to U.S. files published by WikiLeaks.
. . .

The U.S. assessment file said forces had uncovered many ‘extremist links’ to the BBC number [discovered in numerous seized phone books and phones associated with extremist-linked individuals] – indicating that extremists could have made contacts with employees at the broadcaster who were sympathetic to extremists or had information on ‘ACM’ (anti-Coalition militia) activities.
. . .
An analyst’s note on the file states: ‘Numerous extremist links to this BBC number indicates a possible propaganda media network connection.
. . .
A leaked account of the [2006 BBC ‘impartiality’] meeting showed that executives admitted they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda. They said they would give him a platform to explain his views, if he approached them.

Former BBC political editor Andrew Marr later said the BBC was not ‘impartial or neutral’, saying it had a ‘liberal bias’.

Pastor Terry Jones to appeal ruling in Dearborn

The Rev. Terry Jones is to file an appeal today in Wayne County Circuit Court over a Dearborn court's decision against him last week that thwarted his plans to protest outside the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, an attorney said Monday.

"It was a clear violation of the First Amendment's right to free speech," said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for the Ann Arbor-based Thomas More Law Center, which is representing Jones.
. . .

"This is America, not a banana republic," Thompson said Monday. "We still revere the Constitution. ... We have to protect Terry Jones and anyone else who has a right to free speech rather than throw them in jail."
Pastor Terry Jones to appeal ruling in Dearborn
Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, April 26, 2011

WikiLeaks: Guantánamo Bay terrorists radicalised in London to attack Western targets

At least 35 terrorists incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay were sent to fight against the West after being indoctrinated by extremist preachers in Britain, secret files obtained by The Daily Telegraph disclose.
. . .

The leaked WikiLeaks documents, written by senior US military commanders at Guantánamo Bay, illustrate how, for two decades, Britain effectively became a crucible of terrorism, with dozens of extremists, home-grown and from abroad, radicalised here.

Finsbury Park mosque, in north London, is described as a “haven” for extremists. United States intelligence officials concluded the mosque served as “an attack planning and propaganda production base”.

The files will raise questions over why the Government and security services failed to take action sooner to tackle the capital’s reputation as a staging post for terrorism, which became so established that the city was termed “Londonistan”.
. . .

Sixteen detainees sent back to Britain are regarded as “high risk” by the US authorities and are liable to plan attacks against the West. However, they have been paid a reported £1 million each in compensation by the Government.
WikiLeaks: Guantánamo Bay terrorists radicalised in London to attack Western targets
Robert Winnett, Christopher Hope, Steven Swinford and Holly Watt, The Telegraph, April 25, 2011

Education bill angers Muslim board

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has decided to oppose the government on a host of proposed laws, including the right to education, saying the UPA regime had overlooked minority concerns in key social, economic and legal policies.

Some of the other areas where the board, a representative body of various Muslim sects in the country, has decided to take on the Centre are taxes, Waqf property, adoption and what it called tacit acceptance of homosexuality.

The decision came at a two-day general body meeting of the board that concluded in Hyderabad last night. Over 200 community leaders took part in the session.

AIMPLB chief Maulana Rabey Nadvi opposed the introduction of the Right to Education Bill, 2009, saying it would make the functioning of madrasas difficult and infringe on the rights of minorities to run educational institutions.
. . .
On adoption, the board said it was prohibited in Islam. Therefore, a common law on adoption applicable to all citizens would amount to “alluring”, say, a childless Muslim couple to adopt, violating their religious tenets.

The law board also appealed to the Chief Justice of India to review the Delhi High Court judgment legalising consensual homosexual relationships.
Education bill angers Muslim board
Rasheed Kidwair, Calcutta Telegraph, April 25, 2011

Young Obama endured racial abuse at hands of Muslims in Indonesia

Young Obama endured racial abuse at hands of Muslims in Indonesia. According to a new biography on Barack Obama, not everything was ideal when the young Obama spent time in Indonesia during a portion of his childhood. In a new book by a reporter from the New York Times, young Barack was subjected to apparent episodes of racism that also included physical violence. Indonesia—a predominantly Muslim country—is apparently very racist towards black people, according to the book by Janny Scott. The racism also extended to Indonesian adults making fun of Obama’s skin color when his mother would bring him to work at the US embassy.

The yet-to-be-published book further sheds light on the way that minorities are treated in Muslim countries like Indonesia. Apparently, it was and is a well-known fact that many Muslims in Indonesian are simply racist towards blacks, as confirmed by American Elizabeth Bryant, a woman who was familiar with the young Obama and his mother when they were in Indonesia in the 1960s.

Royal Wedding Attractive Target for Al Qaeda, Says Radical U.K. Cleric

As the Royal Wedding nears and the eyes of the world turn to London this week, a radical Muslim cleric in Britain who plans to protest outside the ceremony tells ABC News the celebrations are a "prime target" for Al Qaeda franchises and wannabe jihadis alike.

Top Al Qaeda operatives Ayman al-Zawahiri and Anwar al-Awlaki are "actively encouraging people to carry out [do-it-yourself] operations]" similar to the attempted attack by alleged 'Underwear Bomber' Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on a Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit in 2009, says Anjem Choudary in an interview on the current episode of "Brian Ross Investigates."

"There's nothing really which is outside of the realm of a possible attack, from biological to nuclear to very high profile events like 9/11,"
. . .

For weeks Muslims Against Crusades has posted on its website a continuous countdown clock to the wedding under the title "Muslims to Disrupt Royal Wedding."

Former Your Black Muslim Bakery member admits to lying for bakery leader

OAKLAND -- One of Yusuf Bey IV's former top lieutenants at Your Black Muslim Bakery labored through testimony at his former leader's triple murder trial Monday and admitted to filing a false police report and lying in an effort to protect his friend.

Kahlil Raheem, also known as Dhakir Zaki, was not questioned about the death of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men Bey IV is charged with ordering killed. But Raheem said he was involved in two other crimes that Prosecutor Melissa Krum contends show Bey IV as the head of a militarylike criminal enterprise.

The 2005 vandalism of two north Oakland liquor stores and the 2007 kidnapping of two women and torture of one of them are being used against Bey IV and his co-defendant, Antoine Mackey, to show how the bakery operated.

Raheem admitted that he filed a false police report in late May 2007, saying that the car was left at the building where a woman said she was tortured was stolen. Officers said the car was left at the scene as Bey IV fled when police arrived.

"I just fabricated a story to report the car stolen," Raheem told jurors.
Former Your Black Muslim Bakery member admits to lying for bakery leader
Thomas Peele, San Jose Mercury News, April 25, 2011

Crowds Protest Christian Governor in South Egypt

Thousands of Egyptians leaded by assertive Islamists raised their protests over the selection of a Coptic Christian governor in southern Egypt
. . .

As President Hosni Mubarak’s expelled out in February after an 18-day famous revolt, ultraconservative Islamist crowds have been pledging to take a livelier political role as Egypt charts its conversion to democracy.

