Saturday, June 30, 2007

Horrific cultural warfare poisoning young vulnerable minds

Gaza Mickey has been Martyred


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - A Mickey Mouse lookalike who preached Islamic domination on a Hamas-affiliated children's television program was beaten to death in the show's final episode Friday.



In the final skit, Farfour was killed by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land. At one point, the mouse called the Israeli a "terrorist."



"Farfour was martyred while defending his land," said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed "by the killers of children," she added.


msnbc.msn.com ...

Friday, June 29, 2007

young girls born or living in Norway have been taken back to Somalia during school holiday periods and subjected to circumcision.

http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article1860309.ece />
Aftenposten
28 June 2007

Mutilated females seek help

More than 250 girls and women have sought help from Oslo's largest hospital in recent years, because of physical problems resulting from female circumcision, also known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The mutilation, which many of the female patients were subjected to as young girls in several Muslim African countries and Northern Iraq, has left the women with severe urinary dysfunction, infections and problems after their vaginal openings were sewn shut.

Sarah Kahsay, a midwife at Ullevål University Hospital in Oslo, told newspaper Aftenposten that she and her colleagues have tried to help around 260 girls and women during the past three years.

Kahsay, of the National Competence Center for Minorities' Health at Ullevål, said that 90 percent of the girls and women are ethnic Somalians. Female genital mutilation has also been found, she said, among female patients from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Gambia and Senegal.

The mutilation also seems to have spread to the Kurdish community, with Kahsay mentioning that Norwegian Church Aid has claimed it's a problem for females from Northern Iraq. "Reports we've had from our health stations (in the Oslo area) involve Kurdish girls as young as 11 and 12, who've been circumcised," Kahsay said.

The girls and women have almost always said the circumcision, which is illegal in Norway, occurred before they emigrated. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported over the weekend, however, that an alarming number of young girls born or living in Norway have been taken back to Somalia during school holiday periods and subjected to circumcision.

The agonized screams of one young girl being forcibly held down while her genitals were being cut shook Norwegian viewers and has led to a political outcry on the issue. There have been calls for increased enforcement of the law prohibiting female circumciscion, a fatwa against the practice, and regular medical checks of young girls believed to be at risk.

Aftenposten's reporter
Arild M Jonassen

it's not higher doses of vitamin D that are needed, but rather, lower doses of fundamentalism

Are Muslim dress codes bad for women's health?


Christopher Furlong

Getty Images News

Conservative Muslim dress codes may be causing vitamin D deficiency in women by limiting their exposure to sunlight, humans' main source for the vitamin, according to new research.

Scientists had previously found high rates of vitamin D deficiency in Arab and East Indian women living in the United Arab Emirates. A follow-up study investigated the effect of vitamin D supplements on 178 UAE women, many of whom covered themselves entirely, faces and hands included, when outside their homes. Only two of the women did not have vitamin D deficiency prior to receiving supplements. The results were published by a team of scientists in the June issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

One of the researchers concludes, "When sunlight exposure … is limited, much higher dietary intake of vitamin D is needed than currently recommended," particularly for those who breast-feed.

At least one commentator, though, is saying it's not higher doses of vitamin D that are needed, but rather, lower doses of fundamentalism

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/5273

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Win the culture war, and extremism shrinks. Cave to the culture war, and extremism expands

Thailand Caves In to Iranian Pressure, Pulls Film

Craven is the only word for this: Iranian cartoon pulled from film festival.

THAILAND has caved in to pressure from Iran and withdrawn the animated movie Persepolis, about a girl growing up and feeling repressed under Islamic rule, from next month’s Bangkok International Film Festival.

“I was invited by the Iranian embassy to discuss the matter and we both came to mutual agreement that it would be beneficial to both countries if the film was not shown,” festival director Chattan Kunjara na Ayudhya said today.

“It’s a good film, but there are other considerations.”

The film, based on the popular French comic books of Iranian director and writer Marjane Satrapi, drew complaints from the government-affiliated Iran Farabi Foundation when it was screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in France.

In a letter published by several news organisations, the foundation said the film “presented an unrealistic face of the achievements and results of the glorious Islamic Revolution in some of its parts”.

from littlegreenfootballs.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Culture of extremism must be moderated

Taliban tricked me into wearing bomb, 6 year old boy says


FORWARD OPERATING BASE THUNDER, Afghanistan - The story of a 6-year-old Afghan boy who says he thwarted an effort by Taliban militants to trick him into being a suicide bomber provoked tears and anger at a meeting of tribal leaders.

The account from Juma Gul, a dirt-caked child who collects scrap metal for money, left American soldiers dumbfounded that a youngster could be sent on such a mission. Afghan troops crowded around the boy to call him a hero.


msnbc.msn.com ...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Forced to drink sewage water for not wearing strict Islamic dress

Yet another example of why bloodless laws against religious headdress would be so effective in moderating extremism



Iranian police beat, torture young men for wearing Western clothing
Michelle Malkin and others have posted the photos and asked that they be distributed far and wide. The young men below are being forced to wear around their necks and drink from cans Iranians use in toilets to clean themselves. They are being beaten and tortured for wearing Western dress. Michelle has much more, along with some pointed questions about whether these photos will capture the attention of the moral-equivalence Leftists who were up in arms over Abu Ghraib. Of course, we already know the answer.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Terrible cultural appeasement of extremism

UK: Now schools are told to let Muslim girls wear head-to-toe 'burkinis' for swimming lessons
The Daily Mail

by DANIEL BOFFEY



Now schools are told to let Muslim girls wear head-to-toe 'burkinis' for swimming lessons
By DANIEL BOFFEY - More by this author » Last updated at 22:09pm on 23rd June 2007
Schools have been told they should allow Muslim girls taking swimming lessons to cover themselves from head to toe in special outfits dubbed burkinis.

An increasing number of pupils are insisting that conventional swimming costumes are "immodest" and, citing religious grounds, have been refusing to wear them.

Now councillors in Ealing, West London, are encouraging local pools to stock the £29 Lycra "burkinis" and instructing local schools to let girls wear them.

Teachers have even been given details of an online swimwear company that will deliver the two-piece burka-like outfits, which cover every bit of skin from the ankle to the neck and come with a head covering to conceal the hair.




Official approval: A model shows off her burkini

The burkini is recommended in a document from Ealing council's Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education, which says it wants to encourage "success through diversity".

One of the authors of the report, Nora Leonard, said: "The guidance suggests that the pools allow these burkinis and I have spoken to the firm which runs our pools and they are all in favour of it."

About a quarter of pupils in the area are Muslim and the burkini idea was approved to prevent girls trying to cover their bodies with other, unsuitable clothing during swimming lessons.

"Schools are being encouraged to allow burkinis because of that," Ms Leonard said.

The burkini was designed by an Australian after a group of lifeguards began a drive to recruit more Islamic lifeguards, particularly women, following violent clashes in 2005 between Lebanese Muslim teenagers and white Australians on Sydney's Cronulla beach.

Ealing has also put forward a string of other proposals to help schools meet the needs of Muslim pupils, including setting aside designated "quiet" areas for prayer and honouring "a parent's written request to take their child to the mosque for part of the afternoon".

Schools are also told that it is "good practice" to "reassure parents that their children would not be asked to join in with songs that contradict Islamic belief (eg Christmas carols or hymns) or perform music that could be considered to promote lust, seduction, unrestricted mixing and consumption of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants".

The report adds: "As a general rule, forms of dance such as ballet, jazz, tango and disco are unacceptable if performed in a mixed environment."

There have been controversial demands from the Muslim Council of Britain for Islamic schoolchildren to be given separate changing rooms for sports and swimming, single-sex classes for sex education, prayer rooms, new rights to Islamic worship and different uniform rules.

The National Association of Head Teachers has dismissed the demands as "completely undo-able".

The suggestions come at a time when the Government is trying to eliminate segregation and encourage "British" values to tackle extremism.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ban the Muslim Head-to-Toe Garb

Ban the Muslim Head-to-Toe Garb
News By Us

by Grant Swank

There is no reason why Western lifestyles have to put up with Muslim females draped from head to toe so that their identities are completely hidden.

This is offensive to those enjoying free nations’ liberties. These Islamic customs are not only ridiculous but offensive to reason.

If free nations have any self-respect they will see to it that such garb is banned. It is not being irreligious or discourteous. It is being logical.

How can a public school teacher in such dress instruct pupils? She can’t.

How can a civil servant see through her duties as a social worker or clerk at a motor vehicle desk? She can’t.

Therefore, Muslim women tied to head-to-toe veils should stay in their own Muslim environs or give up the hide-away when moving into non-Muslim cultures.

According to Jane Perlez of the International Herald Tribune: “Increasingly, Muslim women in Britain take their children to school and run errands covered head to toe in flowing black gowns that allow only a slit for their eyes.

“Like little else, their appearance has unnerved Britons, testing the limits of tolerance in this stridently secular nation. Many veiled women say they are targets of abuse. At the same time, efforts are growing to place legal curbs on the full Muslim veil, known as the niqab.

“The past year has seen numerous examples: A lawyer dressed in a niqab was told by an immigration judge that she could not represent a client because, he said, he could not hear her. A teacher wearing a niqab was told by a provincial school to go home. A student who was barred from wearing a niqab took her case to the courts, and lost. In fact, the British education authorities are proposing a ban on the niqab in schools altogether.”

Every move to undress the Muslim woman so that we know who she is is another step toward civility. Do reasonable citizens truly want their societies further unwoven by the intrusion of the Muslim veil? They should fight this with every civil effort possible.

“David Sexton, a columnist for The Evening Standard, wrote recently that Britain has been ‘too deferential’ toward the veil. ‘I find such garb, in the context of a London street, first ridiculous and then directly offensive,’ he said.”

True.

