Islam in the News (August 2011)

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam
Jump to: navigation, search
Islam in the News
Archive:
October 2013September 2013August 2013July 2013June 2013May 2013April 2013March 2013February 2013January 2013December 2012November 2012October 2012September 2012August 2012July 2012June 2012May 2012April 2012March 2012February 2012January 2012December 2011November 2011October 2011September 2011August 2011July 2011June 2011May 2011Pre-April 2011

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

Contents

Eight confirmed dead in Chechnya suicide attacks on Muslim holy day[edit]

At least eight people have been killed and 22 injured in two suicide attacks in the Chechen capital Grozny, local officials said on Wednesday.

The attacks took place during celebrations to mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan on Tuesday.

It was earlier reported that seven had been killed and 18 injured in the twin blasts.

Chechnya's strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov said five policemen, an emergency official and a civilian were killed.

A sixth policeman died in the hospital overnight, the restive region’s Health Minister Musa Akhmadov said, adding that five of the 22 injured are in critical condition.

A man blew himself up when a police patrol tried to detain him near a local parliament building, and a second blast came just 30 minutes later. There were also reports of a third blast.

Kadyrov said the attackers had "shown their real faces" by choosing "the most sacred day for all Muslims."

Islamist violence has recently increased in the troubled Muslim North Caucasus region.

Russian forces have fought two wars in Chechnya since the fall of the USSR, and while Moscow has declared victory over a Muslim-led insurgency there, violence has spilled over into neighboring Ingushetia and Dagestan.

Australia: Riot in Darwin detention centre on Muslim holy day[edit]

ASYLUM seekers are allegedly rioting at the Darwin detention centre after two fires broke out on a Muslim holy day.

Paramedics, firefighters, and police were called to the complex, in the Darwin suburb of Berrimah, after a thick, dark plume was seen coming from buildings.

There have also been reports of rock-throwing and rioting.

The fire coincides with Muslim holy day Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the month-long of fasting of Ramadan.

A source inside the centre said no detainees were allowed to attend Darwin Mosque today to take part in the festivities.

Immigration spokesman Sandi Logan said fire-fighters managed to extinguish an initial fire but a second blaze broke out.

This secondary blaze appears to have caused the most damage. Two water cannons were used to extinguish the large fire which burned for the about an hour.

Mr Logan said they did not know what property had been damaged.

Security guards are patrolling a perimeter inside the detention centre grounds.

Police have been stationed at posts on the external fence.

The Federal Immigration Department confirmed there was an incident at the centre but said it was too early to comment.

A press conference is expected to be held later today.

The drama unfolded as the High Court prepares to reveal the fate of the federal government's controversial Malaysian refugee swap deal.

The court's full bench will rule on the policy's lawfulness this afternoon after a challenge brought on behalf of asylum seekers facing deportation.

Refugee lawyers want the deal struck down, arguing that Immigration Minister Chris Bowen does not have the power to send asylum seekers to a country that has no legal obligations to protect them.

They also argued that sending unaccompanied minors to Malaysia would breach Mr Bowen's duty of care as their legal guardian to act in their best interests.

But commonwealth Solicitor-General Stephen Gageler argued the government could lawfully declare Malaysia a safe third country even though it had no domestic or international legal obligations to protect asylum seekers.

The court issued an injunction against any deportations until its verdict was delivered.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship says more than 330 detainees will be flown to Malaysia "as soon as practicable" if the court upholds the policy.

Under the deal, the government plans to send 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia in exchange for 4000 already processed refugees.
Riot in Darwin detention centre on Muslim holy day
Northern Territory News, August 31, 2011

Publisher Calls FBI Over Muslim Backlash From 9/11 Coloring Book[edit]

Taking heat from Muslim groups upset with a coloring book about the 9/11 Attacks, a publisher says he’s been in contact with local police and the FBI.

Wayne Bell, the Publisher of Really Big Coloring Books, Inc., says there’s been a negative backlash against the book “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom.”

“These are people from Al-Jazeera that have called in here numerous times, people from Iranian TV, people from Palestinian Hamas TV,” Bell said, “A lot of people from the Islamic community have called in here and said increasingly negative things prior to the book being made and then after we made the book too, about the book itself.”

The book features images of Osama Bin Laden and Islamic terrorists. It also shows American citizens upset by the attacks, including a woman with a cross around her neck. But it shows no Muslim Americans mourning the attacks.

The Council on American Islamic Relations has criticized the book as one-sided, only portraying Muslims as either “extremists” or “terrorists. ”

Bell was asked to explain the absence of patriotic Muslim Americans in the book who were also opposed to the attacks.

“Well, I don’t know, I mean this is what our research showed us,” Bell said, “Every time we mention one of the hijackers we call them what they are. And that’s what parents wanted. Radical, Islamic, Muslim Extremists. And every time we mention one of the hijackers like the three guys that drove the plane into the Pentagon, there’s nothing else you can call them. I mean, what do think, they’re having a bad hair day?”

The book has been selling briskly, so fast that Bell said he had no extra copies for reporters to take with them today. Bell declined to disclose how many copies have sold, except to say “a lot.”

When asked about whether he has had any threats because of the book, Bell stopped short of saying he had.

“That’s our C.O.O., ” Bell said, pointing to a co-worker, “He’s talked to the Clayton police department, a sergeant at the Clayton police department and the FBI, regarding your question. That’s the answer to your question. And so, it’s really good to be aware of your surroundings. We’ll put it that way.

Purchase the book for $6.99 here: We Shall Never Forget 9/11 Kids Coloring Book - Graphic Coloring Novel

Thereligionofpeace.com's Ramadan Bombathon 2011 Results: Islam is No. 1[edit]

Ramadan Bombathon 2011 Scorecard

2011 In the name of The Religion of Peace In the name of All other Religions By "Anti-Muslim" Right-Wingers
Terror Attacks
180
0
0
Dead Bodies
785
0
0


As expected, the Religion of Peace crushed the competition again this Ramadan and restored the terror crown to its rightful owner. In a clean sweep, at least 180 Quran-inspired Muslims killed over ten times as many people as were murdered by Norway's Anders Breivik in July.

"This is a bad time to be a black man in Libya," Libya's revolution disgraced by murderous racism[edit]

"This is a bad time to be a black man in Libya," reported Alex Thomson on Channel 4 News on Sunday. Elsewhere, Kim Sengupta reported for the Independent on the 30 bodies lying decomposing in Tripoli. The majority of them, allegedly mercenaries for Muammar Gaddafi, were black. They had been killed at a makeshift hospital, some on stretchers, some in an ambulance. "Libyan people don't like people with dark skins," a militiaman explained in reference to the arrests of black men.

The basis of this is rumours, disseminated early in the rebellion, of African mercenaries being unleashed on the opposition. Amnesty International's Donatella Rivera was among researchers who examined this allegation and found no evidence for it. Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch similarly had not "identified one mercenary" among the scores of men being arrested and falsely labelled by journalists as such.

Lurking behind this is racism. Libya is an African nation – however, the term "Africans" is used in Libya to reference the country's black minority. The Amnesty International researcher Diana Eltahawy says that the rebels taking control of Libya have tapped into "existing xenophobia". The New York Times refers to "racist overtones", but sometimes the racism is explicit. A rebel slogan painted in Misrata during the fighting salutes "the brigade for purging slaves, black skin". A consequence of this racism has been mass arrests of black men, and gruesome killingsjust some of the various atrocities that human rights organisations blame rebels for. The racialisation of this conflict does not end with hatred of "Africans". Graffiti by rebels frequently depicted Gaddafi as a demonic Jew.

[Source: Libya's spectacular revolution has been disgraced by racism - Richard Seymour, The Guardian, August 30, 2010]
Those Murderous Racist Heroic Rebels In Libya
The Iconoclast, August 30, 2010

Denmark mosque marks end of Muslim fasting month of Ramadan: One dead and at least two injured[edit]

A shooting outside a Copenhagen mosque after prayers to mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan has left one person dead and at least two people injured, police said today.

Police spokesman Lau Thygesen said the shooting took place outside the Muslim Culture Institute, located in the Danish capital's western Vesterbro district, and that the roads surrounding the mosque and a nearby car park have been cordoned off. A spokesman for the Muslim institute told The Associated Press that the incident took place on a parking lot next to the mosque as hundreds of people were leaving the 9am prayer service.

Kuran Qureshi, who attended the prayers, told Danish broadcaster TV2 in a live interview that he had witnessed two groups of "younger men having some kind of argument" on the parking lot just before the shooting started.

Qureshi said he had heard "15, maybe 20 shots," as he drove away from the area with his 10-year-old son. "I saw people, women, children ducking and hiding behind cars. It was really unpleasant."

The Muslim Cultural Institute was founded in the late 1970s by Pakistani immigrants. It includes a mosque as well as facilities where Islam is being taught to boys and girls in Danish.
One killed in Denmark mosque shooting
The Independent, August 30, 2010

Arrests & mass executions by rebels: Long simmering racism against black Africans & dark skinned Libyans[edit]

Yassin Bahr, a tall thin Senegalese in torn blue jeans, volubly denies that he was ever a mercenary or fought for Muammar Gaddafi.

Speaking in quick nervous sentences, Mr Bahr tries to convince a suspicious local militia leader in charge of the police station in the Faraj district of Tripoli, that he is a building worker who has been arrested simply because of his colour. "I liked Gaddafi, but I never fought for him," Mr Bahr says, adding that he had worked in Libya for three years laying tiles.

But the Libyan rebels are hostile to black Africans in general. One of the militiamen, who have been in control of the police station since the police fled, said simply: "Libyan people don't like people with dark skins, though some of them may be innocent."

Going by Mr Bahr's experience, any black African in Libya is open to summary arrest unless he can prove that he was not a member of Colonel Gaddafi's forces.

Fathi, a building contractor who did not want to give his full name and was temporarily running the police station, wanted to know why Mr Bahr had a special residence permit that an immigrant worker would not normally obtain. "You must have been fighting for Gaddafi to have a permit like this," he said. Mr Bahr said that three years earlier he had walked through the Sahara and crossed the Libyan border illegally with other West Africans looking for work. They had been picked up by the Libyan police, but he had eventually bribed them to get a residence permit. He had been watching television with nine other African immigrants when they were arrested, though no arms were found in the house.

Racism against black Africans and Libyans with dark skin has long simmered in Libya. Before the war there were estimated to be a million illegal immigrants in the country, which has a population of six million and a workforce of 1.7 million.

In 2000 there were anti-immigrant riots in which dozens of workers from countries like Ghana, Cameroon, Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Burkina Faso were killed. The war has deepened racial hostility. The rebels claim that many of Colonel Gaddafi's soldiers were black African mercenaries. Amnesty International says these allegations are largely unproven and, from the beginning of the conflict, many of those arrested or, in some cases, executed by the rebels were undocumented labourers caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But there is no doubt that all black Africans are now under suspicion. The head of the militia in Faraj, a short bearded man in a brown robe named Issam, explained how well-prepared local insurgents had taken over the area on 19 August, telling Colonel Gaddafi's supporters to hand over their weapons and stay at home. There was almost no resistance from the demoralised regime and few people had been arrested. Then Issam added, as an aside, that his men had also detained "tens of Africans whom we sent off to prison". He did not explain why they had been jailed.

Black African immigrants in the past benefited from Gaddafi's aspiration to be a pan-African leader. The position of illegal immigrants was always uncertain, but they were essential to the economy. With the fall of Gaddafi, those who have not already fled face persecution or even murder. Last weekend 30 bodies of mostly black men, several of them handcuffed and others already wounded, were found after an apparent mass execution at a roundabout near Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya headquarters.

Issam, the temporary chief of police, insisted that Mr Bahr had not been mistreated and was being fed well. Any interview with a prisoner must come with a health warning, since he or she are unlikely to speak freely about their treatment while still under arrest. Mr Bahr confirmed that he was being well treated, but he did look very frightened.
'Libyans don't like people with dark skin, but some are innocent'
Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, August 30, 2010

Unite Against Fascism falls victim to its own brand of "boneheaded illiberalism"[edit]

Just how dumb is Unite Against Fascism? Having lobbied the government many times in recent months to ban marches by the English Defence League, it is now outraged that the Government has not only taken up this offer to squish the EDL but has pushed it further, by banning all public protests in five London boroughs for the next 30 days. That means both the Right-wing EDL and the lefties at UAF – and anyone else with a political gripe – are forbidden from marching in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest any time in September. “This is a huge attack on everyone’s civil liberties”, bleats UAF, which is weird, considering that they’re the ones who invited the Government to undermine people’s civil liberties in the first place.

Theresa May’s blanket ban on all protests, following a request from the Metropolitan Police, is certainly outrageous, not to mention ironic, coming as it does just days after her boss David Cameron talked about his role in introducing political freedom to Libya. But UAF has no one but itself to blame for this extraordinary clampdown on the right to protest. For an apparently radical leftist campaign group, UAF is awfully fond of asking the Tory government to ban things – it has frequently demanded the outlawing of EDL marches, on the basis that they “spread fear” and might brainwash stupid working-class white people into turning racist. And when you cravenly invite the Government to play the role of in loco parentis in community life, to squish heated marches or protests on the basis that they might warp people’s minds and hearts, you really shouldn’t be surprised when it jumps at the opportunity. If you spend your every waking hour going cap-in-hand to the powers-that-be, demanding “No Platform!” for people you don’t like, you’re not in a very good position to complain when the authorities decide to deny you a platform too.

Now, UAF has issued what must rank as one of the silliest political statements of the year so far. “We the undersigned welcome the banning of the racist English Defence League’s march through Tower Hamlets,” it says. “But we are appalled to discover that the Metropolitan Police are applying for a blanket ban on ALL marches across five London boroughs… It is our human right to peacefully march in Tower Hamlets.” Wait – how come UAF has a “human right” to march, but the EDL does not? Are EDL members not human? Moreover, it really is spectacularly daft to talk about the importance of the right to march in the same breath as you welcome a government decision to ban a march. What UAF is effectively saying is: “We should have the freedom to march, but they shouldn’t.”

Which rather confirms that the anti-fascist Left doesn’t know the meaning of the word freedom. Freedom of speech only exists if everyone has it. The freedom to protest must mean that everyone, from worthy Left-wingers to cranky EDL types, should be at liberty to gather where and when they please and to demand whatever they want. What UAF is fighting for is not freedom but privilege. If a thing is denied to some people but granted to others, then it’s a privilege rather than a right – and UAF wants the “privilege to protest” in certain London boroughs where it expects other, less privileged, possibly non-human political activists to be silenced and curfewed on its behalf by the government. That is, UAF only really believes in Government-approved, Tory-approved, forms of public agitation. Maybe now, having fallen victim to its own boneheaded illiberalism and censorious stupidity, UAF will recognise that privileges can quite easily be taken away.

Kosovo: organ trafficking, EULEX appoints prosecutor[edit]

EULEX, the European civilian mission in Kosovo, today announced the appointment of U.S. prosecutor John Clint Williamson as head of the team that investigates reports of human organ trafficking in Kosovo by the end of the '90s. EULEX has announced in a statement issued in Pristina, also reported by the media in Serbia, that the investigation will focus on the claims made in the report of Swiss MP Dick Marty, that was approved in January by the parliamentary assembly of the European Council. In the report charges are made against the old Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) regarding traffic in human organs by the end of the '90s, particularly organs of Serbs who were captured in Kosovo and held in camps in Albania. The list of accused includes the current Premier of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, at the time leader of the UCK. The Premier has denied any involvement in the affair. The Serbian authorities have protested against the EULEX inquiry. They want an independent commission under the aegis of the United Nations to carry out the investigation, as happened in the case of other crimes committed in former Yugoslavia. Williamson has worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, particularly the trial against Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader who died in March 2006 in a ICTY prison.

Libyan rebels won't deport Lockerbie bomber[edit]

The Libyan rebels' interim government says it will not deport the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, who is reportedly near death.

The rebel Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi told journalists in Tripoli Sunday that no Libyan citizen would be deported, even Abdel-Baset al-Megrahi, who was convicted in a Scottish court and imprisoned for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people.

The Scottish government released al-Megrahi in 2009, believing he would soon die of cancer. He was greeted as a hero in his native Libya and met with then-leader Moammar Gadhafi.

CNN reported Sunday that al-Megrahi is comatose and near death, under the care of his family at a villa in Tripoli.

"We just give him oxygen. Nobody gives us any advice," his son, Khaled Elmegarhi, told CNN.

It's likely that he'll take the secrets of the Pam Am bombing to his grave, according to CNN.

Neighbors of al-Megrahi described him as a wealthy recluse, constantly surrounded by security guards.

After his release, he was received with a hero's welcome on his return to Tripoli, and the televised images of cheering crowds angered many relatives of the 270 people killed in the attack, 189 of whom were Americans.

The Obama administration harshly criticized Scotland's decision to release Megrahi and many U.S. politicians and victims' families have pressed for his extradition to the United States.

One of Megrahi's neighbors said he had been whisked away by security guards last week when Tripoli fell to rebels battling forces loyal to Gadhafi, who like Megrahi, has gone into hiding. Libya's new government is likely to come under pressure to find Megrahi and hand him over.

"The day Tripoli fell, four security men, his private security, took him, his wife and his sons and left. They left in a Mercedes," said Ahmed Mlaaty, 20, a student and one of Megrahi's neighbours, standing outside his handsome villa.

As a condition of his release, Megrahi had been obliged to check in regularly with Scottish authorities, who said last week they had lost contact with him in the "dust of battle."

Neighbors said Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence operative, owns several properties in the Demeshk area of Tripoli's Hadba district, one of the smartest in the city.

Megrahi's properties appeared empty, with a padlock on the gate of one residence where he was said to receive guests.

Sprays of bougainvillea, tall palm trees and brightly coloured flowers could be seen behind the high walls of the neighbourhood's large villas.

"He kept himself to himself .... He's a millionaire. He gets his money from big daddy (Gadhafi). People keep their distance. They don't want to get into state affairs as it will only bring trouble," Mlaaty said.

Another neighbor who had sat with Megrahi at local functions but had never spoken to him said he appeared a reserved, well-turned-out man.

Most neighbors said Megrahi appeared unwell, but there was controversy over his severity of his condition -- diagnosed by Scottish doctors as terminal prostate cancer -- and whether it warranted his release.