Friday’s protests were the biggest so far in the movement in opposition to the newly hired Qena governor, Emad Mikhail, and overlapped with Good Friday services for the majority of Egypt’s expected 10 million Christians.

Protesters moved out after Friday weekly Muslim prayer services and assembled in front of the governor’s office and at additional public squares, asking for Mikhail to be substituted by a Muslim governor.

Protesters obstructed main train lines, blocked major roads and took over government constructions.

The mass of the activists were driven by a sectarian reason, saying it is not appropriate for a Christian to govern Muslims, who make up the greater part of the population.
Crowds Protest Christian Governor in South Egypt
Joey Barclay, Newsi.es, April 23, 2011

Brotherhood: We want Islamic legislation, don't seek parliament majority

“The Muslim Brotherhood aims to apply Islamic legislation and we don't seek an alternative. If Copts knew their rights in Islam, they would seek the application of Islamic law,” said Sobhi Saleh, a leading Muslim Brotherhood (MB) member in a symposium called "Egypt Post Revolution." The event was held Friday in the city of Qafr al-Dawar in Beheira Governorate.

“Any citizen has the right to run for any position, and voters have the right to say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ The Muslim Brotherhood will not vote for a woman or a Copt in presidential elections. He or she has the right to run for the position, and we have the right to vote for whomever we want.”
Brotherhood: We want Islamic legislation, don't seek parliament majority
Hamdi Kasem & Ibtisam taalab, Al-Masry Al-Youm, April 23, 2011

Koran-Burning US Pastor Terry Jones Locked Up

A controversial US pastor was briefly jailed after a court said his planned protest outside a mosque was likely to provoke violence and he refused to pay a $1 bond.
. . .

the pair are banned from going anywhere near the Islamic Centre of America mosque, in Detroit, for three years.
. . .
The case pitted questions of free speech against concerns about violence in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit with one of the largest Muslim American populations in the US.
. . .
[Terry Jones] argued: "The First Amendment is only valid if it allows us to say what other people may not like. Otherwise, we do not need the First Amendment."
. . .
The American Civil Liberties Union said police had gone too far by trying to force Jones to post a "peace bond" that could hold him financially responsible for police protection.

Police had estimated it would cost more than $46,000 (£28,000) - including the cost of a helicopter and a dump truck - to keep violence from breaking out if Jones were allowed to protest.

Red Cross: There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza

The Gaza Strip is not suffering from a humanitarian crisis, the deputy head of the Red Cross in Gaza said this week.
. . .

“There are two peoples, one living under closure and one living under daily rocket fire, which violates international law,” she said. Her comments were made available on Thursday by the IDF Spokesman’s Office.

“There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. If you go to the supermarket, there are products. There are restaurants and a nice beach. The problem is mainly in maintenance of infrastructure and in access to goods, concrete for example,” Redmatn said.
. . .
Redmatn condemned Gazan rocket attacks on southern Israel, while also calling on the government to allow more materials to enter the Strip.

“Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip is against international law because it is directed at civilians,” she said. “We conduct confidential or bilateral dialogue with Hamas on the matter. As time passes, the dialogue also develops.”
Red Cross: There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza
Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, April 21, 2011

Pakistan court acquits suspects in high-profile rape case

A Pakistani victim of a village council-sanctioned gang-rape, who became a symbol of the country's oppressed women, said on Thursday her life was in danger after the Supreme Court acquitted 13 men accused of the crime.

Mukhtaran Mai was attacked on the orders of a village council in 2002 as a punishment because her brother -- who was 12 at the time -- was judged to have offended the honour of a powerful clan by allegedly having an affair with one of its women.

Mai was an illiterate villager at the time but she defied taboos and shot to global fame by speaking out about her ordeal and taking her attackers to court.

Mai had accused 14 men of being involved in raping her and in 2002, a court sentenced six of them to death while acquitting the others citing a lack of evidence.


But in an appeal, the Lahore High Court not only upheld the eight acquittals but also overturned five of the six convictions. The death penalty for the sixth man, Abdul Khaliq, was commuted to life in prison.

Mai appealed to the Supreme Court in 2005 but it rejected her appeal on Thursday, said Gohar Ali Shah, a lawyer for Mai.

Iran: Al Jazeera, Newspaper Asks To Kill Saudis Living Abroad

An article published in the Iranian daily Kayhan, close to the supreme leader of the Islamic revolution, Ali Kamanaei, asks to monitor the movement of Saudis living for various reasons in Europe or the United States and to kill them in the name of the "revolutionary executions". The article is signed, according to Al Jazeera's website which reports the news, by Husain Madari, representative of the supreme leader at Kayhan.

Muslims Throw Their Women Overboard Overcrowded Refugee Boats Enroute To Europe

The opposite of the West is Islam. The opposite of of humanity is the sharia. Remember the Titanic? When the ship was going down, the men put the women and children on the lifeboats and died like men. Here the Muslims throw the women overboard.
. . .

Now we know why we don’t see women among the thousands of Tunisian illegals flooding the Italian Island of Lampedusa BNI (hat tip Carl)

To prevent the overloaded boats from Tunisia and Libya headed for Lampedusa from capsizing, young males on board have been throwing the women overboard, most of whom apparently drowned. This could partly explain the virtual absence of any women among the Tunisian masses invading Lampedusa every day now
. . .
Le Figaro: [...] "I've done a few days ago along the coast, he says. But I was stopped in Menton and extended here. That night, I go back, insha Allah! "

All exclusively young men, rather poor and rarely speaking, tell the same story. As Tarek, 20, left there twenty days of Kairouan. "We were packed in 150 in a boat designed for 60, says the boy. During the trip to Lampedusa, twelve girls were thrown into the sea. Then I was transferred to Sicily, I escaped and took the train. But now I have no money, so tonight I'm going too the beach. "Their sole obsession: cross the border.

Three Afghans held for disrespecting Qur’an

Three people have been arrested as officials probe claims that a paper mill in Afghanistan recycled copies of the Holy Qur’an into toilet paper, the attorney general’s office said yesterday. Around 1,000 angry demonstrators, some throwing stones, held a protest on Monday at the mill on the outskirts of Kabul, leaving the building partially destroyed. Copies of the Qur’an were found inside the factory, Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said, adding that no-one was injured in the protest. “The attorney general’s office and Kabul police have jointly tasked a delegation to investigate the alleged disrespect to our holy book in that factory,” a spokesman said.

