RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) Saudi pledges $10 mln in aid
to Tsunami victims.
Oil-rich Saudi Arabia pledged on Tuesday a $10 million aid package
to victims of the tsunami disaster in Asia, which officials say has
killed more than 59,000 people and affected millions of others.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (PakTribune) MMA warns govt against
country protest rallies on deletion of religion column.
MMA has threatened to launch country protest campaign against
Qadianis besides banning the entry of interior minister Aftab Ahmad
Khan Sherpao to NWFP if the religion column is not restored in
machine readable passport. MMA has also made strong call to Saudi
government not to issue visas to those holding passports without
containing religion column saying that issue of finality of
Prophethood is not concern of only MMA but it is also concern of the
entire Muslim Ummah.
VICTORIA, Australia (Telegraph.UK) Pastors guilty of hating
Muslims: Tribunal judge rules church seminar vilified Islam.
A state tribunal in Australia yesterday found two evangelical
Christian pastors who conducted a church seminar on Islam guilty of
inciting hatred against Muslims. Daniel Nalliah and Daniel Scot of
Catch the Fire Ministries were tried under Victoria's new race and
religion hate laws after the the Islamic Council of Victoria filed
legal action, charging Scot called Muslims demons, liars and
terrorists. Transcripts of the seminar in Melbourne show Scot, born
in Pakistan, was quoting verses from the Quran to make his points,
but three Australian converts to Islam who attended part of the
seminar brought their notes to the Islamic Council.
LONDON, England (Telegraph.UK) Charles fights death penalty
The Prince of Wales is brokering efforts to end the Muslim death
penalty on converts to other faiths, The Telegraph has learned. He
held a private summit of Christian and Muslim leaders at Clarence
House this month to explore the centuries-old Islamic law under
which apostates face persecution and even death. His intervention
follows mounting anger at the treatment of Muslims who have
converted to Christianity in a number of Islamic states. As an
advocate of inter-faith dialogue, Prince Charles has come under
pressure to criticise the religious law that, campaigners say, has
resulted in hundreds of executions in countries from Iran to Sudan.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BBC) Madrassas hit by sex abuse claims.
A Pakistani minister has revealed hundreds of cases of alleged child
sex abuse at Islamic schools, or madrassas. There were 500
complaints this year of abuse allegedly committed by clerics, Aamer
Liaquat Hussain, a minister in the religious affairs department,
DAMASCUS, Syria (IHT) Muslims are taking a hard look at
Islam. Mohamed Shahrour, a layman who writes extensively about
Islam, sits in his Damascus engineering office, arguing that Muslims
will untangle their faith from the increasingly gory violence
committed in its name only by reappraising their sacred texts.
WASHINGTON, DC (WPH) Islamic financial theory. In the
midst of concerns about the Islamist threat, a quieter revolution is
going on in Islam which could ultimately lead to a new economic bloc
in the world. Since the 1970s, an economic theory has been taking
hold in a number of Muslim countries, backed by a growing Islamic
Pakistan (BBC) Pakistani gets life for blasphemy. A
Pakistani court has sentenced a man to life imprisonment under the
country's controversial blasphemy laws. Iqbal Ahmad, a member of the
Ahmediya community, was found guilty of being disrespectful to the
Prophet Muhammad in a mosque near Faisalabad. ... A spokesman for
the community, Malik Khalid Masood, told the BBC that Mr Ahmad's
conviction was "an act of retaliation by his own family" who opposed
his recent conversion to the Ahmedi sect. In October, a Pakistani
man was sentenced to life imprisonment for burning a copy of the
Koran under the same laws.
San Francisco, CA (SF Gate) Charter school chiefs held in
finance probe: 3 ex-officials accused of embezzling funds for
defunct academy. Last Tuesday, state agents arrested former
GateWay Superintendent Khadijah Ghafur, chief administrative officer
Naazim Hamed, and board member Kehinde Solwazi, according to Nathan
Barankin, spokesman for the state attorney general.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Times of India) Target Hindus, jehadis
to Pak. After spewing venom on the Americans and the infidels
for their so-called attacks on Islam, jehadis in Pakistan are now
imparting "violent lessons" aimed at targeting Hindus.
DC (Yahoo News, India) Madarsahs in Pak are hatcheries for
jihad: Report. "Terrorists can be defeated in Iraq and
Afghanistan, but if nothing is done to end the intolerance and the
teaching of hard-line Islam in classrooms, militants will have a
never-ending supply of new recruits. Nowhere is this more evident
than in Pakistan, whose schools were described as 'incubators for
violent extremism' by the Sept. 11 commission," the report was
quoted as saying.
NEW YORK, NY (Houston Chronicle) America needs to finish
strong in Iraq — or it will lose. The Bush administration hasn't
developed a clear strategy for ensuring a meaningful election and a
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Herald Tribune) Pakistan Bans Latest
Issue of Newsweek. Pakistani authorities have banned an issue of
Newsweek magazine for publishing material they said was offensive to
Islam, local media reported Friday. ... The Nov. 22 issue of the
magazine carried a story about the slaying in the Netherlands of
filmmaker Theo Van Gogh and religious and ethnic divisions in Europe
under the headline "Clash of Civilizations."
LUMPUR, Malaysia (WebIndia123) Malaysia court upholds turban
ban. Malaysia's second-highest court has backed a head teacher's
decision to expel three Muslim boys for wearing turbans to school.
... The flowing turban is not a traditional part of local Muslim
costume. However, it is often worn by those who have studied at
religious schools abroad, particularly in the Middle East, or who
LONDON, England (WebIndia123) Religion more relevant to UK
Hindus than Christians. According to a new survey carried
out by the British government, religion now means more to those
members of Britain's ethnic minorities who follow the teachings of
Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism, than it does to those who say they
follow the teachings of Christ.
CALGARY, Canada (Calgary Sun) Militant Islam rising: Threat to liberty rears head in Holland.
To talk seriously about Holland today — Holland, once a global
empire in its own right — is to talk about whether it yet meets the
definition as Saudi Arabia's first European colony, or if that
definition will instead be met in five years, or 10. In Holland
today, there are more observant Muslims than either observant
Catholics or Protestants (but not yet all Christians combined). The
most common name for new baby boys in Holland is Mohammed.
England (Turkish Press) Kidnapped aid worker feared killed in
Iraq after video released. Margaret Hassan, a
British-Irish aid worker kidnapped in Iraq last month, was feared to
have been killed by her captors after a video was issued apparently
showing her murder. If her death is confirmed, Hassan will be the
first foreign female hostage to have been murdered in Iraq, amid a
recent wave of hostage-taking. Doha-based Al-Jazeera television said
it had received a video showing "an armed man shooting at a
blind-folded woman, who appears to be Margaret Hassan".
DUBAI (ABCNews) Arabs Enraged at U.S. Soldier Shooting
Wounded Iraqi. Arabs were torn between seething rage at images
of a U.S. soldier shooting dead a wounded Iraqi in a mosque and
dismay at Iraqi insurgents in Falluja for turning holy mosques into
battlegrounds. Viewers said images, which Arab televisions aired
repeatedly of a Marine killing a severely injured Iraqi, fueled
growing hatred against America and helped create more "terrorists."
BRUSSELS, Belgium (Khaleej Times) Belgian senator in hiding
after threats. Belgian senator of Moroccan descent
who criticised radical Islam has gone into hiding under police
protection after receiving death threats, a Belgian newspaper said
on Wednesday. Socialist Senator Mimount Bousakla had received a call
from an unidentified person saying “she would be ritually
slaughtered”, said the Gazet Van Antwerpen, which did not cite a
BERLIN, Germany (Expatica) Religious violence in Netherlands
alarms Germany. Calls for such a move were fuelled by a
dramatic TV film secretly made last week in a Berlin mosque. "These
Germans, these atheists, these Europeans don't shave under their
arms and their sweat collects under their hair with a revolting
smell and they stink," said the preacher at the Mevlana Mosque in
Berlin's Kreuzberg district, in the film made by Germany's ZDF
public TV, adding: "Hell lives for the infidels! Down with all
democracies and all democrats!"
ATHENS, Greece (ABCNews) Radical Islam Appears to Be
Spreading. The same day Dutch mourners gathered outside a
crematorium for a final goodbye to slain filmmaker Theo Van Gogh,
police on the other side of the world made a horrific discovery in a
hut: the decapitated body of a Thai laborer.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (ABCNews)
Some Iraqi Christians Feel Threatened. Some Christians in
Mosul feel say they are being subjected to threats that have
escalated during Ramadan and that may be designed to drive them out
of the country, create religious tensions, or at least make life
difficult. Even those who haven't received threats swap stories of
anonymous phone calls and pamphlets plastered on walls or slipped
under doors warning those who don't dress like devout Muslim women
during Ramadan. Coupled with a series of attacks on churches in
Mosul and Baghdad and a general fear of insecurity gripping Muslims
and Christians alike some Christians have chosen to leave Iraq at
least temporarily. Those who stay try to maintain a low-profile or
play it safe and just follow orders. ... The rise in Islamic
fundamentalism after Saddam's ouster worries Christians, secularists
and some moderate Muslims.
KABUL, Afghanistan (Bradenton Herald) Afghanistan TV networks
ordered off air. Western pop videos, India's Bollywood
movies and even Charlton Heston's "The Ten Commandments" have
Afghanistan's fledgling cable TV stations in hot water. An appeal
from the country's top Islamic judge this week prompted the Cabinet
to order television networks temporarily off the air - just three
years after a Taliban ban on TV was lifted.
“After Ramadan, Slay the Idolaters”...hello?...hello?. Excuse me,
but...is anyone aware that according to Islam’s holy book, the
Qur'an, terrorists are forbidden from attacking us until after
Ramadan, which ends around November 14th? We are lowering terror
alerts for financial institutions in New York, Washington and New
Jersey just before the end of Ramadan? Is our government completely
oblivious to actual religious beliefs of Islam? “When the sacred
months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find
them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for
them in every ambush.” (Koran 9:5)
PARIS, France (Reuters)
Low profile for German Koran challenger. When a Muslim
radical murdered the Dutch director Theo van Gogh for a film
criticising Islam, Christoph Luxenberg saw his name ripple through
Internet forums 1,000 times and immediately knew why. "The safety of
experts on Islam is topical again," he said — in a surprisingly
detached tone for the author of a critique of the Koran who fears it
could one day spark similar anger. ... "Christoph Luxenberg" is a
pseudonym. The professor hides his work from his own students — even
those who recommend it to him, not knowing he is its author. He
gives interviews by phone and offers little hint of who he really is
or where he lives. This has served Luxenberg well over the past four
years, when his book "The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran"
was only available in dense academic German. But he doesn't know
what to expect when an English translation appears next year. The
fate of Islamic reformers in the Arab world is sobering. In the
1990s in Egypt, the writer Faraq Foda was gunned down for
criticising fundamentalists and Cairo University professor Nasr
Hamid Abu Zaid was forced to divorce his wife and flee abroad for
examining the Koran in its historical context. ... "I'm not afraid,"
he continued. "I know what I'm doing is serious and I'm not doing it
to destroy Islam. But it would do Islam good if Muslims could
discuss it freely. That would help them progress in so many ways."
MELBOUNE, Australia (The Age)
Democracy must change to counter Islam: Pell. Islam could
be the communism of the 21st century if the West does not reform its
secular democracy, Australia's leading Catholic has said in a speech
in the United States. ... In a wide-ranging speech which also
attacked his critics for suggesting conservative Christians were a
danger to democracy, Dr Pell said communism had showed how the
emptiness of the secular approach could be filled with something
darker. Dr Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, told the Acton Institute
for the Study of Religion and Liberty last month that secular
democracy could not solve the rise of intolerant religion, but
worsened it. He said democracy was not a good in itself. Its value
depended on the moral vision it served. ... He asked: "Does
democracy need a burgeoning billion-dollar pornography industry to
be truly democratic? Does it need an abortion rate in the tens of
HOLLYWOOD, CA (IFilm)
Submission . Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh (yes,
that van Gogh) was assassinated November 2, 2004, by a 26-year-old
extremist Muslim of Dutch-Moroccan descent. The current theory is
that he was taken down for his critical look at the treatment of
Muslim women. — See also this
LONDON, England (BBCNews)
An online war for hearts and minds. The battle for Muslim
minds is not being fought by radicals in Falluja or in the mosques.
It is being fought on the net. And one of Europe's experts on Islam
in the West says governments must rethink how they are going to win
this war. ... And, says Professor Gilles Kepel, the internet is
playing an increasingly central part, if not the most important
part, in this battle for hearts and minds. ... "Multiculturalism has
been a catastrophe. It leads to the balkanisation of society and
ultimately to civil war," says Prof Kepel. "It 'clans' people within
an identity from which they can't escape. You have to define
yourself as gay, Black, Muslim or whatever.
LONDON, England (MSNBC)
Critics of Islam on edge after murder: Slaying of Dutch filmmaker highlights risks facing artists.
For some writers who criticize Islam, bullet-proof glass,
bodyguards, death threats and pseudonyms are a part of everyday
life. ... The killing, 15 years after the “fatwa” against British
writer Salman Rushdie that forced him into years of hiding, has sent
shudders through a small but vocal community of writers who say they
risk their lives by daring to question Islamic norms. “Sure it is
worrying, and for the people around me,” said Irshad Manji, a
prominent Muslim writer based in Canada who receives regular death
threats. “Whenever I do interviews with media, I make it very clear
that I appreciate there are people listening and viewing this piece
and wanting to kill me,” she told Reuters by telephone. Contacting
the outspoken author of the “The Trouble With Islam,” and others
like her, is not easy. Cautious publishers refuse to disclose
telephone numbers and insist that e-mails go through them first.