When Roman Catholic nuns wear the habit, that is fine. Why? Because their identity via face is known to whomever. When Amish dress in their style, that is fine. Why? Because their identity is visible.

When Muslim women cover themselves except for eye slits, that’s reprehensible. It simply cannot continue in a free country.

In “France, Turkey and Tunisia, students in state schools and female civil servants are banned from covering their hair. British Muslim women can wear the headscarf, and indeed the niqab, almost anywhere, for now.”

Hurrah for France, Turkey and Tunisia. Other parts of the planet take note and follow.

Cultural linchpin: men can't touch women

Khaleej Times Online


Iran ex-president criticised for ‘shaking woman’s hand’




TEHERAN - A hardline Iranian daily on Monday launched an attack on former reformist president Mohammad Khatami who it said had publicly shaken hands with women while on a visit to Italy last month.


‘Recently a video has been circulating on the Internet showing a former top official visiting Italy, shaking the hands with several women and young girls,’ said the Siasat-e Rouz daily, one of Iran’s most ultra-conservative papers.

‘We do not want to publish the address of the Internet site where this film can be seen, in order to avoid propagating corruption in society,’ it added.

The paper carefully avoided naming Khatami although he is the only ‘former top official’ to have visited Italy in recent months. Khatami’s trip at the start of May saw him meet Italian leaders as well as Pope Benedict XVI.

According to Islam’s sharia law, it is forbidden for a man to have any physical contact with a woman to whom he is not related. Pictures circulating on the Internet show Khatami shaking hands with several female tourists.

Whether at home or on trips abroad, Iran’s officials studiously avoid handshakes with female foreign dignitaries and, at most, place their right hands on their hearts to express gratitude.

Even Iran’s conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was accused of ‘indecency’ in the hardline press last month after he publicly embraced and kissed on the hand an elderly woman who used to be his school teacher.

It is not the first time Khatami has found himself in hot water with the hardline press since leaving office.

In September last year he was the target of a bitter personal attack in the hardline newspaper Kayhan for ‘siding with’ arch-foe the United States on his landmark tour of the country.

Khatami has devoted his energies since leaving office in 2005 to his centre for the dialogue of civilisations, frequently making foreign trips but rarely making comments on day-to-day politics.

The culture of extremism MUST be moderated by bloodless social linchpinc

Britain's first Muslim MP to stand down after death threats

Fears: Mohammad Sarwar
A Labour MP is stepping down after receiving death threats over his role in bringing three racist killers to justice. Mohammad Sarwar, who became Britain's first Muslim MP in 1997, said he feared the lives of his family were also in jeopardy. He was instrumental in arranging the extradition of Imran Shahid, Zeeshan Shahid and Mohammed Faisal Mushtaq after they fled to Pakistan.

The three were jailed for life last year for the abduction and racially aggravated murder of teenager Kriss Donald, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Glasgow in 2004.

Mr Sarwar, 54, told the Daily Record: "Life is not the same, to be honest with you, since I brought them back. I was subjected to threats. "I was told they wanted to punish my family and make a horrible example of my son - they would do to him what they did to Kriss Donald. I received threats to my life, to murder my sons, to murder my grandchildren."Mr Sarwar used his high-level connections in Pakistan to arrange the extradition of the Shahids and Mushtaq. The trio fled to Pakistan shortly after Kriss's murder in February 2004, and were brought back after 18 months of negotiations involving the MP and British and Pakistani authorities. The killers were the main players in a violent gang that terrorised the Pollokshields area of Glasgow. Mr Sarwar said he recognised the risks of trying to bring them to justice but knew that "it was the right thing to do".The judge in the case, Lord Uist, said Kriss, 15, had been selected as a victim "only because he was white" and because he was walking in the district where the three men were seeking a victim. Mr Sarwar, a multimillionaire businessman, was elected as MP for Glasgow Govan in 1997 and re-elected in 2001 with an increased majority. Following electoral boundary changes he stood for Glasgow Central in 2005 and won by 8,531 votes. His eldest son Athif, 28, is awaiting sentence after being convicted in April of an £840,000 money laundering scam. Mr Sarwar said his decision to step down had nothing to do with his son's conviction, which is the subject of an appeal. The MP said he wanted to spend more time with his family and concentrate on his charity work. He is involved in Pakistan-Foundation International-which helps build hospitals and schools in his native country. He is also chairman of the UK-wide Muslim Friends of Labour organisation. Mr Sarwar told BBC Radio Scotland he had been very proud to represent his constituents and said they had shown him great support. But he added: "The time is now right to move on. "I am involved in charitable work in Glasgow and Britain. "I want to spend more time now helping those who are in desperate need of health and education."His political career has been marked by considerable controversy. The former Glasgow city councillor was suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party over allegations of bribing political opponents, and stood trial for fraud. However, he was acquitted in March 1999 and restored to the party. Mr Sarwar says he will stand down at the next election.






http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23401610-details/Britain’s+first+Muslim+MP+to+stand+down+after+death+threats/article.do

Friday, June 22, 2007

appease extremism, you get more extremism, not less extremism

Head-to-toe Muslim veils test tolerance of stridently secular Britain
IHT



LONDON: Increasingly, Muslim women in Britain take their children to school and run errands covered head to toe in flowing black gowns that allow only a slit for their eyes.

Like little else, their appearance has unnerved Britons, testing the limits of tolerance in this stridently secular nation. Many veiled women say they are targets of abuse. At the same time, efforts are growing to place legal curbs on the full Muslim veil, known as the niqab.

The past year has seen numerous examples: A lawyer dressed in a niqab was told by an immigration judge that she could not represent a client because, he said, he could not hear her. A teacher wearing a niqab was told by a provincial school to go home. A student who was barred from wearing a niqab took her case to the courts, and lost. In fact, the British education authorities are proposing a ban on the niqab in schools altogether.

David Sexton, a columnist for The Evening Standard, wrote recently that Britain has been "too deferential" toward the veil. "I find such garb, in the context of a London street, first ridiculous and then directly offensive," he said.

Although the number of women wearing the niqab has increased in the past several years, only a tiny percentage of women among Britain's two million Muslims cover themselves completely. It is impossible to say how many exactly.

Some who wear the niqab, particularly younger women who have taken it up recently, concede that it is a frontal expression of Islamic identity, which they have embraced since Sept. 11, 2001, as a form of rebellion against the policies of the Blair government in Iraq and at home.


iht.com ...

(cultural) mideast madness

Mideast Madness
Why the region remains unhinged.

By Victor Davis Hanson




“The Palestinian people will never forgive the Hamas gangs for looting the home of the Palestinian people’s great leader, Yasser Arafat.” So Palestinian Authority spokesman Abdel Rahman recently exclaimed. “This crime will remain a stain of disgrace on the forehead of Hamas and its despicable gangs.”

Looting? Crime? Despicable gangs?

Excuse me. For years, Palestinian Authority-sanctioned gangs shot and tortured dissidents, glorified suicide bombing against Israel, and in general thwarted any hopes of various “peace processes.”

Of course, this kind of behavior isn’t limited to the Palestinian territories but is spread across the Middle East. The soon-to-be-nuclear theocracy in Iran is grotesque. Iraqis continue to discover innovative ways to extinguish each other. Syria assassinates democratic reformers in Lebanon. ABC News now reports that new teams of al Qaeda and Taliban suicide bombers have been ordered to the United States and Europe from Afghanistan.

Here’s why much of the region is so unhinged — and it’s not because of our policy in Palestine or our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

First, thanks to Western inventions and Chinese manufactured goods, Middle Easterners can now access the non-Muslim world cheaply and vicariously. To millions of Muslims, the planet appears — on the Internet, DVDs, and satellite television — to be growing rich as most of their world stays poor.

Second, the Middle East either will not or cannot make the changes necessary to catch up with what they see in the rest of the world. Tribalism — loyalty only to kin rather than to society at large — impedes merit and thus progress. So does gender apartheid. Who knows how many would-be Margaret Thatchers or Sandra Day O’Connors remain veiled in the kitchen?

Religious fundamentalism translates into rote prayers in madrassas, while those outside the Middle East master science and engineering. Without a transparent capitalist system — antithetical to both sharia and state-run economies — initiative is never rewarded. Corruption is.

Meanwhile, mere discussion in much of the region of what is wrong can mean execution by a militia, government thug, or religious vigilante.

So, Middle Easterners are left with the old frustration of wanting the good life of Western society but lacking either the ability or willingness to change the status quo to get it.

Instead, we get monotonous scapegoating. Blaming America or Israel — “Those sneaky Jews did it!” — has become a regional pastime.

And, after the multifarious failures of Yasser Arafat, the Assads in Syria, Muammar Gaddafi, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Saddam Hussein, and other corrupt autocrats, many have, predictably, retreated to fundamentalist extremism. Almost daily, some fundamentalist claims that the killing of Westerners is justified — because of a cartoon, a Papal paragraph, or, most recently, British knighthood awarded to novelist Salman Rushdie. The terrorism of Osama bin Laden, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Taliban is as much about nihilist rage as it is about blackmailing Western governments to grant concessions.

Meanwhile, millions of others simply flee the mess, immigrating to either Europe or the United States.

These reactions to failure often lead to circumstances that can defy logic.

The poor terrorists of Arafat’s old party, Fatah, seem to shriek that they have been out-terrorized by Hamas and desperately con more Western aid to make up for what has been squandered or stolen.

Muslims flock to Europe to enjoy a level of freedom and opportunity long denied at home. But no sooner have many arrived than they castigate their adopted continent as decadent. The ungracious prefer intolerant sharia — denying to their own the very freedom of choice that was given to them by others.

Our response in America to this perennial Middle East temper tantrum?

