Islam in the News (September 2011)

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Islam in the News
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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


Failed asylum seeker strangled and drowned woman who refused to marry him so he could stay in the UK

A failed asylum seeker strangled and drowned a bakery worker who refused to marry him so he could stay in the UK.

Iranian-born Hossein Abdollahzadeh, 32, left Agnieszka Dziegielewska's naked body in a bath full of water at her flat in Swinton, near Rotherham, just weeks after she kicked him out.

He later hanged himself in his prison cell while on remand charged with Dziegielewska's murder, the inquest in Rotherham heard.

Agnieszka moved to the UK from Bialystok, Poland, in 2004 - the year the country became a full member of the EU - and met Abdollahzadeh four years later at his takeaway pizza shop in Swinton.

Marrying Agnieszka, an EU citizen, would have enabled the Iranian to continue living in the UK.

It emerged at the hearing that Abdollahzadeh treated his partner of two years 'like a servant', regularly slapping and beating her which left her covered in bruises. He also refused to believe their relationship was over when she left him to escape the violence.

Ms Dziegielewska's mother said Abdollahzadeh had previously tried to strangle her daughter in 2008, holding her neck with both hands and issuing the chilling warning: 'Nobody can help you now.'

She added: 'He started treating her like a servant and humiliating her in public. On one occasion he slapped her so hard her tooth got loose. Each time he would explain he didn't know why it had happened, and it wouldn't happen again.'

The inquest was told that when he killed her in January last year she had been throttled with a ligature before having her head pushed under the bath water. A chair had also been placed over her body.

Pathologist Dr Peter Vanezis, who examined the body, said she could have been attacked for up to 10 minutes, and that Agnieszka had fought back by 'struggling significantly' before her death.

Detective Superintendent Colin Fisher told the inquest: 'He had failed in his application for political asylum having claimed he had been persecuted as a journalist.

'He could not work or claim benefits yet still set up his own business and was drawing an income.

'His appeals were coming to an end and his last chance of staying in the UK was for him to marry an EU citizen.'

When asked by coroner Nicola Mundy if anyone else was involved in Miss Dziegielewska's death, he replied: 'No ma'am. There is no evidence of any other person being involved.'

Witnesses told the inquest that Abdollahzadeh - who ran an illegal pizza takeaway service - only went out with Miss Dziegielewska because he wanted to marry her so he could stay in the UK.

Det Supt Fisher told the court that her new boyfriend Daniel Sandhall, a shift manager at her bakery, had been completely exonerated of murder and Abdollahzadeh was the only suspect.

Det Supt Fisher said a fingerprint at the flat, CCTV footage and mobile phone records placed Abdollahzadeh at the crime scene.

Further evidence of his record of domestic violence against the victim and property he stole from the flat linked him to the murder.

The Iranian had claimed he spent that night working and then went to a friend's house, and he maintained that alibi in prison.

A note was found by his body in prison. Det Supt Fisher said: 'He didn't admit to the death of Agnieszka but does not seek to blame anybody else.

UK: Woman "sacrifices" four-year-old daughter to Allah to "exorcise evil spirits"

A woman "sacrificed" her daughter to Allah to "exorcise evil spirits", the Old Bailey has heard.

Shayma Ali, 36, who was suffering from psychosis, stabbed the four-year-old up to 40 times and took out her liver.

The girl's body was found at her east London flat on the Chatsworth Estate, Clapton, east London, in December.

Ali pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. She was sent to a mental hospital indefinitely.

When police arrived at their east London home, the woman was chanting: "I seek refuge in God from the curse of Satan".

The Old Bailey heard Ali had sunk "suddenly and deeply into mental illness" and was convinced the spirits or jinn had entered the bodies of members of her family.

Koranic verses

Her daughter had remained at the flat in December because she had been ill and was not allowed to go to nursery.

After her arrest, Ali told her husband: "Suddenly it came into my mind that I should correct my behaviour towards Allah.

"Then a voice told me 'if you love Allah you should sacrifice your daughter."'

She told a doctor she strangled the child and when she was unconscious, she carried her on to the kitchen table where she used the knife to ensure the spirits were exorcised.

As she stabbed the girl, Koranic verses were played in the background on an electronic device, the court heard.

Judge Anthony Morris told Ali: "One of the horrifying aspects of this case is how quickly you lost control of yourself."

Gary Dolby, head of London's Crown Prosecution Service Homicide Unit, said: "Family members and police officers encountered appalling scenes when they entered the house.

"This is clearly a very sad case and our thoughts go to the family at this difficult time."

Belgian cop attacked by Muslim man after attempting to enforce veil law

A police officer has been attacked by a Muslim man in Brussels after he demanded that the man’s wife remove her veil. Belgium outlawed the wearing of Islamic garments which cover the face.

The incident occurred after the couple was spotted by a police squad patrolling the Saint-Josse community – a neighborhood where many immigrants live, reports Belga news agency.

One of the officers demanded the woman’s ID and wanted to see her face for proper identification. The husband became angry and threatened the officers with death should they ever come close to his wife again.

The ensuing quarrel quickly became a fistfight, which ended with one of the policemen receiving mild injuries.

The 37-year-old assailant was detained and charged with attacking an officer of the law. His wife will be issued a fine for wearing the forbidden garment.

Belgium banned wearing of clothes that hide face, such as the burqa or the niqab, in June. Violations carry a 137.5 euro fine and up to seven days in jail.

France was the first European country to ban the face-concealing Muslim garments in April.

Norway: Muslims Charged With Forced Marriage of 16 Year Old Girl

Four men have been charged with forcibly marrying a 16 year old girl to a 23 year old man. The marriage was carried out March 2009 in the Oslo suburb of Skedsmo. The girl’s family gave their blessings to the marriage.

The case against the men – aged 23, 44, 47 and 49 – is based on the girl’s statement. Dagbladet has learned that the four Iraqi defendants denied the charges.

According to prosecutor Olav Helge Thue the girl was forced to answer questions as part of a Muslim forced marriage ceremony. An imam, who has not been charged, conducted the ceremony.

Thue says that the girl was coerced using her young age and psychological ties to her family.

The girl told the police that she eventually made it clear she wanted out of the marriage. According to the indictment, she then faced serious threats from two of the defendants. The 23 and 47 year olds forced her to remain in the forced marriage by threatening her she’ll be excommunicated from her family, sent back to Iraq against her will, and with threats of murder.

This despite the fact that she asked for help to leave it.

[Source: Fire menn tiltalt for tvangsekteskap - Jørgen Tangnes, Dagbladet, September 26, 2011]

Egyptian Christian Girl Banned From School For Not Wearing a Veil

A Christian girl was prevented for over a week from entering her school in Beni Mazar, Minya province, because she refused to wear a veil. "The school management described her as 'flaunt' for not covering her hair," said Coptic activist Nader Shoukry, who uncovered the story.

"Coptic students were forced to obey for fear of the school management's threats," said Mr. Wagdy Halfa, the attorney for the girl, "except for 14-year-old Ferial Sorial Habib, whose family refused this decision because it is inconsistent with religious freedom and a blatant Islamization of education."

Ferial was prevented from entering her school by the social worker, Ms. Ola Abdel Fattah, for eight consecutive days.

Her father went to school on September 17 to protest this decision, but the school filed a police complaint against him on charges of libel and defamation.

Mr. Wagdy Halfa, the student's attorney, said the school administration of Shaikh Fadl Secondary School, a public school in Bani Mazar, had sent a warning to Christian students compelling them to wear a head dress, similar to the Hijab, and not to reveal their hair, otherwise they would be refused entry to school.

Ferial's father filed a formal complaint with the state attorney and another with the Department of Education of Bani Mazar, stating the school has turned into a "hotbed of militants" and has acted out of its legal scope by forcing on students what is not specified by law or in the educational guidelines. He asked the authorities to investigate this incident.

According to attorney Halfa schools are only allowed to choose the color of the uniform. He warned of the seriousness of the incident as it confirms the Islamist program to take control of the education system and impose the veil on Christian women.

Activist Nader Shoukry recalls a similar incident which took place in 2010 in a secondary school for girls in Ayat, Guiza province. In that case human rights organizations which stand against the Islamization of education took the matter up, which was investigated and those responsible were transferred from their posts.

Appearing on Coptic TV Channel on September 25, Halfa said "the school is ready to allow the student to go back to school but only on an 'amicable' basis and not through 'administrative prosecution,' but her father and I objected."

"This is a matter that cannot kept quiet or resolved by 'reconciliation.'" said Shoukry, "It has to be taken up by rights organizations."

Said Abdalmaseeh, director of the Egyptian Center for Development and Human Rights, presented a complaint yesterday to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Education, calling on them to legally respond to the school's actions, to allow the Coptic student to attend school, and issue instructions to all schools that wearing the veil is optional and not mandatory.

The Zurich-based European Union for Coptic Human Rights Organizations has sent a formal request to the Egyptian Minister of Education, demanding an investigation of the Bani Mazar school incident.

US: Muslim arrested for plotting to destroy the Pentagon

ASHLAND, Mass. -- An Ashland man was arrested Wednesday and accused of plotting to destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol by attacking the buildings with large, remote-controlled aircraft armed with lethal amounts of explosives.

Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, was arrested Wednesday in Framingham after undercover federal agents delivered materials he'd allegedly requested for his plan, including grenades, six machine guns and what he believed was 24 pounds of C-4 explosive.

The Department of Justice took Ferdaus, a Northeastern University graduate, into custody. The suspect made an appearance in court Tuesday in Worcester. He did not enter a plea and was held without bail until his detention hearing Monday afternoon.

Authorities say he had rented a storage facility in Framingham under a false name where he planned to use the unit to build his attack plan and maintain all his equipment.

In recorded conversations with the government’s cooperating witness that began in January 2011, Ferdaus said he planned to attack the Pentagon using a small drone aircraft filled with explosives and guided by GPS equipment.

In April he allegedly expanded his attack to include the U.S. Capitol. In the affidavit, Ferdaus is quoted as looking for, “…A connection that would be able to gather, ah, some material where we can build some of the explosive enough to take out a target that’s like three football fields, say a radius of one or two blocks?”

He also made his goal clear to the cooperating witness saying, “Because that, that’s the target to eliminate and terrify all enemies of Allah. We have this project started…This is, this is what we have to do. This is the righteous way… [to] terrorize enemies of Allah.”

Authorities say Ferdaus was upset at the death of Osama Bin Laden in May. He was recorded as referring to the terrorist leader as “our boss.”

Ferdaus is also accused of trying to work with Al-Qaeda to carry out attacks on U.S. soldiers stationed overseas.

Wednesday, he was in Worcester court. He is being represented by Boston attorney, Catherine Byrne.

Federal authorities said the public was never in danger.

UK: Religious teacher at a Wakefield mosque gets 12-month prison sentence for marriage scam

A RESPECTED religious teacher at a Wakefield mosque is beginning a 12-month prison sentence for his role in his brother’s sham marriage in the city.

Zafar Iqbal, 33, was jailed alongside Czech ‘bride’ Milada Gabcova.

Gabcova, 23, of Marsland Street, Wakefield, was attempting to marry Pakistani student Azhar Ahmed, 22, when a ceremony at the city register office was raided.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Iqbal, of Ashdown Road, Agbrigg, Wakefield, was present at the ceremony and police found £600 on him.

Gabcova was jailed for 15 months. Ahmed, also of Ashdown Road, failed to turn up at court for his sentence.

All three defendants were found guilty of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration following a trial at Leeds Crown Court in August.

Recorder Singh said he had read “glowing” references about Iqbal including one from the chairman of the mosque where he worked, but the judge said Iqbal had been a willing participant in the conspiracy.
Wakefield fake wedding teacher jailed
Yorkshire Evening Post, September 27, 2011

Hate Crime in Missouri: Muslim viciously attacked... by Muslims

Nonie Darwish--About a year ago, I posted an Arabic language poem titled “Tears at the Heart of the Holocaust” on my website, The poem expressed its Arab author’s love for the Jewish people and his mourning over what happened to them in the Holocaust. The brave poet, Mr. Alaa Alsaegh, is an immigrant to the US from Iraq, who now lives in Missouri. Such poems did not sit well with the Muslim community, which caused Mr. Alsaegh to be alienated from it. He received threats because of his support for the Jewish people, was called an infidel and a traitor to Islam, but he continued with his writing of poems and did not take the threats too seriously.

Mr. Alsaegh, as well as Muslim critics and former Muslims who are accused of apostasy, are living under threats, but, lo and behold, if we dare to speak about our fears, we are immediately silenced and accused of being Islamophobes. The mainstream media insist that there is no need to fear Sharia or its enforcers in America and that we are exaggerating our plight from Islam. We are told that what happens in the Arab streets can never happen in the streets of America.

Tell that to Alsaegh, after the unthinkable happened to him, when on August 14, 2011 and in broad daylight and heavy traffic, he was viciously attacked on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. According to Mr. Alsaegh, as he was driving at 10:30 in the morning on Compton St. near Park Ave., a small white car cut him off and hit his car, while another car stopped behind him. The occupants of the cars, some of whom wore security guard-type uniforms, quickly entered Alsaegh’s car, pointing a gun at him. They pushed his upper body down against the steering wheel, stabbed him and pulled off his shirt to expose his back. Then, with a knife, they carved the Star of David on his back while laughing as they recited his pro-Jewish poem. Mr. Alsaegh believes that the attackers could be Somalis, but he was not sure. After the attackers fled the scene, Mr. Alsaegh was surrounded by witnesses to the crime and was taken to the hospital. The photo representing this story was taken at the hospital.

After I learned of the attack on Mr. Alsaegh, I did not want to rush to judgment and waited until he told me that the FBI concluded that this was a hate crime. I believe that my article on this incident is the first to be reported in the media. This incident has been totally ignored by the mainstream media.

Why is it that attacks perpetrated by Muslims against Muslim infidels or honor crimes are ignored? Crimes done by Muslims against other Muslims who are considered apostates should alert the American public of what is coming to American streets if Muslims start increasing in numbers. The dirty little secret of Islamic hate and intolerance is clear from this story, and no one in the media cares to expose it and alert the American public. (Read more.)
Iraqi Immigrant Alaa Alsaegh Suffers Hate Crime in St. Louis
David Wood, Answering Muslims, September 27, 2011

US Judge: "the money went to Islamic fighters", Islamic charity leader sentenced to nearly 3 years

The leader of the U.S. branch of a defunct Islamic charity was sentenced Tuesday to nearly three years in prison after being convicted of helping smuggle $150,000 to Saudi Arabia.

U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan said that while he has no doubt the money went to Islamic fighters battling the Russian army in Chechnya, as the prosecution maintained, there's no proof directly linking Pete Seda to terrorism.

For that reason, Hogan said he wouldn't apply the so-called "terrorism enhancement" that could have sent Seda to prison for eight years. Instead, Hogan sentenced Seda to 33 months in prison, ordered him to pay the Internal Revenue Service $80,980 in restitution, and allowed him to remain free for 60 days before reporting.

Seda, also known as Pirouz Sedaghaty, is an Iranian-born U.S. citizen who ran the U.S. chapter of the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation based in Ashland. He worked in Ashland as a tree surgeon and was an outspoken proponent of the peaceful aspects of Islam. He was known for marching in the local July 4 parade with his camel.

Seda was convicted last year of tax fraud and conspiracy to defraud the government for helping Saudi Arabian national Soliman Al-Buthe convert a contribution from a doctor in England into traveler's checks, which Al-Buthe took with him on a flight to Saudi Arabia without declaring it to authorities. Prosecutors have been unable to force Al-Buthe to return to the U.S. to face the same charges as Seda.

Acting U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton said federal prosecutors felt they had proven Seda's connection to terrorism, but respected the court's ruling and were satisfied with the sentence.

"Money is the lifeblood of terrorist organizations," Holton said. "We are working very hard to cut off that lifeline. Shutting down al-Haramain internationally and here was an essential part of that."

Last week the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the U.S. Treasury Department rightly designated the Oregon branch of the Saudi Arabia-based charity a terrorist organization in 2004 for financing terrorist activities in Chechnya and Albania. But the appeals court found the department improperly seized the group's assets.

The unanimous three-judge panel found the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control violated the charity's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizure by improperly using a "blocking order" to freeze the charity's assets without a warrant.

The foundation disbanded after the department froze its assets.

Seda declined to comment, citing the advice of his lawyers. Defense attorney Steve Wax said they planned to appeal both the convictions and the sentence.

Wax said the fact that the judge did not impose the terrorism enhancement gave them a better chance of getting approval for Seda to remain free pending appeal.

"The most important issue with respect to the money going to Chechnya was the judge finding the government did not establish a link to Mr. Seda," Wax said.

Seda had been scheduled to be sentenced last fall, but Hogan delayed the proceeding after it was revealed an FBI agent had failed to disclose an offer to pay a witness in the case. The judge eventually ruled the matter had no bearing on Seda's conviction.
Islamic charity leader sentenced to nearly 3 years
Jeff Barnard, Associated Press, September 27, 2011

Another three terrorists to dodge deportation by using Human Rights Act to stay in Britain

A trio of foreign terrorists convicted of plotting mayhem in Britain are poised to use human rights laws to dodge deportation.

The three fanatics will claim they could face ill-treatment if they return to their homelands because of the notoriety of their crimes.

They are among dozens of dangerous fundamentalists jailed since the September 11 attacks set to be released on to the streets.

It comes the day after the Mail told how July 21 bomb plot supporter Siraj Yassin Abdullah Ali has avoided deportation to his native Eritrea because it would breach his human rights.

Despite being graded as the highest possible risk, he now mingles freely with the Londoners his co-plotters tried to kill on the capital’s transport network six years ago.

The newly revealed trio of convicted fanatics will instruct their taxpayer-funded legal teams to oppose deportation on human rights grounds. This is because they come from countries that cannot guarantee their safety due to their poor records of protecting citizens from violence.

