June 25, 2006
Thailand: Killings Continue In Muslim South
We reported that on so-called "Pattani day", June 15, more than 50 bombs went off in the southern Thai provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala, killing three people and injuring 16 more. The bombing campaign continued on June 16, when a dozen more bombs were set, injuring four people. On June 17, another bomb exploded in a karaoke bar, killing one man and injuring two women.
Though arrests were made, and one bomber accidentally blew himself up in Chanae district, Narathiwat province on June 19 the campaigns of violence have recently started up again.
The southern provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala, as well as two districts of neighbouring Songhkla province, were formerly an independent Muslim Sultanate. This Sultanate, called Pattani, had been invaded, and a century ago, it became officially annexed into Thailand. In these three provinces, there is a Muslim majority, with 80% of the demographic being Muslim, and 20% Buddhist.
However, since January 4, 2004, an armed insurgency has been going on, which has now seen almost 1,300 people killed. The insurgents wish the three southern provinces to secede from Thailand.
On Monday, June 19, a village headman, 39-year old Malayeng Sae-ngor, was attacked outside his home in Yaring district, Pattani. He was shot at by gunmen with assault rifles, and was injured in his arm. However, he was able to fire back and drive off his assailants.
On Tuesday June 20, a bomb went off at a roadside shelter in Tak Bai district, Narathiwat province. The shelter is frequently used by police and soldiers who are assigned to guard school teachers, who have been threatened and attacked by insurgents. The blast ripped off the roof of the shelter, but no-one was injured.
On the same day, it was announced that a total of 17 bombing suspects had been arrested. These included the four arrested on June 16 and three drug dealers arrested with urea fertiliser on the border of Yala and Pattani on June 18. The other bomb suspects were not identified.
Also on Tuesday, a member of the Bang Por tambon (parish) administration,in Narathiwat province, 40 year old Masakee Laboh, was killed in a drive-by shooting while riding his motorbike.
On Wednesday, June 21, two more suspected bombers were arrested after being identified from camera footage. The pair, Ma-Useng Samae, aged 29, and Dhue-Rorheng Dorkor, also 29, were filmed in front of the Cho Airong district hall in Narathiwat province. Two men had placed a 5 kilogram bomb under a marble bench, and had returned later when it failed to detonate. The pair have criminal records connected with insurgent activities.
On Wednesday, in Sungai Kolok district, Narathiwat, a woman who was eight months pregnant was shot in the afternoon. The condition of Patchara Chusawat was said to be "critical".
On the same day in Betong district in Yala province, a house belonging to 47-year old Tawat Buaphet was set on fire. In the same district, a 20-year old rubber tapper, Panya Nakphosri, was wounded by a pillion rider in a drive-by shooting.
On Wednesday, the Organsation for Islamic Conference (OIC) offered to help to broker some sort of peace in the troubled southern region. Thatiland's Foreign Minister, Kantathi Suphamongkhon, attended the OIC's meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, as an observer. He said later that he was pleased with the outcome. He stated: "'They felt strongly that people who try to use Islam as a justification for violence are not true Muslims."
On Thursday, June 22, the nation's Defense Council announced that more troops would be sent to the south, to add to the existing 20,000 conventional troops and 2,800 paramilitaries from the Fourth Army.
On the same day, it was revealed that many of the surveillance cameras in the south, which could have provided information to the identity of bombers, were out of order. The cameras, supplied by Xytech Co, had ceased to function due to lack of maintenance. Engineers were scared to service the cameras, because of fear of attack.
On Friday, an informer in Rangae district, 57-year old Roh-ning Yuso, was in his front yard, when he was shot at by a man carrying an M16 rifle. He was shot in the leg, but managed to take cover. Roh-ning has previously passed information on to the state, concerning local activists' activities.
On Saturday (June 24), an irrigation worker and his young son were attacked by gunmen in Yarang district, Pattani province. 33-year old Boonhoam Janthai was riding to work on his motorbike, with his eight-year old daughter and three-year old son. Two motorbikes came up from behind, and shot Boonhoam at close range, killing him. His little son, Akegarat, was also hit in his head, and he died in hospital. His sister survived without injury.
In the early hours of Saturday, a bomb attack was made upon the headquarters of the Thai Rak Thai party, the party of which caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is the head. Three objects were thrown at the building at 1.30 am local time. One was a dud. The others did not explode. Thaksin said that people should not jump to conclusions and suspect political motives for the scare. It has subsequently been ascertained that the two "grenades" were fake.
Also yesterday, in Bacho district in Narathiwat province, a roadside bomb went off. It missed its target, a group of six Thai marines who were on patrol on three motorcycles, about 100 meters away. According to the Nation, the bomb went off too soon. At the scene of the incident, in Ban Tanyong Village, a 100 meter long wire was found, which had been used to detonate the bomb. The explosion left a six inch deep and 12 inch diameter hole in the roadside.
Today, the President of the Privy Council, said that he disagreed with the suggestions of the now disbanded National Reconciliation Committee, that the Malay language, rather than Thai, should be added as an official working language.
General Prem Tinsulanonda said: "We cannot accept that [proposal] as we are Thai. The country is Thai and the language is Thai. So we have to make efforts to learn Thai and [everyone should have a uniform] command with the rest of the Kingdom. We have to be proud to be Thai and have the Thai language as the sole national language."
Intelligence agents in Yala district said that this weekend, there were high fears of a possible bomb attack at Narathiwat airport, and at Hat Yai in Songhkla province, the financial hub of the southern region.
Meanwhile, the Nation reports that the condition of Juling Pongkanmul has worsened. 26-year old Ms Juling was one of two Buddhist teachers, singled out for their faith and brutally beaten with sticks for more than an hour, by a mob of Muslim villagers in Narathiwat province. The event took place at the school where they taught, in Gujingruepo village in Rangae district on Friday May 19. Her colleague, 30-year old Sirinart Thavornsuk was injured but was able to regain consciousness.
Ms Juling has never recovered from the coma she went into during the attack, and has since been cared for at the Prince of Songkhla Hospital in Hat Yai district, Songkhla province. She suffered lesions on her brain, and has been on a life-support system. We reported on June 14 that arrest warrants for 46 Muslim villagers, who took part in the attack, were issued. Seven people had been arrested by May 22, including Karima Masaleh, the wife of an insurgent, who had organised the assault. 19 arrest warrants had been issued by May 24.
But now, it appears, the condition of Miss Juling, a talented artist, has worsened as a result of her body sometimes rejecting her intravenous feeds. She has been given increased doses of antibiotics. Her brain is still not responding to stimulation, and she is on an artificial respirator all of the time.
