PARIS, France (ABC
News) Cardinal: Christians Second-Class in Muslim Lands. "Too many Islamic countries treat their
Christian minorities as second-class citizens and bar them from building churches while Western states let
their Muslims build mosques freely, according to a senior Vatican official. ... Stressing the need for
respect for minorities, he singled out "the extreme case of Saudi Arabia, where freedom of religion is
violated absolutely — no Christian churches and a ban on celebrating Mass, even in a private home." "Just
like Muslims can build their houses of prayer anywhere in the world, the faithful of other religions should
be able to do so as well," the French-born cardinal said."
Philippines (Bradenton Herald) Philippines to Deport Two U.S. Brothers. "Philippine
authorities said Tuesday they were set to deport two American brothers arrested for suspected links to
terrorism and for allegedly meeting charity groups believed to be al-Qaida fronts in the country. One of the
men, Michael Ray Stubbs, worked as a heating and air conditioning technician at the Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory - a major nuclear weapons lab outside San Francisco - for about 10 years ending in 2000.
Officials said the FBI was looking into whether he had access to sensitive information. Michael Ray Stubbs,
55, and his brother James, 56, a convert to Islam, were arrested on immigration violation charges Dec. 13 in
the town of Tanza in Cavite province, 21 miles southwest of Manila, the Bureau of Immigration said. ...
Immigration Commissioner Andrea Domingo told reporters Tuesday that James Stubbs met with members of the Abu
Sayyaf Muslim extremist group, as well as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front separatist movement, two groups
loosely linked by Philippine officials to al-Qaida. ... The two had tourist visas but also carried documents
indicating they were soliciting funds for the construction of Muslim schools and mosques, Domingo said. ...
James Stubbs allegedly called for the overthrow of the U.S. government in statements to local authorities.
According to Philippine military intelligence reports, James Stubbs left his job as a teacher in California
to study Arabic in Sudan. He met in May with several charity groups suspected of being al-Qaida fronts and
founded by Mahmoud Afif Abdeljalil - believed to be a close associate of Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law."
Washington, DC (Star
Ledger) U.S. report finds religious intolerance has global reach.
"In Saudi Arabia, the report said, "Freedom of religion
does not exist." It said the government continued to enforce "a
strictly conservative version of Sunni Islam and suppress the public
practice of other interpretations of Islam and non-Muslim
religions." Non-Muslim worshippers, it said, risked "arrest,
imprisonment, lashing, deportation and sometimes physical abuse.""
Washington, DC (CNN)
U.S. links al Qaeda to Persian Gulf drug boat. "The U.S.
Navy has intercepted a small vessel loaded with drugs in the Persian
Gulf and seized 12 crew members, four of whom have "clear ties" to
the al Qaeda terrorist group, Pentagon officials said Friday. The
boarding took place Monday just inside the Strait of Hormuz by a
team from the USS Decatur, a guided missile destroyer on patrol in
the Persian Gulf. Found on board the 40-foot dhow, officials said,
were 54 bags of hashish weighing 70 pounds each. The drugs would
have a street value of between $8 million and $10 million, officials
MILAN, Italy (Star Ledger) Italy says it cracked ring
that found and sent militants to Iraq. "Authorities in
Europe have shut down a network that recruited at least 200
militants to carry out attacks on U.S.-led forces in Iraq, Italian
investigators told the Associated Press. The volunteers were drawn
from Muslim youths living on the fringes of society in Western
Europe, with loose connections to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda and
Ansar al-Islam, a militant group in northern Iraq. One recruit from
Italy may have been involved in an October rocket attack on the
Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad while the U.S. assistant defense secretary,
Paul Wolfowitz, was there, Italian officials said."
ANKARA, Turkey (Turkish News Daily) Head of KESK accused of insulting Islam. "Yildiz notes
in the application he submitted to the Istanbul Palace of Justice on Monday that Evren, speaking at the 34th
Congress of the Pharmacists Union, had said that the Koran courses reflected the ideas of 1,400 years ago,
and that this constituted an insult against the Koran and the religion of Islam. The application says that
these words were in violation of the 175th article of the Turkish Constitution and asked for an
investigation to be conducted."
KABUL, Afghanistan (New York Times) Meeting on New Constitution, Afghan Women Find Old
Attitudes. "Don't try to put yourself on a level with men, he told the women. Even God has not given you
equal rights, he added, because under his decision two women are counted as equal to one man. He was
referring to a provision of Islamic law, itself displeasing to many women, that says that the testimony of
two women is equivalent to that of one man in some cases. He did not bother to couch the sentiment in a
legal context, presenting it instead as a general principle."
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo Blade) Media urged to report fairly on Islam. ""Many Americans
don’t know anything about our religion, our culture," she said. "We have to go out and talk to people and
teach them by our actions." The forum was in line with those being held across the country - each a result
of perceived and real biases and inaccuracies found in the media, said S. Zaheer Hasan."
California (Monterey Herald) Muslim, evangelical peace plan studied. "A leading
evangelical Christian seminary is using federal funds to launch a $1 million program to ease strained
relations with Muslims by barring proselytizing and the making of offensive statements about either
religion. Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena is working on a proposed code of ethics that would be
taught to both Muslim and Christian community leaders. ... Fuller's proposed code of ethics would bar the
making of offensive statements about either faith, affirm a mutual belief in one God and prohibit
proselytizing over the two-year span of the peace project."
Indonesia, (Tallahassee Democrat) The war for Islam in Indonesia. "Even here in Indonesia, where
there is a strong tradition of tolerance, there is a war going on between radicals and moderates for Muslim
hearts and minds. You can see that war in the police armed with automatic rifles, manning anti-vehicle
barriers in front of my hotel and every other large Western-linked building in Jakarta. In August, Islamist
terrorists blew up a suicide bomb in front of the Marriott Hotel here and are threatening to hit a long list
of targets that includes schools attended by Western children. These are the same bombers who killed more
than 200 people in Bali last year."
CAIRO, Egypt, (Middle
East Times) Christian convert held for altering IDs. "Christian groups have raised concerns about a
woman being held in a Cairo jail for illegally altering her identity card to reflect her conversion from
Islam to Christianity. Middle East Concern said Mariam Girgis Makar has been held for six weeks, after she
was accused of altering her own identity card and helping others to alter theirs. Twenty people arrested for
similar offenses at the same time as Makar have since been released; another died of illness in prison,
according to Middle East Concern. Although the Egyptian constitution allows freedom of religion, critics say
all religions are not treated equally in the country. For example, converts to Islam can get their identity
cards changed within 24 hours, while converts from Islam find it impossible to change their cards at all."
Arabia, (Azcentral.com) Saudis take aim at hateful Islamic teachings. "At the al Hayer prison
outside Riyadh, young inmates suspected of terrorist leanings undergo a unique form of rehabilitation:
Islamic scholars lecture them on tolerant Islam, trying to purge their minds and souls of violent extremism.
... Saudi officials say they have "re-educated" thousands of Muslim clerics, shorn intolerant dogma from
school textbooks and posted undercover agents in mosques known for vengeful diatribes against Americans and
Jews. Two extremist clerics arrested for pro-terrorist statements repented on government television."