Judges have already demonstrated they are unwilling to return terrorists to some African states, including Somalia and Eritrea.

Many of those released are graded as the highest possible risk and their presence on the streets is putting huge strain on security agencies tasked with monitoring them.

Those likely to fight deportation on their release include internet expert Younes Tsouli, 28, who ran websites with instructions on how to make suicide vests.

The Al Qaeda supporter faces being sent back to Morocco but instability in the country means he could use the Human Rights Act to argue he would be in danger.

Wahbi Mohammed, 28, the brother of failed July 21 suicide bomber Ramzi Mohammed, could be released within months after winning an appeal to shorten his sentence.

He faces deportation to Somalia but could oppose the bid on the grounds that he could be ill-treated in the war-torn country.

Ismail Abdurahman, 28, was released from prison several weeks ago after just three years behind bars for helping the July 21 bombers in 2005.

He is now staying at a bail hostel after winning an appeal against a bid to send him to Somalia. The Government said it was ‘extremely disappointed’ with the decision.

The disclosure that foreign terrorists are turning the country where they once plotted mayhem into a safe haven has sparked outrage from terror victims, politicians and police.

Under Article 3 of both the European Convention on Human Rights, and Labour’s Human Rights Act, individuals are protected against torture, inhuman or degrading treatment. The clause allows foreign terror suspects to fight deportation on the grounds that they would be tortured.

Graham Foulkes, whose 22-year-old son David was killed in the July 7 attacks on London, said more pressure must be put on the Government to put the rights of ordinary people first. He said he would confront Home Secretary Theresa May about the issue when he meets her today to discuss the attacks.

Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch UK, said: ‘This is almost beyond belief. Not only is a convicted terrorist permitted to stay in Britain indefinitely, but before we have turned around he will be granted asylum.

‘That will give him full access to the British welfare state for life and potentially the right to bring relatives here.’

Tory MP Patrick Mercer said: ‘These individuals have tried to kill British citizens and I see no reason that the British taxpayer should continue to give them hospitality.’

The Home Office said it was ‘as frustrated as everyone else with these cases’, adding: ‘We believe any criminal convicted of a serious terrorism-related offence should be removed from the UK at the earliest opportunity.’
Another three terrorists to dodge deportation by using Human Rights Act to stay in Britain
Chris Greenwood and Sam Greenhill, Mail Online, September 27, 2011

Pakistan: ten year old girl accused of blasphemy and sentenced for a spelling mistake

A spelling error has led to an accusation of blasphemy, and serious consequences for a Christian girl of 10 years of age and her family in Abbottabad. Faryal Bhatti, the daughter of a nurse, Sarafeen Bhatti is a student at Colony High School Havelian POF. On September 22, during an examination she misspelled a word in Urdu, putting the full top in the wrong place. Thus the word, referring to the prophet Muhammad, was transformed from "poem of praise" (naat) to "curse (lanaat). The Urdu teacher, Mrs. Fareeda, sternly rebuked Faryal in front of the class and took the matter to the headmaster, even though the child defended herself saying that it was a mistake.

The news of the alleged insult to Muhammad spread through the school, among teachers and the direction accused the girl of blasphemy. The school authorities informed the religious authorities who together with the inhabitants of the colony staged a demonstration, demanding the child be reported to police, expelled from school and her family expelled from the Colony. A mob chanted slogans against Christians, and in Friday sermons religious leaders denounced the episode as "a conspiracy against Islam", which was to be crushed.

In a meeting with teachers and religious leaders the child (in tears) and her mother explained that it was a mistake and apologized. Maulana Syed Ejaz Ali, a religious leader of the Jamia Masjid saw the piece of paper, talked with the child and mother and concluded: "I have no precise idea about the intentions of Faryal, her eyes filled with tears show her innocence, but the error has transformed the word into an insult and this is sufficient reason for a punishment, she should never throughout her entire life, think against Islam. "

To appease the religious the school administration expelled Faryal from school, Islamic clerics lobbied the Colony administration resulting in the mother being fired and forced to leave the residence. Both mother and daughter were transferred to Wah Cantonment by the hospital management. The Masihi Foundation has asked two Islamic clerics in Islamabad to give their opinion on the matter, Maulana Mehfooz Ali Khan and Hussain Ahmed Malik. Maulana said: "It is the innocent mistake of a child. Many Muslim students in the madrasas incorrectly pronounce the Arabic words, changing their meaning, you can not punish a child for an honest mistake, the girl was only 10 years old, she will carry this trauma with her. Faryal Bhatti has been subjected to all of this only because she is Christian, I protest against the decision to expel the young child and to transfer the mother. "

The bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Anthony Rufin, told AsiaNews: "I condemn the incident. Now, even Christian students are victimized and accused of blasphemy. Society is becoming so intolerant that a tiny error gets major attention. The ulema have decided on the punishment of a child who does not even know what she did wrong. They should have explained the mistake to her, if it really was a terrible mistake, in this way gaining her confidence and making a service to religious dialogue. What happened is exactly the opposite."

Australia: Court hears how bacon led to Big Mac attack

IT was a bloody brawl allegedly sparked by a hamburger with bacon. Now 32 witnesses will be called to give evidence at a hearing about how an incorrect order allegedly led to a violent assault on two police officers at a McDonald's in April.

Mouhamad Khaled, 23, his 20-year-old girlfriend Daphne Florence Austin and his father Walid Khaled, 53, have been charged over the brawl at the Bankstown fast food outlet.

In Burwood Local Court yesterday, Magistrate Christopher Longley set a hearing date in February for Austin and Walid Khaled, who have each pleaded not guilty to charges linked to the brawl.

Mr Longley was told the prosecution will call 29 witnesses and the defence will call three people.

Mouhamad Khaled is yet to enter a plea to six charges, including inflicting grievous bodily harm on a police officer, and will be dealt with at a separate hearing.

Police allege the trouble began when the group began abusing counter staff because their hamburger contained bacon.

Police who were on the premises spoke to Walid Khaled about his alleged offensive behaviour. When he allegedly continued to swear, police tried to arrest him.

Police allege they were assaulted by Mouhamad Khaled and Austin, prompting them to use capsicum spray and batons.

As they attempted to restrain Mouhamad Khaled he allegedly grabbed their handcuffs and assaulted them.

He struck probationary Constable Matthew Sutherland on the head before swinging them at Senior Constable Alicia Bridges, hitting her.

Austin is charged with assaulting and hindering police, and Walid Khaled with resisting police, behaving in an offensive manner and offensive language.

Mouhamad Khaled spent four months in custody before being granted bail in the Supreme Court.

Burwood Local Court was told in August that Austin is due to give birth in November.
Australia: Court hears how bacon led to Big Mac attack
Katherine Danks, The Daily Telegraph, September 27, 2011

UK Muslims Turn Polygamous to Duck Affairs

A growing number of second and third generation Muslims in Britain are reverting to polygamous marriages to avoid having sinful affairs that contradict with the teachings of Islam.

"I love both of them. Obviously you can love one more than the other,” Imran (not his real name), a second generation British Muslim who has two wives, told the BBC News Online on Monday, September 26.

"I spend one day and one night with one, and one day one night with the other," he added.

Imran, who currently runs his own successful business manufacturing Indian desserts, was born and brought up in Birmingham.

At the age of 18, his first marriage was arranged to live seven years with his wife.

Falling in love with another woman, the young Muslim chose to marry her to be a second wife instead of having an affair, which is forbidden under Islam.

"It's better than a man being married and then having mistresses on the side when we can do it legitimately and it's perfectly allowed," he says.

"God has created us the way we are, that mankind desires more in wealth in sexual desires.

"The main thing is as long as you are 'just' among them, Islamically what can be more right than that, if you are taking care of them, fulfilling their rights," he says.

Though Imran kept the news about his second wife a secret for a while, he later conveyed the secret to his first wife who gradually accepted the new situation.

Now, Imran says both wives get along together. They even go shopping together with all his children.

Imran is not a sole case.

Khola Hassan, a lecturer in Islamic Law and volunteer on the UK Shari`ah Council, says she has witnessed a sense of a right to polygamy develop, particularly amongst the third generation British Muslims.

Hassan believes that the number of polygamous marriages has increased remarkably over the past 15 years.

British Muslims are estimated at nearly two million.

The number of polygamous British Muslims is not known as British laws bans the practice.

To avoid the ban, Muslims legally marry the first wife, while the other is usually married through a religious ceremony supervised by the UK Shari`ah Council.

Terrorist the UK can't kick out: Suicide bomb fanatic free to stay - thanks to his human rights

A fanatical terrorist has escaped being thrown out of the UK because it would breach his human rights.

Hate-filled Siraj Yassin Abdullah Ali, graded the highest possible risk to the public, was released after serving just half of his nine-year sentence for helping the July 21 bombers.

He now mingles freely among the Londoners his co-plotters tried to kill six years ago.

Government officials are desperate to deport the Islamic fundamentalist back to his native Eritrea but have been told they cannot because he could face ‘inhumane treatment or punishment’.

Ali was convicted of helping a gang of five Al Qaeda suicide bombers in their bid to repeat the carnage of the attacks of July 7, 2005, two weeks later.

Graham Foulkes, whose 22-year-old son David was killed on July 7, said he was ‘filled with despair’.

He said: ‘These people were plotting to commit mass murder - what about the human rights of victims and families?

‘These people had no consideration for the women and children they were trying to kill. How can they claim we should look after and support them?’

The case is the latest to highlight how human rights laws have left the authorities powerless to remove some terrorists and convicted criminals.

Imposed human rights laws have left the authorities powerless to remove some terrorists and convicted criminals. Imposed by unaccountable European judges, they place the rights of the most dangerous wrongdoers above the risks faced by ordinary people.

The five would-be suicide bombers were jailed for life after trying to detonate bombs at Shepherd’s Bush, Warren Street and Oval Tube stations and on a bus in Shoreditch.

Ali, 35, knew about the potentially murderous July 21 conspiracy and helped the fanatics clear up their explosives factory.

He was jailed for 12 years in February 2008 for aiding and abetting the Al Qaeda cell. Judge Paul Worsley QC said he must have ‘harboured the hope’ the bombers would ‘destroy society as we know it’.

The sentence was reduced to nine years on appeal and after time Ali spent in jail while awaiting trial was taken into account, he was automatically released on licence several weeks ago. He is now living at a bail hostel on a leafy residential street in north-west London. He has been seen travelling on the Tube and catching buses.

With music headphones plugged into his ears and a bag slung casually across his shoulder, he appeared to be caught on camera chatting on a mobile phone.

It is understood that Ali is being monitored around the clock and must obey a curfew and other conditions, including a ban on using the internet.

He is the second high-risk terrorist linked to the July 21 attacks to win the right to remain in the UK on human rights grounds in recent weeks.

Ismail Abdurahman, 28, who hid would-be bomber Hussain Osman for three days, escaped being deported to his native Somalia after judges feared for his safety. Abdurahman is also living at a bail hostel in London despite the protests of police and Home Office officials.

The release of Ali and Abdurahman underlines the challenges faced by police, probation and MI5. There are fears that they will be stretched to the limit as they try to monitor dozens of freed fanatics in the run-up to the Olympics next year.

Research by one think-tank found that more than 230 people have been convicted of terrorist offences since 2001, but only around 100 remain in prison.

Under Article 3 of both the European Convention on Human Rights, and Labour’s Human Rights Act, individuals are protected against torture, inhuman or degrading treatment.

The clause allows foreign terror suspects to fight deportation on the grounds that they would be tortured in their home countries if returned.

In February, Lord Carlile warned that European judges have turned Britain into a ‘safe haven’ for foreign terrorists.

Tory MP Priti Patel said: ‘This is yet another example of how we have got to abolish this appalling human rights legislation that allows terrorists and violent criminals to waltz out of prison and stay in our country.

‘They should be deported instantly back to where they came from.’

Solicitor Cliff Tibber, who represents the families of several July 7 victims, said: ‘There is no doubt it is uncomfortable for the families to see someone like this back on the streets after what feels like an extremely short period of time.’

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: ‘We will do everything we can to remove this individual from the UK and are extremely disappointed by the court’s decision to grant bail, which we vigorously opposed.

‘In the meantime, we are working closely with public protection agencies to ensure that appropriate monitoring is in place.’

A Ministry of Justice spokesman insisted that public protection remains ‘top priority’ and that serious offenders face ‘strict’ controls and conditions.

Mecca for the rich: Islam's holiest site 'turning into Vegas'

Behind closed doors – in places where the religious police cannot listen in – residents of Mecca are beginning to refer to their city as Las Vegas, and the moniker is not a compliment.

Over the past 10 years the holiest site in Islam has undergone a huge transformation, one that has divided opinion among Muslims all over the world.

Once a dusty desert town struggling to cope with the ever-increasing number of pilgrims arriving for the annual Hajj, the city now soars above its surroundings with a glittering array of skyscrapers, shopping malls and luxury hotels.

To the al-Saud monarchy, Mecca is their vision of the future – a steel and concrete metropolis built on the proceeds of enormous oil wealth that showcases their national pride.

Yet growing numbers of citizens, particularly those living in the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina, have looked on aghast as the nation's archaeological heritage is trampled under a construction mania backed by hardline clerics who preach against the preservation of their own heritage. Mecca, once a place where the Prophet Mohamed insisted all Muslims would be equal, has become a playground for the rich, critics say, where naked capitalism has usurped spirituality as the city's raison d'être.

Few are willing to discuss their fears openly because of the risks associated with criticising official policy in the authoritarian kingdom. And, with the exceptions of Turkey and Iran, fellow Muslim nations have largely held their tongues for fear of of a diplomatic fallout and restrictions on their citizens' pilgrimage visas. Western archaeologists are silent out of fear that the few sites they are allowed access to will be closed to them.

But a number of prominent Saudi archaeologists and historians are speaking up in the belief that the opportunity to save Saudi Arabia's remaining historical sites is closing fast.

"No one has the balls to stand up and condemn this cultural vandalism," says Dr Irfan al-Alawi who, as executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, has fought in vain to protect his country's historical sites. "We have already lost 400-500 sites. I just hope it's not too late to turn things around."

Sami Angawi, a renowned Saudi expert on the region's Islamic architecture, is equally concerned. "This is an absolute contradiction to the nature of Mecca and the sacredness of the house of God," he told the Reuters news agency earlier this year. "Both [Mecca and Medina] are historically almost finished. You do not find anything except skyscrapers."

Dr Alawi's most pressing concern is the planned £690m expansion of the Grand Mosque, the most sacred site in Islam which contains the Kaaba – the black stone cube built by Ibrahim (Abraham) that Muslims face when they pray.

Construction officially began earlier this month with the country's Justice Minister, Mohammed al-Eissa, exclaiming that the project would respect "the sacredness and glory of the location, which calls for the highest care and attention of the servants or Islam and Muslims".

The 400,000 square metre development is being built to accommodate an extra 1.2 million pilgrims each year and will turn the Grand Mosque into the largest religious structure in the world. But the Islamic Heritage Foundation has compiled a list of key historical sites that they believe are now at risk from the ongoing development of Mecca, including the old Ottoman and Abbasi sections of the Grand Mosque, the house where the Prophet Mohamed was born and the house where his paternal uncle Hamza grew up.

There is little argument that Mecca and Medina desperately need infrastructure development. Twelve million pilgrims visit the cities every year with the numbers expected to increase to 17 million by 2025.

But critics fear that the desire to expand the pilgrimage sites has allowed the authorities to ride roughshod over the area's cultural heritage. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of Mecca's millennium-old buildings have been demolished in the past two decades alone.

The destruction has been aided by Wahabism, the austere interpretation of Islam that has served as the kingdom's official religion ever since the al-Sauds rose to power across the Arabian Peninsula in the 19th century.

In the eyes of Wahabis, historical sites and shrines encourage "shirq" – the sin of idolatry or polytheism – and should be destroyed. When the al-Saud tribes swept through Mecca in the 1920s, the first thing they did was lay waste to cemeteries holding many of Islam's important figures. They have been destroying the country's heritage ever since. Of the three sites the Saudis have allowed the UN to designate World Heritage Sites, none are related to Islam.

Those circling the Kaaba only need to look skywards to see the latest example of the Saudi monarchy's insatiable appetite for architectural bling. At 1,972ft, the Royal Mecca Clock Tower, opened earlier this year, soars over the surrounding Grand Mosque, part of an enormous development of skyscrapers that will house five-star hotels for the minority of pilgrims rich enough to afford them.

To build the skyscraper city, the authorities dynamited an entire mountain and the Ottoman era Ajyad Fortress that lay on top of it. At the other end of the Grand Mosque complex, the house of the Prophet's first wife Khadijah has been turned into a toilet block. The fate of the house he was born in is uncertain. Also planned for demolition are the Grand Mosque's Ottoman columns which dare to contain the names of the Prophet's companions, something hardline Wahabis detest.

For ordinary Meccans living in the mainly Ottoman-era town houses that make up much of what remains of the old city, development often means the loss of their family home.

Non-Muslims cannot visit Mecca and Medina, but The Independent was able to interview a number of citizens who expressed discontent over the way their town was changing. One young woman whose father recently had his house bulldozed described how her family was still waiting for compensation. "There was very little warning; they just came and told him that the house had to be bulldozed," she said.

Another Meccan added: "If a prince of a member of the royal family wants to extend his palace he just does it. No one talks about it in public though. There's such a climate of fear."

Dr Alawi hopes the international community will finally begin to wake up to what is happening in the cradle of Islam. "We would never allow someone to destroy the Pyramids, so why are we letting Islam's history disappear?"