The Latest Enemies of Iran: Dogs and Their Owners

Lawmakers in Tehran have recently proposed a bill in parliament that would criminalize dog ownership, formally enshrining its punishment within the country's Islamic penal code. The bill warns that that in addition to posing public health hazards, the popularity of dog ownership "also poses a cultural problem, a blind imitation of the vulgar culture of the West." The proposed legislation for the first time outlines specific punishments for "the walking and keeping" of "impure and dangerous animals," a definition that could feasibly include cats but for the time being seems targeted at dogs. The law would see the offending animal confiscated, the leveling of a $100-to-$500 fine on the owner, but leaves the fate of confiscated dogs uncertain. "Considering the several thousand dogs [that are kept] in Tehran alone, the problem arises as to what is going to happen to these animals," Hooman Malekpour, a veterinarian in Tehran, said to the BBC's Persian service. If passed, the law would ultimately energize police and volunteer militias to enforce the ban systematically.
. . .
Islam, by custom, considers dogs najes, or unclean, and for the past century cultural mores kept dog ownership down to minuscule numbers.
The Latest Enemies of Iran: Dogs and Their Owners
Azadeh Moaveni, TIME, April 19, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood leader talks of applying Sharia law

EGYPT’S MUSLIM Brotherhood has launched a campaign to counter suspicions over the movement’s intentions because of remarks made by a senior figure at a forum in Cairo’s poor, devout Imbaba quarter.

Deputy supreme guide Mahmoud Ezzat said the Brotherhood wanted to transform the country into an Islamic state once its political arm, the Freedom and Justice party, secured widespread popular support.

Al-Masry al-Youm , an independent daily, reported that Sheikh Ezzat also said the movement wanted to apply Muslim canon law (Sharia), but said “enforcement of Sharia punishments will need time and will only come after Islam is planted in every heart and masters the life of the people . . .”
Muslim Brotherhood leader talks of applying Sharia law
Michael Jansen, Irish Times, April 19, 2011

'Too beautiful for school' Pakistani teen back in classroom

[Brescia, Italy] A teen at the centre of a storm after her Pakistani migrant family stopped her going to a high school because of fears her beauty would attract too many Italian suitors returned to the classroom on Monday.

The parents were worried about the prospect of the 19-year-old developing romances, while they consider the possibility of an arranged marriage for her with a young Pakistani, and had kept her at home.
. . .
The headmaster of the school in Brescia, which has a big migrant community, does not believe it was an isolated case.

"I think there are many cases like this in this school," said Nicola Scanga.

"About 30% of our students are of foreign origin and we have lots of Pakistani and Indian girls.

"When they stop coming to school we always try to make contact, sometimes without success".

How the 'London Taliban' is threatening women and trying to ban gays in bid to impose sharia law

Women who do not wear headscarves are being threatened with violence and even death by Islamic extremists intent on imposing sharia law on parts of Britain, it was claimed today.

Other targets of the 'Talibanesque thugs', being investigated by police in the Tower Hamlets area of London, include homosexuals.

Stickers have been plastered on public walls stating: 'Gay free zone. Verily Allah is severe in punishment'.

Posters for H&M which feature women in bikinis and a racy poster for a Bollywood film have been defaced.

It is believed Muslim extremists are behind a spate of attacks being investigated by police, according to the Sunday Times.
. . .
reported include the placing of stickers across the white-minority borough which state it is a 'gay-free zone' and the daubing of paint on posters for clothing shop H&M featuring women in bikinis.

Ghaffar Hussain, of the anti-extremism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, told The Sunday Times that the intimidation was the work of 'Talibanesque thugs'.

Shia News Admits Hezbollah Uses Civilians to Protect Weapons

Shia News posted an article that, while putting “Israel” in quotes, admits that Hezbollah commits war crimes by using civilians to shield its military assets.

"A Northern “Israeli” Command security source warned 150 Hizbullah field commanders of retaliation in case Hizbullah launches any missiles, after “Israel” claimed Hizbullah is leading activities in 150 villages in South Lebanon.

The warning stated that if any rocket was launched from any house or area in the said 150 southern villages, the “Israeli” army will then destroy every house or building from where the rockets are launched.

The Zionist security source added that the “Israeli” army is not responsible for any harm which might affect to the citizens of the Lebanese southern villages."

The latter is actually correct under international law; Hezbollah is responsible for harm that results from its positioning of rockets in a village, thus making the village a legitimate target.
Shia News Admits Hezbollah Uses Civilians to Protect Weapons
Bill Levinson, Israpundit, April 17, 2011

Muslim Council of Britain: women cannot debate wearing veil

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said that not covering the face is a "shortcoming" and suggested that any Muslims who advocate being uncovered could be guilty of rejecting Islam.

In a statement published on its website the MCB, warns: "We advise all Muslims to exercise extreme caution on this issue, since denying any part of Islam may lead to disbelief.

"Not practising something enjoined by Allah and his Messenger… is a shortcoming. Denying it is much more serious."

The statement quotes from the Koran: "It is not for a believer, man or woman, that they should have any option in their decision when Allah and his Messenger have decreed a matter."
. . .

The MCB received significant funding under the previous government and was seen as the main representative voice of Britain's estimated 2.8 million Muslims but has not received any official money since February 2010.
Muslim Council: women cannot debate wearing veil
Andrew Gilligan, The Telegraph, April 16, 2011

Rebels kill woman candidate in India Kashmir polls

Suspected Muslim rebels shot dead a woman candidate contesting village-level polls in restive Indian Kashmir, police said Saturday.

Haseena Akhter, in her forties, was fighting elections in her village of Pakherpora, 35 kilometres (22 miles) from Kashmir's summer capital, Srinagar.

The Panchayat or local body elections, which began on April 13, are being held in two phases in the revolt-hit Muslim-majority state after a gap of 10 years.

"Akhter was dragged out by unidentified gunmen who raided her residence on Friday night and killed her in the compound at point-blank range," a senior police officer told AFP, requesting anonymity.
. . .

At least 47,000 people have died as a result of the insurgency in highly militarised Indian Kashmir, according to official count, including security forces, political leaders and civilians.

Salafist groups pose challenge for Hamas

Despite ruling Gaza Strip with iron fist, Hamas faces growing opposition from extremist Islamic factions that consider its regime 'too liberal.' Latest example is kidnapping, murder of pro-Palestinian Italian activist.

The execution of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, who was murdered by a radical Islamist group in Gaza early Friday, sheds light on yet another facet of the extremist ideology held by Salafist organizations in the Gaza Strip.
. . .
Salafism is a fundamentalist Sunni stream of Islam, which calls to return to the origins of the Faith. According to Salafist ideology, Islam was flawless in its original form, and has deteriorated with time.

As such, they advocate a return to the purest form of Islam, practiced back in the days of Prophet Muhammad.

Salafism is often characterized by religious zealotry and intolerance toward the West and the Christian minority in the Gaza Strip.
. . .

The Salafist movements began operating in the Strip in the early 2000s, but gained momentum only after Hamas took control over Gaza in 2007.
Salafist groups pose challenge for Hamas
Elior Levy, YNet News, April 16, 2011

Bloc ‘calls’ on Muslims to boycott French goods

KUWAIT CITY, April 15: The Thawabet Al-Umma Bloc has called on all Muslims to boycott French products in retaliation of the hijab ban it imposed in France. The bloc set May 1, 2011 as the date for starting the campaign, and views the action of French authorities as a means to contain and restrict the spread of Islam in France.
. . .