BETHLEHEM, West Bank, (CNN) 'Miracle' baby draws Bethlehem
crowds. "Adding to a tale spread mostly by word of mouth and
published Monday in the Jerusalem Post, the baby — named in honor of
his dead uncle — was born on the 27th day of the holy month of
Ramadan, revered as the night the Koran was revealed to the prophet
Mohammad. When local Muslim clerics learned of the baby's birthmark,
they announced it on mosque loudspeakers. The family said several
thousand people had converged on the house since then." Last year a
'Miracle' Hindu baby was born.
Muhammad has a birth
defect too. It was his seal of prophethood.
11-28-2003 Canada (WND)
Canada prepares to enforce Islamic law. "Canadian judges soon will be enforcing Islamic law, or
Sharia, in disputes between Muslims, possibly paving the way to one day administering criminal sentences,
such as stoning women caught in adultery."
YORK, NY (The Day) The (Real) Mother Of All Battles. "Dear Bush: Well, it's been a while since we
last communicated. It's not easy getting tapes out from this basement in Tikrit, but I thought it was time
we had a little chat. Heard your speech on Arab democracy on the BBC Arabic Service. I'll give you this,
Bush, you and Blair do understand the stakes. It's your willpower I doubt."
LOS ANGELES, Ca, (FrontPage Magazine) Jihad Against Lebanese Christians. "The bombing in
Riyadh was not set by Jihadists against other Muslims; it was a slaughter of Christians."
LAGOS, Nigeria (Reuters) Muslim rioters burn 13 churches in
north Nigeria. "Islamic militants burned to the ground thirteen
churches and several houses in a remote northern Nigerian town after
a Christian student was accused of blasphemy, police said on
Thursday. Irate youths torched churches, houses and shops late on
Tuesday in Kazaure, some 80 km (50 miles) north of Kano, a northern
provincial capital where hundreds have died in religious clashes in
the past three years. The dispute began when a Christian student was
accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammad and a group of Muslims
were not satisfied with the response of school authorities. ... More
than 5,000 people have been killed in religious violence in northern
Nigeria in the past four years since the introduction of Islamic
sharia law in 12 states."
Washington, DC (Newsday.com) Schumer Takes On Saudi State
Religion. "Sen. Charles Schumer, who has denounced the Saudi
Arabian government for two years as weak on terrorism, is now
attacking a new target: the Saudi state religion, which he says
promotes terrorism and is making "dramatic inroads" in the United
States. ... "It preaches violence against nonbelievers or infidels
and serves as the religious basis for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida,"
Schumer said. He warns that Wahhabis "are trying to hijack
mainstream Islam" in U.S. mosques, schools and prisons and "are
allowed to recruit disciples who pose a tremendous threat to
SINGAPORE (Reuters) Indonesia Politician Sees Schools as
Terror Source. "Indonesia can do more to curb Islamic schools
that served as a training ground for extremists who carried out some
of the deadliest attacks since the Sept. 11, 2001 strikes, a senior
politician said on Monday. ... Rais, former head of Indonesia's
second-largest Islamic group, the 28-million-strong Muhammadiyah,
said it was time to take another look at education in Indonesia and
at the Islamic madrassah schools that have served as fertile ground
for recruiting young men to terror networks."
HILLA, Iraq (Christian Science Monitor) New Iraqi school
spans chasms between religions. "Founded six months ago by a
Shiite scholar, the institution bills itself as the Arab world's
only school of theology, teaching Muslim, Christian, and Judaic
texts. In a town full of deep-seated sorrow, the statue may best
embody the school's credo of breaking down barriers and asking
dangerous questions. "This is a school of theology, not of Islam,"
said Sheikh Faris al-Shareef, professor of Islamic law and
philosophy at the school. "There is one thing that unites all of us:
God and his prophets. With that realization, you can teach all
theologies." And by discussing all theologies, many of the school's
largely Muslim leadership insist, Islam itself can be reinterpreted
and rethought. About 250 students of all ages have descended on the
experimental school in search of a broader understanding of faith.
The school's scholars have broken from the traditions of Islamic
teaching and the Shiite orthodoxy, sprinkled in some concepts of
secularism and social justice, and cobbled together a new curriculum
for studying theology in the broadest sense. The school's 180 or so
full-time students and 50 or so part timers now study the teachings
of the Bible and the Torah; they may learn a few things about
religions like Hinduism and Buddhism as well. All the while, they
are sent searching for religious insights into everything from
medicine to astronomy. Computers are taught as a religious tool;
philosophy becomes a theological discipline."
PARIS, France (Asia Times) Crisis heightens Iran's divisions.
"When Khatami states publicly that Iran wants nuclear technology for
strengthening its defense, when officials declare that some of
Iran's sites would be off limit to inspectors, when Kamal Kharrazi,
the Foreign Affairs Minister, says enriching uranium is for nuclear
electricity plants, while it falls on the Russians to supply this
material for the Bushehr station, when Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's
ambassador at the IAEA, confirms that Iran has been enriching
uranium for many years, etc, it all tends to one conclusion: that
Iran has something to hide."
Washington, DC (CNN) Kay: Iraq search team making significant
finds. ""What we have said, and we said it in the report,
we have numbers of Iraqis who tell us that Saddam was committed to
acquiring weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons,"
he said on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer." "And the issue
is, how far along was that activity actually before the war?" ... A
clandestine network of laboratories and safe houses within the Iraqi
Intelligence Service that contained equipment that was subject to
U.N. monitoring and was suitable for continuing chemical and
biological weapons research. A prison laboratory complex that
possibly was used to test biological weapons agents on humans. Kay
said his investigations have shown that Iraqi officials working to
prepare for U.N. inspections were ordered not to declare the
facility to the U.N. Reference strains of biological organisms
concealed in the home of an Iraqi scientist. One of the strains can
be used to produce biological weapons. New research on biological
weapons-applicable agents, Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic
Fever (CCHF), and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin -- none of
which were declared to the U.N. ... The inspectors have found 130
large ammunition storage points containing more than 600,000 tons of
arms -- one-third of the ammunitions stockpile of the U.S. military,
LAHORE, Pakistan (Daily Times, PK) Hudood Ordinance repugnant
to Islam. "Speakers at a seminar on the Hudood Ordinance, which
was promulgated in 1979, on Sunday demanded the government repeal
the law immediately because it was unjust and against Islamic
injunctions. ... She said only a woman was asked to bring four male
witnesses to prove Zina (rape) and a female witness was ignored.
“How can a woman have four men as witnesses to prove Zina against
her,” she asked."
NWFP, Pakistan (BBC News) The 'University of Holy War'.
"The ceremony was adorned with pro-Taleban slogans. Its students and
principal call it the University of Jihad (Holy War). Last week the
religious seminary of Darul Uloom Haqqania in Pakistan's North-West
Frontier Province turned out another class of young Pakistanis and
Afghans ready to wage holy war against the enemies of their
religion. Among them was 15-year-old Afghan refugee, Javed Ullah. "I
wish to fight the infidels," he said as he left the seminary in
Akora Khattak, 50 kilometres (31 miles) east of the provincial
Washington, D.C. (Washington Post) Spreading Saudi
Fundamentalism in U.S. "Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen, a man
who would soon be named a minister of the Saudi government and put
in charge of its two holy mosques, arrived in the United States to
meet with some of this country's most influential fundamentalist
Sunni Muslim leaders. His journey here was to include meetings and
contacts with officials of several Saudi-sponsored charities that
have since been accused of links to terrorist groups, including the
Illinois-based Global Relief Foundation, which was shut down by U.S.
authorities last year."
