Islam in the News (February 2012)

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


Video: "Heroic" Libyan rebels thank the West for their help by destroying a Christian cemetery

The Mail Online reported on this incident (March 2, 2012) which was carried out in retaliation to the Afghan Qur'an burning. The headstones being smashed at the Benghazi Military Cemetery are those of WWII heroes killed during campaigns in the Western Desert.

Former Muslim Dr. Ali Sina announces plans for a biographical film on the founder of Islam

I started writing about Islam in 1998. When I read the Quran and the life of Muhammad it became clear to me that the world is in danger. Islam is a threat to mankind and this threat will not end until we all surrender to a global tyranny ruled under Sharia – the most draconian law since Hammurabi. Never underestimate the power of stupid people motivated by zealotry.

When I started my campaign, the Internet was new and apart from, and Ibn Warraq’s few articles on ISIS, there were no other sources of truthful information about Islam online. There were also pundits like Dr. Daniel Pipes who wrote about “Islamism.” They conveyed the message that the problem is not Islam per se, but a tiny minority of radicalized extremists.

That sounded to me like shadow boxing. I grew up in the Muslim world and never had heard the word “Islamism,” unless in a pejorative way to discredit the zealots. I knew that categorizing Muslims between moderates and radicals is misleading. In the words of Erdogan, Turkey’s Prime Minister, “These descriptions are very ugly. They are offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”

Radicalism is only pure Islam. Islamic terrorism is a symptom. The disease is Islam. My message was not politically correct. Although many people read my articles, I was dismissed by the mainstream media as one on the fringe.

However, truth is obstinate. That message spread and many ex-Muslims such as Wafa Sultan, Ayan Hirshi Ali, Nonie Darwish and others started echoing it. Today, there are thousands of blogs and sites on the Internet delivering that very politically incorrect message. I am elated to see so many non-Muslims have joined this crusade. My special thanks go to Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller for raising the awareness of millions of people, and of course to Geert Wilders for elevating the discussion about Islam to political sphere. I can’t hide my satisfaction of what has been achieved in such a short time. The trickle has turned into a torrent. It is now unstoppable.

But the mission is not accomplished. In the first year of this century, I predicted that Islam will be eradicated in our own lifetime. On the surface, it appears that it has become stronger. Secular despots in Islamic countries are being replaced by extremist Muslims. But don’t let appearances deceive you. This is a necessary step in the de-Islamization of the world. Muslims must first taste the bitterness of Islam before they spit it out for good. This process has already happened in Iran. If given freedom, Iran will be the only country today that will renounce Islam. In the land of Cyrus the Great, the illusion of Islam is all but waned. Other Islamic countries need to go through the same cleansing process. They are just three decades behind.

To get rid of Islam we need to reveal the truth about it. The Internet was godsend to critics of Islam. However, sites that are critical of Islam are blocked in Islamic countries and even if they were not, the great majority of Muslims don’t read. We need to get our message to the masses.

Masses watch movies. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the worth of a motion picture? We need to make a motion picture about Muhammad – a biopic that reveals the details of his life. The Devil is in the details.

The true story of Muhammad is untold. It is available in the books of Siras. But those are voluminous books. Combined, they are thousands of pages. I read them all and have condensed them in a script. This biopic starts with Muhammad’s childhood. Like all tyrants and psychopaths of history, he had a loveless childhood. This is crucial to understand his psychology and his ruthlessness in his later years.

The movie shows Muhammad’s raids, plunders, massacres, rapes, assassinations and other crimes. A small subtitle in the lower right corner of each scene will give reference to the source of the story. This movie is entirely factual. Wherever possible, I copied the Quran, the Sira and the Hadith verbatim. It is a riveting story. Truth about Muhammad is more shocking than fiction.

The world does not know Islam. What is known is a watered down and euphemized version of it that has no bases in reality. The truth is that Muhammad was a cult leader, much like Jim Jones, Shoko Asahara and Charles Manson. Unlike them he succeeded because there was no central power in the seventh century Arabia to stop him.

The other good news is that I have been promised a substantial angel financing. I have been daydreaming about this movie for ten years. It was this promise that prompted me into action. I put everything aside for five months, read everything I could about my protagonist, selected the most salient episodes and wrote the script.

The seed is now sown. Now it’s time to nurture it. What I need is an experienced executive producer, someone who shares my values, to make it happen with professionalism and missionary zeal.

I am not thinking of a high budget movie, but given the subject matter, it can become one of the most seen motion pictures ever. (Recall Danish cartoons?) There are hundreds of millions of people all over the world who fear their freedom is under attack. They will be our primary viewers, as well as promoters.

I don’t think this movie will require much investment on promotion. People in the movie industry know that nearly half of the budget of a film is spent on advertising and on marketing. We won’t need any of that. We have an army of millions strong who will promote this movie for free.

Just as the Internet allowed us to spread our message to millions of people, with this movie we can spread the same message to hundreds of millions. When the world discovers the truth about Muhammad, Islam’s days will be numbered. I have led thousands of Muslims out of Islam. I know truth sets people free.

New technology allows us to hide the identity of the actors. And we can distribute worldwide, even in Islamic countries. These would have been impossible a few years ago.

My interest in making this movie is not financial. I want truth be known. However, given the controversy and the buzz that such a movie will necessarily generate, and the fact that it is an untold and fascinating story about the most influential man in history, I can foresee a huge return on the investment. When I know about the budget and the legalities are in place, I will give a chance to those who might be interested, to invest in this project. If you have questions you can email me to faithfreedom2 at In the subject boxplease write Movie Investment.

Although this biopic is about Muhammad, its focus is on his victims. I have given a face to his forgotten victims. I cried when reading their stories and I want the world to cry remembering them.

Truth will set mankind free. A movie is the fastest way to spread the truth.

Ali Sina
A Movie about Muhammad: An Idea whose Time Has Come
Ali Sina, Faith Freedom International, February 29, 2012

Islamophobia? Number of U.S. mosques soar; leaders say US society not hostile to Islam

The number of Islamic places of worship in the United States soared 74 percent in the past decade.

While protests against new mosques in New York, Tennessee and California made headlines, the overall number of mosques quietly rose from 1,209 in 2000 to 2,106 in 2010.

And most of their leaders say American society is not hostile to Islam, according to a comprehensive census of U.S. mosques and survey of imams, mosque presidents and board members released Wednesday.

“This is a very healthy community,” lead researcher and study author Ihsan Bagby, an associate professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky, said Tuesday. “Mosque leaders feel very positive, more positive than they did in 2000” when a similar study was conducted.
Number of U.S. mosques soars in decade
The Daily News Journal‎, February 29, 2012

Afghan government announces that NATO has agreed to Put Qur'an burners on trial

The Afghan government has announced that two Muslim delegations have met with NATO officials, and that NATO has "promised to meet Afghan nation’s demand of bringing to justice, through an open trial, those responsible for the incident . . ."

Yes, Americans are going to stand trial for burning Qur'ans that were used to spread messages among terrorists.

In other words, NATO has agreed to enforce Sharia.

We might as well give Karzai our lunch money while we're at it.

[Source: Joint Statement by the Delegations Assigned to Probe Bagram Incident - Afghan Government Media and Information Center, February 25, 2012]
NATO Agrees to Put Quran Burners on Trial
David Wood, Answering Muslims, February 28, 2012

Russian & Ukrainian security services foil plot to blow up Vladimir Putin following election

State television in Russia said that special forces had seized two conspirators in Odessa, southern Ukraine, after an explosion in an apartment in January.

The Chechen alleged ringleader, Adam Osmayev, 31, has reportedly confessed to planning the assassination on the orders of Doku Umarov, the emir of the Islamist insurgency against Moscow's rule in the North Caucasus region.

Channel One showed Osmayev in detention saying: "The ultimate aim was to travel to Moscow and try to assassinate Premier Putin." The plan was exposed after the explosion in Odessa on January 4, which was initially thought to be a domestic gas explosion. However, it transpired to be an accident during the preparation of an explosive device.

One of the men, Ruslan Madayev, 26, died in the blast but Ukrainian special forces seized a second, Ilya Pyanzin, 28, two days later. Osmayev, who was shown with blotches of green antiseptic covering wounds on his face, was captured separately later. The men had a laptop with several videos of Mr Putin's cortege travelling through Moscow on it.
Russia foils 'Chechen plot' to assassinate Vladimir Putin
Tom Parfitt, The Telegraph, February 27, 2012

Commentary: The BBC director general admits they fear violent Muslims; should Christians kill him?

Nick Cohen is a secular British journalist, author, and political commentator. He is currently a columnist for The Observer, a blogger for The Spectator and TV critic for Standpoint magazine.

I’d rather they didn’t. But perhaps a campaign of clerical terror would make the BBC ‘respect’ Christianity.

According to the Telegraph, the director general of the BBC said it handles Islam with far more sensitivity than Christianity because: ‘The point is that for a Muslim, a depiction, particularly a comic or demeaning depiction, of the Prophet Mohammed might have the emotional force of a piece of grotesque child pornography. One of the mistakes secularists make is not to understand the character of what blasphemy feels like to someone who is a realist in their religious belief.’

Islam was a religion ‘almost entirely’ practised by people who already may feel in other ways ‘isolated’, ‘prejudiced against’ and who may regard an attack on their religion as ‘racism by other means’. Christians, by contrast, have broad shoulders.

So far, this sounds like the normal cant, The BBC restrains its staff because of a desire to combat racism.

But unlike so many in the arts and journalism, Thompson is not a humbug. He freely admits that fear rather ‘respect’ generates censorship at the BBC. Talking of the angry letters he receives, he said: ‘Without question, “I complain in the strongest possible terms”, is different from, “I complain in the strongest possible terms and I am loading my AK47 as I write”. This definitely raises the stakes.’

For all his honesty, Thompson needs to ask himself some searching questions.

1. Islam is no more a religion confined to the poor and the marginalised than Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism are. Powerful men with the ability to afflict harm and death on others use it to justify theocratic rule in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and para-military terror across the world. If the BBC will not criticise the fundamentals of their faith, it is doing what they would want it to do by damning their Christian competitors while handing them a free pass.