"I saw him many times, he was in a wheelchair, he looked very ill, very thin. He always had security, more than one car. He never went anywhere without them," said senior policeman Ali Ahmed al-Khudair, 40, who said he resented the security patrols that accompanied Megrahi's arrival in the neighbourhood.

"He wasn't a millionaire before, but he is now. He came here after he was released from prison. Then he bought these houses. This is one of Libya's top neighborhoods," he added.

Another neighbor said Megrahi caused no one any harm, and said his complicity in the bombing had not been proved.

"Everyone associates him with Lockerbie, but I'm not sure he was involved," said Noora Abdul Hadi, 27, a doctor.

Attiya al-Usta, 77, said he had seen Megrahi just before the February uprising against Gadhafi's 42-year-rule.

"When he came back from Europe he looked ill. But recently he looked fit and neat. I saw him just before the revolution. He didn't look ill at all. He was sitting in a chair on his balcony. He looked 100 percent."

Sexual abuse of children on Pakistan's streets aided and abetted by police[edit]

KARACHI - Nadeem knows first hand the misery of life on the streets. Sexually assaulted as a child, he became a pimp of young boys -- the only way he knew how to survive as a member of Pakistan's underclass.

He says he was 12 years old when he was attacked. Since then, he has been dragged into a vicious cycle of horrifying abuse allegedly aided and abetted by police and which few are willing to confront in the Muslim country.

"It was just the third night I slept on a street when a policeman picked me up and did bad things to me. I cried a lot but no one came to help me," Nadeem, now 17, told AFP.

He was sexually assaulted for a second time by the leader of a street gang, who then forced Nadeem to join the 17 other children in his gang.

By 14 he was a full-time sex worker. His pimp gave him a mobile phone to keep in contact with clients.

According to charities which work to protect street children in Pakistan, up to 90 per cent are sexually abused on the first night that they sleep rough and 60 per cent accuse police of sexually abusing them.

"Children on the street are beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted, and sometimes killed," said Rana Asif Habib, head of the Initiator Human Development Foundation (IHDF).

"Police (should) protect people. When policemen are themselves involved in molesting children, who will protect them?" he asks.

"What we have gathered in our research is that policemen make up more than 60 per cent of those who physically torment, sexually harass street children," said Anwer Kazmi of the Edhi Foundation, the country's largest charity.

Karachi is home to Pakistan?s biggest community of street children -- tens of thousands of victims of domestic violence and broken homes, drugs and crime, in the steamy port city.

More than 170,000 street children live on the streets across the country.

Illiterate, uneducated and most without family, the children can grow into seasoned criminals, drug addicts or fall prey to Islamist militancy.

When Nadeem turned 16, he tried to escape. He received counselling from a charity and was taught photography. He tried to make it his profession.

"I was happy with my work, but a year ago, a policeman put me in the lockup on a false charge, confiscated my camera and abused me sexually," he said.

The experience turned him against the world.

"I decided to become stronger. Now I have my own gang and many influential people are my clients. No one can touch me now."

Nadeem says he acts as a pimp to 10 teenage sex workers aged 14-18, taking a sizeable cut of whatever the boys bring in earnings.

"Half an hour after finishing with one client I get another call and I forget all about wanting a respectable life."

Nadeem lives on a street in the downtown Saddar neighbourhood, but rents a room in a cheap hotel when he has surplus cash. He confesses that he too sexually assaulted a child.

"He insulted me and my family so I told him he had it coming. So I grabbed him and gave it to him. I still remember that night. I haven't done that to anyone else since then and I don't want to."

Rizwan is a fisherman's son. He insists he is 12, but he looks much younger. He left home three years ago because his family beat him and says he was abused by police. IHDF fears he too will be dragged into the sex industry.

"The police tried to make me do bad things six or seven times but I managed to get away," he said.

"But one day, one policeman took me by force, put a cloth over my mouth and took me to a place where he did bad things."

Shaukat Hussain, head of police in Karachi's southern district where many street children live, said any officers found guilty would be punished, but denied the force was anything like as culpable as reported.

"There are black sheep in our department who are involved in such acts. But we punish anyone whose crime comes to surface and is proved," he told AFP.

"The number of policemen who are involved in such acts is far less than what is being claimed by the media and NGOs," he added.

Pakistan offers little protection to vulnerable children.

"A draft bill for child protection has been pending with the interior ministry for two years," a senior official of the human rights ministry told AFP on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

The bill is designed to tighten the laws protecting children, bringing them in line with international conventions, doing more to help children in difficulty and bringing police and other offenders to book for abusing minors.

"There is a visible lack of interest on the part of the government on this issue... despite our constant pursuits," said the ministry official.

One former police official told AFP that he organised seminars to sensitise police on how to treat street children four years ago, but that the programme was abruptly abandoned when he retired.

Teen tied to Jihad Jane allegedly plotted school shooting[edit]

The Maryland teenager secretly arrested by the FBI for allegedly conspiring with the woman from the Philadelphia suburbs known as Jihad Jane also spoke of a Columbine-style plot with a Pittsburgh-area friend in a jihadist chat room, according to sources and documents.

"I had a lot of thoughts about you today," Mohammed K. wrote to his Western Pennsylvania pen pal late last year. "About us both doing martyrdom operations together in my school. . . . It was like we both were in a big truck and had guns and we were shooting randomly at a huge crowd of kids."

The chats provide new insight into a boy who at age 15 allegedly began helping Colleen LaRose, aka "Jihad Jane," the 48-year-old Pennsburg woman who U.S. officials say represents a disturbing new face of homegrown terrorism.

Mohammed K. was 17 and a high school senior in Ellicott City, Md., when he allegedly wrote those threatening words. The Inquirer is not publishing his last name because he is a juvenile.

Mohammed's chat room friend was Emerson Begolly, a Pennsylvania State University student who was soon charged with soliciting unrelated terror attacks. Transcripts of the chats were publicly filed in that case.

During the Nov. 22, 2010, chat, Mohammed told Begolly he lived near National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.

"The place where I live is a HOTBED of NSA and all the security agencies of Amrika (sic)," Mohammed wrote. "And the kids who study in my school proudly state that their parents work in NSA and FBI, and even carry key chains - piss me off."

"Like Columbine?" Begolly asked.

"Na'am, lol" Mohammed wrote, using the Arabic word for "yes" and Internet slang for "laughing out loud."

It could not be determined Saturday whether the authorities took any immediate action based on the threatening remarks, which were reported to the FBI by the anti-jihadist group MyPetJawa.

Neither Jeffrey Lindy, the Philadelphia lawyer representing Mohammed K., nor FBI spokesman J.J. Klaver would comment. Police and school officials in Howard County, Md., could not be reached.

Juvenile cases in federal court are rare, and terror cases rarer still. Federal law prohibits government officials from discussing them.

In February, LaRose pleaded guilty to terror-conspiracy charges as part of a failed plot to kill a Swedish artist whose cartoon of the prophet Muhammad with a dog's head had insulted many Muslims.

Seven alleged coconspirators were arrested in Ireland, and Jamie Pauline Ramirez of Leadville, Colo., has pleaded guilty in Philadelphia to providing support to terrorists.

The LaRose indictment does not cite Mohammed by name, but uses a code name to allege that he helped her raise money and recruit others for a jihad.

According to another court document, LaRose sent Mohammed her boyfriend's U.S. passport, which she had stolen for the jihad plot. Mohammed hid it at school.

After LaRose's arrest, Mohammed was repeatedly questioned by the FBI but not arrested until July. His detention was first made public Friday by The Inquirer.

Relatives say the teenager was duped twice - first by LaRose and then by FBI agents. They said the FBI questioned Mohammed at least eight times without a lawyer or parent present. The boy's parents, recent immigrants from Pakistan who do not speak much English, gave permission for him to meet with the agents, but relatives now say the parents did not understand the consequences.

"He is innocent," a relative told The Inquirer last week. "He is not a criminal. Bad people on the Internet changed his mind."

The family, which lives in a modest apartment west of Baltimore, emigrated to give their four children a better education. Like his siblings, Mohammed excelled in school, winning scholarships based on his creative-writing skills, and was accepted to Johns Hopkins University.

"I really think he thought this was fantasy," a relative said. "He didn't actually do anything or hurt anybody."

His parents had chastised him for spending too much time online, worrying that he was distracted from his studies.

Mohammed appeared to allude to that during the Nov. 22 chat with Begolly, a 22-year-old former neo-Nazi who had become a jihadist.

"My family was watching me like every second today."

Begolly, of New Bethlehem, Pa., has pleaded guilty to using the chat room to solicit terrorists to use explosives and propane tanks to target police stations and railways.

Online, Begolly and Mohammed also discussed taking hostages and how to use weapons and bulletproof vests. They also wrote dark poetry.

At one point, Mohammed cited advice from the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire. "We should strike the snake at its head." At another, he hesitated when asked whether he was prepared to strike immediately. "I wouldn't get too excited. I think practice comes first."

The transcripts also show that the boy continued to chat long after LaRose's arrest and that he suspected he was under surveillance.

"FBI [is] keeping a close eye on my online activities," he wrote. "I was scared out of my wits . . . if they saw what was inside [the computer] the FBI would come knocking the doors, which they would do soon anyway . . . but I think my immaturity let me do things out of order."
Teen tied to Jihad Jane allegedly plotted school shooting
John Shiffman, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 27, 2011

Nigeria: Death toll rises to 25 from suicide bomb attack at UN office[edit]

The death toll in a bomb attack targeting the United Nations' offices in the Nigerian capital Abuja rose overnight to 25, medics said Saturday.

Dozens were injured and remained hospitalized, some in critical condition. Police were still declining to give an official number of those killed and injured when a suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden car into the compound, DPA reported.

Unconfirmed reports in the Nigerian media said the number of fatalities could be even higher, as victims were taken to several hospitals and information was being pulled together slowly.

Among the dead were Nigerian workmen, who were involved in a construction project at the UN and several staff members of the organization, including one Norwegian woman.

"Investigations are going on now. I want to assure you that we are going to pursue these people and their group and bring them to book," Police Commissioner Mike Zuokwunor said, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan also pledged to find those responsible for the attack, following condemnation of the attack by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The BBC said it received a phone call from a spokesman for Boko Haram, a domestic Islamist group, who claimed responsibility for the attack.

The area around the UN offices, which houses several agencies and was the workplace for about 1,000 people, was cordoned off on Saturday morning.

Algeria: Thirty-six people killed by two suicide bomb blasts[edit]

Thirty-six people were killed when two suicide bombers attacked military barracks in the Algerian town of Cherchell on Friday, a security source said.

The figure included 12 soldiers, the source said.

The bombers detonated themselves at the entrance not long after "iftar" -- the moment when Muslims observing the holy month of Ramadan break their daily fast, the source said.
Death toll in Algeria barracks attack rises to 36-source
Lamine Chikhi, Reuters, August 26, 2011

US Justice Department mum on tax fraud settlement with Islamic bank linked to terrorism financing networks[edit]

The U.S. government settled a multi-million tax fraud case earlier this month with an Islamic bank linked to terrorism financing networks. You just haven't heard about it.

In an unusual move, the Justice Department has declined to release the settlement agreement, or even publicly acknowledge its existence.

The Islamic Investment Co. of the Gulf (Bahamas) Ltd., which reportedly has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, agreed to pay some $37 million to resolve an investigation into whether the firm structured its real estate investments to unlawfully avoid U.S. taxes on them, according to people familiar with the matter.

The first third of the settlement is already paid, these people said.

But the company inked a non-prosecution agreement with the government, which means the deal doesn't require court approval and isn't filed in public.

When asked about the settlement earlier this week, Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said: “I have nothing on this.”

The secrecy of the deal has prompted interest in Congress. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department budget and author of legislation that created the National Commission on Terrorism in the 1990s, told Main Justice he planned to ask the department next week to release the documents.

“They’ve got to let this thing out,” Wolf — a persistent critic of the Barack Obama administration Justice Department — said in an interview, referring to the bank’s alleged ties to terrorism financing.

New York lawyer James J. McGuire, who is listed in court filings as a lawyer for the Islamic bank’s corporate parent, did not respond to a voice mail and a message left with his assistant seeking comment.

In a case that has had many strange twists and turns, the mystery surrounding the settlement is only the latest. The saga dates back to 2004, when two former employees of a related firm called Overland Realty Capital, LLC sued the company in state court in Texas and said they were fired for blowing the whistle on fraud.

In 2007 the Wall Street Journal reported that a federal grand jury in Boston was examining whether the firms evaded taxes on complicated real estate deals.

A prosecutor from the Justice Department’s counterterrorism section first handled the case, according to a Wall Street Journal story from that year.But the original terrorism-related probe morphed into the same kind of strategy used to nab gangster Al Capone, who was eventually prosecuted not for the Prohibition-era crime syndicate he ran, but for the easier-to-prove charge of tax evasion.

The firm structured real estate investments through a network of shell companies in offshore tax havens including the Cayman Islands, the Journal reported in 2007. Such structures, while not necessarily illegal, become unlawful when designed primarily to circumvent IRS rules.

While the department is staying mum on the settlement, the company at issue is linked to the royal family in Saudi Arabia, a powerful U.S. ally. It is a subsidiary of Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami Trust, known as DMI Trust, which was founded by Saudi prince Mohammed Al-Faisal Al-Saud.

A Muslim Brotherhood leader, Yassin Qadi, came under investigation in the U.S. for allegedly using a DMI affiliate in the 1990s to transfer money to organizations affiliated with the Palestinian group Hamas and al-Qaeda.

Former Sudanese leader Hassan al-Turabi, an Islamist who gave al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden a base in Khartoum in the 1990s, spent a decade on DMI’s board. A spiritual leader of the Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Al-Jazeera television show host who has expressed support for suicide bombings, also served as an early DMI adviser.

The settlement was negotiated by the Justice Department’s Tax Division, which has been without a confirmed director since the start of the Barack Obama administration. Obama’s first choice for the job, Mary L. Smith, faced stiff resistance from Republicans for her lack of tax experience. The acting head of the division is a career Justice Department lawyer, John A. DiCicco.
Justice Department Mum on Tax Fraud Settlement with Islamic Bank
Aruna Viswanatha, Main Justice, August 26, 2011

Somali militants behead 11 civilians in capital[edit]

Somali rebels have beheaded at least 11 civilians in the capital in the past two weeks, a campaign of terror that residents said Friday is designed to show the insurgency can still act in Mogadishu after withdrawing from their bases there earlier this month.


"We wake up with beheaded bodies on the streets every day," said Abdinur Marwan, who lives in a district of Mogadishu called Hewila. "They call themselves Muslims while doing what Allah banned! Everyone is trying to leave here because people are being killed like goats."

The al-Shabab militia withdrew from their bases in the Somali capital after being steadily pushed back by more heavily armed African Union forces supporting the UN-backed Somali government. The Islamists described the withdrawal as a "tactical retreat" and said they would still carry out operations in the capital.

Resident Afrah Abdikhayre said five decapitated bodies were found in his Suqa Holaha area last week. He says two beheaded men in Somali government uniforms and another three headless bodies were found this week.

Resident Nur Sugow said al-Shabab beheaded a donkey cart driver in the Yaqshid district. Al-Shabab frequently carries out beheadings and amputations.

The militia also executed two men and a 16-year-old boy by firing squad on Tuesday after accusing them of spying.

Residents - some to terrified to give their names - appealed to the Somali government and AU troops to secure their neighborhood. Although al-Shabab has pulled back, individual fighters are still active in the city and gunfire is still common.
Somali militants behead 11 civilians in capital
Associated Press, August 26, 2011

US State Dept: Over 13,200 killed by terrorists in 11,500 attacks (75% of attacks/deaths in S. Asia and Near East)[edit]

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of State released its annual, U.S. Congress-mandated Country Reports on Terrorism 2010, an assessment of incidents and trends in international terrorism that occurred between January 1 and December 31, 2010.

The statistics revealed that more than 11,500 terrorist attacks occurred in 72 nations during 2010, and there were more than 13,200 deaths attributed to terrorist attacks.

Besides filling a Congressional requirement, this analysis is aimed at enhancing Americans' understanding of the international terrorist threat.

The report focuses on policy-related assessments, country-by-country breakdowns of foreign government counterterrorism cooperation, and contains information on WMD terrorism, State Sponsors of Terrorism, Terrorist Safe Havens, and Foreign Terrorist Organizations.The report also includes a statistical annex prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center.

Although the number of attacks rose by almost 5 percent from the previous year, the number of deaths declined for a third consecutive year, dropping 12 percent from 2009. For the second consecutive year, the largest number of reported attacks occurred in South Asia and the Near East, with more than 75 percent of the world’s attacks and deaths occurring in these regions.

According to the State Department analysts, Al-Qaeda (AQ) remained the preeminent terrorist threat to the United States in 2010. Though the AQ core in Pakistan has become weaker, it retained the capability to conduct regional and transnational attacks. Cooperation between AQ and Afghanistan- and Pakistan-based militants was critical to the threat the group posed.

In addition, the danger posed by Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LeT) and increased resource-sharing between AQ and its Pakistan-based allies and associates such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Haqqani Network meant the threat in South Asia remained high.

In addition, the affiliates have grown stronger. While AQ senior leadership continued to call for strikes on the U.S. homeland and to arrange plots targeted at Europe, the diversity of these efforts demonstrated the fusion of interests and the sharing of capabilities among AQ groups with different geographical focuses, the analysts found.

U.S. law enforcement saw the Pakistani Taliban provide support to American citizen Faisal Shahzad, who sought to carry out a car bombing in Times Square in May 2010. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) continued to demonstrate its growing ambitions and a strong desire to carry out attacks outside of its region. The group followed up its December 25, 2009 attempt to destroy an airliner bound for Detroit with an October 2010 effort to blow up several U.S.-bound airplanes by shipping bombs that were intended to detonate while in the planes’ cargo holds.

Information about potential AQ plots in Europe prompted several European countries to raise their terror alerts toward the end of the year. On December 11, a car bomb device was detonated minutes before Sweden’s first ever suicide bomber carried out an attack in a crowded pedestrian area in Stockholm, according to the State Department analysts.