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)
Norway: Islamist Mullah Krekar Praises Zarqawi
News from Norway's Aftenposten reports that Mullah Krekar (pictured), who is currently awaiting deportation back to Iraq, has praised al-Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden in a Kurdish newspaper.
While claiming asylum in Norway, Krekar founded Ansar al-Islam fi Kurdistan or "Supporters of Islam in Kurdistan" in December 2001. In Kurdish Iraq, Ansar al-Islam has burned down beauty salons and a school for girls, and murdered women in the streets for refusing to wear the burqa. It has also launched several suicide attacks, including one against a US Department of Defense office in September 2003, which killed three people.
Krekar, born Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, made threats of attacks against Norway last September, which would happen if he should be deported. His mother was recently granted a residence permit in Norway, in a fiasco which has subsequently led to sackings in the country's Directorate of Immigration (UDI).
The news of Mullah Krekar's latest proof of incompatibility with civilized society was revealed by Norway's Channel TV 2, which said that he had shown admiration of Zarqawi in the weekly Kurdish paper Awene. He said: "I am proud of what he has done and that he has become a martyr."
He also called bin Laden an "international political figure with global influence," and said he would be prepared to sacrifice himself for the Al Qaeda chief.
He later said to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet: "I think they have mistranslated me. When you use a word it does not mean the same in Norwegian as in Kurdish. So I think that what they have written about me is wrong."
In typical Islamist self-pitying tones, he had told Aweme: "Now I sit at home and am not free. This is the fifth year I sit between the tribunal, prison and home. All my rights have been taken, and here it is the law that decides."
And then to Dagbladet, he boasted: "If I become free ... and I hope to be free to travel home to Iraq to fight the Americans, because they came to my country with soldiers and have destroyed my religion, my civilization, my culture and my country. If I had travel documents I would be in Iraq or have been killed now."
Krekar has lived in Norway, claiming benefits, for the past fourteen years, and during this time, he has made several trips abroad, back to Iraq even, to set up Ansar al Islam. Now the Norwegian authorities are waiting for Iraq to become stable and safe before sending him home.
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 11:18 AM | Comments (2)
Malaysia: The Fate of an Apostate, and of a Nation
There is one part about this story that makes my skin cringe. It is right at the beginning, when the young woman is sent to a mental institution, and "counseled" to go back to the faith. Communist governments do the same thing with their own apostates to this day: Malaysia's converts test freedom of faith
Five days after she declared legally that she had converted from Islam to Christianity, several officers from Malaysia's state Islamic department turned up at the woman's office and arrested her.
She said they took her, then 21, to a drug rehabilitation centre for men, where a Muslim teacher counselled her on her conversion and on one occasion, caned her back. After two months, she found an unlocked door out of the compound and escaped.[...]
Thanks to our Friend in Texas for the link.
Posted by Ruy Diaz at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)
June 24, 2006
Australia: Jihad Jack Is Assaulted, Has "Breakdown"
On March 31 a 32-year old former Melbourne taxi-driver, Joseph Terrence Thomas (pictured), was sentenced to five years' jail for receiving money from al-Qaeda. He was also convicted of forging a passport. He had become the first to be convicted under new anti-terror legislation. The judge ordered that at least two years of his jail time should be spent behind bars.
Thomas, known as "Jihad Jack", had gone to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban, but instead had agreed to work for Al Qaeda, receiving $4,750 Aus ($3,500 US) to return to Australia from Khaled bin Attash. Attash was an Al Qaeda Islamist suspected of partaking in the attack against USS Cole in the Gulf of Aden in 2000. He had spent time in a jail in Pakistan.
Now, news from The Sunday Mail and News.com report that in his confinement at Barwon Prison, Lara, he has been assaulted. Though in protective custody, a prison source says that Thomas was "jumped and belted" by another inmate.
Following the attack which happened a week ago, his lawyer Rob Stary states that Thomas suffered cuts and bruises and was taken to Thomas Embling Hospital. From there, he was taken to the psychiatric unit of Port Phillip Prison.
Stary states that his client has suffered a mental breakdown, which is said to be linked to his time spent in jail in Pakistan. Thomas is appealing against his sentence for accepting cash from terrorists, and because of fears of his mental condition, this appeal has been brought forward to July.
His family have had to deal with his legal costs. As a result, they have had to sell the home they have lived in for 33 years. Stary states: "It has been massively draining for them, I know there have been massive financial pressures. You can talk about punishing the offender, but it also has consequences for their family."
Thomas' mother Patsy (pictured with him) has been supportive throughout the trial procedures. She is a geriatric nurse.
Before he was handed his jail sentence, Thomas had claimed that he was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 11:39 PM | Comments (0)
Saudi Arabia: Forty Islamists Arrested
Saudi Arabian authorities earlier mounted a crackdown against suspected Islamists, state CNN, Agence France Presse via Bangladesh's Daily Star, and Reuters. 42 Islamists have been taken into custody following raids across the country. We reported yesterday that in al-Nakhil, a suburb of Riyadh, six Islamists were killed in a dawn shoot-out with authorities. Today, the Saudi Interior Ministry stated that following yesterday's raid, 15 suspects were arrested.
In yesterday's shooting incident, a policeman was killed, and one of the suspects was wounded. A total of 17 others were injured. Earlier today, according to Saudi TV, four wanted individuals were arrested in a desert refuge in Hafr al-Baten in the east of the kingdom. One of these was an Iraqi.
Following this raid, a further nine Saudis who were said to be "involved in terrorism", linked to those in Hafr al-Baten, were also taken into custody from a nearby location.
Additionally, the ministry said that 27 others had been taken in raids stretching back to May 9. The ministry had not mentioned these arrests before, and gave no explanation for its previous silence on the matter. The 27 suspected Islamists included 24 Saudis, two Somalis and an Ethiopian.
The Jerusalem Post states that today King Abdullah II called for a greater effort to uproot extremism and militants who "threaten Islam and the entire world".
His adviser made the statement on the king's behalf, and said that there was an urgent need to soon find solutions to the problems facing the Islamic world. The statement criticised extremists who "harm the people and the culture" and urged Muslims to follow moderate Islam, and to only observe the teachings of recognised religious teachers. King Abdullah also called on Jordanians to abandon their religious differences.