Home telephone numbers are never given. Manji sometimes uses a
bodyguard, although less often than before, and installed
bullet-proof glass at her Toronto home.
LONDON, England (YahooNews)
Writers on Islam edgy after Dutch filmmaker murder. Tahir
Aslam Gora, a poet, novelist and publisher who left Pakistan for
Canada after receiving death threats, says he still feels at risk in
his adopted country. "I feel really scared," he said, reacting to
Van Gogh's death in Amsterdam. Gora said he was finishing a new book
called "Why Terrorists are Muslims", which he feared would spark new
threats on his life.
FALLUJAH, Iraq (Guardian, UK)
'We are not here to liberate Iraq, we're here to fight the infidels'.
Most of the time, when they weren't reading or praying, they spoke
about death, not fearfully, but in happy anticipation. They talked
about how martyrs would not feel pain and about how many virgins
they would get in heaven. I asked one of them, a young teacher from
Saudi Arabia, why he was there. He started reading the verses in the
Qur'an that urge Muslims to commit jihad. He read about the
importance of martyrdom. After 20 minutes, he directed me to another
fighter, an older man with a beard and a soft voice who said his
name was Abu Ossama from Tunisia. "We are here for one of two things
- victory or martyrdom, and both are great," he said. "The most
important thing is our religion, not Falluja and not the occupation.
If the American solders came to me and converted to Islam, I won't
fight them. We are here not because we want to liberate Iraq, we are
here to fight the infidels and to make victorious the name of
Islam." He continued to explain his jihad theories: "They call us
terrorists because we resist them. If defending the truth is
terrorism, then we are terrorists."
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Brattleboro
Murder in Amsterdam. In a disturbing incident later in the
week, an artist's mural depicting a dove and the words "Thou shalt
not kill" were sandblasted off the wall by local authorities after
the imam of a local mosque called it "culturally insensitive."
Sensitivity is all well and good, but the West has the right and the
duty to defend its values and its civilization against those who
would destroy them.
New York (Arabic Media Internet Network2)
Stop Use of Palestinian Children in Suicide Bombings.
Palestinian armed groups should immediately end all use of children
in military attacks, Human Rights Watch said today, following a Tel
Aviv suicide bombing by a 16-year-old that killed three Israeli
civilians Monday, November 1.
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (940News)
Suspected Muslim extremist arrested in murder of Dutch filmmaker.
A suspected Muslim extremist with alleged terrorist ties was under
arrest Wednesday in the connection with the death of a Dutch
filmmaker who criticized the treatment of women under Islam. Theo
van Gogh, 47, was repeatedly shot and stabbed to death on an
Amsterdam street Tuesday. "Don't do it. Don't do it. Have mercy.
Have mercy!" the Algemeen Dagblad quoted van Gogh begging his
killer. Another Dutch newspaper, the Telegraaf daily, carried a
large colour photograph of van Gogh's body with a knife protruding
from his chest under the headline: "Butchered."
LAHORE, Pakistan (AsiaNews)
Blasphemy law: death threats against teenage girl forces family to flee.
Last July, a Muslim woman accused 16-year-old Safad Tasneem Dean of
throwing a copy of the Qu‘ran into a trash bin. An enraged group of
Muslims gathered with the intention of burning the girl’s house.
They tried to kill her but a group of local elders was able to save
her by getting the police to arrest her. ... Even though no evidence
was presented concerning the alleged blasphemy, Safad’s family was
forced to move to an undisclosed location.
Middle East (Metransparent)
Letter from liberal Arabs & Muslims: To the United Nations
Security Council & the U.N. Secretary General requesting the
Establishment of an International Tribunal to prosecute individuals,
groups, or entities including, but not limited to, Muslim clerics
who issue religious edicts (fatwas) inciting terrorist acts.
LONDON, England (Guardian)
Film-maker critic of Islam murdered. A Dutch film-maker who
received death threats after attacking imams as woman haters was
stabbed and shot dead in Amsterdam today. Theo Van Gogh, a distant
relative of the 19th century Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh, was
attacked near a park close to the centre of the Dutch capital.
Police arrested a man at the scene after an exchange of gunfire in
which the suspect wounded a police officer. The suspect was wounded
in the leg. The arrested man, 26, had dual Dutch and Moroccan
citizenship. A letter had been found at the crime scene, police and
prosecutors said in a news conference live on national radio.
LONDON, England (BBC News) Life of slain Dutch
filmmaker. The murder of Dutch movie director Theo van Gogh
comes two months after his highly controversial film, Submission -
about the abuse of Muslim women - was shown on national TV in
Holland. ... The outcry centred on the stories of four Muslim women
who were beaten, raped and forced into marriage, and were asking for
Allah's help. — Click here for link to
Middle East (DanielPipesBlog)
Finally – the Voice of Moderate, Anti-Islamist Muslims Is Heard.
On Oct. 24, 2004 a petition was posted at both
Elaph.com titled "From Liberal Arabs to United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and the chairman and members of the
Security Council." Written primarily by the Tunisian intellectual
Lafif Lakhdar, the petition calls for an international treaty
banning the use of religion for incitement to violence. In a
stunning, unprecedented, and very hopeful sign, reports the Saudi
Arab News today, over 2,500 Muslim intellectuals from 23
countries (but mostly from Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf states,
Iraq, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority) have signed this
petition. The organizers hope shortly to have tens of thousands of
LONDON, England (YahooNews) UK pupils to be taught Hinduism,
Sikhism and Buddhism.
The first national framework for religious education, which sets out
the principles all state schools should follow, said that by the age
of 16, pupils needed to have "encountered in sufficient depth"
Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.
Indiana, USA (IndyStar) Quran versions shed light on view of
Bible. At first scan, Haleem's translation seems the more readable. But
Fakhry's special religious status is due to approval from Cairo's
Al-Azhar University; it includes the Arabic text, since translations
cannot be considered scripture in Islam. The contrasts between the
translations include passages about the Bible, referred to in the
Quran as the Torah, Psalms or Gospel.
VANCOUVER, Canada (Canada.Com) Vancouver Muslim leader espouses jihad, calls Jews 'monkeys and swine'.
The leader of a Vancouver mosque attended regularly by a local man
reported killed in Chechnya has preached the virtues of jihad and
called Jews "the brothers of monkeys and swine."
VANCOUVER, Canada (Canoe) RCMP are looking into explosive comments made by Vancouver Muslim cleric.
RCMP and Vancouver police are investigating explosive comments made
by a Vancouver Muslim cleric who has preached the virtues of
"offensive jihad" and called Jews "the brothers of monkeys and
MOSCOW, Russia (Moscow Times) Putin Calls a Bush Loss a
Victory for Terrorists. President Vladimir Putin on Monday made
his strongest endorsement yet for his friend U.S. President George
W. Bush, saying "international terrorism" will claim victory over
the international antiterrorism coalition if Bush loses.
RAMALLAH (WND) Yasser Arafat endorses Kerry: Thinks
Democratic senator 'better for Palestinian cause'. Palestinian
Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is hoping John Kerry wins the
presidential election in November, several Palestinian leaders told
TULSA, Oklahoma (NewsOK) Union board leader denies schools
promoting Islam. Concerns began with a brochure distributed to
teachers about a workshop titled "The Arab World and Islam." The
workshop was being offered to teachers in districts throughout
northeast Oklahoma and was presented in Tulsa by the
Washington-based Middle East Policy Council.
Kettering, England (Telegraph.UK) Comment on Muslims sparks
probe. A COUNCILLOR who sparked a row by linking Muslims
and suicide bombers may face a standards board. ... Calls were made
last week for her resignation and now Corby Council leader Willie
Smith has confirmed the matter will be dealt with by higher powers.
LONDON, England (Eircom) New push for Islam to be taught in
UK schools. A new drive to teach Islam in Britain's
schools is set to be begin after Education Secretary Charles Clarke
backed the move. .... Mr Clarke said the project was vital to
creating understanding between different cultures. "It is only
through understanding that this country can move forward as a true
multi-faith and multi-cultural society."
Pakistan (AsiaNews) Violence against the mentally disabled
accused of blasphemy. Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law is used
against people with disabilities, including the mentally disabled.
Shahbaz Masih Kaka, a 26-year-old Catholic from Lahore, was accused
of blasphemy despite being visibly disabled. He was a long-term care
patient in a Lahore hospital until accusations by a Muslim cleric
led to his arrest and incarceration.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) Saudi women denied vote, candidacy.
Women may neither vote nor run in Saudi Arabia's first nationwide
elections, the government has announced, dashing hopes of
progressive Saudis and easing fears among conservatives that the
kingdom is moving too fast on reforms.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (SignOnSanDiego) Afghan women having
their say in landmark presidential election. Still, Bibi
Gul said that on her way to the polls she received a reminder of the
hard-line regime – which was ousted by an American bombing campaign
in late 2001. "A man with a scarf around his head asked me where I
was going. He said: 'If you vote, I will see it from your thumb and
I will cut off your hand,' " she said.
Malaysia (Aliran) Law and equity shuts its doors on women.
What actually happened in the recent court case and in AWAM’s cases
is that a woman stands to lose custody and guardianship of the
children when her spouse converts to Islam.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (IHT) Popularity of clerics, religion on the rise.
In a postwar Iraq tormented by violence and uncertainty, the men
with the power are in robes and turbans Muslim clerics counseling
spiritual renewal and active defiance of the United States and the
Iraqi government it backs.
Washington, DC (IHT) Fight the war on terror at the pump.
If the United States had imposed a new gasoline tax after 9/11,
demand would have been dampened and gas today would probably still
be $2 a gallon. But instead of the extra dollar going to Saudi
Arabia - where it ends up with mullahs who build madrassas that
preach intolerance - that dollar would have gone to the U.S.
Treasury to pay down America's deficit and finance its own schools.
SIALKOT, Pakistan (BBC News) Bomb carnage at Pakistan mosque.
At least 25 people have been killed and dozens injured in a
suspected suicide bombing at a mosque in the eastern Pakistani city
of Sialkot, police say. Hundreds of worshippers of the Muslim Shia
minority were packed into the mosque attending Friday prayers. ...
The BBC's Paul Anderson in Islamabad says suspicion for the Sialkot
attack will fall on one of several extremist groups from the Sunni
Pakistan (AsiaNews) Christian minorities in Pakistan: little
freedom and rising Islamic pressure The law on blasphemy,
forced conversions to Islam, democratization and education:
Pakistani Christians are looking to the government for reform and to
President Musharraf for his commitment on these thorny issues. For
Monsignor Lawrence Saldanha, Archbishop of Latore, the
anti-blasphemy law – which foresees a death sentence for those who
offend Islam – is “an anomaly of our legal system.” Many Christians
have been killed on the basis of this norm. And it was precisely in
dissent of this law – which encourages fundamentalism and covers
personal vendettas – that, in 1998, Monsignor John Joseph, Bishop of
Faisalabad, took his life to protest against the case of Ayub Masih,
a Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy. There are still today
7 Christians detained in prison on charges of blasphemy. In May,
Aslam Mashim, a Christian from Lahore, was acquitted of such
charges. He had been imprisoned since 1998, but only recently did
the prosecutor’s main witness admit that police had made him give
false testimony against Aslam. Various attempts at “forced
conversions” to Islam have been a source of alarm for Pakistani
Christians: in May Javed Anjum, an 18-year-old Catholic, was
abducted and tortured by Islamists that wanted to force him to
convert to their religion. Javed died as a result of beatings and is
considered by Pakistani Catholics a martyr of the faith. The Justice
and Peace Commission of Lahor has spoken out against cases of forced
conversions: “Young non-Muslim men have been forced to convert and
circumcised against their will,” reports Peter Jacob, Commission
secretary. Last November, 15-year-old Catholic Zeeshan Gill was
forced to become Muslim by a group of schoolmates. Islamic teachers
threatened and beat him, forcing him to take lessons at the Jamia al
Qasim al Aloom madras. Zeeshan managed to escape from the Islamic
school, but now lives in hiding for fear of retaliation.
ANKARA, Turkey (Turkey Press) President Sezer: Freedom Of
Belief And Worship Is The Most Important Guarantee Of Social Peace.
''Freedom of belief and worship is the most important guarantee of
social peace,'' Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said on Monday.
WASHINGTON, DC (UPI) U.S. blasts Saudis on religious freedom.
"In September 2004, the secretary of state designated Saudi Arabia
as a 'country of particular concern' under the International
Religious Freedom Act for particularly severe violations of
religious freedom," said the State Department's "Annual Report on
International Religious Freedom 2004." The report said freedom of
religion was not recognized or protected under Saudi law, and basic
religious freedoms were denied to all but those who practiced the
Wahhabi branch of Sunni Islam. "Freedom of religion does not exist"
in Saudi Arabia, the report said.
ISTANBUL, Turkey (IslamOnline) Why Muslims Should Support
Intelligent Design. Intellectual Muslims, fed up with the
pathological anti-Western hatred of the radicals who defame Islam by
their violent acts, are seeking the right way to express and stand
for their faith and identity in the modern world. Intellectual
Christians have already found that way. They encountered materialism
before we did, because it grew right in the heart of Christendom.
They have been standing against it for several decades. And recently
they have initiated a bold movement—a “wedge” as they call it—to
split the foundations of materialism.
BERLIN, German (Arab
Islamic Congress in Europe) First Arab, Islamic Congress in
Europe. Leaving up the sword of American and Zionist terror
raised over the neck of our people and families within the whole
countries of our nation and in the countries of immigration abroad.