“Brotherhood in Islam requires that Muslims behave like parts of the same body; when one part is ill, the other parts feel unwell. We call on all Muslims especially the Internet-savvy youths to promote this boycott through all means on the Internet. This message should be translated into as many languages as possible and displayed on every single social media site to reach as many people as possible. God Almighty says ‘If thou help God, he will help you’” said the bloc.
. . .

Speaking to the press, [Salafist Islamist MP Mohammed] Hayef said that Muslims and Islamic countries should not be silent on issues that target them and attempt to mock the religion’s principles. He lamented that France seeks to rid itself of Muslims by restricting them of their basic freedoms and said that Muslim leaders are responsible for standing against the injustices against Muslims in France.

Russian muftis say Islamic symbols in Russian emblem would cause xenophobia

Muhammedgali Khuzin, the head of the executive committee of the Russian Association of Islamic Consensus, believes that the initiative to add a crescent to the Russian emblem is dangerous, Interfax-Religion reports.

Mixing religious symbols will cause accusations of ecumenism of traditional Orthodox Christianity and traditional Russian Islam.

Khuzin cited the example of Christians in Syria, who do not demand that their symbols appear on the state emblem.

The initiative would augment xenophobia, he believes.

The press secretary of the Russian chief rabbi, Andrei Glotser, said that they cannot take the initiative of adding a crescent to the Russian emblem seriously.

The Moskovskiye Novosti newspaper reported on Friday that [the Supreme mufti of Russia's Central Spiritual Muslim Board] Talgat Tajuddin had proposed adding a crescent to one of the eagles’ crowns on the Russian emblem.

Suicide bomber hits Indonesian mosque, wounds 28

A suicide bomber blew himself up as police were praying Friday, wounding 28 people in the first attack on a mosque since extremists started targeting the predominantly Muslim country a decade ago.

The victims — including a local police chief — were rushed to hospitals with nails, nuts and bolts embedded in their bodies, said Yeni Rahmawati, a hospital spokeswoman.
. . .
Experts worry it could signal a "hardening" of local militants and a shift in tactics.
. . .
militants seeking to carve out an Islamic state have said the country's moderate leaders — including the president — and security forces would be their main targets.
. . .
West Java police chief, Maj. Gen. Suparni Parto, told El-Shinta radio the mangled body of the suicide bomber was found at the scene.

He was apparently wearing a suicide vest beneath his black Islamic robes and sitting among dozens of worshippers when he set off his bomb with a cry of "God is great!"
Suicide bomber hits Indonesian mosque, wounds 28
Ali Kotarumalos, Associated Press, April 15, 2011

The new French revolution

In the perilous swamp of global speculations about the Muslim faith, the French have stolen the march by preventing women from being victimized. The wearing of the hijab and the niqab has nothing to do with Islam, and is an insult to men, women and children everywhere. The French government’s refusal to allow this medieval symbol of repression to flourish in its nation is an undeniable act of courage.
. . .

As a Canadian woman who was raised in a Sunni Muslim home and familiar with all aspects of my liberal faith, I identify completely with the French outrage and hope that this new French revolution spreads like wildfire.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern secular state of Turkey, had pronounced a similar ban. He routinely hounded mullahs from their mosques, and encouraged theological debate in the Turkish national language, not Arabic. He dismantled the orthodoxy of the Ottoman Empire in short and brutally swift strokes, and created an exemplary modern state.
. . .

But the call to arms is to the progressive and secular Muslim women of Canada. They need to publicly applaud the government of Nicolas Sarkozy and, in private, relentlessly challenge the notion upheld by some of their sisters that the hijab and the niqab are requirements of the Muslim faith.
The new French revolution
Nazreen Sheikh, Globe and Mail, April 14, 2011

Briton 'beaten to death' in a Dubai police cell after being arrested for swearing

A British tourist was beaten to death by officers in a Dubai police station after being arrested for swearing, it was claimed yesterday.

Lee Bradley Brown, 39, was on holiday at a £1,000-a-night hotel in the Arab state when he was thrown into a filthy cell.

Police sources say he was ‘badly beaten up’ by a group of police officers, leaving him unconscious on the floor.

Inmates told how they watched officers bundle him into a body-bag and drag him out of the building.

During Mr Brown’s six days in Bur Dubai police station, guards refused to give him enough food and water and did not let him see a lawyer, it is alleged.
. . .
Bur Dubai police station is a notoriously violent place where beatings, starvation, rape and the force-feeding of drugs is common-place.

Foreign prisoners are often kept in cramped cells with up to 20 inmates for weeks for trivial offences.

Human rights charities say police officers regularly refuse to allow inmates to make a phone call or access to a lawyer.

They say prisoners are sometimes beaten and coerced into signing confessions written in Arabic.
. . .

‘Cells are usually covered in human faeces and can contain up to 20 prisoners in each one. Most will be forced to sleep on the floor.
Briton 'beaten to death' in a Dubai police cell after being arrested for swearing
Arthur Martin, Nick Mcdermott and Rebecca Evans, Mail Online, April 14, 2011

Al-Azhar Sheikh: Pope's Apology A Condition For Interfaith Dialogue

As part of yesterday's Cairo visit by the Vatican envoy, Al-Azhar Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb demanded an official apology from Pope Benedict XVI for his insult to Islam, calling it a basic condition for renewing the interfaith dialogue between the two institutions.

Al-Azhar decided to freeze the dialogue with the Vatican in late January following Pope Benedict XVI's criticism of Muslims' treatment of Christians in the Middle East.

Media ignores Islamic Views of Brazilian Murderer

The horrific, premeditated massacre of nearly a dozen children at a school in Rio de Janeiro was the work of a Islamic extremist — but the English language press is either ignoring or concealing the alleged murderer’s religious beliefs.
. . .

updated reports have done little to expand on a critical piece of information neglected in many reports: Oliveira’s Islamic extremism. An article at LibertarianRepublican.net observed that “The 36-paragraph AP article, makes no mention of his Islamic affiliation or beliefs. In fact, no American MSM are reporting on the Islamic link. CNN report, even suggests that he may have gone on the rampage over an infection with AIDS. Only a handful of right news blogs, are reporting the full story.”

An April 7 story for the New York Times does make several passing references to Oliveira’s beliefs, noting that in his suicide note, “He asked to be buried in a way that reflected some aspects of Islamic tradition,” and “A longtime neighbor and former member of Mr. Oliveira’s church said Mr. Oliveira had been a lifelong Jehovah’s Witness before turning to Islam two years ago.” Such details were only included after a gratuitous swipe against American schools that says more about the parochial views of the author of the article than it does regarding the tragedy in Brazil: “But the specter of the schoolhouse massacre was thought to be a mostly American affliction.”
Media ignores Islamic Views of Brazilian Murderer
James Heiser, New America, April 12, 2011
The Brazilian media is reporting that the gunman was a Muslim, and that his prime motivation for the shootings was his Islamic beliefs.