2. It is not just Iran and Saudi Arabia where Islam has the power to dominate. In Britain, liberal Muslims and ex-Muslims need to confront the bigots in their own communities. The liberal BBC will not help them or report their struggles for fear of violent attack. Its cowardice and a misplaced anti-racism have made it a reactionary force that cannot help immigrants and their children, who are struggling to escape taboos.

3. He should now stop Andrew Marr, Ed Stourton, John Humphrys and the rest of his staff from engaging in double-speak about ‘militant secularism’. There are no militant secularists threatening to kill him, Marr, Stourton and Humphrys — although some of us do feel the occasional twinge in the trigger finger. The militancy is all from the other side.

4. There is no blasphemy law in Britain. By bowing to the threat of extra-legal violence, the BBC is saying that it accords greater ‘respect’ to those who threaten crimes, than those who do not.

I discuss the hypocrisies and contortions of modern censorship in my recent You Can’t Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom (I know I promised not to mention it again, but it is relevant.)
Should Christians kill Mark Thompson?
Nick Cohen, The Spectator, February 27, 2012

Afghanistan: 2 more Americans shot dead in retaliation for Qur'an burning, death toll at 30

NATO has pulled all of its staff out of Afghan government ministries after two US military advisors were shot dead in the interior ministry, as anti-US protests raged for a fifth day.
. . .

In a day of violence across the country, a UN compound came under attack by thousands of demonstrators in northeastern Kunduz province, but they were driven back when police fired into the crowd, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.

Five people were reported killed in the attack, taking the five day death toll from protests over the burning of Korans at the US-run Bagram airbase to around 30.
. . .
The two American military advisors from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were in the interior ministry when "an individual" turned his weapon against them, NATO said, without giving further details.

A government source told AFP the two men were killed by a member of the Afghan police.
. . .
The latest deaths come hard on the heels of the killing of two American troops on Thursday when an Afghan soldier turned his weapon on them at their base in eastern Nangarhar province as demonstrators approached.

The Koran burning has inflamed anti-Western sentiment already smouldering in Afghanistan over abuses by US-led foreign troops, such as the release last month of a video showing US Marines urinating on the corpses of dead Afghans.

Four French soldiers were shot dead by an Afghan army colleague at their base in Kapisa province in late January shortly after that video was released.

Violent anti-US protests have seen furious Afghans attack French, Norwegian, UN and US bases, shouting "Death to America" after the Taliban exhorted their countrymen to kill foreign troops to avenge the Koran burning.

There were fresh protests in five different Afghan provinces Saturday over the burning of the Islamic holy book at the US airbase at Bagram near Kabul.

In the assault on the UN compound in Kunduz, five people were killed and 66 wounded, including 11 police, health ministry officials and police said.

US: Clash breaks out at University of New Mexico as protesters interrupt Islam lecture

A physical clash broke out at the University of New Mexico when protesters interrupted a lecture by an author known for her critical views of Islam.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the confrontation started when a few audience members tried to silence about 10 protesters who interrupted Nonie Darwish on Thursday as she was halfway through her speech, "Why the Arab Spring is Failing."
Clash breaks out during Islam lecture at UNM
Associated Press, February 26, 2012

Nigeria: Islamists kill a dozen people, including 10 civilians, in Gombe city jail attack

Gunmen suspected of being Boko Haram Islamists killed a dozen people when they razed a police station after failing to storm a jail in northeastern Nigeria's Gombe city, police said Saturday.

The city was put under lockdown, with no residents allowed to leave their homes, after the gun and bomb attacks in a botched attempt to free inmates.

"The gunmen had attempted to break into the prison near the police station and their attempt was unsuccessful, but they succeeded in burning down the police station," police chief for Gombe state Gandhi Ebikeme Orubebe said.

"So far 12 people have been killed in the bomb and shooting attack, 10 of them were civilians and two policemen," he said, adding that the police station had been blown up with bombs.

Witnesses had earlier said they counted 14 bodies.
Dozen killed in Nigeria jail attack
Alejandro Bustos, AFP, February 25, 2012

US: "Qur'an burner" Terry Jones says US reaction shows officials know Islam not religion of peace

Pastor Terry Jones with Dove Outreach in Florida was excoriated in the national media and by government officials including President Obama after he had announced plans to burn a copy of the Koran at a church service last year. Jones said the attitude by both U.S. officials and Muslims in Afghanistan is very revealing.

Since it was announced that copies of the Quran were accidently burned along with other religious items the United States has made a series of contrite and penitent statements pleading with Muslims for forgiveness.

The Qurans were being used by insurgents to plan attacks against soldiers both inside and outside the base. Following their discovery the religious items which included the Qurans were confiscated and later taken to a waste pit on the US base at Bagram north of Kabul and burned.

The terrorists had reason to believe their actions would remain undetected because a COIN directive instructs troops to handle the Quran with special reverence not afforded any other religious text.
. . .
In an attempt to prevent riots similar to those that erupted when Jones burned a copy of the Quran last year, U.S. Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, attempted to reassure Muslims that this particular incident was unintentional and pleaded for forgiveness.
. . .
In a show of fealty to the Muslim community he said, “I assure you … I promise you … this was NOT intentional in any way.”

A member of the Afghan parliament has demanded that those who burned the Quran should be punished. In Islamic countries this could mean death.

Despite Allen’s attempt at what has been described by some as “groveling” at the feet of Muslims, they do not appear to have been appeased.

Following the desecration of the Qurans by “unbelievers” Muslims in Afghanistan have engaged in riots for the past several days. The riots have left over a dozen dead and rioters have stormed the base with petrol bombs.

In an attempt to please Muslims, president Obama wrote to Afghan President Hamid Karzai promising that he would ensure the soldiers who burned the Quran would be punished for their actions.

“I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies. We will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible.”

U.S. officials also appear to be concerned about similar incidents in America. The AP reported that a senior Pentagon official had apologized to Muslims in the Washington D.C. area. Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asia and Pacific security affairs went to a mosque in the area on Friday telling them that all troops are being retrained in the handling of Islamic religious materials.

Jones said that the Muslim response towards even a simple accidental burning of a religious text shows that the Muslim religion is based on intolerance and idol worship.

“Christians don’t react this way to the burning of our bible, which is just as sacred. We do not worship it as an idol and despite their claims to the contrary, their attitude toward the Quran shows they treat it as an idol.”

He went on to say that our government’s attitude towards Muslims in situations like this was dangerous and is similar to a schoolyard bully who is emboldened whenever people refuse to stand up to him.

“This kowtowing to Islam by Allen and Obama is not only ridiculous it is also dangerous. As we continue to back up and give in to their sensibilities, they will sooner or later push us off a cliff.”

Jones also said that by being so quick to apologize for burning a Quran, while not showing similar contrition when the military deliberately burned Bibles that were sent to a soldier in Afghanistan in 2009, was very instructive.

“If they are going to apologize to Muslims for burning the Koran, which is sacred to Muslims; than they should also issue an apology to American Christians for burning the Bible. That they have not done so while quickly groveling in order to appease Muslims, shows that deep down the military knows Islam is not a religion of peace.”

Yemen: Suicide car bomb kills at least 26 people & injures dozens outside a presidential palace

A suicide car bomb claimed by al-Qaeda killed at least 26 people outside a presidential palace in southern Yemen on Saturday, hours after [Hadi] was sworn as Yemen’s new president with the job of bringing stability to an increasingly chaotic nation.

The car was driven at a palace in the port city of Mukalla, Yemen’s fourth-largest city, far from the capital Sana’a where Hadi was sworn in. Dozens were injured, and the governor of Hadramout province said most of the dead were members of the national army, the Republican Guard.

“Al-Qaeda is responsible for the suicide bombing in Mukalla in retaliation for the Republican Guard’s crimes,” an al-Qaeda source told Reuters.
. . .

After Hadi's speech, protesters in the southern city of Aden clashed with security forces, killing one soldier, a local security official said. Two soldiers and two protesters were injured, medics added.

Turkey: Reforms aim to reduce compulsory schooling and promote Qur'anic schools and veil

The goals of an education reform bill introduced by the Islamic party of Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been characterised by opposition parties as aiming to halve the length of compulsory schooling to promote more Koranic schools and veil wearing. The opposition secular press, trades unionists and other commentators, have for a month now, but especially over the past two days, been aiming their criticisms at the Islamic tendencies of the reforms of alleged faults in the country's education system. Today the countries confederation of industry, the TUSIAD, has joined in the chorus of protest. The bill would in effect abolish the present laws obliging children to attend school for eight years, halving them to the period of primary education alone.

Although this radical move is softened by the offer of distance learning, critics are calling it an incentive to quit school, especially in the less developed eastern areas of the country, and in cultural milieu where the ban on wearing the veil inside school premises meets strongest resistance. The ban comes from the secular, Western stamp given to Turkey's constitution in the 1930s by the country's founder Kemal Ataturk. A reduction in the number of years of compulsory education would also promote the so-called Imam Hatip Lisesi, the religious Islamic schools, like the one in which Mr Erdogan was educated. Following its third electoral victory in succession, with nearly 50% of votes cast, Erdogan's single-party pro-Islamic government has already abolished the minimum age requirement for attendance at such schools and this reform would encourage children to give up attending their secular secondary schools in favour of religious institutions which now would take over some of the functions of the grammar schools.

US: Corrupt Muslim Judge threatens to hold “zombie Muhammad” atheist in contempt of court

A Muslim judge in Pennsylvania – who scolded a local atheist for offending Islam, called him a doofus and accused him of “using the First Amendment” to madden Muslims – dismissed harassment charges against the Muslim defendant who purportedly choked the atheist during a Halloween parade.

District Judge Mark Martin brought a Quran to court and told the alleged victim, American Atheists’ Pennsylvania State Director Ernest Perce V, “I think you misinterpreted a couple of things. So before you start mocking somebody else’s religion, you might want to find out a little more about it. It kind of makes you look like a doofus.”