In the last 20 years, we’ve sent billions in aid to the Arab world. We’ve saved Muslims from Bosnia to Kuwait. We’ve removed dangerous thugs in Afghanistan and Iraq, fostering democracies in their place. We’ve opened our borders to immigrants from the Middle East. We’ve paid billions of dollars in inflated oil prices. All the while, many in the West have wrongly blamed themselves for the conditions in the Middle East.

It’s past time for Middle Easterners to fix their own self-inflicted mess. In the meantime, the U.S. and its allies should help as we can — but first protect ourselves from them as we must. (C) 2007 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

www.nationalreview.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

presidential hopeful urges women to throw off ‘veil of invader’

Fury as presidential hopeful urges women to throw off ‘veil of invader’

Jeremy Page in Delhi


The woman nominated by India’s ruling Congress party to become the country’s first female president was at the centre of a national furore yesterday after she urged Muslims to throw away their veils.

Pratabha Patil appeared relatively uncontroversial when she was put forward by Congress last week for the largely ceremonial but symbolically important post. Seen as a moderate Hindu, the only criticism levelled at the 72-year-old governor of Rajasthan was that she lacked national stature.

By yesterday, however, Mrs Patil’s name was on the lips of Muslim leaders, who accused her of insulting Islam. Outraged by her comment that the veil has been imported to India by Muslim invaders, they are calling on Congress to ditch her and choose a more secular presidential candidate.

The controversy so far seems unlikely to spark the sort of violence between Hindus and Muslims that has so often racked India since it won independence from Britain in 1947. It shows, however, how sensitive such issues remain and it threatens to derail the Congress-led coalition Government’s plans to install its candidate in Rashtrapati Bhawan, the presidential palace in Delhi.

Related Links
Anniversary of the bloody Delhi mutiny carries hopes of a new unity
The president, who is elected by the national and state legislatures, has few actual powers — although he or she is supreme commander of the armed forces and can declare a state of emergency.

However, this year’s poll on July 19 is regarded as the big test of Congress’s apparently waning popularity before the next general election in 2009.

Mrs Patil, who is a member of Congress, made her remarks about the veil, or “purdah”, at a conference in Udaipur over the weekend. “Women have always been respected in the Indian culture. The purdah system was introduced to protect them from the Muslim invaders. However, times have changed. India is now independent and hence, the systems should also change,” she said.

“Now that women are progressing in every field, we should morally support and encourage them by leaving such practices behind.” Muslims make up nearly 14 per cent of India’s 1.1 billion people and many Indian Muslim women still wear headscarves and veils. Orthodox Hindu women also cover their faces before elderly male relatives although it is not an obligation of their religion.

Maulana Khalid Rashid, a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said God had asked women to wear the veil and that the tradition was enshrined in the Koran.

Yahya Bukhari, a member of the consultative committee of the Jama Masjid, Delhi’s largest mosque, called Mrs Patil’s remarks “anti-Muslim”.

“It is a purely religious matter and she has no right to interfere in matters of any religion,” he said. “Pratibha Patil is an educated woman but her statement reeks of ignorance.”

Maulana Mehmood Madani, general secretary of Ulema-i-Hind, another Muslim organisation, accused her of trying to rewrite history. “She must apologise and withdraw her observations,” The Times of India quoted him as saying.

Historians also criticised Mrs Patil, saying that Indian women started wearing the veil long before the Muslim Mughals invaded in the early 16th century, led by the Timurid prince, Babur. Satish Chandra, in his book Medieval India, said that the practice became widespread in the 13th century.

B. P. Sahu, a historian at Delhi University, said: “People are not historically aware that the veil existed in early Indian society.

“It was a way to show respect to the elders. But the idea that the ‘purdah’ system started as a result of the invasion by the Mughals is one of the stereotypical ideas that have been taken from the works of British historians.”

Congress leaders said that Mrs Patil was simply expressing her concern for all women in India. Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born Congress leader, and Manmohan Singh, the Sikh Prime Minister, confirmed yesterday that Mrs Patil was still their nominee.

Opposition leaders, meanwhile, tried to exploit the opportunity to promote their candidates as more secular alternatives. They remain divided, however, with some backing A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the current President, and others promoting Bhairon Singh Shekawat, the Vice-President.

Mrs Patil would be India’s first female president but the country has already had a woman Prime Minister in Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1984.


http://www.mi-surveys.com/timesonlinetracker.html

the veil of repression must go

a cultural nightmare

JERUSALEM – Christians can continue living safely in the Gaza Strip only if they accept Islamic law, including a ban on alcohol and on women roaming publicly without proper head coverings, an Islamist militant leader in Gaza told WND in an exclusive interview.
The militant leader said Christians in Gaza who engage in "missionary activity" will be "dealt with harshly."

The threats come two days after a church and Christian school in Gaza was attacked following the seizure of power in the territory by the Hamas terror group.

"I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes. They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza," said Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya, an Islamic outreach movement that recently announced the opening of a "military wing" to enforce Muslim law in Gaza.

Jihadia Salafiya is suspected of attacking a United Nations school in Gaza last month, after the school allowed boys and girls to participate in the same sporting event. One person was killed in that attack.


from wnd.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Important to outlaw such cultural requirements. Would send extremist scurrying back to their countries where such is allowed

A private kindergarten in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro neighborhood had been taken over by Hizb ut-Tahrir. Now it is being run by the municipality, and faces closure.

Earlier in the year Salam kindergarten went on an outing to the zoo. At the end of the trip they received Santa hats as a gift. When the parents saw their children coming back with the Santa hats on their heads, there was a commotion. The parents, who are among the most religious Muslims in Denmark, saw it as a Christian religious symbol being forced on their kids. Some of the parents demonstratively threw it into the trash, while others cut it up before doing the same.

Salam was created as a Muslim women’s center to help immigrant women. Salam kindergarten has in the past ten years developed into a purely Muslim kindergarten with a long waiting list. Religious Muslims from all over Copenhagen sign up their children to the kindergarten.

It is a private institution, financed by the municipality, but the parent’s committee was the employer, with full freedom to hire and fire employees and run the kindergarten as they saw fit.

During Fastelavn (the Danish Halloween), the kindergarten’s personnel bought the children costumes, but were told by the parents that Muslim children will not celebrate the holiday. Some of the parents refused to have their children draw people or animals, or let them sing or dance. The children were not allowed to go through the Christian Assistens Cemetery and were not allowed to go to parks and beaches when it was warm, since they risked seeing naked people.

The kindergarten’s and the municipality’s ambition to open the door to another world for the fundamentalists and their children were put in doubt with such stories.

Many of the parents were Danish converts, who were forceful and eloquent and even a little arrogant. It was almost impossible to start a dialog.

Last year Copenhagen’s municipality decided that they will have more control over private institutions, with supervision coming in 1-4 times a year. Salam’s teachers, who were two non-Muslim Danish women, and the administration at the time, which consisted of immigration women with children in the kindergarten, had no problems.

Together they started preparing new regulations and a new operating agreement with the municipality. They wanted to protect Salam’s values. The two danish teachers wanted everything to be clear, so they could say that children in a Danish kindergarten are allowed to draw and sing, and that koran lessons belong at home. Koran lessons had been given at Salam for a few years.

With these regulations in hand the kindergarten could ask parents to leave if they were not interested in following them. But the municipality had difficulty in finding legal support for such rules. It wasn’t possible to write in the rules that children should learn about Danish Christmas, for example, but rather that they should learn about Danish culture.

The case exploded in December, 2006. In a call for help to the municipality, the kindergarten’s personnel said that Hizb ut-Tahrir was taking over the administration. They came up with twenty parent’s signatures to have new elections. On election day at the end of January they Hizb ut-Tahrir criticized the new rules, saying that children were taught equality and a democratic spirit.

A pedagogic consultant from Frie Børnehaver, an association for private kindergartens, was present at the elections meeting. She had never experienced anything similar and she asked for a meeting with the municipality.

Four new parents were chosen to the administration, with completely different attitudes to raising kids than the existing administration. The consultant had the impression that there were no other candidates because the older members were threatened to stay away. She wrote that the voting was completely unpleasant.

A new member of the administration said that his children will not be raised to have understanding for democracy. The Hizb ut-Tahrir members also wanted to make sure that boys and girls will not be together in the institution.

By the beginning of February the two teachers had enough, and quit at the end of March. There are 25 Muslim kids in the kindergarten and it is currently run with six helpers. The municipality’s supervision stops by every day since there are no teachers there.

The municipality gave the administration two options - either the municipality will take over running the kindergarten, or the municipality will stop the grants.

Therefore Salam today is municipal. If the kindergarten doesn’t find a new administration, the place will be closed, and the children be spread out in other institutions. If they do succeed, the municipality will keep the kindergarten open and ensure that the children have contact with Danish society.

“It is indisputable that tensions between what people popularly call religious or fundamentalist Muslims and Danish democratic notions, have been important in this case. Naturally the municipality has experienced tensions in institutions, also of religious character, but all together the situation around Salam has been exceedingly critical,” says Jan Dehn from Copenhagen’s municipality’s Department for children and Youth.

One of the prominent parents in Salam’s disputed administration, convert Abdul Hamid Henrik Lund, confirms his connection to Hizb ut-Tahrir, saying all the parents are what the Danes call “fanatic”. They want their kids to grow up Muslim so they don’t run around and behave like apes. and that they put the emphasis on teaching values to the kids, so that they will know what is “halal” and “haram”.


http://islamineurope.blogspot.com/2007/06/copenhagen-hizb-ut-tahrir-kindergarten.html
Islam: The Power of "No"










Slowly, ever so slowly, it is beginning to dawn on Americans that anything we attempt to do to entice the Middle East into the 21st century is likely to meet with defeat because its Muslim population, held in the grip of brutal men and a brutal theology, remains impervious to the possibility of peace, of freedom, of individual liberty.



What they are especially good at is saying “No.” They have been saying no to anything that smacks of modern civilized behavior for a very long time and that resistance has been largely tolerated in the West because (a) their nation may sit atop a lot of oil and/or (b) they are oppressed by their fellow Arabs.