DARFUR, Sudan (FrontPage) Symposium: Darfur - Islam's Killing
Fields. Why is it that — yet again — another Arab League member
is massacring its minority populations? Why is the Western media
reluctant to identify the religion and ethnicity of the mass
murderers and rapists?
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) Russia: Extradite Chechen rebels.
Russia's foreign minister has accused Western countries of
displaying double standards by granting asylum to Chechen separatist
WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) Powell calls Sudan killings 'genocide':
He cites 'consistent and widespread' killings, rapes. U.S.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday that "genocide has
been committed" in the Sudanese region of Darfur. Powell cited a
"consistent and widespread" pattern of atrocities -- including
killings, rapes and burning of villages. "This was a coordinated
effort, not just random violence," he said. ... Arab Janjaweed
militias have been accused of committing widespread atrocities
against black villagers and displacing hundreds of thousands of
people from their homes in the huge African nation.
TERENGGANU, Malaysia (Bernama)
Islam Fastest Growing Religion In Britain.
Islam is now the fastest growing religion in Britain with the number
of new converts climbing, says British Council Malaysia Director
Gerry Liston. There are now about two million Muslims, 1,500 mosques
and 100 religious schools in Britain, he said.
VICTORVILLE, CA (Daily Press)
COMMENTARY: The evil of not asking.
We have already become almost inured to: The slaughtering of
innocent human beings as if they were animals while chanting Muslim
prayers. The reintroduction of black slavery and genocide against
blacks. The murder of daughters and sisters for imagined or real
sexual behavior. The stoning of women accused of adultery. The
burning of Hindu temples and Christian churches, and the destruction
of among the greatest Buddhist sculptures. The ban on women driving
cars or learning to read. The idolization of young men who blow
themselves up while murdering and maiming innocent non-Muslims — and
the theology of sexual rewards in heaven for doing so. These are
some of the atrocities being committed by Muslims in different parts
of the world today.
BEIRUT, Lebanon (MET)
Iraq hostage says he witnessed execution of “US agent”.
One of the kidnappers approached the struggling victim holding a
knife and first he cut his tongue off because he was trying to
pronounce the Shahada ('There is no God but God and Muhammad is His
Prophet')" identifying him as a Muslim.
MOSCOW, Russia (Pravda)
Time to Reform Islam.
The massacre of schoolchildren and other innocent people at Beslan
by Chechen terrorists has once again brought the dangers posed by
Islam to the forefront and it is high time to tackle this problem.
It is not enough to identify the perpetrators of the particular
crime; it is time to solve the larger problem of the violent nature
of Islamic societies. While taking power away from religious leaders
is part of the solution, the other part lies in converting Islamic
countries into multicultural societies as this is bound to temper
them down. ... Similarly, merely changing governments in Islamic
countries is unlikely to work, but social change is likely to help
reform these societies. Islamic countries deny citizenship and other
basic rights to foreigners who live and work in them. Integrating
these foreign workers into the mainstream of the countries in which
they live will make the people of these countries respectful of
diverse cultures. Since the workers already live in these countries,
the process of assimilation will be peaceful in nature. Muslims do
not treat others the same way they expect others to treat them.
Muslims in the American state of Michigan loudly demanded that they
be allowed to broadcast prayers from a mosque over a loudspeaker,
protested any discussion over the issue and got the local government
to give in to their demands. However, people of other religions in
Islamic countries do not have any freedom to worship as they please.
When France proposed a law to ban headscarves in public schools,
Saudi Arabia"s highest religious authority, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul
Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh called it an "infringement of human
rights," but within a week after that, he gave a stern warning to
women who did not wear veils at an economic conference at Jeddah.
RIYDAH, Saudi Arabia (IslamOnline)
Saudi Demands Teachers to Combat "Extremism".
Some Saudi officials, however, doubted the possibility of
introducing reforms to the educational system in the near future due
to the control of the so-called Islamists over the education
ministry. “I don’t think there’s hope for change in the near future
because Islamists control the education authority," a headmistress
of a Saudi all-female state school told AFP, on conditions of
anonymity. “All influential positions in the ministry of education
are held by Islamists,” she said. “Our curricula is full of texts
inciting hatred, not only towards other religions but also other
Muslim sects,” she added.
CAIRO, Egypt (CNN)
Siege prompts horror among Arabs.
Images of dead, wounded and traumatized Russian children being
carried from the scene of a rebel school siege horrified Arabs,
prompting forthright self-criticism and fresh concern about an
international backlash against Islam and its followers.... However,
a prominent Arab journalist wrote that Muslims must acknowledge the
painful fact that Muslims are the main perpetrators of terrorism.
"Our terrorist sons are an end-product of our corrupted culture,"
Abdulrahman al-Rashed, general manager of Al-Arabiya television,
wrote in his daily column published in the Asharq Al-Awsat
newspaper. It ran under the headline, "The Painful Truth: All the
World Terrorists are Muslims!"
NEW DELHI, India (Outlook India)
The Venom Of Terror: Islamic fundamentalism is fast spreading its
tentacles across the subcontinent.
When 13 grenades were thrown at an Awami League rally in Dhaka on
August 21, killing 20 persons, injuring up to 300 and coming within
a whisker of wiping out the entire top leadership of the Awami
League, our first reaction was to breathe a sigh of relief that it
happened somewhere else. Eight months earlier, when Gen Musharraf
escaped two successive attempts on his life within a week, we
experienced the same secret relief. Such things didn't happen in
India, we said to ourselves. They were fruits of the ambivalence the
two governments had displayed towards terrorism in the past. Some
even went so far as to say that having made their bed, it would
serve Pakistan and Bangladesh right if they had to sleep in it.
WASHINGTON, DC (CNN)
U.S.: Sudan attacks racially based.
While not directly calling the crisis in Darfur a genocide, the U.S.
State Department has said that interviews with Sudanese refugees
indicated attacks against the regions' black Africans appeared to be
racially motivated. ... Boucher said information from the interviews
"coincides with the pattern that we have seen that government
forces, Janjaweed militias, Arab groups — there's a pattern of
attacks against non-Arab populations."
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (WebIndia)
Ulema, madarasas behind Muslims' backwardness: Dr Mahatir.
Former Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahatir Mohammad has said that
madarsas and religious leaders were responsible for the backwardness
of the Muslims. He squarely blamed them of promoting hatred in the
community to meet their petty political goals. In an interview with
Pakistan-based GEO TV, Mahatir said the so-called Muslims leaders
and the Ulema have distorted the image of Islam by misleading the
people through their teachings of hatred.
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Al-Quds al-Arabi, News Report)
Arab Press Investigates Human Smuggling for Saudi Sex Trade.
A Moroccan newspaper known as Al-Alam, which means "The Flag" in
Arabic, first broke the story. It revealed in detail how women are
being sent to Saudi Arabia under the cover of Al Umra, a religious
ritual that is fulfilled by visiting Mecca at certain times of the
year. Once the women arrive in Saudi Arabia, however, they find that
they are in the control of a well-organized prostitution ring. ...
The young woman told the paper that she experienced sexual abuse
along with another eight Moroccan women who fell into the
prostitution ring. The women were held in a prostitution house in
Jeddah after they were granted a one-month visa to enter Saudi
Arabia for the duration of the Umra.
LONDON, England (London, Telegraph)
Islam is not an exotic addition to the English country garden.
Islam means "submission" (not "peace") and it is the aim of Muslims
("those who have submitted") to make the whole world submit. The
teaching seems not to envisage the idea of Muslims as a minority,
except as a temporary phenomenon. The best that non-Muslims - in
Britain that means Sikhs and Hindus, as well as Jews and Christians
- can hope for is that they be treated as "dhimmis", second-class
citizens within the Islamic state.
DARFUR, Sudan (CNN)
U.N. fears Sudan crisis worsening.
More than 1.2 million people live as IDPs and another 200,000 as
refugees in Chad because of attacks by Janjaweed militias and
fighting between Sudanese forces and two rebel groups. Meanwhile,
African Union monitors in Darfur confirmed that the Sudanese
military harassed and brutally treated IDPs at the Kalma camp the
region and looted the camp, a U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said
SAN DIEGO, CA (MSNBC)
Saudi export of strict Islam raises suspicions. The collision of
Saudi missionary work and suspicions of terrorist financing in San
Diego illustrates the perils and provocations of a
multibillion-dollar effort by Saudi Arabia to spread its religion
around the world. Mohamed worked on the front lines of that effort,
a campaign to transform what outsiders call "Wahhabism," once a
marginal and puritanical brand of Islam with few followers outside
the Arabian Peninsula, into the dominant doctrine in the Islamic
Iraq (Asia News)
Some 40,000 Christians in flight from Iraq. “Forty thousand
Iraqi Christians have left Iraq since a wave of church bombings
killed at least 10 people two weeks ago,” this according to Iraqi
Minister for Displacement and Migration Pascale Isho Warda, who was
quoted in Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.
TEHRAN, Iran (Arab Times)
'1,300-year-old'; Rare copy of Quran stolen. Farms lie untended
and workshops stand silent in an Iranian village after the theft of
its 1,300-year-old copy of the Quran, Islam's holy book, state
television reported Wednesday. Hundreds of villagers from Negel, in
Kurdistan province on the Iraqi border, have held a week-long
protest at the village mosque demanding officials hunt down the
thieves and return the leather-bound Quran to its rightful home.
Egypt (KLTV News)
Al-Azhar bans two books after deeming they violate Islam.
Egypt's highest religious authority has ordered the banning and
confiscation of two books written by American and Egyptian authors.
Allegations have been raised that the books — including one by a
Rice University educator — violate Islamic principles and harm
Islam's image. Al-Azhar University ordered the ban against the
"Studies of Muslim Apocalyptic," by David Cook and "Responsibility
for the Failure of the Islamic State," by Egyptian Gamal al-Banna.
NEW YORK, NY (NY
Under Eye of U.N., Billions for Hussein in Oil-for-Food Plan. As
recently as February, the official position of the United Nations
office that ran the program was that it learned of the endemic fraud
only after it ended. But former officials and diplomats who dealt
directly with the program now say the bribery and kickback racket
was an open secret for years.
Ottawa, CANADA (FrontPageMag.com)
Al-Jazeera in Al-Canada? But in Canada, in the biggest
telecommunications uproar in decades, Al-Jazeera won approval for
distribution over Canada’s pristine, politically correct, airwaves.
This unlikely success in Canada for an Islamist, antisemitic,
pro-terrorist channel was achieved by winning a special dispensation
not available to the Fox News Channel, the Italian state channel RAI,
or a local Quebec City-based radio station – a dispensation full of
KHARTOUM, Sudan (CNN)
Khartoum 'worsening Darfur crisis'.
Sudan's government is worsening the crisis in the embattled Darfur
region by legitimizing militia groups and blocking international
aid, Human Rights Watch says.
WESTERN DARFUR, Sudan (CNN)
Starvation stalks youngest in Darfur.
Refugees in the Darfur camps are victims of the brutal waves of
ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the government-backed Arab militias
against the black African population over the past 18 months. "They
chased us from our home seven months ago. They stole all our cattle
and killed three people in our family," said Halimalay as she
watched over her malnourished daughter, Zahra. As Sara lashes
plastic to her roof, she said she's still afraid of the Janjaweed
militias who burned her home and killed 51 people in her village
earlier this year.
Polygamy: is It Advantageous to Women? Additionally, the
marriage of more than one wife is catalyst to frustration, divorce,
prostitution, sexual transmitted diseases (STM) like HIV/AIDS,
Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, and family break-ups hatred. Most of the time
children adopted in polygamous homes of conflict take up and grew up
with that life of violence hatred and confusion which leads to a
society of backwardness.
KHARTOUM, Sudan (CNN) Helicopter attacks in Darfur: Darfur
civilians detained for talking to foreigners. Sudan carried out
fresh helicopter attacks in Darfur on Tuesday, worsening an already
desperate humanitarian situation, while Arab militia targeted
refugees trying to escape the conflict, the United Nations said.
Sudan (Patriot-News) Violence in Sudan. The Arab League,
composed of 22 nations including Sudan, failed to denounce the
actions of the Janjaweed militia at the end of their Cairo summit on
Sunday. Instead they asked the international community to "give
Sudan time" to deal with the crisis. The Janjaweed is a rebel
Islamic army of Arabic ethnicity that has been routinely killing,
raping and maiming native Africans in Sudan ... The numbers speak
for themselves: more than 50,000 people killed and a million native
Africans driven from their homes.
(Muhammadanism) 6 August 2004 United Nations Report on Sudan.
A large number of people whom I met had a strong perception that the
Government of the Sudan was pursuing a policy of “Arabization” of
the Sudan, and in particular the Darfur region. Allegedly, those of
Arab descent seek to portray themselves as “pure” Muslims as opposed
to Muslims of African ethnicity. It was also alleged that the
Government of the Sudan gave obvious preference to people of Arab
descent, including in making appointments to senior positions in
the Government and the administration.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) Two men arrested in missile sting
operation. The imam and the founder of
an Albany, New York, mosque are being held after an FBI sting
operation in which the suspects believed they were helping a
terrorist launder money, federal law enforcement sources said
ALBANY, NY (CBN
News) FBI Arrests Two in Alleged Missile Scheme. Two leaders
of a mosque in Albany, N.Y., were arrested on charges stemming from
an alleged plot to help a man they thought was a terrorist purchase
a shoulder-fired missile, federal authorities said Thursday. The men
have ties to a group called Ansar al-Islam, which has been linked to
the al-Qaida terror network, according to two federal law
enforcement authorities speaking on condition of anonymity. The two
arrests came as FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other
agents executed search warrants at the Masjid As-Salam mosque and
two Albany-area residences, officials said. The men were identified
as Yassin Aref, 34, the imam of the mosque, and 49-year-old Mohammed
Hoosain, one of the mosque's founders.