The judge added, “I think our forefathers intended to use the First Amendment so we can speak with our mind, not to p— off other people and cultures – which is what you did.”

Perce had worn a “zombie Muhammad” costume and proclaimed that he was the Prophet Muhammad risen from the dead at the Oct, 11, 2011, event in Mechanicsburg, Pa. A “zombie pope” was also featured in the parade that night.

Now the Scranton Atheism Examiner reports that Perce could be arrested for posting audio of the judge scolding him for mocking Muhammad. According to report, the Muslim judge has threatened to hold him in contempt of court for releasing the recording. Perce has claimed he was given permission to post the audio.

The Examiner reports that Perce said he posted the audio because the judge treated him unfairly and showed preferential treatment for the Muslim defendant.

According to reports, the atheists were marching when Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim, stormed out of the crowd and assaulted Perce, grabbing a sign around his neck and pulling until the strings choked him.

The men caught the attention of a nearby police officer.

Mechanicsburg Police Officer Bryan Curtis told Pennsylvania’s WHTM-TV, “Mr. Perce has the right to do what he did that evening, and the defendant in this case was wrong in what he did in confronting him.”

He added, “I believe that I brought a case that showed proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and the case was dismissed, and I was disappointed.”

Elbayomy – who said he believed it was illegal to mock Muhammad – was charged with harassment. He denied touching Perce at trial, but Officer Curtis said Elbayomy admitted grabbing Perce’s sign and beard the night of the incident.
Offended Muslim chokes atheist, and then ...
Chelsea Schilling, WND, February 24, 2012

UK: 11 Muslims on trial for sex offenses against children including rape, trafficking & sex assault

A 15-year-old victim of a child sexual exploitation ring was 'grabbed by the throat' and called a 'white b****' when she refused to have sex, a court heard today.

The girl is one of five alleged victims, aged as young as 13, who were 'shared' and 'passed around' by 11 men who all deny conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under the age of 16.

One of the men, a 59-year-old defendant who cannot be named, also denies two counts of rape, aiding and abetting a rape, one count of sexual assault and an allegation of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.
. . .
The girls were abused by the men who used alcohol, money, drugs and threats of violence to force them to have sex, the court heard.
. . .
The court heard she was forced to have sex with more than 21 different men over the course of the abuse.

The jury heard how she was raped and forced to have sex with numerous men by the 59-year-old. Then Abdul Aziz, known to the girls as Tariq, 'took over'.
. . .

Kabeer Hassan, 24, Abdul Aziz, 41, Abdul Rauf, 43, Mohammed Sajid, 35, Adil Khan,42, Abdul Qayyum, 43, Mohammed Amin, 44, Qamar Shahzad, 29, Liaquat Shah, 41, Hamid Safi 22, and the 59-year-old man all live in the Greater Manchester area.

Iraq: Car bomb blasts kill 70 people, injure a further two-hundred, raising sectarian fears

A wave of bombings and shootings across Iraq killed as many as 70 people and injured 200 others on Thursday, security officials said.

All the attacks, which hit areas across the Iraqi capital, struck between 6:00 am and 8:00 am (0300 and 0500 GMT), said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The attacks targeted different neighborhoods in Baghdad.

Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaify reacted by saying that the attacks aim at ruining the plans for holding the Arab Summit in Baghdad. The Iraqi Interior Ministry said that the attacks were probably masterminded by al-Qaeda.

US: Muslim admits attacking atheist, Judge dismisses case, lectures atheist on Islam

You may recall back in October The Blaze reported on the now-infamous “Zombie Muhammed,” who was attacked by an irate Muslim man over what he believed was the unspeakable act of dishonoring his prophet. Zombie Muhammed, along with his counterpart, “Zombie Pope,” were costumes worn by Atheists during a Halloween parade last year.

The assault was captured on video and the Muslim man admitted to his crime, saying that he did not know mocking Muhammed was actually legal in the U.S.. Charges, of course, were filed.

Seems like a clear-cut case in favor of the victim, no? Think again.

The court case in the assault has since come to trial and was dismissed by the presiding judge, who, in fact, happens to be Muslim as well.

The judge refused to allow the video as evidence, stating, “All that aside I’ve got here basically.. I don’t want to say he said she said but I’ve got two sides of the story that are in conflict with each other.”

He added, “…he [plaintiff] has not proven to me beyond a reasonable doubt that this defendant is guilty of harassment, therefore I am going to dismiss the charge”

The case brought by the victim, Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists, Inc., Mr. Ernest Perce V.

Opposing Views reports:

The defendant is an immigrant and claims he did not know his actions were illegal, or that it was legal in this country to represent Muhammad in any form. To add insult to injury, he also testified that his 9 year old son was present, and the man said he felt he needed to show his young son that he was willing to fight for his Prophet.The case went to trial, and as circumstances would dictate, Judge Mark Martin is also a Muslim. What transpired next was surreal. The Judge not only ruled in favor of the defendant, but called Mr. Perce a name and told him that if he were in a Muslim country, he’d be put to death.

According to Opposing Views, Judge Martin’s comments included the following:

Having had the benefit of having spent over 2 and a half years in predominantly Muslim countries I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. In fact I have a copy of the Koran here and I challenge you sir to show me where it says in the Koran that Mohammad arose and walked among the dead. I think you misinterpreted things. Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it it makes you look like a dufus and Mr. (Defendant) is correct. In many Arabic speaking countries something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society.

Judge Martin then offered a lesson in Islam — as a religion and a culture:

Islam is not just a religion, it’s their culture, their culture. It’s their very essence their very being. They pray five times a day towards Mecca to be a good Muslim, before you die you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca unless you are otherwise told you can not because you are too ill, too elderly, whatever but you must make the attempt. Their greetings wa-laikum as-Salâm – may god be with you.

But there’s more. As Opposing Views points out Judge Martin presses further, showing what seems to be little regard for the First Amendment:

Then what you have done is you have completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very very very offensive. I’m a Muslim, I find it offensive. But you have that right, but you’re way outside your boundaries or first amendment rights. This is what, and I said I spent about 7 and a half years living in other countries. when we go to other countries it’s not uncommon for people to refer to us as ugly Americans this is why we are referred to as ugly Americans, because we are so concerned about our own rights we don’t care about other people’s rights as long as we get our say but we don’t care about the other people’s say.
You can listen to the judge’s comments below:

Official: Qur'ans burned in Afghanistan were already defaced by Muslims with extremist messages

A military official says Muslim holy books that were burned in a pile of garbage at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan had been removed from a library at a nearby detention center because they contained extremist messages or inscriptions.

A military official with knowledge of the incident told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it appeared the Qurans and other Islamic readings were being used to fuel extremism, and that detainees apparently were leaving notes for one another inside them.

7 killed as thousands of Muslims violently protest Afghan Qur'an burning, chant "Death to America"

Afghan President Hamid Karzai appealed for calm Wednesday after clashes in several cities between Afghan security forces and protesters furious over the burning of Muslim holy books at a U.S. military base left seven people dead.
. . .

The Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement that seven people were killed — four in clashes in the eastern province of Parwan, one at a U.S. base outside Kabul, and one each in Jalalabad and Logar provinces. It said an investigation was under way to determine what happened.
. . .
The demonstration in Kabul drew thousands of protesters who chanted "Death to America," hurled rocks and set tires alight outside a complex that is home to foreign contractors, police and some coalition military forces. Nearby, angry demonstrators set a fuel truck ablaze on a main highway running east out of the city, sending black smoke billowing into the air.

The U.S. apologized Tuesday for burning the copies of the Quran, which had been pulled from the shelves of the Parwan Detention Facility, adjoining Bagram Air Field, because they contained extremist messages or inscriptions.
. . .
As Wednesday's rally in Kabul turned violent, city police chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi arrived at the scene with hundreds of reinforcements who broke up the protest.
. . .
Several miles (kilometers) away, hundreds of protesters were throwing rocks at Camp Phoenix, a U.S. military base, said Kabul provincial police spokesman Ashmatullah Stanekzai. Shots were also fired in the air at Camp Phoenix.

After the Quran burning was made public Tuesday, more than 2,000 Afghans protested outside the Bagram air base near the capital.

In Parwan, provincial police chief Akram Bigzad said about 2,000 protesters were demonstrating outside a district headquarters when some of them opened fire with weapons.
. . .

A protest in Logar province also turned violent after someone in a group of about 300 demonstrators opened fire on police.
7 killed as Afghan Quran protests turn violent
Rahim Faiez, Associated Press, February 22, 2012

Nigeria: Muslim terrorists open fire and set off bombs in Maiduguri, killing at least 30 people

SUSPECTED Nigerian Islamists have opened fire and set off bombs at a market in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, killing at least 30 people, a medic and a witness say.

Gunmen believed to be members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram stormed the Baga market and opened fire indiscriminately, traders said, reporting that women and children were among the dead.

"The number of dead could not be less than 30," a Maiduguri hospital nurse said.
. . .
Mairami said six gunmen stormed the food and commodities market and "opened fire indiscriminately. At least 30 people including women and children were killed."

Another vendor by the name Gana gave a similar account of the attack in the city, Boko Haram's stronghold.

"The gunmen just opened fire killing people. I saw three military vans piled with bodies leaving the market.

UK: Christian carer who refused to work on Sundays denied rights given to a Muslim carer

A Christian care worker was forced from her job for refusing to work on Sundays even though a Muslim colleague had time off on Fridays to visit the mosque, a tribunal heard yesterday.

Celestina Mba, 57, claims she was threatened with disciplinary action after telling her employer her church duties came first.

In her evidence, she said she felt so intimidated by bosses at Brightwell children’s home in Morden, South London, that she had to resign.

‘I was willing to work at any unsocial time of shift in order to preserve my Sundays, I was prepared to work nights, or Saturdays,’ she said.