What do Americans know of the Middle East? Not much and mostly gleaned from movies like “Lawrence of Arabia” and whatever films and television shows might depict. Long after WWII, the Middle East did not have a high priority on our attention. Our scant knowledge came from headlines about assassinations and wars. There were historical events like the independence of Israel in 1948 following one of the great horrors of the last century, the Holocaust.



The same United Nations decision to grant sovereignty to the Israelis was extended to the Arabs in the area, granting them territory on which to build a Palestinian nation. The Arabs said no.



Instead, they immediately attacked the new nation and were defeated. Would they now accept terms granting them a nation of their own? No. In 1967 the Egyptians, Syrians, and Jordanians massed their troops and, this time, the Six-Day War was an overwhelming defeat costing them vast tracts of land, the Golan Heights, the Sinai desert, East Jerusalem, the West Bank.



What was their response? The defeated Arab nations convened a conference from which they issued their now-famous Three No’s: No to peace with Israel. No to recognition of Israel. No to any negotiation with Israel.



Israel’s response has been to negotiate at every opportunity. They negotiated with Egypt and returned the Sinai. They negotiated “land for peace” with Yassir Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Front in Oslo, Norway. They were rewarded with the infamous Intifada that escalated into a series of suicide bombings. Finally, the Israelis built a high wall between themselves and the Palestinians in Gaza. These days the wall is breached daily by mortars and rockets that continue to rain down on towns adjacent to that hellish place.



The Israelis withdrew from southern Lebanon, occupied to avoid constant shelling of its northern cities and towns hoping that would bring peace. No. That ultimately led to more shelling and a short war in 2006. The Israeli failure to destroy Hezbollah last year was hailed as a great “victory” by the Arabs.



Earlier the Israeli government had unilaterally withdrawn from the Gaza strip, literally dragging their own citizens who lived there from their homes. Surely that would secure peace? No.



That led to a civil war between Hamas, whose entire political platform is the destruction of Israel, and Fatah, backed by the U.S. in the vain hope that it might negotiate peace—at last—with Israel.



Americans began to pay attention when, in 1979, the “Islamic Revolution” in Iran led to their diplomats being held hostage for 444 days. What kind of nation takes people hostage these days? An Islamic one. And what kind of people commandeers four jet airliners and fly them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? Muslims.



The root cause of strife in the Middle East is not Israel, a tiny nation with about six million inhabitants; one that is surrounded by twenty-two Arab nations with 300 million people. Even if Israel did not exist, the root cause of the terrorism and wars is Islam, the “religion of peace” embraced throughout that fetid, backward, cesspool of corruption and oppression.



What the Arabs of the Middle East offer is what Islam offers, only the peace of the grave if nations and men do not bow down to their threats and violence. It is the power of “no.”



The global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000 or 20% of the world’s population as compared with the global Jewish population of 14,000,000 or about 0.02% of the world’s population.



If one looks at Nobel Prizes awarded since 1910, one Muslim earned a prize in literature. Among the four awarded a Peace Prize were Egypt’s Mohammed Anwar El-Sadat who was assassinated for negotiating the return of the Sinai and Yasser Arafat who never brought a moment’s peace to the Palestinians. Two Muslims received prizes for medicine. Two Muslims have received a prize for economics. By contrast, the list of Jews receiving Nobel Prizes in all categories takes up several pages.



Which world do you want to live in?



Compare Beirut, Baghdad, Damascus, Khartoum or Mogadishu with any of cities of the West. Part of the world is insane, held in the grip of a “religion” spread by the sword and maintained by insuring that enlightenment of any kind is feared and destroyed. It is a world in which tiny children are taught to embrace murder and death.



Americans cannot understand such people. Americans cannot understand that the Islamic practice of deceit and war is deemed critical to the expansion of this “religion.”



America and the West are at a crossroads of history. The terrorism that would return us to a dark age ruled by Islam must be resisted.



We can begin by supporting Israel, by supporting our troops on the front lines of wherever the conflict takes them, and by affirming the power of “Yes”, the power that flows from freedom and liberty.


http://www.newmediajournal.us/staff/caruba/06192007.htm

We don't get fewer suicide bombers by cultural appeasement, we get more suicide bombers

We don't get fewer suicide bombers by cultural appeasement, we get more suicide bombers

Suicide Bomb Teams Sent to United States
ABC News

We don't get fewer suicide bombers by cultural appeasement, we get more suicide bombers
by Brian Ross


Large teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the United States and Europe, according to evidence contained on a new videotape obtained by the Blotter on ABCNews.com.

Teams assigned to carry out attacks in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Germany were introduced at an al Qaeda/Taliban training camp graduation ceremony held June 9.

A Pakistani journalist was invited to attend and take pictures as some 300 recruits, including boys as young as 12, were supposedly sent off on their suicide missions.

Photos: Inside an al Qaeda/Taliban 'Graduation' The tape shows Taliban military commander Mansoor Dadullah, whose brother was killed by the U.S. last month, introducing and congratulating each team as they stood.

"These Americans, Canadians, British and Germans come here to Afghanistan from faraway places," Dadullah says on the tape. "Why shouldn't we go after them?"

The leader of the team assigned to attack Great Britain spoke in English.

"So let me say something about why we are going, along with my team, for a suicide attack in Britain," he said. "Whether my colleagues, companions and Muslim brothers die today or tonight, every drop of our blood will invigorate the Muslim (unintelligible)."


blogs.abcnews.com ...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Why extremism must be moderated - Rushdie wrote a BOOK for heavens sake

Rushdie Suicide Attack Threat
Sky News


Updated: 14:56, Monday June 18, 2007 A Pakistani minister says Muslims would be right to launch suicide attacks over the Queen's decision to award Salman Rushdie a knighthood.

Religious Affairs Minister Mohammed Ijaz ul Haq told parliament: "This is an occasion for the (world's) 1.5 billion Muslims to look at the seriousness of this decision.

"The West is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism.

"If someone exploded a bomb on his body he would be right to do so unless the British government apologizes and withdraws the 'sir' title."

The comments follow a demand from Pakistan for Britain to strip the controversial author of his knighthood.

Officials say the knighthood is an insult to the religious sentiments of Muslims.

In Multan, effigies of Sir Salman and the monarch have been burned by about 100 students carrying banners and chanting "Kill Him! Kill Him!"


more at news.sky.com ...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What cultural assimilation is all about - great leadership rather than victimhood and whining

Arnold Schwarzenegger To Hispanics: Turn Off Spanish Television
The Post Chronicle

by Mitch Marconi



Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California Gov., has come under fire from leaders of the Latino community for telling a convention of Hispanic journalists that immigrant students should "turn off the Spanish television set" if they want to want to succeed academically.

As reported by the Associated Press, the Austrian born Governator told the group that he realized "this is the politically incorrect thing to say, and I'm going to get myself in trouble" but that he forced himself to learn English as a young immigrant and to this today rarely speaks German.

However, the Associated Press reported that many journalists in the audience expressed surprise.

"I'm sitting shaking my head not believing that someone would be so naïve and out of it that he would say something like that," Alex Nogales, head of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, told the AP. He emphasized that a great many of immigrants depend on Spanish-language media to remain informed.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

New Study: Political Islam Correlated to Support for Terrorism

New Study: Political Islam Correlated to Support for Terrorism
By Patrick Poole
A new study by the US Institute for Peace (USIP) of polling data from fourteen different Muslim countries finds that support for a role for Islam in politics strongly correlates with more likely support for terrorism. This statistical analysis is certain to draw protests from the usual propagandists of radical Islam in the US, even though the USIP can hardly be considered a neo-conservative institution.

Ever since recent release last month of the Pew poll on American Muslim attitudes, the Islamist propagandists and their media establishment allies have been working feverishly to avoid the implications of those findings by citing another study purportedly showing Americans more in favor of attacks on civilians than Muslims in the US and around the world, claims rebutted in my American Thinker article last week, "Lies, Damned Lies, and CAIR's Statistics".


The current report in question, "Correlates of Public Support for Terrorism in the Muslim World" by Ethan Bueno de Mesquita of Washington University in St. Louis, also examines data gathered by the Pew Research Center and finds a broad range of opinions and attitudes in the Muslim world. For instance, support for terrorism was extremely high in Lebanon (home of Hezbollah) and extremely low in Uzbekistan (an allied partner with the US in the War on Terror).


The support for terrorism is also dispersed in the Muslim world: of the top five countries in the fourteen surveyed, two were in the Middle East (Lebanon and Jordan), two were in Africa (Nigeria, Ivory Coast) and one was in Asia (Bangladesh). It should be noted that Egypt refused to let the question be asked as part of the survey, and other presumably high terrorism support areas, including Syria, Iran, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia, were not included in the poll.