NWFP, Pakistan (Asian Age) Women won’t be able to get
ultrasound tests in NWFP. ""We think that men could derive
sexual pleasure from women’s bodies while conducting ECG or
ultrasound," Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan, provincial general secretary
of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, the six-party religious alliance
which now governs the NWFP, told the Sunday Times. "Similarly, some
women could lure men under the pretext of ECG or ultrasound.
Therefore, to uphold the supreme values of Islam, the MMA has
decided to impose the ban in line with the May 8 resolution of the
Provincial Assembly that nothing repugnant to Islam will be
allowed," the Maulana said."
New York, NY (NY Post) Pentagon Jihadis. "The news last
week that two Muslim military personnel, James Yee and Ahmad al-Halabi,
had been arrested on suspicion of aiding Al-Qaeda prisoners at
Guantnamo Bay (with another three Muslim servicemen under watch)
seemed to prompt much surprise. It should not have. It has been
obvious for months that Islamists who despise America have
penetrated U.S. prisons, law enforcement, and armed forces. In
February, a milestone Wall Street Journal article established that
imams who consider Osama bin Laden "a hero of Allah" dominate the
Islamic chaplaincy in the New York state prison system."
KABUL, Afghanistan (Billings Gazette) Draft Afghan
constitution declares Muslim statehood. "A new constitution that
will be put forward soon for ratification declares Afghanistan a
Muslim state but stops short of imposing Islamic Shariah law, a
contentious issue in this conservative nation, an Afghan official
said Sunday. As they draw up a constitution aimed at unifying the
fragmented nation, conservatives and secularists have been hotly
debating how to enshrine Islam into law after years under the
Taliban, who enforced a harsh version of Shariah that some Afghans
recall with horror but others support."
GRANADA, Spain (NY Times) Was the Islam of Old Spain Truly
Tolerant? "Even the Umayyad dynasty, begun by Abd al-Rahman in
756, was far from enlightened. Issues of succession were often
settled by force. One ruler murdered two sons and two brothers.
Uprisings in 805 and 818 in Córdoba were answered with mass
executions and the destruction of one of the city's suburbs. Wars
were accompanied by plunder, kidnappings and ransom. Córdoba itself
was finally sacked by Muslim Berbers in 1013, its epochal library
destroyed. Andalusian governance was also based on a religious
tribal model. Christians and Jews, who shared Islam's Abrahamic
past, had the status of dhimmis - alien minorities. They
rose high but remained second-class citizens; one 11th-century legal
text called them members of "the devil's party." They were subject
to special taxes and, often,
dress codes. Violence also erupted, including a massacre of
thousands of Jews in Grenada in 1066 and the forced exile of many
Christians in 1126."
MAPUTO, Mozambique (NY Times) God on Their Side. "But I'm
convinced that we should all celebrate the big evangelical push into
Africa because the bottom line is that it will mean more orphanages,
more schools and, above all, more clinics and hospitals.
Particularly when AIDS is ravaging Africa, those church hospitals
are lifesavers. "In most of Africa, these are the cornerstone of the
health system," said Helene Gayle, who directs AIDS work for the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "In some countries, they serve more
people than the government health system."
KATSINA, Nigeria (CNN) Woman awaits stoning appeal. "Amina
Lawal will learn Thursday whether a regional court will spare her
the sentence of being buried up to her head in sand and stoned to
death. The 31-year-old woman was sentenced to death by stoning two
years ago for having a child out of wedlock. Her sentence was
delayed until she could wean her baby, Wassila. The decision will
mark the fifth appeal for Lawal, a single, illiterate mother of
three. The Shariah Court of Appeal in Katsina is to announce its
verdict sometime Thursday."
NEW YORK, NY (NY Post) VOICES OF ISLAM. "This outpouring
of hostility prompted Manji to hire a guard and install bullet proof
glass in her house. The Toronto police acknowledge "a very high
level of awareness" about her security. Manji's predicament is
unfortunately all too typical of what courageous, moderate, modern
Muslims face when they speak out against the scourge of militant
Islam. Her experience echoes the threats against the lives of such
writers as Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen. And non-Muslims
wonder why anti-Islamist Muslims in western Europe and North America
are so quiet? Anti-Islamist Muslims - who wish to live modern lives,
unencumbered by burqas, fatwas and violent visions of jihad - are on
the defensive and atomized. However eloquent, their individual
voices cannot compete with the roar of militant Islam's
determination, money (much of it from overseas) and violence."
PARIS, FRANCE (NY Times) French Minister Threatens to Expel
Extremist Muslims. "France's law-and-order interior minister has
threatened to close any mosque in France that is considered
extremist and expel any Muslim prayer leader who preaches a radical
message. In an interview in Le Figaro published on Thursday, the
minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, also pledged to deny visas to Muslim
participants in conferences who did not respect the values of the
French state. .. In the interview, Mr. Sarkozy declared: "No one
should expect any weakness from me. Mosques where extremist Islam is
preached will be closed. Imams who give radical sermons will be
expelled. And conferencegoers who don't show proof of respect for
republican rules will find themselves systematically denied visas to
GUANTANAMO, Cuba (Washington Times) Islamic chaplain is
charged as spy. "Capt. James J. Yee, a 1990 graduate of the U.S.
Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. ... The Army dispatched him to
Cuba to attend to the spiritual needs of a growing number of
captured al Qaeda and members of the Taliban, a hard-line Islamic
group ousted from power in Afghanistan. Capt. Yee, of
Chinese-American descent, was raised in New Jersey as a Christian.
He studied Islam at West Point and converted to Islam and left the
Army in the mid-1990s. He moved to Syria, where he underwent further
religious training in traditional Islamic beliefs. He returned to
the United States and re-entered the Army as an Islamic chaplain. He
is said to be married to a Syrian woman. Capt. Yee had almost
unlimited private access to detainees as part of the Defense
Department's program to provide the prisoners with religious
counseling, as well as clothing and Islamic-approved meals. The
law-enforcement source declined to say how much damage Capt. Yee may
have inflicted on the U.S. war against Osama bin Laden's global
terror network. "
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Toronto Star) Extremists could win,
Musharraf warns West. "Islamic extremists are perverting their
faith by waging reckless jihads across the globe, Pakistani
President Pervez Musharraf warns. ... "The extremists have taken it
upon themselves to declare jihad (holy war) all around the world,
and this is not — repeat, not — their responsibility," Musharraf
said indignantly. "Obviously it will be total chaos ... if every
second man can get up and start calling for jihad." Yet Musharraf
also offered a bleak prediction that moderate voices such as his
will be drowned out and discredited if the West fails to change
course — leaving Muslims feeling economically neglected and
LONDON, England (CBS News) Islam Group Honors 9/11 Hijackers.