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)
US: Anglican Priest Receives "Peace" Award for Outstanding Dhimmitude
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the dhimmiest, man of all? Anglican Priest Naim Ateek, of course: SABEEL'S NAIM ATEEK RECEIVES PEACE AWARD FROM EPISCOPAL PEACE FELLOWSHIP
The Rev. Canon Naim Ateek, a Palestinian Anglican priest and the founder and director of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, was presented with the Episcopal Peace Fellowship's 2006 John Nevin Sayre Award June 17 at Trinity Church in Columbus, Ohio. The award was in recognition of Ateekâ€™s work among Palestinian Christians, his efforts to engage western churches in the work for justice and peace between Palestinian and Israelis, and most notably his message of nonviolence and reconciliation. Sabeel is a movement of Palestinian Christians working with mainstream churches in North America and Europe to host regional and international conferences, witness trips to the Holy Land, and theological education.
That paragraph is so full of lies dressed in pretty phrases, a translation becomes necessary. Here are some terms in need of clarification:
Liberation Theology: Liberation Theology is neither about liberation nor theology. It is rather a reinterpretation of Christianity by Marxism, which ends up being nothing like Christianity and a whole lot like Marxism.
"The award was in recognition of Ateek's work among Palestinian Christians": 'The award is in recognition of Ateek's work in cultivating hatred for Israel and the Jews among Palestinian Christians.'
"his efforts to engage western churches in the work for justice and peace between Palestinian and Israelis": 'His efforts to promote hatred of Israel and justify Muslim atrocities in Western dhimmified churches.'
"Sabeel is a movement of Palestinian Christians working with mainstream churches in North America": 'Sabeel is a movement of Palestinian dhimmies working to turn so-called mainstream churches into weapons of Islamic aggression against Israel and our very societies.'
"theological education": 'Theological disinformation.'
Read it all, dear reader, if you are up to it.
Posted by Ruy Diaz at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)
June 23, 2006
Saudi Arabia: Six Islamists Killed in Capital
Today, the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry announced that six Islamists had been killed in a shootout in the Al-Nakhil suburb of Riyadh, the Saudi capital, states Reuters via Swiss Info and the BBC. The Interior Ministry, quoted on Al Arabiya TV, said that the six militants were plotting an imminent attack.
A ministry spokesman told Agence France Presse: "The security forces at dawn Friday pursued seven members of the 'deviant minority' to a house in the al-Nakhil district of Riyadh, where they suddenly came under sustained automatic weapons fire".
The police had surrounded the house, and helicopters circled above the house, and the residential suburb was cordoned off. The shoot-out lasted three hours.
A resident said: "At around 2 a.m. (2300 GMT), we were sleeping downstairs and suddenly the security forces knocked on the door and warned us and put us in a safe place. We heard gunshots exchanged so we knew there were some terrorists who tried to attack in a house next to ours."
A policeman was killed in the gun battle, and one militant was wounded.
After the earlier statement that an attack was forthcoming from the group, Mansour al-Turki, a spokesperson from the ministry, said: "We are still investigating the wounded person and this may take some time ... but there is no firm information at this point that proves they had a plan ready to implement."
"We were following them in order to arrest and investigate them but they didn't give us the chance," al-Turki said.
SInce the Saudi authorities began a campaign against Al Qaeda operatives in May 2003, 150 foreigners, Saudis and security members have been killed in raids and police gun battles. About 130 militants have been killed.
At the end of March about 40 suspected Islamic militants were arrested in raids across the kingdom. The raids followed the 24 February attempted suicide bombing at the Abqaiq (Buqaiq) oil refinery, the largest in the kingdom. On February 27, five suspects militants, apparentl linked to the Abqaiq attack, were killed in a shootout.
On March 29, Saudi authorities announced they had foiled a subsequent similar assault to that attempted at Abqaiq refinery. Two car bombs had been discovered in the al-Mantar area of Abqaib.
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)
Australia: Guantanamo Muslim Detainee Has Become An Apostate
The man pictured left is David Hicks, who is one of two Australians who have been incarcerated in the US military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We reported in October that he had tried to gain UK citizenship, as his mother had been born in Croydon, South London.
Hicks had fought for the Kosovo Liberation Army and had also been a fighter in Kashmir, before arriving in Afghanistan in 2001. He was subsequently captured in Islamabad, Pakistan, and declared by US forces as an "enemy combatant" in early 2002, and sent to Guantanamo. His reasons for seeking UK citizenship were related to an agreement with British authorities to have UK detainees extradited back to Britain. The Australian authorities had no objection to Hicks being tried by a US court.
His "faith" in Islam is said to be lax, and he joined up for the adventure. Such a thirst for "adventure" is probably morally worse than those who go to kill others for a cause they believe in. Hicks had converted to Islam in Adelaide in 1999, and had adopted the name "Dawood"
Now, according to the Melbourne Age, and also the Australian Daily Telegraph, Moazzam Begg, a UK citizen who was incarcerated in Camp Papa cell block with Hicks and four others in 2004, states that Hicks was denounced as an infidel. His accuser was a Yemeni Al Qaeda member, Uthman al-Harbi, said Hicks was not a Muslim, and swore before Allah that he would not communicate with him.
Begg claims in his book, "Enemy Combatant" that he had advised Hicks to not give up his faith, as it would make him more isolated. He told the Age from his home in Birmingham, UK: "I wouldn't describe him as a dedicated Muslim. I don't think he was before and he certainly isn't now."
He claimed that the guards did not regard 30-year old Hicks as a threat.
Begg said that Hicks became increasingly depressed, and would read his lawyers' paperwork endlessly, trying to understand them. He still writes to Hicks, and states that Hicks has said: "When I go back home I'm going to be spending a lot of time in my toilet, because the cell is the same size as a toilet, and I think I will be afraid of open spaces for a very long time."
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 08:12 PM | Comments (0)
France: Convicted Islamist Extradited From Britain
News from Agence France Presse via Expatica, the BBC and French Yahoo reports that a man who was convicted in absentia in December 2004 for plotting a bomb attack, is in the process of extradition to France.
Rabah Kadri had been convicted of plotting to bomb Strasbourg Christmas Market (pictured) in northeastern France in 2000. He was given a six year jail sentence. The nine others involved in the plot were Al Qaeda bomber Mohammed Bensakhria, who led the plot, and others aged between 29 and 55, mostly from North Africa. The other suspects were all found guilty, and were handed sentences of up to 10 years.
Rabah Kadri, an Algerian, had fled to Britain, where he was arrested in 2002. In Britain, he had been an associate of Rachid Boukhalfa or "Abou Doha". Boukjalfa was under suspicion of involvement in the "Millenium Bomber campaign, which had been a plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve, 1999.
Abou Doha had been arrested at Heathrow airport in February 2001 and has subsequently fought extradition requests from the United States. Doha is also suspected by Italian antiterror police of being linked with the plan to blow up Strasbourg Christmas Market, and also Strasbourg Cathedral. His phone records showed he had been in contact with an al-Qaeda cell in Milan.