ALBANY, NY (AP) Feds: Mosque duo planned to use murder
missile in NYC. Two leaders of a mosque in Albany were arrested
on charges stemming from an alleged plot to purchase a
shoulder-fired missile that would be used to assassinate the
Pakistani ambassador in New York, according to court papers filed
Cameroon (AllAfrica) Cameroon: Religious Tensions On the Rise
in the North. "At first, we thought people were just spreading
rumors to try to terrorize Catholic communities. But then here in
Garoua (capital of the North province), we've been literally
inundated with fliers inciting Muslims towards a hatred of
Christians," he noted. "Religious fanatics exhort Muslims to
increase the number of marriages between young Muslim men and
Christian girls in order to convert them to Islam, to refuse to rent
houses or sell land to Christians - or to get them to move by
raising the rent," Aoudou adds.
MIDDLE EAST (Journal Inquirer) Near/Middle East: Round-Up of
Friday Sermons 30 Jul 04. The following is a roundup of Friday
sermons carried by the news media of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan,
West Bank & Gaza Strip, Syria, Qatar and Egypt on 30 July 2004: He
says: "Men of religion must explain, guide and teach Muslims the
true meaning of the shari'ah [Islamic law] as intended by God and
not as interpreted by whimsical individuals." Concluding his sermon,
Shaykh Turki prayed to God: "O Lord, feed starving Muslims.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (Telegraph,
UK) Iraqi Christians pray for their attackers. Adrian
Blomfield in Baghdad finds the newly targeted minority community
defiant yet calling for forgiveness. With a tear rolling down his
cheek, Fr Faris Toma stood amid the wreckage outside his Baghdad
church yesterday, and prayed for the bombers who killed 10 of his
congregation. "We cannot understand why or how they could do
something like this," he said. "All we can do is ask God to give
them forgiveness and grant us peace."
BIRMINGHAM, England (PakTribune) Defamation of Last Prophet (PBUH) be declared international crime.
Opposition Leader in National Assembly Maulana Fazlur Rehman on
Monday demanded that the United Nations should declare the
defamation of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) an international
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) Church bombs: Top insurgent blamed.
Deadly weekend attacks targeting Christian worshippers in Iraq bear
all the footprints of insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his
operatives, Iraq's National Security Adviser said Monday.
UN (CNSNews) UN Urged to Protect Muslims Who Change Religion.
Campaigners for religious freedom have urged the United Nations to
act to protect "Muslims who choose to convert to another faith." A
petition signed by almost 90,000 people in 32 countries was
presented last week to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights
Louise Arbour, the organization spearheading the campaign said
Monday. ... Under Islamic (shari'a) law, Muslim men who decide to
adopt another belief and refuse to return to Islam — usually within
a limited period of time — may be put to death.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP)
Iran Frees Twice Condemned Professor. A university professor who
was twice condemned to death for blasphemy walked out of prison on
Saturday night, free after a two-year battle with hard-line judges
and mass student demonstrations in his favor. ... A professor at
Tehran's Teachers Training University, Hashem Aghajari was
prosecuted for a speech in June 2002 in which he urged people to
question religious teachings, saying the words of clerics should not
be considered sacred simply because they were part of history. He
said people should not slavishly follow hard-line interpretations of
Jihad in Sudan? What Jihad in Sudan?. ... few have noted that
the tragedy of Darfur is actually the second Sudanese genocide of
our age. The first killed over two million African Christians and
animists in southern Sudan. They may be forgiven for being slow on
the uptake; after all, Darfur marks the third genocide in Africa
that Kofi Annan is declining to notice: Rwanda, Sudan I and now
Sudan II. Over 100,000 people have been killed in Darfur. By autumn
the number of those who have been displaced or impoverished, or
whose lives have been destroyed by the war in other ways, will most
likely exceed three million. Yet Annan declared that he cannot
consider it "genocide or ethnic cleansing yet." There is another
word that Annan has never uttered in connection with Sudan. For a
decade Khartoum has waged what the regime itself calls a jihad
against Christians and tribalists in the South. A 1992 fatwa issued
by a group of pro-Khartoum Sudanese imams declared: "An insurgent
who was previously a Muslim is now an apostate and a non-Muslim is a
non-believer standing as a bulwark against the spread of Islam, and
Islam has granted the freedom of killing both of them." This allowed
for the murder of Christians and animists in the south; now it has
been turned against the Muslims of Darfur, whose Islam doesn't
measure up to Khartoum's hardline standards.
PARIS, France (Townhall)
Controversial Islamic Scholar Coming to America.
Tariq Ramadan plans to teach at Indiana's Notre Dame University,
instructing students on Islam, conflict and peace building. Ramadan
is the grandson of Hassan Al-Banna, the Egyptian founder of the
radical Muslim Brotherhood.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (WebIndia)
It's blasphemous to look PIA airhostesses body contours.
Opposition members in the Pakistan National Assembly have raised a
hue and cry over a recent decision to allow airhostesses of the
national carrier — Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to remove
their veils while on duty. Terming it blasphemous, the opposition
led by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal insisted that airhostesses must
cover their heads at all times, instead of "provocatively
highlighting the evil-inducing contours of the female body."
BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN)
EU to push for sanctions on Sudan. While not using the word
sanctions, EU officials said the 25-member bloc would push for such
a move by the U.N. Security Council if Sudan did not cooperate with
efforts to end violence that has killed 30,000 in Darfur and caused
1 million to flee. Some 2.2 million are in urgent need of food or
medical attention, aid groups estimate. ... Meanwhile a group
calling itself Mohammed's army called on Muslims to prepare to fight
Western forces sent on any mission to western Sudan. British Prime
Minister Tony Blair has not ruled out military intervention in
Darfur, where the U.S. Congress has labeled as genocide a campaign
by Arab militias against black Africans. The violence in Darfur
began 15 months ago when two rebel groups from Darfur's African
tribes took up arms in a struggle over land and resources. Arab
militias known as Janjaweed then began a brutal campaign to drive
out the black Africans. The EU cited "grave concern" at events in
Darfur, saying they were "alarmed by reports of massive human rights
violations" perpetrated by the Janjaweed militia rebels, "including
systematic rape of women."
PARIS, France (CNSNews)
French Grapple With Radical Islam and Its Teachings. In an
effort to tighten security against radical Muslims, the French
parliament has passed legislation allowing the expulsion of
foreigners who advocate hatred or violence against women. ... In the
controversial interview with Lyon Mag, Bouziane also defended
polygamy and said he was the father of 16 children. He also said he
was in favor of an Islamic republic in France and everywhere else in
Virginia, USA (BBC)
US Muslim woman defies hardliners. Indian Muslim Asra Nomani has
found herself on the frontline of a battle for women's rights in
Islam in the United States. She entered the local mosque through the
front door and dared to pray alongside men, an act that has
triggered heated discussions among America's Muslim community. ...
In their campaign to silence her, she has been depicted as
heretical, misguided and westernized, someone in need of reform.
They argue that women should only be allowed to enter a mosque
through the back door, pray from the balcony and quietly go home.
LONDON, England (Ekklesia)
Williams to make 9/11 speech praising Islam. The Archbishop of
Canterbury is to mark the third anniversary of the September 11
terrorist attacks by praising Islam in an address from the pulpit of
an Egyptian mosque, reports the Sunday Times. Rowan Williams has
accepted an invitation to speak at Al-Azhar University in Cairo,
considered by many to be the Muslim world's most important centre of
learning, the newspaper said.
MADRID, Spain (IHT)
Spain considering plan to subsidize mosques. The Spanish
government has begun formal discussions on a proposal to subsidize
mosques in an effort to make them less dependent on financing from
extremist groups abroad, according to government officials.
JERUSALEM, Israel (Ha'aretz)
Officials fear Jewish extremists may crash plane on Temple Mount.
withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The Shin Bet security service and
the police are preparing for a number of possible terror attack
scenarios at the sacred Old City site, Israeli security sources said
last night. Speaking on the Channel Two "Meet the Press" program
yesterday, Public Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi confirmed that
the security establishment had identified rising intent among
right-wing extremists to carry out a Temple Mount attack.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Strait Times Singapore)
Four who renounced Islam lose appeal in top court. Four
Malaysians who renounced Islam lost an appeal in the nation's top
court where they had sought a declaration that they have freedom to
practise the faith of their choice, their lawyer said yesterday.
'The Federal Court this morning dismissed the appeal after taking
nine months to deliberate the matter,' said Mr Ang Hean Leng. Mr
Daud Mamat, 62, Ms Kamariah Ali, 51, her late husband Mohamad Ya and
Mr Mad Yacob Ismail, 62, who served 20 months in jail for 'deviant
practices inconsistent with Islamic teachings', renounced Islam in
1998. They were charged with contempt of the Syariah court for
refusing to attend repentance classes which were part of the earlier
sentence and were jailed for another three years in 2000.
BONN, Germany (Islam OnLine)
German Greens Propose Muslims Shura Council. According to the
Green Party's initiative, the elected chairman of the Muslim Shura
Council will be the legitimate representative of Muslims in the
state and deal on their behalf with the administrative, legislative
and legal authorities. Once the Shura Council is formed and its
chairman elected, the state should apply the minority protection law
on Muslims, granting them the highest possible protection as a
religious minority. ... The Greens expect positive results from
their initiative, including obliging state schools to teach Islam to
Muslim students with Muslims being allowed to participate in
outlining the curriculum. ... It noted that issues such as hijab,
sheep sacrifice, Islamic cemetery as well as religious and sex
education are now taking center stage in parliament session and even
Experts: Beheadings pervert legitimate law. "It was akin to an
animal being slaughtered," said Bernard Haykel, a professor of
Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University who saw
one of the executions on a Web site. "It was literally how you
slaughter sheep. ...They slit the throat (at) the two carotid
arteries, and they severed the head. ... "That is consistent with
Islamic law if one recognizes al Qaeda as the properly constituted
head of the Islamic state," Haykel said. "It is a legitimate
practice in Islamic law to behead your enemy if the ruler so deems
it as a punishment that is required." ... Doran concurred that the
militants may be looking to Shariah to justify the brutality of the
CHICAGO, Illinois (Chicago Sun-times)
Protestants soon to be minority in U.S., study finds. According
to survey results from more than 43,000 Americans gathered over the
last 30 years, the percentage of Protestants in the national
population has shrunk from 63 percent in 1993 to 52 percent in 2002.
... "There is some evidence that a large portion of this problem is
that a fair number of marginal Protestants are not really engaged in
their faith and therefore didn't pass it on to their kids," Smith
Living with the legacy of rape and genocide. I sat with the
women and we looked across the border to the mountains of Sudan, the
country they had been forced to flee. "They killed my husband when
they raided the village," 26-year-old Fatima told me. "We could not
count but it seemed like a thousand of them came, riding horses and
camels. They had guns and swords. The government also came. They
rode in cars and fired Dushka guns." Fatima fled to El Geneina, a
large town in western Sudan. "I went out of the town to find wood
and was stopped by three Arabs on horseback," she said. She was
repeatedly raped before finding her way back to the shack where she
stayed with her two children - a girl, Najat, 7, and a boy,
Mohammed, 2. Now five months pregnant as a result of the rape, she
could no longer bear the uncertain future: "It was risky travelling
here to Chad, but what would happen if I stayed in Sudan?"
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait (CNN)
In Kuwait, more young Arabs embrace return to conservative Islam.
Young and well-educated, Sami al-Mutairi parked his royal blue
luxury sedan behind a roadside sand berm and waited. He knew that
carloads of American troops traveled the dusty road. Prosecutors say
he cradled an AK-47 assault rifle in his hands. Al-Mutairi, 25, was
from a large middle-class family, part of a major tribe in this
gilded Persian Gulf state. He had a good government job as a social
worker, and in college he had been known as an outspoken member of
the liberal students group on the manicured campus of Kuwait
University. But shortly after he graduated in June 2001, something
changed. He became more stridently religious and began echoing the
ideology of another wealthy Arab: Osama bin Laden. In time, al-Mutairi's
once-vocal resentment of restrictive Arab culture transformed into a
zealous rejection of the West's policies toward Muslims.
BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN)
Amnesty condemns Sudan rapes. "Arab militias in Sudan are
gang-raping and abducting girls as young as eight and women as old
as 80, systematically killing, torturing, or using them as sex
slaves, an Amnesty International report said on Monday. Militias
known as Janjaweed, which rights groups say are backed by the
government, have been fighting rebels in Sudan's western Darfur
region since last year, triggering one of the world's worst
humanitarian crises. "When we tried to escape they shot more
children," one woman identified only as A. told Amnesty researchers.
"They raped women, I saw many cases of Janjaweed raping women and
girls. They are happy when they rape. They sing when they rape and
they tell us that we are just slaves and that they can do with us
how they wish.""
Last edited 01/04/2004
Top of Page.
CHARLESTON, W.Va (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
Step for equality: Woman leads push for more participation within
U.S. Islam. "During Ramadan last year, Asra Nomani took a deep
breath and entered the front door of the Islamic Center in
Morgantown, shunning tradition and the women's balcony to pray on
the main floor. The 38-year-old single mother had no intention of
praying right next to the men — an act that would seem shocking to
the congregants. But she did want to see and hear the prayer leader,
and was willing to break down gender barriers to do it. She hopes
her simple act will be the first step toward improving Muslim
women's rights at mosques across the nation."