‘I would have been willing to consider any hours of work, or even a reduction in pay. I believe that my employer did not want to compromise and saw the issue as a question of management power with disrespect to the Christian faith. I have been treated very badly.’
. . .
She said that at her job interview in May 2007 she told her manager John Deegan she was unable to work Sundays, a request he said he could ‘work around’.

But seven months into the job she was told she had to cover Sundays.

Miss Mba said she launched an official complaint and tried to come up with solutions to the problem but felt her bosses were being obstructive.

The tribunal heard she arranged shift swaps with colleagues, only for this to be blocked by management.

In January 2010, Miss Mba was called to a disciplinary hearing after refusing to work a Sunday shift she had not obtained cover for. She resigned four months later and has not been able to find work since.

She claims that despite stopping her going to church, the same managers were happy to allow a Muslim member of staff to attend mosque every Friday.

Syria: Demonstrators caught on video staging a Syrian Army massacre scene to create sympathy

“Looks like the Pallywood Propaganda machine from Gaza has a branch office in Syria. Demonstrators prepare fake carnage scenes in Syria, then upload them to YouTube to create sympathy from the world for their cause.”

H/T: Sam

UPDATE: From the comments of the video: “This is Syrian .. they are speaking with a Syrian dialect. The title says ” A Group of terrorists (rebbles) staging a syrian army massacre” .. It is not Bahrain .. There are also camera man and “directors” giving instruction for people not to move and play dead.”

Nigeria: Boko Haram members participated in Muslim evening prayer before attacking Kogi prison

The 20 members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect who carried out Wednesday bombing of the Kotonkarfi prisons participated in the magrib (Muslim evening prayer) before they struck, Sunday Sun can authoritatively revealed.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that the sect members had gone to the ancient town located along Abuja- Lokoja highway in about eight cars, which they parked some 500 metres away from the mosque.
. . .

“They strolled into the mosque and joined other Muslim faithful to observe magrib prayer in congregation. While entering the mosque, they dropped their bags at the entrance. And as soon as prayer was over, they left quietly only for us to hear a serious explosion at the premises of the prison service.
Kogi prison break: Boko Haram members prayed before attack
Emmanuel Adeyemi, Daily Sun, February 19, 2012

"God told us to do (it) in the Koran", US judge jails al-Qaeda terrorist for life

Calling it a "just punishment", a US federal judge has ordered life in prison for a Nigerian man who turned away from a privileged life and tried to blow up an international jetliner carrying almost 300 people during a suicide mission for al-Qaeda.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was the same defiant man who four months ago pleaded guilty to all charges related to the attempted destruction of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 with a bomb in his underwear at Christmas in 2009.

He seemed to relish his mandatory sentence and defended his actions as rooted in the Muslim holy book, the Koran.
. . .

"Mujahideen are proud to kill in the name of God. And that is exactly what God told us to do in the Koran … Today is a day of victory," Abdulmutallab said in court.
US judge jails al-Qaeda terrorist for life
The Sydney Morning Herald, February 18, 2012

US: Illegal Muslim immigrant arrested and charged in an attempted suicide bombing of Congress

A Moroccan man was arrested near the US Capitol on Friday wearing a vest he believed was full of al Qaeda-supplied explosives and charged in an attempted suicide bombing of Congress, the Justice Department said.

Amine El Khalifi, 29, an illegal immigrant who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against property owned and used by the United States, intending to detonate a bomb and to shoot people, the department said.

He was arrested by the FBI and the US Capitol Police in a parking garage just a few blocks from the Capitol. The object of a lengthy undercover FBI investigation, El Khalifi later appeared in federal court in Virginia and faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Iraq: Fugitive Vice President Hashimi denies any involvement in 150 terrorist operations

Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi has denied charges of terrorism leveled against him and said that he will leave the country altogether if he has to, in an interview with Al Arabiya on Friday.

Hashimi, who is currently living in the country’s northern semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, denied links to terrorist operations, saying that it is possible perhaps one of his security guards was involved.

He said he could not verify the “honesty” of his security guards after their confessions that they received orders from him personally to carry out target terrorist operations.

Late January, Iraqi security forces detained 16 of Hashimi’s bodyguards.

Local and international observers said that the Iraqi government cannot base charges against Hashimi on mere confessions from his bodyguards; especially since some of the arrested security guards looked as if they had been beaten during their confessions of their accounts on Iraqi TV channels.

Pakistan: Suicide attack in a largely Shi'ite area kills 26 people and wounds another 54

A suicide motorbike bomber attacked a market in a largely Shiite Muslim area of northwest Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 26 people in the deadliest attack for a month.

The bomb exploded near a mosque as the main Friday prayers took place in Parachinar, a flashpoint for sectarian violence between majority Sunni and minority Shiite Muslims in Pakistan's tribal badlands on the Afghan border.
. . .
It was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since a remote-controlled bomb blast killed at least 35 people in the Khyber tribal district on January 10.
. . .

About 54 people were wounded in the bombing and 37 were still in hospital, some in critical condition, Kurram administrator Shahab Ali Shah told AFP.
Pakistan suicide attack kills 26
Agence France Presse, February 17, 2012

US: Wanted Muslim terrorist who plotted a series of attacks overseas could be dead

A Triangle native who traveled to Pakistan around 2008 “to engage in violent jihad,” according to a federal indictment, could be dead, says a friend.

Jude Kenan Mohammad, 22, is accused of being part of a terrorist cell based in Johnston County, along with eight other men. Authorities say they plotted a series of attacks overseas and secured weapons and trained in North Carolina. Mohammad is the only one who hasn’t been captured.

Khalilah Sabra, executive director of the North Carolina Muslim American Society, says she knew Mohammad well and described him as “just a regular neighborhood kid,” but also “a vulnerable youth.”

Only a tiny minority? 20,000 Muslims terrorize 100 Copts, attempt to kill pastor and torch church

A mob of nearly 20,000 radical Muslims, mainly Salafis, attempted this evening to break into and torch the Church of St. Mary and St. Abram in the village of Meet Bashar,in Zagazig, Sharqia province. They were demanding the death of Reverend Guirgis Gameel, pastor of the church, who has been unable to leave his home since yesterday. Nearly 100 terrorized Copts sought refuge inside the church, while Muslim rioters were pelting the church with stones in an effort to break into the church, assault the Copts and torch the building. A home of a Copt living near the church and the home of the church's porter were torched, as well as three cars.

The mob demanded the return Rania of Khalil Ibrahim, 15, to her father. She has been held with the Security Directorate since yesterday. Christian-born Rania had converted to Islam three months ago after her father, who had converted to Islam two years ago and took custody of her. She had disappeared from the village on Saturday, after claiming to go shopping. According to Reverend Guirgis Gameel, she had a disagreement with her father, who had arranged a marriage for her with a Muslim man.

Her father, Khalil Ibrahim, went to the police on Saturday and accused the priest of being behind her disappearance, and said she had gone to live with her Coptic mother.

Yesterday a Salafi mob of 2000 went to the priest's home and destroyed his furniture and his car, surrounded the church and pelted it with stones. They demolished a large section of the church fence. In the evening security forces announced that they had found Rania in Cairo and that she was not abducted by Christians; she was brought to the police station in Meet Bashar.

"After hearing this news yesterday everyone was relieved," said Coptic activist Waguih Jacob. "However, the Copts noticed that the Muslims did not completely disperse, but were hovering in all streets." The few security forced who were stationed in front of the church were dismissed as the village seemed to return to peace.

But the mob became more angry this evening when they heard that Rania refused to go back to live with her father, and returned in much greater numbers.

Norway: Iraqi-born Muslim cleric on Trial for making death threats and encouraging suicide bombings

An Iraqi-born cleric pleaded not guilty in a Norwegian court Wednesday to charges of making death threats against politicians and encouraging suicide bombings.

Prosecutors said Mullah Krekar, a 55-year-old Islamist who came to Norway as a refugee in 1991, faces several years in prison if found guilty.

Since his arrival, Krekar has made frequent trips to Iraq where he founded the Kurdish Ansar al-Islam, listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and other nations. It is suspected of organizing suicide bombings against coalition forces in Iraq.
Iraqi-Born Islamist Cleric in Norway Trial
Bjoern H. Amland, TIME, February 15, 2012

Bosnia: Minister resigns after death threats from Muslims opposed to educational reforms

Slogans declaring support for the former Education Minister of Sarajevo Canton, Emir Suljagic, appeared on February 13 on sites around the capital, reading, "We are all Emir S.”, "Dignity Rather Than a Chair” and "Watch Out, a Bullet”.

Suljagic resigned on Friday last week, citing death threats to his family from hardline Muslims opposed to educational reforms allegedly downplaying the importance of religion.

On Wednesday, Suljagic received a death threat at his home in the form of a short letter and a 7.32 caliber bullet.

"Abandon Allah and his religion and the hand of the faithful will get you," the message read. Two days after, Suljagic sent the cantonal assembly his resignation letter.

Suljagic said he was not ready to submit to such pressures. In a letter published on Friday on the cantonal government website he said his only remaining option was to quit.

"Those hiding behind religion to threaten me and my family are misusing religion to keep the power and privileges they undeservingly enjoy,” Suljagic said in the letter.
Islamist Death Threats Force Out Bosnia Minister
Elvira Jukic, Balkan Insight, February 15, 2012

Thailand: Bungling Iranian Muslim terrorist blows off his own legs as his grenade bounces off a tree

A bungling Iranian bomber blew off his own legs when he hurled a grenade at Thai police outside a Bangkok school - which bounced off a tree and then exploded at his feet.

A bizarre sequence of explosions in the capital of Bangkok started this morning when a stash of explosives blew off the roof of a house occupied by three Iranians.

Two of the men quickly ran away while Saeid Moradi, who was seriously wounded, staggered out and tried to wave down a taxi.

Covered in blood, the driver refused to take him, and so he hurled a grenade at the vehicle. When police arrived on the scene he then tried to throw another at officers - but it bounced off a tree, landed at his feet, and blew off his legs.

Moradi, who was taken to hospital, injured four people in the blasts which come the day after Israeli diplomats were targeted in simultaneous car bombings, also believed to have been carried out by Iranians.