Kadri had been arrested in mid November 2002 in London, after investigators researching the links of Abou Doha tracked him down. He was found with material which led to him being charged with possessing material which could be used to commit terror attacks. Kadri was assumed to have plotted to commit a bomb attack upon London Underground. He was subsequently charged again in February 2003 for an alleged plot to create a chemical weapon between 1 January 2002 and 20 January 2003.
Yesterday, Rabah Kadri arrived at the military airport at Villacoublay west of Paris. If he accepts his jail sentence, he will immediately commence to serve his jail term. If however, he contests this on appeal, he will be allowed a retrial.
The bomb plot against Strasbourg Christmas Market was to have involved a timer to detonate explosives in the area where thousands of shoppers attend the brightly lit stalls.
Others who had been involved in the plot to bomb the market were a group of four Islamists from Frankfurt. These were sentenced to jail terms of 10 to 12 years in Germany in 2003. They were found with plans of the market, weaponry and explosives. Those who had been convicted in France in 2004 are sometimes referred to as the "Frankfurt Group".
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 07:09 PM | Comments (0)
India: Two Muslims Killed In Kashmir Grenade Attack
According to Pakistan's Daily Times, in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir, a hand-grenade caused deaths at a Muslim religious meeting yesterday. The incident happened in Sopore, 30 miles north of Srinigar, at the home of an 80 year old Muslim dervish, Fakir Abdul Ahad.
Ahad, also known as Ahad Sahib, was addressing a crowd from the balcany of his home when the grenade was thrown. 15 people were wounded and taken to hospital, where a man and a woman died. Every day, people flock to Abad's home to seek his blessing. He is the most popular religious leader in the region, and is not known to support any political or religious faction. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The dervish was not hurt in the attack.
We reported on an incident which happened on Wednesday June 16 in Kashmir, when suspected Islamist militants attacked villagers of Donga, 40 miles north-east of the city of Jammu, where victims had their noses and tongues cut out, causing one elderly man to die from his wounds.
In Uttar Pradesh state, in India, earlier this week, there was conflict between Hindus and Muslims. The Daily Times and Khaleej Times, rioters torched 100 houses, and two Muslim schoolgirls were burned to death in their homes.
The incident happened on Sunday 18 June in Pratapgarh, 120 miles south of the state capital of Lucknow.
The rioting began after a Hindu village council leader, Ashish Pathak, was shot in a village market on Sunday, and the local Muslim community became targets. Muslims comprise 13% of the state's population of 166 million. More than 100 people were arrested after the rioting.
In Uttar Pradesh in May, three people were killed in Aligarh, north of the state capital, and four were killed in Lucknow in Muslim-Hindu conflicts.
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 06:04 PM | Comments (0)
Somalia: Swedish Journalist Killed At Islamist Rally
The picture at left was taken at a rally in Mogadishu, and the man second from left is shown just minutes before he was shot at close range in the chest, killing him almost instantly.
The man is renowned Swedish-born journalist Martin Adler (below, right), aged 47. He was shot shortly after he had snapped photographs of demonstrators. The news is carried by Agence Frence Presse via Turkish Press, the BBC, by Al Jazeera, the Local and Voice of America. Mr Adler is the second journalist to be killed recently. 39-year old British BBC journalist Kate Peyton was shot dead in Mogadishu on February 9. Martin Adler is the 10th foreign journalist to be killed in Somalia since warlords brought down the government of Siad Barre in 1991. Reuters AlertNet has a list of the foreign individuals killed in Somalia since 2003.
Born in Stockholm from Anglo-English parents, Martin Adler was a freelance cameraman who worked in various war zones, including El Salvador, Peru, Rwanda, Congo, Angola, Sierra leone, Liberia, Chechnya, Abchazia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Burundi. Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea and Iraq.
For a story on kidnapping and sale of women in China, he won the 2001 Amnesty International Media award, and gained the Silver Prize for investigative journalism at the 2001 New York TV festival. He is suvived by his wife and two daughters who live in Vasteras, east of Stockholm, Sweden.
The rally which Mr Adler was documenting was held in Mogadishu by the Union of Islamic Courts, and was organised to show support for the recent brokering of a declaration of principles, signed between the Union of Islamic Courts and the transitional government of Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi and President Abdullahi Yusuf, which is based in Baidoa. The declarations, which were signed in Khartoum, Sudan, were brokered by the Arab League.
The rally was also held to protest any suggestion that foreign peacekeepers should be deployed in Somalia. It has been suggested that Ethiopian troops should hold the peace, but the Union of Islamic Courts oppose this, especially as President Yusuf is said to be close to Ethiopia.
Mr Adler was shot during the commotion which followed an incident in which an Ethiopian flag was set on fire. Shortly after Mr Adler was shot, a woman was seen to run away, and she has since been arrested. A speaker at the rally addressed the crowd of 4,000: "We are against the killing of a journalist who is a guest. This person deserves to be punished for killing somebody for no reason."
Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed, head of the Union of Islamic Courts, told AFP: "We will take serious action on this matter."
The chief editor of Aftonbladet, one of the newspapers for whom Mr Adler worked said: "Martin Adler was one of the most experienced war correspondents in Europe and the world."
The battle for the control of Somalia was effectively won on June 5 when the Union of Islamic Courts announced that it had taken control of Mogadishu, the capital. The fighting between an alliance of warlords and businessmen was formed in February, and between February 22 and June, about 360 people had been killed in fighting between the two sides.
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)
Bangladesh: Islamists Attack Vehicles, Vow To Close Airport
We first described Bangladesh's Ahmadiyya community and the campaigns of persecution against them on December 20 last year. Bowing to pressures from Islamists connected with the Islami Oikya Jote, one of the 4 coalition partners in the government, the Bangladesh parliament officially banned all Ahmadiyya publications on January 8, 2004.
There have been numerous battles between the militants and members of the sect, who are regarded by many Muslims as "heretics". Although they claim to be Muslims, the Ahmadiyya (sometimes called Qadiani or Ahmadi) follow the teachings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (1835-1908). The Ahmadiyya follow a policy of respect for human life, but because they revere Ghulam Ahmed as a "prophet", they come into conflict with other Muslims. They are banned from Mecca, persecuted in Indonesia, and prevented from preaching to others in Pakistan, under the 1986 blasphemy laws.
On December 22 last year, we reported that the anti-Ahmadiyya groups International Khatme Nubuwat Movement Bangladesh (IKNMB) and Hifazate Khatme Nabuwat Andolon Bangladesh (KNAB or KNMB), led by the Islami Oikya Jote party leaders, announced they would pressure the government and cause unrest if they did not make the Ahmadiyyas illegal by December 23. They planned to lay siege to the Ahmadiyya complex at Bakshibazar in Dhaka.