Under Threat

Bayt al-Mawlid:

When the Wahabis took Mecca in the 1920s they destroyed the dome on top of the house where the Prophet Mohammed was born. It was thenused as a cattle market before being turned into a library after a campaign by Meccans. There are concerns that the expansion of the Grand Mosque will destroy it once more. The site has never been excavated by archaeologists.

Ottoman and Abasi columns of the Grand Mosque:

Slated for demolition as part of the Grand Mosque expansion, these intricately carved columns date back to the 17th century and are the oldest surviving sections of Islam's holiest site. Much to the chagrin of Wahabis, they are inscribed with the names of the Prophet's companions. Ottomon Mecca is now rapidly disappearing

Al-Masjid al-Nawabi :

For many years, hardline Wahabi clerics have had their sites set on the 15th century green dome that rests above the tomb holding the Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar in Medina. The mosque is regarded as the second holiest site in Islam. Wahabis, however, believe marked graves are idolatrous. A pamphlet published in 2007 by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, endorsed by Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, stated that "the green dome shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet's Masjid".

Jabal al-Nour:

A mountain outside Mecca where Mohammed received his first Koranic revelations. The Prophet used to spend long spells in a cave called Hira. The cave is particularly popular among South Asian pilgrims who have carved steps up to its entrance and adorned the walls with graffiti. Religious hardliners are keen to dissuade pilgrims from congregating there and have mooted the idea of removing the steps and even destroying the mountain altogether.

Muslim Convert Cries "Religious Discrimination" after Hospital Refuses to Engage in Gender Discrimination

Muslims are trying really, really hard to be the victims, and the media are trying really, really hard to make their wish come true.

Janice Brown is a convert to Islam. Based on her reading of the Qur'an, she believes that it would be a sin to take off her clothes in the presence of a male doctor. Hence, when she needed treatment for hemorrhoidal bleeding, she requested a female doctor. The hospital, however, refused to discriminate based on gender. That is, they refused to seek out a female doctor for Brown when a perfectly capable male doctor was available. The result? Brown is now claiming that, by refusing to discriminate against a doctor based on gender, the hospital discriminated against a Muslim based on religion. The media are supporting her, and the hospital is launching an investigation.

Now for the hilarious part. In the video below, Brown quotes from the Hilali-Khan translation of Surah 24:31 to explain why she can't take off her clothes in front of a male doctor. Apparently, no one over at Fox News bothered to read the entire verse when they decided to take Brown's discrimination claim seriously. The verse reads:

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.

Notice that this translation commands Brown to cover her face (except for one or both eyes). Yet when she's being interviewed for her anti-Muslim discrimination clip, she wears a simple hijab:

Notice also that the translation she quotes never says it's okay for female doctors to examine her. The Hilali-Khan translation only allows certain men, Muslim women, female slaves, and children to see Brown's "adornment." Hence, her request to the hospital should have gone something like this:

"I need to see a doctor. But I will only allow a doctor to examine me if the doctor is my husband, or my father, or my husband's father, or my son, or my husband's son, or my brother, or my brother's son, or my sister's son, or my sister in Islam, or my female slave, or an old male servant who lacks vigor, or a small child. And if you do not provide me with such a doctor, you are a hate-mongering, Islamophobic bigot who is discriminating against my religion!"

On a side note, I have to ask a question. What's more disturbing: (a) letting a trained male medical doctor treat your hemorrhoidal bleeding, or (b) letting your son, your stepson, your nephew, old men, and young children look at your vagina? According to Brown, (b) is perfectly acceptable, while (a) is an abomination.

Strange religion she converted to.

Christian and Hindu flood victims denied aid by Pakistani government and Muslim organizations

Christian and Hindu flood victims are being denied aid by the Pakistani government and Muslim organizations, charges Father Mario Rodrigues, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

“The only channel to get humanitarian aid to displaced people belonging to religious minorities, Christians and Hindus, is Caritas [the Church’s charitable agency] ” he told the Fides news agency.

“What seems clear from this latest tragedy is that the government has failed in the prevention,” he added. “It wanted the floods and allowed the floods to devastate, in order to receive money from abroad. The poor people suffer the consequences. Among the thousands displaced are Christians.”

An estimated seven million Pakistanis have been displaced by recent flooding.

Canadian Condo manager at centre of scandal seen in Bangladesh

A Toronto property manager on the run after allegedly defrauding condos of millions of dollars was last seen a week ago in his ancestral village in Bangladesh where he recently built a mansion and an ornate mosque.

The Daily Prothom Alo, a Bengali-language newspaper, reported that Manzoor Khan was seen in his village in Magura district, some 350 kilometres from the capital of Dhaka.

Surrounded by lush plants and a high fence, Khan’s two-storey residence is named Ashirbad, which means blessed.

The mosque, awash in marble, is about a mile from the house, a reporter with the paper said.

Khan, president of Channel Property Management Ltd., allegedly borrowed millions of dollars against at least nine buildings — in most cases without the boards’ knowledge or approval.

He is also accused of rigging the tender process on building projects by creating fake companies that would come in at the lowest bid to win lucrative work in condos his company managed. He would then subcontract the work at a fraction of the price.

The total misappropriation may exceed $20 million. Several buildings have filed civil suits against Channel and Khan.

Channel filed for bankruptcy last week. The company was evicted from its Woodbridge office for not paying rent.

Toronto police are investigating.

The Star first reported the allegations last Thursday.

According to media reports in Bangladesh, Khan’s younger brother, Sayed Faisal Azam, said Khan left Bangladesh in 1996 and only recently got back in touch with his family there. He built his house in the past two years, said Azam.

The brother told reporters he didn’t know where Khan was but said he would be back in a month.

The Daily Amader Shomoy reported that Khan, who is also known as Azad, defrauded locals of more than $100,000 in 1984 by promising to send dozens of workers to the Middle East but then vanished. He reportedly moved to Dhaka where he dabbled in real estate.

Khan left Bangladesh in 1996 for Saudi Arabia and then Dubai before settling in Canada in the late ’90s, the reports say.

A police officer in Dhaka told local media that Khan received a licence for a pistol and a shotgun five days ago at the police station.

While some have described Khan as a conman in the local papers, others say he was generous and gave money to local groups, including a Muslim religious school.

In Toronto, many also described the two sides of Khan to the Star.

Imranul Haq, 68, said Khan came across as a thoughtful, religious man.

It’s what persuaded the airport security worker to lend Khan $100,000 from his line of credit over several years to help launch his property management business.

The pair met nine years ago when Haq was looking for work.

“He was an ordinary man at that time, you know,” Haq said.

Khan was a superintendent at an apartment building on Martin Grove Rd. in north Etobicoke

They became friends, meeting for coffee. On Fridays, they attended mosque together. “It’s how I got pulled toward him,” Haq said.

Khan told Haq about his plans to start his own property management company and said he needed some money to get it going.

At first, Haq loaned his new friend $10,000 which Khan repaid over three years.

He asked for another $20,000. And another. And another.

“This went on until I lost $100,000,” Haq said.

“I don’t know what kind of magic he did on me. He never made me feel that I would not get the money back.”

Haq last saw Khan at the Channel Property Management office in Woodbridge on Aug. 12, a few weeks before the company was evicted by the landlord.

He promised to get a payment to Haq “in a week’s time.”

Haq said he never would have believed that the man who brought him beads, a hat and a bottle of holy water from Mecca last year would run off with his money.

“He looked so pious.”

Properties affected by the alleged fraud

1. 25 Grenville St., Toronto

2. 5 San Romanoway, Toronto

3. 3050 Ellesmere Rd., Toronto

4. 39 Kimbercroft. Ct., Toronto

5. 10 Markbrooke Lane, Toronto

6. 2121 Roche Ct., Mississauga

7. 236 Albion Rd, Toronto

8. 2645 Kipling Ave., Toronto

9. 3025 The Credit Woodlands, Mississauga
Condo manager at centre of scandal seen in Bangladesh
Diana Zlomislic and Raveena Aulakh, The Star, September 22, 2011

Muslim Woman Opposed to Burqa Ban Seeks French Presidency

Since France passed legislation earlier this year banning the Islamic burqas, or face-veils, from its streets, the law has engendered a wave of protest. Now, in a show of opposition against the ban, an Islamic Frenchwoman, Kenza Drider, has decided to launch a bid for the French presidency. “When a woman wants to maintain her freedom, she must be bold,” she asserted.

Drider declared her candidacy on Thursday in Meaux, a city outside of Paris which is run by conservative lawmaker Jean-Francois Copé, a leading advocate of the veil ban. Her announcement is not entirely surprising, as she has been an outspoken critic of the ban virtually since its inception. In May, she declared on a local media outlet, “I would rather go to prison than take off the face veil.”

Drider has come to be seen as a champion of Muslim women’s rights, as she has spoken at a number of different conferences focused on “Anti-Muslim Hatred in Britain and Europe.” She has been arrested in France several times for continuing to wear the burqa in public, and has refused “on principle” to pay the resultant fines. She told a British media outlet:

"Today Muslim women are considered a non-entity in French society. Here in Britain, I feel like a normal person in the street, whereas in France, I feel like an outsider. It’s really important to show resistance."

In addition to Drider’s endeavor, two Muslim women refused to remove their veils last week and as a result were fined by a French court. All three women are part of a concerted campaign against the legislation.

The two women were fined for purposely wearing their veils in public while attempting to deliver a birthday cake to a French lawmaker. One was charged €120 and the other €80. Those caught wearing veils in public in France can face fines as high as €150.

The women were apparently hoping for a conviction, so that they could take their case to France’s highest court and then the European Court of Human Rights.

Ironically, French president Nicolas Sarkozy contends that the ban against the veils is intended to secure the freedom of Muslim women in France, because the burqas actually imprison them. Most French citizens agree, according to polls. When the ban was first enacted, 74 percent of French citizens supported it.

However, some opponents, such as Roberto Hamza Piccard, spokesman for an Islamic group, contend that the bans will force more devout Muslim women to stay indoors because they are opposed to showing their faces in public. Because of this, Piccard calls the bans “unjust” and claims that they are in violation of “individual liberty.” He adds, “This topic continues to be a sort of criminalization and media dramatization.”

Belgium was the first country to ban burqas. Denis Ducarme, the co-author of the Belgian legislation, explained the reasoning behind it:

"Above all, this law was based around the question of security. We think that it is important that all people must be able to be identified when in public. But we are also concerned over women forced to wear [a burqa or niqab]. If the state doesn't say "stop," the few wearing them today might be 2,000 in 10 years."

With the largest Muslim population in Europe, France became the next country to enact similar legislation. Those who violate the ban face a fine of nearly $200 and a citizenship-class requirement. Those who force a woman to wear a burqa in public face a significantly larger fine of $20,000 and up to one year in prison.

"There are extremist gurus out there and we must stop their influence and barbaric ideologies," says Communist Party lawmaker André Gerin. "Covering one's face undermines one's identity, a woman's femininity and gender equality."

Spain and Italy then followed, enacting similar bans and imposing similar punishments for those in violation. Likewise, other nations, including Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, are considering similar bills.

British mosque accused of promoting acts of terror and hate in Pakistan

A south London mosque is at the centre of allegations it helped promote of acts of terror and hate in Pakistan.

Leaflets circulating in Pakistan calling for the murder of members of the Ahmadi Muslim sect directed readers to a website naming Stockwell Mosque.

The website mentioned on the leaflets in turn advised people with queries to contact the mosque in Stockwell.

Angry trustees at the mosque said its name had been misused and it had no links to the Pakistani organisation.

Trustee Toaha Qureshi said: "We don't have any linkage with this organisation which is promoting hate."

Minority communities in Pakistan have become targets of intense discrimination and even assassination.

A full scale assault by Jihadi gunmen on an Ahmadi mosque in Lahore in May 2010 left 93 people dead and a whole community terrorised.

The Ahmadis' beliefs are at theological odds with Islam and it has been a source of conflict for decades.

Seeking asylum

The Ahmadis have a display to "martyrs" at their international headquarters in Merton, south London.

Leaders of that community claim support from British Muslims is fostering a campaign of hate in Pakistan. They say as a result more people are arriving in London seeking asylum.

Dr Hamidullah Rehmatullah Mughal was a prominent dentist and elder in the Ahmadi community of Faisalabad. His family believe he was targeted by militants trying to cleanse Pakistan of religious opponents.

He was murdered in a sectarian killing shortly after the Lahore bombings.

His family say it was his desire to build a mosque for the Ahmadi community that brought him into conflict with Mullahs who are supported by the Pakistani Taliban.

His daughters Asifa and Zahida, along with their mother, have claimed they needed to go into hiding for several months and they have now sought asylum in the UK.

It is not only Ahmadis who are targeted by Jihadis in Pakistan but since the armed attack on the Lahore mosque, threats are said to have intensified against this community.

In London, too, hostilities have burst into the open. In Tooting last year a public campaign to boycott Ahmadi businesses was only halted after the intervention of local MPs and community leaders. 'Spread panic'

In the latest escalation in July leaflets were circulated in Faisalabad calling on ordinary Muslims to murder Ahmadis and attack their businesses.

The leaflet was handed out in several markets in the city and, according to local lawyer Muzaffar Ahmad Zafar, it spread panic.

It was this leaflet that directed readers to the Khatme Nubuwwat (KN) organisation's website.

KN is a perfectly legitimate group which defends the traditional interpretation of Islam. In this case the website advised that all overseas queries should be directed to the Stockwell mosque.

It is the fear among Ahmadis that support from London Muslims is making matters worse in Pakistan.

Prominent Ahmadi Pakistani and Supreme Court Lawyer Muji ur Rehman suggests many British Muslims are "carrying fundamentalist ideology from here (London) back to Pakistan, when instead we would expect them to come with their liberalism instead".

BBC London approached the trustees of the Stockwell mosque to ask if they supported the call for murder in the leaflets and why they appeared to be associated with this type of hate literature.

Mr Qureshi, a senior trustee brought in to rehabilitate the mosque after it was taken over by radicals at the time of 9/11, has expressed his anger that they have been associated in any way with the leaflet.

Increasing violence

He said: "We are very angry, this is why we have contacted the authorities in Pakistan that our name is falsely being used."

Although neither Mr Qureshi nor BBC London could verify who had produced the leaflet in Pakistan, Mr Qureshi promised to make strenuous efforts to have Stockwell Mosque's name removed from the KN website.

Within three days of speaking to BBC London that happened.

Mr Qureshi said that when he had contacted the people responsible for the website they insisted the mosque's name would not reappear.

Evidence in Pakistan points to increasing violence against various minority groups. The Ahmadis are clearly not alone in that regard.

Making sure that intolerance does not spread to the capital remains a priority for London's Ahmadi community.
London mosque accused of links to 'terror' in Pakistan
Kurt Barling, BBC News, September 22, 2011

Muslim pole dancing photos cause stir in UK

A pole dancing teacher has caused outrage after travelling to Saudi Arabia to teach a woman the sensual dancing style.

27-year-old Lucy Misch has caused disapproval amongst Muslims in the UK after she was invited to the the strict Muslim kingdom by one of the country's richest and most influential families, the Daily Mail reported.

Her employment caused a stir after photos of her client performing a pole dance in traditional Saudi Arabian clothes were released.

One said: "I found your photos disrespectful towards women who wear the hijab with dignity in Saudi and who would never step next to a dancing pole knowing its hideous roots."

Misch felt it was important to distinguish her art from its other risque uses.

"I want to make it clear that pole dancing does not have its roots in strip clubs," she said.

"There has been a tradition of performing on the pole in China and India for centuries - way before Spearmint Rhino got their hands on it."

"It's vital more people see it and realise it doesn't have to be about shaking your bits."

The dancing teacher was whisked into the country, circumventing the usual difficulties faced by single Britons, to continue lessons started by the rich Saudi Arabian woman named Qahtani while she was visiting Europe.

Three X-stage poles were sent to the Saudi Arabian woman's palace, the first time such items have been allowed into the country, and set up in a dedicated mirrored studio room in her palace.

"Needless to say, there is no history of pole dancing in Saudi Arabia," says Misch.

"It's not the kind of place you expect to be invited to teach pole. But my client's sister lives in Europe where she’d discovered pole dancing for fitness, and they’d talked about the amazing benefits pole can have on the body.

"My client wanted the same things that attracted many others to pole dancing: an exhilarating workout to get her fit and toned.

"She liked the fact that it was a feminine exercise, and that she could feel liberated and sexy whilst doing it."

Misch put Qahtani through an intensive two-hour a day, six days a week, training course where she learned to climb the pol, do the splits upside down and perform a fluid routine.

Qahtani and Misch took photos of themselves in traditional Saudi Arabian garb while performing a pole dance.

"Qahtani wanted to make a point," Misch said.

"But it angered a lot of people who thought the photos were insulting".
Muslim pole dancing photos cause stir in UK
Yahoo!7 News, September 22, 2011

How well do you know the Koran? Hand grenades and AK-47s for best Somali students

A CHILDREN’S competition run by a Somali radio station featured hand grenades and AK-47 rifles among the top prizes for Koran-reciting and general knowledge.

Andulus radio, which is run by the al-Shabab Islamist group, chose four children between the ages of 10 and 17 for the competition, which was held during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

First prize in the Ramadan competition was an AK-47 rifle and the equivalent of €500. The second prize-winners received an AK-47 and €360, while the third prize was two hand grenades and €290. The winners also got religious books

Al-Shabab official Mukhtar Robow said at the prize-giving ceremony: “Youths should use one hand for education and the other for a gun to defend Islam.”

This year's contest featured questions like "which war was Sheik Timajilic (a famous Shabab warrior) killed in?"

Al-Shabab has previously been linked to Al-Qaeda and controls much of southern and central Somalia.

According to the BBC, this is the third year the contest has been held.

In previous years, when the competition was organised in the southern port of Kismayo, the first prize included an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade launcher).