The standout finding of the USIP study is that support for an increased role for Islam in politics is correlated with greater support for the use of terrorism, even in countries that already adhere to political Islam:

People who support a strong role for Islam in politics are more likely to also support terrorism. Perhaps more surprisingly, people who perceive Islam to play a large role in the politics of their home country are also more likely to support terrorism. (p. 7)
The USIP study also busts the bubble of radical Islamic apologists who claim that support for terrorism is driven by people living under Islamic dictatorships. What the data shows is that dissatisfaction with Islam's role in internal politics has very little correlation to attitudes on terror. The study finds that

...dissatisfaction with the role of Islam in one's own country's politics is much more weakly correlated with support for terrorism then raw attitudes toward to role of Islam. (p. 7)
Perhaps even more important, the data shows that in these countries the perceived threat to Islam posed by the government plays virtually no role at all in support for terrorism. (p. 7)


To get at what might possibly drive support for terrorism, the study's author looked at respondents opinions on possible threats to Islam. What he discovered is that the perceived threat to Islam by their home government had very little impact in their support for terrorism, but instead, "those who believe the United States and the West pose such a threat are particularly likely to support terrorism." (p. 8) In fact, the perceived threat by the US to Islam correlates higher than any other factor in justifying the use of terrorism. (p. 9)


There are several other surprising findings in the USIP report:

Respondents in these Muslim countries that believed they had some degree of freedom of speech were found to be more likely to support terrorism. (p. 28) As a possible interpretation for this effect, one explanation offered by the study's author is that "when people perceive themselves to have freedom of expression, they are more inclined to admit their support for terror." (p. 29)
In line with the findings of other surveys, support for terrorism is constant across education groups (p. 35) It's not just that education plays little role in justifying terror, but that the relationship is non-existent: "Not only is the relationship statistically insignificant, but by and large the point estimates are zero." (p. 36)
Perception of the state of the country's economy was basically uncorrelated with support for terrorism. (p. 30) This finding undercuts the argument that Islamic terrorism is driven by poverty in the Muslim world.
Women are more likely to be weak or strong supporters of terrorism than men. (p. 37)
Age is negatively correlated to support for terrorism, meaning that the older one gets, the less likely he will justify the use of terrorism. (p. 38-39) The study's author suggests this might be due to a real age effect (views moderate for all ages as they get older), or a generational effect (people born in the 1940s vs. the 1980s). Marriage was also a negative factor in supporting terrorism, though the relationship was found to be statistically insignificant. (p. 40)
As stated earlier, the strongest correlated factor in the support for terrorism is anti-Americanism and the perceived threat to Islam from America in the West. The study's author explains the critical role this plays in the support for terrorism in the Muslim world:

It may well be that people support terrorism because they perceive there to be a threat to Islam from the United States. But the relationship could also work the other way. Terrorism is, among other things, a tool of propaganda. One of the key messages of Islamic terrorists is anti-Americanism. Thus, if terrorism is an effective tool of propaganda, it may be that people who support terrorism (for whatever reason) end up having strongly anti-American sentiments because they are persuaded by the terrorists' message. Another, related, explanation argues that people who support terrorism have a psychological need to justify this support. As a result, they adopt views that "rationalize" their support for terrorism. Thus, while they may perceive their support for terrorism to be caused by their anti-American views, the opposite might be the case-they may have adopted anti-Americanism to justify support for terror. Under either of these alternative interpretations, anti-Americanism does not cause support for terror, support for terror causes anti-Americanism. (p. 41-42)
Terrorists have a vested interest in ratcheting up anti-America rhetoric as part of their hate propaganda campaign. Terror and hatred of America and its values go hand-in-hand in the Muslim world unlike any other factor yet studied. Because these two are so strongly correlated, this tells us something about those quick to indict American society and our government's policies.


This new study also shatters the myth of the supposedly peaceful Muslim world advanced recently by CAIR, ISNA and the Orwellian-named Terror Free America. If these organizations are really concerned about combating terror and improving American-Islamic relations, this study clearly demonstrates that they had better start working on the Islamic side of the equation.

more at americanthinker.com

Friday, June 15, 2007

Australia: Man who raped a Muslim woman because she showed an interest in Christianity given five years in prison

Australia: Man who raped a Muslim woman because she showed an interest in Christianity given five years in prison


A MAN who raped a Muslim woman because she showed an interest in Christianity has been jailed for at least five years by a Sydney court.
As Abdul Reda Al-Shawany was sentenced today, the Downing Centre District Court heard a harrowing statement from the victim, revealing that her shame and fear had been compounded by her cultural background.

The woman, who cannot be named, arrived in Australia as a refugee from Iraq.

But she said that even when she was jailed by dictator Saddam Hussein, she never feared for her life the way she did after the rape.

"It is better if I'm dead," she told the court.

Al-Shawany's trial was told that he visited the woman, an acquaintance, at Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre with another man.

The woman had been reading the Bible and Al-Shawany noted her contact with Christians.

The men told her they were "infidel people" and if she went with them, her killing "would be halal" - meaning her killer would go to heaven.

In September 2002, Al-Shawany lured the woman to a unit at Warwick Farm, claiming to have news about her family in Iraq.

She was hit on the head and had her hijab tied around her face before Al-Shawany raped her twice in what Judge Brian Knox described as a degrading, humiliating and brutal attack.

Afterwards Al-Shawany told her: "Let your Christ benefit you now".

It took the jury less than half an hour to convict him of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.


read more at dhimmiwatch.com

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Reasons Why Al-Qaeda Wages War On Us

The Reasons Why Al-Qaeda Wages War On Us

.....Lawrence Wrights excellent book on the history of radical Islam, The Looming Tower. 

First, for those, specifically on the left, who continually state bin Ladens beef with the United States was due to our country having had our troops on "sacred" land, ie Saudi Arabia, Lawrence writes about the Peter Arnett interview in March of 1997 in which we get from the horses mouth what his beef really is. 

What is even more interesting for those on the left who state we should stop supporting Israel, we should leave Iraq, just give them what they want and they will be happy, bin Laden's words should wake your ass up:
Bin Laden cited American support for Israel as the first cause of his declaration of war, followed by the presence of American troops in Arabia.  He added that American civilians must also leave the Islamic holy land because he could not guarantee their safety.

In the most revealing exchange, Arnett asked whether, if the United States complied with bin Laden's demands to leave Arabia, he would call of his jihad.  "The reaction came as a result of the aggressive U.S. policy toward the entire Muslim world, not just the Arabian Peninsula," bin Laden said.  Therefore, the United States has to withdraw from any kind of intervention against Muslims, "in the whole world."  Bin Laden was already speaking as the representative of the Islamic nation, a caliph-in-waiting.  "The U.S. today has set a double standard, calling whoever goes against its injustice a terrorist," he complained.  "It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose on us agents to rule us...and wants us to agree to all these.  If we refuse to do, it will say, 'You are terrorists.'"

If we look at the beginning of al-Qaeda in 1988 there are two meetings, which Lawrence writes about, that began al-Qaeda.  On August 11th, 1988, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam chaired a meeting  with bin Laden, Abu Hafs, Abu Ubaydah, Abu Hajer, Dr. Fadl and Wa'el Julaidan.  Notes were taken and Lawrence writes:
Although the notes don't reflect it, a vote was taken to form a new organization aimed at keeping jihad alive after the Soviets were gone.  It is difficult to imagine these men agreeing on anything, but only Abu Hajer voted against the new group.  Abu Rida summarized the meeting by saying that a plan must be established within the suitable time frame and qualified people must be found to put the plan into effect.  "Initial estimate, within 6 months of al-Qaeda, 314 brothers will be trained and ready."  For most of the men in the meeting, this was the first time that the name al-Qaeda had arisen.  The members of the new group would be drawn from the most promising recruits among the Arab Afghans, but it was still unclear what the organization would do or where it would go after the jihad.  Perhaps bin Laden himself didn't know.

Few people in the room realized that al-Qaeda had already been secretly created some months before by a small group of bin Laden insiders.  Bin Laden's friend from Jeddah, Medani al-Tayeb, who had married his niece, had joined the group on May 17, the day after Ramadan, so the organizational meeting on August 11 only brought to the surface what was already covertly under way.

On Saturday morning, August 20, the same men met again to establish what they called al-Qaeda al-Askariya (the military base).  "The mentioned al-Qaeda is basically and organized Islamic faction, its goal is to lift the word of God, to make HIs religion victorious," the secretary recorded in his minutes of the meeting.

Later Lawrence writes:
The leaders of al-Qaeda developed a constitution and by-laws, which described the utopian goals of the organization in clear terms: "To establish the truth, get rid of evil, and establish an Islamic nation."  This would be accomplished through education and military training, as well as coordinating and supporting jihad movements around the world. 

Lawrence writes about a speech bin Laden gave in the bin Laden family mosque in Jeddah in which he railed against the plight of the Arab world, and blamed it all on the US:
At first, it was difficult to grasp the basis of bin Laden's complaint.  The United States had never been a colonial power, nor for that matter had Saudi Arabia ever been colonized.  Of course, he was speaking for Muslims in general, for whom American support of Israel was a cause of anguish, but the United States had been a decisive ally in the Afghan jihad.  The sense of humiliation he expressed had more to do with the stance of Muslims in the modern world.  Their lives were sold at a discount, bin Laden was tellnig his hometown audience, which confirmed their sense that other lives - Western, American lives - were fuller and more worthwhile. 

Bin Laden gave them a history lession.  "America went to Vietnam, thousands of miles away, and began bombing them in planes.  The Americans did not get out of Vietnam until after they suffered great losses.  Over sixty thousand American soldiers were killed until there were demonstrations by the American people.  The Americans won't stop their support of Jews in Palestine until we give them a lot of blows.  They won't stop until we do jihad against them."
Ok, so we understand what the goals of al-Qaeda was and is.  The formation of an Islamic state.  To stop the support of Israel by the West.  Not because we are in Iraq, not because we were in Saudi Arabia.  If none of these things had happened they would still wage jihad against us.  They hate what we stand for, they hate we are "unbelievers", and they hate that we support Israel.
But lets look at the central argument in the al-Qaeda/Iraq connection.  The left will constantly state that bin Laden would never support secular Saddam, or Shiites.  But wait a minute, when he moved to Sudan he formed a relationship with Hasan al-Turabi, who also envisioned a international Muslim community with Sudan as it's headquarters:
Although bin Laden distrusted Turabi - hated him, even - he experimented with one of Turabi's most progressive and controversial ideas: to make common cause with Shiites.  He had Abu Hajer advise the members of al-Qaeda that there was only one enemy now, the West, and the two main sects of Islam needed to come together to destroy it.  Bin Laden invited Shiite representatives to speak to al-Qaeda, and he sent some of his top people to Lebanon to train with Iranian-backed group Hezbollah.  Imad Mugniyah, the head of Hezbollah's security service, came to meet bin Laden and agreed to train members of al-Qaeda in exchange for weapons.  Mugniyah had planned the 1983 suicide car bombings of the US Embassy and the U.S. Marine Corps and French paratrooper barracks in Beirut, which killed more then three hundred Americans and fifty-eight French soldiers and had led to the prompt withdrawal of American peacekeeping forces from Lebanon.  That precedent had made a profound impression on bin Laden, who saw that suicide bombers could be devastatingly effective and that, for all its might, America had no appetite for conflict.