Translated from the Brazil Journal "Sister says shooter was strange, and had no friends": In an interview with Radio Band News, Rosilane Menezes, sister of gunman Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, said he was strange, reserved and without friends.

"He was so focused on things related to Islam and had let his beard grow long. He was weird, he was on the internet all day reading related issues and it was very strange, very secretive," she said.

Wellington left a letter with disconnected sentences, but with fundamentalist tendencies, said Lt. Col. Djalma Beltrame, commander of Battalion 14.

"He was on the internet using Muslim sites... It's crazy. Only a crazy person could do this to children, said the commander..."

Restaurant workers found ignoring personal hygiene

Nose-picking is one of the most common unhygienic practices observed in grocery shops, restaurants and coffee shops in Jeddah, according to several municipal inspectors.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that all restaurant and grocery workers in Jeddah are violators of personal hygiene regulations,” a municipal inspector told Arab News recently.
. . .

Inspectors said sometimes workers in establishments that insist on uniforms for workers, including five star hotels, are negligent in strictly following hygienic regulations.
Restaurant workers found ignoring personal hygiene
Muhammad Humaidan, Arab News, April 12, 2011

Indonesia anti-porn MP quits for watching porn

A member of parliament from an Islamic party which promoted anti-pornography legislation has resigned after being caught watching porn in parliament.

Mr Arifinto of the Islamic Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) was photographed looking at the images on Friday.
. . .
If it is proved that Mr Arifinto was indeed downloading a pornographic movie, as photography of his behaviour appears to show, he could find himself charged with a law of his own party's making.
. . .
Members of other faiths and ethnic groups in the sprawling nation, including many moderate Muslims, have criticised the anti-pornography laws for constraining freedom of cultural expression.
. . .

In January this year, one of South East Asia's best known pop stars, Nazril Irham or Ariel as he is known, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for making and distributing sex videos on the internet. He denied distributing the videos, saying they had been stolen.

Brazil school shooter: "Four hours every day I spend reading the Koran"

One of the shooter's sisters told the police, in testimony, that Wellington started to go to a mosque in Rio. In his letter, he describes the conflict: "I made mistakes with my family but I changed with the Koran and they do not trust me."

Wellington makes reference to what could be a group. He reports that he divides time between prayers and reflections about terrorism. "I'm outside of the group but I pray to God every day with my noon prayer, that is the recognition of God, and the other 5 are the dedication to God and four hours every day I spend reading the Koran. Not the book because it stayed with the group but parts that I've copied for myself. And the rest of the time I spend meditating about what I read, and sometimes meditating about September 11th."
Manuscritos de atirador mostram fixação por terrorismo
Globo.com, April 10, 2011 (translation from Jihad Watch)

British Muslim radical banned from France ahead of burka ban

Anjem Choudary, head of the outlawed Islam4UK which advocates Sharia law, was turned back as he tried to join an illegal protest against the measure in Paris on Saturday.

He was served with a legal notice informing him that the French Interior Ministry was banning him permanently.

Abu Izzadeen and Omar Bakri, who are similarly controversial figures based in Britain, also tried to get to the event but were stopped by police.

France is on a high state of alert after al Qaeda issued warnings that it would attack the country following the introduction of the ban, which imposes fines of £130 to women caught wearing Islamic veils.

Men who force their wives or daughters to cover up illegally will face up to a year in prison, and fines of up to £25,000.
. . .

Mr Myard [senior member of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party] said he was shocked at the way radicals like Mr Choudary and Mr Bakri were given free rein [in the UK] to make comments attacking British soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
British Muslim radical banned from France ahead of burka ban
Peter Allen, The Telegraph, April 10, 2011

British Muslim women arrested at protest against French veil ban

BRITISH Muslim women were among more than 60 people arrested at a rally against France’s burka ban in Paris yesterday.

Anjem Choudary, the imam who calls for Sharia law for the UK and who calls British soldiers murderers, was held while on his way to the outlawed demonstration.
British Muslim women arrested at protest against French veil ban
Karen Rockett, Sunday Mirror, April 10, 2011

Teacher attacks student during lesson in Turkey (video)

A student of a high school in Turkey repeated actions in a scandalous advertisement of Vodafone mobile operator and was attacked by the teacher during the lesson.

One of the students recorded a video when his classmate shouted “Allah” and threw himself on the floor, repeating Shafak Saser’s steps in the scandalous video. The teacher attacked a student and started kicking him.

Bahrain human rights activist "arrested, beaten up"

Bahrain saw the worst sectarian clashes since the 1990s last month after protesters, emboldened by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, took to the streets, prompting the government to impose martial law and invite in troops from Sunni-ruled neighbours.
. . .

"They broke the front door to the house and then beat them [Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and two sons-in-law] severely" along with another man, the group said.

"Khawaja was beaten so severely that the blood stain is still visible on the staircase. And when his oldest daughter, Zainab, tried to intervene she was beaten as well."
. . .

Mattar Mattar, a member of the largest Shi'ite opposition group, Wefaq, said in total 420 people had been detained, among them 20 women and 10 doctors. About 750 people had been dismissed from their jobs.
Bahrain human rights activist "arrested, beaten up"
Frederik Richter, Reuters, April 9, 2011

Black student leaders slam 'apartheid' characterization

African American student leaders from a variety of historically black colleges and universities took out full page ads in numerous American college newspapers Thursday, displaying an "Open Letter to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)," to convey that they were offended by SJP's use of the term" apartheid" at recent Israel Apartheid Weeks at campuses across the country.
. . .

"Beyond that [playing the 'apartheid card'], it is highly objectionable to those who know the truth about the Israel's record on human rights and how it so clearly contrasts with South Africa's,"
. . .
Saying that the analogy manipulates rather than informs, the letter requests SJP to "immediately stop referring to Israel as an apartheid society and to acknowledge that the Arab minority in Israel enjoys full citizenship with voting rights and representation in the government."

"Decency, justice, and the hope of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East compel us to demand an immediate cessation to the deliberate misappropriation of words and of the flagrant mischaracterizations of Israel,"
Black student leaders slam 'apartheid' characterization
Jordana Horn, Jerusalem Post, April 9, 2011

'1,500 killed in Pakistan blasts in 2010'

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik says at least 1,500 people were killed in more than 1,330 bomb attacks across the Asian country in 2010.

Malik also told Pakistani lawmakers on Friday that 4,968 people were injured in the 1,331 bomb explosions last year, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Taliban militants have recently waged a campaign of bomb blasts in northwestern Pakistan, where government troops are fighting militants in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

In the last several years, Taliban also destroyed hundreds of schools, especially in the areas of Swat Valley and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, previously known as the North-West Frontier Province, as part of their activities.

Pakistan has a history of unrest since it secured independence from Britain in 1947.