Mecca: Saudis arrest five Indonesian Hajj prostitutes

The Saudi Arabia Prosecution and Investigation Commission (PIC) has arrested 11 foreigners, including five Indonesians, on their alleged involvement in prostitution in Al-Khansa, Mecca, during the Hajj and Umrah periods.

“[The 11 suspects] were arrested after being followed for several days,” a local official said.

The other six are all men from Bangladesh.

Mecca Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Zaki Al-Rihaili said all 11 suspects would be sent to Al-Maabdah Police before being sent to the PIC for investigation and then to court.

Police said the prostitutes had worked with security guards who were paid SR 200 per night for their discretion.

Nigerian rapist wins right to stay in UK

A RAPIST has avoided deportation from the UK after European judges yesterday ruled kicking him out would violate his right to a family life.

The 24-year-old Nigerian has no partner or children but the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ordered the British Government to let him stay and pay £3,500 of his legal bill.

The rapist, identified only as AA after the court gave in to his demands for anonymity, was 15 when he was given four years in 2002 for raping a 13-year-old girl. He had only been in the country two years at the time.

Since his conviction, the rapist from Bexleyheath, south-east London, has completed A-levels, a degree and a masters course at the taxpayers’ expense and now works for a local authority.

UK Independence Party MEP Gerard Batten said: “Yet again we see that because of the human rights industry we can no longer deal with foreign criminals on our own soil.”

A Border Agency spokeswoman said: “We are extremely disappointed by this judgment and will consider the next steps carefully.”
Nigerian rapist wins right to stay in UK
Anil Dawar, Daily Express, September 21, 2011

Customs officials foil an attempt by a Kuwaiti woman to import sex toys

Customs officials, in coordination with the Ministry of Communications, recently foiled an attempt by a Kuwaiti woman to import sex toys and other stuffs into the country, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily.

Personnel from the General Customs Authority were tipped-off about the contraband which was being purchased by the suspect via the Internet.

When the parcel arrived at the Keifan Post Office the woman, who is in her 30s, went to collect it she was arrested and detained for interrogation.

The parcel which came from an unidentified Asian country has been confiscated.

Life imitating art: Latest Turban bomb kills Afghanistan’s top peacemaker

Former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani was assassinated in his home in Kabul on Tuesday by a Taliban insurgent who set off explosives concealed in his turban, wounding a key presidential adviser and dealing a body blow to Kabul’s reconciliation process with the Taliban.

Rabbani was heading the 68-member High Peace Council set up in October 2010 to build contacts with the Taliban.

His death is the most high-profile murder since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban from power and comes just two months after Karzai’s brother Ahmed Wali Karzai was also killed.

It also comes just a week after a 20-hour siege by the Taliban at US embassy and Nato headquarters in the supposedly secure zone of Kabul.

The attackers arrived at Rabbani’s house in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighbourhood with Mohammad Massom Stanikzai, a top adviser of President Hamid Karzai and Rabbani’s deputy, for a meeting before the turban bomber detonated his explosives.

A member of the High Peace Council, Fazel Karim Aymaq, told The Express Tribune the men had come with “special messages” from the Taliban and were “very trusted.”

(Read: Call to arms in Afghanistan – Hekmatyar rejects Afghan peace talks offer)

“They told the peace council that they would deliver a message from the senior Taliban leadership,” he said. Another Afghan official Wahedyar had also informed Rabbani that a group of Taliban members wanted to meet him to discuss the reconciliation process. He said the security officials did not check the Taliban members as they were considered special guests.

Kabul criminal investigations chief Mohammad Zaher confirmed the account and said that “Rabbani was martyred and four others including Massom Stanikzai were injured.” However, the Afghan interior ministry spokesperson said Stanikzai’s wounds were not life-threatening.

The bomber was killed while the injured accomplice was arrested, a source close to Rabbani who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. “Yes, we carried out the attack under a well-organised plan,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told The Express Tribune in an email.

“Two of our men went to meet Rabbani at his residence. One of them approached Rabbani to hug him and exploded his bomb,” Mujahid said. “Rabbani was killed at the scene,” he said, adding that four of his bodyguards were also slain in the attack.

Arsala Rahmani, a peace council member, confirmed that Stanikzai and another official Wahedyar were present at Rabbani’s residence when the bomber struck.

Rabbani was in Dubai when he was asked by his colleagues to return to Kabul to meet some Taliban who were ready to reconcile. Rahmani, a former deputy education minister, had accompanied Rabbani to Tehran to attend a conference on ‘Muslim awakening’ last week. “We were eight people from Afghanistan, including Professor Rabbani, myself and Stanekzai,” Rahmani told The Express Tribune by phone from Kabul.

“All of us returned to Kabul, except for Professor Rabbani who went to Dubai,” Rahmani said without elaborating. Rabbani had returned from Dubai on Tuesday and despite his busy schedule he agreed to receive the Taliban members shortly after his return.

Afghan parliamentarian Huma Soltani said that Rabbani’s assassination shows that the Taliban don’t trust the peace council. “They wanted to send across a message that the Afghan high peace council cannot restore peace to Afghanistan,” Soltani told The Express Tribune. She renewed her offer for negotiating peace with the Taliban.

Rahmani called Rabbani, a Tajik by ethnicity, “an elderly religious scholar, a former jihadi commander, a political leader and a unifying figure in the ethnically diverse country”. He dubbed Rabbani’s death a huge loss and a serious setback to ongoing peace efforts in Afghanistan. According to him, Rabbani set up peace councils at provincial levels and was poised to approach the Taliban’s senior cadre.

Rahmani reckons that Rabbani’s death would not derail the peace process. “It’s undoubtedly a huge loss, but I don’t think this will halt our march towards peace and reconciliation,” he added.

However, a senior diplomat in Kabul called Rabbani’s death a blow to the peace efforts. “The killing of Rabbani is a serious blow against President Karzai and the government’s peace and reconciliations efforts,” the diplomat told Reuters.

But a former Taliban foreign minister and now a member of the peace council did not agree either with Rahman or the diplomat. “How can Rabbani’s death affect peace talks which haven’t kicked off at all?” asked Maulvi Abdul Wakil Mutwakkal in remarks to The Express Tribune.
High-profile assassination: Turban bomber kills Afghanistan’s top peacemaker
Naveed Hussain & Tahir Khan, The Express Tribune, September 20, 2011

Indonesia: Muslim Mob Destroy Historic Statues

Bandung. Four statues depicting characters from traditional Javanese puppetry were vandalized and burned on Sunday in Purwakarta, West Java.

Local police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Bachtiar Ujang Purnama said police were still investigating the case. “The Purwakarta police dete ctives are in the process of identifying the people involved in the vandalism,” Bachtiar told the Jakarta Globe.

“We want the public to know that this kind of damage is against the law and these actions should not be repeated. We encourage everyone to keep Purwakarta peaceful.”

Television station Metro TV reported that a mob coming from a post-Idul Fitri prayer at the city’s Grand Mosque was responsible for the damage. Thousands of people descended on the Comro area of the city, where they tied ropes to the statue of puppet character Gatot Kaca before trying to pull it off of its foundation. The statue finally collapsed after the rope was tied to a moving van.

The crowd then targeted the statue of Semar, another puppet character situated in the Bunder area. The mob threw rocks and pulled it to the ground before hitting it with sticks and metal rods then setting it on fire.

The statue of puppet character Bima in the Ciwareng area was also targeted, as was the “Welcome” statue on Jalan Gandanegara, where the Purwakarta District office is located. Both statues were also destroyed and set on fire.

The mob then moved to statues depicting the twin brothers Nakula and Sadewa. Hundreds of police and army officers were already there guarding the final two statues. The mob dispersed when it started raining.

Bachtiar said police questioned the organizers of the post-Idul Fitri celebration to find out how participants came to valdalize the four statues.

Although it is still unknown if the hard-line Islamic People’s Forum (FUI) are responsible for the damage, FUI was opposed to the statues when the project was announced by the city administration last year.

FUI had said the statues were “against the Islamic identity of the city” and claimed the statues would encourage people to have “superstitious beliefs.”

Hard-line Muslim groups have vandalized statues and monuments — considered a form of idolatry by some conservative Muslims — in the past.

Members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) in Bekasi last year pushed for the dismantling of the “Tiga Mojang” statue, which they deemed offensive while hard-line groups in North Sumatra rallied for the removal of a Buddhist statue at a temple, which the groups deemed “offended Muslims” in the area.
Mob Destroys Four Wayang Statues
Yuli Krisna, Jakarta Globe, September 19, 2011

UK: Six arrested in Birmingham counter-terrorism raids

Counter-terrorism officers have arrested six men, with the authorities fearing a mass-casualty attack on the British mainland was at an "advanced stage" of planning, the Guardian has learned.

The arrests were made in Birmingham, with six young men arrested on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts, with a 22-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of failing to disclose information.

Police say the alleged plot, which they believe to be al-Qaida inspired, was thwarted after counter-terrorism officials received or developed intelligence about the men.

The arrests took place from 11.30am on Sunday, with the last suspect detained at around 1am on Monday morning. The raids took place in several deprived areas of the city that have sizeable Muslim populations.

The Liberal Democrat conference, which is taking place in Birmingham, was not a target.

West Midlands police said they had led a "major counter-terrorism operation" which was intelligence-led. The operation involved the domestic security service, MI5, with officers from Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command supporting the Birmingham-based force.

The terrorist threat level for the UK remained at "substantial" after the arrests. It was lowered from the higher level of "severe" in July.

The series of arrests, described as "significant", suggest the intelligence surrounding them is sufficient to meet the standards required for court evidence.

Whitehall sources described it as a "major intelligence-led operation" and added that the latest arrests showed that the threat from extremist Islamist ideology had not evaporated despite the deaths of Bin Laden and other prominent al-Qaida individuals in recent US drone strikes on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Some past British counter-terrorism raids have seen the authorities embarrassed and have caused harm to community relations when intelligence turned out to be wrong. West Midlands police have tended to adopt a policy of releasing minimal information.

Police say the arrests were made by unarmed officers, indicating there was no expectation of finding explosives or weapons at the addresses raided. Searches were continuing on Monday across Birmingham, where 14 addresses were being checked by officers. One car was seen being taken away.

Police said they had seized computer equipment from the addresses and that these could take some time to examine.

The six men were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism in the UK. They were aged 25 to 32. All are British citizens and some are believed to be of Pakistani heritage.

Police said they were arrested "at or in the vicinity of their home addresses". Counter-terrorism raids are usually conducted before dawn, as suspects are highly likely to be at home. The fact police moved when some were not at home, and the time the arrests were made, further suggests there was a rushed element to the raids.

The usual police policy is to let suspected terrorist plots develop in order to gather evidence to gain convictions in the courts, balanced against the risk a plot may pose to public safety.

The decision on what action should be taken is believed to have been made at an executive liaison group where police and MI5 meet to discuss major operations.

Police also confirmed that a 22-year-old woman from Saltley, Birmingham, had been arrested at 6.30am on suspicion of failing to disclose information.

West Midlands police said the "large-scale operation" had been running for some time and had been subject to regular review, adding that the action was necessary "in order to ensure public safety".

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said: "As a result of one of those reviews yesterday we decided that the time was right and moved to make six arrests during the night, with a further one a few hours later."

Beale added: "I fully understand that after a counter-terrorism operation of this size, the public will want to know more details about what we suspect may have been going on – and what has prompted us to take this action.

"For us, once the key issue of public safety has been addressed – and it has been for this operation – the main thing is to do all we can to investigate the matter professionally, thoroughly and fairly."

Speculation over potential targets or the identity of the suspects was "neither fair to them or to any judicial process which may or may not follow", he added.
Six arrested in Birmingham counter-terrorism raids
Vikram Dodd and Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian, September 19, 2011

PA Chooses Mother of Terrorists to Launch UN Campaign

The Palestinian Authority, pledged to halt terror, chooses the mother of terrorist murderers to hand over to the United Nations a letter asking for unilateral recognition by the international community.

In a widely publicized event in the Palestinian Authority, Latifa Abu Hmeid, mother of seven terrorists, including four who are serving 18 life sentences for murdering Israelis, led a ceremonial procession to Ramallah to hand over the letter. The revelation was reported and translated by Palestinian Media Watch.

Hmeid’s sons were convicted of killing seven Israeli civilians and attempting to murder 12 others.

One of her sons, Abd Al-Mun'im Abu Hmeid, was termed by the Palestinian Authority a “martyr."

Palestinian Media Watch reported last year that PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake, had awarded her "the Plaque of Resoluteness and Giving,” inscribed with the names of her four sons who are imprisoned.

Karake explained she was honored because "it is she who gave birth to the fighters, and she deserves that we bow to her in salute and in honor."

The launching of the campaign by the terrorists’ mother was widely reported in Palestinian Authority media, which told readers and television viewers, “We of the 'Palestine - the 194th state' national campaign [calling for] a Palestinian state with full sovereignty on the territory of Palestine, send a delegation from institutions, organizations, and popular factions."

"This delegation was headed by Um Nasser Abu Hmeid - this fighter woman, who is the mother of seven prisoners and the mother of the heroic Shahid (Martyr) from the [military wing of Hamas] Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades. This campaign included a letter in which the people demand that the UN recognize Palestine as a state with full sovereignty, like the other countries."

Her four sons serving life sentences were convicted of murder, attempted murder, trading weapons and accompanying a suicide bomber.
PA Chooses Mother of Terrorists to Launch UN Campaign
Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, Arutz Sheva, September 19, 2011

Swedish security police raid mosque in Goteborg

STOCKHOLM — Sweden's security police say they have raided the administrative office of a mosque in the country's second largest city.

Security police spokeswoman Sirpa Franzen says Thursday's raid against the Bellevue Mosque in Goteborg was prompted by prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnstrom, who heads the investigation against three men arrested on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Franzen declined to say if the raid was connected to the arrests and wouldn't give more details.

The men, of Somali and Iraqi origin, were initially suspected of plotting a terrorist attack, but the charges were later changed to preparing murder.
Swedish security police raid mosque in Goteborg
Associated Press, September 18, 2011

Immigrants want Removal of Cross from Swiss National Flag

The Swiss cross should be abolished. The demands of the immigrant second generation immigrants Plus Association. ”The Swiss flag is no longer today’s multicultural Switzerland,” says Petrusic.

The cross had a Christian background. The Christian origin of Switzerland, it is true indeed respected, “but it is also a separation between religion and state to make,” asks the Executive Member of secondos Plus. ”Apart from that we have today a great religious and cultural diversity in Switzerland.”

It needs new symbols, which could also identify with everyone, even non-Christians. As a new national flag might offer the former flag of the Helvetic Republic. This was officially introduced in 1799 and consisted of the colors quergesteift green, red, yellow.

It has similarities with the current flags of Ghana and Bolivia.”The colors were red and yellow for the original cantons of Schwyz and Uri and the green revolution,” says Petrusic.Furthermore, all aliens were at that time from 20 Year of age had the right to vote. ”The Helvetic flag stands for a progressive and open-minded Switzerland.”

[Source: Weg mit dem Kreuz: Secondos für neue Schweizer Fahne - Aargauer Zeitung, September 18, 2011]

Pakistan: Multiple acid attacks, female student burned for not observing Hijab

FAISALABAD: A total of seven women suffered acid attacks in the past two days in Faisalabad in separate incidents.

According to police officials, a first-year student suffered serious burns after being attacked in the limits of Police Station City Jaranwala. First year student Tayyiba was on her way back home from a local tuition academy when students Ali Raza and Hamza allegedly chased her and threatened her life.

“Both boys go to the same college as me and they were heckling me for not wearing a dupatta on my head. They tried to grab me and when I yelled at them they attacked me with acid,” Tayyiba told police officials before being admitted to the hospital. “She said that both men had said she ‘deserved for her face to be ruined because she had not covered her head’,” Station House Officer Malik Zafar Iqbal said.

The victim’s parents filed a complaint and approached the parents of the accused. “Instead of asking for forgiveness they opened fire on us and we barely managed to escape,” Tayyiba’s father Asad said. Area police filed a case on the report of Adnan, a brother of the victim, after having registered a case against the accused under Section 324, 511, & 34 PPC but no arrest has been madeso far. In another incident, a man and his two friends allegedly threw acid at his wife and five other women from her family. According to police officials, Chak 132 GB Dijkot resident Umar Hayat attacked his wife Nabila and five women of her family after she refused to leave with him. “The couple had quarrelled after he beat her several times. She came home saying she feared for her life and when he came to take her back she refused to leave,” Nabila’s father Muhammad Munir said. “He told her he would never hit her again if she left with him and when she refused he threw acid on her and all the other women,” he added.

Umar also attacked five women of Nabila’s family, who refused to let him take her from their house near the Nawan police station. Neighbours said that Umar Hayat had made several attempts to reconcile with his wife Nabila and had also approached elders and a Panchayat to intervene on his behalf.

“She refused to return with him. She kept saying that he beat her and that she did not want to put her life in danger,” a neighbour Manzoor said. On Thursday night, Umar Hayat, along with two of his accomplices, forced entry into the house of his in-laws by breaking the door when the family were asleep. Hayat sprayed acid on his wife Nabila, sisters-in-law Shakila Munir and Razia, mother in-law Riaz Bibi and Nazia, the wife of his brother in-law. The victims sustained serious injuries to their face and bodies.

All the burnt victims have been admitted to the Gojra Civil Hospital and are reportedly in serious condition. Three of the victims have sustained over 80 percent burns and are in critical condition.

“Three women are in critical condition and their faces have been completely burnt but the others are in recovery and have been admitted to the burns unit,” said Dr Rizwan Basheer. The condition of Skakila Munir is stated to be serious and she has been shifted to Allied Hospital.

Police officials have filed a report regarding the burning of Skalila and her family, on the request of her father Munir Ahmad.