He didn't like working with them, but he would indeed work with those he despises to succeed in  destroying the west, and the best way to do that was to inflict mass casualities on America.  Do it enough and he hoped we would capitulate.
So far from being unwilling to work with Shiites, far from being only out to get us out of Saudi Arabia or Iraq, their goal is the destruction of the West and the promise of a new, powerful, Muslim nation to spread the word and get rid of the unbelievers. 

Read more at floppingaces.net

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

fathers killing daughters

Father Guilty Of Daughter's 'Honor Killing'
WFSB.com

AP



Man, Brother Accused Woman Of Shaming Family

LONDON -- A father who ordered his daughter brutally slain for falling in love with the wrong man in a so-called "honor killing" was found guilty of murder on Monday.

Banaz Mahmod, 20, was strangled with a boot lace, stuffed into a suitcase and buried in a back garden.

Her death is the latest in an increasing trend of such killings in Britain, home to some 1.8 million Muslims. More than 100 homicides are under investigation as potential "honor killings."

Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and his brother Ari Mahmod, 51, planned the killing during a family meeting, prosecutors told the court. Two others have pleaded guilty in the case. Two more suspects have fled the country. Sentencing is expected later this month.

The men accused the young woman of shaming her family by ending an abusive arranged marriage, becoming too Westernized and falling in love with a man who didn't come from their Iraqi village. The Kurdish family came to Britain in 1998 when Banaz Mahmod was 11.

"She was my present, my future, my hope," said Rahmat Suleimani, 29, Banaz Mahmod's boyfriend.

During the three-month trial, prosecutors said Mahmod's father beat his daughter for using hairspray and adopting other Western ways. Her uncle once told her she would have been "turned to ashes" if she were his daughter and had shamed the family by becoming involved with the Iranian Kurd, her sister 22-year-old Bekhal Mahmod testified.

Banaz Mahmod ran away from home when she was a teenager but returned when her father sent her an audio tape in which he warned he would kill her sisters, her mother and himself if she did not come home, her sister said.

She was later hospitalized after her brother attacked her, the sister told the court. The brother said he had been paid by their father to finish her off but in the end was unable to do it, said the sister, who testified in a full black burqa. She said she still feared for her own life.

The years of Banaz Mahmod's abuse were compounded by police officers who repeatedly dismissed her cries for help.

She first went to police in December 2005, saying she suspected her uncle was trying to kill her and her boyfriend. She sent police a letter naming the men who she thought would later kill her.

On New Year's Eve, she was lured by her father to her grandmother's home, where she suspected he planned to attack her after he forced her to gulp down brandy and approached her while wearing gloves. She escaped by breaking a window and was treated at a hospital.

Police dismissed her suspicions, and one officer, who is under investigation, considered charging her with damages for breaking her grandmother's window.

Laying in her hospital bed after the escape, Mahmod recorded a dramatic video message saying she was "really scared."

The videotape, taken by her boyfriend at the hospital, was shown to the jury during the trial.

After she was released from the hospital, she returned home and tried to convince her family she had stopped seeing her boyfriend.

But friends told the family they spotted the couple together on Jan. 22, 2006.

Soon after, a group of men allegedly approached her boyfriend and tried to lure him into a car but he refused. It was that event that prompted Banaz Mahmod to go to police again. This time officers tried to persuade her to stay in a safe house. She refused, believing that her mother would protect her.

But her mother and father left her alone in the house the next day. Her boyfriend alerted police after time passed in which she failed to send him text messages.

Her body wasn't discovered until three months later after police tracked phone records.

Britain has seen more than 25 women killed by their Muslim relatives in the past decade for offenses they believed brought shame on the family. More than 100 other homicides are under investigation as potential honor killings.

Some Muslim communities in Britain practice Sharia, or strict Islamic law.

"We're seeing an increase around the world, due in part to the rise in Islamic fundamentalism," said Diana Nammi with the London-based Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organization.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Preaching murder, hatred and suicide to vulnerable inmates is not what freedom is about

Inmates Sue After Prisons Ban Religious Books

OTISVILLE, N.Y. Inmates at the federal prison camp in Otisville, N.Y., were stunned at what they saw at the chapel library on Memorial Day: Hundreds of books disappeared from the shelves.

The removal of the books is occurring nationwide -- part of a long-delayed post-Sept. 11 federal directive designed to prevent radical religious texts, specifically Islamic ones, from falling into the hands of violent inmates.

Three inmates from Otisville filed a lawsuit over the policy, saying their Constitutional rights were violated. They say all religions were affected -- Islamic prayer books, Christian books, and ancient Jewish texts were among those removed.

"The set of books that have been taken out have been ones that we used to minister to new converts when they come in here," inmate John Okon, speaking on behalf of the prison's Christian population, told a judge last week.

Okon said it was unfortunate because "I have really seen religion turn around the life of some of these men, especially in the Christian community."

But the government stressed that the new rules don't entirely clear the shelves of prison chapel libraries.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Feldman told U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain that prison libraries limited the number of books for each religion to between 100 and 150 books under the new rules. But he said officials would expand the number after a second look at the list of permitted books.

Feldman said the order to remove books stems from an April 2004 Department of Justice review of how prisons choose Muslim religious services providers. It is not exactly clear why it took so long for the order to take effect, but prison officials needed time to pore over a long list of books and determine what's acceptable.

Feldman said the study was made out of a concern that prisons "had been radicalized by inmates who were practicing or espousing various extreme forms of religion, specifically Islam, which exposed security risks to the prisons and beyond the prisons to the public at large."

Feldman said the review by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons concluded that supervision of the prison chapel libraries was not as thorough as it should be and that none of the prisons' collections had been screened since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"The presence of extremist chaplains, contractors or volunteers in the BOP's correctional facilities can pose a threat to institutional security and could implicate national security if inmates are encouraged to commit terrorist acts against the United States," the report said.

The review suggested audio and video monitoring of worship areas and chapel classrooms and screening religious service providers to weed out extreme views. It also recommended prisons take steps to reduce inmate-led religious services and consider constant staff monitoring of inmate-led services.

A message for comment left with a Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman in Washington was not immediately returned.

Feldman also said that inmates were permitted to order books on their own and bypass the chapel libraries. "So fundamentally this is not a case about what books the inmates have the ability to read," he said.

But inmates say the rules have had a chilling effect.

Inmate Moshe Milstein told the judge by telephone that the chaplain at Otisville removed about 600 books from the chapel library on Memorial Day, including Harold S. Kushner's bestseller: "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," a book that Norman Vincent Peale said was "a book that all humanity needs."

"There is definitely irreparable harm done to us already, and we would like the court to issue the injunction to get the books back as soon as possible," he said.

Inmate Douglas Kelly, who described himself as a representative of the prison's Muslim community, complained of "a denial of our First Amendment rights."

He said books on Islam already were among the smallest religious collections in the library and had been trimmed in half in the Memorial Day removal.

He said most of the Islamic books which disappeared involved the teachings of the Prophet Muhammed and contained instructions on how Muslims are supposed to pray and how to follow diet and religious laws, along with the statements of religious scholars trained by the prophet.

"A lot of what we are missing were definitely prayer books or prayer guides and religious laws on the part of the Muslim faith," he said.

The judge said the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, might be premature because the inmates had not yet followed prison administrative complaint procedures. She declined to block the book removals, the remedy sought by the lawsuit.

Ron Kuby, a civil rights lawyer who has represented a former head Islamic chaplain in the state prison system who was banned from the prisons after he was accused of making extremist statements, called the prison book removal "a mass Memorial Day book burning."

But he also said there might be limits to relief the prisoners can seek because the First Amendment rights of prisoners are severely limited in prison.

"What a wonderful way to honor those who have died for the cost of freedom," he said.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The cultural abuse must be ended

UK: Girl, 11, rescued from marriage
"The forced marriage unit deals with 250 cases a year." And that number is certain to climb.

"Girl, 11, rescued from marriage," from BBC News, with thanks to Darcy:

An 11-year-old girl has been rescued from a forced marriage, the Home Office has said.
Minister Baroness Scotland said the girl, who was born in Britain, was taken to Bangladesh at the age of six to care for her disabled mother.

At 11, she was forced into marriage but her aunt in the UK reported the case to authorities who brought her back to Britain and put her in foster care.

It is one of 5,000 cases handled by the government's forced marriage unit.

Baroness Scotland told the BBC's Asian Network: "We've just rescued an 11-year-old who'd been forced into marriage, who'd been raped.

"Since she was six she'd been looking after her disabled mother and two siblings. And with the help of her aunt we were able to rescue her and bring her back."

The forced marriage unit was set up just over two years ago to help victims and survivors of forced marriage.

It deals with 250 cases a year and has rescued 300 people, many of them very young girls.
more at jihadwatch.com.......

Friday, June 08, 2007

A Muslim Friend's Letter to Slain Father Ragheed

A Muslim Friend's Letter to Slain Father Ragheed
Zenit




ROME, JUNE 6, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of a letter written posthumously to Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni by a Muslim friend of his who is a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Father Ragheed and three deacons were shot and killed in Mosul, Iraq, on Sunday after Mass.


In the name of the compassionate and merciful God,

Ragheed, my brother,

I ask your forgiveness for not being with you when those criminals opened fire against you and your brothers. The bullets that have gone through your pure and innocent body have also gone through my heart and soul.