Photographs and video footage of the wounded Moradi showed him covered in dark soot on a pavement strewn with broken glass. He lay in front of a Thai primary and secondary school, head raised as if he was attempting to sit up or look around.
Two Iranian men were sentenced to between 15 years and life Thursday for their parts in a botched bomb plot last year in Bangkok that ended with one of them having his legs blown off.

Saeid Moradi, 29, who lost his limbs as he hurled an explosive device at police, was found guilty on charges including attempted murder and handed a life term by the Bangkok Southern Criminal court.

A judge said the court found him "guilty of carrying explosives in public, using explosives to attempt to kill officials and using explosives which caused the destruction of property".

A second defendant, Mohammad Khazaei, 43, was given a 15 year jail term for possession of explosives.

The pair, who had denied the charges, were among five Iranians suspected of involvement in the blasts that followed attacks in India and Georgia targeting Israeli diplomats.
. . .
The court heard that Khazaei ran out of the house after the first explosion and headed to the airport where police arrested him at the boarding gate.
. . .
One man is in custody in Malaysia, where he fled after the Bangkok explosions, and is fighting extradition to Thailand.

Two other suspects are believed to have returned to Iran.

US: Muslim terror suspect screams a final prayer to Allah during a 100 mph failed suicide run

A harrowing 911 call captured a terror suspect with ties to Al Qaeda screaming a final prayer to Allah during a 100 mph suicide run across the Whitestone Expressway.

“There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger!” defendant Adis Medunjanin howls in Arabic during the 33-second recording from January 2010.

The unrattled police operator replies, “Hello? Do you need the police, fire department or the ambulance?”

Medunjanin, 27, who survived the run, faces trial this April as a co-conspirator in a subway bombing plot set for the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

He bolted from his Queens home in his Nissan Ultima within an hour after an NYPD detective detailed Medunjanin’s alleged ties to Al Qaeda and the bomb plot.

Officials believe he was trying to martyr himself when he flew down the roadway at 100 mph before slamming his car into another vehicle. Nobody was killed in the crash.

In the 911 recording, Medunjanin — the sound of traffic in the background — tells the operator, “This is Adis. We love ... we love death.”

“He wants to know what?” the operator replies.

“You love your life!” he shouts in Arabic. “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger!”

The call goes dead after the operator asks for Medunjanin’s location.

Medunjanin, a Bosnian-born U.S. citizen, pleaded not guilty to charges in the plot. His attorney, Robert Gottlieb, opposed the public release of the 911 call from his client’s cell phone.
Recording of 911 call reveals terror suspect Adis Medunjanin howling a prayer to Allah
John Marzulli & Larry Mcshane, NY Daily News, February 14, 2012

Lebanon: Australian Muslim convicted and sentenced to a year's jail over terrorist group links

AN Australian man has had his passport cancelled by ASIO and been convicted in a Lebanese court on terrorism-related offences after he allegedly travelled to Pakistan to train with an extremist group.

The Australian understands Wiam Chaouk, 23, had his Australian passport cancelled after a request from ASIO, which was concerned about his alleged links to extremists.

Government sources said yesterday that Chaouk, believed to be from Sydney, was "well-known" to Australian authorities.

Chaouk, who is no relation to the slain Melbourne crime boss Macchour Chaouk, was charged with four offences including membership of a terrorist group, passport fraud, weapons offences and offences against the security of state.

He was convicted by Lebanon's Permanent Military Court and sentenced along with two co-conspirators to a year's jail and is due to be released in three months.
. . .
Local media reported that Chaouk and two other defendants met in Iran before going to Pakistan, where they were detained. Chaouk was returned to Lebanon in May last year.

Chaouk's lawyer denied his client intended to train with a terror group and said his visit to Pakistan stemmed from a desire to live in a society were "moral and religious values mattered".

However, one of his co-defendants, Bilal Sabouneh, told the court the group's ultimate aim had been to go to Afghanistan to fight coalition forces -- a claim Chaouk denied.

While Mr Abboud denied any wrongdoing on his client's behalf, he acknowledged Chaouk "had some ideas that could be similar to those of particular extremist organisations".
Australian jailed in Beirut over terrorist group links
Paul Maley, The Australian, February 13, 2012

Nigeria: Security forces thwart terrorist attack in Kaduna, arrest would-be suicide bomber

Nigerian security forces have thwarted a terrorist attack in the important northern city of Kaduna, where in April 2011 abut 800 people died in the bloodiest post-election clashes.

A spokesperson for the local authorities explained that a police patrol managed to stop a suicide bomber who was trying to drive a car filled with explosives through the gates of a government building.

The attacker then fled but police officers managed to stop and arrest him. Northern Nigeria is the area most affected by attacks from Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group that has killed at least 300 people since the beginning of the year .

Syria: Little mercy on either side, already stories of rebels, who are mainly Sunni, killing minorities

The discovery of 'executed' bodies in an unmarked grave outside Homs raises questions over the extent of brutality used by both sides in Syria's civil war.

From the one body that was completely exposed, the men in the rubbish-strewn pit had obviously been executed. His face was skeletal from decomposition, but the ropes around his feet still seemed as fresh as when they were tied several weeks ago.

His arms, too, were bound behind his back. In an unpleasant additional humiliation, his bare blackened buttocks faced the sky, his trousers forced down to his knees.

The other corpses were still half buried, apart from the pelvis and femurs and tibias of one that had been dragged away and picked clean by animals.

There were at least four in all, and they had not died an honourable death. "They were killed by Assad regime soldiers," our guides told us. "Probably soldiers trying to defect."

There was no reason to doubt their belief in this assertion, because many Syrian men have certainly suffered this fate in the past year, but there was plenty to doubt this particular story, of which the guides were not certain.

The bodies were not in military clothing for a start. Yet if they were civilians from this rebel-held area near Homs, it was surprising that no one had come to take them away and give them a martyr's funeral. They had been there for some time.

The reaction of Free Syrian Army soldiers nearby to the presence of journalists was unusually angry. They demanded that our photographs be deleted, and our guides were told to take us back to the town of Qusayr nearby. They had another argument there.

The insurrection against the Assad regime is already a civil war, and already vicious. It is impossible to say for sure who the four men in the pit were, or who had lined them up and shot them.

They looked like other victims of this dictatorship – or of Col Muammar Gaddafi's in Libya beforehand – but there is also little sign of mercy on either side.

On Saturday night rebels near here ambushed an army convoy and knocked out a tank, with unknown casualties. On Thursday, a van was shredded and a barracks overwhelmed, with at least 18 deaths in the two attacks.

The rebels give little apparent thought to their enemies, even though they were most likely comrades until recently, since many of the Free Syrian Army men are defectors.

There have been stories of the rebels, who are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim, killing Alawites, the minority to which the Assad family and most of the highest ranks of the army belong.
Syria: bodies in the rubbish pit suggest there is little mercy on either side
‎Richard Spencer, The Telegraph, February 12, 2012

Egypt: Presidential candidate says there is no room for personal freedom in Islam

Hazem Saleh Abu Ismail, Egypt's presidential candidate and a vocal supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, has said that there is no room for personal freedom in Islam.

In a recent television interview translated and reported by Jihad Watch, Ismail said that being a Muslim is like being a member of the military, where one has to go by a dictatorial code of conduct.

"If you claim that Allah considers it your personal freedom, show me your reference? Nobody has ever said that - except for people have no understanding of Sharia," Ismail said.

"If you join (military), then you are obliged to wear their uniform, to attend their classes, to attend the training with them and to obey their leader," Ismail said, comparing military rules to Islamic Sharia.

Ismail asserted that he would enforce veil or Hijab for women under his presidency and that if a woman wants to abandon the veil, she should "change her creed". He said he is only obeying Allah, by imposing Islamic dress code.

"You see, this is the difficulty; this is Islam. Does she want to be a Muslim and not obey Allah's rules? Let them (women) say so; that's all I ask; let them be honorable and just speak up."

However, most Muslim countries, including Egypt, have harsh laws and restrictions against criticizing religion, and blasphemy is a crime that is punishable by death.
No Freedom in Islam, Says Egypt's Presidential Candidate
Amrutha Gayathri, International Business Times‎, February 11, 2012

Anti-Assad terrorists kill at least 28 men, women and children, in 2 huge explosions, 235 wounded

At least 28 people have been killed in two huge explosions targeting compounds belonging to security forces in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

According to Syrian sources, 235 people were also wounded in the bombings on Friday and the explosions hit a Military Intelligence compound as well as a riot police base in Aleppo.

Civilians, including children, are reported to be among casualties. Earlier reports had put the number of dead at 50.

“Civilians and members of the military were martyred and wounded in the terrorist explosions that targeted Aleppo," Syrian state TV reported.

The rebel Free Syrian Army has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

(Source: Press Tv)

Terrorist groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have attacked several security and military sites since the beginning of the unrest in the country 11 months ago.

At least 26 were killed in a terrorist bombing outside a police station in an al-Midan district in the Syrian capital, Damascus on 6 January. Two weeks earlier, 55 people were killed in two car bomb attacks targeting security compounds in the capital.

Damascus blames "outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups" for the violence, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

Last week, the US tried to pass a resolution against Syria to repeat Libya’s war against the Assad government, but Russia and China vetoed the draft resolution, describing negotiations as the only way to end violence in the country.
Blasts in Aleppo claim over 28 Syrian lives
Tehran Times‎, February 11, 2012

US: Illegal Muslim immigrant pleads guilty in plot to kill President Obama "for Islam"

A man from Uzbekistan who pleaded guilty Friday to plotting to kill President Barack Obama with an automatic rifle claimed he was acting at the direction of an Islamic terror group in his home country.
. . .

Kodirov pleaded guilty to three counts: Threatening to kill the president, possessing an automatic weapon, and providing material support to terrorists. Four other charges were dropped as part of the deal.
. . .
The plea agreement said that in July 2011, Kodirov claimed he had been communicating with a person known as "the Emir." Kodirov said the person was a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. Authorities did not reveal the identity of the Emir.