A case vide FIR No. 207/2011 under Sections 324 and 336 PPC have been registered against Umar Hayat and his two other accomplices, but no arrest has been reported so far. SHO Nawan Lahore Ch Abdhul Majeed said that a police tem had been constituted for the arrest of the accused .
Acid attacks: 7 women burned in two days
Shamsul Islam, The Express Tribune, September 18, 2011

Paris: Hundreds of Muslims Defy Street Prayer Ban

PARIS -- Hundreds of Muslims defied a French ban on outdoor prayer -- which came into force Friday --and took to the streets and sidewalks of Paris to pray.

The French government announced Thursday it was banning praying outside, with officials pledging to enforce the ban from Friday.

But 200 Muslims ignored the ban and prayed on the streets in the neighborhood of La Goutte d'Or, Le Parisien newspaper reported.

French interior minister Claude Gueant said he had nothing against Islam but wanted it out of the public eye because France was a secular state.

He added, "Street prayers must stop because they hurt the feelings of many of our compatriots who are shocked by the occupation of the public space for a religious practice."

Although officials would persuade people to pray in mosques, Muslims who continued to pray in the street would be arrested, Gueant warned.

The ban angered French Muslim leaders who said Muslims only prayed outdoors because of a lack of space in mosques in France.

The outdoor prayer ban is the latest move by the French government to remove Islam from the public sphere. Laws prohibiting students wearing headscarves in schools and banning women from wearing the full Muslim veil -- the niqab --in public came into force in April.
Muslims defy outdoor prayer ban in France
New York Post, September 16, 2011

Paris, France: Immediate ban on street prayers

The French government has introduced an immediate ban on public prayers in the streets of Paris, branding it against the principle of secularism. Every Friday the Muslim population causes traffic disruptions by blocking the roads as they pray.

The French government has introduced a ban on street prayers on the streets of Paris, which comes into immediate effect today. Street prayers are a regular Friday activity in the French capital when thousands of Muslims, who complain there are not enough mosques for their needs, disrupt traffic by blocking roads to pray. The government deems that the practice is against the principle of secularism which France abides by.

French Interior Minister Claude Gueant stated that the ban may be extended to the rest of France. According to the Telegraph he said "My vigilance will be unflinching for the law to be applied. Praying in the street is not dignified for religious practice and violates the principles of secularism.”

He also said the ban had the support of all Muslim leaders. The minister said that the law will be applied by force if necessary but believes that agreements with Muslim leaders will prevent the necessity. Before the ban came into effect the Muslim community was offered the facilities of a large disused fire barracks to use as a house of prayer, which they accepted.

On Islam reports that Muslims in Paris only have 1,500 prayer houses and the Great Mosque of Paris is not sited near immigrant areas which tend to center around Paris’s eastern 19th arrondissement. France has the highest Muslim population in Europe at an estimated six million. According to Todays Zaman, the Muslim community complains that they were not informed that the ban would be implemented prior to today’s Friday prayers. Sheikh Mohamed Salah Hamza who runs a Parisian mosque emphasized that people do not want to pray on the streets and demand larger mosques.

The ban on street prayers follows the ban on head coverings in public places that the French government introduced in April which made it an offence to appear in a public place with a covered face. Although the ban covers other head wear such as motorcycle helmets it is generally referred to as the burka ban.
Paris, France: Immediate ban on street prayers
Katerina Nikolas, Digital Journal, September 16, 2011

UK: First free school for Muslims gets the go-ahead amid fears over 'segregated schooling'

The first free school for Muslims in the country will open in Blackburn, Lancashire, next year.

The business case for Tauheedul Islam Boys' School in Darwen has been approved by the Government.

But opponents have described the decision as 'extremely bad news' for community cohesion and claim it will deprive state schools of vital funds.

Simon Jones, national executive member for the National Union of Teachers, and Blackburn with Darwen representative, said: 'It will further undermine much of the progress towards community cohesion. We are on our way to a completely segregated schooling system. It is going to develop potential social problems in the future.

This is extremely bad news for Blackburn with Darwen. It is not unexpected, nevertheless it is still a bad day.'

Councillor David Foster, leader of the Liberal Democrats, who is also a local methodist preacher, said: 'In my view we shouldn't have any religious schools of any faith. One of the problems in Blackburn is the segregation of communities.

'A lot of schools are mono cultural and we need to try to develop ways in which we educate the community as one rather than separately.

'I hope Tauheedul ensures that it provides a curriculum where pupils are a full part of the community and they continue to develop links with other schools as the girls' school does.'

Tauheedul Islam Girls' School principal Mufti Hamid Patel, who made the application with governors, has vowed that the school will be a beacon to raise overall achievements in all schools in Blackburn with Darwen.

There is currently a Tauheedul Islam Girls' School they want to open a new Boys' school under the same name, but on a different site.

Mr Patel said he had developed a curriculum where the school would play an active role in all areas of the community and also had visions to enrol students into university at 16.

The detailed plan includes all students completing 500 hours of community service throughout their school life, specialisms in sport and the Big Society, outdoor pursuits such as canoeing and mountain climbing more than once a year and a finishing school.

Non-pupils will be able to study GCSE and A-level revision sessions in areas such as Darwen and Shadsworth. And a Sports' Academy for primary school children will be created.

Since the plan was first mooted around 700 pre-registration admission forms have been submitted by parents - including from London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Dewsbury and Bolton - for the first 150 places.

Free schools do not fall within local authority control and get their funding direct from the Government, but have greater freedom than academies to set their own agenda.

Mr Patel said: 'This is a fantastic milestone. We are very excited and think it is good news. The support is generally good from across all the communities.

'This has been 18 months in the planning and will be the first free school in the town and the first Muslim free school in the country. And we are looking at all sorts of innovations and ideas.

'Though our intake will be comprehensive with learners from areas which are the most deprived in the country, our school will have an elite, but not elitist, philosophy.

'It will be a 'grammar' school for ordinary kids. Every young person at Tauheedul Boys' High School will have a sense of privilege and exclusivity.'

Free Schools will be expected to have inclusive admission arrangements and while they don't follow the national curriculum, they must provide a balanced education.

If it is oversubscribed then it must allow for 50 per cent of places to be allocated to children without reference to faith. This means in a school of two hundred, one hundred must be non-religious based.

If a school is under-subscribed every child who has applied must be admitted, whether a faith or non faith applicant.

The school will open in September next year on the site of the girls' school in Bicknell Street, Blackburn, after it moves to its new location in Beardwood Humanities College, Preston New Road, as part of the council's Building Schools for the Future scheme.

It will have an admissions policy of 75 per year with year's seven and eight starting in September. Only 50 per cent of the admissions will be allocated to members of the school's affiliated mosques.

Mr Patel said: 'We have interest from everywhere in Blackburn and outside Blackburn but we can't do anything about those outside of Blackburn at this stage.

'It also means that numbers are going to be limited and we have made a commitment to limit numbers as part of the process to not damage admissions to other schools in the borough.

'All of our students will be told to aspire to achieve the highest of standards, aiming to enrol at Russell Group Universities, which include Oxford and Cambridge, and become the outstanding innovators, entrepreneurs, thinkers and leaders of their century.'

Councillor Maureen Bateson, Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive member for children's services, said: 'The council didn't support the application for the school to become a free school.

'However, now that it has been given the go-ahead I would like the school to continue to work in partnership with other schools and the local authority.'

Australia: Men banned as Muslim women win council backing

MAN bans are spreading as two more council functions are declared off-limits because it is "not appropriate" for men to mix with Muslim women.

And in a surprise twist, VCAT backed the latest bans, declaring there was no discrimination and councils no longer needed to apply for exemptions.

The Darebin City Council ban will be in force for a music concert to be held in December, while another female-only event to mark the end of Ramadan was cancelled last week.

The council sought the bans because it was "culturally inappropriate for young women to participate in recreational activity with males present".

But Ratepayers Victoria president Jack Davis said the bans were "another case of segregation".

"I think it is totally wrong. I think it's ridiculous and I do think it is discrimination, and it goes against what the average ratepayer wants," Mr Davis said.

ouncil put up curtains at a public pool so Muslim women could have privacy during a female-only exercise classes.

Darebin Mayor Diana Asmar said: "The December event is a 10-week workshop series that teaches young women DJ-ing skills. The program culminates in a social event that the young women plan and run themselves."

"Darebin's approach is to always identify barriers to community participation and address them," she said.

Darebin council, with the support of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, originally asked VCAT for an exemption under the Equal Opportunities act so it could have women-only events.

VCAT ruled the events would not discriminate against anybody and special exemption was not needed.

An Equal Opportunity spokeswoman said the decision meant "organisations do not have to go through a formal VCAT hearing to put in place practices to assist groups to achieve substantive equality".

A spokesman for the Islamic Council of Victoria, Nazeem Hussain, said the Darebin decision was not "controversial or surprising in the slightest".
Men banned as Muslim women win council backing
Paul Tatnell, Herald Sun, September 16, 2011

Islamic Sharia Law Court Opens in Belgium

An Islamic Sharia law court has been established in Antwerp, the second-largest city in Belgium.

The Sharia court is the initiative of a radical Muslim group called Sharia4Belgium. Leaders of the group say the purpose of the court is to create a parallel Islamic legal system in Belgium in order to challenge the state's authority as enforcer of the civil law protections guaranteed by the Belgian constitution.

The Sharia court, which is located in Antwerp's Borgerhout district, is "mediating" family law disputes for Muslim immigrants in Belgium.

The self-appointed Muslim judges running the court are applying Islamic law, rather than the secular Belgian Family Law system, to resolve disputes involving questions of marriage and divorce, child custody and child support, as well as all inheritance-related matters.

Unlike Belgian civil law, Islamic Sharia law does not guarantee equal rights for men and women; critics of the Sharia court say it will undermine the rights of Muslim women in marriage and education.

Legal experts say the Islamic court will also undercut the state's ability to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of so-called honor crimes. In 2007, for example, Belgium outlawed the practice of forced marriage. Those convicted of forcing someone into marriage by violence or coercion face a prison sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to €2,500 ($3,500). This law is likely to be undermined as Muslim marriage disputes come under the jurisdiction of the Sharia court.

Sharia4Belgium says the court in Antwerp will eventually expand its remit and handle criminal cases as well.

The Sharia4Belgium group consists of Islamists who are committed to bring everyone living in Belgium (including all non-Muslims) under the submission of Islamic Sharia law.

Although Sharia4Belgium's website recently was shut down by the Belgian authorities, a partial archive of the site can be found at the WayBack Machine. There Sharia4Belgium issues an invitation-cum-threat calling for all Belgians to convert to Islam and to submit to Sharia law or face the consequences. The text says:

"It is now 86 years since the fall of the Islamic Caliphate. The tyranny and corruption in this country [Belgium] has prevailed; we go from one scandal to another: Economic crises, paedophilia, crime, growing Islamophobia, etc."

"As in the past we [Muslims] have saved Europe from the dark ages, we now plan to do the same. Now we have the right solution for all crises and this is the observance of the divine law, namely Sharia. We call to implement Sharia in Belgium."

"Sharia is the perfect system for humanity. In 1300 years of the Islamic state we knew only order, welfare and the protection of all human rights. We know that Spain, France and Switzerland knew their best times under Sharia. In these 1300 years, 120 women were raped, which is equal to 120 women a day in Europe. There were barely 60 robberies recorded in 1300 years."

"As a result, we invite the royal family, parliament, all the aristocracy and every Belgian resident to submit to the light of Islam. Save yourself and your children of the painful punishment of the hereafter and grant yourself eternal life in paradise."

A cache of the background image for the Sharia4Belgium website has the black flag of jihad flying above the Belgian Parliament. Up until recently the Sharia4Belgium Youtube page (also shut down) was used to incite Muslims to Jihad, or Holy War. The group had posted videos with titles like, "Jihad Is Obligatory," "Encouraging Jihad," "Duelling & Guerrilla Warfare," and "The Virtues of Martyrdom."

Sharia4Belgium is linked to Anjem Choudary, a Sharia court judge based in London. Choudary, who was the leader of a group called Islam4UK before it was banned by British anti-terrorism authorities, believes in the primacy of Islam over all other faiths and has long campaigned for Islamic law to be implemented in all of Britain.

Choudary is also a leader of the British Islamic Emirates Project, a campaign to turn twelve British cities – including what he calls "Londonistan" – into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic Sharia law and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence.

The guardians of European multiculturalism say Choudary is harmless and, in any event, does not represent the majority of Muslims living in Europe. But he has a considerable following in Britain and elsewhere, and his views on the role of Sharia in Britain are far more popular than many will admit.

For example, at least 85 Islamic Sharia courts are now operating in Britain, almost 20 times as many as previously believed, according to a study by Civitas, a London-based think tank. The report shows that scores of unofficial tribunals and councils regularly apply Islamic law to resolve domestic, marital and business disputes, and that many Sharia courts are operating in mosques. It warns of a "creeping" acceptance of Sharia principles in British law.

In an interview with the Belgian newspaper De Standaard (English translation here), Choudary said he would help launch Sharia4Belgium to prevent Muslim immigrants from integrating into Belgian society. "Belgium has an extensive Muslim population, especially in the cities. I therefore plan to come to Belgium myself in the coming weeks, or send a delegation to establish a branch of the organization," he said.

When asked if he wanted to convince Belgians to convert to Islam and to implement Sharia law, Choudary replied: "The implementation of Sharia will happen in one of the following four ways: either the majority of the population converts to Islam; or a foreign Islamic power conquers the country; or there will be a rebellion against the oppression of the Muslim people; or the Muslims will overthrow the ruling regime. Society will be united by Islam."

In November 2010, Belgian police arrested three members of Sharia4Belgium in a counter-terrorism sting operation. The suspects were using the Ansar al-Mujahideen Jihadist website to plan an attack on Belgian soil.

Muslims make up around 10% of Antwerp's population, and the city has long been a hotbed of radical Islam. According to some estimates, more than half of the mosques in Antwerp are controlled by Muslim extremists groups, including the fundamentalist Deobandi sect, which promotes Jihad and hatred for Western society.

Vlaams Belang, a conservative political party that rejects multiculturalism and wants strict limits on Muslim immigration, has demanded that Belgian authorities shut down the Sharia court in Antwerp.

In an interview with Het laatste Nieuws, Belgium's most popular newspaper, Vlaams Belong leader Filip Dewinter says the Sharia court "is yet another step toward the Islamization of Antwerp." Dewinter says the constitution gives the secular courts a monopoly on settling disputes. "You certainly cannot have a parallel system of Sharia courts developing judgements based on principles that are at odds with the values of our constitutional democracy," he says.

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.
Islamic Sharia Law Court Opens in Belgium
Soeren Kern, Hudson New York, September 15, 2011

Iraqi asylum seeker, 17, took part in gang rape just four months after arriving in Britain

A 17-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker who had only been in Britain for four months took part in a gang rape and laughed as he humiliated the victim.

Salman Ahmed, who was thought to be drunk at the time of the assault in Oxford, was told that he would be deported after serving his sentence of five years and three months at a young offenders' institution.

The teenager 'enjoyed the humiliation, pain and harm' during the attack on March 16, according to Judge Anthony King at Oxford Crown Court.

Ahmed and an accomplice, who police are still trying to track down, repeatedly raped the 23-year-old victim, after snaring her while on a night out.

According to the prosecution they told the unnamed woman: 'You have been making two guys happy.'

Mr King heard how Ahmed and his accomplice held the woman down as each raped her.

He said: 'When you had no reason to believe that this young woman would consent to any form of sexual contact you and a man with you took hold of her, detained her and while you lay upon her the other man then raped her.

'Throughout she protested and sought to escape. Once that first man had raped her with your help you then separately raped her while he held her down.

'That was not enough for you. Both of you then raped her again, each assisting the other to do so.

'You were clearly laughing as you were enjoying the humiliation, the pain and harm you were inflicting upon her.'

He added: 'These were grave offences. I find there was an element of pre-planning between you and the other man who has not yet been brought to justice.'

The judge was told that the victim had been sober on the evening of the attack, however, Ahmed had suffered an 'alcoholic blackout' and could not remember the incident.

Jeannie Mackie, defending, said he was previously 'without sexual experience'.

Ahmed pleaded guilty when DNA evidence linked him to the crime.

His lawyer said: 'Alcohol has been an issue in my defendant's life.

'Although he comes from a Muslim family he had not drunk alcohol until November 2010 when he came to this country, and alcohol has become a problem.'

Ahmed was also placed on the Violent and Sex Offender Register for life.

Saudi textbooks: Jews are “apes” and Christians are “swine.”

A new report shows that Saudi Arabia, home to 15 of the 19 terrorist hijackers of 9/11, continues to promote a violent form of Islam through its school system and textbooks 10 years after the attacks.

“The Saudi government has given over its textbooks to the clerical Wahhabi extremists that it partners with to maintain control of the country,” said Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, in a Sept. 13 interview with CNA.

As a consequence, the texts continue to teach students that “the Jews and the Christians are enemies” of Muslims, and that “the struggle of this (Muslim) nation with the Jews and Christians … will continue as long as God wills.”

While describing Jews as “apes” and Christians as “swine,” the middle-school and high-school books command death for apostates from Islam, while encouraging violence against non-Muslims who refuse to make a “covenant” or come “under protection” of the Muslims.

“In the general usage, Jihad is divided into the following categories: … Wrestling with the unbelievers by calling them (to Islam) and fighting them,” teaches the 12th-grade text “Hadith and Islamic Culture,” used in the 2010-2011 school year by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Education.

In a report released on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Shea notes that “some Saudis themselves have acknowledged the problem posed by the nation’s curriculum.”

“Nevertheless, the encouragement of violence and extremism remains an integral part of Saudi Arabia’s national textbooks, particularly those on religion. Five million Saudi students are exposed to them in Saudi classrooms each year.”