You were one of the first people I met when I arrived to Rome. We met in the halls of the Angelicum and we would drink our cappuccino in the university's cafeteria. You impressed me with your innocence, joy, your pure and tender smile that never left you.

I always picture you smiling, joyful and full of zest for life. Ragheed is to me innocence personified; a wise innocence that carries in its heart the sorrows of his unhappy people. I remember the time, in the university's dining room, when Iraq was under embargo and you told me that the price of a single cappuccino would have satisfied the needs of an Iraqi family for a whole day.

You told me this as if you were feeling guilty for being far away from your persecuted people and unable to share in their sufferings …

In fact, you returned to Iraq, not only to share the suffering and destiny of your people but also to join your blood to the blood of thousands of Iraqis killed each day. I will never forget the day of your ordination [Oct. 13, 2001] in the [Pontifical] Urbanian University … with tears in your eyes, you told me: "Today, I have died to self" … a hard thing to say.

I didn't understand it right away, or maybe I didn't take it as seriously as I should have. … But today, through your martyrdom, I have understood that phrase. … You have died in your soul and body to be raised up in your beloved, in your teacher, and so that Christ would be raised up in you, despite the sufferings, sorrows, despite the chaos and madness.

In the name of what god of death have they killed you? In the name of which paganism have they crucified you? Did they truly know what they were doing?

O God, we don't ask you for revenge or retaliation. We ask you for victory, a victory of justice over falsehood, life over death, innocence over treachery, blood over the sword. … Your blood will not have been shed in vain, dear Ragheed, because with it you have blessed the soil of your country. And from heaven, your tender smile will continue to light the darkness of our nights and announce to us a better tomorrow.

I ask your forgiveness, brother, for when the living get together they think they have all the time in the world to talk, visit, and share feelings and thoughts. You had invited me to Iraq … I dreamed of that visit, of visiting your house, your parents, your office. … It never occurred to me that it would be your tomb that one day I would visit or that it would be verses from my Quran that I would recite for the repose of your soul …

One day, before your first trip to Iraq after a prolonged absence, I went with you to buy souvenirs and presents for your family. You spoke with me of your future work: "I would like to preside over the people on the base of charity before justice" -- you said.

It was difficult for me to imagine you a "canonical judge" … And today your blood and your martyrdom have spoken for you, a verdict of fidelity and patience, of hope against all suffering, of survival, in spite of death, in spite of everything.

Brother, your blood hasn't been shed in vain, and your church's altar wasn't a masquerade. … You assumed your role with deep seriousness until the end, with a smile that would never be extinguished … ever.

Your loving brother,

Adnam Mokrani
Rome, June 4, 2007
Professor of Islamic Studies in the Institute for the Study of Religion and Culture,
Pontifical Gregorian University

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Behind the innocent looking veil lies a culture of darkness that must not subjugate women in the west

LA Times Writer in Saudi Arabia

LA Times staff writer Megan K. Stack has a must-read piece about gender apartheid in the Saudi Arabian theocracy: In Saudi Arabia, a view from behind the veil.


ONE glaring spring day, when the hot winds raced in off the plains and the sun blotted everything to white, I stood outside a Riyadh bank, sweating in my black cloak while I waited for a friend. The sidewalk was simmering, but I had nowhere else to go. As a woman, I was forbidden to enter the men’s half of the bank to fetch him. Traffic screamed past on a nearby highway. The winds tugged at the layers of black polyester. My sunglasses began to slip down my glistening nose.

The door clattered open, and I looked up hopefully. But no, it was a security guard. And he was stomping straight at me, yelling in Arabic. I knew enough vocabulary to glean his message: He didn’t want me standing there. I took off my shades, fixed my blue eyes on him blankly and finally turned away as if puzzled. I think of this as playing possum.

He disappeared again, only to reemerge with another security guard. This man was of indistinct South Asian origin and had an English vocabulary. He looked like a pit bull — short, stocky and teeth flashing as he barked: “Go! Go! You can’t stand here! The men can SEE! The men can SEE!”

I looked down at him and sighed. I was tired. “Where do you want me to go? I have to wait for my friend. He’s inside.” But he was still snarling and flashing those teeth, arms akimbo. He wasn’t interested in discussions.

“Not here. NOT HERE! The men can SEE you!” He flailed one arm toward the bank.

I lost my temper.

“I’m just standing here!” I snapped. “Leave me alone!” This was a slip. I had already learned that if you’re a woman in a sexist country, yelling at a man only makes a crisis worse.

The pit bull advanced toward me, making little shooing motions with his hands, lips curled back. Involuntarily, I stepped back a few paces and found myself in the shrubbery. I guess that, from the bushes, I was hidden from the view of the window, thereby protecting the virtue of all those innocent male bankers. At any rate, it satisfied the pit bull, who climbed back onto the sidewalk and stood guard over me. I glared at him. He showed his teeth. The minutes passed. Finally, my friend reemerged.

A liberal, U.S.-educated professor at King Saud University, he was sure to share my outrage, I thought. Maybe he’d even call up the bank — his friend was the manager — and get the pit bull in trouble. I told him my story, words hot as the pavement.

He hardly blinked. “Yes,” he said. “Oh.” He put the car in reverse, and off we drove.


Read more at lgf.com

U.S.-Based Arabic Channel Faces Probe

U.S.-Based Arabic Channel Faces Probe
IMDB.com

6 June 2007

The Virginia-based al-Hurra satellite television network that is financed by Congress and beams to the Arab world may be subject to an independent review following reports that it has routinely aired broadcasts that include denunciations of Israel or Jews. The station, which reportedly receives $62 million in funding annually (plus an additional $40 million for a station that targets Iraq), was reportedly set up as an alternative to the principal Arab news channel al-Jazeera, which has frequently been attacked by U.S. politicians as sympathetic to Arab militants. But the Associated Press reported Tuesday that al-Hurra has aired programs that have included a lengthy speech by Hezbolla leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and Palestinian prime minister -- and Hamas leader -- Ismail Haniya -- and referred to the founding of Israel in 1948 as "the catastrophe."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Great cultural move, Germany

German teachers' head scarf ban 'upheld'
The Sydney Morning Herald

AP

A court upheld a German state's ban on teachers wearing the Muslim head scarf in public schools, rejecting a woman's appeal against a decision not to employ her.

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, is one of several regions that have introduced head scarf bans for teachers in recent years.

The 28-year-old plaintiff had argued that the state's law was discriminatory and violated her religious freedom.

However, the administrative court in Duesseldorf said regional law did not allow for religious statements that might infringe on the state's neutrality toward students and parents. Presiding judge Kurt Buechel argued that wearing a head scarf does to some extent constitute an expression of religious conviction.

Authorities in Duesseldorf had refused to employ the teacher on the grounds that she was not prepared to go without a head scarf in classes.

It was not immediately clear whether the teacher, whose name was not released, would appeal.

Blame of others for your self created problems is the sure road to defeat

On the anniversary of the Six Day War, Arab nations and organizations like the Arab League are whining at a fever pitch about how horrible everything is now, and how much better it would be if they’d been allowed to wipe out the Jews: Arabs blame problems on 1967 war defeat.


Arab league’s representatives pay a minute of silence Tuesday, June 5, 2007, in Cairo, Egypt, during a special session, honoring Arab victims and protesting against Israeli occupation, marking the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Israeli Arab war, in which Israel won a stunning victory over Arab armies and occupied Arab lands . (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

CAIRO, Egypt - Forty years after Israel’s stunning victory over three Arab armies, the defeat still lingers in the Arab world — so much so, some blame it for everything from a lack of democracy in the region to the rise of religious extremism.

On June 5, 1967, Israeli warplanes destroyed 400 aircraft belonging to Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq — most of them sitting on airport tarmacs. Egypt lost the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip, Syria gave up the Golan Heights, and Jordan relinquished the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Trying to minimize the defeat, Arabs have long called the Six Day War the “naksa,” or “setback,” but its impact remains a deep wound.

Egyptian columnist Wael Abdel Fattah wrote in the independent weekly Al-Fagr newspaper that Arabs blame the defeat for “everything” — from “price hikes, dictatorship, religious extremism, sectarian strife, even sexual impotence.”

Read more at lgf.com

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Where are the young males who can't touch girls???

A prom of their own
The state's first prom for young Muslim women gave participants a chance to experience an American rite of passage - without making cultural compromises.
BY LIALA HELAL
Pioneer Press.com



Farha Bachani, left, puts lip gloss on her cousin Saima Bachani on Saturday at the University of Minnesota's Coffman Memorial Union before a prom for young Muslim women. The event allowed Muslim girls, who aren't allowed to dance with boys or wear revealing dresses, to enjoy a teen rite of passage. (JEAN PIERI, Pioneer Press)More than 100 Muslim teen girls let their hair down Saturday night. Both literally and figuratively. Muslim girls who wear the headscarf in public slid them off as they walked into the first Minnesota Muslim prom exclusively for girls and women. With no men there, they didn't have to cover up and were free to let loose and dance.

"I'd hate to miss this," said Sabrina Wazwaz, 15, a freshman who goes to Twin Cities Academy in St. Paul. "I think it's really nice how they thought of the Muslim girls who can't go to the American prom, so they made this for us."

The event was called PROM, an acronym which stands for Party foR Only Muslimahs, or Muslim girls, and was held in accordance with Islamic culture and values. Many Muslim girls don't go to their high school prom for cultural reasons: They aren't allowed to dance with the opposite sex, and prom dresses can be too revealing for some Muslim girls to wear in public. As an alternative, the event, held at the University of Minnesota's Coffman Memorial Union, allowed participants to dance, wear what they wanted and not feel like they missed out on a staple of the high school experience.