The Emir "asked Kodirov if there was anything Kodirov could do about President Obama since Kodirov was closer geographically to the president than the Emir," according to his plea agreement.
. . .
"Kodirov said that he did not care if he got shot and killed, as long as he killed President Obama," according to the plea deal.

Kodirov then struck up a friendship with another person in Birmingham who spoke Uzbek, and the two often attended mosque together. The two often looked at jihadist websites and videos on Kodirov's laptop, the agreement said.

On July 11, after the two went to a mosque in Birmingham to pray, Kodirov asked his friend to buy a gun for him so he could kill Obama.

Kodirov told the person he "knew this was what he was supposed to do for Islam," the plea agreement says.
. . .
"He had developed a plan, he was reaching out to other individuals for aid and acquiring firepower necessary to kill the president," Vance said.
. . .

Authorities say Kodirov was in the country illegally because he obtained a student visa but never enrolled in school.
Uzbek man pleads guilty in plot to kill Obama
Jay Reeves, Associated Press, February 10, 2012

Allegations of rape and "good marks" in return for sex rocks Islamabad's International Islamic University

Sex scandals have hit the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) hard in recent months, with reports saying that several faculty and staff members are eying junior students.

Many connected with the university admit that "seedy affairs had been going on in the holy precincts" for some time.

The University's acting president, Sahabzada Sajidur Rehman, however, confirmed that recently a professor and a librarian left the university after allegations of rape emerged against them.

"We did not approach the police to investigate the allegations as it would have brought bad name to the university and set parents of the 9,500 girls studying here worrying," he said.

According to university sources, a professor of the economics department used to offer his victims "good marks" in examinations in return for sex. He allegedly used to even threaten unwilling students.

The president of the University Staff Welfare Association, Chaudhry Mohammad Nazir, said "the situation was far worse than what you know".

Deaf girl, 10, trafficked to UK and kept as sex slave in cellar by Pakistani couple for almost 10 years

A deaf orphan girl was trafficked into Britain and forced to act as a virtual slave for a couple, a court was told.

Locked in a cellar each night, the ten-year-old was repeatedly raped and forced to carry out chores including cooking, cleaning, sewing and washing.

Ilyas Ashar, 83, and wife Tallat, 66, regularly beat the girl – dragging her by the hair if she was too slow and slapping her if the food was too hot or spicy.

The court was told the girl was repeatedly raped and sexually abused by Ashar and stabbed in the stomach.

Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, said the girl had been brought from her home in Pakistan in 2000 after being told her parents had died.

‘She was made to cook, clean and do the washing and ironing. She was also made to clean houses and business premises for friends and relations of Mr and Mrs Ashar.

‘She also washed cars in the drive of the house – in essence she lived in a state of servitude.’

He told Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester: ‘She was physically abused, she was sexually abused, which included being raped by Ilyas Ashar. She was exploited economically, in that benefits were obtained in her name, the money being kept by the Ashars.

‘At night the door at the top of the stairs down to the cellar was locked and bolted so she could not get out during the night.

Canada: Police arrest four suspects in alleged case of forced underage prostitution

The Montreal police Child Sexual Exploitation Investigations Section has announced the arrest of six young men in a case of human trafficking and prostitution.

Two underage girls allegedly met the suspects in February 2011 and were forced into prostitution.

The girls told police that they managed to flee to their freedom a week later.

Police have arrested Abdul Karim Nassereddine, 20, Naib Ali Soilihi, 20 and Mohammed Rami Taha, 19. Mezri Mehdi Mohamed Hamza, 21, turned himself in Thursday after being sought by authorities.

The two others arrested cannot be named, as they were minors at the time of the alleged offences.

The suspects were charged with a variety of crimes related to sexual assault and prostitution of minors Thursday.

Post-Islamic Awakening Libya: "Heroic" rebels continue their massacre of black men, women & children

A militia group from Misrata attacked a refugee camp, home to black Libyan refugees from the town of Tawergha. They massacred at least five people in what has been termed a racist assault.

Libyan militia men attacked a refugee camp in Janzour, a Tripoli suburb, that stands as a makeshift home to black Libyans, driven out of their town of Tawergha by Misratans. Gunmen arrived at the camp on Monday evening to arrest young men. Witnesses claim the gunmen opened fire on the refugees, killing at least five.

Camp resident Huda Bel-Eid, who was shot in the leg, told Aljazeera

"We knew they were from Misrata because it was written all over their cars. Around 15 of them started shooting us. All the women escaped but the young men stayed. My brother was there and I went to help him because he was shot in the head and neck, then they shot me."

Officials from Misrata military council deny any involvement, but Misratans have relentlessly pursued the former residents of Tawergha for months. They famously termed themselves the "Brigade for Purging Slaves, black skin" last year, when they vowed no Tawerghans would be allowed to return to their home town, previously home to 30,000 people. According to the New York Times "A Human Rights Watch researcher estimated there are 250 separate militias in the coastal city of Misurata", noting they are the most loathed militias in the country.

The National Transitional Council has proved powerless to prevent individual militias from a rampaging campaign of vengeance, torture and murder against the Tawerghans. According to RT many observers insist the violent attack was fuelled by racism. RT also cites a possibly higher number of deaths than Aljazerra, putting the figures at "between six and twelve people were killed, including children, women and the elderly."

Monday's massacre is approximately the sixth attack on the refugee camp at Janzour, home to 1,500 refugees. Young men who are not killed are taken away to prisons, without any official charges laid. Reports of torture and murder in Libyan prisons under the watch of the new regime are well documented.

Following the attack on the refugee camp, further violence ensued when a group from the camp protested against the shootings.
Libyan militia massacre refugees at camp
Katerina Nikolas, Digital Journal, February 9, 2012

Freethinking poet arrested in "moderate" Malaysia and faces deportation and death in Saudi Arabia

A Saudi poet and writer, Kashghari Hamza, who fled over a week from his country to avoid threats and the arrest warrant issued by the courts of Riyadh on charges of insulting the prophet of 'Islam, Muhammad, was arrested yesterday in Kuala Lumpur and will be extradited to Saudi Arabia. He will be put on trial for insulting the Islamic religion. The young man was forced to flee and abandon his country following the controversy unleashed by a few sentences, deemed offensive, written on 'Twitter' about Muhammad.

Last week before the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, Hamza, 23 yearsof age, wrote a brief comment on Twitter: "On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you". And he continued thus: " On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more. , I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more".

Hamza recieved than 30 thousand responses within a day, was accused of blasphemy, and sought his death. He removed the Tweets, and wrote an apology, asking forgiveness. But the flood did not stop. Someone posted his address on YouTube, and vigilantes from the nearby mosque came looking for him. The information minister banned all newspapers from publishing anything written by him, and the Council of Elders issued a rare statement of condemnation and harsh request that he be put on trial. King Abdullah himself issued the arrest order.

Hamza Kashgari, feeling the pressure mounting, flew to southeast Asia. In an interview he said he was stunned by the turn events have taken, but was resigned to the fact that he would never return home. When arrested he was trying to arrange a trip to a country that could give him asylum. A Facebook group, which formed rapidly, and has eight thousand members, entitled "The Saudi People Demand the Execution of Hamza Kashgari". It is indeed very probable that he will face the risk of being sentenced to death.

US: Pakistani-born Muslim taxi driver pleads guilty of funding terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir

A Pakistani-American, charged with sending money to the now-believed-to-be-dead al Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri, has pleaded guilty before a court here for providing money for terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Raja Lahrasib Khan, a Chicago taxi driver and native of Pakistan who became a naturalised US citizen in 1988, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, resolving charges that have been pending since he was arrested in March 2010.

Khan, 58, is currently in jail and his sentencing is scheduled for May 30. Born and raised in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Khan faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. He immigrated to the US in 1970s.

His plea agreement calls for an agreed sentence of between five and eight years in prison, and it requires Khan to cooperate with the government in any matter in which he is called upon to assist through the termination of his sentence and any period of supervised release, the Justice Department said.

Russia: Teenage Muslim terrorist leader linked to Moscow airport bombing jailed for nine years

A 19-year-old resident of Ingushetia linked to the deadly explosion in Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport was jailed for nine years for his ties to terrorists.

Bashir Khamkhoyev was found guilty on several charges, including attempted murder of a law enforcement official and creating a terrorist group, the Investigative Committee said on its website on Tuesday.

Khamkhoyev established a terrorist cell when still underage, the Investigative Committee said. He was detained in February 2011 after his car got in a road accident in his native republic in the turbulent North Caucasus.

The charges are not related to the Domodedovo attack in January 2011, which saw 37 killed in the airport’s international arrival hall by a suicide bomber.

Post-Arab spring/Islamic awakening Egypt continues its persecution of the Shi'ite minority

Egypt is continuing to crackdown on Shia Muslims in the country. According to a report in the state-run al-Ahram newspaper on Saturday, two Shia activists were arrested upon arrival at Cairo International Airport from Tehran for allegedly carrying “Shia books.”

It is the latest crackdown on the minority Muslim group in Egypt. In recent years, Shia Muslims in the country have faced hardship, despite a large number visiting the country in order to fulfill pilgrimage duties to the Hussein Mosque in Old Cairo.
. . .
The detentions come less than one month after Egypt’s security closed the Hussein Mosque, arguing that the Sunni majority in Egypt would become enraged over seeing Ashura celebrations in Cairo. The celebrations mark the killing of the Prophet Mohamed’s grandson Imam Hussein.
. . .
Late last year, Egyptian police arrested at least four Shia Muslims, including a visiting Australian citizen. They were charged with insulting and denying tenets of religion, judicial sources were reported saying.

Security officials reported that the Shia men were part of a group of 24 that were rounded up last week in Cairo. According to the police, most have been released, but it is still unclear how many remain behind bars.
. . .
Seven other Shiites have been in detention since mid-2009 and charged with “forming a group trying to spread Shi’ite ideology that harms the Islamic religion.”