“Moreover, as the controlling authority of the two holiest shrines of Islam, Saudi Arabia is able to disseminate its religious materials among the millions of Muslims making the hajj each year. Hence, these teachings can have a wide and deep influence,” the report noted.

Shea said that the Saudi government's uneasy truce with extremist elements – which she compared to a “protection racket” – dates back to 1979, when an “Al Qaeda prototype” attempted to seize Mecca's Grand Mosque and overthrow the country's monarchy.

The event “very much shook up the Saudi monarchy,” particularly since it came during the same year as the Iranian revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

“All of those things made the Saudi monarchy very insecure,” Shea explained. “They ended up in a grand bargain with the clerics, to maintain peace in the kingdom and stop the threats against their own rule.”

“They gave them the Islamic affairs ministry, to export their creed around the world – and they gave them the education ministry, to indoctrinate Saudis themselves.”

After the 9/11 attacks, “we all learned that in fact Saudis were being radicalized, and attacking us and others.” Shea said that U.S. diplomats “made a few complaints, but there was no sustained diplomacy – not on the par that's needed to see this change.”

The religious freedom director compared this weak U.S. effort to the substantial progress made on the subject of terrorist funding, “to the point where the Saudi religious establishment issued a fatwa in 2010, saying that financing terror was a sin. That's an amazing breakthrough. It took a long time to get that.”

“But there's no hope in sight for reform of the Saudi textbooks, because there isn't that kind of pressure from the United States.” Shea thinks that's because “the U.S. just doesn't want to get involved in the ideological contest.”

More specifically, she believes that both Republican and Democratic administrations have been reluctant to quarrel with Saudi officials over what's seen as an exclusively religious matter.

“I think that the diplomats, frankly, are very uncomfortable talking about religion. They don't know how to analyze it, and they are really blind to it … There is a reluctance, by diplomats, to talk about religion. (As though) somehow they're 'criticizing Islam' if they say that.”

“I think that they're afraid to anger the Saudis. But they're not afraid (when) insisting that terrorist financing stop. They've made some success there. They need to see this in the same light.”

Diplomatic pressure would succeed if applied, Shea says, because of the oil-rich kingdom's sensitivity to criticism and its need to maintain a good relationship with the U.S.

“The Saudis do care about their reputation. And seeing the United States as the guarantor of their own security (against regional rivals) … they don't defend this education. When it's raised, they either say that it's been cleaned up or it will be cleaned up.”

“They don't defend it at all – and that's what makes me feel that if we keep the spotlight on it, and keep pressure on, they will eventually have to do something about it.”

But since there is not an incentive, the pace of progress in reforming the textbooks since 9/11 has been “glacial.”

In the meantime, the Saudi clerics' Wahhabist interpretation of Islam continues to spread throughout the Muslim world.

“Indonesia which was traditionally noted as a very moderate, open society, has become more radicalized,” she noted, describing the progress of the ideology in the world's largest Muslim country.

“It's not just confined to Saudi Arabia. They're posted online, these textbooks, and also shipped around the world to Muslim communities by the Saudis – free of charge, using their vast oil wealth. And it's radicalizing societies.”
After 10 years, few changes in Saudi extremist textbooks
Benjamin Mann, CNA/EWTN News, September 14, 2011

Illegal Iraqi immigrant knifes British man as he shields his pregnant girlfriend

BRAVE Chris Green chased and helped capture an illegal immigrant who had repeatedly slashed him with a knife as he protected his pregnant girlfriend.

Mr Green, 25, pursued "dangerous" Namo Salah across Derby city centre, which was busy with shoppers, in a T-shirt soaked in blood from his knife wounds.

He eventually trapped Iraqi Salah in a building in Iron Gate – with the help of his partner Laura Davey, who had joined in the chase.

Salah had barged into Ms Davey as she and Mr Green walked home along Macklin Street at about 2.30pm.

Mr Green thought Salah was going to punch Ms Davey and pushed him away, at which point the 33-year-old launched a vicious attack – repeatedly slashing him with the knife, Derby Crown Court heard. When Mr Green caught up with Salah in the Market Place he was bitten on the elbow.

Salah was in the country illegally and on the run after fleeing a trial for other offences of violence.

Mr Green, of Sinfin, sobbed in court as Salah was jailed.

The victim, who still carries the scars of the attack, said: "It brings it all back, seeing him in the dock.

"I thought he was going to kill me that day. But I thought if I let him get away he'll do it to someone else so I thought 'I'll have to stop him'.

"I just kept running. If I had stopped, I probably would have collapsed."

Judge John Wait said Mr Green was "a very brave man" to be so protective of his partner. He awarded him £250 from public funds. Investigating officer Det Con Steve Fuller called him a hero and said: "Not many people would do what he did."

Prosecutor Vee Monro said that when Mr Green stepped in Salah had pulled a Stanley knife from a trouser pocket.

She said Salah grabbed hold of Mr Green and there was a struggle but then Salah slashed him with the knife "over and over again".

Miss Monro said: "Mr Green was hitting out at Salah – trying to protect himself. He said he was scared for his life."

Salah then ran off down Becket Street, where Mr Green caught up with him and was stabbed again, said Miss Monro.

The court heard that two youngsters then helped Mr Green, lending him a bike to continue the chase.

He next caught up with Salah near the fountain in the Market Place and grabbed hold of him but had to release his grip when Salah bit him on the elbow.

Salah then went into a building in Iron Gate, but could not get through a locked door at the other end of the foyer. Miss Davey held the foyer's outer door shut until the police arrived.

Miss Davey, who is now seven months pregnant and was also in court, said she started to run after Salah as well.

The 27-year-old, of Derby, said: "There was no way I was going to let him get away after I had seen what he had done to Chris."

After Salah was arrested, police found he was on the run from court in Worcester for an assault where he had bitten off part of a man's ear.

Mr Green was taken to hospital where he received treatment for two knife wounds to his chest and one to his ear.

The court was told that since the attack on Thursday, May 12, Mr Green had suffered nightmares, was scared to go into town alone and had moved from his city centre flat.

Mr Green had been doing agency work at Bright Cross Insulation, in Shaftesbury Street, at the time of the attack but lost the job after he took time off to recover.

Salah, of no fixed address, admitted wounding and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

Judge Wait said after his time in custody he would either be released on licence or be deported.

Nicholas Berry, for Salah, said: "It was an outrageous course of conduct by him but fortunately the injuries were not as serious as they could have been."

Salah had failed to turn up for the second day of a trial in February at Worcester Crown Court for wounding and assault, but was sentenced for those crimes on August 3.

He assaulted a man in Worcestershire in September 2008 and then attacked him again in April 2009, biting a chunk out of his ear.

A spokeswoman for West Mercia Police said: "At the time there was no suggestion that Namo Salah was an illegal immigrant."

At Derby, Salah was jailed for 18 months, which will begin after he has served the two-and-a-half year sentence he was given at Worcester.

East Midlands MEP Roger Helmer said Salah should be deported at the end of his sentence. He added: "It's scandalous a large amount of people, who are here illegally and serve prison sentences, are not deported."

He said this either happened through a mistake by the prison system or because lawyers fought for them to stay under European human rights legislation.
Illegal immigrant knifed me as I shielded my girl
Derby Telegraph, September 14, 2011

Sikhs in Moradabad furious over torching of their Holy book

Sikhs staged protests in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, over the torching of the Guru Granth Sahib by four unidentified men in a village.

Speaking to mediapersons, Sardar Manjeet Bagga, a protestor said that four unidentified men had torched their holy book on Monday, thereby insulting their religious beliefs.

"Near Pilibhit, on (sic.) road, a village falls almost 13 kilometres away where four men knocked down the wall of the Gurudwara, then torched our 'Guru Granth Sahib' (the holy book of Sikhs) and after that they insulted it," said Sardar Manjeet Bagga, a protestor.

The protestors were seen holding swords in their hands and shouting Sikh slogans of 'Jo Bole So Nihaal' (whoever utters the phrase, shall be fulfilled) and 'Sat Sri Akal' (Eternal is the Great Timeless Lord), venting their ire over the incident.

The protest caused a jam on the Delhi-Lucknow highway, causing inconvenience to the commuters.

The protestors demanded the government to immediately investigate the matter and take strict action against the guilty.

"We demand justice. Those who have insulted Guru Granth Sahib should be hanged; we want justice from the government. We want to know that who has insulted our religion and why he has insulted it, we want to know the reason, we want justice," said Jasmeet Kaur, another protestor.

Guru Granth Sahib is the religious text of Sikhism, a collection of 'shabad' or 'baani' (hymns), which contains religious teachings and deemed as the Sikh community's spiritual guide.

Gerard Butler receives death threats over new Christian movie based on a true-life story

Hollywood star Gerard Butler increased his security team at the Toronto Film Festival over the weekend after receiving death threats.

The "300" star has been promoting his role in controversial movie "Machine Gun Preacher," a true-life story based on a Hells Angel who rescues orphans in Muslim-dominant Sudan after converting to Christianity.

Butler was forced to hire more bodyguards when he took to the red carpet at the Canadian festival after reportedly receiving a string of threatening messages.

A source tells Scotland's Daily Record, "It is quite a controversial subject and some people are upset by the strong religious theme. We are treating this matter seriously."

Libya: Rebels 'execute 85 mercenaries, including 12 Serbs'

Libyan rebels who control most of the country after defeating Muammar Gaddafi's military, have executed 85 foreign mercenaries, including 12 Serbs, in the city of Misrata alone, Serbian media reported on Tuesday.

Belgrade daily Press said the executions took place in the state insurance building in Misrata after it was taken by the forces loyal to rebels’ National Transitional Council (NTC). Among the killed mercenaries, who fought on Gaddafi’s side, were also nine Croats, 11 Ukrainians and ten Colombians, the paper said.

The report was also confirmed by Zagreb daily Vecernji list whose correspondent in Misrata, Hasan Hajdar Dijab, said many mercenaries had been killed in fighting, but those arrested were shot in the head.

It quoted a rebel commander in Misrata Abdelaziz Madini as saying “those killed weren’t soldiers but executioners who came here to kill for money”. He said other mercenaries who surrender would have a fair trial.

Balkans military analysts said they were not surprised by the report, because hundreds of veterans of 1990s Balkans war have sought engagement abroad after the end of the Balkan wars in 1995 and fought for money in various African and Asian countries.

In a related development, the human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) said in its latest report that both sides in the Libyan conflict committed crimes, especially Gaddafi’s forces, but “crimes committed by rebels weren’t negligible either”, it added.

Amnesty International has called on Libya's National Transitional Council to take steps to prevent human rights abuses by anti-Gaddafi forces.

100 protesters burn American flag outside U.S. embassy in London during minute's silence for 9/11

Protesters set fire to the U.S. flag outside the American embassy in London yesterday during a minute's silence to mark the moment the first hijacked airliner hit the World Trade Centre.

A group of 100 Muslim radicals, including members of Muslims Against Crusades, shouted 'USA terrorists' and brandished anti-American placards.

One protester in Grosvenor Square said: 'You will always face suffering, you will always face humiliation, unless you withdraw your troops from Muslim lands.'

A small group of Muslims staged a counter-demonstration nearby, holding up placards reading 'Muslims Against Extremism' and 'If You Want Sharia, Move To Saudi'.

Abdul Sallam, 41, who was waving a sign that read 'Keep The Silence', travelled down to London from his home in Glasgow to show the strength of his feelings.

He said: 'I'm a Muslim. What they're doing is bringing shame on all Muslims.This is not part of the teachings of Islam.

'Islam is all about peace, but what they want to do is hate other people.

'Islam teaches you that when you see anything bad or evil, you should speak out against it.

'If the moderate Muslims all came out and spoke out, that would defeat them.

'I am proud to be British. I love my country. All these people are doing is breaking Britain apart.'

Earlier, a group of English Defence League protesters were ordered to move on to accommodate the anti-American demonstration.

The 60-strong group briefly scuffled with police as they were forced away from their original location to a different part of Grosvenor Square.

Twenty people were arrested for breach of the peace as the group was dispersed towards Oxford Street.

And at least four more arrests were made as police escorted the Muslim group back towards the Central London Mosque in Regents Park.

One of the guests at the Grosvenor Square memorial service said the protesters should be stopped from standing just across the road from the embassy and using a loud megaphone.

The man, whose cousin died in the terror attacks, added: 'They shouldn't be allowed to do it. It's very disrespectful. It's too loud.'

He added: 'They can say what they want but not with the loudspeaker. They shouldn't obstruct the service.'

4 terror suspects arrested in Sweden

A Swedish SWAT team backed by local police arrested four people overnight on suspicion of plotting terror attacks, the Swedish Security Service told CNN Sunday.

The four were held in the city of Gothenburg for "probable cause" of preparing the attacks, the highest level of suspicion in Sweden, said Sara Kvarnstrom, a spokeswoman for the security force.

She refused to say whether the suspects had been under surveillance or if the arrests resulted from a tip-off, saying she could not discussed details on an ongoing investigation.

"Through these arrests we have been able to prevent a situation from occurring," Malena Rembe, head analyst at the Swedish Security Service, told CNN affiliate TV4.

Sweden is not raising its terror threat level -- which is currently at 3, with 5 as the highest -- and there is "no reason for the public to be alarmed," she said.

"These arrests have not changed this threat level," Kvarnstrom added.

An art gallery in central Gothenburg was evacuated shortly before midnight local time, police said, but declined to say whether it was connected to the arrests.

A party was going on at the Roda Sten gallery at the time, with about 500 people attending the inauguration of an arts festival, according an interview with a witness in Goteborgs Posten, a local newspaper.

The police cordon was removed at 6 a.m. local time, said Ulf Edberg, a spokesman for Gothenburg police.

Police have a "number of extra police officers" on the streets of Gothenburg, Edberg said.

The prosecutor in charge of the case, Hilding Qvarnstrom, said in a statement on the prosecution authority's website that the investigation is still at an early stage and authorities cannot reveal any details about the arrests.

The head of the Swedish Security Service, Anders Danielsson, warned last week that "Islamic terrorism is still the biggest threat against Sweden."

"But it is different today," he said, calling it "more complex and unpredictable, both in terms of who could be a target and how they can strike."

Al Qaeda is now encouraging Muslim radicals to stay home "and strike where they are," rather than traveling to conflict zones to get experience, said Rembe of the Swedish Security Service.

"When individuals with those kind of ideologies act on their own it becomes harder to make a threat assessment," she warned.

Stockholm was hit by a suicide bombing in December. The attack on the capital, Sweden's first suicide bombing, wounded two people in a district full of Christmas shoppers.

And police arrested two people in Gothenburg, the country's second-largest city, on suspicion of plotting a bombing in October. They were later released without charge, police said.

After the Stockholm bombing, Swedish Security Police said the country had almost 200 Islamic extremists who advocate violence, but said there was no indication their number is growing.

The police study was commissioned months before the attack in Stockholm.

The extremist threat isn't widespread, according to the report, which the government commissioned in February 2010.

"The threat from violence-promoting Islamic extremism in Sweden is currently not a threat to the fundamental structures of society, Sweden's democratic system or central government," the summary said.

But the radicals are capable of damage, police said.

"While violence-promoting Islamist extremist groups do not pose a threat to Swedish society, they are still a threat to individuals and groups, especially in other countries," the report said.

The police analysis highlighted the disturbing trend of increasing foreign travel by the radicals.

"The most serious potential threat to Sweden is the long-term effects of people from Sweden choosing to travel abroad to join violence-promoting Islamic extremist groups," the police said. "There are currently no signs of falling interest in joining foreign groups."

Swedish authorities are investigating involvement in radicalism by Taimour Abdulwahab, the weekend's suicide bomber.

His emails before the bombings said that one reason for the attack was Sweden's tolerance of Lars Vilks' newspaper cartoon of the prophet Mohammed as a dog, authorities said. Abdulwahab, 28 -- who had lived in Iraq, Sweden and the English town of Luton -- also cited the presence of Swedish troops in Afghanistan.

That cartoon of Mohammed, published in 2007, was also cited in the new report as an example "of local events that may fuel radicalism globally."

Sweden's radical networks are typically made up of males between 15 and 30 years of age, with varying backgrounds, most of whom were born or grew up in Sweden, the report said.

Several women are also involved, sharing the violence-promoting ideology, but they don't engage directly in security-threatening activities, the police said.

At least 80% of the radicals are socially connected, mainly through friendships and the Internet, but the social ties don't make them "one coherent network capable of fully coordinating its resources and working towards the same goal," the report said.

Swedish terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp said that before the December bombing, Sweden thought it was "immune" to terror attacks.

"Even (Osama) bin Laden said in early 2003, 2004, that if every country was like Sweden, there would be no terrorism," Ranstorp said.

Police called upon civic leaders as well as the Swedish Muslim community to prevent and counter extremism, and they encouraged the public to develop a deeper knowledge of Islam.

Though they shouldn't feel a greater responsibility to do so, practicing Muslims and their clerics could be helpful in countering "violence-promoting propagandists active in Sweden and abroad," the report said.
4 terror suspects arrested in Sweden
Per Nyberg, CNN, September 12, 2011

Imam Attacked by Muslim for Delivering Anti-violence Sermon During Friday Prayers

An imam preaching against violence in Aceh was attacked and beaten as he delivered his sermon during Friday prayers, a report said.

Saiful Bahri was speaking out against election violence allegedly committed by local politicians and former members of the disbanded Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in Pidie, AcehKita reported.

“Elections make us kill people, shoot people,” he told the congregation in the Keumala Grand Mosque in Indrajaya subdistrict. “God will not forgive you for killing people unless you seek forgiveness from the victims’ families,” he said.

The topic angered one member of the congregation, who stood up and demanded Saiful end his sermon, the news agency reported.

“Get off the podium! Don’t campaign here,” said the man, later identified as a former GAM member.

Saiful said he would end his sermon but as he did so, a number of other congregation members rose and the situation deteriorated.