Similarly, al-Shabaab in East Africa, some of whose senior leaders have declared adherence to the AQ brand of violent extremism, gained strength in 2010 and conducted its first major attack outside of Somalia in July when it claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings that killed 76 people in Kampala, Uganda, during the World Cup. Al-Shabaab’s widening scope of operations, safe haven in Somalia, and ability to attract Western militants, made it a continuing threat to U.S. interests in the region.

In addition to operations, AQ affiliates have taken on a greater share of the propaganda work. AQAP created AQ’s first English-language magazine, Inspire. Although the magazine failed to arouse sustained interest from Western media, it proved a platform for dual U.S.-Yemeni citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, who emerged as an operational and ideological leader in AQAP.

In a troubling trend, English-speaking militants increasingly connected to each other through online venues like militant discussion forums and video-sharing platforms, which encouraged both violent behavior and individual action. Many participants in online communities have real-world relationships with extremists who bolster their radicalism and mobilize them toward violent action.

For example, five Pakistani Americans contacted by a Taliban recruiter through YouTube encouraged one another to travel to Pakistan to train for warfare against the United States; they remained in Pakistani custody at year’s end. Several Somali Americans decided to go overseas to fight with al-Shabaab -- a decision that was likely shaped by a combination of online propaganda, face-to-face recruitment, and supportive real-world peer networks.

Not all of AQ’s formal affiliates and informal allies presented as grave a threat to U.S. interests in 2010. No group has made a bigger name for itself in the kidnapping for ransom business than al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which relies on ransom payments to sustain and develop itself in the harsh Saharan environment. AQIM carried out several attacks and continued kidnapping foreigners for ransom but is not an serious threat to governments in the region.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) continued to be politically marginalized as its constituency dwindled further in 2010. Though AQI remained capable of carrying out occasional sizable attacks, its violent tactics failed to ignite the sectarian violence the group sought. Instead, we saw two successful elections in Iraq and a decision by Sunni leaders in the country to participate in the political process.

The defeats suffered by AQ in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010 had no significant effect on other terrorist groups with deep roots in the Middle East, as both Hamas and Hezbollah continued to play destabilizing roles in the region. Hezbollah’s persistence as a well-armed terrorist group in Lebanon with an entrenched hold, if not veto, on the political process in Lebanon, as well as its robust relationships with Iran and Syria, and acquisition of increasingly sophisticated missiles and rockets threatened the interests of Lebanon and other U.S. partners in the region, especially Israel.

Hezbollah’s aggressive stance and threatening statements about the Special Tribunal on Lebanon, which is investigating the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, increased the danger of Lebanon moving even closer toward sectarian violence. Hamas retained its grip on Gaza, where it continued to stockpile weapons -- supplied in large part by Iran -- that posed a serious threat to regional stability

UK: Turkish rickshaw driver rapes lesbian doctor[edit]

A lesbian doctor was raped by a rickshaw driver after a night out in London, a court has heard.

The woman, in her 20s, was attacked after she was left alone with Turkish-born Murat Durmus, 23, during the early hours on February 5.

She had kept her sexuality a secret but was forced to come out to her family because of her ordeal, the Old Bailey was told.

The doctor and her gay friend had been drinking at bars in Soho and unsuccessfully tried to find a black cab home.

They walked around the road closures near Tottenham Court Road and decided to catch a pedal rickshaw, which ply for trade in the West End, to their homes near Tower Bridge.

Her friend got out of the rickshaw on the way to her house and the woman doesn't remember what happened next.

The woman said: 'Things got a bit hazy. I honestly don't remember how it all started.

'My next memory is simply buzzing the buzzer and going into my flatmate's bedroom. I was hysterical and crying. Because of my orientation, I was outraged. I was angry.'

A passer-by noticed Durmus arguing with the doctor, telling her to get back inside the rickshaw.

She was telling him to leave her alone, the court heard.

When the passer-by intervened, the doctor grabbed his arm and said she wanted to go with him. But Durmus insisted he was owed money.

The Good Samaritan accompanied the pair to a cashpoint. He left when the doctor walked away and Durmus rode off.

Lisa Matthews, prosecuting, said: 'The CCTV shows the defendant picking her up and putting her into the rickshaw and then driving around.'

The jury were shown CCTV footage of Durmus as he cycled through the deserted streets sometimes doubling back on himself.

Ms Matthews added: 'Her next memory was being raped by him. That happened she thought in the rickshaw.

'Because she had been drinking she remembers something of standing up and then lying down.

'She said she was crying and saying 'no' and he put his hand over her mouth to stop her screaming.'

After raping her, Durmus then cycled off leaving the woman to make her way home, the court was told.

Ms Matthews said: 'She was very distressed by what had happened and told her flatmate that she had been raped.

'She then also told her brother who was staying with her. Her family at that stage did not know that she was gay and she found it very difficult to tell them what had happened.'

The doctor was able to give police a description of her alleged attacker and his rickshaw and 13 days later he was tracked down and arrested.

The court heard Durmus' DNA was found inside his alleged victim.

Durmus, of Walthamstow, denies two counts of rape and claimed the sex was consensual.

He said he had cycled away but saw her 'standing in a dark corner'.

She approached him, took his hand and went back into the corner and kissed him.

'They returned to the rickshaw and went to a garage area. He said she initiated the approach.'

The trial, expected to last two weeks, continues.

Canadian Author dragged into woods and beaten by Muslim extremists for insulting Islam[edit]

Author Paris Dipersico has been discharged from Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital after he was dragged into a forest and beaten unconscious by two male assailants Wednesday morning. Police said the victim’s hands were bound and Det. Sgt. Anthony Odoardi said they are confident the attack was targeted due to the controversial nature of his book Wake Up Call.

Co-author Gabrielle Dipersico’s home was broken into just a day after the assault and they have received death threats by Muslim extremists for insulting Islam. The Police are currently conducting an investigation along with a safety plan for the authors.

Wake Up Call has angered several religious groups, family members and it was rejected by over a dozen publishers for being "extremely controversial" and "inflammatory."

Cairo University lecturer in Islamic jurisprudence: Every Muslim has right to kill Zionists[edit]

Islamic scholar Dr. Salah Sultan issued a religious decree according to which it is permissible to kill "any Israeli on Egyptian land, in response to the killing of Egyptian soldiers near the border with Israel," Egyptian Al-Shuruq newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Sultan is a lecturer of Muslim jurisprudence at the Cairo University. In the decree, he ruled that "every Muslim who meets a Zionist is entitled to kill him, after Israel killed 'Camp David'. The Egyptian people do not distinguish between Egyptian and Palestinian blood," he ruled. (Roee Nahmias)

Commentary: Don’t attack other religions, said the Prophet Muhammad[edit]

Former political detainee Raja Petra Kamarudin is the founder and chief editor of Malaysia Today, which receives 1.5 million hits a day, and is one of the top ten political sites in Malaysia


I suppose there are as many munafiqs amongst the Christians as there are amongst the Muslims. And these Christian munafiqs will scream and shout Jesus’s name but when it comes time to choose the new government they will still choose the government that is backing the Christianity-bashing campaign.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Christian groups permit prostitution, says report

(Malaysiakini) - Harping on the controversial issue of an "apostasy movement" by Christian groups, Malay language daily Sinar Harian today stepped up its criticisms and accused the movement of encouraging free mingling between the sexes and permitting prostitution.

Yesterday, the daily gave extensive coverage to a so-called "apostasy movement" in its regular Monday column, Bicara Isnin.

In the second part of the column published today, scathing allegations were levelled against the 'Christian movement' and were listed in an information text box titled Matlamat gerakan Kristian (Objectives of the Christian movement).

Sinar Harian listed four items that it said are among other programmes afoot "to destroy Muslims":

1. Social movement: encouraging free mingling between the sexes;

2. Moral degradation: damaging moral values with wild activities;

3. Permitting prostitution as a service occupation; and

4. Films and music: inserting negative or extreme elements and excessive music that leads to heedlessness and negligence.

The daily did not elaborate on these allegations.

READ MORE HERE: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/173832

****************************************

That was what Malaysiakini reported today. It looks like some Malaysian Muslims -- with the endorsement of the Malaysian government -- are now stepping up the attacks. And they are not only attacking the Christians but also beginning to attack Christianity itself.

The Prophet Muhammad has cautioned Muslims about attacking other religions. If you attack other religions then you will trigger a reaction or retaliation and then those of the other religions will also attack Islam, argued the Prophet.

If the Muslims accuse Christianity as being an immoral religion that encourages and promotes free sex, then the Christians will accuse Islam of the same thing. And it would be easier to attack Islam because many issues related to slavery and permission to have sex out of wedlock with slaves is well documented.

“Slavery is a part of Islam,” said Sheik Saleh Al-Fawzan, according to the independent Saudi Information Agency, or SIA.

Al Fawzan – a member of the Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia's highest religious body – says Muslims who contend Islam is against slavery "are ignorant, not scholars."

"They are merely writers," he said, according to SIA. "Whoever says such things is an infidel."

Al-Fawzan's best-known textbook, "Al-Tawheed – Monotheism," says most Muslims are polytheists, and their blood and money are therefore free for the taking by "true Muslims."

READ MORE HERE: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35518

Furthermore, Islam not only permits slavery and has never banned or outlawed slavery, but Islam also permits the slave-owner or master to have sex with his slaves.

Slaves are considered your property so you can do what you wish with your property.

READ MORE HERE: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Qur%27an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Slavery

I think Muslims need to pull the brakes on this Christian-bashing exercise. When you run down another religion then followers of that religion would also attack Islam. However, when they attack Islam, Muslims would get angry and threaten revenge and bloodshed.

I have said this before: the Muslims are Islam’s greatest enemy. It is the conduct of Muslims that is giving Islam a bad name. This is the sad reality of this whole Christian-bashing exercise.

It looks like the damage has been done. The feelings of the Christians have been hurt beyond repair. It will take a long time for these wounds to heal. In the meantime, many Christians are going to demonstrate their disgust in the next election.

But of course, not all the Christians are going to vote against the government in the coming election. There will still be many Christians who think only of their personal interest. They will foam at their mouth talking about their Lord Jesus and so on. Then, come the election, they will still vote Barisan Nasional.

I suppose there are as many munafiqs amongst the Christians as there are amongst the Muslims. And these Christian munafiqs will scream and shout Jesus’s name but when it comes time to choose the new government they will still choose the government that is backing the Christianity-bashing campaign.

Maybe it is good that these people bash the Christians and Christianity. That will teach these Christian munafiqs a lesson.

Translated into Chinese at: http://ccliew.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_8604.html

French woman in Malaysia 'killed for refusing sex'[edit]

A Malaysian man was charged Tuesday with the murder of a French tourist, a government prosecutor said, as a report quoted police saying the woman was killed after refusing his sexual advances.

Stephanie Foray, a 30-year-old civil servant, went missing in Malaysia in May and her remains were found earlier this month buried in a cave on the resort island of Tioman, off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia.

She and the suspect Asni Omar, a 36-year-old local businessman, had been drinking together on the island and she was later killed after refusing to have sex with him, the New Straits Times quoted police sources as saying.

Asni was charged with murder in a court in the town of Pekan, prosecutor Amalina Zainal Mokhtar told AFP, adding that he faced death by hanging if convicted.

He has not yet entered a plea, she said.

Asni earlier took investigators to a trash dumping site on Tioman to retrieve the murder weapon, a bottle, the New Straits Times said.

Amalina said she had no details on the alleged crime, while police declined to confirm specifics to AFP.

Foray had arrived in Malaysia on May 5 and went missing shortly after taking a ferry five days later to Tioman island.

She had left France last November on a holiday that took her to India and Sri Lanka before arriving in Malaysia.

Leading moneyman behind Ground Zero mosque ran $5.1 million insurance scam[edit]

The self-proclaimed leading moneyman behind the Ground Zero mosque ran a $5.1 million insurance scam that cashed in on car-accident injuries, a lawsuit alleges.

Hisham Elzanaty, 52, ran the "highly developed and sophisticated kickback scheme" for years, Allstate Insurance claims in a federal suit on Long Island.

The scheme routinely submitted inflated medical bills to Allstate and involved illegal fee-splitting, court papers say.

Allstate claimed that Elzanaty fraudulently incorporated medical professional corporations in The Bronx -- which were then used to bill the company for care of patients involved in wrecks.

The operations were fraudulent because Elzanaty is not a licensed medical professional, as required by law, court papers say.

Elzanaty did not return requests for comment.
Mosque man robbed us: insurer
New York Post, Kieran Crowley, August 22, 2011

Fruits of Islamic Terrorism: Philippines offers autonomy to Muslim rebels[edit]

KUALA LUMPUR - The Philippines on Monday offered Muslim rebels waging a decades-long insurgency the prospect of autonomy, but warned they must first lay down their arms and a peace pact was likely years away.

The offer was contained in the government's proposal for peace with the 12,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) at the start of three days of talks in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

"This proposal presents the possibility of a more empowered, more workable and thus, more genuine autonomy of a Bangsamoro (Filipino Muslim) region," the government said in a statement summarising its offer.

The government did not make public all the specific details, but hinted the area could expand and improve the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which groups five Muslim provinces in the country's troubled south.

The ARMM was created in the 1980s to accommodate the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), then the country's largest Muslim rebel group from which the MILF splintered in 1978.

The MNLF signed a peace deal with Manila in 1996, and its leader was made the head of the ARMM, but the government statement described it as a "failed experiment".

The proposal also includes "a system of cooperation" by which the government and the MILF could share revenue from natural resources exploited from the region.

However, for any final peace deal to take place, the government demanded that the MILF disarm and allow its fighters to be rehabilitated into society.

And while describing its proposal as "politically comprehensive", it indicated the most sensitive issues would not be addressed immediately.

"The proposal works with what is available and doable within the next few years. It does not start with contentious and divisive issues whose resolution may not be realisable as yet," the statement said.

Monday's proposal was the first by the government since the Supreme Court in 2008 outlawed another proposed autonomy deal that would have given the MILF control over 700 towns and villages in the south, including some Christian areas.

In retaliation, two senior MILF rebels launched attacks across the south that left about 400 dead and displaced 750,000.

An estimated 150,000 people have died in the conflict, which began in the 1970s.

At an earlier round of peace talks in Kuala Lumpur, the MILF outlined its demands, including the creation of a "sub state" and the larger share of profits from exploiting the region's resources.

MILF spokespeople were not immediately available to give their reactions to the government's latest proposal.

UK: Muslims demand Shari'ah student loans because paying interest goes against Islamic law[edit]

Muslim groups are calling for a separate student loan system because the interest due to be charged will conflict with rules of Sharia law.

The changes to tuition fees, which come into force next year, will see students charged higher rates of interest on the loans they take out to pay for university.

Until now they have paid the market rate of inflation but the reforms mean students who go on to earn more than £21,000 will have to pay interest of up to 3 per cent.

But in some interpretations of Sharia law, which is Islam's legal system and governs every aspect of Muslim life, loans are forbidden.

The National Union of Students has said it could be two years before an alternative system is worked out, leaving some Muslims fearing they cannot go on to further study.

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies told The Independent that the rate increase was a 'pressing issue'.

A spokesman said: 'Because the rate of interest is above the rate of inflation, it is quite blatant usury.'

Usury means the practice of lending money and charging the borrower interest, possibly at a very high rate.

Mohammed Ahmed-Sheikh, 17, says the changes will discourage him from applying to university next year.

'The fees are the reason I'm having doubts. I'm Muslim and loans are against my religion,' he told The Independent.

Ahmad Mitoubsi, 21, who graduated this year, added: 'We've just had to adapt to the British system or else I couldn't have gone to uni.'

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills says discussions are ongoing with student groups about a solution.

But it is thought an alternative, such as already happens with mortgages in which education could be 'rented' instead, may not be agreed until the 2013/14 academic year.

Sharia law is Islam's legal system. It was derived from the Koran, as the word of God, the example of the life of the prophet Muhammad and fatwas - the rulings of Islamic scholars.

It is different to the legal traditions of the Western world because it governs - or informs - everything about how a Muslim lives.

Islamic Foundation launches certificate course in use of incantations to cure black magic[edit]

The Islamic Foundation of the Maldives (IFM) has said that it will commence a certificate level course on incantations, teaching the participants “spiritual healing” and how to cure diseases using “incantation”.

“Incantations consist of words said or written in the form of dud or Dhikr for the purpose of protection or cure. It is sometimes accompanied by other actions, such as blowing or wiping over the thing to which it is applied,’’ the Foundation explained on its website.

President of the Islamic Foundation, Ibrahim Fauzee, told Minivan News that the main reason why the organisation had decided to conduct courses on spiritual healing was that many people in the islands had become victims of black magic performed by their enemies.

“Sometimes people have lost their lives [to black magic], and sometimes people perform the black arts to ruin the life or family of others. Many do not know how to cure this,’’ Fauzee said.

“Many people have requested that we teach them this, so we decided to open a course for the public and we are receiving huge support for it.’’

The one month course, beginning September 15, costs Rf 350 (US$23). Fauzee said seats for the class had been limited to 30 students, and it had already sold out.

During the course, students will learn incantations, ayahs, “extracted from the Quran which were taught by the Prophet (PBUH) during the old days, which people have always delivered to the next generation.”

Practitioners of black arts, he explained, spoke with djinns and used them to harm others.

“The Prophet’s (PBUH) Sunnah as well as the Quran reveals many things about the existence of djinns,” Fauzee said.

“Djinns often cause trouble and disturbances to humans, so we know that they are there. The Quran and the Prophet (PBUH) has taught us ways to cure [these disturbances],’’ he said.

Fauzee said the course would teach participants basic cures, and would involve both theoretical and practical work.

The Islamic Foundation explained that the practical component would involve the students accompanying tutors to treat people victimised by djinns, during which they would be taught how to use incantations.

Well-known scholar Sheikh Ibrahim Fareed and other senior members of the Islamic Foundation are scheduled to lecture the students during the course.

Sorcery, known locally as fandita, is widely practiced on many islands in the Maldives. In fact, the last person to be judicially executed in the Maldives was Hakim Didi in 1953, who was executed by firing squad after being found guilty of conspiracy to murder using black magic.

Didi’s daughter, Dhondidi, was also sentenced in 1993 for performing fandita on behalf of the former President’s brother-in-law Ilyas Ibrahim, in his bid to win the 1993 presidential election.