Palestinian Authority Honors Killer of Elderly Jews

The Palestinian Authority has honored the terrorist responsible for the "Passover Massacre," a 2002 bombing of Netanya's Park Hotel that killed more than 30 mostly elderly Israelis attending a Seder. The Israeli government is terming the "gift" from its Palestinian counterpart as "a bizarre and troubling way to mark the upcoming Jewish holiday of festival of Passover."
. . .

It is the latest, and perhaps most disturbing, example in a Palestinian campaign of honoring terrorists. Days before saluting Al-Sayed, Palestinian Media Watch reported, Karake honored female suicide bombers to mark International Women's Day and Mother's Day. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also saluted female terrorists who aided or participated in suicide bombings on local radio.

That afternoon, he condemned a bombing that had just occurred at a Jerusalem bus stop, saying that such "shameful" attacks in the past had caused "heavy damage" on the Palestinian cause.

Sporting events and social events are also frequently named after suicide bombers, such as a March 31st soccer tournament and a March 30th karate championship.

Palestinian TV has also glorified suicide bombing. Several broadcasts in 2010 saw mothers of suicide bombers praising the action of their children and calling for more attacks.

Rio Mass Murder: Muslim Opens Fire on Children's School, 11 Dead, 20 Wounded, Suicide Note "References to Islamic fundamentalism"

I think it's important to note that all of the headlines in the news reports in Portuguese call the murderer an Islamic suicide bomber and report that his letter refers to Islam, while none of the English outlets are reporting this critical clue.
. . .

At least 11 people, mostly children, died Thursday and more that 15 were wounded when an armed man attacked a school in Realengo in the poor suburbs of Rio de Janeiro.

According to a preliminary police report, the attacker - a 24- year-old former student at the school - was among the dead after shooting himself in the head. He attacked Tasso da Silveira school, where some 400 students ages 9-14 were in classes. [...]

Beltrami described the letter as 'the words of a person who no longer believes in anything, full of sentences that made no sense and references to Islamic fundamentalism.'
. . .
Roselane de Oliveira, a sister of the attacker, told Rio de Janeiro radio station Band News that the young man 'was very strange.'

'He had no friends, and he spent all his time on the Internet,' she said. In recent months, she said, he appeared to have got closer to Islam.
The letter also explained in detail how Oliveira wanted his corpse to be cared for — bathed and wrapped in a white sheet that he left in a bag in the first room where he said he would start shooting. The letter also states that the gunman should not be touched by anyone who is “impure” unless they wear gloves.
Gunman kills 12 children in Rio de Janeiro school
Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press, April 7, 2011

How TV Islamic extremist who hates Britain enjoys £1,250-a-month benefits and rent-free luxury flat

Rich Dart, 28, worked for the BBC before he became a Muslim and changed his name to Salahuddin to brand British troops 'murderers' and peddle Muslim extremism.

But he has been branded a 'hypocrite' after it emerged that he takes benefits off the same state he claims to despise.

The fanatic was pictured hanging out the washing on the balcony of a £300,000 two-bedroom apartment next to a picturesque canal in Bow, East London.
. . .
The plush, open-plan flat is said to include a designer kitchen and glass-fronted sliding doors that open onto a balcony.

A £500,000 roof garden is included in the complex which gives panoramic views across London.

Neighbours are believed to include TV presenter Kelly Adams. Owners paid up to £425,000 for the properties.

But the religions convert is currently unemployed, choosing instead to spend his time preaching against the West.

He has even complained about his upmarket flat.

'It's quite luxurious compared with other ones, but you're crammed in like sardines and I can hear my neighbour coming and going. I don't enjoy living among non-Muslims,' he told the Sun.
. . .
He refuses to use his right hand to shake hands with step-brother Robb Leech from whom he was inseparable last summer on a family holiday to Cyprus.

Instead he uses his 'dirty' left hand - the same one he uses after going to the toilet.

60 girls groomed for sex at takeaway shops in Blackpool

A gang of men who groomed 60 schoolgirls for sex has been uncovered by police investigating the disappearance and murder of a 14-year-old in a northern seaside town, it was claimed.

Officers investigating the unsolved disappearance of Charlene Downes in Blackpool in 2003 discovered that dozens more 13 to 15 year old girls from the area had fallen victim to grooming or sexual abuse, it was claimed.

An unpublished police report identified 11 takeaway shops in the town centre which were being used as "honeypots" where the non-white men preyed on young white victims, who were given food, alcohol and cigarettes in return for sex.

The report said: "Young people were being groomed and sexually assaulted both inside and outside of premises by a number of takeaway owners and workers.”

Earlier this year a Home Office inquiry was launched amid reports of a similar trend of crime across the north of England and the Midlands involving gangs of mainly Muslim men and young girls.
60 girls groomed for sex at takeaway shops in Blackpool
Nick Collins, The Telegraph, April 7, 2011

Muslim Desecrates Bible in Pakistan to 'Avenge' Quran Burning

A 24-year-old Muslim man desecrated the Bible at the gates of Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Lahore on Friday in order to “avenge” extremist American preacher Terry Jones’ desecration of the Quran in Florida last month.
. . .

According to police sources, Hussain had first tried to force entry into the church where a large number of Christians were attending a special mass, whereupon security guards at the gates stopped him and asked for identification.
. . .
Asif Aqeel, director of Lahore-based Christian non-government organization Community Development Initiative, said, “Christians are told to turn the other cheek. They are also told not to take revenge rather pray for their enemies. The act of burning the Quran by Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp has no biblical basis and does not represent the teachings of the Christian faith. The Christians of Pakistan are facing the repercussions of their heinous act.”

He said that Muslims should realize that the act of two individuals should not be considered a collective act of all Christians. “At the same time we would say that no civilized person can imagine to repay these so-called preachers by burning the Bible… we condemn this act as uncivilized and similarly devoid of respect of others,” he said.

Napolean Qayyum, leader of the minorities’ wing of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, voiced similar sentiments.

“We strongly condemn this incident but we are not going to hold all Muslims responsible for the desecration of our holy book…Christianity preaches forgiveness and love. We are hurt but we will not respond in kind,” he said, adding that he hoped that the effects of the violence in Afghanistan over the Quran burning incident would not spill over into Pakistan.
Muslim Desecrates Bible in Pakistan to 'Avenge' Quran Burning
Asher John, Christian Post, April 7, 2011

Assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II carried out by Islamic terrorists, Polish communist leader claims

The assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II was carried out under orders from Islamic terrorists, Poland's last communist leader has claimed.

The Polish-born pope almost died in the attempt when Turkish sniper Mehmet Ali Agca shot him with four rounds in St Peter's Square in the Vatican in 1981.

An official inquiry into the shooting blamed Soviet-sponsored assassins who wanted the pope dead because of his support for the democracy movement Solidarity.
. . .
But now General Wojciech Jaruzelski - who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer - claims Islamic fanatics sponsored the would-be assassination.