On December 23 the anti Ahmadi groups kept to their word, and, with sticks and bricks, fought police who prevented them from accessing the mosque and complex. 57 people were injured in the violence.
Today, the Bangladesh Daily Star announces that the anti-Ahmadi fanatics are up to their old tricks again. KNAB members today announced that they were embarking on a week-long program including ordering strikes in Northern Dhaka on Sunday and Monday. They also said that they would shut down the Zia International Airport on Thursday.
It made the announcement after it had tried to lay siege to a mosque in Naddapara in Uttara Thana, Dhaka district. This was the latestevent in their three-year campaign to have the Ahmadiyyas declared to be "non-Muslims".
Police prevented the mosque attack this morning, and members of the group then tried to hold their Asr or morning prayers in Airport Road, blocking traffic. They were dispersed, apparently causing 20 individuals to be injured. The KNAB claimed 200 of their members had been injured.
The KNAB members went on the rampage, armed with large batons, where they attacked two buses (pictured above) parked near Zia International Airport, and tried to hang a sign at the Ahmadi mosque which read: "a worship place for non-Muslim Qadianis".
The "amir" of KNAB, Noor Hossain Nurani, announced that tomorrow they will be rallying out side the airport to protest police actions. He said: "No more peaceful programmes as the government did not pay heed to us even after laying seven sieges to the Kadiyanis [Ahmadiyyas] across the country in last two and a half years."
"We are now ready to shed blood, as much as the government wants, and if necessary to sacrifice our lives to realise our demands."
After today's Juma (evening) prayers several thousand KNAB activists staged a rally at Ashkona in Uttara. Then they went back to Naddapara mosque and once again tried to place their signboard. Nurani had hoped for an attendance of 100,000, but received only several thousand.
Earlier this month, on June 16, the anti-Ahmadi activists had prevented religious activities at Sarishbari in Jamalpur district, in the north of the country. The man who led this successful attack was Nural Hura Abedi of the Kamalpur Aramnagar Alia Madrassa. Abedi is the brother of the chief of the Islamist terror group Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Abdur Rahman. Rahman and other leaders of JMB were sentenced to death on May 29.
Representatives of the Ahmadiyya sect officially thanked the government in its actions to prevent the violence of the anti-Ahmadi activists.
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 04:04 PM | Comments (0)
US: Muslim Converts Arrested in Terror Plot
Members of the Religion of Peace wanted to terrorize Americans, planned mass murder: Seven charged over 'Chicago plot'
The US authorities have charged seven suspected militants in connection with an alleged plot to destroy the country's tallest building.
They were planning to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower, the FBI says. It adds that the seven had sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda, but had no contacts with it.
They were arrested at a warehouse in Miami, during an undercover operation.
The group - infiltrated by an agent posing as an al-Qaeda member - includes two foreigners and five US citizens.
US Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales said the group of "home-grown terrorists" were inspired by "a violent jihadist message".
The "violent jihadist message", of course, can be found in the pages of the Qu'ran, the Hadiths, and the life of Muhammad. The story continues.
The indictment names Narseal Batiste, who allegedly asked an undercover agent he thought was from al-Qaeda for help to build an "army to wage jihad", the indictment said.
He is said to have told the agent he and his "soldiers" wanted al-Qaeda training and planning for a "full ground war" against the US in order to "kill all the devils we can".
The use of the word "devils" indicates these Muslims were either members of, or inspired by, the Nation of Islam, a homegrown heretica Muslim sect. That doesn't make them less dangerous, as they are together with "mainstream Islam" in their hatred of the United States.
Neighbours in Miami's poor Liberty City area said the men apparently slept in the warehouse where they were arrested.
"They would come out late at night and exercise. It seemed like a military boot camp they were working on there. They would come out and stand guard," said Tashawn Rose.
But a man claiming links to the arrested men told the news channel CNN that they were a peaceful religious group, who studied Allah.
The BBC article calls the section above "wannabes", as if their pathetic nature made them, somehow, less dangerous. This is wishful thinking, as fanatics everywhere are indeed pathetic, but capable of murder and mayhem anyway. I predict that much will be made of the fact the group was based in Liberty City, the poorest, blackest section of the city of Miami, a few miles North of where this writer lives. Western Resistance, however, maintains that being black, poor, and Muslim in no way justifies mass murder.
Posted by Ruy Diaz at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)
New York Times: Corrupt U.S. Newspaper Aids Islamic Terrorism
The New York Times, which was revealed in 2003 to be the most corrupt newspaper in the United States after the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal, consistently runs articles that are sympathetic to the cause of Islamic terror.
The paper desperately tries to portray Islam as a "religion of peace,'' and it tries to confuse readers by refering to the 7th century Arabian warlord, Mohammed, as a 'prophet,' and doesn't inform readers about who this man really was.
When it's not cheerleading for Islam, the New York Times is doing everything it can to thwart efforts by the U.S. government to stop Islamic terror with its `investigative' reports on classified efforts to stop devout Muslims from killing Americans.
Take, for instance, this story from today's paper about how the U.S. government has tapped into the records of SWIFT in Belgium to trace the financial web of Islamic terror coming out of the Arabian peninsula:
Bank Data Is Sifted by U.S. in Secret to Block Terror
Posted by Jean de la Valette at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)
June 22, 2006
Islam: Poll Finds Most British Muslims Hate The West
A survey by the Washington based Pew Global Attitudes Project, described in the Guardian, Knight Ridder in Pioneer Press and the Fort Louis Dispatch has found that globally, countries are more opposed to America than ever. In Britain, for example in 2000, 83% held a favourable view of the States, but that has sunk now to 56%.
But in Britain, as noticed by the Guardian, whereas most Britains held a favourable view of Muslims (63%), the Muslims living in Britain were the most hostile to Western attitudes of any country in Europe. The Guardian states:
A significant majority viewed western populations as selfish, arrogant, greedy and immoral. Just over half said westerners were violent. While the overwhelming majority of European Muslims said westerners were respectful of women, fewer than half British Muslims agreed. Another startling result found that only 32% of Muslims in Britain had a favourable opinion of Jews, compared with 71% of French Muslims.
The poll surveyed 14,000 people in 15 countries. One of its co-chairs, Senator John Danforth of St Louis said: "It seems to me that where they (Muslims) really tilt against the West has to do with values or with lifestyle or with perceptions that the West is a place of selfishness and arrogance and violence. Where do they get that idea? Maybe on television, I don't know."
Indonesia's opinions of the US dropped from 75% favourable in 2000 to 43%. Turkey, which only had 52% holding favourable views had dropped to only 12%, less than Jordan, where 15% support the US.