Discriminatory Shari'ah Abolished for Greek Muslims[edit]

According to an article of the Greek newspaper “Eleftherotypia”, under the scope of reforms in the Greek Family Law, the Shariah will be abolished for Greek Muslims.

This Muslim law establishes among others the right of polygamy and gives only to men the right to divorce their wives which constitutes a problem for the women in Thraki, Northern Greece. Even in Turkey, this law was abolished in 1926.

In addition, this law does not comply with the Greek constitution which establishes the equality of Greeks regarding the application of the laws and the equality of men and women. The National Committee on the Human Rights considers that the Shariah does not protect minorities but abuses the rights and values of all the Greek Muslims.

It is also announced that the family and hereditary relations of all Greek citizens will be regulated by Greek Laws. Thus, the Mufti will only be religious leader of Greek Muslims and will no longer have judicial authorities.
Shariah Abolished for Greek Muslims
Lia Pavlou, Greek Reporter, August 21, 2011

Egypt police arrest man for Facebook 'Islam insults'[edit]

CAIRO (AFP) - Cairo police arrested a man who allegedly 'insulted Islam' in postings on Facebook after they tracked him down through his internet address, state news agency MENA reported on Saturday.

The agency said the 23-year-old, identified only as Ayman Y.M., posted comments 'that were insulting to the Koran and the Prophet Mohammed and Islam and Muslims.' It did not disclose what he allegedly said.

The youth was referred to the prosecution, which may charge him under a law that penalises 'insulting religion.'

The law has been used to detain and try Shiite Muslims, who who dislike some of Mohammed's companions that Egypt's majority Sunnis revere.

David Villa Hate Groups Form In Reaction to False Anti-Islam Rumors[edit]

Hate groups dedicated to Barcelona superstar David Villa are springing up today after rumors about anti-Islam remarks he allegedly made against Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil.

Thousands of Facebook users have joined anti-Villa groups, all prompted by the vicious rumor that Villa insulted Mesut Ozil's religion during a fight at the end of Wednesday's Supercopa de Espana. Villa and Ozil were both shown red cards as a result of their participation in the altercation, with video showing that Ozil was slapped in the face by Barcelona backup keeper Victor Valdes.

These groups include "I'm a Muslim & I Hate Villa" (3000 members), "All Against David Villa, that [sic] taunted Mesut Ozil and His Religion" (9500 members), "Anti David Villa" (6000 members) and "1,000,000 Football Fans Hate David Villa Because He Insulted Islam" (11000 members).

Dozens more are attracting members by the minute.

Even though the rumor has been proven to be completely untrue, media organizations continue to perpetuate the hateful and false charge against the Barcelona player. Iran's state media outlet, the Islamic Republic News Agency, has shown extraordinarily poor judgment in running an article which includes a fake quote from the German international Ozil.

The irresponsibility of the press in this situation is tantamount to incitement. Football fans have shown themselves perfectly at ease with shouting racist insults and taunts at players--you can only imagine the scene that could ensue if Villa were to appear in a game in a Muslim-majority nation with this hateful rumor still spreading.

Let's be very clear: at no point did Mesut Ozil ever claim that Villa insulted his religion in any way. Any statements attributed to Ozil have been proven to be false, and his own teammate (and fellow Muslim) Sami Khedira has stated unequivocally that Ozil made no such statement.

David Villa never insulted Islam. Any attempt to claim otherwise only deliberately fuels hatred from Muslims towards the Barcelona player, and these rapidly-growing Facebook hate groups are evidence of that.

Pakistan Mosque Bomb Blast Toll Hits 51: Horrifying Photos[edit]

The death toll in one of the most deadliest suicide bomb attack at a crowded mosque in Pakistan's Khyber region, near Afghan border rose to 51 on Saturday, officials said.

"The death toll has risen to 51 and 121 people were wounded," local government official Khalid Mumtaz Kundi told AFP.

"Sixty-one of the wounded are still in hospital," Kundi said.

The attack left blood splattered all across the mosque's main hall and walls and destroyed the doors and windows of the building. Ball bearings used in the suicide vest were also scattered across the mosque, said an AFP reporter who was at the scene.

The attack is suspected to have been aimed at anti-Taliban elders who were praying at the mosque situated in Ghundi, a village in the Khyber tribal region. More than 300 people were present in the mosque. The area is considered too dangerous for non-local Pakistanis to visit, as it is known to be a route for non-lethal supplies heading to U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

"Whoever did it in the holy month of Ramadan cannot be a Muslim," said Saleem Khan, who was present at the scene of explosion. "It is the cruelest thing any Muslim would do," he said from his hospital bed in the main northwestern city of Peshawar, where he was being treated for his injuries, reported theadvertiser.com.

People ran over him in an attempt to escape the scene, he added.

"All the evidence we have gathered confirms that it is a suicide attack," said Fazal Khan, a local official.

The attack has come across as a shocker, because it has been done on the holiest day of the week in the holiest month of the year for Muslims. During the holy month of Ramadan, observant Muslims fast during the day, involve in charitable affairs, and spend extra time in prayers and services.

The attack on the mosque is the deadliest since two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a police training centre in a town about 30 kilometres north of Peshawar, killing 98 people on May 13.

Headquarters of Malaysian opposition hit by suspected act of arson[edit]

KUALA LUMPUR -- The state headquarters of a Malaysian opposition party suffered what police suspect was an arson attack on Thursday, as the country braces for expected fresh

elections.

The headquarters of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in Penang state was slightly damaged when someone apparently set fire to newspapers meant for party members that were stacked outside the office, state party chairman Chow Kon Yeow told AFP.

The DAP, whose core constituents are ethnic Chinese non-Muslims, is part of a three-party coalition that rules the state but on a federal level forms the opposition in the Muslim-majority country.

Gan Kong Meng, chief of police in Penang's capital Georgetown, where the incident took place, told AFP that police were investigating the case as suspected arson while still trying to establish a motive.

Chow said he believed the incident could have been an attack linked to a state Islamic council's recent ban on mosques broadcasting Koran recitals through loudspeakers before dawn. The ban has angered some Muslims.

Last weekend, the same headquarters and a DAP state lawmaker's office were splashed with red paint in apparent vandalism attacks.

Chow said a state government building suffered a similar vandal attack early Thursday and that other incidents in recent months included a dead chicken being hung outside the house of a state lawmaker.

“In view of recent incidents, I view this fire as an intentional and coordinated act by persons with political motives,” Chow said in a statement.

“The longer the police delay action, the more it will look like hate crimes against the DAP are permitted.”

Malaysia's political environment has become increasingly polarized as the opposition has gained strength in recent years, most notably achieving historic gains against the long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition in 2008 polls.

Fresh national elections are widely expected to be called soon, perhaps by early next year.

Non-Muslims, meanwhile, have expressed fears of a rising tide of Islamization in the country.

Ethnic Chinese are Malaysia's largest minority, accounting for about 25 percent of the country's 28 million people. Muslim ethnic Malays make up 60 percent.

Pakistan: Civil award for Salman Taseer but not for Shahbaz Bhatti[edit]

For the Pakistani government, “martyr” Shahbaz Bhatti, who was murdered on 2 March by Muslim fundamentalists, does not deserve an official civil award. The name of the Catholic minister in fact is not on the list of 185 government officials issued by President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday. The award ceremony is scheduled for 23 March 2012.

Punjab Governor Salman Taseer will be among the people honoured that day. He too was slain, in January, for his opposition to the blasphemy rules and for his defence of Asia Bibi, a Catholic mother of five, who was sentenced to death on the basis of rules also known as the ‘black law’. But unlike Bhatti, Taseer was Muslim. Thus, in Pakistan, even after death religious minorities do not have the same rights as the followers of Islam.

The government’s decision to exclude the Catholic minister from its list has been met by criticism within Pakistan’s Christian community and civil society leaders.

Shahbaz Bhatti and Sherry Rehman, a lawmaker who had suggest changes to the blasphemy law, put their lives on the line to defend the country’s minorities, change unfair laws and protect those, like Asia Bibi, who are in danger.

For Mgr Rufin Anthony, bishop of Islamabad/Rawalpindi, “it is surprising that just a few days ago, on Minorities Day, the president stressed the principle of equal rights and highlighted the role minorities played in the growth of Pakistan. Today, when it was time to honour an individual who fought for minority rights” and “gave his life for the cause, he ignored Shahbaz Bhatti.”

The government’s action was “unworthy”, the prelate said. In his view, the authorities should “include Bhatti and Rehman in the list.”

Meanwhile, Pervez Rafique, a member of the Punjab provincial assembly, called for a change to the preamble of the Pakistani constitution to ensure the full implementation of the ideals laid down by Ali Jinnah, the founder of the nation, in his famous address to the country’s constituent assembly in which he insisted on the principles of “equality of rights” for non-Muslims and religious freedom in a secular state (Pakistan is today an Islamic Republic)

For Fr John Maxwell, from the Diocese of Lahore, the Punjabi lawmaker’s proposal is an “encouraging” step.

“In the situation now prevailing in the country, the debate [on the proposal] will begin in the next session,” he said. “We will support minority representatives in the Punjab Assembly” in backing that proposal, which “should be presented in the national assembly as well.”
Islamabad: no civil award for “martyr” Shahbaz Bhatti
Jibran Khan, AsiaNews, August 18, 2011

Toronto Islamic religious leader charged in sex assaults[edit]

Members of a Scarborough mosque have expressed shock and disbelief that their “nice” and “humble” religious leader has been charged with a string of sexual assaults.

Mohammad Masroor, the imam at the Baitul Mukarram Islamic Society on Danforth Ave., faces 13 charges involving sexual offences and death threats relating to five alleged victims.

Police said Masroor, 48, travelled the world before settling in Toronto in 2008, and believe there could be more victims, here and abroad.

Abdur Rouf Tarafdar was one of more than a dozen people who vouched for Masroor’s pious character as he left afternoon prayer on Wednesday.

“I know him. Behind him I pray,” he said.

Abdul Fattah Aboud, an imam at the Baitul Aman Masjid mosque a few blocks away, said the father of five used to wave as he passed by on his way to prayer.

“Is it possible? Someone like him?” he said. “He’s a very well respected person in the community.”

Det. Const. Karen Armstrong said Masroor used his position of leadership “to his advantage.” She said Masroor, who teaches in the mosque as well as in private homes, knew the alleged victims.

Masroor was arrested Aug. 10 after a three-week investigation that is still ongoing. The assaults allegedly occurred between Nov. 1, 2008 and July 28, 2011.

“The victims are both male and female,” Armstrong said. “We believe there are other victims as (the accused) has lived and worked worldwide.”

Masroor taught in Florida, Michigan and Bangladesh before coming to Canada, according to police. He has also lived and taught in Germany, France, Hungary, Singapore and Sri Lanka but police said the investigation is not limited to those areas.

Toronto investigators have yet to speak with foreign police forces about the case, Armstrong said.

Members of the mosque were especially upset that the allegations come during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during daylight hours.

“For a Muslim, this is very shameful. We really condemn it,” said Muti Mughal. “I still don’t believe it.”

Police said Masroor is being held in custody, and that a publication ban is in place.
Toronto religious leader charged in sex assaults
Chloé Fedio and Curtis Rush, The Star, August 17, 2011

Palestinian Authority Teaches 5-Year-Olds to Die for Allah[edit]

A Palestinian Authority kindergarten showed off what its young students had learned over the past year by having the five-year-olds act out scenes of terror and death for their families. The parents were moved to tears upon seeing their children pretend to die as “martyrs,” Palestinian Media Watch reported reported.

During the graduation ceremony two plays were performed – one based on “Little Red Riding Hood,” the second, “The Martyr's Wedding,” a story glorifying death in battle with Israel for the sake of Islam.

“Another performance named 'The Martyr's Wedding' delighted the audience due to the role-play of the children, whose acting depicted the reality of roadblocks, children, occupation, soldiers, and the children's death as Martyrs,” wrote the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, in a report picked up and translated by Palestinian Media Watch.

The performance was accompanied by “nationalistic” songs, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported. Many such songs encourage “martyrdom” and bloodshed for the sake of “freeing the land of Palestine” - a land which, according to the PA, includes all of Israel.
PA Teaches 5-Year-Olds to Die for Allah
Maayana Miskin, Arutz Sheva, August 17, 2011

Indonesia Ulema Assembly to issue fatwa against Greenpeace[edit]

Indonesia Ulema Assembly (MUI) will issue fatwa for foreign Non-Governmental Organization (LSM) especially to Greenpeace. The policy is given due to the NGO`s presence is considered violates religious principle so MUI will not tolerate the violation.

"Basically, the motive in Indonesia is not based on religious principle. In the meantime, MUI can issues fatwa for Greenpeace, including other NGO`s which are proven associated here," stressed Head of MUI, Amidhan during a dialogue with Alliance of College Students Refusing Greenpeace NGO in MUI building, Jakarta, Tuesday (8/16).

He stated that his previous statement about lottery fund received by Greenpeace was an entrance door to kick out the Dutch NGO from Indonesia. Previously, he stressed that dozens of million rupiahs lottery funding is prohibited.

"My statement about the lottery fund is only the entrance door. Greenpeace doesn`t have to enter due to only protect foreign importance here. While I was in Komnas HAM, I had undergone investigation in PT Freeport. As a result, our government was cheated by America only because of given donation to state budget (APBN)," he revealed.

Moreover, he added that MUI already has Environment Restoration Institution which has cooperated with Living Environment Ministry and Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry (ESDM). It means, Greenpeace does not have to teach how Indonesian maintain the environment.

"This must be protested because Indonesian people are free to enjoy the natural resources. The foreigners are not allowed to control us. Therefore, if there is foreign institution who want to enter Indonesia, reject them. We know Indonesia most, not them. Just wait, MUI`s fatwa for Greenpeace will be issued," he stressed.

In fact, the Student Alliance which consists of five students element, namely Indonesia College Community (HMI), Communication Students Institution (IMKI), Indonesia Study Center (PUSAKA), Indonesia Student Executives Agency (BEM RI) and Jakarta Student Study Circle (LISUMA) are admitted satisfy with the dialogue.

"We and MUI have the same perception about how Greenpeace disturbs this nation. Therefore, fatwa from MUI is really needed," continued Rudy Gani, Head of Students Alliance Refusing Greenpeace NGO.
MUI will Issue Fatwa to Greenpeace
BeritaJakarta, August 16, 2011

Indonesia: Ahmadi attack victim receives harsher sentence than killers[edit]

A man wounded when Islamic hard-liners launched a deadly attack on his minority sect questioned Indonesia's commitment to religious freedom after he was sentenced to six months in jail — more than some of the assailants caught on video.

Deden Sudjana said he was trying to defend 20 Ahmadiyah members holed up in a house in the village of Cikeusik when they were surrounded by a frenzied mob of 1,500.

The attackers, carrying wooden clubs, machetes and rocks, killed three people and chanted "God is Great!" as they pummeled the lifeless bodies, police helplessly looking on. Footage of the lynching, posted on YouTube, drew worldwide condemnation.

Sumartono, presiding judge of the Serang District Court, sentenced Sudjana to six months in jail Monday for resisting police orders to leave the scene and then hitting one of the mob's leaders.

The attackers — being held in a separate, nearby Serang prison — got three to six months. Two have already been freed.

"I had hoped the state and the judicial system could protect minorities, but I see now that I was wrong," Sudjana — whose hand was nearly severed by a machete during the Feb. 6. attack — said after the verdict was read out.

"I'm the victim," he told reporters. "Why am I getting a higher sentence than some of the perpetrators?"

Human rights groups condemned the ruling, saying it showed how the police, the judicial system and the government are helping fuel religious intolerance in the world's most populous Muslim nation.

The United States, which values Indonesia as a key democratic ally in Asia, also said it was disappointed.

Indonesia, a secular nation of 240 million, has a long history of religious tolerance.

But a small, extremist fringe has grown more vocal and violent in recent years. They've been emboldened by the inaction of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who relies on the support of Islamic parties in Parliament, and does not want to offend conservative Muslims by taking sides.

Perpetrators of such violence often go unpunished.

Human rights groups say police, under pressure by hard-liners, did not carry out a proper investigation into the Feb. 6 attacks and that prosecutors, claiming the Ahmadis were instigators, didn't call key eyewitnesses.

Andreas Harsono, of the New York-based Human Rights Watch, called it the Talibanization of Indonesia.

"We have the impression that the Indonesian justice system has surrendered to (those) who have decided to take the law into their own hands," he said.

The decision to punish one of the victims will only encourage more such violence, he added.

So far, 12 members of the mob have been convicted, including teenager, Dani bin Misra, who was captured on camera smashing in an Ahmadi member's skull with a rock.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland noted Sudjana's sentence was equal or greater than those who took part in the "brutal murder."

"We again encourage Indonesia to defend its tradition for all religions," Nuland told a news conference in Washington.

The Ahmadiyah, which has followers around the world, is considered heretical by many Muslims and banned in many Islamic countries because of its belief that Muhammad was not the final prophet.

In recent years, hard-liners in Indonesia have attacked the sect's mosques and intimidated some of its 200,000 followers, but the lynching in Cikeusik was by far the most brutal.
Indonesia mob victim: No justice for minorities
Niniek Karmini, Associated Press, August 16, 2011

France: Teenager beaten up for failing to comply with Ramadan fasting[edit]

A young man of 17 years was found tied up in an apartment in Miramas, Bouches-du-Rhone. He was reportedly assaulted by a family member for failing to comply with the fast of Ramadan.

The youth was found tied up in an apartment in Miramas (Bouches-du-Rhône), Sunday evening about 22 hours. Rescue, police and firefighters responded after being alerted by neighbours, who were concerned about groans emanating from the house. A water leak was also observed from the apartment below.

Rescuers found the teenager with his wrists and ankles shackled. His body showed signs of beatings.

The victim then told investigators he was struck by a family member for failing to comply with the fast of Ramadan, which began on Monday 1st August. RMC said that the assailant at the root of violence is the brother of that young person. The victim’s family also accused the young man of regular misconduct, such as consumption of cannabis resin. The family, of Algerian origin, were be seen as “very strict” in the neighborhood.

The victim himself was born in Algiers and is of French nationality. The violent treatment he suffered justified the prescription of 15 days of temporary total incapacity (ITT) by the doctor on duty who had tested the adolescent.