Nigeria: Self-Styled Rebel Seeks Independence for Oil-Producing
Niger Delta. "But today these one-time glories are scorched
and ruined wrecks on the battleground of an increasingly violent
struggle for control of Nigeria's current economic lifeblood - crude
oil. The man in charge at Tombia is Asari Dokubo, a self-styled
revolutionary who dropped out of university and converted from
Christianity to Islam. ... Dokubo studied law at the university of
Calabar in south-eastern Nigeria, but dropped out in 1988 after
converting to Islam and becoming strongly engaged in radical
politics. He then spent several years visiting 38 countries around
the world, including Egypt and Libya."
Los Angeles, CA (FrontPage)
Radical Islam's First Congressman. "We all knew that Cynthia
McKinney would be drawing on Arab and Muslim supporters in her bid
to return to Congress, but a listing of contributors (with
information up through June 28) reveals to what an extraordinary
extent this is the case, as shown by the names of her backers."
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (MSNBC)
Saudis facing return of radicals: Young Iraq veterans join
underground. "An increasing number of Saudis who crossed the
border into Iraq to fight the U.S.-led military occupation are
returning home to plot attacks against the Saudi government and
Western targets in the desert kingdom, according to Western
counterterrorism officials and Saudis with ties to militant groups."
Islam is rife with cruelty. "The repression of women proves that
Islam is not a cultural system of peace and compassion. Honor
killing of females for perceived indiscretions, polygamy, acid
burning, genital mutilation and other horrors do not constitute care
and understanding. In Jordan, generally considered the most
Westernized of Islamic nations, 25 percent of all murders are honor
LONDON, England (BBC)
PM quizzed over cleric's UK entry. "On the killing of women and
children in Israel, he says: "Israeli women are not like women in
our society because Israeli women are militarised." He says Allah
has "given the weak what the strong do not possess and that is the
ability to turn their bodies into bombs like the Palestinians do".
Mr Al-Qaradawi was guest speaker at the European Council of Fatwa
and Research in London's City Hall, hosted by Mayor of London, Ken
Livingstone. ... Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim
Council of Britain, echoed this view. He said: "Dr Al-Qaradawi is
deeply respected by millions of Muslims around the world. "He has
been a consistent opponent of the extremism espoused by al-Qaeda and
similar groups, and has regularly denounced the killing of innocent
people in the 11 September attacks.""
LONDON, England (Independent.co.uk)
Ministers urged to expel 'racist' preacher. "Tony Blair is under
mounting pressure to expel a controversial Muslim cleric who
declared last night that suicide bombers were "martyrs" whose
actions were justified by Islam. Egyptian-born Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi,
who also has extreme views on Jews and gays and has said that
husbands should beat "disobedient" wives, is on a speaking tour of
Britain and will be "guest of honour" at a conference organised by
the Greater London Authority. Although he has been banned from
entering the United States since 1999, the British government did
not bar him because the intelligence services did not have any
evidence to justify such a move. The cleric fuelled the controversy
over his visit by defending suicide bombings on BBC2's Newsnight
last night. "This is not suicide, it is martyrdom in the name of
God," he said. "It is allowed to jeopardise your soul and cross the
path of the enemy and be killed, if this act of jeopardy affects the
enemy, even if it only generates fear in their hearts, shaking their
morale, making them fear Muslims.""
CAIRO, Egypt (AP)
Al-Jazeera Broadcasts Videotape of Armed Men Holding Filipino
Hostage, Threatening to Kill Him. "Al-Jazeera television
broadcast a videotape Wednesday of armed men holding a Filipino
hostage and threatening to kill him if the Philippines does not
withdraw its small force from Iraq in three days."
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BBC)
Protest at Pakistan Sharia plans. "Secular politicians in
Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province are protesting at an
extension of Sharia law they say will "Talebanise" society. The
Islamic alliance that runs the province is preparing the Hisbah
bill, which would enshrine observance of strict Islamic codes in
Sudan pressed further on Darfur. "The United
Nations Security Council is being urged to impose sanctions on
Sudanese officials when it meets to discuss the crisis in Darfur. A
draft UN resolution proposed by the United States calls on Sudan to
disarm the pro-government militia and impose travel and arms
sanctions on them. But a human rights group said Sudanese officials
must also be punished. Sudan agreed on Saturday to disarm Arab
militias accused of "ethnic cleansing" Darfur's black African
population. Human Rights Watch described the militias as a tool
created by the Sudanese government, and as such, the authorities
must share responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in Darfur,
where more than a million people have been displaced. According to
the NGO Oxfam the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate,
people are still arriving in camps where food is running out,
drinking water is scarce and makeshift shelters are collapsing."
BAGHDAD, Iraq (Kurdish
Iran is in Strong Position to Steer Iraq’s Political Future. "With
the chaos of the occupation and now the loosening of American
control here, Iran has moved into its best position in decades to
influence the political shape of Iraq, Western and Iraqi officials
say. Already, the Iranian government has quietly strengthened its
presence in Iraq by providing financial backing to a range of
popular Shiite Muslim groups and by flooding the country with
intelligence agents, the officials say."
PARIS, France (FrontPageMag.com) Beyond Munich – The Spirit
of Eurabia. "The following presentation by Bat Ye'or was
delivered at a seminar in the French Senate in Paris three weeks
ago. ... Today the war is everywhere. And yet the European Union and
the states which comprise it, have denied that war’s reality, right
up to the terrorist attack in Madrid of March 11, 2004. If there is
a danger as Europe proclaims urbi et orbi, that danger can only come
from America and Israel. What should one understand? For can anyone
seriously maintain that it is the American and Israeli forces that
threaten us in Europe? No, what must be understood is that American
and Israeli policies of resistance to jihadist terror provoke
reprisals against a Europe that has long ago ceased to defend
itself. So that peace can prevail throughout the world, those two
countries, America and Israel, need only adopt the European strategy
of constant surrender, based on the denial of aggression. How simple
it all is…"
DUBAI (Times of India) Al Qaida group vows to target Europe again. "An
Al Qaida-linked group vowed to renew attacks on
Europe and urged Muslims to flee once Osama bin Laden’s three-month
truce ends on July 15, two Arabic-language newspapers reported on
Friday. “To the European people ... you only have a few more days to
accept Bin Laden’s truce or you will only have yourselves to blame,”
said the statement purported to be from the Abu Hafs al-Masri
Brigades which claimed responsibility for the March 11 train
bombings in Spain."
FAIRFAX, Virginia (CNN)
Feds raid Virginia Islamic center. "Federal agents Thursday
raided the Fairfax offices of a Saudi-based institute that served as
a meeting point for men convicted of conspiring to support
terrorism. A task force of federal agents, including the FBI,
carried out boxes but made no arrests in the raid of the Institute
of Islamic and Arabic Sciences. ... The institute was a meeting
point for a group of Islamic men who played paintball games in 2000
and 2001 as preparation for holy war, according to prosecutors. Nine
of the 11 men charged in what prosecutors called a "Virginia jihad
network" were convicted in federal court for their roles in the
group. Earlier this year, 16 Saudi diplomats affiliated with the
institute had their passports revoked. State Department officials
said the diplomats were teaching at the institute rather than
serving as diplomats."
LONDON, England (Al-Jazeera)
Special article: How Islam views Beheading incidents? "What
is going on in Saudi Arabia? Is it terrorism or jihad to kill,
murder and slaughter foreigners, especially Americans in Saudi
Arabia? Is Islam urging and inciting Muslims to kill civilians,
whether Americans, Europeans or from elsewhere? The answer is simply
‘NO, NEVER’. In fact, Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. Islam
is a word of love, peace, security, tolerance, stability, mercy and
respect. Islam is derived from the word for ‘peace’. Islam respects
all mankind, regardless of their religion, sex, color or language.
My simple advice to Al-Qaeda members is to go to
either Iraq or Palestine to fight, kill and slaughter American and
Israeli soldiers because that would be a real Jihad and they would
be labeled as real freedom fighters and martyrs and because the
Americans in Iraq and Israelis in Palestine are undoubtedly
occupiers, killers, criminals and aggressors."
CAIRO, Egypt (WND)
Islamists kidnap Christian girl to force conversion. "It noted
that the girl, whose name was not identified, had been abducted from
a district in Cairo on June 2 and that local police are believed to
have aided the Muslim abductors. Barnabas Fund's charge of alleged
police involvement could not be confirmed independently. ... "During
her initial abduction (April 6) she reports that she was sexually
abused and drugged in order to manipulate her. A cross tattoo on her
hand was forcibly removed," Barnabas Fund said. Her abductors
allegedly tried "to force her to convert to Islam, and one now
claims to be her husband," the organization added. Egyptian law
specifically forbids the marriage of a girl under 21 without her
parents' consent and also makes it illegal to convert a Christian
girl under the age of 18, Barnabas Fund said."
STRASBOURG, Germany (IndianExpress)
Euro court backs headscarf ban. "Banning Muslim headscarves in
schools does not violate the freedom of religion and is a valid way
to counter Islamic fundamentalism, the European Court of Human
Rights said on Tuesday. In what could be a precedent-setting
decision, the Court rejected appeals by a Turkish student barred
from attending Istanbul University Medical School in 1998 as her
headscarf violated the official dress code. The court decision could
help the French government face court cases it expects to be filed
in September against a disputed headscarf ban it plans to impose in
state high schools."
On Christian Strophes in the Koran. "In contrast to the new
Anglo-Saxon school of Koran research (Wansbrough revisionism), which
is working on versions of the holy book from two hundred years after
the death of the Prophet Mohammad (632 A.D.), Lüling believes that
essential parts of the Koran existed already before the arrival of
the Prophet – i.e. in the form of Christian hymns and strophic
poems. This is his main thesis, which he understands as a
"reconstruction" of the "Ur-Koran". If Lüling is right, then much of
what Muslims hold to be true would have to be thrown overboard,
namely that the Koran as it appears today was revealed in toto to
the Prophet and was compiled as a largely reliable text by Caliph
Uthman, who ruled between 644 and 656."
CAIRO, Egypt (IslamOnline.net)
French Muslim Urges School Protest If Bandana Banned. "French
Muslim activist proposed that parents keep their children from going
to their public school for a week to show solidarity with any fellow
Muslim student dismissed by the school for wearing bandana,
suggested by the education minister to replace hijab in state-run
BAGHDAD, Iraq (Seattle PI)
Iraq sermons attack U.S. but urge unity. "The anti-U.S. content
of the Friday sermons also underlines the failure of the United
States to win the goodwill of most Iraqis, despite the United
States' ridding the country of Saddam's dictatorship. "American
soldiers are infidels," said Youssef Khodeir, a Sunni sheik and imam
of the Saad Bani Moaz mosque in Baqouba, scene of the heaviest
fighting Thursday. "The blood that is being shed every day is
because we are not closing our ranks. The source of all power comes
from adhering to the Quran.""
(Florida Times Union)
TERRORISTS: Don't judge by barbaric acts of a few. "The
brutal beheadings of Nicholas Berg, Paul Johnson and Kim Sun-il are
being been erroneously described as acts of "Islamic militancy."
Certainly they are the actions of terrorists or militants, but they
are not acts of Islam. The world of Islam should not be held
accountable for the un-Islamic and barbaric deeds of a minuscule
minority of more than a billion Muslims."
(International Herald Tribune)
For radical Islamists, beheadings as power. "Saudi Arabia, the
home of Islam's holiest sites, is one of the few countries in the
world to use decapitation as a form of the death penalty, basing it
on the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islamic law. Most Muslim
countries use the firing squad or hanging in official executions.
The Saudi executioner uses a curved sword in a public square.
Islamic authorities and some Muslim countries have denounced the
beheadings by the militants, calling them a distortion of Muslim
tradition and saying that the killing of innocents is forbidden by
the faith. And experts on Islam are reluctant to link the manner of
the killings to the religion."
LOS ANGELES, Ca (Frontpage)
Symposium: The Koran and Anti-Semitism. "Does Islam’s holy book
promote anti-Semitism? To discuss this issue with us today,
Frontpage Symposium has assembled a distinguished panel."
Islam Rejects Brutal Actions. "It is infuriating to hear that
groups in the Middle East are starting to behead people as a tool
against foreign presence in Iraq and in Saudi Arabia. It is equally
infuriating to hear that they pretend they do this despicable act in
the name of Islam; and it is most painful to share the reactions of
the bereaved. While there are people dying in the name of one belief
or the other every day in the Middle East, the pure brutality of
such deliberate acts is unimaginable. To non-Muslims: We ask that
you not judge Muslims or Islam by the acts of these beasts, but
please take the time to speak to a knowledgeable Muslim and find out
what Islam is really about. You will see there really is not much of
a difference between your belief and Islam. To the "Muslims" who are
engaged in such brutal actions: We ask that you stop and study the
Quran. You will see that God clearly rejects such actions and
condemns people who cannot show mercy and forgiveness."
Scholars decry ghastly tactic of beheading: Beheadings gain
widespread attention, but they have no legitimate basis in Quranic
ideology. "It has become a terrifying spectacle disseminated by
videotape: masked men calmly reading statements and then beheading
their hostages. The speeches are mostly political; occasionally they
have invoked vague religious justifications for the killings. But
there is little precedent in Islamic holy texts and tradition for
carrying out decapitations, scholars say. Islam's holy book, the
Quran, provides clear prohibitions against killing civilians and
bans mistreatment of prisoners. "There is absolutely nothing in
Islam that justifies cutting off a person's head," said Yvonne
Haddad, a professor at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding
at Georgetown University. "In fact, Islam was the first major
religion to set guidelines for the treatment of prisoners and the
conduct of war.""