In the midst of the chaos, an unidentified man approached the preacher and attacked him.

Two security officers attempted to rescue the imam but were helpless to do so as a mob had formed and had started to beat and kick the preacher.

AcehKita reported that a bleeding Saiful was eventually rescued but gave no word on his condition.

Black Women Report Rape by Rebel Forces in Libya Refugee Camps, US Ambassador Shrug off Reports

The news doesn’t get better for thousands of black Africans trapped in Libya, besieged by racist rebel fighters. In addition to chronic suspicion of being mercenaries for Gadhafi, women in one internal refugee camp say they are dragged off at night and raped by Libyans who fight under the flag of the new authorities.

“They come in firing their guns and taking people,” a Nigerian woman told McClatchy. “They don’t use condoms…”

US Ambassador Gene Cretz doesn’t think the abuses are systematic or intentional on the part of the Transitional National Council, whose forces recently routed dictator Moammar Gadhafi. “It’s something that’s happening at levels below that, which is of considerable concern to us,” he told McClatchy.

A local TNC official dismisses the claims of the women, saying he’s received no reports of abuse.

Thousands of foreign and Libyan blacks have been rounded up, imprisoned, and abused with only their skin color as evidence of their guilt, according to rights groups. The African Union has refused to recognize the NTC partly due to such abuses.
Black Women Report Rape by Rebel Forces in Libya Refugee Camps
Jeremy Sapienza,, September 9, 2011

Bangladeshi housemaid to face trial for cutting Emirati sponsor's penis

A Bangladeshi housemaid, who allegedly cut her 77-year-old Emirati sponsor's penis after he asked for a massage, is scheduled to stand trial on Thursday for damaging his private parts

Prosecutors accused the housemaid of assaulting her sponsor and causing him 40 percent disability in his private parts, Gulf News reports.

"She has been referred to the Dubai Court of First Instance and her trial starts today (ThursdaY). She has been referred to the criminal court because her accusation is assault that led to permanent disability," the paper quoted a source close to the case, as saying.

"Had she been charged with assaulting and injuring the victim without causing him any disfigurement or disability, she would have been referred to the Misdemeanors Court. During police questioning, the woman claimed that she chopped her sponsor's penis because she was fed up with his continuous sexual harassment ¦," the source added.

A senior prosecution source said that the woman was recently granted bail after spending several weeks in provisional detention.

According to the charge sheet, prosecutors allege that the housemaid used a sharp tool to cut the Emirati's penis, leaving him permanently disabled.

According to the Penal Code, a suspect, who assaults someone and deliberately causes the victim a permanent disability, could face up to seven years in jail.

Australia: Muslim terror suspect let off police shooting

A MUSLIM terror suspect who wounded a policeman in a gunfight escaped conviction on serious shooting charges after a judge found "anti-Muslim sentiment" made him fear for his safety.

A judge found the man had a loaded gun down his pants when police approached him.

But the judge found he had the gun not because he had planned to shoot the officers but because he was concerned for his safety.

It is understood the officers involved in the arrest of the man in November 2005 left the force as a result of the incident.

A suppression order has now been lifted on the June judgment by Sydney District Court Judge Leonie Flannery, who acquitted the man of shooting at Sergeant Adam Wolsey with intent to murder, shooting at him with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, and shooting at him with intent to resist apprehension.

In the judge-alone trial, the man pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Sgt Wolsey had been asked by a supervisor to arrest the man, wanted over terrorism-related offences. For legal reasons The Daily Telegraph cannot publish the outcome of those charges against him.

Sgt Wolsey's evidence was that he, Sergeant Bates and Senior Constables Weston and Behringer, drove past the man on Wilson Rd and followed him before stopping.

Sgt Wolsey stated he and Sgt Bates spoke to the man who spun around, pulled a Browning pistol out of his pants and fired.

Judge Flannery accepted one of the three shots fired by the man struck Sgt Wolsey in the hand. The man was struck by a bullet from Sgt Bates' gun.

The Crown argued the man deliberately fired upon police to avoid arrest.

The man maintained he did not fire at police but at the horizon in what was intended to be a warning shot so he could flee.

The man testified he was sick at the time and jumpy about surveillance and possible police questions.

Judge Flannery accepted it was a reasonable possibility he may have focused on Sgt Bates during the arrest, not noticed Sgt Wolsey, and fired a "warning shot in panic".

"I am not satisfied that he put the Browning in his pants because he was planning to shoot his arresting officers, rather he did so because he was concerned for his safety, and the state he was in brought about his illness, his concern that he was going to be arrested, and the climate of anti-Muslim feeling in the community at the time, he believed that he might be harmed by the police."

The man was convicted on lesser charges of firing a gun in a public place and using an unauthorised firearm and will be sentenced on September 23.
Scared Muslim let off police shooting
Kara Lawrence, The Daily Telegraph, September 9, 2011

Somalia: Islamic militants replace English language with Arabic

The English language in Somalia has been under threat by the Al-Qaeda linked militant group Al-Shabab, according to London based pan -Arab newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

Through intimidation Al-Shabab militants in control of the the southern Somali city of Chisimaio have banned the teaching of English in schools, ordering teachers to replaced it with Arabic - the language of the Koran.

"We were following a program used in Kenya, Sudan and Malaysia that uses only English in the classroom to prepare students to study in a foreign university," said a teacher. "Now we can't even teach and will have to replace our teachers that come from Kenya who can't speak Arabic."

Currently Chisimaio has six middle and high schools that teach classes in English, while elementary schools use Arabic, the report said.

Similarly, in recently days, radical Islamic groups in control of areas outside of the capital Mogadishu have ordered shopkeepers to substitute English signs with those in Arabic.

Al-Shabab has an alliance with Al-Qaeda and has not shied away from using terrorist tactics in its fight to control Somalia. In 2010 the group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Ugandan capital Kampala that killed around 75 people who gathered to watch the televised broadcast of the World Cup soccer finals.

Uganda leads a military coalition of African countries deployed in Somalia to keep the troubled country out of the hands of radical Islamic militants.

Somalia has been without an effective government for about 20 years.

Sydney Islamic School Siphoned Millions in Tax Money to Islamic Organization

THE principal of a Sydney Islamic school that has been paying millions of dollars in rental and management fees to Australia's peak Muslim body was given advice three years ago that the practice was likely to be in breach of government guidelines.

In a 2008 letter to Malek Islamic School principal Intaj Ali, lawyers advised that the movement of millions of dollars from the school to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils may have contravened legislation governing the use of federal and state grants.

AFIC president Ikebal Patel said yesterday the legal advice "did ring a bell" but he "could not recall" what his reaction was when presented with it.

The Australian understands Dr Ali sought the advice from Minter Ellison in a bid to stop AFIC borrowing money from the school and charging the excessive rents and management fees that allowed the Muslim body to buy further properties that it would, in turn, lease back to the school as campuses for more rent.

Last month The Australian revealed that AFIC had charged the successful Sydney school $5.2 million, including $3.2m in current and backdated "management fees".

In 2009, AFIC changed the lease agreement to increase the school's rent from $1.3m to $1.5m, forcing an immediate backdated payment of $2.59m.

Malek Fahd is a predominantly government-funded school, receiving $19.6m from taxpayers last year, with public funding accounting for 75 per cent of the school's total funding.

In order to continue to be eligible for state and federal grants, the school must comply with legislation stating how the funds should be spent. The money is supposed to be spent on educational purposes and salaries.

While AFIC owns the land, Malek Fahd is a separate legal entity and a recipient of the government funding. Both AFIC and the school are not-for-profit.

Following the revelations, School Education Minister Peter Garrett has launched an investigation into the rental agreements and management fees paid by Malek Fahd, and the seven other AFIC schools in Australia. In its advice to Dr Ali, who has been principal of the school since 1990, Minter Ellison stated: "There is no provision under the guidelines that permits MFIS to allow such funding to be provided to a third party such as AFIC or to be directed towards the development of other schools."

Despite the advice, in 2008 $7.5m was transferred to AFIC from Malek Fahd in advance rent for the purchase of a new Hoxton Park campus that was purchased for $4.97m that June.

The former chairman of directors of Malek Fahd, Hafez Malas, said he was dismissed by AFIC in May after he refused to agree to the transfer. Mr Patel said his priority was to establish another campus to allow the "3000 children on the waiting list" to go to the school.
Sydney Islamic school told of payment breaches
Leo Shanahan, The Australian, September 8, 2011

Frits Bolkestein: The West is a Danger for Islam

Islam is not a danger to Europe and the West, but the other way around. At least according to Frits Bolkestein, former leader of the free-market liberal VVD party and now one of the Netherlands' elder statesmen.

A politician who has always fancied himself an intellectual, Mr Bolkestein has been making the rounds promoting his latest book, The Intellectual Seduction: Dangerous Ideas in Politics.

Death of multiculturalism

At a reading in Amsterdam, he was typically blunt. He disparaged cultural relativism, claiming that Western culture is superior to other cultures. He called for leaders in Europe to stand up for fundamental Western values such as freedom of expression and individualism.

He says he doesn't need French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, or British Prime Minister David Cameron to tell him that the multicultural society is dead (as they all did within the past 12 months).

Mr Bolkestein himself claims to have kicked off the debate on multiculturalism when he said the same thing in the Netherlands twenty years ago.

These sentiments are shared by Dutch populist Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders, who emerged as a young politician under Mr Bolkestein's leadership. But the elder statesman now has some fundamental disagreements with his former protégé.

Wilders' theme is 'nonsense'

For one thing, Mr Bolkestein believes the integration of non-Western immigrants in the Netherlands has passed an important threshold, and is now going well. One example: women from Turkish and Moroccan origin now have fewer children, on average, than native Dutch women.

But Mr Bolkestein was the most dismissive of Geert Wilders' central theme, that Islam poses a threat to Western civilisation.

'I think that's nonsense. To the contrary, it is us with our ideas, our ideals of individualism and secularism which constitute a danger to Islam. That's why they react so strongly.'

Mr Bolkestein says the attacks in New York, London and Madrid were acts of desperation, not shows of force. They demonstrated the Islamic world's current weakness in the face of Western culture.

While the Islamic world at one time was powerful and prosperous, that is no longer the case. Young Muslims now look to the West for inspiration and want study and live in Western countries.

Who we are

Mr Bolkestein also dismisses the idea that resentment for the West in the Islamic world has its roots in military campaigns such as the US-led war against Iraq, or support for Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory.

'The ill-feeling from the Islamic world for the West is not for something we have done, but for who we are, and we can't change that.'
The West is a Danger for Islam
John Tyler, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, September 7, 2011

Terror strikes Delhi again, 11 dead in HC blast

New Delhi: The national capital was once again the target of a terror strike when a high intensity bomb blast outside the Delhi High Court on Wednesday killed 11 people and injured 76 others. The bomb, reportedly a combination of ammonium nitrate and pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) and planted by terror group Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) in a suitcase, exploded at 10:14 AM outside Delhi High Court's Gate No. 5 where more that 100 litigants had gathered for passes to enter the court's premises.

What made planting of the bomb in one of the most high security area an easy job was the fact that there were no CCTV cameras installed at the gate. Even the metal detectors and scanners were not functioning making the task of checking and frisking hundreds of litigants, lawyers and visitors a tough job for the security personnel.

Unlike most of the recent bomb blasts, the terror strike at the High Court was carried out in the morning and the day was also carefully chosen as Wednesday is one of the heaviest days of court business because it is the day when Public Interest Litigations (PILs) are filed.

Even though Home Minister P Chidamabarm said in the Lok Sabha that the terror group behind the dastardly attack has not been identified an e-mail sent from the id [email protected] claimed that HuJI had carried out the blast in retaliation of Parliament attack Afzal Guru's death sentence.

The investigations into the blast will be carried out by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). NIA chief SC Sinha announced that a team of 20 officials will investigate the case.

What is extremely worrying is the blast took place in a high security area with Parliament, the Prime Minister's Office and India Gate in the vicinity and comes less than four months after an explosion took outside the same complex.

The injured were taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital and Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital with some of them reportedly in a critical condition.

The Delhi government announced that Rs 4 lakh would be given as compensation for families who have lost adult members and Rs 1.5 lakh to families who have lost minors. The seriously injured will get Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000 will be given to those who sustained minor injuries. Those permanently incapacitated in the blast will get Rs 2 lakh.

Wednesday's attack is the worst terror attack in the capital since the triple blasts on September 13, 2008 in which 25 people were killed. On September 13, 2008 serials blasts had rocked Karol Bagh, Connaught Place and Greater Kailash in the capital in which over 150 people were injured.

Canada’s PM: Islamic terrorism the number 1 threat

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper believes that “Islamic militancy” poses the biggest threat to Canada.

"There are a number of threats on a number of levels, but if you are talking about terrorism it is Islamicism," Harper said in an interview with the CBC, to be broadcast on Thursday, September 8.

"That is the one that occupies the security [establishment] most regularly in terms of actual terrorist threats."

The interview comes as the United States marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Harper said that Canada is safer now than it was during the 9/11 attacks.

However, he said, "the major threat is still Islamicism."

"When people think of Islamic terrorism, they think of Afghanistan, or maybe they think of some place in the Middle East, but the truth is that threat exists all over the world."

Harper said the threat of terrorism is diffused across the globe, citing a recent attack on a UN headquarters in Nigeria.

And in Canada, "homegrown [Islamic] terrorism is something we keep an eye on."

Muslims make around 1.9 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the Roman Catholic country.

A survey has showed the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian.

Terror Laws

The Canadian premier also hinted that his government would re-introduce anti-terror laws that were scrapped four years ago.

"We think those measures are necessary,” Harper told CBC.

“We think they've been useful.

‘And as you know … they're applied rarely, but there are times where they're needed."

Following the 9/11 attacks, the Canadian parliament passed tough laws to fight terrorism.

Under one provisions of the laws, police had the power to arrest suspects without a warrant and detain them for three days without charges.

Another provision allowed a judge to compel a witness to testify in secret about past associations or perhaps pending acts under penalty of going to jail if the witness didn't comply.

In October 2006, a parliamentary committee recommended extending the two provisions after their expiry.

In 2007, opposition parties rejected a proposal by the Conservatives to keep the measures in place for three more years.

The rest of the legislation remained in force.

When asked if he would try to bring those laws back, Harper replied: "That is our plan."

Twin suicide bombs kill 24 in Quetta

Twin suicide bombs targeting security forces responsible for the recent capture of senior Al Qaeda operatives killed 24 people and wounded 82 others in southwest Pakistan Wednesday, police said.

One attacker detonated his bomb-laden car outside the residence of the deputy chief of the Frontier Corps in Quetta city, before a second attacker blew himself up inside the house, said senior police official Hamid Shakil.

The attack on the home of deputy chief Farrukh Shahzad wounded him, killed his wife and injured at least one of his children, security officials said.

“The death toll has gone up and 24 deaths are now confirmed. There were at least 82 people wounded and taken to different hospitals. We have reports that at least seven of them are seriously hurt,” said Shakil.

Flames from the blast engulfed security vehicles and motorcycles parked outside Shahzad’s residence, where paramilitary forces had been waiting to escort the deputy inspector-general to work.

Two children and at least 11 troops from the Frontier Corps and army — including an army officer — were among the dead, Shakil said.

A mosque and official residences nearby were also badly damaged, he said.

Shakil said the car had been packed with 50 kilograms of explosives. He said the head of one of the bombers was found, along with an identity card that indicated he could have been from Afghanistan’s Kunduz province.

The Frontier Corps is Pakistan’s paramilitary force. On Monday the army announced the corps had arrested a senior Al Qaeda leader believed to have been responsible for planning attacks on the United States, Europe and Australia.

Younis al-Mauritani was picked up in the suburbs of Quetta, the main town of Balochistan province bordering Afghanistan and Iran, along with two other high-ranking operatives, after US and Pakistani spy agencies joined forces.

The army named the two other senior operatives as Abdul Ghaffar al-Shami and Messara al-Shami.

Text messages among visitors escalated Eid Playland fracas

WHITE PLAINS — A fracas at Playland Amusement Park in Rye that began after Muslim women were barred from some rides due to their traditional head scarves escalated when parkgoers alerted each other via text messages, the county police commissioner said Tuesday.

In all, 15 people were arrested in the Aug. 30 incident.

With the texts, a gathering at the park's police precinct grew from 25 to about 100 people "in five or six minutes," Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth told Westchester County legislators in the Michaelian Office Building.

When some in that group became unruly, 10 arrests were made, he said.

The incident started when some people became angry over a policy banning headgear, including the scarves, on rides. Five were arrested in the initial confrontation.

Longworth and other officials spoke at a meeting of two county legislative committees about parks policies, the events that led to the fracas and the police response.

County officials also said they anticipate possible lawsuits over the incident.

"The county attorney's office has been contacted by lawyers from some of the people that were there," said George Oros, chief of staff for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

The melee broke out as 3,000 Muslims took part in a promotional day at the park to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

Legislator William Ryan, D-White Plains, chairman of the Public Works, Parks, Labor and Transportation Committee, said he expects to ask organizers of the event to give input at a future meeting.

While several legislators praised the officials for their departments' handling of the matter, Deputy Parks Commissioner Peter Tartaglia said parks officials continue to look at their procedures to see whether they can make improvements.

Playland bans headgear, such as baseball caps and scarves, from some rides because they can catch in the workings, creating hazards.

Playland officials had told event organizers about the rule beforehand, but the policy had not been conveyed to the entire group.

Longworth said officers reacted reasonably to the situation, and that there were no reports of injuries among parkgoers.

An officer and two seasonal park rangers were injured when they stepped in, initially to stop fights that had broken out among the visitors. They were treated at hospitals and released.