"The group that calls itself al Muhajiroun and claims to be the
eyes and ears of militant Islam, held a very different 9/11
commemoration Thursday, reports CBS News Correspondent Mark
Phillips. This remembrance was not filled with grief and tears but
with a perverse sense of pride. Today they honored not those who
were murdered, but those who killed them. "They revived the
obligation of jihad worldwide. 19 Brave warriors, mujahedeen who
made the ultimate sacrifice,'' said a speaker at a London rally,
referring to the 19 9/ll hijackers. On its Web site, the 9/11
hijackers are revered as "the magnificent nineteen." ... "It is an
undeniable fact that the phenomenon of jihad is like wildfire," says
Washington,DC (NJ.com) Poll finds that Americans' suspicion
of Islamic religion growing. "The ABC News poll found that
one-third of Americans now think the religion encourages violence
against non-Muslims. That is double the number of people who felt
that way 20 months ago. Four months after the attacks of Sept. 11,
2001, 14 percent believed mainstream Islam encourages violence. That
figure is now at 34 percent. People are about evenly divided on
whether they have a favorable or unfavorable view of Islam. In
January 2002, 41 percent had a favorable view and 24 percent had an
Church of Canada) General Council 38 (2003):
Muslim-United Church Dialogue Report Approved. "Acknowledges the
prophetic witness of Muhammad and that the mercy, compassion and
justice of God is expressed in the Qur'an, regarded by Muslims as
the authoritative word of God.
Affirms that God, whose love we have found in Jesus Christ to be
boundless, creative, and resourceful, and who creatively and
redemptively works in us, also works in others. Affirms that God is
creatively and redemptively at work in the religious life of Muslims
and that we share with Muslims a belief in one God and a common
spiritual origin in the faith of Abraham "
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CBS News) What Does The Qur'an Really
Say? "Pakistan has banned the latest issue of Newsweek's
international edition, saying an article on new interpretations of
the Qur'an, the Islamic equivalent of the Bible, is offensive to
Islam. The information minister said Thursday that customs
authorities have been ordered to seize copies of the edition. "The
article is insulting to the Qur'an," the minister, Sheikh Rashid
Ahmed, told The Associated Press. He said officials fear the article
could incite violence in a nation wracked by feuding between
militant members of the Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam. ... Most of
Pakistan's 140 million people are Muslims. Under Pakistan's
blasphemy law, it is an offense punishable by death to offend Islam,
its prophet or its holy book."
WASHINGTON, DC (The Pew Research Center for the People and the
Press) Religion and Politics: Contention and Consensus — Growing
Number Says Islam Encourages Violence Among Followers. "As has
been true in previous years, Muslims are less popular than people of
other religious faiths but more popular than atheists.
Muslim-Americans and Muslims are seen less favorably than Jews (72%
favorable), Protestants (70%), and Catholics (69%), and slightly
below evangelical Christians (58% favorable, 18% unfavorable).
"People who aren't religious" receive favorable ratings similar to
Muslims (50%), but the public has a more unfavorable view of the
non-religious (33% unfavorable). Majorities of the public continue
to give atheists an unfavorable rating: 52%, compared with 34%
favorable. Views of each of these groups have changed very little
since March 2002."
(Newsweek, MSNBC) Challenging the Qur’an. " — Luxenberg’s
chief hypothesis is that the original language of the Qur’an was not
Arabic but something closer to Aramaic. He says the copy of the
Qur’an used today is a mistranscription of the original text from
Muhammad’s time, which according to Islamic tradition was destroyed
by the third caliph, Osman, in the seventh century. But Arabic did
not turn up as a written language until 150 years after Muhammad’s
death, and most learned Arabs at that time spoke a version of
Aramaic. Rereading the Paradise passage in Aramaic, the mysterious
houris turn into raisins and fruit—much more common components of
the Paradise myth."
NEW YORK, NY (National Review) The Meaning of Peace.
"However, for many Muslims this war is called "peace," and
"liberation." The logic of this conception has been elucidated by
the respected contemporary Muslim scholar, Bassam Tibi, in his
cogent analysis of jihad. Because jihad imposes the Koranic truth,
it is considered an act of peace. Tibi explains: "In this sense
Muslims believe that expansion through war is not aggression but a
fulfillment of the Koranic command to spread Islam as a way to
peace. The resort to force to disseminate Islam is not war (harb), a
word that is used only to describe the use of force by non-Muslims."
Hence Islamic wars are not wars, but meritorious efforts to liberate
the world from disbelief (jahaliyya) by its submission to
Islam. Only submission brings peace, and it is the non-Muslim's
failure to submit that provokes war."
STOW HILL, OH (American Daily) Is The West Too Civilized?.
"But the same cannot be said of the threats emanating from the
Muslim world. Al-Qaeda destroys airplanes and buildings that it
itself could not possibly build. The Palestinian Authority has
failed in every field of endeavor except killing Israelis. Saddam
Hussein’s Iraq grew dangerous thanks to money showered on it by the
West to purchase petroleum Iraqis themselves had neither located nor
extracted. How, despite their general incompetence, has this trio
managed to guide the course of events as if they were Powers in the
traditional sense? The cause of this anomaly, Harris replies, is
that the West plays by a strict set of rules while permitting Al-Qaeda,
the Palestinians, and Saddam Hussein to play without rules. We
restrain ourselves according to the standards of civilized conduct
as refined over the centuries; they engage in maximal ruthlessness.
Had the United States retaliated in kind for 9/11, Harris tells me,
the Islamic holy places would have been destroyed. Had Israelis
followed the Arafat model of murderousness, the West Bank and Gaza
would now be devoid of Palestinians. Had the West done toward Iraq
as Iraq did toward Kuwait, the Iraqi polity would long ago have been
annexed and its oil resources confiscated. While morally
commendable, Harris argues, the West’s not responding to Muslim
ruthlessness with like ruthlessness carries a high and rising price.
It allows Muslim political extremists of various stripes to
fantasize that they earned their power, when in fact that power
derives entirely from the West’s arch-civilized restraint."
JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Globe & Mail) Big reaction to Saudi
article imagining more open future. " — Saudi newspaper
columnist Hussein Shobokshi touched off a fury in this Arab kingdom
when he wrote about a future in which his daughter could drive and
he could vote. But he also caused delight at a time when Saudi
Arabia has seen a modest push toward more social and religious
LOS ANGELES, CA (FrontPage) The Dawning of Dawa. "What’s
Dawa? Although a common Islamic proper noun, Dawa is actually a
dynamic, an obligatory duty (fard) for Muslims of all sects and
degrees of (im)moderation. Muslims call it “inviting others to
Islam.” Really, it’s proselytizing, which Islam encourages the
faithful to achieve at any cost. In fact, al-Qaeda lieutenant Abu
‘Ubeid Al-Qurashi boasted last year that September 11th gave Islam
enormously effective publicity. It also marked the launch of a
massive global Dawa campaign. Al-Qurashi called Dawa “integral to
triumph in fourth-generation warfare.” "
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NewMaxs.com) Europe Grows Hostage to Its
Muslims. "Consider: In Manchester, England, a radical Muslim who
does not even speak English has been elected to the city council,
where he needs an interpreter. Consider: According to the German
media, secret Shari'a courts appear to be meting out "justice" in
Italy. In that country's north a man known to Muslims as a sex fiend
recently showed up with a hand missing. It had obviously been
amputated as punishment. Italian doctors report treating Muslim
women who had evidently been lashed. Consider: In France about
70,000 young women, chiefly Muslim, are being subjected to forced
marriages every year, according to the country's High Council for
Integration. Every year, too, 35,000 girls are either circumcised or
under threat of circumcision, HCI related. These vignettes highlight
a dilemma troubling Islam experts on both sides of the Atlantic: Are
European governments still masters in their own house? And to what
extent will the growth of their Islamic communities have serious
repercussions on foreign and domestic affairs? As terrorism expert
Michael Radu of the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research
Institute points out, there are between 12 million and 16 million
Muslims living in the European Union's 15 member states, "more than
in most Arab countries." Given these figures, Radu wondered in a
recent FPRI lecture if EU governments were becoming hostages to
these minorities. Many of their members are, after all, voters, an
important point to be considered by politicians of all stripes,
especially in France. Radu suggested that this is an important
factor in the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and its
traditional European allies. "Will the Gulf be a permanent bone of
contention between them?" he asked."
Last edited 01/04/2003
Top of Page.
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) Attack on Pakistan Mosque Leaves 47
Dead. "A suicide attack on a packed mosque killed as many as 47
people Friday, sending enraged Shiite Muslims on a rampage through
this southwestern city. The government called in troops and imposed
a curfew to try to quell the violence. Scores more were wounded in
one of the bloodiest attacks in a long series of assaults on the
country's Shiite Muslim minority."
England (WND) Petition to Muslims:Stop killing converts,
Urges reform of apostasy law mandating death for leaving Islam.
"A British charity has issued a petition challenging Muslim leaders
to call for reform or reinterpretation of the Islamic law of
apostasy. Under Shariah, or Islamic law, Muslims who convert to
another faith and refuse to repent must be put to death. The
petition by the England-based Barnabas Fund asks for signatures from
those who believe "Muslims who choose to convert to another faith
should be free to do so without having to face a lifetime of fear."
The group acknowledges the tradition is upheld and taught by most
Muslim religious leaders around the world. But it notes a reformist
interpretation that claims an apostate can be put to death only if
he also is a danger to the Islamic state. Traditionalists insist,
nevertheless, every apostate is a danger to the Islamic social order
and has committed high treason."
QUETTA, Pakistan (CNN) Pakistan mosque blast kills eight.
"At least eight people were killed and several were injured when an
explosion ripped through a Shi'ite mosque in southwestern Pakistan,
police said. Attackers set off the explosives about 1:30 p.m. local
time as the mosque was packed with worshippers holding Friday
BALI, Indonesia (Courier Mail) Men tell of desire to be
suicide bombers. "SEVERAL would-be suicide bombers have told
terrorism trials in Bali they had arrived on the island to commit
jihad and die as martyrs. ... The witnesses said they were committed
to becoming "shahid bombers" or suicide bombers, sacrificing their
own lives in the name of Islam. Australian Federal Police
Commissioner Mick Keelty and Bali's police chief, Made Mangku
Pastika, also confirmed yesterday that terrorists in the region had
become more committed and were using crimes like robberies to
finance their operations."
FALLUJAH, Iraq (CNN) U.S. blames bomb-makers for mosque
blast. "U.S. Central Command said Wednesday that the explosion
that destroyed a building in the compound of a Fallujah mosque early
Tuesday was "apparently related to a bomb-manufacturing class that
was being taught inside the mosque" — and did not involve U.S.
Sudan (WND) Islamists burn to death Christian pastor, family:
Massacre of 59 came as Sudan discussed removal from terror list.
"Military forces led by Sudan's militant Islamist regime burned to
death a Christian pastor and his family in a massacre of 59 unarmed
villagers, a relief group working in the area reported. ... Sudan's
cleric-backed National Islamic Front regime in the Arab and Muslim
north declared a jihad on the mostly Christian and animist south in
1989. Since 1983, an estimated 2 million people have died from war
and related famine. About 5 million have become refugees. ... Jacob
Gadet Manyiel, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan, and his
wife and four children were burned to death as government soldiers
stood outside their house and threatened to shoot anyone trying to
Sudan (WND) U.S. to forgive Sudan for 2 million deaths?
Washington to overlook genocide, atrocities for new strategic
relationship. "The U.S. is prepared to overlook the deaths of 2
million mostly Christian Sudanese in return for a new strategic
relationship with Khartoum, ... State Department officials say they
are on the verge of removing Sudan from its list of "terror
countries," where it was placed in 1997 by the Clinton
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Iranian lawmakers call on Khamenei to
swallow poison and implement reforms to avoid collapse of
Islamic establishment. "Some 130 reformist lawmakers
called on Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to accept
democratic reforms for the ruling establishment to survive.
.... Signed by 127 lawmakers, the letter said the only
solution for saving Iran's Islamic theocracy was to carry out
"fundamental changes" in unelected institutions controlled by
hard-liners and to respect the voted reforms by implementing
them. It said the murder of political opponents, mass closure
of pro-democracy publications, imprisonment of writers and
political activists, and rejection of all pro-reform bills by
Khamenei-appointed hard-liners have made elections
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, (NJ.com) Islamic hard-liners
call for compulsory Quran lessons, ban on men giving medical
tests to women. "Islamic hard-liners controlling
Pakistan's northernmost province called for compulsory reading
of the Quran in schools and said only women should carry out
medical tests on female patients. The demands were made in two
resolutions passed unanimously Thursday by lawmakers in the
legislature of North West Frontier Province. Under
parliamentary rules, the unanimous backing means the regional
government is obliged to put them into law, adding to a string
of rule changes intended to bring the province into line with
Islamic sharia law."
Washington, DC, (Tallahassee Democrat) Evangelicals
Condemn Anti-Islam Remarks. "Leading evangelical
Christians for the first time have publicly condemned assaults
on Islam by the Rev. Franklin Graham and other fellow
religious conservatives and pledged to heal rifts with Muslims
that threaten missionary work overseas.'"
Baghdad, Iraq, (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) WAR IN
THE GULF: OVERVIEW: PROTESTS: Iraqi Muslims denounce U.S.
"Thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets of Baghdad
after Friday prayers to protest the U.S. presence in Iraq and
demand an Islamic state to replace Saddam Hussein's secular
government. The protests underscored the problem the United
States faces as Iraq's power vacuum increasingly unnerves a
people accustomed to iron rule. In one of the first
spontaneous public demonstrations in decades, Shiite and Sunni
Muslims alike waved banners and chanted slogans including,
''No to Bush, No to Saddam, Yes to Islam'' and ''Leave our
country, we want peace.''"
NAJAF, Iraq, (The Ledger) Shiite Clerics Rise to Power
in Iraqi Cities, Are Skeptical of U.S. "In this holiest of
Muslim Shiite cities, clerics are running a self-declared
government. It's the same in nearby Karbala, another sacred
Shiite city. Muslim Shiite clerics have in the past week moved
swiftly to fill the power void created by Saddam Hussein's
ouster — appointing governors; imposing curfews; offering
protection, jobs and health care; and giving financial
assistance to the needy. In some respects, they have replaced
Saddam as Iraq's new leadership. They distrust the Americans
who rid them of Saddam's tyranny and have little faith in the
opposition leaders now returning to Iraq from years in exile.