Sudan Emergency: Killing Continues. "Throughout the last 6 months the government of Sudan
has carried out a policy of killing its own citizens in the Darfur region, as
well as rape, sabotaging water sources, looting and other outrages.
More than 1million people have been displaced and more than 30,000
are dead as a result of the continuing scorched-earth campaign being
carried out jointly by the Sudanese government and local militias
called the Janjaweed. With the rainy season approaching and famine
and disease spreading, the United States Agency for International
Development predicts more than 300,000 people will die this year
even under "optimal conditions.""
U.S. can't ignore slaughter in Sudan, McCain warns. "In an op-ed
article co-written by McCain and Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, published
in The Washington Post, the two senators focus attention on the
largely Arab Sudanese government and its teaming with the Janjaweed,
a group of allied Arab militias, to crush an insurgency in Darfur, a
Texas-sized region in western Sudan. "They are slaughtering
civilians in a systematically scorched-earth campaign designed to
'ethnically cleanse' the entire region of Black Africans," states
the article, adding that these "horrific" methods have made the
region "the site of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world
(Asia Straits Times)
World condemns killing of Korean hostage. "Lebanon's top Shi'ite
Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Sheik Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah,
said killing 'foreigners who are working and feel secure in Muslim
countries ... is not sanctioned by Islam'. A spokesman for
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, Mr Masood Khan, said such killings were
'brutal and inhuman'. Malaysia also deplored the incident and said
it hoped all parties would 'try to find a solution that will enable
peace to prevail' in Iraq. A leader of Egypt's oldest and largest
Muslim fundamentalist group said the execution was not
'representative of Muslim or Arab morals'. 'It is just a small group
that does these kinds of things,' said Essam El-Erian, a senior
member of the Muslim Brotherhood. A spokesman for UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Tuesday that Mr Annan was
'appalled' by what he called a 'heartless crime, which no political
or other cause can justify'."
U.S. investigating possible genocide in Sudan. "Genocide has
struck many victims over the past 65 years: European Jews during
World War II, Cambodians in the late 1970s, Rwandans in 1994. There
may be a new addition: The black African tribes of Darfur province
in western Sudan have faced murder, displacement, pillage, razing of
villages and other crimes committed by Arab militias known as
janjaweed. The dictionary defines genocide as "the systematic
killing of a racial or cultural group." The U.S. government is
reviewing whether Darfur qualifies for the designation. "The
janjaweed are the government's militia, and Khartoum has armed and
empowered it to conduct 'ethnic cleansing' in Darfur," says Human
Pakistan's vow to rein in schools goes unfulfilled. "But
more than two years later, the religious seminaries known as
madrassas continue to operate with little oversight, many still
preaching hatred of the West. Critics say the slow reform is a prime
example of Pakistan's half-hearted effort to eradicate extremism. "Madrassa
reform means nothing," said I.A. Rehman, director of the Human
Rights Commission of Pakistan. "That is the greatest proof of the
government's lack of sincerity: You arrest 20 terrorists and train
World ignoring genocide in Sudan. "The conflict between
mainly black rebels in Western Sudan and government-backed Arab
militiamen has led to the deaths of thousands and the displacement
of as many as 1 million people in what human rights groups are
calling "ethnic cleansing.""
S. Korean hostage beheaded in Iraq. "A South Korean hostage
threatened with execution in Iraq has been killed, officials in
Seoul have confirmed. The beheaded body of translator Kim Sun-il,
33, was found on the road between Baghdad and Falluja."
Muslim comedians laugh at racism. ""We've made a lot of progress
towards ending racism in America," he tells the audience. "But we've
been hearing about it for decades. A black man says he can never get
a fair trial in America." He pauses. "But Arabs and Muslims say they
can't even get a trial." The audience roars appreciatively."
Iranian (Persian Journal)
Winning War Against Radical Islam. "As World War II turned
against Japan, a "Divine Wind" of suicide warriors swarmed out of
Japan against the forces of the United States. The unthinkable
became a nightmare as Japanese pilots crashed their planes into
American ships. Suicidal Japanese soldiers and even civilians blew
themselves up to destroy American targets on the ground. ... The
answer was found in the Japanese religion of Emperor worship. The
religious belief that the Emperor of Japan was God not only
motivated the Kamikaze pilots and the ritual of Seppuku (also known
as hari-kari), but it was also the very heart and soul of the entire
Japanese War effort. ... The United States president and military
advisors had a dilemma before them. Since the root of Japanese
militancy was the Shinto religion, they had to face the fact that
unless they addressed the religion that motivated the suicide
pilots, the War would drag on and on. Did the President of the
United States publicly proclaim that the religion of Shintoism was a
peaceful and wonderful religion? Did he attend a Shinto temple and
bow in worship before a picture of the Emperor? Did he state that
all religions worship the same universal God? Did government
officials rush to announce that the religion of Emperor Worship had
been hijacked by terrorists and perverted into a violent religion?
Did they threaten to prosecute any American citizen who made
Saudi Arabia (CNN)
Saudi poll: Wide support for bin Laden. "Almost half of all
Saudis said in a poll conducted last year that they have a favorable
view of Osama bin Laden's sermons and rhetoric, but fewer than 5
percent thought it was a good idea for bin Laden to rule the Arabian
Peninsula. The poll involved interviews with more than 15,000 Saudis
and was overseen by Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi national security
consultant. It was conducted between August and November 2003, after
simultaneous suicide attacks in May 2003 when 36 people were killed
in Riyadh. Obaid said he only recently decided to reveal the poll
results because he felt the public needed to know about them."
Christians Begin Exodus From Iraq. "Facing a June 30 deadline
for transfer of power, a temporary constitution that reads, in
Article 7, that Islam is the "Official Religion of the State," and
the most recent humiliation for the community — the failure to
receive even one position on the Executive Council and only one
ministry post, the Ministry of Emigration — the Christians of Iraq
are voting with their feet. "On a recent night the church had to
spend more time on filling out baptismal forms needed for leaving
the country than they did on the [worship] service," says Amir, a
deacon at a local church who does not want his full name published.
"We have been flooded with parishioners desperate to leave the
country, and as they cannot get an exit permit without a baptismal
certificate from the church we have been swamped with requests. ...
In recent days nearly 400 families as far as we can tell have filled
out baptismal forms to leave the country. Our community is being
GULFPORT, Florida (Tampa Tribune)
Rights Work In Homeland Pushes Student. "She came to this
country fleeing persecution after being targeted by religious
extremists in her native Pakistan. Lawyer Neelofer Syed made legal
history - and enemies - when she won a landmark case in Pakistan
that established the right for women to marry without their parents'
permission. ''People who discriminate against women,'' she declares,
''are so yesterday.'' Determined to return to Pakistan to work for
peace and human rights despite attempts on her life, the 29-year-old
advanced studies student at Stetson University College of Law is
optimistic about the future of her country and her role in shaping
Middle East (Arutz Sheva)
PA TV Continues to Promote Child Sacrifice. "Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook of the
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW)
organization report this week that Palestinian Authority television
is continuing its encouragement of death for Arab children. PA
television yesterday broadcast a long interview with the parents of
two children killed while attempting an attack on a Jewish town in
2003. A picture of the dead children with the text "The Popular
Resistance Committee proudly announces the falling of [the] shahids
of the great Islam" was shown throughout the interview. PMW reports
that the interviewer praised 15-year-old Mohammed who "always
aspired to shahada [martyrdom] despite his young age…." He said the
two dead child combatants "became outstanding for all Palestinians,
outstanding in their medals of honor -- shahada.""
San Diego, CA (FrontPage Magazine)
The Koran and the Jews. "The Qur’an [Chapter 5:20-21] goes
on to say why the Israelites were not allowed to enter the land for
forty years...but the thrust of my analysis is where Moses says
that the Holy Land is that which God has "written" for the
Israelites. In both Jewish and Islamic understandings of the term
"written", there is the meaning of finality, decisiveness and
immutability. And so we have the Written Torah (unchangeable) and
the Oral Torah (which represents change to suit times). And in the
Qur'an we have "Written upon you is the fast"—to show that this is
something that is decreed, and which none can change. So the simple
fact is then, from a faith-based point of view: If God has
"written" Israel for the people of Moses, who can change this? The
Qur'an refers to the exiles, but leaves it open for return...saying
to the Jews that if they keep their promise to God, then God will
keep the divine promise to them. We may argue that the present
state of Israel was not created in the most peaceful means, and that
many were displaced—for me, this is not the issue. The issue is
that when the Muslims entered that land in the seventh century,
they were well aware of its rightful owners, and when they failed
to act according to divine mandate (at least as perceived by
followers of all Abrahamic faiths), they aided and abetted in a
crime. And the present situation shows the fruits of that
action—wherein innocent Palestinians and Israelis are being killed
on a daily basis. "
NAJAF, Iraq (Taipei Times)
Silence is the dress code for women. "Muqtada al-Sadr, the rebel
cleric, has just finished his Friday sermon and his militiamen are
securing the area around his car. One notices a woman, swathed in
robe and head scarf. Everything but her face and hands are covered.
Yet she is told to go stand in a corner, because the guards have to
be alert and her "presence here confuses us." "Is it because I'm a
woman?" I ask. "Yes. Please stand there." "Why do you treat women as
though we are the devil?" "No, on the contrary, we respect them.""
Egypt (Middle East Times)
Delayed reaction over Saadawi book. "The Islamic Research
Council at Al Azhar University has called on the Egyptian government
to ban five books, including Soqout Al Imam (The Fall of the Imam)
by the controversial feminist author Nawal Al Saadawi."
Australia (The Australian)
Indo clerics ban female leaders. "A GROUP of Indonesian
clerics has placed a religious ban on female leaders in another blow
to embattled President Megawati Sukarnoputri as she struggles to
overcome plummeting support for her re-election bid. The clerics,
all senior members of the country's largest Islamic organisation,
the 40-million-strong Nahdlatul Ulama, yesterday issued a fatwa, or
religious edict, outlawing the election of a female to the
Source of brainwashing. "For years Pakistan’s establishment has
fed a fictitious account of history to the Pakistani people. Young
Pakistanis are taught not to question clichés about their nation’s
greatness and unique place in the world. Alternative worldviews are
discouraged and their exponents described as ‘traitors’."
LONDON, England (CNN)
UK: Sudan needs urgent aid. "The humanitarian crisis in
Sudan is "desperately serious" and urgently requires aid, Britain's
International Development Secretary Hilary Benn said Monday. A
15-month insurgency in the Darfur region of western Sudan, where
fighting between the government and rebels has raised fears of
ethnic cleansing of mainly African tribes by government-backed Arab
militias [Islamic fundamentalists], has made 1 million people
Will Bush Stop Sudan Genocide?
Perhaps it's because the victims are Christians. Perhaps
it's because they are black. Perhaps it's because the
murderers are openly and brazenly killing in the name of
Islam. Or maybe it's because major oil companies are
benefiting from the slaughter. Whatever the explanation, the
facts are devastatingly clear: More than 2 million Sudanese
have died as victims of an Islamic jihad, a so-called "holy"
war, and until now the Western press and governments have
responded with virtual silence.
Virginia COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS, INC.,
Plaintiff, v. ANDREW WHITEHEAD, Defendant, (Law No. CL04-926).
Why Is CAIR Suing
LONDON, England (CBC News) Iraq war revitalized al-Qaeda,
report says. "The war in Iraq has boosted membership in al-Qaeda
and helped revitalize the network, a London-based think-tank warned
Tuesday. The International Institute for Strategic Studies says the
recent bombings in Spain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia show the network
has fully recovered after losing its base in Afghanistan. The
report, cited by BBC News Online, says the network run by Osama bin
Laden is growing. It quotes intelligence estimates as saying
al-Qaeda is active in 60 countries and has "18,000 potential
terrorists at large.""
FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) Fallujah emerging as Islamic mini-state.
"With U.S. Marines gone and central government authority virtually
nonexistent, Fallujah resembles an Islamic mini-state - anyone
caught selling alcohol is flogged and paraded in the city. Men are
encouraged to grow beards and barbers are warned against giving
"Western" hair cuts. "After all the blood that was shed, and the
lives that were lost, we shall only accept God's law in Fallujah,"
said cleric Abdul-Qader al-Aloussi, offering a glimpse of what a
future Iraq may look like as the U.S.-led occupation draws to a
close. "We must capitalize on our victory over the Americans and
implement Islamic sharia laws." The departure of the Marines under
an agreement that ended the three-week siege last month has enabled
hard-line Islamic leaders to assert their power in this once-restive
city 30 miles west of Baghdad. Some were active in defending the
city against the Marines and have profited by a perception - both
here and elsewhere in Iraq - that the mujahedeen, or Islamic holy
warriors, defeated a superpower."
TORONTO, Canada (Toronto Star) Ontario sharia tribunals
assailed: Women fighting use of Islamic law.
"Last fall, Arjomand, now a transitional counsellor in Toronto
for immigrant women, heard the province had quietly approved the use
of Islamic law in Ontario's Muslim community. A group she'd never
heard of, called the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice, had gained
the right to hold tribunals, darul qada, in which marriage,
family and business disputes can be settled according to sharia. The
1,300-year-old body of laws and rules for living was inspired by the
Qur'an, Islam's holy book. Arjomand was horrified."
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) More prison abuse photos disclosed.
"Photographs published in The Washington Post depicted a U.S.
soldier apparently preparing to strike a shackled detainee, a hooded
inmate collapsed with his wrists handcuffed to a railing and a
baton- wielding soldier appearing to order a naked detainee covered
in a brown substance to walk a straight line with his ankles
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) Thousands of Shiite Muslims Rally Across
Middle East Against U.S. Fighting in Iraq Holy Cities.