Sharif Aly, vice president of the Muslim American Society of New York, which organized the event, said some Muslim women who attended said they had been allowed to wear headscarves on the same rides at other times. He said one online video shows officers bringing a Muslim woman to the ground.

"I think it's a little beyond what anyone would have wanted to happen," he said of the disturbance.

Longworth said many of the officers responding from other departments remained in a staging area and did not interact with the crowd. He said that officers bring a person to the ground to protect everyone around from injury, including the person being arrested.

"I have viewed extensive video related to the whole thing," Longworth said. "I've seen nothing inappropriate. I think our troops did a very professional job that day, and I think they prevented an incident from escalating much further."

Tartaglia said parkgoers who were unhappy with the policy got full refunds.

Longworth also spoke of a Sept. 1 brawl between soccer teams at Saxon Woods Park in White Plains. He said it was the fourth fight this summer involving teams in the same league.

Officer Marcelo Jimenez was injured when several players attacked him. His injuries were treated, but he has been unable to return to work, Longworth said.

UK: Man, 26, ‘held as a slave by Accrington family’

FOUR members of an Accrington family have appeared in court over allegations that a man with learning difficulties was kept as a slave.

They appeared at Burnley Crown Court yesterday over allegations that the 26-year-old man from Accrington was kept against his will and subjected to beatings.

The allegations date back over a two year period from January 2007 until July 2010.

The man, a Pakistani national, was found with a fractured hip by officers.

Janghir Alam, 28, of Richmond Hill Street, Accrington, and Zahir Alam, 32, of Willows Lane Accrington, who have been charged with eight counts of grevious bodily harm, making a threat to kill, false imprisonment and battery pleaded not guilty on Monday.

Nek Alam, 71, Zahoor Alam, 32, also of Richmond Hill Street, Accrington, did not enter a plea as they are raising objections to the indictment and a dismissal hearing has been scheduled for October 27.
Man, 26, ‘held as a slave by Accrington family’
Lancashire Telegraph, September 6, 2011

UK: 29-year-old "holy man" jailed for raping 13-year-old in a prayer room

A self-styled holy man who boasted of magical powers sank sobbing to his knees as he was locked up for nine and a half years for raping a 13-year-old girl in a prayer room.

Syed Bukhari was led weeping to the cells after a judge at Bradford Crown Court said his “wicked” crime fully exploited the vulnerability of his child victim.

Bukhari, 29, of Sewell Road, Laisterdyke, Bradford, claimed he had special powers that could help the girl’s parents overcome their marital difficulties, prosecutor Nick Askins told the court today.

He visited the girl’s mother at her home in the West Midlands and persuaded her to allow the 13-year-old and her younger brother to stay with him in Bradford.

“The defendant held himself out as a man who possessed magical powers and could assist the family with their domestic difficulties,” said Mr Askins.

Bukhari, a factory worker, bought the girl a phone and her brother a toy before taking them to the house in Sewell Road in late December last year.

He and the girl went into what appeared to be a prayer room, Mr Askins said.

Bukhari said he needed to talk to her about magic and told her there was something she needed to do for her own good and that of her family.

He told her to take off her clothes before turning out the light and sexually assaulting her.

He then raped her on a towel, putting his hand over her mouth when she screamed in pain.

Bukhari threatened: “If you tell anyone, something bad will happen.”

Mr Askins said the frightened child, who was previously a virgin, told no-one until on January 20 she confided her ordeal to a police officer.

Bukhari, who was cautioned for kerb crawling on December 16 last year, pleaded guilty to rape.

His barrister, David McGonigal, said Bukhari felt shame and remorse.

He knew he had caused hurt and grief to the girl and her family Judge John Potter told Bukhari his claims to be a holy man who could provide spiritual guidance were “nothing more than a charade”.

He had abused the girl’s trust in a place many miles from her home.

Sentencing him, Judge Potter said: “It was, Mr Bukhari, a most wicked act in which a particularly vulnerable child was raped by you, causing her significant harm.”

Saudi schoolteacher accused of raping 13 underage girls

JEDDAH: The lawyer of a Saudi schoolteacher accused of raping 13 underage girls has called for dropping 11 out of 13 charges against his client and asked for the case to be heard quickly.

"My client is innocent of all the serious charges against him," Wael Jawharji told a press conference in Jeddah on Monday.

He said he expected to receive a reply to his request to drop the charges from the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution within two weeks.

The brother of the suspect claimed at the press conference that one of the investigators asked him to sign a report stating that his brother was psychologically sick or under a magical spell to secure his release.

"I would never have defended the accused if I was not sure of his innocence," the lawyer said, and expressed hope his client would soon be acquitted.

Jawharji blamed the media for defaming his client and his family but ruled out any legal action.

"However, we are ready to take the media to court if they continue to defame my client," he said, asking the media to use the term “detained” instead of “suspect” or “accused” to refer to the teacher.

The lawyer said he was holding the press conference to influence public opinion in favor of the suspect following substantial negative coverage about him.

He said the police broke a number of laws, such as preventing his client from appointing a lawyer until he had been detained for a month. "I was not allowed to visit my client though I have official authorization from the family. I was excluded from some questioning sessions with my client," he said.

The lawyer said the prison’s director justified these actions by claiming the issue was sensitive. "This was not a convincing enough explanation for me," he said.

Jawharji said his client was still under investigation and that no official charges were made against him. He, however, explained that the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution has the right to detain a suspect for six months without charge.

The brother of the accused said there was substantial evidence proving his innocence. "The alleged victims did not recognize him. Some of them who identified him as their attacker also said the same thing about the other suspect who was released. The DNA did not match with that of my brother," he said.
Teacher wants rape charges dropped
Arab News, September 5, 2011

UK: 'Gays & Muslims UNITE!', Gay anti-EDL activists harassed by Muslim co-protesters

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell experienced homophobic hostility from some members of East London's Muslim community, while heading an anti-EDL protest, last weekend.

As reported on, Tatchell had planned Saturday's counter-protest in response to a static demonstration held by the English Defense League which drew more than 1,000 supporters, despite a ban by Home Secretary Theresa May.

He said he was there to: “defend the Muslim community against EDL thuggery” and because he “wanted to stand in solidarity with Muslims who oppose far right Islamists."

But, while holding placards which read 'Stop EDL & far right Islamists. No to ALL hate' and 'Gays & Muslims UNITE! Stop the EDL', Tatchell was subjected to anti-gay hostility from a minority of homophobic Muslims who, ironically, were part of the anti-EDL demonstration.

According to the veteran equality activist, the group attempted to destroy the placards and were intimidating. At one point he feared the threat of violence.

Speaking to, Tatchell said: “I was surrounded several times throughout the day by angry Muslim youths who ordered me: ‘You must remove this placard...You can’t walk here with these words...We don’t allow gays in this area...Gays are not permitted here...We don’t have gays in Tower Hamlets’. When I suggested that LGBT Muslims must also be defended against the EDL, I was told: "Gays can't be Muslims...We will never accept them (LGBT Muslims)...They can't come around here...We won't allow it."

He added: "My response was to engage with these Muslims hotheads and argue against them. The discussions got very heated; at times even menacing and scary. There were moments when I thought I was going to be physically attacked."

Despite this, Tatchell said the moment passed without incident – partly because of police presence and also because other members of the Muslim community intervened and offered their support.

He described the latter as being "significant" in diffusing the situation.

Yet it was not just Muslims who opposed Tatchell's presence at the demonstration.

In a statement released earlier today, he claims he also suffered: "dirty looks from a small number of left-wing and LGBT anti-EDL protesters, some of whom said explicitly that our placards were 'insensitive...provocative...inappropriate...divisive'."

They also claimed he was "racist...fascist...anti-Muslim".

Sixty people were arrested at the demonstrations for violent disorder.

Germany: Tracking 1,000 Islamic radicals

Germany's top security official says authorities are tracking about 1,000 Islamic radicals in the country with possible links to terrorism.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Bild newspaper's Monday edition that of those, 128 have been identified as having the potential to commit attacks, and 20 have trained in terrorist camps.

He sought to allay fears, however, saying "we know who these people are."

Friedrich is quoted as saying also that in a positive development, Muslim leaders in Germany took part in a June conference aimed at preventing individuals from "misusing the religion."
Germany: Tracking 1,000 Islamic radicals
Associated Press, September 5, 2011

Lancet Now Say 108,000 Iraqis Were Killed in War Not 655,000

The corrupt Lancet journal this week announced that 108,624 Iraqis were killed during the Iraq War not 655,000 as they previously reported.

The liberal journal also said that suicide bombings were "cost effective."

CNN reported:

Suicide bombers are responsible for killing more than 12,000 Iraqi civilians and wounding more than 30,000 since the war began, according to study released by the British medical journal Lancet.
The study found that 1,003 documented suicide bombings accounted for 12,284 of 108,624 Iraqi civilian deaths, 11% of those killed between March 20, 2003, and December 31, 2010. It also found such attacks accounted for 30,644 -- or 26% -- of the 117,165 documented cases of Iraqi civilians wounded within the same period.
"Suicide bombers in Iraq use suicide bombs strategically as cost-effective, precise, highly destructive weapons," said the study, which was published Saturday.

Of course, the fraudulent Lancet reports were widely used by the liberal media to attack the Bush administration and the US military.

The Iraqi government reported in 2009 that 85,000 Iraqis were killed between 2004 and 2008.

It's time for Lancet to apologize.

Most US Muslims back Ground Zero mosque

Most Muslim Americans support the proposal to build a mosque and Islamic community centre near Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 attacks on New York, a survey shows.

The Pew Research Center survey found 81 percent of US Muslims have heard about the project, which is strongly opposed by American conservatives, and, of those, 72 percent say it should be allowed to be built. At the same time, 20pc of the country's Muslims say it should not be allowed to be built, while 15pc say it should be allowed even though they personally believe it's a bad idea to build it near the WTC site, the survey found. The survey revealed a decidedly different view among the general public. Of about 78 percent who heard of the project, only 38 percent said it should be allowed to be built, while 47 percent said it should not. The mosque and Islamic centre would be built just 2 blocks from where the World Trade Center stood before being destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attack.

Asked about mosques or Islamic centres in their community, 14 percent of US Muslims said there had been opposition to building a mosque in the past few years and 15 percent said a mosque or Islamic centre in their community has been vandalized or a target of other hostility in the past 12 months, the survey found.
Most US Muslims back Ground Zero mosque
The Nation, September 3, 2011

Guidelines on how to perform female genital mutilation issued by Indonesian Ministry of Health

West Java. Guidelines on how to perform female genital mutilation/cutting issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Health could cause an increase in the practice, medical experts and rights groups fear.

“This will give doctors a new motivation to circumcise [girls] because now they can say the Ministry of Health approves of this, and the Indonesian Council of Ulema [MUI] approves of it,” said Jurnalis Uddin, a doctor and lecturer at Yarsi University in Jakarta.

Though FGM/C was banned in 2006, two of Indonesia’s Muslim organizations, including the largest and mostly moderate, Nahdlatul Ulama, ultimately condone the practice advising “not to cut too much,” and, as a result, many continue to perform the procedure.

By directing health professionals not to cut a girl’s genitals but to “scrape the skin covering the clitoris, without injuring the clitoris”, the Ministry of Health stands by the regulations, passed in June, as a medically safe form of FGM/C representing an effort to further regulate the illegal practice and protect women.

But recent uproar has questioned this reasoning. Others are concerned the guidelines could well be misinterpreted as an endorsement of the procedure, combined with an enticement for doctors to encourage the practice, Uddin said.

“I think that doctors will use these guidelines to make money from circumcision,” Uddin said, adding that Indonesia’s poorly regulated medical practitioners often viewed medicine as a business.

FGM/C is typically done at birth, or before a girl is five years old and in the past was often performed by local healers, called dukun, or by birth attendants. Traditionally, FGM/C was mostly “symbolic” with a small cut on the clitoris, or rubbing the clitoris with tumeric root, making it less invasive than other types of FGM/C.

However, Uddin, who conducted an Indonesia-wide survey of FGM/C practices in 2009, said he had found that when medical practitioners performed the procedure, there was a trend toward more extensive cutting of the clitoris.

Dozens of Indonesian groups continue to call for the Ministry to revoke the guidelines.

“This gives a justification for health practitioners to damage women’s bodies,” said Frenia Nababan, spokeswoman for the Indonesian Family Planning Association. She added, “We fear it will increase control of women’s bodies by the state and religious groups.”

Amnesty International, is one of more than 100 signatories to a letter stating that the guidelines should be revoked partially on the grounds of Indonesia’s child protection laws, as well as the government’s commitment to the international Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), signed by Indonesia in 1984.

Experts say there has been increasing support for the practice from Muslim groups since the downfall of authoritarian leader Suharto in 1998, resulting in greater religious and political freedom, known as “Reformasi”.

“Before Reformasi [FGM/C] was mostly done on an individual basis, but since Reformasi, it has been done in mass events,” said Siti Musda Mulia, an academic specializing in Islamic studies, who initially conducted research on the process during the Suharto era, and has conducted follow-up research since 1998.

Uddin found Indonesia-wide FGM/C had not increased dramatically since the Suharto era; however in some areas, such as Bandung, West Java, there was an increasing tendency to perform it, even among moderate Muslims.

Australia: Home-grown fanatics plotting terror strikes as anniversary of 9/11 attacks nears

HOME-grown extremists are actively considering launching terrorist attacks in Australia.

The latest intelligence also suggests sporting venues, transport hubs and other places of mass gatherings have become the favoured targets of terrorist planners, the Herald Sun reported.

"Clearly there are extremists now on our shores," Australian Federal Police counter-terrorism chief Steve Lancaster said.

"There are people out there who genuinely think about doing bad things, or support terrorist acts overseas."

In an interview with the Herald Sun to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Assistant Commissioner Lancaster also revealed:

POLICE have secretly foiled several potential terrorist threats in Australia by disrupting them at an early stage.

RELIGIOUS extremists who follow a distorted and militant interpretation of Islam are still the biggest threat to Australians.

IT is incredibly difficult for any agency to stop a lone terrorist who decides to walk into a crowded place with a gun or bomb.

TERRORIST groups al-Qa'ida and Jemaah Islamiyah remain powerful threats to Australia.

A Federal Government counter-terrorism White Paper warned last year that some Australians were known by authorities to subscribe to the violent jihadist message sprouted by Muslim extremists.

"Many of these individuals were born in Australia," it said.

"The emergence and activity of terrorist cells in Australia, inspired by the narrative espoused by al-Qaida, is likely to continue.

"Prior to the rise of self-styled jihadist terrorism fostered by al-Qaida, Australia itself was not a specific target. We now are."

Mr Lancaster said while he would rather do both, stopping a terrorist attack was more important than a successful prosecution.

"If even one person is injured or killed in a terrorist attack because you delayed too long, that would be inexcusable," he said.

"You have to make that decision of going in and disrupting. You make it absolutely clear to them that you are aware that something is going on, that you are not comfortable with it and that you want it to stop."

Mr Lancaster admitted the AFP had made mistakes in some aspects of the probe into falsely accused terrorism suspect Dr Mohamed Haneef in 2007, but it had learned valuable lessons from the Clarke inquiry that followed and had become a better force as a result.

"I can tell you the Haneef affair hurt the organisation. It had an enormous impact on morale within the organisation," he said.

"Our response to terrorism continues to evolve since September 11.

"It's a tricky balancing act between respecting the rights of individuals and taking appropriate action to prevent a terrorist act.

"We continue to err on the side of caution in our efforts to protect the community."

3 Boston Islamic charity leaders convicted for funding terrorism

A federal appeals court on Thursday overturned the acquittal of a Libyan man and two associates who were accused of conspiring to dupe the U.S. government into granting tax-exempt status to a defunct Muslim charity by hiding its pro-jihad activities.

The appeals court reinstated the jury’s guilty verdict against Libya’s Emadeddin Muntasser together with Samir Al-Monla and Muhammed Mubayyid. The three founded and led the defunct Boston-based Care International Inc.

The organization described its mission as helping war orphans, widows and refugees in Muslim nations. But prosecutors argued that it was a successor to a U.S. branch of a group founded by Osama bin Laden to recruit, fund and transport Muslim militants involved in armed conflicts around the world. The group also distributed a newsletter and published a website promoting jihad and supported extremists.

A jury found the three men guilty in January 2008 of conspiring to trick the government into awarding their organization tax-exempt status by hiding its pro-jihad activities. Jurors also convicted Muntasser of lying to federal officials and Mubayyid of making false statements to federal officials and filing false tax returns.

But a federal judge overturned the tax conspiracy conviction, saying the evidence did not support the verdict.

The government and defendants appealed. Prosecutors argued that although facts proved at trial differed from those alleged in the indictment, they did not alter the crime charged. Muntasser and Mubayyid claimed that that "terrorism" evidence admitted to prove the conspiracy charges was so extensive, inflammatory and prejudicial that it must have spilled over into the jury’s consideration of their guilt on other charges.

The appeals court sided with prosecutors in a ruling released Thursday, saying "the jury asked several incisive questions during deliberation that demonstrated its discriminating appraisal of all the evidence."

The case has been sent back to the district court whose judge will sentence Al-Monla and re-sentence Muntasser and Mubayyid.

Their attorneys did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

Muntasser was born in Libya and was the founder of Care International. Mubayyid was born in Lebanon and was the group’s former treasurer. Al-Monla, the group’s president from 1996 to 1998, was born in Kuwait and is a U.S. citizen.

Their charity group, which was not affiliated with the well-known global relief organization CARE International, raised $1.7 million in donations from 1993 to 2001.

Prosecutors acknowledged Care did some legitimate charity work, but said the group concealed non-charitable activities from the government. Prosecutors said, among other things, the men didn’t disclose that Care had ties to the Al-Kifah Refugee Center in New York, which was linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
3 Boston Islamic charity leaders convicted again
Associated Press, September 1, 2011

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