The entire poll and its findings can be found at Pew Global Attitudes website. Most nations in 2003 had shown a drop in support for the US following the invasion of Iraq in March of that year, but some countries where there had been a drop in popularity, there were resurgences of positive support in subsequent years. In Turkey, for example, support for the US dropped from 30% in 2002 to 15% in 2003, and rallied to 30% in 2004.
The survey covers issues such as countries' responses to global warming, attitudes towards Hamas' election victory, views on the war on terror, but its findings regarding Muslim attitudes show some expected results and some surprises.
Muslims in Jordan were overwhelmingly anti-Jewish, at 98%, and in Egypt, 97% of Muslims were anti-Jewish. Amongst countries which are predominantly Muslim, the countries where fear of Islamic extremism were the highest were Morocco (73%) followed by Pakistan (53%) and then Turkey (47%).
Regarding the attitudes of non-Muslims towards Muslims in their countries, India and Russia had the highest worries about Islamic extremism, scoring 84% of their respondents, followed by Germany (785), Spain (77%), Netherlands (76%), France (73%) and the US and Britain had 70% of those polled being worried . Only 56% of Canadians were worries about Islamic extremism on their doorstep.
The section on How Muslims And Westerners See Each Other produced a marked split between Muslim and non-Muslim nations, when respondents were asked "which religion is the most violent?" 98% of Jordanians said Judaism, followed by Morocco at 83%, Lebanon at 66%, Indonesia at 63% and Pakistan at 51%. The only country to claim Christianity was the most violent religion was Turkey, which had 46%. 20% of Turks thought Judaism was the most violent religion and 15% thought Islam, the predominant faith in their country, was the most violent.
But Islam was named as the most violent faith by the Netherlands (88%) followed by France (87%), SPain (81%), Germany (79%), Poland (77%), India (73%), Russia (71%), the US (67%), Great Britain (63%) and Canada (61%).
France saw the strongest opinion that there was a "growing Islamic identity" in the country (70%), followed by Germany (66%), India (64%) Britain (63%), Netherlands (60%), Russia (55%), Canada (51%) and US (50%).
Where Muslims were asked about their views on the world, there was a marked decline in the support for suicide bombings, compared to last year.
Support for Osama bin Laden as a world leader was highest in Indonesia (58%) followed by Jordan (55%), Morocco (49%) and Pakistan at 45%. But in Nigeria, for some reason, his popularity had increased among Muslims from 44% to 61%.
The section on How Muslims See Themselves and Islam's Role relates to those polled in Muslim countries.
When asked "Do you consider yourself a Muslim or a citizen first" the only country to have ambivalent views was Lebanon, where 30% of Muslims saw themselves as Muslims first and 30% felt they were citizens first.
But the rest of the countries had most Muslims claiming to be Islamic first, and citizens of their country second. Pakistan was the least concerned with citizenship, with 79% considering themselves Muslim first, followed by Morocco (70%), Jordan (63%), Turkey (43%) and Indonesia (39%).
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 11:34 PM | Comments (4)
Vatican: Trying to Curb the Appetite of Islamic Terror
In hopes of trying to forestall the slaughter of Christians in the Middle East by devout Muslims full of zeal for the teachings of the `prophet' Mohammed, the Roman Catholic Church today called for peaceful co-existence in the Middle East, as well as greater understanding between Christians and Muslims in Europe.
While such a call is noble and well-intentioned, it flies in the face of the warlord Mohammed's teachings and 1,400 years of Islamic history, whereby the `infidel' has always been a target for elimination. Sadly, the calls by the Papacy, which lack the backing of military force, will only serve to embolden devout Muslims who want to slaughter `infidels'.
"I invite pastors, faithful, and everyone in positions of responsibility in the civil community, to favor mutual respect between cultures and religions, and to create as soon as possible the conditions for serene and peaceful coexistence throughout the Middle East,'' Pope Benedict XVI said today when he received 100 participants at the Meeting of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches.
The Church's intentions are certainly noble, trying to make the best of a horrible situation for Christians in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, and other countries occupied by Muslims. Until the Islamic invasions of the 7th and 8th century, most of the Middle East was Christian.
"Since, very often, it is the State that gives `form' to Islam in certain countries of Islamic majority, organizes its worship, interprets its spirit, transmits its heritage, thus giving the whole of society a globally Islamic character, the non-Muslims very often feel that they are second-class citizens,'' said the Pope.
Unfortunately, the Church is appeasing an aggressor that takes peaceful statements as a sign of weakness. As Stalin once said, ``How many divisions does the Pope have?''
The Pope's calls for peace and tolerance certainly stand in contrast to calls by devout Muslims to smite the infidel, and realistically, the days of Christians in the Middle East are numbered.
The situation in Europe is quite the opposite. As Christians flee the Middle East fearing for their life, Muslims are offered all the freedoms and benefits of European civilization. Everyone, even the Pope, is anxious to the welcome Muslim invaders.
"While it is necessary to welcome Muslim immigrants with respect for their religious freedom, it is likewise indispensable for them to respect the cultural and religious identity of the host societies,'' said the Pope.
I'm not so hot about ``welcoming Muslim immigrants,'' ...that is unless Europeans are willing to take action to help these victims to forever leave behind the Mohammedan totalitarian cult. We must remember that most so-called `Muslims' are victims of a brutal ideology dreamt up by a deranged 7th century pedophile.
Still, the Pope proved he's no dummy, and he said that Muslims should be held accountable to the law and traditions of Europe.
"It was also deemed vital to distinguish between what the receiving societies can and cannot tolerate in Islamic culture, what can be respected or shared with regard to followers of other religions, and to have the possibility of giving indications in this regard also to policymakers, towards a proper formulation of civil legislation, with due respect for each one's competence.''
And he called for reciprocity for the treatment of Christians in lands occupied by Muslims.
"Given the reaffirmed importance of the principle of reciprocity, confirmed by the Holy Father in his talk to the participants in the plenary session, it is thus necessary to move towards a distinction between the civil and the religious spheres also in Islamic countries.''
Europe, unfortunately, is not willing to offer the proper psychological and humanitarian assistance to victims of the Islamic cult. Our governments lack any sense of will and decency, and turn a blind eye on all the atrocities that Muslims commit on European soil. Therefore, devout Muslims openly continue to call for jihad against Europe, and strive to acquire nuclear weapons to obliterate the continent's cities.
In this case, Rome should feel no compunction to call for a Crusade to liberate the former Christian lands of the Middle East.
It's time that the Pope had some divisions.