"Thousands of Shiite Muslims demonstrated in Beirut Friday to
warn the United States against attacking holy sites in Iraq. Smaller
groups rallied in three other Mideast nations, with protesters in
Bahrain clashing with police. Wearing white shrouds symbolizing
their readiness to die in defense of the holy cities of Najaf and
Karbala in Iraq, demonstrators marched through Beirut's suburbs.
Many chanted "death to America, death to Israel.""
LONDON, England (CNN) Fake abuse photos: Editor quits.
"The Daily Mirror says its editor Piers Morgan has resigned over the
publication of "fake" pictures of British soldiers abusing Iraqi
detainees. Earlier Friday, the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, in which
the soldiers allegedly pictured were serving, demanded an apology
from the Mirror over the photographs which it said had "unjustly
sullied" its reputation. Regimental commander Brigadier Geoff
Sheldon said the regiment had proved that the photos alleging abuse
of Iraqi prisoners were fake. Commenting on a front page picture in
the Daily Mirror depicting a British soldier allegedly urinating on
an Iraqi prisoner, Brig. Sheldon said: "It wasn't a British soldier
degrading an Iraqi. "It was a mocked-up fake, not even taken in
Iraq." The British officer described the Mirror's allegations as
"utter and complete nonsense."
VIRGINIA, USA (National Review)
The War that Dare Not Speak Its Name: The battle is against militant
Islam, not “Terror” "Terrorism is not an enemy. It is a method.
It is the most sinister, brutal, inhumane method of our age. But it
is nonetheless just that: a method. You cannot, and you do not, make
war on a method. War is made on an identified — and identifiable —
enemy. In the here and now, that enemy is militant Islam — a very
particular practice and interpretation of a very particular set of
religious, political and social principles."
(MSNBC) Islamic Web site claims revenge killing: Video shows
beheading of man identified as American. “My name is Nick Berg,
my father’s name is Michael, my mother’s name is Susan,” the man
said on the video. “I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I
live in ... Philadelphia.” After reading a statement, the men were
seen pulling the man to his side and putting a large knife to his
neck. A scream sounded as the men cut his head off, shouting “Allahu
Akbar!” — “God is great.” They then held the head out before the
camera. Berg was a small-business owner from the Philadelphia
suburbs, his family said Tuesday."
New York, NY (Salt Lake Tribune) Arab world, cursed by oil,
forgets that its people are top resource. "I visited the Japanese
cell phone company DoCoMo in Tokyo recently. A robot made by Honda
gave me part of the tour, even bowing in perfect Japanese fashion.
My visit there coincided with yet another suicide bomb attack
against U.S. forces in Iraq. I could not help thinking: Why are the
Japanese making robots into humans, while Muslim suicide squads are
making humans into robots? The answer has to do in part with the
interaction between culture and natural resources. Countries such as
Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China have relatively few natural resources
like oil. As a result, in the modern age, their first instinct is to
look inward, assess their weaknesses, try to learn as much as they
can from foreigners and then beat them at their own game. In order
to beat the Westerners, they have even set aside many of their
historical animosities so they can invest in each other's countries
and get all the benefits of free trade."
MANCHESTER, NH (Union Leader) CAIR declares war on
conservative talk radio show hosts. "The Council on
American-Islamic Relations won’t condemn Muslim fanatics, but it has
declared war on outspoken Americans who will. CAIR, which calls
itself “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group,” has lately
focused its wrath on conservative radio talk show hosts. A new
report by the group released this week attempts to tie talk radio to
a dubious “sharp jump” in (self-reported) “Islamophobic hate crimes”
in the United States. CAIR fights dirty — fabricating quotes, taking
comments out of context, indulging in the cult of victimology and
exploiting a gullibly sympathetic press. By manufacturing an
anti-Muslim hate epidemic that doesn’t exist, CAIR obfuscates its
own suspicious role in fomenting anti-American extremism. The most
recent target of CAIR’s campaign to stifle critics of radical Islam
is Boston-based radio talk show veteran Jay Severin. On April 23,
CAIR issued a press release headlined: “Boston Radio Host Says Kill
All Muslims; Islamic Civil Rights Group Calls for Host’s
Termination.” On April 25, the Boston Globe parroted the charges in
a story that quoted CAIR spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed accusing Severin
of saying on his show, “I’ve got an idea, let’s kill all Muslims.”
Just one teensy problem with the story. It wasn’t true. On April 27,
the Globe was forced to publish a correction admitting that Severin
never said “kill all Muslims.” CAIR, however, has refused to admit
the fabrication and continues to call for Severin’s termination."
TORONTO, Canada (Toronto Sun) U.S. torturers will be brought
to justice. "Iraqis lacked the leadership and good sense to
accept their liberators as friends and work with Americans to build
a relatively free and prosperous society for themselves, as the
South Koreans have done. America is a free and open society, and its
institutions, including its armed forces, reflect its values. But a
democratic society is not without faults, and these inescapably do
surface in its institutions. What distinguishes America, as
democracies are distinct from tyrannies, is its rule of law,
providing a system of government for a society that demands
accountability from its representative institutions. In the
understandable outrage that has seized the Arab-Muslim world, what
is missing is the sort of sober reflection that put things into
perspective. The inexcusable abuse captured on film pales in
comparison to the horrors that were routine in the same prison
during Saddam Hussein's rule, and in prisons elsewhere in the
neighbourhood. ... The exposure of these abuses has come from
Americans themselves, and proper military investigations will reach
into the ranks of those who have sullied America's reputation abroad
so grievously — and punish them."
MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (NYTimes) Hate at the Local Mosque.
"Not long ago in my little mosque around the corner from a
McDonald's, a student from the university here delivered a sermon.
To love the Prophet Muhammad, he said, "is to hate those who hate
him." He railed against man-made doctrines that replace Islamic law,
and excoriated the "enemies of Islam" who deny strict adherence to
Sunnah, or the ways of Muhammad. While he wasn't espousing violence,
his words echoed the extremist vocabulary of Wahhabism, used by some
followers to breed militant attitudes."
ZAMFARA, Nigeria (Afrika.no)
Nigeria: Zamfara government orders demolition of all churches. "Governor
Ahmed Sani of Zamfara State, has ordered the demolition of all
churches in the state, as he launched the second phase of his Sharia
project yesterday. Speaking at the launch in Gusau, the state
capital, Governor Sani disclosed that time was ripe for full
implementation of the programme as enshrined in the Holy Quran. He
added that his government would soon embark on demolition of all
places of worship of unbelievers in the state, in line with Islamic
injunction to fight them wherever they are found. ... "The governor
has no constitutional power to demolish churches in his state. The
constitution guarantees the right of worship of every Nigerian.
Nigeria is a secular state and a serving governor should not be seen
as promoting one religion over the other ," Barrister Kuye
HAMTRAMCK, MI (Detroit News)
Cultures collide in diverse Hamtramck: Uproar over Islamic call to
prayer pits tolerance, tradition. "Tuesday night, the
five-member City Council is expected to give final approval to an
amendment to Hamtramck’s noise ordinance that will regulate the
calls to prayer. Twenty days later, the amendment will go into
effect, and the al-Islah Islamic Center will be allowed to broadcast
its call to prayer over loudspeakers. The call to prayer, lasting
one to two minutes, has been an Islamic tradition for 1,400 years.
Historically sung from the minaret of a mosque, today the call often
is a recording played over loudspeakers. Although it is a public
event in other parts of the world, mosques in the United States
generally give the call to prayer inside their walls. In Hamtramck,
the call will be made live, five times a day, between 6 a.m. and 10
p.m., said Masud Khan, associate imam and secretary at al-Islah.
While only one mosque requested permission to broadcast the calls to
prayer, the ordinance would allow the city’s other two mosques to
follow suit if they wish. The ordinance applies to any kind of
religious announcement at any house of worship. "
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) Saudi suicide bomb kills 9. "At
least nine people have been killed and 125 wounded in a suicide
bombing outside the Saudi General Security Building in the capital,
Riyadh, hospital sources say. Television pictures from the scene
showed the entire front of the five-story building had been
shattered. Burned-out and damaged cars littered the area. ... A
senior Interior Ministry official said that authorities, tipped off
that six explosions had been planned, found and defused five of the
ROME, Italy (AP) Italian Mobsters have Links to Islamic
Terrorist Groups. "Italian mobsters and Islamic terrorist groups
have forged links in arms and drug trafficking, Italy's top
anti-Mafia investigator said. Pierluigi Vigna, Italy's national
anti-Mafia prosecutor, singled out a Naples mob known as the
Camorra, which deals in arms and drugs, among other rackets. ...
Asked if these were Islamic terrorist groups, he replied, "Muslim
terrorist groups." He said judicial secrecy prevented him from
describing the evidence. But Vigna suggested that the collaboration
might have begun when a Camorra member who converted to Islam met
fellow Muslims jailed in Italy."
PARIS, France (AP) Cleric Who Advocated Wife-Beating Is Held.
"An Algerian-born Muslim cleric who said wife-beating was justified
in cases of adultery has been detained and will be expelled from
France, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday. The announcement about
Chirane Abdelkader Bouziane, an imam in the Lyon suburb of
Venissieux, came after France deported another Algerian-born imam
who was accused of preaching radical Islam. Bouziane was detained
hours after Justice Minister Dominique Perben said he may have to
answer for his remarks. ``The government cannot tolerate remarks in
public that are contrary to human rights, detrimental to human
dignity and in particular to the dignity of women, (or) calls of
hate, violence or defense of terrorism,'' the ministry said in a
Saudi Arabia (BBC News) Saudi presenter shows beaten face.
"A TV presenter who says she was beaten by her husband has allowed
newspapers to show pictures of her swollen face to highlight
domestic abuse. Rania al-Baz said her husband, Mohammed al-Fallatta,
beat her so hard earlier this week that he broke her nose and
fractured her face in 13 places. After beating her, Mr Fallatta took
her to hospital and fled, her mother reportedly added. "I want to
use what happened to me to draw attention to the plight of women in
Saudi Arabia," Ms Baz said. ... The BBC's correspondent Kim Ghattas
says this is probably the first time ever that a case of domestic
violence has received media coverage in Saudi Arabia. It is a deeply
conservative society, where Islamic Sharia law is strictly enforced
and where honour and appearances are hugely important. The presence
of problems such as domestic violence, rape, paedophilia or Aids is
often simply not acknowledged our correspondent adds."
"Men are in charge of women,
because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and
because they spend of their property (for the support of women).
So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which
Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion,
admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them."
Qur'an, Sura An-Nisa (women) 4:34
Nigeria (AllAfrica.com) Nigeria: Christian Group Quits Peace
Talks With Muslims in Kaduna. "More than 3,000 people have
died in clashes in the state capital of Kaduna, since 2000. However,
CAN leaders said on Friday that the process has been undermined by a
series of attacks against Christians that have claimed more than
1,000 lives and razed 63 churches since the beginning of the year.
The latest incident took place in the town of Makarfi, 150 km north
of Kaduna city on 4 April. Islamic militants burnt down nine
churches in the town. "Right now we have withdrawn from the peace
process because of these attacks," Saidu Dogo, secretary general of
CAN in northern Nigeria, told IRIN."
Wichita, Kansas (Wichita Eagle) American Muslims are becoming
more active in religion and politics. "Muslims in the United
States are becoming more religious and politically active, they tend
to believe America is an immoral society and members of the younger
generation appear more conservative than their parents, according to
a detailed study to be released Tuesday. The terror attacks of Sept.
11, 2001, had a lasting effect on the lives of American Muslims and
led to two significant changes, the researchers said: More are
attending mosques and activities in Islamic centers, and they want
to become more involved in American politics to change policies they
CAIRO, Egypt (Herald Tribune) Crowds Protest U.S.-Led Seige
of Fallujah. "Across the Middle East, angry crowds on Friday
denounced the U.S.-led siege of the Iraqi city of Fallujah and
praised insurgents for resisting what clerics and commentators
likened to Israeli attacks. At Cairo's Al-Azhar mosque, one of Sunni
Islam's oldest, some 500 men called President Bush "the enemy of
God" and demanded Egypt expel the American and Israeli ambassadors
Washington, DC (US Department of Justice) Randall Todd Royer
and Ibrahim Ahmed Al-Hamdi Sentenced for Participaton in Virginia
Jihad Network. "Royer, 31, pled guilty in January 2004 to a
two-count criminal information charging him with aiding and abetting
the use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime
of violence, and with aiding and abetting the carrying of an
explosive during the commission of a felony. In his plea agreement,
Royer admitted to aiding and abetting co-defendants Masoud Khan,
Yong Ki Kwon, Muhammed Aatique and Khwaja Mahmoud Hasan in gaining
entry to a terrorist training camp in Pakistan operated by
Lashkar-e-Taiba, where they trained in the use of various weapons.
Royer also admitted to helping co-defendant Ibrahim Ahmed Al-Hamdi
gain entry to the Lashkar-e-Taiba camp, where Al-Hamdi received
training in the use of a rocket-propelled grenade in furtherance of
a conspiracy to conduct military operations against India."
CRAWFORD, Texas (CNN) Bush, Annan call for end to Sudan
fighting. "The Sudanese government must immediately stop local
militias from committing atrocities against the local population and
must provide unrestricted access to humanitarian aid agencies," Bush
said. "I condemn these atrocities, which are displacing hundreds of
thousands of civilians, and I have expressed my views directly to
President [Omar] Bashir of Sudan."