[Source: Un adolescent roué de coups pour non respect du ramadan - France Soir, August 15, 2011]

Russia foils Islamist plot to blow up high-speed train running between Moscow and St. Petersburg[edit]

Russian security serves have foiled a plot by a group of Islamists to blow up a high-speed train running between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the Kommersant business daily said Monday.

A blast on the same route that authorities blamed on Muslim rebels killed 26 people in November 2009.

The respected daily said the group of North Caucasus-based militants had already prepared a fertilizer bomb and were in the closing stages of their operation when they were arrested by Federal Security Service (FSB) agents.

FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov on July 18 reported to President Dmitry Medvedev that his service had averted a "major terror act" in the Moscow region in the preceding days.

Bortnikov added at the time that militants had plans to target public places and "transport infrastructure" in the Moscow region.

Russia is battling a Muslim insurgency in the North Caucasus, and suicide and other attacks have returned to the Russian capital in recent years.

A suicide bomber from the North Caucasus killed 37 people at Russia's busiest airport in January. Two female suicide bombers from that region killed 40 and wounded dozens on the underground during morning rush hour last year.

Russia's leading Islamist rebel Doku Umarov in February vowed to make 2011 "a year of blood and tears" and has claimed most recent attacks.
Islamists targeted Russian train, report says
Hurriyet Daily News, August 15, 2011

UK: Killers converting to Islam to avoid work and receive better food in prison[edit]

A BRUTE who murdered a gran has converted to Islam behind bars - so he can avoid work.

Evil David Millar - who stabbed frail 82-year-old Lucy Marshall to death - will skip his duties in the laundry because of his new faith.

He will be excused from work on Fridays so he can attend prayers.

And he's told pals he'll not have to do chores during the holy month of Ramadan.

The 28-year-old will also receive special halal meals such as curries at Dumfries prison.

One jail source said: "He works in the laundry but wants to use his new-found faith to get out of it.

"He's told a few of his cronies he won't have to work for the whole of Ramadan, which us basically like getting a month off his duties.

"It's so see-through."

Jail sources claim Millar - who was just 14 when he knifed Lucy in a Buckfast-fuelled frenzy in 1997 in Cowdenbeath, Fife - showed no previous interest in Islam before his conversion.

But it's believed the fitness fanatic thought a Muslim diet would aid his weight training.

One guard said: "It came out of the blue.

"But we're duty-bound to help once a prisoner decides to become Muslim."

Millar - who was detained without limit of time - married behind bars after meeting wife Sheree Malik, 29, on an online dating website for cons.

The SPS said it could not comment on individual cases.

Last month we revealed how wife killer Malcolm Webster, 52, became a Muslim convert because he fancied better grub.
Gran killer turns Muslim to dodge work
Paul Thornton, Scottish Sun, August 15, 2011

Spate of bomb attacks kill 63 across Iraq[edit]

A series of bomb attacks in seven provinces in central and northern Iraq on Monday left a total of 63 people killed and more than 260 wounded in a new escalation of violence in the country several months ahead of the proposed departure of U.S. troops.

The deadliest attack occurred in the city of Kut, some 170 km southeast of capital Baghdad, when a roadside bomb detonated at a marketplace in central the city at about 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) and was followed by a car bomb explosion, killing up to 34 people and wounding 64 others, a source from the provincial operations command told Xinhua.

Another deadly attack hit the Iraqi city of Tikrit, the capital of Salahudin province in north of Baghdad, when two suicide bombers entered the provincial counter-terrorism headquarters after they passed the checkpoints with their military uniforms and fake IDs in an attempt to free al-Qaida militants detained in the headquarters' jail.

But the security forces in the compound identified the suicide bombers and traded fire with them, killing one while the other blew up his explosive vest, the source from Salahudin's operations command told Xinhua.

The suicide attack resulted in the killing of three people, including the deputy chief of the headquarters, and the wounding of ten others, the source said.

Authorities of Salahudin province imposed curfew on the city for fear of further attacks, the source added.

Salahudin province, located in northern central Iraq, is a mainly Sunni province. Its capital city of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, is the hometown of former President Saddam Hussein.

In Iraq's holy Shi'ite city of Najaf, six people were killed and 58 others wounded when two car bombs successively struck a police station, tasked with protecting the highways, in al-Hussein district in central Najaf, some 160 km south of Baghdad.

Elsewhere, three people were killed and up to 41 wounded in a car bomb explosion near al-Hindiyah police headquarters in eastern the city of Karbala, some 110 km southwest of Baghdad. The blast caused damages to the police building and destroyed several nearby police vehicles and civilian cars.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, up to eight people were killed and 21 wounded in a car bomb explosion in the town of Bani Sa'ad near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source said.

In a separate incident, gunmen with their assault rifles attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint in northeastern Baquba and killed four soldiers before they fled the scene, the source said.

Meanwhile, a car bomb parked near the passport office in northeastern Baquba, ripped through a crowd of people who gathered outside the office, wounding 12 of them, the source added.

Also in Diyala, a policeman was killed and 10 people were wounded, including five policemen, in separate incidents across the province, the police reported.

Near Baghdad, a car bomb detonated near an Iraqi army patrol in Taji area, some 20 km north of Baghdad, killed a civilian and wounded nine people, including five soldiers, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In Baghdad, a total of two people were killed and 20 others wounded in four bomb attacks including a car bomb explosion targeted a convoy of a senior Iraqi official who escaped the blast unharmed, the Interior Ministry source said.

In northern Iraq, a motorcycle packed with explosives ripped through a parking lot in the Doumiz district in southern the city of Kirkuk, killing a civilian and wounding eight others, a local police source told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, a booby-trapped car detonated near a police patrol in al-Tiseen district in central Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, wounding four policemen and three bystanders, the source said.

The latest attacks raise questions about the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces to maintain security in the country ahead of the Dec. 31 deadline of U.S. troops' withdrawal from the country.

Last week, the Iraqi political leaders agreed to give green light to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to start talks with the United States about staying some of its troops in Iraq beyond the end of 2011 deadline only for training the Iraqi security forces on new weapons that Iraq proposed to purchase mainly from the United States to arm its fragile forces.

U.S. military forces are to pull out completely from Iraq by the end of 2011, according to security pact, named Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), signed late in 2008 between Baghdad and Washington.

Maliki frequently said that SOFA cannot be renewed as stated in the agreement, but talks with the Americans is expected to let small force of U.S. troops to stay in Iraq beyond the end of 2011 deadline only for training Iraqi forces under the Strategic Framework Agreement, which was signed earlier with the SOFA between the two countries.
Spate of bomb attacks kill 63 across Iraq
Jamal Hashim, Xinhua, August 15, 2011

Three "Africans" charged over fake bomb at Phoenix airport[edit]

Three Africans were charged on Friday with trying to sneak a fake bomb past a screening area at a Phoenix airport, in what the FBI describes as a possible test of security.

A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Arizona also states that the discovery of the suspicious item, which was a candy box with a cell phone attached, was made within days of a similar incident at a Memphis airport.

Luwiza Daman was arrested at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix on August 5 after Transportation Security Administration officers X-rayed her carry-on bag and noticed an object which at first sight appeared to be an explosive, FBI special agent Benjamin Oesterle said in the complaint.

After investigators spoke to Daman, they traced the object to Shullu Gorado and Asa Shani, who both live in Phoenix, and arrested them in connection with the incident, police said.

Daman, who lives in Des Moines, Iowa, traveled on July 29 to Phoenix for a wedding and said that while there she met a man named Jaffa, who turned out to be Gorado, the complaint said.

She said Gorado later gave her a package with a box of candy and a cellular telephone taped to it, and asked her to take it to Des Moines, Oesterle said in the complaint.

Daman's flight reservation also was made through an e-mail account belonging to Gorado, despite her earlier contention that the e-mail address was hers, the complaint said.

When police went to the home of Gorado, he admitted that the candy box containing the Middle Eastern confection helva came from him but he said the cell phone was from Shani, the complaint stated.

An attorney for the three individuals could not be reached for comment.

Oesterle stated in the federal complaint that there is cause to believe Daman, Gorado and Shani acted in concert.

"The presence of a simulated explosive device is a material fact to the operation of an airport security checkpoint because the successful transit of such an object ... would reveal potential weaknesses in the security screening methods employed in United States airports ..." Oesterle said in the complaint.

Oesterle works in the FBI joint terrorism task force.

He also stated that on July 29, the day Daman arrived in Phoenix, a similar incident "involving an object consisting of an electronic device taped to plastic containers filled with an organic substance" occurred at a Memphis airport.

The complaint does not detail any other possible connection between the incidents in Phoenix and Memphis, and it does not accuse the three Africans of being part of a terrorist organization.

Daman told investigators that she was born in the African nation of Eritrea, spent time in Ethiopia and had lived in the United States for four months in Portland before recently moving to Des Moines, the complaint states.

Police have said that Gorado and Shani are also from Eritrea, and previously described all three individuals as African refugees.

Prosecutors are going to seek further detention for all three individuals, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Three Africans charged over fake bomb at Phoenix airport
David Schwartz, Reuters, August 13, 2011

Commentary: Islam not confined to personal worship[edit]

Rafidah H Mokhtar is women council member of Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA)


I am compelled to write to represent the other side of opinion, on issues that have shaped Malaysiakini lately in serving its political ideology to her readers.

A great misconception of Islam lies in the fact that it is nothing more than a theological reflection confined to the realm of personal worshiping. Far from truth, the very essence of Islam as taught by Prophet Muhammad SAW dictates that Islam encompasses all spheres of life, from etiquette to commerce to good governance of a country.

As a moslem, you cannot help but notice that of late, there seemed to be a concerted effort to push Islam into a closet, meant only to serve the followers in mosques or at homes, just like some of the religions that have been successfully pushed to the corners of human civilisation.

One good example is the furore over PAS-led Kedah Government order to ban all entertainment outlets from operating during the fasting month last July. It smacks of Islamophobia within MCA, DAP and Malaysian Chinese Hall, and deep resentment towards Islamic governance for Moslems who form 70 percent of Kedah population, the figure as reported by Ismail Salleh, the Kedah exco.

One could understand if this was to happen in Penang or Ipoh, but to reason that the fate of 300 nightspot operators' businesses was of greater importance than the interest of the Moslems majority who are trying to observe their holy month, is a severe mistake of judgement for any one could do the math.

Financially speaking, these operators would have amassed quite a fortune throughout the rest of 11 months as it was reported that the one month closure was expected to involved millions of ringgit of losses.

Furthermore, it was all too obvious that there is lack of respect to the governing body, no less by PAS' own coalition partner DAP, despite the party claims to work hand in hand with PAS. The move made by Kedah Pas should be the litmus test for the Pakatan Rakyat component to exhibit mutual respect and harmony, but DAP portrayed their arrogance at the highest level and could not even tolerate a month of entertainment-free out of respect for their Moslem counterparts.

PAS should have known better the kind of friends they are sleeping with and remain steadfast with their party policies. The Malaysian Muslims inspiration that have over the years lent their support for PAS to uphold Islamic principles should not be forsaken for political mileage.

The more recent issue concerning Jais and Hassan Ali further underlined the effort to reduce Islam to merely ritual worship devoid of its 'syumul'/holistic concept. The fashionably 'human rights' and 'moral policing' terms quickly make their way to the fore condemning the authority, when Islam has outlined its principle clearly that apostasy is one of the biggest sin and any conduct that leads to this effect should be arrested immediately.

This rule has been held dearly for more than 1,400 years ago despite the effort to force Islam to embrace the stance opted by other religions in apostasy matters. The word 'raid' in place of 'discussion' that actually occurred between the church authority and Jais showed that certain quarter certainly leaves no room to paint a bleak picture of Islam.

These two issues reflect that there is a long journey for Malaysians to understand each other. The distorted view that prevails is that in order for Muslims to fit in the multicultural society, he/she should remove their identity as much as possible, leaving behind the Islamic says in their day to day business, and only proceed with their five prayers in the mosques, wedding ceremonies and Raya celebration. For good Muslims, the tenets of their religion are embraced as a whole and not selectively chosen.

It also doesn't help that certain parties fed the wrong facts on Islam. Mariam Mokhtar, in her regular column is keen on making sweeping negative statements regarding Malaysian Muslims and the Syariah Law. The refusal to deal the subjects with any reference to Quran, hadith or valid resources will of course lead to inappropriate comparison, with anecdotes and testimonials offered as the best evidence of argument.

In her most recent article for example, she questioned the 'obsession' of Malaysian Muslims on halal food. Either she has forgotten or simply being ignorance, 'halal' is one of the most fundamental tenets emphasised by the prophet in one of the authentic hadith. The provision of Syariah allows Muslims the room of how one observes their halal food depending on whether they are in a majority non-Muslim country where halal food is scarce, or in a Muslim majority country. In the latter, where alternatives are abundant, Muslims are required to be more cautious in choosing halal food.

The comparison of how some Indonesian Muslims go about observing their halal food fails to impress any right-minded Muslims, as the culture there is not considered as the gold standard of Islamic practice. Furthermore, the generalisation humiliates my Indonesian friends who are ones who place great care in halal matters.

The multiracial components of Malaysian society have lived together in harmony for many years and they must accept the fact that for Muslims, Islam is not simply a theological scripture confined within the space of the mosque. It translates into their everyday life.
Islam not confined to personal worship
Rafidah H Mokhtar, Malaysiakini, August 12, 2011

Germany: Turkish MP beaten by restaurant staff for ordering pork sausage during Ramadan[edit]

BERLIN. - Turkish member of Berlin state parliament Orjam Mutluin was beaten in the restaurant, because he dared to order a sausage during Muslim Ramadan.

Turkish Radikal reports that the incident took place in the restaurant the owner of which is Turkish in one of famous streets of Berlin.

According to the report, the MP entered the restaurant and ordered a pork meat sausage. But the restaurant staff said that the MP should not eat pork sausage during the Ramadan. After short dispute the restaurant staff beat the MP.

UK Muslim: "We'll hunt down these black men, cut off their heads and feed them to our dogs"[edit]

BIRMINGHAM, England - With police nowhere to be seen, the Muslims of Dudley Road armed themselves with bricks and stones, clubs and cricket bats to fend off carloads of marauding gangs.

Their vigilante stand in Birmingham's west end saved a humble row of family-run shops and a red-brick mosque from the looters' grasp — but at a terrible cost.

A carload of rioters sped into a fleeing crowd of shop defenders, witnesses said, hurling three young men into the air and killing amateur boxer Haroon Jahan, 21, and brothers Shazzad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31.

"We all had stones in our hands. But we had no defense to stop a car. They revved their engines and drove right at us as fast as they could," Mohammed Ibrahim, 23, told The Associated Press. "These black men deliberately tried to kill us all."

Wednesday's 1 a.m. slaughter has laid bare racial tensions underlying this week's riots in Birmingham, Britain's second-largest city and its most ethnically diverse. A fifth of the city's 1 million "Brummies" are Muslims, most commonly of Pakistani origin. About 7 percent are black, mostly Caribbean, in background.

Tariq Jahan, Haroon Jahan's father, told reporters Wednesday after his son's death that the rioting has gone too far.

"Why are we doing this?" asked Jahan. "I lost my son. Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home."

CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports that some looters converged on the riots for just one reason.

"Anger because the police nick you for stupid things," one looter, who spoke through a T-shirt pulled up to cover his face, told CBS News. "Now this is our payback because they can't do nothing to us today. The police can't do nothing."

While the riots that have swept England this week have involved looters of every creed and hue, the street anarchy also sometimes has exposed the racial fault lines that run beneath the poorest urban quarters.

Resident after resident of Dudley Road and its surrounding Winson Green district commented pointedly to The AP that the attackers were black and accused them of targeting Muslim shops.

The passions echo streetfights from previous years, such as in 2005, when a neighboring Birmingham district suffered two nights of violence between Caribbean and Asian gangs over unsubstantiated rumors that a gang of Pakistani men had raped a 14-year-old Jamaican girl. Two men were stabbed to death, firefighters faced machete-wielding mobs, and Muslim graves were desecrated during those clashes. The west side also suffered riots in 1981, 1985 and 1991 fueled by minority hatred of white police and black resentment of the Asians' dominant position as shopkeepers.

"We'll hunt down these black men, cut off their heads and feed them to our dogs," said Amir Hawid, 20, who lives just a hundred yards from the killing scene and heard the screams of the crowd at the moment of impact.

As forensics specialists combed the bloodied, rock-strewn pavement for clues, hundreds of local Muslims and Sikhs — some wearing ceremonial daggers at their waists — packed into a community hall Wednesday to confront three white police commanders who had come seeking to calm tensions. Twice as many Muslims, many in robes and kufi caps, stood outside.

Speaker after speaker complained that they had pleaded by phone for police protection the previous night, when black gangs raided local markets and chased bar staff onto the roof of one pub, yet police failed to respond. Some argued that the police had warned them not to attempt to defend their own streets, yet had offered no alternative.

The three dead men "did nothing wrong! They died because they were doing the job of protecting our community. The job that you lot should have been doing!" one speaker shouted, jabbing an accusatory finger at the police panel.

Detective Superintendent Richard Baker, commander of the 60-strong police team hunting the killers, said they already had arrested the suspected driver and 11 others potentially linked to the shop attacks on Dudley Road. He pleaded for locals to overcome their antipathy to the police, give eyewitness statements and hand over amateur camera footage.

"I will deploy whatever it takes to get justice for this community," Baker said above a din of muttered heckles and shouted accusations, dozens of men trying to speak at once.

Baker and the local commander, Superintendent Sean Russell, defended their force's response to the killings — which Russell admitted he could see from the police control center on a closed-circuit surveillance camera — because gangs were attacking shops in the city center. That triggered angry cries that police cared more for protecting downtown shopping centers than Muslim communities.

Russell said it took officers 10 minutes to arrive; locals insisted it was a half-hour and the officers arrived in riot gear thinking the Muslim crowd might pose a threat. The officers said they had to be cautious.

Afterward, a chastened Baker said it had been the toughest community meeting of his life. In quiet one-to-one conversations, he offered his cell phone number to local residents and pleaded for them to find eyewitnesses.

"We really want to help you, but you need to help us too," he told one man, who said he'd been afraid to speak up and express moderate views during the meeting.

And a local black resident, who didn't want to be identified by name because of fears for his safety, pleaded outside with the departing Muslim crowd not to start targeting blacks in retaliation.