In 2010, Egypt’s Minister of Religious Endowments, Mahmoud Hamdy Zaqzouq, said in statements during a meeting with the Grand Mufti of Mount Lebanon, Sheikh Mohamed Ali Jouzo, that Egypt has “no mosques belonging to any religious or sectarian schools.” He added that there are no Shia Mosques in Egypt.
. . .

“We live under these conditions every day and most of the time I keep my mouth shut, but for our government to insist that we don’t exist is insulting and wrong,” added Ali.
Egypt detains Shia Muslims, crackdown on group continues
Joseph Mayton, Bikya Masr, February 5, 2012

UK: Potential terrorist pilot who flew 747s for BA can be identified for the first time

A Muslim pilot arrested over an alleged terrorist plot involving an aircraft was a senior first officer for British Airways and flew Boeing 747 jets.

He can be identified for the first time today as Surrey-born Samir Jamaluddin.

The 39-year-old is suing the airline for racial and religious discrimination after losing his job.

He was judged a security risk after his arrest by Scotland Yard counter-terrorism detectives in 2007, and the airline decided it was in the national interest to ensure he never flew again.

He was eventually dismissed three years later.
. . .
During the case – described as unique and unprecedented – the tribunal heard that BA became increasingly ‘frustrated’ at the previous Labour Government’s failure to act over the issue.

In private, the security services and the Department for Transport’s security arm, Transec, backed the airline’s decision to prevent Mr Jamaluddin from flying.

But they failed to pursue the matter or support BA officially, even after BA’s former chief executive, Willie Walsh, raised the matter with then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

BA was told the Government was not prepared to instruct the firm to withdraw Mr Jamaluddin’s airside security pass because, at the time, it was ‘particularly sensitive to its handling of terrorist threats’.
. . .
The tribunal heard that at a briefing attended by MI5, MI6 and senior police officers in October 2007, BA was warned that two businessmen wanted to fly a ‘747 by Christmas 2007’ and had paid for lessons upfront in cash.

Both had been having up to four lessons a day, which the tribunal was told was ‘extremely unusual’.

But BA believed they would have had time to learn only to ‘steer a 747 mid-flight, not take off or land’.

The two men were arrested along with Mr Jamaluddin later the same month, after his close links to them were uncovered by police.

None of the arrests resulted in convictions, but after conducting two inquiries the airline concluded Mr Jamaluddin was in a ‘position to cause considerable harm’ and should not fly again.
. . .
He revealed that BA persuaded counter-terrorism officers not to arrest Mr Jamaluddin under the Terrorism Act because it would cause the airline ‘significant public relations issues’.

He said it would also have been bad for the Government’s relations with the US.

In the event, Mr Jamaluddin was arrested over money-laundering offences connected to the alleged terror plot and, much to BA’s relief, the news never became public.

The pilot’s brother, Yakoob Jamaluddin, an active member of the Islamist extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, was questioned over the same offences but never charged.

Mr Steeds first became aware of the alleged plot on October 9, 2007, when he was briefed under the Official Secrets Act.

He was told how two men – Adam Mohamed, 32, of Chessington, Surrey, and Imad Shoubaki, 35, of Merton, South London – had ‘sought flying lessons in order to achieve a private pilot’s licence as quickly as possible’.

Mr Steeds said police ‘disrupted that activity’ because of fears about what they might be planning.

BA documents relating to 747 aircraft were discovered in Mr Shoubaki’s home after his arrest.

Mr Steeds said he was told at the briefing that ‘information suggested these documents had been passed at a dinner party in Chessington. I was asked for details of BA pilots who might live in that area’.

The airline came up with Mr Jamaluddin. Not only did he live a mile away, he had also been the subject of an informal inquiry a year earlier after allegedly expressing support for the September 11 attacks while on a flight deck – a claim he denies.

Police then established the first of several links between Mr Jamaluddin and the two men. The first was that his brother Yakoob was in business with Mr Mohamed.

The pilot and his brother were arrested on October 23. Mr Steeds said police told him it ‘seemed as if Samir had been expecting to be arrested’ as they found the name and number of a prominent human rights lawyer who specialises in race discrimination issues punched into his mobile phone.

‘They also informed me that copies of the flight documents previously shown to BA had been found in Samir’s flight bag.’

He added: ‘I considered it was too much of a coincidence that Samir had documents in his possession which were the same as those found in Mr Shoubaki’s possession, given the links.’

Police did not find Mr Jamaluddin’s fingerprints on the papers and, despite the airline’s suspicions, it was never proved that the pilot was the source.

But it also transpired that the pilot and his brother were co- signatories on a safety deposit box next to a box rented by the father of Mr Mohamed.

It was found to contain a large amount of cash and records showed both boxes had been opened at the same time.

Mr Steeds said he was equally ‘troubled’ by a cheque stub found at Mr Jamaluddin’s house recording a payment of £10,000 to Mr Mohamed.

The pilot claimed it was a payment for the rent of a flat, but BA did not find the explanation convincing.

Mr Steeds said it was also suspicious that Mr Jamaluddin applied to join pilots’ union Balpa only after Mr Shoubaki and Mr Mohamed were arrested.

Again, he said it suggested that Mr Jamaluddin was quite possibly expecting to be caught up in the terror investigation and ‘might need representation’.

Mr Mohamed and Mr Shoubaki were accused of a range of terror offences, including conspiring to possess money for terrorist purposes.

All charges against Mr Mohamed were dropped, and in September 2008 a jury cleared Mr Shoubaki, an IT specialist, of possessing items of use to a terrorist.

He was accused of seeking to amass a library about making explosives and collecting ‘practical, step-by-step instructions’ for anyone interested in founding a ‘worldwide Islamic state’ on violence.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court cleared him after he said he did not own the items found in his house and did not know how they got there.

His boss had told the court that Mr Shoubaki described the 2001 attack on the Twin Towers as ‘God’s will’.

Commentary: The Arab Spring is an Islamic uprising, Iran an "exemplary" Islamic democracy

Ahmad Bakhshi is the head of the Department of African Studies at Tehran’s Tarbiat-e-Modarres University.

The uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa began when a young Tunisian street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire after a policewoman confiscated his electronic weighing scales and his produce cart.

This sparked a wave of demonstrations, first in Tunisia, then in Algeria and Egypt and later Yemen, which eventually spread to other Arab countries.

The uprisings were influenced by internal, regional, and international factors and also affected them.

At the internal level, the demonstrations of the Arab Spring are a response to serious problems in Arab countries, such as the identity crisis that manifested itself in the form of secular structures inside Islamic contexts. The inequality in the distribution of resources and the autocratic nature of the regimes were also factors behind the Arab Spring.

At the regional level, some countries such as Iran and Turkey, with their exemplary Islamic democracies, played a very important role in inspiring the Arabs to revolt against their puppet rulers and their arrogant allies.

At the international level, the global economic recession and the change of government in the United States paved the way for a change in Western policies toward the Middle East and North Africa. The rise of the digital civilization and the massive expansion of communications technology, and especially social networks, also played a major role in facilitating the recent developments in the Arab world.

The impact of the Islamist movement on the Arab Spring as well as the potential impact of recent developments on the future of these movements should also be examined in more detail.

Social movements comprising a broad range of groups and parties are currently trying to change the political systems in Arab countries. However, for a number of reasons, such as lack of unified leadership and ideology, most of them have failed to achieve their objectives in a complete manner. In fact, the theory of hegemonic stability and polarity has not been fully realized and the movements have only created a minor political reform, which makes it easier for the Western powers to control the situation in the Arab world. Some pundits believe that the process needs more time to be completed and that hegemonic stability and polarity will be realized in line with the establishment of democratic systems in the Arab world.

For more than half a century, the original identity of the Muslim people of the Arab world was distorted through various secular and Western agendas. Most of the Arab governments gained their legitimacy from the West, which made them subservient to the interests of Western countries. This loyalty to the West has created a massive sense of humiliation among the Arabs because they have failed to create their own base of knowledge and development. Resentment about this history of subjugation was one of the main catalysts that set off the massive wave of social movements and revolutions.

Due to the Islamic nature of the social structures and the cultural contexts of the Arab world, many observers regard the Islamists as the winners of recent developments in the region.

The global economic recession was one of the factors that triggered the Arab Spring, but it was not the main factor as many Western political analysts have argued. The main factor was actually the religious awakening of the people, especially their return to Islamic teachings, which has been dubbed the Islamic Awakening.

Another element in the uprisings is the people’s animosity toward global and regional hegemonistic powers, especially the Zionist regime. Therefore, Islamic identity will be the cornerstone of the new political systems in the Arab world.

Some other Western analysts say the recent developments are the result of the United States’ policy of democratization of the Middle East, which started after the 9/11 attacks of 2001. However, the Islamists in the Arab world are also calling for democracy, a democracy with civil liberties in which citizens are encouraged to follow divine religions. In other words, Islam, democracy, and freedom are the most important elements for the Islamist movements in the Arab world.

The Islamists of the Arab world are greatly inspired by Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979, which they regard as the standard-bearer of the global phenomenon known as the Islamic Awakening. As Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, said, despite its devotion to Shia Islam, Iran’s Revolution belongs to all freedom-seekers of the world and its main objective is to revive the Islamic spirit of the ummah and promote an Islamic awakening in order to inspire Muslims to create a leading global civilization.

It should also be noted that the implementation of Islamic teachings and the mode of action in each country will depend on many religious, cultural, geographical, and political factors. Thus, one should not expect that the same model should be followed by every country or try to force them to follow the same path. The approach adopted by social and political leaders may also vary according to the situation.

In light of all this, it can be said that the Arab world is at a critical juncture that has provided Arab nations the opportunity to finally liberate themselves from years of tyranny and dictatorship and pursue their national interests.
The Arab Spring is an Islamic uprising
Ahmad Bakhshi, Tehran Times, February 4, 2012

UK: Sixth Muslim from Brierfield facing child sex charges over exploitation of teen girl

A SIXTH man from Brierfield is facing child sex offences over the alleged exploitation of a 14-year-old girl.