MANSFIELD, MA (Boston Globe) Islamic high school opens in
renovated Catholic church. For nearly three quarters of a
century, it served the Catholic community in Mansfield, first as a
church and later as a place for religious education. Now, after
sitting idle for nearly two decades, the former St. Mary's church is
again filled with the voices of the faithful. But this time, they
are the voices of Muslims.
Washington, DC (Whitehouse.gov) President Condemns Atrocities
in Sudan. "New fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan has opened
a new chapter of tragedy in Sudan's troubled history. The Sudanese
Government must immediately stop local militias from committing
atrocities against the local population and must provide
unrestricted access to humanitarian aid agencies. I condemn these
atrocities, which are displacing hundreds of thousands of civilians,
and I have expressed my views directly to President Bashir of Sudan.
... This civil war is one of the worst humanitarian tragedies of our
time, responsible for the deaths of two million people over two
MANCHESTER, England (Manchester Online) I want to be a martyr
says activist. A Manchester Muslim who publicly declared his
support for the Madrid terrorists and claims he wants to be a
"martyr" is being investigated by police today. Hassan Butt, 24,
featured in a TV programme last night which alleged that British
Muslims are preparing to take up arms despite the efforts of police
and security forces."
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (Guardian, LTD) 20 Militants Seize
Hostages in Uzbekistan. As many as 20 militants seized a large
number of hostages Wednesday during a standoff with authorities
after a grenade blast in Uzbekistan's capital, police said. A
Russian television network said three people were wounded in the
latest violence in the Central Asian nation. The Tashkent blast came
at the end of a day when police scoured the capital in pursuit of
fugitive militants, and reportedly arrested at least 30. A police
official said those in custody so far were adherents of the strict
Wahhabi Islamic sect, which was believed to have inspired Osama bin
Laden, not members of an extremist group President Islam Karimov has
implied were behind the attacks."
FALLUJAH, Iraq (WND) Bodies mutilated after rebel attack:
Locals drag Americans in streets, jubilant mob gives praise to
Allah. "In Fallujah, the four bodies were pulled from two
burning SUVs by jubilant Iraqis who dragged them through the streets
and hung two from a Euphrates River bridge, according to news
reports. Chanting "Fallujah is the graveyard of Americans,"
residents cheered after the assault while others chanted, "We
sacrifice our blood and souls for Islam," reported Fox News."
BEIRUT, Lebanon (Zenit)
Cardinal Sfeir Laments Efforts to Islamize Education in Lebanon.
"Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, patriarch of Antioch of the
Maronites, warns that an attempt is being made to Islamize public
and private education in Lebanon. In a Lenten message to the
faithful and all the population of Lebanon, published on the
Web page, the Maronite patriarch invites the Lebanese to a
"clear cooperation characterized by transparency." Cardinal Sfeir
focuses on problems that affect the Lebanese governing class,
including corruption, nepotism and the impossibility of making free
decisions. ... Cardinal Sfeir is especially concerned about the
attempt to Islamize both public and private education... "
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Top bin Laden deputy criticizes French headscarf ban.
"An audiotape purported to be from Osama bin Laden's top
lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahri that aired on an Arabic television
channel Tuesday criticized France's decision to ban Islamic
headscarves in schools as part of the West's campaign against Islam.
The decision of the French president to issue a law to prevent
Muslim girls from covering their heads in schools is another example
of the Crusader envy that the Westerners have against Muslims," the
voice said in the tape broadcast on the pan-Arab Al-Arabiya
TEHRAN, Iran (ABC
— Australia) Reformists quit Iranian Parliament.
"Scuffles have broken out during the first session of Iran's
Parliament after the weekend election, which saw the conservatives
return to power. Heated exchanges took place as reformists accused
the hardliners of wanting a Taliban-style Islam. More than 80
incumbent deputies in the reformist-held Parliament were
disqualified from standing in the elections by the Guardian Council,
an unelected, 12-member political watchdog run by hardliners."
Washington, DC (U.S. Department of State) CIA Chief Says Al-Qa'ida
Remains Significant Threat to U.S.
"He [CIA Director George Tenet] added that "the steady growth
of Usama bin Ladin's anti-U.S. sentiment through the wider Sunni
extremist movement and the broad dissemination of al-Qa'ida's
destructive expertise ensure that a serious threat will remain for
the foreseeable future — with or without al-Qa'ida in the picture."
He also said that regarding aircraft plots alone, U.S. intelligence
has uncovered new plans to recruit pilots and to evade new security
measures in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. "Even
catastrophic attacks on the scale of 11 September remain within al-Qa'ida's
reach," he said. "Make no mistake: these plots are hatched abroad,
but they target U.S. soil or that of our allies.""
PEMBA, Tanzania (AP) Muslim Missionaries Recruiting Africans
For Holy War. "Muslim missionaries from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and
Pakistan have been visiting mosques in East Africa to recruit young
men for holy war. Moderate Muslim leaders say the part-time
preachers go from mosque to mosque spouting sermons of hate, then
offer young men a chance to wage holy war in Iraq, Afghanistan or
Bangladesh (PakTribune) Another Taslima book banned. "The
Bangladesh government has banned another book of controversial
feminist writer Taslima Nasreen,who lives in exile. The book, "Shei
Shab Andhakar (All that Darkness)", published from Kolkata, was
banned since it contained "serious objectionable statements on Islam
and Prophet Muhammad", a government order Thursday night said."
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Iran's reformist lawmakers accuse
ayatollah of trampling on freedom and basic rights. "In a daring
move, more than 100 reformist legislators accused Iran's supreme leader
of trampling on freedom and basic rights, sending him a letter seen
Tuesday by The Associated Press. The legislators — including deputy
speaker Mohammad Reza Khatami, a brother of President Mohammad
Khatami — criticized Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for allowing the
disqualification of about 2,400 liberal candidates in parliamentary
elections set for Friday. It is very rare for anyone in this Islamic
state to publicly criticize Khamenei, seen by his supporters as
being incapable of error and answerable only to God."
Morocco, (BBC) Changing status of Morocco's shunned wives.
"Moroccan women have been second-class citizens. Khadija begs for
money in the bustling alleys of the ancient walled city of Rabat,
Morocco's capital. "My husband repudiated me when I was three months
pregnant," she says. Under Morocco's old family code Khadija's
husband and thousands of other Moroccan men could verbally divorce
their wives at any time, and their decision was legally binding.
Khadija was thrown out of her family home. Living in a shanty town
she supports her two children and an ageing father on what she can
beg from passers by. Times are hard and Khadija has had to put her
son in an apprenticeship with a tailor. He is just five years old."
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, (Reuters) Saudi Arabia's clerics set
boundaries on reforms. "When Saudi Arabia's top religious
authority ruled this month that Islam forbids men and women to mix
in public, he reset the boundaries for reformists pushing for
women's rights in the ultra-conservative kingdom. ... "The mixing
between men and women is totally forbidden under sharia (Islamic
law) and highly punishable. It is...the root of every evil and
catastrophe," said the mufti, a descendant of Mohammed Abdel Wahhab,
the religious leader who with the ruling House of Saud founded Saudi
Arabia. The ruling came after Saudi Arabia's leading businesswoman
Lubna Olaya appealed at an economic forum in Jeddah for gender
equality in Saudi Arabia. Pictures of her veil slipping from her
head onto her shoulders -- powerful symbolism which echoed her words
— enraged the mufti who said this violated Islamic teaching."
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, (Billings Gazette) Afghanistan
invasion halted early stages of al-Qaida WMD programs, security
officials say. "An al-Qaida program to develop chemical and
biological weapons was in the early "conceptual stages" when it was
cut short by the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, U.S. and
Malaysian security officials told The Associated Press. The
information on the state of Osama bin Laden's weapons plan came from
interrogations of terrorist suspects captured in Southeast Asia and
from clues gathered in the Afghan battlefield, the authorities
PARIS, France, (Philadelphia Inquirer ) Chirac's anti-hijab
proposal flouts French, European law. "To many, France has shown
moral strength in the last year by opposing the recent war in Iraq.
That's why it's unsettling to see that President Jacques Chirac has
recently proposed legislation that would ultimately ban Muslim women
from wearing the hijab (head scarf), Jewish men from wearing
yarmulkes, and Christians from wearing crosses in state
TEHRAN, Iran, (NY Post) Tehran Terrorfest. "Meanwhile,
militants from some 40 countries spread across the globe were
trekking to Tehran for a 10-day "revolutionary jamboree" in which "a
new strategy to confront the American Great Satan" will be hammered
out. The event starts Feb. 1, to mark the 25th anniversary of the
return to Iran from exile of the late Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini,
the founder of the "Islamic Revolution." It is not clear how many
militants will attend, but Iran's official media promise a massive
turnout to underline the Islamic Republic's position as the
"throbbing heart of world resistance to American arrogance.""
LONDON, England (Sunday Times, Britain) Muslims outpace
Anglicans in UK. Attendance at Britain’s mosques has outstripped
the number of regular worshippers in the Church of England for the
first time. Figures compiled from government and academic sources
show that 930,000 Muslims attend a place of worship at least once a
week, compared with 916,000 Anglicans. Muslim leaders said it was a
landmark in the rise of Islam in Britain and that Muslims must
receive a share of the Church of England’s privileged status.
KARACHI, Pakistan, 16 hurt in Karachi bomb blasts: Bible
Society office targeted. "At least 16 people, including a town
police officer and two Rangers officials, were injured and 18
vehicles damaged, when a bomb planted in a Suzuki Hi-roof exploded
in front of the Pakistan Bible Society (PBS) and Avari Towers in
Saddar area on Thursday, police and witnesses said."
DUBLIN, Ireland, Dublin demo over French Islam ban. "A
protest is taking place today outside the French Embassy in Dublin
against the decision by the French government to ban the wearing of
Islamic headscarves in schools and government buildings."
LONDON, England, Thousands protest in London against Islam
headscarf ban. "More than 3,000 people have marched on the
French embassy in central London to protest against plans by the
French Government to ban the Islamic headscarf from schools. The
demonstration was organised by a small radical Islamist group, Hizb
ut-Tahrir, and coincided with a major rally to be held in central
Paris against the proposed legislation banning "conspicuous"
religious insignia from schools. The group issued a statement
saying: "The banning of the Islamic headscarf in France has opened
up a new front in the war on Islam"."
PARIS, France, Thousands at Paris demo against headscarf law.
"Thousands of people were expected to attend a demonstration in
Paris Saturday to protest against government plans to ban the
Islamic headscarf and other "conspicuous" religious insignia from
schools. Organised by a small group called the Party of French
Muslims (PMF), the afternoon rally, due to begin at 2:30 pm (1330
GMT), was expected to draw large crowds from the capital's suburbs,
where many in the immigrant Muslim community see the proposed law as
an act of discrimination."
KARACHI, Pakistan, Bomb Hurts 15 at Christian Site in
Karachi. "The attack in the port city of Karachi occurred after
police received an anonymous phone warning that the Pakistan Bible
Society would be targeted, police said. Shortly after the officers
arrived, assailants in a car drove up and lobbed a small explosive
device at them. Fifteen minutes later, a bomb hidden in a nearby
parked car exploded, police siad. Twelve people, among them six
police and paramilitary officers, were injured, said Seemi Jamali, a
doctor at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, where many victims
DHAKA, Bangladesh, Bangladesh criminalizes religious books.
"Starting Friday Bangladesh is banning all publications by an
Islamic sect whose followers number 200 million worldwide, the BBC
reported. ... The Ahmadiyyas, who number 100,000 in Bangladesh, do
not believe Mohammed was necessarily the last prophet and strive for
social change through non-violent means. The government also said it
was banning the sale, distribution and preservation of all books and
booklets on Islam published by the Ahmadiyya. A government spokesman
said the ban "was imposed in view of objectionable materials in such
publications that hurt or might hurt the sentiments of the majority
Muslim population of Bangladesh." Orthodox Muslim leaders had
threatened to start dismantling Ahmadiyya mosques if action were not
taken against the group by Friday. An Ahmadiyya spokesman said the
decision had shocked the entire community. "The government has bowed
to religious terrorists."
Washington, DC (Beacon Journal) War III, a deadly war
of ideas. "As the longtime Middle East analyst Abdullah
Schleiffer once put it to me: World War II was the Nazis, using the
engine of Germany to try to impose the reign of the perfect race,
the Aryan race. The Cold War was the Marxists, using the engine of
the Soviet Union to try to impose the reign of the perfect class,
the working class. And 9/11 was about religious totalitarians,
Islamists, using suicide bombing to try to impose the reign of the
perfect faith, political Islam. OK, you say, but how can one
possibly compare the Soviet Union, which had thousands of nukes,
with al-Qaeda? Here's how: As dangerous as the Soviet Union was, it
was always deterrable with a wall of containment and with nukes of
our own. Because, at the end of the day, the Soviets loved life more
than they hated us. Despite our differences, we agreed on certain
bedrock rules of civilization. With the Islamist militant groups, we
face people who hate us more than they love life. When you have
large numbers of people ready to commit suicide, and ready to do it
by making themselves into human bombs, using the most normal
instruments of daily life -- an airplane, a car, a garage door
opener, a cell phone, fertilizer, a tennis shoe -- you create a
weapon that is undeterrable, undetectable and inexhaustible."
LAHORE, Pakistan, Militants admit planning suicide
attacks. "The six militants arrested in a Chauburji mosque
last Saturday admitted during interrogations that they had
planned suicide attacks on foreign consuls, imambargahs and
mosques, sources told Daily Times on Thursday. Sources said
the intelligence agencies had been watching the militants for
a while. When the six gathered at the Al-Hilal mosque in
Chauburji, once the central office of the Harkatul Jihad-e-Islami,
a joint law enforcement and intelligence agency team arrested