"Don't take your anger out on everyone. Don't keep saying it's black, black, black, black. Don't take this too far," he declared, street preacher-style, after abusive comments were directed at him. "I've lived and worked here seven years alongside you. I don't want to be afraid to walk down that street now. Don't make me afraid, because I didn't do it, man."

The AP found several witnesses outside the hall, who like the dead men had taken up crude arms and manned the sidewalks in hopes of keeping the invaders at bay. None expressed confidence that the police would bring justice.

"We will avenge our brothers. This is a tight community, and someone in their group will brag about how they attacked the Muslims," said Waseem Hussain, 24, who joined the defense of the shops.

Hussain said several carloads of would-be shop raiders began casing Dudley Road, driving cars up and down the road before midnight, as scores of locals were still in the mosque observing the night's final Ramadan prayers.

He said one carload stopped at the local gas station and convenience store — which had been ransacked the night before and was now closed with metal shutters — and asked a few youths whether there was "anything new to rob."

He said locals threw stones and bricks at the cars, whose occupants had their windows rolled down. The two sides traded verbal abuse as the cars repeatedly passed, Hussain estimating at least a dozen times. The Muslim crowd grew as prayers concluded around 12:30 a.m.

After the cars canvassed the crowd once again under a hail of rocks, Hussain said, one of the occupants shouted a threat at them: "Are you asking for it?"

Two of the cars did a U-turn at the top of the road, he said, and gunned their engines, shifting their gears rapidly as they reached a speed he estimated at 70 mph.

"The first car cut extremely close to the crowd but didn't hit anyone. We all were running for cover, but there were too many people and nowhere to go," he said.

"Some people didn't see the second car coming. It went deeper into the footpath (sidewalk) and struck these three men, all standing in the same spot," he said. "They must have flown 20, 30 feet. One, Shazzad, was dead when he hit the ground. All of them were bloody and unconscious. They never had a chance."

Jihadists flood the Internet with anti-British messages inciting rioters to further action[edit]

As the riots that broke out in the British capital London late on Saturday and spread to other cities England continue, jihadists have flooded the Internet with anti-British messages inciting rioters to further action, according to US-based terrorist tracking group SITE Intelligence.

In a message on the Shumukh Al-Islam website posted Wednesday, one extremist said the riots could be “useful” for the jihadist cause, suggesting Britain could withdraw troops from Afghanistan and send them to London to quell the violence.

Besides the young black father-of-four shot dead by police, Mark Duggan, which sparked the violence, three Asian men were hit and killed by a car while defending their community from looters in the central city Birmingham this week.

Police have arrested over 1,100 people over the looting and unrest in Britain which analysts say has largely been organised by disaffected young people using the Blackberry smartphone's encrypted freed messaging service, the microblogging website Twitter and other social networking websites.

Britain's prime minister David Cameron cut short his summer holiday in Italy and returned to Britain, deploring the violence and claiming on Wednesday that “fightback” had begun against the riots and looting.

He pledged to deploy an extra 10,000 police officers to London's streets amid criticism that security forces had responded inadequately to the riots, the worst seen in the country since the 1980s.

But postings on jihadist websites have urged Muslim militants to incite the rioters to further action via social media, possibly leading to Arab-style protests in Britain, SITE claimed.

Another post to the Shumukh Al-Islam website advised jihadists to “infiltrate the British Facebook and Twitter” pages with catchy slogans such as “We are all Mark Duggan," SITE said.

On another jihadist website, Ansar Al-Mujahedeen, users provided links to the Facebook pages of top British football clubs such as Manchester United and Arsenal, urging militants to post key slogans there, according to SITE.

Authorities cancelled at least two major soccer matches including a friendly between England and Holland at London's Wembley stadium on Wednesday amid fears of further violence.

Egypt: Thousands of Muslims terrorize, loot and burn Christian village. Priest beaten and layman murdered[edit]

The history of Christianity in Egypt goes as far back as the visit of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. (Matt. 2) To the Christians who live in this historic land the history of the Church is the history of Egypt. The Evangelist Mark brought the Gospel to Egypt in 61 A.D. and it has a proud and inspiring Christian heritage.

The majority of Christians in Egypt are Coptic Orthodox. The very word "Copt" comes from an early Greek name for Egypt. After all Christianity and Egypt have a long and holy history. Perhaps that is part of the reason why the persistent persecution of Christians in Egypt is so appalling.

We have regularly covered the plight of our Coptic Orthodox Christian brethren in Egypt and will continue to do so. They are heroic witnesses in the ancient land into which the Holy family journeyed, a land which is vitally important to all Christians. Their suffering to the point of shedding their blood for the ancient faith should draw every Christian to their knees. It also demands a response of support and solidarity from those of us who can help.

We have also repeatedly urged our global readership to pray for Coptic Orthodox Christians and for Catholic Christians in Egypt in this critical hour. The presence of Coptic Christians in this ancient and holy land is vital. Their presence precedes any Muslim claims. Their heroic Christian witness is an inspiration. They are our brethren, joined to us in the bonds of Baptismal communion.

This past weekend, thousands of militant Muslims attacked a predominantly Christian village in the south of Egypt. They savagely beat the Coptic priest and murdered a layman. They burnt homes and terrorized the villagers. Few news sources even mentioned the incident. The Assyrian International News Agency had the most complete account. The article was entitled "Muslims Attack Christian Village in Egypt -- 1 Murdered, Homes Looted and Torched" and was written by Mary Abdelmassih. We set it forth in its entirety below.

*****

"Muslims attacked Christians in the village of Nazlet Faragallah, in the southern Egyptian Minya province, on Sunday evening. The attack continued until the early hours of Monday morning, August 8.

One Copt was murdered and homes were looted and torched when Muslims from Nazlet Faragallah together with Muslims from four neighboring villages started their violence at approximately 8 PM, after breaking their Ramadan fast.

According to eyewitnesses, thousands of Muslims entered the village from all sides, firing automatic weapons (mostly in the air), looting and throwing Molotov Cocktails at several homes. "They even destroyed our irrigation pumps," said one witness.

The first attack was on the house of Father Youanes, pastor of St. George Church, which lies at the head of the village. He was beaten and his home was looted and torched.

Maher Nassif Tobias (50), an employee at the local council, was murdered in his home. He was found by his son. His house was completely looted, including his livestock.

Security forces arrived 4 hours after the attack began and there were too few of them. "They only had batons in their hands, and were unable to control the situation," said a Coptic village resident. "Our village is surrounded by corn fields. The Muslims came into the village to loot and quickly disappeared in the fields, the police could not follow them. They were coming from all directions at the same time."

Nazlet Faragallah has 8000 inhabitants, 80% are Copts and 20% Muslims.

The events were preceded on Saturday by an altercation caused by Muslims harassing Christian girls as they came out of a church service in the late afternoon. Stones were hurled by Muslims at the church, breaking five windows. A "reconciliation" meeting took place. Some 200 Copts staged a sit-in in front of St. George's Church on Sunday afternoon to protest against Muslim attack on the church.

In a statement, the security authorities in Minya said the Muslim attack on Nazlet Faragallah was caused by a group of Copts, headed by Haddar Ishaq, firing at Muslims as they came out of the mosque on Sunday afternoon. Copts in the village denied this claim.

Three Muslims were arrested yesterday and three Copts today. None of the Copts were involved in any incident, and one of them had broken his leg two weeks before. "Security is doing its balancing act again," said one of the villagers. "They will use these Copts, who were arrested at random, to bargain for their freedom in exchange for village Copts giving up their rights during the 'reconciliation' meeting."

It was reported that Muslim women walked the streets today, warning that after breaking the Ramadan fast the men would come to finish the Christians off, but this did not happen, as security was present in large numbers in the village and preparations were being made for another "reconciliation" meeting to take place on August 9."
Egypt: Militant Muslims Terrorize Christian Village
Deacon Keith Fournier, Catholic Online, August 11, 2011

Tampa Police CSI tech admits “fear of Muslim reprisal” in Palestinian woman’s death[edit]

We held a rally for justice for Fatimah Abdallah last June. Now at last the truth is coming out. This is justice in America in 2011: a police department cowers in fear of violence from Muslims if it tells the truth about an Islamic honor killing. Ask yourself if all the “Islamophobia” mongers care even the slightest bit about justice for Fatimah Abdallah.

Here is an extraordinary announcement from David Caton of the Florida Family Association:

Tampa Police CSI tech admits “fear of Muslim reprisal” in Palestinian woman’s death. Florida Family Association asks Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to investigate.Florida Family Association (FFA) now has direct evidence that officials with the Tampa Police Department are intimidated by the possible involvement of religious creed in the death of the Palestinian woman named Fatima Abdallah.

The Tampa Police Department claims that Fatima Abdallah killed herself by repeatedly beating her head against a coffee table. FFA and numerous other organizations call that assertion preposterous. Florida Family Association contends that Fatima Abdallah died as the result of an honor killing and not an accident. Florida Family Association’s full report on the mishandling of the death of Fatimah Abdallah is posted here at Floridafamily.org

Tampa Police Crime Scene Technician Shelby Garman called Florida Family Association’s private investigator on July 26, 2011 to request that her name be removed from the Tampa Police Department GO report posted at Floridafamily.org because of “fear of Muslim reprisal.” Click here to read our private investigator’s report.

Florida Family Association wanted more documentation to support our private investigator’s report so we sent an email to Shelby Garman. When Florida Family Association asked Shelby Garman by email to confirm her request she did. Click here to read her reply and email property validation information that documents she sent the email from the Tampa Police Department.

This Crime Scene Technician’s statement and request verifies what Florida Family Association has alleged all along that the Tampa Police Department and/or the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Office were intimidated by the possible involvement of religious creed in the death of Fatimah Abdallah. It appears that some officials feared Muslim reprisal, feared media attention if the case became public and therefore decided to promptly call this violent death an accident without any further investigation beyond the incident date.

If law enforcement agencies are unwilling to properly investigate and bring charges in violent crimes that may have been perpetuated by religious creeds it will undermine our public safety and severely change our value system.

Florida Family Association sent this letter asking Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to investigate the mishandling of this death investigation by the Tampa Police Department and Hillsborough County Medical Examiner.
To Hide an Honor Killing
Robert Spencer, FrontPageMagazine, August 10, 2011

Commentary: How Jihad Influenced the Norway Massacre[edit]

Raymond Ibrahim, a widely published Islam-specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum


In his manifesto, Anders Breivik, the perpetrator of the Norway massacre, in which 80 people were killed and many wounded, mentioned the Crusades and aspects of it as they had been an inspirational factor to him. Predictably, Western elites—especially through the mainstream media—have begun a new round of moral, cultural, and historical relativism, some even conflating the terrorist with former President Bush, who once used the word "crusade."

The fact is, there are important parallels between the Crusades and Breivik's actions—but hardly the way portrayed by the media. Ironically, this terrorist attack, like the historic Crusades, was influenced by the doctrine of jihad.

While many are aware that historically the Crusades were a retaliation to centuries of Muslim aggression (see Rodney Stark's God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades), few are aware that the idea of Christian "holy war"—notably the use of violence in the name of Christianity and the notion that Crusaders who die are martyrs forgiven their sins—finds its ideological origins in Muslim jihad.

As historian Bernard Lewis puts it, "Even the Christian crusade, often compared with the Muslim jihad, was itself a delayed and limited response to the jihad and in part also an imitation." How? The popes offered

forgiveness for sins to those who fought in defense of the holy Church of God and the Christian religion and polity, and eternal life for those fighting the infidel. These ideas … clearly reflect the Muslim notion of jihad, and are precursors of the Western Christian Crusade.

Still, Lewis makes clear some fundamental differences:

But unlike the jihad, it [the Crusade] was concerned primarily with the defense or reconquest of threatened or lost Christian territory. … The Muslim jihad, in contrast, was perceived as unlimited, as a religious obligation that would continue until all the world had either adopted the Muslim faith or submitted to Muslim rule. … The object of jihad is to bring the whole world under Islamic law.

If the Crusades arguably find their ideological origins in jihad, so too does much of modern day terrorism. The medieval Hashashin— archetypal terrorists who gave us the word "assassin"—were, for example, a Muslim sect that pioneered the use of fear and terrorism for political gain during the Crusader era, around the eleventh-thirteenth centuries.

Because much of this background is missed by the media, more ironies abound. Many point, for instance, to Breivik's fascination with the Knights Templar, a Crusading order, as proof that he was motivated by the Crusades. Yet, as one AP report indicates, "The Knights Templar was a medieval order created to protect Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land after the First Crusade in the 11th century."

How exactly a military order devoted to protecting Christians inspired someone to kill innocent children in Norway is left unanswered. As one historian put it, the original Knights Templar, a "very devout people," would be "horrified" to find themselves compared to Breivik.

Even more ironic, the Knights and Crusaders in general were frequently on the receiving end of the Assassins' terror; far from being inspirations for terrorism, they bore the brunt of one of the earliest manifestations of Islamic terrorism.

In reality, Breivik's actions are more inspired by the Jihad than by the Crusades, by the Assassins rather than the Templars, and by al-Qaeda—"which he cherishes great admiration for"—than the IRA. As CNN's Fareed Zakaria correctly asserts that in Breivik's view, "the Knights Templar resembles nothing so much as al Qaeda."

The parallels are evident: Medieval Europe, in an effort to retaliate against an expansionist Islam, articulated a means influenced by jihad, or "holy war": the Crusades. Today, modern Europeans like Breivik, in an effort to retaliate against an expansionist Islam, have articulated a means influenced by al-Qaeda: jihadi-style terrorism.

Some may argue that there are non-Muslim terror groups from which Breivik can draw inspiration. Even so, in a globalized world where Islam has by far the lion's share of terrorism—where nonstop images of jihadi terror have metastasized in the media, and thus the culture—it is not hard to see from where Breivik got his inspiration.
How Jihad Influenced the Norway Massacre
Raymond Ibrahim, Hudson New York, August 8, 2011

Turkey: Woman assaulted for smoking in public during Ramadan. Crowd sides with attackers and clash with police[edit]

A woman was attacked by two people for smoking openly on the street during Ramadan in the eastern province of Erzurum on Saturday. She had to take shelter in a nearby men’s dormitory building and call the police for help.

The incident happened on Esat Paşa Yokuşu Street in the Yakutiye district before iftar, the evening fast-breaking meal. The woman, identified by her initials Z.B., works for an international company. She lit a cigarette on the street while walking with her boyfriend, identified as İ.M. when two people, identified as M.Y. and B.G., approached them, saying, “Put out your cigarette. You are shameless.” Z.B. answered: “I might not be able to fast. I might have chosen not to fast. Why does this matter concern you?” After this reply, M.Y. and İ.M. allegedly advanced toward the couple.

Assaulted by the two and seeing that a crowd was gathering, the couple took shelter in a nearby men’s dormitory building and called the police. Police had a hard time calming down the crowd and taking the four to the police station. There were small clashes between the police and an angry crowd that had gathered on the street. All four people involved filed complaints about each other and were freed after their statements were taken.

RAF Academic 'university' head is Muslim convert who claims Nazi gas chambers were British propaganda[edit]

The head of studies at the Royal Air Force pilot training college is a convert to Islam who has criticised Nato air strikes on Libya in a Muslim magazine.

Dr Joel Hayward is dean of the college at Cranwell, the RAF’s equivalent of Sandhurst, and has taught many of the pilots spearheading the military operation against Colonel Gaddafi.

But, to the dismay of defence chiefs, he has cast doubt on the widely held belief that the Nato actions averted the mass killing of civilians in Benghazi. He also warned against the RAF becoming ‘the air corps of a rebel army’.

Dr Hayward has previously expressed remorse after appearing to claim that far fewer Jews were killed by the Nazis than generally thought and that the gas chambers of the Holocaust were British propaganda.

In another article recently he likened Churchill to Mohammed.

The magazine article on Libya was published under the headline ‘The West runs the risks of its good intentions (and inconsistencies) leading to distrust’.

Dr Hayward wrote: ‘When western aircrafts began to destroy tanks and a downpour of missiles wrecked Libya’s air force and air defence system, various leaders congratulated themselves for preventing an “atrocity” or “slaughter” - evocative words which conjured up images of a Srebrenica-style massacre [the 1995 killing of Bosnian Muslims].

‘Yet we do not know that his army would have “slaughtered” civilians in a Srebrenica-style massacre.’

Dr Hayward also takes issue with the UN Security Council resolution authorising ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians from the dictator’s forces.

Describing the resolution as ‘elastic’, he says: ‘Strangely, that resolution condemned human rights abuses and torture to which the world (and the UN) had turned a blind eye for decades.’

His views and behaviour have caused disquiet among senior officers at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire, where he is the most senior academic and taught Prince William.

In a letter to The Mail on Sunday entitled The Air Force Ayatollah, one senior officer expressed concern that Dr Hayward was focusing more on ‘Islamist activities that are nothing to do with the RAF’.

He also accused him of giving Muslim cadets preferential treatment and making other students take a ‘softly, softly line when writing about Muslim terrorists/Islamist extremists’.

Another officer claimed cadets and lecturers ‘are in fear’ of expressing anything that might be construed as anti-Muslim sentiment. ‘Anyone who fails to follow the line that Islam is a peace-loving religion is hauled into his office for re-education,’ he said.

Last night Dr Hayward said he did not ‘recognise’ the allegations.

The Mail on Sunday understands that Dr Hayward’s views have embarrassed RAF chiefs, who feel that while he is entitled to his opinions, it was unwise for him to air them in a Muslim magazine.

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, former chairman of the Commons counter-terrorism sub-committee, said: ‘I am delighted that the dean is not restricted in what he can say, as he would be in Islamist societies.

‘However, I very much hope that his views don’t conflict with any of his professional duties when teaching Her Majesty’s officers.’

It is not the first time the New Zealand-born academic has attracted controversy. In 2000, he was accused of denying the Holocaust after the publication of a thesis he had written in 1993 questioning the number of Jews killed. He claimed the idea of gas chambers being used was propaganda invented by Britain, the US and Jewish lobbyists. He has since expressed remorse over the ‘mistakes I made as an inexperienced student’.