They also question whether Western democratic values are
suited for their country."
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, (CNN) Death for Pakistani 'honor
killer'. "A man who killed seven members of his family
because he was angered by his daughter's decision to marry a
Christian has been sentenced to death. ... He insisted,
however, he committed the crime to protect the honor of his
family after his daughter announced her intention to marry a
Christian boy, Ali said. ... Honor killings in the Islamic
nation are not uncommon. According to Pakistan's main human
rights body, at least 461 women were killed by their family
members in "honor killings" in 2002, indicating an increase
from the year before. About 97 percent of Pakistan's 145
million people are Muslim, while most of the remaining three
percent are Christian."
ARIS, France, (NY Times, International) French Threaten
Expulsions After Islam Radical Victory. "France's interior
minister threatened today to expel any Muslim religious leader
considered extremist after a fundamentalist Muslim
organization unexpectedly won a large number of seats in an
election for the country's first national council of Muslims.
... The group that made a surprisingly strong showing in the
election is the Union of Islamic Organizations in France. It
preaches a strict, conservative interpretation of Islam,
derives much of its support from the poor suburbs of Paris and
other major cities and is said to derive its inspiration from
the banned fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, which originated
in Egypt. It won 14 of 41 seats in the governing
(Miami Herald) Muslims demand Pentagon to rescind Graham
invitation. "Outraged American Muslims are urging the
Pentagon to rescind an invitation for a prominent Christian
evangelist who has harshly criticized Islam to appear at a
prayer service Friday. Franklin Graham, the son of the Rev.
Billy Graham, will deliver a homily at a Good Friday prayer
service at the Pentagon, a spokesperson said. Franklin Graham
called Islam "a very evil and wicked religion" after the Sept.
11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a comment he has refused to
recant. Graham heads Samaritan's Purse, a fundamentalist
Christian organization with a $194 million budget for
humanitarian aid and ministry. The group, known for its active
proselytizing, has workers in Jordan and is poised to deliver
aid in Iraq."
PHILADELPHIA,PA, (Miami Herald) Bush Nominates Daniel
Pipes To Board Of US Institute Of Peace: Moderate Muslims
Welcome the Appointment. "American Muslims welcome the
nomination of Daniel Pipes, a scholar of militant Islam and
director of the Middle East Forum, by President Bush to serve
on the board of the US Institute of Peace. They note in
particular his care to distinguish between the minority of
Islamists and the majority of normal, patriotic Muslims. Many
moderate American Muslims, frustrated by and angry at the
extremist policies of militant Islamist organizations in the
US and their efforts to portray themselves as the sole voice
of Islam, have welcomed the nomination of Daniel Pipes."
BIYARE, Iraq, (Miami Herald) Raid finds al-Qaida tie to
militants. "A U.S.-led assault on a compound controlled by
an Iraqi-based extremist Islamic group has turned up a list of
names of suspected militants living in the United States and
what may be the strongest evidence yet linking Ansar al-Islam
to al-Qaida, coalition commanders said Monday."
LONDON, England, (UK Telegraph) Routed Islamists had UK
links, say Kurds. "Jubilant Kurdish forces say they have
found hundreds of documents with contact addresses and
telephone numbers in London and the Arab world in the camp of
the routed Muslim terrorist group Ansar al-Islam in northern
Iraq. The claim, made after American special forces and
Kurdish guerrillas routed Ansar in a ferocious three-day
battle, could be vital for determining the strength of the
long-claimed connection between Ansar and the al-Qa'eda
AMMAN, Jordan, (Washington Post) Scholars Urge Jihad In
Event of Iraq War: Cairo Center Declares All Muslims
Threatened . "Islamic scholars at Cairo's Al-Azhar
University, the preeminent seat of Sunni Muslim learning in
the Arab world, have declared a U.S. attack on Iraq would
threaten all Arabs and Muslims and urged a jihad to defend
PASADENA, Ca., (Pasadena Star) Fuller awarded $1
million grant: Funding for Christian-Muslim dialogue.
"Fuller Theological Seminary has been awarded $1 million in
federal funding to start a program of Muslim-Christian
dialogue to seek peace through mutual understanding. "The
Quran and Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are often
misunderstood on both sides,' said David Augsburger, a Fuller
professor of pastoral care and a counseling and conflict
resolution expert. "The perspectives that emphasize peace are
not as perceived as they should be.' ... Fuller has selected
six professors for a committee that also will include six
Muslim scholars, Augsburger said."
Europe, (Jewish World Review) When have millions of
Europeans ever been wrong? "Indeed, America is the chief
impediment to the spread of both Islam and socialism. This
explains the unity of leftist and Muslim activists. Though
theoretically they have nothing in common, as Osama bin Laden
just announced, "in the current circumstances, the interests
of Muslims coincide with the interests of the socialists" —
AMMAN,Jordan (Al Bawaba) Jordanian journalists
sentenced to jail for defaming prophet . "Three Jordanian
journalists were sentenced to jail on Monday by the State
Security Court for publishing an article last month that
touched on the sexual life of the Prophet Mohammed. The
journalists faced charges of insulting Islam and damaging the
prestige of the state with the article published in al-Hilal
Vancouver, BC, (WorldNetDaily) Tony Campolo:
Misinformed, bad theology. "Campolo conveniently forgets
that some 750,000 Jews – all living in Israel today – were
kicked out of their homes in Arab and Muslim countries like
Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc. They were forced out
with little more than the clothes on their backs. Many didn't
make it at all. Many died in pogroms before they got the
chance to leave.'"
Washington DC, (Saratogian) Schumer: Radical Muslim
cleric kept moderates from preaching in state prisons. "A
radical Muslim cleric who was fired by the state prison system
Wednesday has prevented more moderate Muslims from ministering
in the state prisons — including Mount McGregor in Wilton and
Great Meadow in Washington County — for more than 20 years,
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Thursday. The state has 40 paid
Muslim chaplains. They serve 9,862 Muslim inmates, or about 15
percent of the inmate population. The fired cleric, Warith
Deen Umar of Albany County, has hired imams from the more
militant Wahhabi branch of Sunni Islam, Schumer said. ''My
worry is that within our own prison system, we may be creating
recruits for al-Qaida,'' Schumer said. ''We might have done so
Washington DC, (Washington Times) Textbooks said to
'hide' problems with Islam. "World history textbooks in
U.S. classrooms sanitize the problems of Islam when compared
to how they often treat Western civilization, a review of
seven widely used texts reported yesterday. The study,
released by the American Textbook Council, said a rosy
treatment of Islam may arise from the lobbying of the Council
on Islamic Education on national publishers. "When any dark
side [of Islam] surfaces, textbooks run and hide," said the
report, "Islam and the Textbooks," by Gilbert Sewall, a former
professor who directs the council. "Subjects such as jihad and
the advocacy of violence among militant Islamists to attain
worldly ends, the imposition of [Shariah] law, the record of
Muslim enslavement, and the brutal subjection of women are
glossed over," the 35-page study says."