'Radical Islam detested the pope and saw in him a leader of crusades,' he told Poland's 'Jezus' Catholic magazine.
. . .
The pope was shot as he was driven through a packed St Peter's Square on May 13, 1981. He was hit four times, but survived after emergency surgery.

His assassin Mehmet Ali Agca was a trained sniper. Three Bulgarians, including airline representative Sergein Antonov, were also tried after Agca claimed he had been acting on behalf of the Soviets.

Although Agca was sentenced, the case against the Bulgarians fell apart due to a lack of evidence.
Update:
The Turk who shot pope John Paul II in St Peter's Square in 1981 claimed in a new book on Friday that the founder of the Iranian revolution, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, told him to do it.

The Vatican immediately denied several assertions in the book including the claim by Mehmet Ali Agca that he had spoken of the Iranian link at his meeting with John Paul II in his prison cell.

Ali Agca, a former far-right extremist and Islamic fundamentalist, said he was "indoctrinated" in Tehran after escaping from a Turkish prison where he was serving time for killing a journalist.

At a nighttime meeting with Khomeini, Ali Agca said the Supreme Guide of the Iranian revolution told him to kill the Polish pope -- who was badly wounded but survived the assassination attempt.

"You have to kill the pope in the name of Allah. You have to kill the devil's mouthpiece on earth," Ali Agca said the Ayatollah Khomeini told him.

The book has been published in Italian and is entitled "I Was Promised Paradise: My Life and the Truth Behind the Attack Against the Pope."

Following his arrest, Ali Agca initially said the assassination attempt had been organised by the Soviet KGB and a group of Bulgarian diplomats.

He has since been diagnosed with mental problems.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi dismissed Ali Agca's assertions as "new lies".

Lombardi said he had spoken to John Paul II's secretary Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was present in the cell when Ali Agca met the pope.

"He absolutely denies that the two men spoke about people who ordered the attack or the Ayatollah Khomeini and also that the pope invited the attacker to convert to Christianity," Lombardi said.

Ali Agca had a different description of the famous 1983 meeting with the pope he had tried to kill.

"Who ordered you to kill me?" Ali Agca said the pope asked him, promising not to reveal the secret.

After Ali Agca told him, he said that the pope said to him: "As I forgive you, I forgive them too."

The reformed extremist said he had "lived for years in the error of Islamic Nazi-fascism" ever since he was a child and now recognised that "Jesus Christ was the best person who walked the earth".

The 55-year-old served 19 years in prison in Italy for the shooting and was then deported to Turkey where he served another 10 years.

He was released in January 2010.

Poll: One-third of Palestinians support Itamar attack

One-third of Palestinians support the attack in Itamar in March, in which an Israeli family of five was murdered while 63 percent opposed it, according to a Hebrew University poll released on Wednesday.

The survey was conducted by Prof. Yaacov Shamir of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University, and Prof. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).

Schoolgirl, 14, charged with adultery: report

A 14-year-old Arab schoolgirl has been detained for two weeks on an adultery charge and forced to undergo a virginity test in the United Arab Emirates, a newspaper reports.
. . .

"The police have ruined the future of my daughter as she missed the school exam. She has been in police custody since March 22," the father said, adding that bail had been refused and the girl was being held with adult women.
. . .
"I took [her] to police where I learnt that someone had complained against her that she was meeting an adult man on the roof of our building. I told the police that I would handle the matter within the family."

But police arrested the girl and referred the case to Ajman's public prosecutor on an adultery charge.

Islamists look for gains in Egypt's freer politics

Islamic hard-liners, some of them heavily suppressed under three decades of Hosni Mubarak's regime, are enthusiastically diving into Egypt's new freedoms, forming political parties to enter upcoming elections and raising alarm that they will try to lead the country into fundamentalist rule.

Some militants, taking advantage of a security vacuum, aren't waiting for the political process. They have attacked Christians and liquor stores, trying to impose their austere version of Islamic law in provincial towns.

The Islamists' newfound energy prompted the ruling military to warn on Monday that Egypt "will not be turned into Gaza or Iran."

Islamists could fare well in parliamentary elections scheduled for September, especially if the various groups run on a unified ticket. Their chances are boosted by the disarray among other groups. Traditional opposition parties were deeply restricted under Mubarak's 29-year rule and have no popular base to speak of. The liberal youth groups behind the 18-day uprising that forced Mubarak to step down on Feb. 11 are still scrambling to organize before voting day.

The Islamists, furthermore, are well funded and organized. The most established fundamentalist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, has years of experience in contesting elections.
. . .

A referendum last month provided an early exercise for Islamists at the polls. The Brotherhood and Salafis pushed hard for a "yes" vote on a raft of constitutional amendments, some of them claiming that it would be a "yes" for Islam. Many liberal protest leaders opposed the amendments, saying they wanted greater changes. The amendments passed handily, by 70 percent.

Hamas suspect held in West Bank actor killing - Palestinians

A top Palestinian security official said police had arrested a member of the Islamist Hamas group over the assassination of award-winning Arab-Israeli actor and director, Juliano Mer Khamis.
. . .

Mer Khamis, the son of a Jewish mother and Christian Arab father, ran the Freedom Theatre in Jenin's refugee camp in the northern West Bank for several years. He was driving his car near the theatre with his infant son and a babysitter when the gunman ordered him to pull over and shot him.
. . .
Mer Khamis' project generated hostility from some Palestinians. In an interview in 2009 after the Jenin theatre was torched he said: "We are under attack from a small group of people who think the arts are undermining the Palestinian struggle," he said.

"They put out leaflets calling me a Zionist Jew whose hands should be cut off."
. . .

Born in the Israeli-Arab city of Nazareth Mer Khamis served in the Israeli army as a paratrooper and portrayed Israeli Jews in many of his roles both in film and on stage.

Islam debate in France sparks controversy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's party, the UMP, is preparing to host a controversial debate on the role of Islam in secular France.

The debate has provoked protests from Islamic and other religious groups, and even from some members of the governing conservative UMP itself.

Critics have accused the party of pandering to a resurgent far-right.
. . .
The UMP said it would be irresponsible not to debate the great changes posed to French society by its growing numbers of Muslims. France has the biggest Muslim population in Europe.

Since 1905, French law has guaranteed the separation of state and religion - posing modern-day quandaries about issues such as halal food being served in schools, Muslims praying in the street when mosques are too crowded, and the wearing of the face veil.

"In 1905, there were very few Muslims in France, today they are between five and six million," Interior Minister Claude Gueant said.

"This growth in the number of faithful and some behaviours pose a problem. It's obvious that the street prayers are shocking to a number of our compatriots."

Suicide bombers kill 50 people at shrine in Pakistan

THE death toll has risen to 50 after two suicide bombers unleashed carnage at a Sufi shrine in Pakistan where hundreds had gathered for a religious ceremony.