Mohammed Imran Amjad, 25, of Halifax Road, is charged with conspiracy to rape and will face Burnley magistrates on February 14.

Five others – Haroon Mahmood, 21, of John Street, Mohammed Suleman Farooq, 22, of Berry Street, Omar Mazafer, 21, of Halifax Road, Mohammed Zeeshan Amjad, 24, of Halifax Road, and Shiraz Afzal, 25, of Mansfield Crescent – will appear at Burnley Crown Court on March 2 charged with the same offence.

Another man, Waqas Khalid, 18, of Halifax Road, Brierfield, is charged with witness intimidation and will stand trial at Burnley on July 4.
Brierfield man sixth on ‘child exploitation’ charge
Lancashire Telegraph, February 3, 2012

US: Muslim teacher arrested for involvement in plot to behead 3 people who testified against terrorist

A North Carolina teacher is scheduled to appear Friday in federal court after being accused in an alleged plot to behead witnesses who testified against a would-be terrorist.

Nevine Aly Elshiekh was arrested with Shkumbin Sherifi on January 22. Nine days earlier, the man they were allegedly trying to protect -- Hysen Sherifi, who is Shkumbin Sherifi's brother -- was sentenced to 45 years in prison for being part of what prosecutors called a "violent jihad" that had conspired to kill people overseas and kill a federal officer.

A criminal complaint alleges Elshiekh and the Sherifi brothers tried to pull off a plan to "murder and behead" three people who testified against Hysen Sherifi at his trial last year.

Facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder, Elshiekh is currently on leave as director of special education at the Sterling Montessori Academy in Morrisville, North Carolina, a Raleigh-Durham suburb.

The man listed in court documents as her lawyer, Charles Swift, did not respond to messages Thursday from CNN for comment. But some of her supporters have taken to online social media sites to profess her innocence.

Prosecutors said Hysen Sherifi -- a native of Kosovo who is a U.S. legal permanent resident in North Carolina -- and as many as eight others were part of a homegrown terrorism ring conducted between 2006 and 2009.

Moderate Indonesia: Muslims beat atheist over web post, call for his beheading, atheist arrested

A defiant declaration of atheism by an Indonesian civil servant has inflamed passions in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, pitting non-believers and believers against each other.

The trouble began when civil servant Alexander Aan posted a message on the Facebook page of Atheist Minang, a group of Indonesians with godless beliefs. It read: “God doesn’t exist.”

The post so enraged residents in Aan’s hometown of Pulau Punjung in West Sumatra province that an angry mob of dozens stormed his office and beat up the 30-year-old.

To add insult to injury, police then arrested him and now want to press blasphemy charges that could see him locked up for five years.

Muslim extremists have called for Aan to be beheaded but fellow atheists have rallied round, and urged him to stand by his convictions despite the pressure.
. . .
Aan’s proclamation has been removed from the page, but the Facebook group has doubled to 2,000 since the controversy made local news reports.

Most of the postings, however, are diatribes against Aan and his supporters.

“These atheists should be beheaded, that’s what they deserve,” wrote a man who identified himself as Putra Tama, a Muslim from neighboring Jambi province.

Other posts challenged atheists from the group to dare show themselves, instead of hiding behind the anonymity of social media.

“If you think your arguments are true, why don’t you just have a face-to-face meeting with us, people who still believe in God? You’re just a group of cowards,” taunted a post by another Muslim.
. . .
“He expressed his intention to convert to Islam but he has not performed an Islamic declaration of faith. Even if he does so, he still can’t escape from justice due to his blaphemous act,” [Local police chief Chairul] Aziz said.

He said Aan could face additional charges, including falsely declaring himself a Muslim when he applied for a civil service job years ago.

The Islamic Society Forum (FUI), an umbrella group for several hard-line groups, said that a five-year jail term for Aan would not suffice.

“He deserves the death penalty, even if he decides to repent. What he has done cannot be tolerated,” said Muhammad al-Khaththath, FUI’s secretary-general.

“It is important to prevent this group from spreading atheism in this country,” he added.

Indonesia has seen a spate of attacks on minority religious groups in recent years and the country’s judiciary is notoriously unsympathetic towards their plight.
Calls to Behead Indonesian Atheist Alexander Aan
Presi Mandari, JakartaGlobe, February 2, 2012

UK: 3 Muslim terrorists from Stoke-on-Trent plotted al-Qaida-inspired bomb attacks on pubs and clubs

THREE terrorists from Stoke-on-Trent plotted al-Qaida-inspired bomb attacks on pubs and clubs in the Potteries.

Usman Khan, Mohammed Shahjahan and Nazam Hussain, wanted to bring terror to their home city by placing homemade timebombs in pub toilets.

They also planned to send at least one of their number to terror training camps in Pakistan.

A fourth man from Stoke-on-Trent, Mohibur Rahman, was found in possession of a terrorist magazine containing a bomb recipe.

The four were part of a wider terror network, which included four others who were planning to bomb the London Stock Exchange.

Nine men involved in the network were arrested in police raids in December 2010.

They are now awaiting sentence after entering last-minute guilty pleas to various terror charges at Woolwich Crown Court, just as a five-month trial was about to start.

Khan, aged 20, of Persia Walk, Tunstall; Shahjahan, aged 27, of Burmarsh Walk, Burslem, and Hussain, aged 26, of Grove Street, Cobridge, admitted being engaged in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism between November 1 and December 20, 2010.
Terrorists planned to plant bombs in city pubs
This is Staffordshire, February 2, 2012

"Egyptian fans are notoriously violent", Football hooliganism in Egypt leaves at least 74 people dead

At least 74 people have been killed in clashes between rival fans following a football match in the Egyptian city of Port Said.

Scores were injured as fans - reportedly armed with knives - invaded the pitch after a match between top-tier clubs al-Masry and al-Ahly.

Officials fear the death toll could rise further.

It is the biggest disaster in the country's football history, said the Egyptian deputy health minister.
. . .
Egyptian fans are notoriously violent, says our correspondent, particularly supporters of al-Ahly known as the Ultras.

They have been heavily implicated in confronting the police during recent political protests, our correspondent adds. There is speculation that the security forces may have had an interest in taking on al-Ahly supporters.

Wednesday's violence broke out at the end of the match, which, unusually, Port Said side al-Masry won 3-1.

Witnesses said the atmosphere had been tense throughout the match - since an al-Ahly fan raised a banner insulting supporters of the home team.

As the match ended, their fans flooded onto the pitch attacking Ahly players and fans.

A small group of riot police tried to protect the players, but were overwhelmed.

Part of the stadium was set on fire.
. . .
In Cairo, another match was halted by the referee after news of the Port Said violence. It prompted fans to set parts of the stadium on fire.

All premier-league matches have been cancelled and the newly-elected Egyptian parliament is to hold an emergency session on Thursday.

Indonesia: Court sentences 10 Islamists over suicide bomb attack on a police mosque

An Indonesian court on Wednesday sentenced 10 Islamist extremists to jail terms of between five and eight years over a suicide bomb attack on a police mosque last April.

Tried separately, all 10 were sentenced Wednesday for their parts in a suicide attack in Cirebon, West Java province.
. . .
Indonesia is struggling to deal with the threat of homegrown Islamist militants who oppose the country’s secular, democratic system and want to create an Islamic caliphate across much of Southeast Asia.

A series of bombings in recent years in the country have been blamed on regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah, including the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people, among them 88 Australian tourists.

Post-"Arab spring" Libya: Sufis face violent Islamists who attack them and their heretical beliefs

Freed from Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year dictatorship, Libya's Sufi Muslims find themselves under renewed pressure from violent Islamists who have been attacking them and their beliefs as heretical.

The desecration of graves belonging to Sufi saints and sages in recent months have put the peaceful Sufis on the defensive, prompting some to post armed guards at their mosques and lodges to ward off hardline thugs.

But the birthday of Islam's Prophet Mohammad, one of the highpoints in the Sufi calendar, is on Saturday and Libyan Sufis are determined to take their traditional processions through the streets to show they will not be cowed.

At a meeting of Sufi scholars to plan the celebrations, Sheikh Adl Al-Aref Al-Hadad said even being driven out of his zawiyah (Islamic school) late last year by Islamists known as Salafis would not deter him from marching.

"I'm worried but I'm not afraid," said Al-Hadad, whose Tripoli school was stormed by armed men who burned its library, destroyed office equipment and dug up graves of sages buried there. They turned the school into a Salafi mosque.

On January 13, extremists crashed a bulldozer through the walls of the old cemetery in the eastern city of Benghazi, destroyed its tombs and carried off 29 bodies of respected sages and scholars. They also demolished a nearby Sufi school.

Sheikh Khaled Mohammad Saidan, whose Dargut Pasha Mosque faces Tripoli's port, said most Islamists in post-Gaddafi Libya disagreed with Sufis, but peacefully. "But there are no police around and you never know what some people might do," he added.
Freed from Gaddafi, Libyan Sufis face violent Islamists
Tom Heneghan, Reuters, February 1, 2012

UK: 4 Muslims planned terror attacks against London Mayor, 2 rabbis, US embassy and Stock Exchange

Four men inspired by al-Qaeda have admitted planning to detonate a bomb at the London Stock Exchange.

Mohammed Chowdhury, Shah Rahman, Gurukanth Desai and Abdul Miah pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism.

The men, from London and Cardiff, were arrested in December 2010 and were set to stand trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

Five other men have pleaded guilty to other terrorism offences and all nine will be sentenced next week.

The men, who are all British nationals, had been inspired by the preachings of the recently-killed radical extremist Anwar Al-Awlaki.

It emerged that those who admitted planning to target the London Stock Exchange wanted to send five mail bombs to various targets during the run up to Christmas 2010 and discussed launching a "Mumbai-style" atrocity.

A hand-written target list discovered at the home of one of the men listed the names and addresses of London Mayor Boris Johnson, two rabbis, the US embassy and the Stock Exchange.

The conspiracy was stopped by undercover anti-terror police before firm dates could be set for attacks.

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