Posted by Jean de la Valette at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)
US: WMD's Found in Iraq, Declassified Report Says
A newly declassified report claims over 500 old chemical shells have been found in Iraq since the 2003 invasion: Report: Hundreds of WMDs Found in Iraq
WASHINGTON - The United States has found 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be uncovered, two Republican lawmakers said Wednesday.
"We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons," Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said in a quickly called press conference late Wednesday afternoon.
Reading from a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit, Santorum said: "Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist."
This answers one important question: whether Saddam Hussein was complying with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441; it is now clear he wasn't. Several questions remain, however. Most importantly, what role did Russia and Syria play in hiding and destroying Saddam's program prior to the invasion. Special consideration should be given to Ion Mihai Pacepa's contention that Russia had a plan in place to destroy Saddam's program: Ex-spy fingers Russians on WMD
On March 20, Russian PresidentVladimir Putin denounced the U.S.-led "aggression" against Iraq as "unwarranted" and "unjustifiable." Three days later, Pravda said that an anonymous Russian "military expert" was predicting that the United States would fabricate finding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov immediately started plying the idea abroad, and it has taken hold around the world ever since.
As a former Romanian spy chief who used to take orders from the Soviet KGB, it is perfectly obvious to me that Russia is behind the evanescence of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. After all, Russia helped Saddam get his hands on them in the first place. The Soviet Union and all its bloc states always had a standard operating procedure for deep sixing weapons of mass destruction â€” in Romanian it was codenamed "Sarindar, meaning "emergency exit."Iimplemented it in Libya. It was for ridding Third World despots of all trace of their chemical weapons if the Western imperialists ever got near them. We wanted to make sure they would never be traced back to us, and we also wanted to frustrate the West by not giving them anything they could make propaganda with.[...]
The other question, of course, concerns the actions of certain American and other Western politicians and political activists, who have chosen, for political purposes, to smear the United States over the WMD question. To them I extend my contempt.
Posted by Ruy Diaz at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)
UK: Confirmation Islamists Planned 9/11 Style London Attack
The BBC reports that the US Department of Homeland Security has issued a report, dated June 16, and listed as unclassified, in which it confirms what had previously been suspicion. The report claims that Al Qaeda planned on nine occasions to mount attacks on prominent targets in the world, based on the manner of 9/11's use of hijacked planes.
One of the proposed assaults involved the large tower at Canary Wharf in London's Docklands. Such a plot has been mentioned before in late 2004, but the details were not clear. The BBC notes that in 2003, the airport at Heathrow was patrolled by armoured vehicles, following a terror alert. Whether the action to move in tanks was done in connection with this plot is unknown.
Another plot, from summer 2003, involved using stun guns disguised as camera flash units and hiding bomb components in camera bodies. Airliners, once hijacked, were to be flown into buildings on the east coast of the US, Australia, Britain and Italy.
There have been 311 possible attempts to use lasers to blind or distract pilots since November 2004, though the number of such incidents has declined. There are fears that attacks on military helicopters, as practiced in Iraq, may also happen involving commercial helicopters.
The report states that the Department of Homeland Security: "continues to receive information on terrorist threats to the US aviation industry worldwide; however, there is no recent information to suggest near-term operational planning may be under way within the United States."
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 07:24 AM | Comments (0)
June 21, 2006
Belgium: Two Islamists Are Jailed For Inciting Racial Hatred
News from Expatica states that today, two workers at the Belgian Islamic Center (Centre Islamique Belge or CIB) were sentenced to ten months jail, with five months of their sentences suspended.
The two individuals, 26-year old Abdel Rahman Ayachi and 30-year old Raphael Gendron, maintained the center's website, Assabyle.com, which contained extreme Salafist propaganda. It also had material which denigrated Jews, denied the holocaust and minimized Nazi war crimes.
The pair were convicted of inciting racial hatred, and were further ordered to pay a fine of 15,000 Euros ($18,998) and to pay a donation of 2,500 Euros ($3,166) to the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism.
The fines and donation are to be seen as compensation for the Jewish community for the damaging content on Abbasyle.com, but also for insulting remarks which had been made by their defense lawyer, Sebastien Courtoy.
20 other people from a "social dialogue collective" will also receive a symbolic compensation of 1 Euro ($1.27).
The background of the case is intriguing. Raphael Gendron is a French citizen who converted to Islam. Abdel Rahman Ayachi is the son of a radical salafist preacher, Bassam Ayachi. When the CIB was raided on the morning of 26 January this year, states the Brussels Journal, two individuals were arrested, but for illegal immigration.
Bassam Ayachi is a French citizen, who had lived at Molenbeek, where CIB is based, since the 1990s. and has been monitored by the police for some time. According to malines.blogspot, Bassam is a firebrand cleric, who is said to run paramilitary scout camps through CIB and to spread radical propaganda. Bassam denies this, but does admit that when the French introduced a ban on the wearing of hijabs in September 2004, he wrote a letter to Nicolas Sarkozy, the French Interior minister, threatening suicide attacks if the ban was not lifted. He believes that jihad must first be waged with words.
The CIB runs a mosque where a Tunisian individual called Abdessatar Dahmane was married in 1999. Abdessatar Dahmane was a close contact of the Salafist preacher. Dahmane's "claim to fame" is that on Sunday, 9 September, 2001, with another Tunisian formerly residing in Belgium, Bouraoui El Ouer, he took part in a suicide attack, mortally wounding an Afghan military leader and opponent of the Taliban.
The pair, apparently acting to provide a "gift" to Osama bin Laden, had posed as journalists, and carried a bomb hidden inside a camera. They were with other real journalists, interviewing Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of the Afghan "Northern Alliance". The attack happened at Massoud's headquarters in the Panjshir Valley, northern Afghanistan. As well as being linked to al Qaeda and known as a supporter of Bassam Ayachi, Dehmane spent much of his time listening to the sermons of the Swiss Islamic scholar, Tariq Ramadan.
The website of the two men who were imprisoned today, Assabyle.com, has been a source of consternation for some time. The anti-semitic material contained in the site was first exposed by the Belgian press in February 2002 by VIF/l'Expresse, but more than 18 months later, the Belgian deputy Minister of State, Francois-Zavier de Donnea was demanding from the commission for Justice why no action was being taken. A pdf document (in French), in which the minister wants to know why there is a delay in judicial action, is dated 13 November 2003.
The website Assabyle.com is no longer on-line, but various transcripts of sermons by individuals such as Salman ibn Fahd al-'Awdah and Osama Khayyat are available. The latter author, who is imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, writes an article entitled "The Virtues of Martyrdom", in which he states (my translation from French):
"Slaves of Allah! The Jews are described in the Book of Allah as those who distort the utterances and the deeds decreed by Allah, and take them out of context. This is exactly what they do in the same way as the tyrants of this world who support them. They use false terminology to lead astray, to confound and to deceive. What your brothers (Palestinian terrorists) do in their battle at Al-Aqsa are not acts of gratuitous violence, but moreover it is a blessed uprising to resist and to diminish the Jewish oppression and is against their aggression."