Dr Hayward has frequently challenged claims of Islamic aggressiveness. Most recently, he wrote on the subject for the Cordoba Foundation, described by David Cameron as a front for the Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. In that article, Dr Hayward likens the prophet Mohammed’s inspirational qualities to that of Sir Winston Churchill. He said Mohammed had to go to extra lengths – just as Churchill did in the Second World War - to exhort his people to believe in victory and fight for it.

Dr Hayward was appointed to RAF Cranwell in 2007, but was investigated the following year over complaints of ‘harassment and bullying’. It is not clear what became of the investigation. He is employed not by the RAF but by King’s College, London, which runs academic courses at Cranwell.

Dr Hayward defended his article on Nato airstrikes and said he wants a free Libya without Gaddafi. He added: ‘I write articles on a range of subjects for various scholarly journals and consistently the publications are anti-extremism, anti-terrorism and encouraging of a closer bond between the West and the Arab world.

‘In no sense am I anti-Western, I am proud to be Western, I strongly believe in the value system that we have in Britain. I believe in equality, democracy, freedom, plurality, human rights, women’s rights.’

An RAF spokesman said: ‘Dr Hayward writes for a number of publications. These activities are conducted in his own time and do not impinge on his duties in support of the RAF.’

Muslim woman kept African slave in her 3.1M$ home in West Vancouver[edit]

WEST VANCOUVER -- A West Vancouver woman has been charged with human trafficking in connection with a case in which a young woman was allegedly brought over from Africa and forced to work in demeaning and slave-like conditions in a lavish West Vancouver home.

Mumtaz Ladha, 55, is wanted on a warrant for hiring the 21-year-old African woman, police said Monday afternoon.

Police said Ladha allegedly promised the victim a work visa and a job at a Vancouver-area hair salon, but instead forced her to work 18 hours a day, seven days a week, in her home.

“This was work well beyond what you would expect reasonable working conditions to be in Canada,” said Const. Michael McLaughlin, a federal spokesman for the RCMP’s E Division. “Things like hand-washing underwear of all the people in the house, hand-washing cars, hand-washing the cars of guests who came over.

“She wasn’t given enough food. In some cases, she was forced to eat whatever was left over from a meal — table scraps, in other words. She had no money, her identity documents weren’t with her, and it’s our information that she was often only allowed to sleep when the other people in the home were all sleeping.”

The young woman was brought over during the summer of 2008 and lived in a “state of fear” for about one year at Ladha’s home, McLaughlin said.

In June 2009, she learned the conditions she was living under were not acceptable and sought help at a women’s shelter.

“I can’t talk about the exact circumstances, but ultimately, she finally understood through having a conversation with somebody that the conditions she was living under were not acceptable,” McLaughlin said.

“She had so little idea, you would be shocked. She was very depressed, she was very upset, she thought she was stuck, she thought there would be no way out of this situation.”

The victim is now at a safe place in B.C., but police are keeping her identity private to protect her. Police would not disclose where in B.C. she is, or where in Africa she came from.

Police have not yet been able to make contact with Ladha. They believe she is not at home, and possibly not in the country.

“She does have connections outside of the country. We want to make sure she comes and presents herself to the courts,” McLaughlin said.

No one answered calls to two numbers listed for the Ladhas on Monday.

As well, no one answered the door at the family’s upscale home in the British Properties, a three-storey, tan-colour building with large windows and a view of downtown Vancouver.

The home has an outdoor basketball court, an indoor pool and is surrounded by chain-link fences. A Mercedes 560 SEL and an Infinity QX4 were parked on the driveway, neither with licence plates attached.

The total value of the home was valued at $3,145,000 in 2011, according to a BC Assessment report.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada on Thursday approved one charge of human trafficking and one charge of human smuggling against Ladha.

Both offences carry severe penalties under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, introduced in 2002. The smuggling charge alone carries a maximum fine of $500,000 and 10 years in prison for a first offence.

This is only the second time a human trafficking charge has been approved in B.C.

Police said that while human trafficking cases are rare in Canada, they certainly happen.

“Part of the reason why human trafficking can exist, even in a country like this, is when people are brought over here, they don’t realize that the standards in Canada are so much different from the area of the world where they’re from,” McLaughlin said.

“They don’t realize it’s not okay to be living in a place without your identity papers, without pay, working these kinds of hours. They don’t understand the social mores of what goes on here.”

Neighbours who spoke with The Vancouver Sun on Monday said they last saw activity at the house three or four weeks ago, when a woman was seen on the driveway talking loudly on a cellphone.

However, they said it was rare to see people coming and going from the home.

A woman also named Mumtaz Ladha, who also lives in West Vancouver, posted several job openings in 2010 for a live-in caregiver.

According to the job description, the permanent, full-time job looking after a senior “requires working days, evenings and weekends.”

The worker would be required to “prepare and serve nutritious meals, perform light housekeeping and cleaning duties [and] maintain a safe and healthy environment in the home.”

The post listed the salary at $8 per hour, for 40 hours a week. Room and board charges were listed at $325 per month.

[Source: West Van woman charged with human trafficking - Andrea Woo, Vancouver Sun, May 17, 2011]

Australia: Dad forbids daughter to play with non-Muslim children[edit]

A DAD told his young daughter it was forbidden to play with non-Muslim children, a court has been told.

When he went to court seeking custody of the little girl, who was born in 2007, a federal magistrate said it was disturbing that he had tried to alienate the girl from the non-Muslim community in Australia.

The Federal Magistrates' Court, sitting in Victoria, heard that the girl had refused to play with another, fair-haired girl during a visit with a family counsellor.

The girl allegedly said "Baba says it is haram", explaining to her mother that she was not allowed to play with non-Muslim children.

The family counsellor searched for the meanings of the words on the internet and discovered "Baba" meant father and "haram" meant forbidden, the federal court heard.

In a judgment published this week, Federal Magistrate Philip Burchardt ordered that the child live with her mother and spend time with the father every second weekend.

Mr Burchardt said the father was clearly a loving parent but he did not appear to have an understanding of his daughter's developmental needs.

"Furthermore, his conduct in seeking to alienate (the girl) both from the non-Muslim component of the Australian community and from her mother and grandmother is very disturbing," Mr Burchardt said.

The court heard that the parents had an arranged marriage but the mother claimed the relationship was characterised by physical and verbal abuse, claims denied by the father.

The father also denied telling his daughter who she could play with.

"(He) denied being in the business of telling the child that it was forbidden or otherwise bad to play with non-Muslims, but the evidence of (the family counsellor) makes it plain that he does," Mr Burchardt said.

The father, who is a devout Muslim, also complained to the family counsellor about the mother's style of dress.

Although he denied using denegrating words to describe his ex-wife, Mr Burchardt said his denials were dishonest.

"Putting the matter in the round, the father abhors the mother for no longer adhering to the style of life that he would wish her to," he said.

Photographs tendered to the court since the parties' separation were inconsistent with the mother's assertions she was still fearful of the father.

Mr Burchardt was unable to make a finding about whether there was family violence, nor on the mother's claim that the father had placed the girl under the front wheel of the mother's car to prevent her from driving off.
Dad forbids daughter to play with non-Muslim children
Shelley Hadfield, Herald Sun, August 06, 2011

US: House Panel Approves Resolution Calling on Turkey to Return Confiscated Christian Churches[edit]

The House Foreign Affairs Committee recently voted 43 to one in support of a resolution that calls upon the Republic of Turkey “to safeguard its Christian heritage and to return confiscated church properties” – a step the Turkish Embassy described as “deeply regrettable.”

The resolution (H.Res. 306), introduced by Reps. Edward Royce (R-Calif.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.), cites the “Ottoman Empire’s oppression and intentional destruction of much of its ancient Christian populations, including over 2,000,000 Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Pontians, and Syrics,” and adds that Turkey “has been responsible for the destruction and theft of much of the Christian heritage within its borders.”

The Ottoman Empire, from 1300 to 1922, was an Islamic-governed empire that covered much of southeastern Europe and parts of North Africa and the Middle East. In 1923, with the empire’s official dissolution, Turkey became one of its successor states.

According to the congressional resolution, which was passed on July 20, Turkey, “through official and unofficial acts of discrimination, intolerance, and intimidation, has hindered the remaining Christians on its territory from freely practicing their ancient faiths.”

The resolution urges the Turkish government to “end all forms of religious discrimination” and, among other related issues, “return to their rightful owners all Christian churches and other places of worship,” and “allow the rightful Christian church and lay owners of Christian church properties, without hindrance or restriction, to preserve, reconstruct, and repair, as they see fit, all Christian churches and other places of worship … within Turkey.”

According to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a bipartisan federal commission that reviews violations of religious freedom, “The Turkish government continues to impose serious limitations on freedom of religion or belief, thereby threatening the continued vitality and survival of minority religious communities in Turkey."

The USCIRF also says, “Over the previous five decades, the [Turkish] state has, using convoluted regulations and undemocratic laws to confiscate hundreds of religious minority properties, primarily those belonging to the Greek Orthodox community, as well as Armenian Orthodox, Catholics, and Jews. … The state also has closed seminaries, denying these communities the right to train clergy.”

Aram Hamparian, director of the Armenian National Committee of America, told CNSNews.com that Turkey’s human rights violations “are far-reaching and widespread, having been extensively documented by the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and many others.”

He added, “The Turkish Government must sincerely accept responsibility for the genocidal crimes that led to the confiscation of these churches, and then work – in partnership with Christian churches, minority communities, and key stakeholders in the international community -- to restore their rightful ownership.”

Hamparian noted that there were over 1,460 Armenian Christian church properties functioning prior to the Armenian Genocide in 1915 that have since been confiscated or destroyed, which would need to be returned to the Armenian Church. Additionally, he said there are church properties that would need to be returned to the Greek and Aramean (Syriac) churches.

Royce said at the committee hearing, “Continued persecution of the vulnerable Christian minority in Turkey threatens the survival of their religious tradition. The adoption of this amendment would support their struggle for religious freedom, a value central to basic human dignity, and a basic civil right.”

According to Berman, “The amendment calls on Turkey to make good on past transgressions and allow true freedom of religion to achieve the standards of democratic behavior to which it says and to which I believe it aspires. We want Turkey to allow its Christian citizens to worship exactly as they want, and to allow them to train their clergy exactly as they want.”

“We want Christians to have the right to preserve, reconstruct, and repair their churches and other communal buildings without hindrance or petty harassment as is the case in all other democracies,” said Berman. “We want Turkey to return confiscated property to Christian communities and, at a minimum, to provide compensation for properties that can’t be recovered.”

The Turkish Embassy released a briefing in opposition to the resolution, stating that the resolution was “deeply regrettable because it unfairly distorts the facts on the ground while flatly overlooking Turkey’s efforts to promote religious freedom and tolerance.”

Further, the embassy said the use of the word “destruction” in the resolution was “absolutely wrong and deceptive again when applied to ancient or disused religious sites. Preserving the vast number of historical and religious sites that date back to the earliest times of human civilization is a tremendous challenge for any country. In this regard, it is unfair to allege that Turkey has ignored its Christian heritage.”

“Turkey takes pride in repeatedly providing safe haven to those fleeing religious persecution throughout history,” said the embassy briefing.

“Consequently, we respectfully recommend to all the members of the U.S. House of Representatives that they not become co-sponsors of this unfair and inaccurate resolution but rather contribute in other positive and constructive ways to Turkey’s ongoing efforts and positive gestures.”

During the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s discussion of the resolution, Berman added, “The adoption of this amendment would add a powerful voice, the voice of the United States Congress, in the defense of religious freedom for Christians in present-day Turkey and reinforce the traditional leadership of Congress in defending freedom of faith around the world.”

Speaking of the relationship between the Unites States and Turkey, Rep. Russ Carnahan, (D- Mo.) said, “Turkey has been a long-time ally and friend and so we can and should speak frankly to them about this. We should recognize progress they have made, but we should also urge them to do more. They’ve been a key NATO ally, they are a key world economy, and they are, especially today, a key example of a moderate Muslim democratic country.”

He added, “We need them at the table. We need to continue to urge them to do more.”

Hamparian said, “The United States … has a long and proud tradition of actively promoting and defending freedom of faith around the world. Our own Bill of Rights safeguards religious freedom for Americans, and our longstanding leadership in championing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international covenants has helped protect freedom of faith across the globe.”

He cited several pieces of congressional legislation from the past 15 years that were designed to, like the Berman-Cicilline Amendment, demand religious freedom from foreign governments in countries like Cyprus, Lithuania, Romania and Vietnam.

Hamparian added, “To our knowledge, the Obama administration has not weighed in on this resolution.”

CNSNews.com contacted the White House press office several times for comment on this issue but did not receive any response before this story was posted. The Embassy of Turkey also did not comment before this story was posted.

UK: Mosque teacher assaults four pupils with a two-foot long pipe[edit]

A mosque teacher assaulted four pupils, including one with learning difficulties, with a two-foot long pipe because they were misbehaving in class.

A court heard the Accrington mosque had a written policy which urged staff to make sure the welfare of children was paramount and calling for them to be protected from abuse.

Married father-of-eight Ibrahim Yusuf, 52, of Preston New Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to four charges of assault. He was bailed for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Philippa White, prosecuting, said part of the incident at the Grimshaw Street mosque had been captured on CCTV, which showed Yusuf striking two of the boys, aged 11.

She said the boys’ teacher left them alone and there was some ‘minor misbehaviour.’ The defendant was teaching in another part of the mosque and saw and heard what was going on,” said Mrs White.

“He came over carrying a thin, flexible pole. As he walked among the children he hit four of them with the stick.”

She said one was hit on the arm and another on the lower back.

One boy was clearly upset when his mum collected him at 7pm and he had a red mark on his back.

When he was interviewed by police Yusuf said he had gone over to control the children and accepted he had a piece of plastic overflow pipe in his hand which he used as a “teaching aid”.

He said pupils often made complaints against mosque teachers to get out of going to classes but was aware punishment should be through exclusion or detention.

Bernard Horne, defending, said: “He does accept that he went into this classroom to get the children to stop misbehaving.

He also accepts he was waving this pipe around and it struck four of the children. The pipe is used as a pointing stick and to tap on the desk to get the attention of his class.

“There has never been any previous complaint about his behaviour towards the children and how he conducts himself. He has the ongoing support of the mosque and is very highly regarded in the community.”

He said Yusuf had been a mosque teacher for 36 years, the last 10 years at the Grimshaw Street mosque.
Mosque teacher hit pupils
Andy Bellard, The Asian News, August 5, 2011

Notorious Bulgarian Muslim Stages Pre-Election Circus[edit]

The sidewalk in front of the office of Bulgaria's Central Election Committee, CEC, became Friday the witness of a real crowd of presidential hopefuls wishing to register.

The show began with the almost simultaneous arrival of the delegations of the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party, of the far-right, nationalist Ataka, of the independent candidate, Meglena Kuneva, Bulgaria's first EU Commissioner, formerly from the party National Movement for Stability and Prosperity, NMSP, of ex King and Prime Minister, Simeon Saxe-Coburg, all along with the notorious Yuzeirovi brothers, founders of the illegal Muslim OTOMAN party.

The what was reported as "The Tower of Babylon," was prompted by the fact CEC began registering Friday the presidential candidates.

The most interesting show was staged by Yuzeir Yuzeirov, who arrived dressed in a jacket and only boxers underneath. He told the media the attire was a sign of protest against the authorities refusing the register his Muslim party. Yuzeir is the Head of the Initiative Committee for the nomination of his brother Ali to run for president.

After he was not allowed to enter the building, Yuzeir put on a pair of pants, handed to him by Ali. Ali said he was submitting a list with 21 signatures for registration, knowing full-well CEC will reject them.

GERB, led by Deputy PM, Interior Minister, and Head of the party's Campaign Headquarters, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, were once again the very first to arrive with Tsvetanov praising members of the youth organization of GERB for the initiative to guard the building's entrance and to not allow anyone to register before the ruling party.

Tsvetanov declined revealing the party's nomination for president and commenting on any hypothesis such as the name of GERB's top rated minister – the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Rosen Plevneliev. The Deputy PM pointed out the main rival and adversary of his party in the upcoming October 23 elections will be the opposition, left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, and everyone who would support the Socialists' candidate.

Tsvetanov further informed he was planning to go on paid or unpaid leave as Interior Minister when Election Day approaches and bashed Yuzeirov for the staged show, saying this was total disrespect for the institutions.

Kuneva's initiative Committee, represented by people such as former Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister from the NMSP quota, Daniel Valchev, and former star volleyball player, Plamen Konstantinov, arrived at 9:20 am, but Kuneva was not present.

The Initiative Committees of different political forces with presidential nominations are in a hurry to register with CEC since only then they can begin collecting signatures for the registrations of the candidates and campaign funds.

Commentary: If Tony Blair was responsible for 7/7, then who is responsible for Breivik's acts?[edit]

Monica Porter's books include 'The Paper Bridge: A Return to Budapest


There has been a tidal wave of media coverage about Anders Behring Breivik and his murderous rampage in Norway. Was he a solitary monster or part of a network of virulent white supremacists? Sane or a psychopath? Could he have been influenced by our own extreme nationalists, the English Defence League?

Speculation has been rife. But one line of thinking has been absent. No one has pointed the finger of blame for his horrific crime at the target of his hatred: the Muslim world, with its ever-growing presence and influence in the West.

No one has argued: Yes, he was a mass murderer but consider the provocation. Al Qaeda, global Jihad, radical imams spawning terrorist cells in Europe and a liberal European political establishment that refuses to recognise the dangers. Perhaps Breivik's violent act was the predictable consequence of all that. Should we not factor it into the equation?

Such reasoning, of course, would be obscene. The only one to blame is Breivik himself. He planned the attacks and he executed them. Chillingly, he was able to look innocent people in the eyes and calmly slaughter them. The suggestion that there could be some socio-political, ideological or cultural grievance that might explain - or even excuse - his actions is not one that any rational person would entertain.

In 2005, on another July day, four British Muslim men travelled from Luton to London, where they boarded three Underground trains and a bus and detonated their suicide vests. They murdered 52 and injured hundreds more. They, too, coolly observed the innocents on their way to work or school - people of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities - and blew them to pieces. Ruthless killers with no regard for human life, they were every bit as culpable for their evil crimes as Breivik is for his.