Australia (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Islam
and apostasy. "Ibn Warraq: Well, yes and no. I think one
of the paradoxical results of greater education – in fact, if
you look at the composition of the various Islamic
fundamentalist groups in modern times, you will see that the
most tolerant Muslims are not the ones who are educated, but
the uneducated people in the countryside, the rural poor, who
don’t actually know precisely what is in the Koran, since they
cannot read the difficult Arabic. Islamic fundamentalism is
very much an urban phenomenon of people who are educated, or
able to read the Koran and take it very literally."
AMMAN, Jordan, (IndianExpress, Bombay) Prophet’s wife
lands scribes in court. "Handcuffed, their oversized
prison uniforms dragging on the floor, three Arab men were led
through a bare courtroom to an iron cage. They are on trial
for publishing an article about the sex life of the prophet
Muhammad’s wife Aisha. The three Jordanian journalists — who
worked for Al Hilal — are accused of ‘‘harming the reputation
of the government, harming the dignity of Muslims’’ and
‘‘destabilizing society by publishing perversity and false
news.’’ ... The article describes Aisha, one of the Prophet’s
several wives. It claims that Muhammad married her when she
was a child and began to have sex with her when she was 8 or
9, ‘‘gaining the sexual potency of 40 men.’’ Aisha claimed
Muhammad had divine revelations in which the word of God was
conveyed by the angel Gabriel when she was in bed with him,
the article says."
LONDON, England, (Ananova, UK) Shuttle crash is God's
punishment, says Hamza. "Muslim cleric Abu Hamza says the
US shuttle disaster shows the mission was a 'Trinity of Evil'
[USA, Israel, India] punished with death by Allah. Mr Hamza
made the claim because the Columbia carried Americans, Israeli
Ilan Ramon and Kalpana Chawla, an Indian-born Hindu. He says
British Muslims would take the shuttle disaster as a "sign
from God" that the first Israeli in space was killed over an
area of Texas called Palestine."
NAIROBI, Kenya, (Independent, UK) Boys rescued from
Kenya's Islamic school of torture. "Eleven teenage boys
have been rescued from an Islamic correction centre in Nairobi
where they were chained, tortured, and indoctrinated with
violent anti-Christian ideas. Armed police raided the school
in a rundown Nairobi neighbourhood after Guleed Ahmed, a
16-year-old from Leicester, faked an illness to escape and
raise the alarm. Inside they found 10 other boys, from Kenya,
Sweden and Ethiopia, chained by their hands and feet and
confined to a dark, foul-smelling room."
Jordan, (WorldNetDaily) Christian mother ordered
jailed: Jordanian mom refuses to hand over kids to be raised
as Muslims. "A court in northern Jordan has ordered a
Christian widow to jail for 30 days if she refuses to hand
over her two minor children to be raised as Muslims, reports
news service Compass Direct. According to the report, a
warrant for Siham Qandah's arrest was issued Jan. 16. On Jan.
20, she was informed by phone that she was to surrender
custody of her daughter Rawan, 14, and son Fadi, 12, to their
court-appointed Muslim guardian. Jordan claims that before his
death several years ago, Qandah's Christian husband secretly
converted to Islam, making his children Muslims under
CAIRO, Egypt, (Strait Times) Disunited and confused,
Muslims have lost their way. "Muslims have reached their
lowest point, says Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Speaking at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo on Wednesday, he
said that rather than fighting over interpretations of Islam
and working towards heavenly rewards alone, Muslims should aim
for economic, military and scientific strength. Here are
excerpts of his speech.
"....So the idea that we must suffer in silence and await our
heaven in the next world is not Islamic. In fact, it goes
against the Sunnah (sayings and traditions) of the Prophet.
The Quran enjoins upon us to prepare to deter and defeat the
enemy with force of arms - with war horses, bows and arrows in
those days. Today, we need guns and rockets, warships and
warplanes, armoured cars. We cannot depend on others to supply
us with these things forever, least of all those who are
opposed to us. We need to invent, design, produce and test our
own weapons of defence. To do this, we need to have scientific
and technological knowledge and skills. Those who learn
science and mathematics and acquire technological skills are
obeying and fulfilling the injunctions of Islam."
CAIRO, Egypt, (World Tribune) Sunni Muslims: Having
modern nukes 'a religious obligation' "The Islamic Ruling
Committee in Al Azhar, based in Cairo, ruled that Islamic
states must acquire nuclear weapons for their defense. The
committee is regarded as the highest authority for Sunni
Muslims in the Middle East, according to Middle East Newsline.
"The acquisition of modern nuclear weaponry is a religious
obligation," the committee said in a statement on Dec. 23. The
statement came in response to a question in Islamic law sent
to Sheik Ala A-Shanawi who said the founder of Islam,
Mohammed, would have acquired a nuclear bomb to fight his
LONDON, England, (CNN) Sheikh 'waged religious war'.
"A Muslim cleric encouraged his pupils to wage chemical and
nuclear war against non-believers as part of an Islamic holy
war, a British court was told. Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal
preached that the use of chemical and nuclear weapons was
justified in order to exterminate "the enemy" and create a
worldwide Islamic state, London's Old Bailey court heard on
Hong Kong, (Asia Times) Global jihad and the European
arena. "This presentation focuses on two elements: the
phenomenon of global jihad and its implications on Europe and
Muslim communities in Europe. In the international war against
world terrorism, primarily the Islamist one, there have been
many arrests, interrogations and investigations of terrorists
or suspected terrorists and sympathizers, in Europe. They
seemed so far to focus on the operational levels, but not
enough on the cultural and social infrastructure of this
phenomenon. Arresting terrorists or suspected as such is
vital. Yet, the work is not completed if European countries
such as Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Sweden or
Poland are hosting radical Islamist websites for example, that
feed on a daily basis, the radical messages of the supporters
of the "Culture of global jihad." Intelligence and security
services should, while fighting terrorism, concentrate also on
gathering information that will supply them the better
understanding of the ideological, cultural, educational, and
social factors of this dangerous phenomenon, in order to
counter it efficiently."
KABUL, Afghanistan, (CNN) Al Qaeda terror strategy
turns to assassination. "Al Qaeda has been associated with
high-profile, explosive terror -- September 11, bombings in
Pakistan, Kenya, Indonesia and the Philippines -- but appears
to be turning from mass killings to the assassination of
political figures. Coalition intelligence sources tell CNN
that al Qaeda plans to target Western diplomats and other
public officials wherever it can."
Iran, (Al Bawaba) Iranian authorities seize musical
instruments. "Authorities in a southwestern Iranian
province seized musical instruments on the basis they were the
cause of "depraved" scenes behind closed doors, a local
official was quoted as saying Tuesday."
AMMAN, Jordan, (Washington Times) Jordan detains
journalists on Islam. "Three Jordanian journalists accused
of slandering Prophet Mohammad and Islamic values were
remanded to custody Sunday and their weekly publication was
closed indefinitely. ... The military prosecution accused the
editors of insulting Islam in an article in its latest issue
discussing one of Prophet Mohammad's wives, Aisha. The
article, "Aisha -- God divinely prevented flies from landing
on her body," was deemed offensive."