This is only a segment, and is mild compared to some of the other material. During the early stages of the trial of Raphael Legrand and Abdel Rahman Ayachi, other details were described on March 10 by La Libre.
The case was lodged in 2003 by the Center for Equal Opportunity and others who had been sleighted by the website. The website was hosted from a server in Pakistan. The chief prosecutor in the case, Patrick Carolus, said that in their interviews with police in 2003, the pair had shown no remorse and did not consider that they had done anything wrong. He spoke of the "banality of evil".
On a video on the website, David Levy, a former Foreign Affairs minister of Israel, had been compared to Adolf Hitler. Another text on the site was entitled "The end of the people of Israel, a Koranic truth". It appears that the contempt which had been displayed by the pair's lawyer, Sebastien Courtoy, related to an outburst where he declared the evidence presented in the case to be "fake" and promised to appeal "to Fidel Castro".
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 08:30 PM | Comments (0)
Norway: Oslo To Ban Muslim Veil In Schools
When people speak of the "veil", they often refer to the Muslim headscarf, or hijab, which leaves the face open to view. But the true "veil" is the nikab or niqab (pictured).
Today, Aftenposten reports that the Directorate for Primary and Secondary Education has given permission for the nikab to be banned in schools. Teachers are said to believe that the nikab hinders communication. In the Netherlands, it was considered to be frightening for small children to have staff enveloped in face-covering items, such as the nikab or the burka.
In October last year, the issue of the hijab was itself causing conflict in schools, among Muslim girls. Muslim girls not wearing the headscarf are called whores or "loose" by their hijabbed fellow students. The decision by the education directorate will only outlaw the veil or nikab, and will not affect the wearing of the Muslim headscarf.
Erling Lae, the leader of Oslo City Council, has decided to remove the veil in schools because it causes problems for teachers who cannot see their students' faces, states Norwegian TV station NRK.
The ruling will now make it possible for the nikab to be banned from schools in other municipalities in Norway.
Torger Oedegaard, Oslo city councillor for schools and education, said: "We are not forbidding religious garments. One must distinguish between the religious hijab and the completely covering niqab. The latter makes it impossible to have good communication between teacher and student, and between students as well."
One Muslim woman, who is head of the MiRA Resource Center for immigrant and refugee women, obviously did not agree. Fakhara Salimi said: "Banning something that impinges on an individual's freedom is never good. Adult women over 16 should be able to choose for themselves."
If you go to live in a foreign country, there is a simple rule - "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Westerners do not pose in Saudi Arabia's streets with bikinis, and Muslims moving to the West, where they will receive free handouts, should observe the same courtesy towards their host countries. Shouldn't they?
Posted by Giraldus Cambrensis at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)
Iran: Islamist Regime's Political Cartoon Jihad
The publication of a cartoon in the Friday, 19 May edition of the state-owned newspaper Iran led to ethnic riots, and the subsequent arrest of the cartoonist and the editor, and caused the Islamist regime to close down the paper. Five people died in the cartoon riots that followed, protesters who were gunned down by Iranian security forces.
The cartoonist is a mild-mannered Iranian of Azeri descent, Mana Neyestani (pictured, left). The BBC reported on 28 May that there had been several demonstrations in northwest Iran, by ethnic Azeris, who comprise the largest minority in the nation, about 24% of the total population of 70 million.
The riots took place in Ardebil, Naqadeh and Meshkin Shahr. It was here that five rioters were shot dead. Following on from the initial protests, Azeris on 27 May demonstrated outside government buildings, burned down television stations and banks.
Earlier, on 23 May, the BBC reported that in the initial riots, police had used tear gas on demonstrators in the city of Tabriz.
The state press supervisory board had already suspended the newspaper by this time, claiming that it had published "divisive and provocative materials".
Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, Iran's Interior Minister, said the offending cartoon was "an insult to all Iranians, and we cannot tolerate that. The law will confront this offence."
The Committee to Protect Journalists published a report on the same day, which said that Saeed Mortazavi, Iran's chief prosecutor had ordered the arrests of Mehrdad Qasemfar, editor of Iran Friday, and Mana Neyestani. Charged with "insulting the Azeri ethnic minority", the pair were whisked off to Evin prison in Tehran for interrogation. The newspaper's publisher, Gholamhossein Eslamifard, was summoned to court. The paper was closed under the terms of Article 12 of Iran's Press Law.
On May 21, the local office of Iran in the city of Orumiyeh was torched. Before the riots, which saw several policemen injured, the Iran newspaper had fired the cartoonist and its editor-in-chief, and for three days running, it had published apologies to the Azeri people, who are frequently ridiculed by the Iranian majority.
So what on earth caused this disintegration of law and order? A small segment of the cartoon is shown at right. The entire feature ran on a whole page, and can be found HERE from Iranian.com.
The cartoon features a range of characters, principally a young boy, who try to talk to a cockroach in Farsi, the Persian language, but all the cockroach seems to do is to reply in Azeri: "What?"
Azeris felt that the cartoon mocked them as being stupid, though the cartoonist, Mana Neyestani probably intended to portray his fellow ethnic Azeris as "obtuse".
Today, CNN Matthews reports that Mana Neyestani and his editor-in-chief Mehrdad Qassemfar will be tried in the Islamic Revolutionary Court, the highest court in the land, which normally deals with cases of sedition, national security infringements, major drug-trafficking and human trafficking.
The Iranian minister of Justice asked for the judiciary to punish the accused pair with the "highest penalty". He said that the case should be dealt with under the terms of criminal law, and not Press law. The trial will be held behind closed doors, with a single judge deciding the fate of the editor and cartoonist. They are to be charged with "inciting ethnic unrest".
Since they were sent to Evin prison, the pair have been interrogated several times, and the cartoonist's Azeri family say that they have received death threats from the Azeri community.
Aida International states that the hardline Iranian paper Kayhan had blamed foreigners for encouraging the violent protests, saying: "Our fellow Azeri countrymen are too clever to be exploited by Iran's sworn enemies in their plots."
In April, a weekly paper in southern Iran was closed down for "insulting the Islamic Republic's leadership". The month before, an Azeri weekly newspaper was shut down for its supposed ethnic bias and of acting against the national interest.
Currently eight journalists and webloggers are detained in Iran. The offending cartoon of May 19 is not even one of Mana Neyestani's best. Born in Tehran in