Yet, in the aftermath of London's 7/7 atrocities, there was a rush of leftist apologists laying the blame elsewhere. They claimed it was down to the war in Iraq. That ill-conceived war had made Muslims really mad, they argued, and 7/7 was the inevitable response. "The victims of the London attacks can blame Tony Blair's government for their sufferings," declared George Galloway, then an MP in the left-wing Respect Party. Well no, actually, they can blame four Muslims in suicide vests.

Within days of 7/7, London's mayor, Ken Livingstone, publicly defended the use of suicide bombers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because "Palestinians don't have jet planes, don't have tanks, they only have their bodies to use as weapons". He didn't want people blown up in his city, obviously, but it was okay if it happened in an Israeli one - that was some other mayor's problem and Israel had only itself to blame.

A few years earlier, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in America in which nearly 3,000 perished, there was a clamour of voices from the left, shifting responsibility for the abomination from its perpetrators to its victims. They said it was the fault of America itself.

For decades, so the argument went, the superpower had flexed its muscles around the world and 9/11 was the understandable backlash. (Never mind that the victims were from a multitude of nationalities and ethnic groups, and included dozens of Muslims.)

One would expect this view from Iran's President Ahmadinejad, for whom America is the Great Satan, and naturally he didn't disappoint. But the Rev Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's erstwhile Chicago pastor? The Reverend's hatred for America evidently outweighed any qualms about Al Qaeda. "The United States has brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own terrorism" he asserted, "… and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is brought back to our own front yards."

A tirade so wilfully ignorant that it almost beggars belief… except, of course, that this is exactly what we have come to expect of so many public figures, from the green Johann Hari to the elderly wit, Gore Vidal. The late Harold Pinter consistently blamed the US, Britain and Israel for the world's ills. Had his vitriol been directed instead at truly brutal regimes in the Middle East and Africa, he would never have won the Nobel Prize.

The violent Jihadists who threaten us all are a source of anxiety among many around the world. For some, this has extended into a general aversion to Islam and its followers. But Galloway, Livingstone et al won't be citing Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda's catalogue of massacres as the root cause of Breivik's killing spree.

The unhinged Norwegian is wholly, personally accountable for what he did and, by the same token, responsibility for Islamist atrocities lies squarely on the perpetrators' own heads and not at the door of Blair, Bush or anybody else. It's time the left stopped playing its hypocritical blame game.
So, will the left blame Islam for Breivik's acts?
Monica Porter, The Jewish Chronicle, August 4, 2011

Canada: Deafening silence greets honor killing of young mother in front of her child[edit]

TORONTO - Another honour killing in our midst and the silence is deafening.

Shaher Bano Shahdady was just 21, a young mother who wanted to live her Canadian life as a free Canadian woman. And for that, she was strangled to death in front of her toddler.

From the Baloch region of Pakistan, she came to Toronto as a little girl. At 14, her father, Mullah Abdul Ghafoor, sent her back to Pakistan to study at a religious fundamentalist madrassa and a few years later she was forced into an arranged marriage with her first cousin.

But her precious son was her ticket back home.

Complications in her pregnancy allowed her to return to Toronto. Her baby was born with a serious heart defect that eventually required a transplant, but at least she was back in Canada. Shahdady was a devoted mother, her friends say, and while she lived with her strict religious family in Scarborough, she managed to escape through Facebook where she chatted with friends and administered a Baloch entertainment page that had 6,000 members.

She began to change, friends say. Shahdady no longer wanted to wear a burka that covered her face and body but would don just the hijab head scarf instead. She’d registered at the Adult Learning Centre to work on her high school diploma this fall and was hoping to one day realize her dream of becoming a doctor.

“All her friends were finishing college or university and getting good jobs and she felt she was being left behind,” explains family friend Zaffar Baloch. “She wanted to throw away the veil and live an ordinary independent life of a woman.”

But she had to sponsor her husband here and his arrival in May forced her back into the cage she had struggled so long to escape. He wanted her to wear a burka, to stay away from Facebook, to put aside any plans she had of resuming a secular education.

“She rebelled,” explains Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress. “With the help of social services, she got an apartment for herself and her son. She was leaving her husband and asking for a divorce. How dare she? It would dishonour everyone.”

She and her son moved out July 1. After just three weeks of freedom, she was dead.

Between 1 and 2 a.m. on July 22, neighbours in the building at 3131 Eglinton Ave. E. heard the shrill screaming of a child that went on for 15 minutes. And then silence. More than 15 hours later, Shahdady’s distraught father discovered his 2-year-old grandson alone in the apartment with his daughter’s dead body. She had been strangled on her bed.

Her estranged husband Abdul Malik Rustam, 27, turned himself in to police the next morning. He’s been charged with first-degree murder.

“Absolutely, it was an honour killing,” contends Fatah. “This is the fundamental issue here that no one wants to address. Nobody wants to tell Muslim men that women are not their possessions. It’s about women’s sexuality and men who say they own the franchise to it.”

Toronto Police refuse to confirm that. Maybe all the facts aren’t in yet. Or maybe it’s just not politically correct. “She decided to separate from the marriage and it’s alleged that he killed her,” says spokesman Tony Vella.

“This was clearly an honour killing,” the American Friends of Balochistan said in a statement. “No woman deserves to die in the way Shaher Bano Shahdady died.”

They have launched a Facebook group — Justice 4 Shaher Bano Shahdady Campaign, USA & Canada — that states: “All men and women are born equal. Period. There should be no honour killing. Period. There should be no forced marriage. Period. Women should have the right to be on Facebook. Period. There must be no child bride. Period.”

Those are fundamental rights that are so basic — and yet they remain alien to far too many who come to this country from other cultures. And our silence means more women like Shahdady are destined to die.
Deafening silence greets honour killing
Michele Mandel, Toronto Sun, August 4, 2011

UK: Albino Muslim family terrorized by hate campaign[edit]

A FAMILY of albino Muslims in Coventry are being terrorised by bigots because their daughter married a man from another religion.

The so-called “honour” retribution has included smashed windows at their Edgwick home, vandalised cars and death threats.

Now, head of the family Aslam Parvez has made a plea to the culprits to end the hatred.

“We’re a good family and have done nothing wrong yet we’re being punished in the name of honour,” he said.

We may be forced to flee city

THE head of a Coventry family of albino Muslims has pleaded for an end to a campaign of “honour” harassment which began after his daughter married outside the faith.

The Parvez-Akhtar family, of Edgwick, has been subjected to vicious attacks because eldest daughter Naseem wed a Christian.

House windows have been smashed, their cars vandalised and they receive constant hate mail.

Aslam Parvez, aged 53, blames members of the Muslim community who believe the family have been dishonoured by his daughter’s marriage.

He contacted the Telegraph to issue a public appeal in a desperate bid to make the culprits stop.

“We’re a good family and have done nothing wrong yet we’re being punished in the name of honour,” he said.

The hate campaign started five months ago when a national magazine published an article on albinos which featured Naseem, who no longer lives in Coventry and has little contact with her family.

It revealed how she has married a Christian, goes to church and is expecting her second child with her husband.

Mr Parvez says copies of the article were quickly spread maliciously, and were posted on walls near their house and through the doors of Muslim homes in the community.

Mr Parvez says he has received numerous death threats and has spent hundreds of pounds installing security cameras around his house.

He has now stopped going to mosque and says he may be forced to flee the city with his wife Shameem Akhtar, 55, three sons Mohammed, 17, Haider, 28, Gulam, 30, and daughters Muqadas, 26 and Musarat, 19.
. . .
A Coventry Police spokesman said they received an allegation from the family on July 20 and are investigating the matter.

Mandy Sanghera, a social worker and local expert in honour violence, is supporting the family.

She said: “This family is already vulnerable because of their condition and have clearly been affected by honour violence against them.

“They don’t deserve it. They need the support of the community not to be alienated by them. I urge those responsible for doing this to stop.”
Coventry Albino Muslim family terrorised by hate campaign
Cara Simpson, Coventry Telegraph, August 4, 2011

UAE residents report flouting of Ramadan work hours[edit]

Scores of non-Muslims have sought help from authorities concerned protesting against what they say is discrimination in terms of reduced work hours during Ramadan.

Many Gulf News readers also voiced complaints that they are made to work longer hours than their Muslim colleagues during Ramadan despite a Ministry of Labour announcement to the contrary. The ministry recently announced that all private and public sector staff are required to work a maximum of six to seven hours daily. Companies are required to reduce regular working hours by at least two hours during Ramadan.

The readers who took up the issue requested that their names not be disclosed as they feared it could have repercussions on their jobs.

One reader sent a copy of a letter from his company's human resource department that called on all non-Muslim senior staff and managers to work the full day from 9am till 5pm — a total of nine hours.

"This is racism," another reader who works for 12 hours every day in another company said. He said his firm, to add insult to injury, is also refusing to pay overtime this year for extra hours put in by employees. A senior ministry official told Gulf News that companies that do not reduce working hours for all their employees by two hours will face stiff penalties.

Labour permits

He said the penalties could include a fine of up to Dh10,000 and a suspension of the firm's eligibility for labour permits for a specified period.

The two-hour reduction in work timings applies to all workers both in the public and the private sector, regardless of their religious belief. The regulation allows those who work for eight hours a day throughout the year to avail of a six-hour work day in Ramadan, while those who work for nine hours should benefit from a seven-hour work day during the Holy Month.

One reader from Abu Dhabi said his company had not only asked staff to work for eight hours but also on Saturdays, which is the weekend off day. He asked where he could make a complaint. The ministry is currently inspecting firms to check compliance both with the Ramadan timings, as well as with the midday break rule that prohibits outdoor work between 12:30 pm and 3 pm till September 15.

The ministry official, however, noted that it was impossible to check on all the 180,000 labour establishments across the UAE. "We are at present focusing on midday break compliance, which is essential to ensure the basic health and rights of workers," he said. According to the official, employers can only legally require employees to put in more than the six or seven hours of work with their consent. "In this case, the extra hours of work cannot exceed four hours on a daily basis, and the worker must be paid 150 per cent of his normal hourly rate of pay for each extra hour worked."

But sales staff at the Computer Plaza in Bur Dubai complain that shop owners do not bother about the rules. "Everyone is forced to work longer hours," said one salesman. "No one can complain because no one wants to lose their jobs," he said.
UAE residents report flouting of Ramadan work hours
Abdulla Rashid, Mahmood Saberi, Samihah Zaman, Gulf News, August 4, 2011

Italy will be next EU state to ban Muslim burka and face veil[edit]

Italy is set to be the next EU nation to introduce a burka ban, as parliament announced it would debate legislation after the summer recess.

France and Belgium already have bans in place and the proposal has the backing of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's ruling Right-wing coalition.

The draft law, which makes no mention of religion, would also ban the niqab, which covers the bottom part of the face only, and other head-covering garments "of ethnic origin".

The Bill was initially suggested by the anti-immigration Northern League. Italy's constitutional affairs committee said it would be debated next month.

The move is not supported by the opposition Democratic Left, but Mr Berlusconi's coalition has a majority in both the upper and lower houses of parliament and a ban is highly likely to pass.

Offenders would be fined 150-300 Euros or do community service "aimed at encouraging integration". Officials said the law would take into account people who "force someone to wear a burka or face veil using either physical or psychological violence". This could lead to a year in jail and a fine of 30,000 Euros. Italy has about 1.2 million Muslims but the full burka is rare.

There have been incidents, especially in northern cities such as Milan and Verona, where women have been asked to remove a face veil. Some towns have bylaws banning face veils.

The Northern League's proposal aims to amend a 1975 law, introduced amid concern over terrorism, that prohibits the wearing of anything that makes identification impossible.

Suad Sbai, a woman MP of Muslim origin in Mr Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, said: "This is a decisive push for a measure promoting freedom and civilised values."
Italy will be next EU state to ban Muslim burka and face veil
Nick Pisa, London Evening Standard, August 3, 2011

Malaysia's 8TV pulls racist Ramadan adverts[edit]

A Malaysian TV channel has withdrawn a series of public-service messages about the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, after viewers complained they were racist.

One of the adverts showed an ethnic Chinese girl acting in a rude manner towards Muslims, followed by a message saying: "Do not be loud or obnoxious."

In another of the adverts the girl is wearing a vest-top and is told: "Do not wear tight and revealing clothes."

The station, 8TV, apologised for any "inconvenience or uneasiness" caused.

"It is with much regret that there were misinterpretations in the PSA [public service announcement] that were meant to serve only as a message of respect for the Ramadan month," the channel said in a message on its Facebook page.

"The message was not meant to offend anyone, race or creed in any way. This is an honest mistake involving a very small amount of humour that was misinterpreted which led to concerns."

The station, which aims largely at Malaysia's sizeable Chinese minority, pulled the messages from its schedules and also moved quickly to delete them from video-sharing websites.

Its Facebook page was inundated with critical messages.

One web user, Jules Yap, said the channel had shown "disgusting, arrogant behaviour".

"Can't believe how arrogant the higher-ups in 8TV are, coming out with a defensive, insincere 'apology' which at the same time blames the viewers for misinterpreting the offensive PSA ads, when the ads are clearly in poor taste," he said.

Boon Hun said: "Gosh, you keep using the word misinterpretations, like it's our fault!"

Ethnic Chinese make up about one quarter of Malaysia's population.

They often complain of being discriminated against by the country's laws, which they say give ethnic Malays preferential treatment.

Merry Ramadan: Bomb Attack Outside Iraqi Christian Church Wounds 23[edit]

Police in northern Iraq say a car bomb has exploded outside a Christian church in the ethnically-divided city of Kirkuk, wounding at least 23 people.

Authorities said the blast Tuesday damaged the church as well as homes in the area.

As many as 1.2 million Christians lived in Iraq before the 2003 invasion to oust leader Saddam Hussein. However, many have since fled abroad in the wake of stepped-up violence by al-Qaida-linked Muslim insurgents.

In October 2010, al-Qaida militants carried out a deadly siege of a Christian church in Baghdad that left 46 worshippers dead.

Kirkuk is an oil-rich region that has long experienced tensions among its Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen communities. Arab residents oppose demands by the Kurds to annex Kirkuk to northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

Muslim Boys gang are 'planning massive attack' at Belmarsh prison in revenge for Osama bin Laden killing[edit]

GOVERNORS at Britain’s top terror jail believe al-Qaeda extremists are planning a major attack as payback for Osama bin Laden’s death.

Security has been stepped up to “unprecedented” levels at Belmarsh prison after warnings that the Muslim Boys gang is plotting a revenge mission. A 15-strong riot squad in stab-proof vests has hidden around the jail’s chapel during Muslim prayers on Fridays in case of an attack.

Another team of officers has been on standby ready to assist.

Prisoners on House Block One, which includes 39 terror suspects, added to the tension by staging a mass show of defiance on Friday.

Inmates refused to return to their cells and a source says “staff very nearly lost control of the jail”.

The standoff was only ended when officers brandished batons and demanded a retreat as they marched towards the prisoners.

The source said: “It’s a powder keg waiting to go off.

“There are concerns it will take an officer’s death before the Muslim Boys are tackled seriously.

“The levels of security being employed are unprecedented.Management are worried the Muslim Boys are planning an incident in Bin Laden’s honour on a scale never seen before.

“Security around the past three Friday prayers has been massive.”

The prayers at the Category A prison in South-East London are attended by high profile terror figures including hook-handed preacher of hate Abu Hamza.

The Muslim Boys, a splinter group of al-Qaeda, are thought to have been plotting since Bin Laden was killed by US troops in May.

Italy: Thirty-five injured when migrant protest turns into riot[edit]

Around 35 people were injured Monday in southern Italy when people held in a migrant detention camp near the city of Bar staged a protest that turned into a riot.

Some 100 migrants demonstrated to get their passports returned with visas to stay in Italy by blocking a rail line and state road. The protest turned violent when riot police were sent in to break up the demonstration and the migrants pelted them with stones.

Other detainees armed with iron rods set fire to furniture at the camp in the Puglia region.

Twenty police and 15 migrants were injured in the incident.

Separately, the bodies of 25 migrants were found Sunday in the hold of a vessel that set sail from Libya for the Italian island of Lampedusa.

More than 40,000 illegal immigrants have arrived on the island since popular uprisings broke out in North Africa early this year. Thousands of the arrivals have been transferred to detention camps in Sicily and on the Italian mainland.

Non-Muslim Holidaying in Dubai Warned to Respect 'Ramadan Rules'[edit]

The Foreign Office has warned non-Muslims holidaying in Dubai this summer that eating, drinking or smoking in public places during the Holy month of Ramadan that starts on Monday August 1 could see them trespassing the law and end up in jail.

In a new report, aimed at providing non-Muslim with a set of advice and instructions on how to behave in public places while in the UAE during Ramadan, the Foreign Office warns that, the "failure to comply" with local laws "could result in arrest" and that "discretion should be exercised" even in the case of young children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

According to the document Dubai police have said they will give non-Muslims one warning before arrest can be made. "Do not eat, drink or smoke in public view during the daytime (including in your car). This is considered highly disrespectful. It is also against the law and failure to comply could result in arrest. Pregnant, nursing women, and young children are exempt from the provisions, but discretion should be exercised.

"The majority of eating and drinking establishments will be closed during daylight hours, but you can find some coffee houses with screens that are intended to allow people to eat during the daytime away from public view. "Be careful about your dress during Ramadan. Skimpy clothes should not be worn at any time in the UAE, but during Ramadan the standards may be policed even more carefully than usual." The documents read.

In the foreign office "British Behaviour Abroad" report, consular statistics found that of the 20 countries in the world with the largest British expatriate populations, Britons were more likely to be arrested in the UAE, at the exception of Thailand. "This is largely because the UAE laws and customs are very different to those in the UK. There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK," said the Foreign Office.

Sean Tipton, from the Association of British Travel Agents, told the Guardian he will recommend the Foreign Office report to holidaymakers. "In addition, we will be reminding ABTA members who sell trips to the UAE to signpost their customers to this information. However, whilst we fully understand and appreciate the importance of Ramadan, we would strongly recommend that the Dubai authorities practice these enforcement measures with a degree of sensitivity and discretion so as to avoid causing unwarranted distress to foreign visitors and the risk of significant damage to their tourist industry." Mr Tipton told the newspaper.
Non-Muslim Holidaying in Dubai Warned to Respect 'Ramadan Rules'
Anissa Haddadi, International Business Times, August 1, 2011


See Also[edit]

  • News - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Islam in the news

External Links[edit]