The bombers struck outside the shrine of the 13th century Sufi saint Ahmed Sultan, popularly known as Sakhi Sarwar, in Dera Ghazi Khan district.
. . .
"Both were suicide attackers, they came on foot and blew themselves up when police on duty stopped them."
. . .
Police officer Shah told AFP that two accomplices had been arrested.

The detainees included a suspected suicide bomber identified as Fida Hussain, a 15-to-16-year-old Afghan refugee from Pakistan's tribal area, he said.
. . .
Sufi worshippers, who follow a mystical strain of Islam, have increasingly been the target of bloody attacks by Islamist militants in Pakistan.
. . .
Nearly 4,200 people have been killed in suicide attacks and bomb explosions, blamed on homegrown Taliban and other Islamist extremist networks, since government troops stormed a radical mosque in Islamabad in July 2007.
. . .

Sunday's attack is the fifth in as many days.

Muslim Brotherhood advocates Egyptian modesty police

Officials of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's leading Islamic group, have called for the establishment of a Saudi-style modesty police to combat "immoral" behavior in public areas in what observers say in another sign of a growing Islamic self-confidence in the post-Mubarak era.

In the political sphere, the Brotherhood led a successful drive to get voters to approve a package of constitutional amendments. On the street level, at least 20 attacks were perpetrated against the tombs of Muslim mystics (suffis), who are the subject of popular veneration but disparaged by Islamic fundamentalists, or salafis. After some initial hesitation, Islamic leaders have publicly praised the revolution.
. . .
Newly freed from the political strictures of the Mubarak era, Egypt has turned into a battleground between those who envision a liberal, secular state and those who advocate various shades of Islam. The conflict mirrors those taking place elsewhere in the region. In Bahrain, unrest has evolved into a conflict between Sunni- and Shiite Muslims and the US has pulled back from supporting Libyan rebels over concerns they are dominated by Islamists.
. . .

"Despite the attacks against the salafi movement, it is constantly advancing – untouched by the attack," Abd Al-Azim [a leader of the salafi movement in Alexandria] told Al-Masry Al-Youm. "If the Christians want safety they should submit to the rule of God and be confident that the Islamic sharia [law] will protect them."
Muslim Brotherhood advocates Egyptian modesty police
David E. Miller, The Media Line, April 4, 2011

Teacher 'beat boy, seven, to death'

An Islamic school teacher is in custody in Malaysia for allegedly beating to death a seven-year-old boy accused of stealing £1.40, in what news reports said was the worst known case of pupil abuse in at least 15 years..

Saiful Syazani Saiful Sopfidee had multiple head injuries and internal bleeding after allegedly being tied to a window for two hours, beaten and strangled.

Mohamad Nadzri Hussain, a police chief in northern Perlis state, said the child slipped into a coma and died in a hospital from the injuries sustained at the private school on Thursday.

Mr Mohamed Nadzri said the 26-year-old teacher could be charged with murder, which carries a penalty of death by hanging on conviction.

Author of Israel-Hamas report: Would reconsider findings

The chairman of a U.N. mission whose report accused Israel of "actions amounting to war crimes" during its fight against Hamas says he would have reached different conclusions if the Israeli military had been more forthcoming and if he had known the results of subsequent investigations.

"If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document," wrote Richard Goldstone
. . .
There was no immediate reaction from Hamas.
. . .
In his column, Goldstone cites a subsequent report by a U.N. committee of independent experts, which found Israel investigated more than 400 allegations of misconduct while Hamas has "not conducted any investigations into the launching of rocket and mortar attacks against Israel."

"That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying -- its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets," Goldstone wrote Friday.
. . .

The judge wrote of military commanders "making difficult battlefield decisions" and that he is confident Israel is appropriately investigating the deaths of 29 members of one family... "Although the Israeli evidence that has emerged since publication of our report doesn't negate the tragic loss of civilian life, I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes," Goldstone wrote.

One killed in Bangladeshi anti-women protest

ONE person was killed in southwest Bangladesh today as police fired on hundreds of madrassa students protesting at Government moves to ensure equal property rights for women, officials said.

Police said the violence occurred in Jessore, 260 kilometres from the capital Dhaka, after some 500 protesters, mostly madrassa students, suddenly attacked officers with sticks and stones.
. . .
Sharia as practised in Bangladesh's inheritance law generally stipulates that a woman would inherit half of what her brother gets.
. . .
Islamic groups led by firebrand cleric Mufti Fazlul Haq Amini have called a nationwide strike today to press home their demand.

The Government has insisted that the new policy does not have any anti-Islamic provisions and invited the groups to a dialogue.

Religious teacher, Jabir Ahmed Jolpikar, jailed over sexual assault on pupil

A Muslim teacher who sexually abused a 12-year-old girl during religious lessons has been jailed and banned from teaching children.
. . .

the decision of the girl’s father to go to the police and the girl’s courage in giving evidence against Jabir Ahmed Jolpikar may have led to them being ostracised by their community.

Peter Cleasby, prosecuting, said the father initially thought Jolpikar’s conduct could be dealt with within his community, but when he realised it was not being treated seriously enough, he went to the police.

Recorder Guy Kearl QC said Jolpikar had abused the trust placed in him when the girl’s parents allowed him to teach her alone in their York home. He kissed her on the mouth and assaulted her sexually on two other occasions.
. . .

He [Jolpikar’s barrister] said prison would be hard for Jolpikar because he spoke very little English.
Jabir Ahmed Jolpikar jailed over sexual assault on pupil
Megi Rychlikova, York Press, April 2, 2011

Koran-burning pastor calls for holding Islam accountable

Florida — The US pastor, whose burning of a Koran sparked deadly violence in Afghanistan, has called for "immediate" US and UN action against its perpetrators, saying the whole religion of Islam must be held accountable.
. . .

Four Nepalese, one Swedish, one Norwegian and one Romanian worker were believed to have been killed Friday, and several protesters killed or wounded after a mob overwhelmed guards at the UN compound in the normally relatively calm city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
. . .
Jones called the killings "a very tragic and criminal action."
. . .
In a separate interview with AFP, he said said he was "devastated" by the killings in Afghanistan but did not feel responsible for them.

"We don't feel responsible for that," he said. "The radical element of Islam takes that as an excuse to promote their violent activities... What we would like to see is the United States government standing up, the UN standing up.

"It's time to stop ignoring the violence going on in Muslim countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan," he said.

Malaysian state cleric bans 'Christian' line dance

Harussani Zakaria, mufti of the northern state of Perak, told AFP the "poco-poco" dance violated Islamic law.

"The poco-poco dance is actually a cult dance," he said.

"Our research indicates that the dance really originates from Jamaica and there are many Christian rituals to it as the moves reflect the making of a cross and so is unacceptable in Islam," he added.

"The dance is also practised in the Philippines and parts of Indonesia which have a Christian majority and so the dances have many Christian influences, which clash with Islam," Harussani said.

In Malaysia, many adults practise the dance, which is considered a recreational activity to keep fit.


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