JERUSALEM, Israel, (Detroit News) Draft Palestinian
constitution creates premier who answers to president,
declares Islam official religion. "A proposed Palestinian
constitution cedes some power from the president to a prime
minister and declares Islam the official religion, according
to a partial draft obtained Monday by The Associated Press."
London, England, (The Times) Contemporary views of
Islam. "Is apostasy punishable by death in Islam? The
answer is a categorical no. There is neither any such teaching
in the Holy Quran nor any example to be found in the life of
the Holy Prophet of Islam. Islam does not permit its followers
to take any life because of religious difference."
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, (Asia Times) Madrassas: A
make-believe world. "I lost my sight for a while as I
entered the dark, cold room, but as my eyes adjusted, I made
out the figure of a small boy sitting on the rough floor, deep
in concentration with a Koran, the Muslim holy book, in his
hands. Fareed, only in the ninth year of his life, was totally
oblivious to my presence and to his surroundings, so intent
was he on memorizing the Koran, hunched up at the religious
school or madrassa in Rawalpindi (the sister city of the
capital Islamabad) of Tajweed-ul-Quraan. Fareed was enrolled
at the seminary by his orthodox father, Ubaid Ullah, where he
joined almost 500 other children with the aim to secure a
place in heaven, where he believes that he will be able to
play with black-eyed heavenly nymphs. ... Today, there are
more than 10,000 registered religious schools in Punjab
province alone, while in the whole of Pakistan there are more
than 25,000, catering for more than 1.6 million children. In
addition, a further 25,000 to 40,000 non-registered schools
provide lessons on the Koran to an almost equal number
Washington, (WorldNetDaily) Death sentence hangs over
Arab Christians. "When Saeed and Nasser Salame, Arab
brothers and residents of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian
Authority, converted from Islam to Christianity, they didn't
know it would cost them their homes, their friends – possibly
even their lives. Saeed Salam was an active member of Fatah,
Arafat's own party, when he converted. For this "crime" of
conscience, he was imprisoned and tortured, according to a
French Christian group and the Religious Freedom Council."
LOS ANGELES, Ca (FrontPage Magazine) CAIR’s Axis of
Evil. "It is time for CAIR and Hooper to abandon their
contemptible campaign to present every inquiry into their
character, and the nature of the Wahhabism they support, as a
form of oppression. It is not persecution for Americans, and
especially American Muslims, to demand an accounting of how
Saudi Arabia, acting through CAIR, the Islamic Society of
North America, and other components of the Wahhabi lobby,
created an extremist "Islamic establishment" in America. Few
will soon forget that 15 out of the 19 hijackers on September
11 were from Saudi Arabia, the only country whose Ministry of
Religion is an official Wahhabi institution."
Pakistan, (Daily Times) Fatwa calls Karzai infidel.
"The pamphlet, delivered by unidentified men at Daily Times
office in Mir Ali, South Waziristan Agency, cited Quranic
verses to back the decree. It said Mr Karzai was helping
‘non-Muslims’ against Muslims and for that reason, he was an
‘infidel’. The decree, written in Pashto, stated, “Imams of
all four religions agree that when a Muslim ruler becomes a
shield of infidels against Islam’s Mujahideen, he also
deserves to be killed.” It said, “Anyone who helps the
‘infidel’ army stands reason to be killed. Having trade
relations with such people is also forbidden in Islam.” The
decree said talking and meeting such people were also
forbidden in Islam."
Malaysia, (BBC News) Malaysian Islamist calls for
stonings. "The spiritual leader of Malaysia's main
Islamist opposition party, Pas, has called for people
convicted of sex crimes to be stoned to death in public."
Netherlands, (Telegraph UK) Somali refugee follows in
Fortuyn's footsteps with attack on imams. "Just weeks ago
she was in hiding, evading what amounted to a death sentence,
after she said Islam was an oppressive, misogynist religion
trapped in the 13th century that seemed to be at war with
almost all non-followers. "I was provoked by some guys
shouting at me in a TV debate," she said in precise, fluent
English, almost at a whisper. "So I blurted out, 'It's my
religion, and my culture, and I can call it backward if I
want'. But I was also drawn into saying I was no longer a
practising Muslim and that set it all off, because the
punishment for leaving the faith is death."
LONDON, England, (Times, London) First person: I found
Christ but may lose my Muslim family. "What happens when a
Muslim deserts Islam and embraces Christianity? The author
says his family felt betrayed and he was rejected by his
father - a deeply religious man who calls Al-Qaeda "martyrs"."
TEHRAN, Iran, (Tehran Times) Leader Refers to Martyred
Students as "Pioneers of Faith". "The Leader of the
Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei here on Monday
termed the honorable, martyred students of the country
"pioneers of faith and devotion." In a message to a congress
called "Honoring the Country's Martyred Students", the Leader
stressed that today enemies of Islam are trying to undermine
jihad (holy war) and the virtue of martyrdom."
FrontPage Magazine, Islam's Immigrant Invasion of
Europe. "In Germany the highest court in the land ruled in
January 2002 that Muslim butchers should be allowed to
slaughter animals according to Islamic practice, by slitting
their throats and letting them bleed to death, and without
stunning them first in any way. German law says animals cannot
be slaughtered without first being stunned, but the
constitutional court has now overturned it. The head of
Germany’s Islamic Council, Hasan Oezdogan, declared that this
will be “an important step in the integration of Muslims in
Germany.” If and when the Constitutional Court allows
clitoridectomy for Germany’s Muslim girls, presumably another
important step will be made, but that integration will be
complete only when Pakistanis in Britain, Algerians in France,
and Turks in Germany turn the host country into an Islamic
society by compelling it to adapt to their way of life."
TORONTO, Canada, (National Post) Somali mosque
apologizes for e-mail: Regrets offence to 'Christian
neighbours'. "A Toronto mosque has apologized for a
Christmas Day message that said wishing someone Merry
Christmas is comparable to congratulating them for committing
murder or engaging in adultery."
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, (China Daily, Beijing) Men want
more wives as women cry foul. "Malaysia's Muslim men seem
increasingly keen on polygamy, as women's groups try to curb
husbands' rights to as many as four wives. One politician - a
male - is so enthusiastic about the practice that he wants
women who allow their husbands to marry a second wife to
receive medals of honour. Women, however, don't seem too keen
on the medals. "We want the legal system to restrict the
practice of polygamy," said Ruzana Udin, the spokeswoman for
Sisters In Islam (SIS)."
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, (AP) Lawmakers in northwestern
Pakistan vow to accelerate Islamization process.
"Lawmakers in Pakistan's deeply conservative northwestern
province promised Thursday to speed up the adoption of new
laws based on Islamic teaching. The anti-American politicians
in the North West Frontier Province came to power after
elections late last year vowing to follow the lead of
neighboring Afghanistan's former Taliban rulers, who enforced
a strict interpretation of Islam, including banning women from
any role in public life, and outlawing music and dance. ...
Pointing to existing laws, police in the province have
recently seized and burned videos deemed pornographic, which
can mean men and women simply appearing together on screen.
Scores of people have also been detained for producing or
watching allegedly obscene films."