"I thought it was an awesome idea," said Sagirah Shahid, one of the main organizers and president of the Muslim Youth of Minnesota. Shahid, 18, is a senior at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis. "We want to encourage Muslimahs to have fun but not do anything they're not supposed to. It's a positive


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alternative to the real prom."
The event included dinner, performances by attendees during a talent show, a fashion show of clothing from different cultures and dancing.

Girls dressed in sparkly gowns admired one another's dresses as they dipped strawberries in a chocolate fountain and drank punch.

Wazwaz wore an ethnic hip scarf that jingled when she moved her hips. She, along with Muslim girls from all over the Twin Cities, smiled and laughed beneath glowing red lights and candles, surrounded by the gold, black and red colors of China that went with the event's theme: "A night in China."

The theme was chosen because it was "different and unique, something that's never been done before," said Fathya Jeylani, a student at the University of Minnesota.

Wazwaz, who performed a Palestinian belly dance during the talent show, said it's hard for her to explain to her friends at school why she's not going to the high school prom.

"Some people don't understand Islam," she said. "They just think, 'Oh, her parents are strict, so she can't do anything,' but it's really the opposite. We can do stuff, but it's just the non-Islamic stuff that we can't do."

The event was organized by Muslim Youth of Minnesota and co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota's Al-Madinah Cultural Center.

One of the organizers, Mallerie Shirley, 20, whose mother converted to Islam 10 years ago, said she was surprised at the positive response they got from the community when advertising for the event because generally "there's a negative connotation about prom in the Muslim community," she said.

But now, all that has changed.

Shirley expected some girls to think the idea was "lame," but found the opposite to be true.

"The cultural norms for this prom is different. Nobody expects you to have a date; nobody expects you to drink afterward. It's prom that's been plugged into the Muslim converter," Shirley said.

The event brought together girls and women from all segments of the Muslim community, including Somali, Kenyan, Indian, Pakistani, Malaysian, Sudanese, Lebanese, Palestinian, Jordanian, Egyptian, Moroccan, African-American and Caucasian-American participants. The event was open to girls ages 12 and older, and to women.

"It's more like a community prom of all different cultures and ages," said Susan Samaha, 23, who didn't go to her high school prom because she didn't feel like she'd have a good time. "I was super excited when I first heard about it. This is basically all the fun stuff about prom without any of the negative stuff. It's just good, innocent, girl fun."

She said regular prom is based on dating, which is prohibited in Islamic culture.

"I personally think you can have a much better time without guys because you can just let loose and do whatever you want," said Amina Ghouse, a youth group adviser.

The organizers plan on having this event annually and next year hope to have it closer to prom season, at the end of April or early May, so it can be an option for girls who don't feel comfortable attending their high school proms.

"We don't want the girls to feel like they're missing out on the fun of prom," Shahid said. "Prom is like a rite of passage for some people."

American Muslim girls often have to come up with creative ways to take the most important values of their two cultures - Islamic and American - and find a middle ground.

"A lot of times, Muslim girls' fun is limited," Shahid said.

"What we have in common with every other girl is that we just want to feel pretty, be girly and have fun," she said. "We want an excuse to dress like a princess."

Liala Helal can be reached at lhelal@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-2173.

Christian women warned to wear veil

Christian women warned to wear veil
Religion and Spirituality

A letter signed by the Mahdi Army linked to Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical Iraqi Shiite cleric who the United States considers the greatest threat to security in Iraq, warned Christian women in Baghdad to wear the veil as do Muslim women. It is the latest in a long string of abuses against Iraqi Christians, including rape, murder, kidnapping, extortion and forced conversions, AsiaNews reported Wednesday.

The letter, an English translation of which was published by Aina news agency Wednesday, said "Was the Virgin Mary (peace be upon her) unveiled so that Christian women be allowed to be unveiled? Was Fatima al-Zahra unveiled? And were the wives of the Caliphs in the First Caliphate or others unveiled? No, and then no ... Allah forbid and far be it from all of them." It then warns "She is an adulteress, and she even proclaims sinfulness, challenges and fights Allah and his Prophet and ignores and neglects religion."

Answering the question "What measure should be taken against a woman who disobeys her father, husband, or her guardian by not committing to the legal veil?" the letter said husbands and fathers "must guide and educate her religiously in order to convince her. If she is not convinced still, then they must imprison her at home and do not expose her to the forbidden interaction with men." Finally, it warns "special committees have been established to follow up on this matter."


more at religionandspirituality.com ...

Violent extremism and cultural dress of women are related

Islamic Group Targets Women Newscasters
Salon/AP

by DIAA HADID



GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip --

An Islamic group threatened to behead female TV broadcasters if they don't wear strict Islamic dress, frightening reporters and signaling a further shift toward extremism in the Gaza Strip.

The threat to "cut throats from vein to vein" was delivered by the Swords of Truth, a fanatical group that has previously claimed responsibility for bombing Internet cafes and music shops. The new threat was the first time the organization targeted a specific group of people.

In many parts of the Muslim world, conservative policies keep women out of TV anchor positions or dictate they wear headscarves on air. Headscarves for TV broadcasters are uncommon, however, in Lebanon and Jordan, and even Egypt keeps newscasters who wear them off its TV stations.

The influence of Islamic groups in the Gaza Strip has grown over the past three decades, especially as poverty has risen since fighting with Israel began in 2000. Now, it is more common to see women with their faces covered with veils than women without their hair covered.

Most of the 15 women broadcasters on government-run Palestine TV wear headscarves. But they also wear makeup and Western clothing -- not considered strictly observant by extremists.

The Swords of Truth issued the statement Friday in an e-mail to news organizations.

"We will cut throats, and from vein to vein, if needed to protect the spirit and moral of this nation," the statement said. The group also accused the women broadcasters of being "without any ... shame or morals."

Prior to the statement, some women broadcasters said they had received personal threats through their mobile phones. It was not clear if the threats were from the same group.

One anchorwoman who does not wear a headscarf said she was too frightened by the threat to go to work on Saturday.

"It's a dangerous precedent in our society. It will target all working women," said the broadcaster, who declined to give her name out of fear. "The statement frightened us."

Another presenter who wears a headscarf said she couldn't understand why they were targeted. "I hope they take it back. I hope not a bullet will be fired at us," she said.

Basem Abu Sumaya, head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, which runs Palestine TV, said the PBC already had security measures in place, but could not protect people on the way to work. The PBC is bankrolled by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, and is accused of openly exhibiting support for the moderate movement, a bitter rival of the Islamic group Hamas.

A senior security official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said The Swords of Truth had less than 100 members and was formed last year.

The group claimed responsibility for the bombings of about three dozen Internet cafes, music shops and pool halls, which are considered places of vice by some in deeply conservative Gaza. Assailants detonated small bombs outside the businesses at night, causing damage but no injuries.

The security official said his forces were taking the threat seriously. He said Hamas members funded the group, wanting to impose a hardline version of Islam in Gaza. Hamas won parliamentary elections last year, but has since formed a unity government with Fatah.

Hamas spokesman Ismail Ridwan said his faction had "no relation" to the group.

Other hardline groups also have become prominent in Gaza in recent months. The Army of Islam claimed responsibility for kidnapping British Broadcasting Corp. reporter Alan Johnston in March. And Muslim hardliners lobbed a bomb at a U.N.-run school in May, accusing the world body of "turning schools into nightclubs" for holding a show of traditional Palestinian dancing.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Gaza: 'Immodest' women to be killed

Gaza: 'Immodest' women to be killed
Jerusalem Post
TOAMEH
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

A radical Islamic group in the Gaza Strip issued over the weekend a death threat against Palestinian women working for the official Palestinian Authority television station, accusing them of dressing immodestly and behaving in a way that violates the teachings of Islam.

The threat, the first of its kind against female employees of Palestine TV, was made by the Righteous Swords of Islam, a relatively new group that is believed to have links with al-Qaida.

The group has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Internet cafes and restaurants in the Gaza Strip over the past year.

Members of the group are also responsible for splashing acid in the face of a number of young women who had been accused of "immoral behavior."

The Righteous Swords of Islam is one of three al-Qaida-affiliated groups that have popped up in the Gaza Strip over the past two years.

PA officials in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that the presence of the extremist groups in the Gaza Strip would "eventually lead to the transformation of the Palestinian territories into a Taliban-style entity."

According to one official, "The day will come when we will miss Hamas. These are extremely dangerous groups that are trying to take Palestinian society back to the Dark Ages."

A leaflet distributed by the Righteous Swords of Islam specifically referred to the women who appear on Palestine TV. "The saying these days is that the enemy has withdrawn from the Gaza Strip and so have our morals," it read. "It's indeed disgraceful that the women working for the official Palestinian media are competing between each other to display their charms."

Referring to the fact that most of the female presenters do not wear the niqab - a veil covering the face of Muslim women as a part of sartorial hijab - the leaflet asked: "Where are the decision-makers in this regard? Have we lost our conscience? Have the brothers, fathers and husbands stopped caring about their women?"

The group warned that its members would strike with an "iron fist and swords" against the women who are refusing to cover their faces. "We will destroy their homes," it announced. "We will blow up their work places. We have a lot of information about their addresses and we are following their movements."

The leaflet concluded by threatening to "slaughter" the women for allegedly spreading corruption in Palestinian society by appearing on the screen with their faces uncovered. "The administration and workers at Palestine TV should know that we are much closer to them than they think," it added. "If necessary, we will behead and slaughter to preserve the spirit and morals of our people."

Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, strongly condemned the threats against the women and pledged to protect them.

"We reject the lies made by the so-called Righteous Swords of Islam," said a statement issued by the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Gaza City. The threats against the female journalists and employees are very serious and we will not allow anyone to harm our national institutions."

In an unrelated incident, masked gunmen on Saturday morning blew up large parts of the Sheikh Zayed Cafteria in Gaza City. No group claimed responsibility, but PA security sources said they did not rule out the possibility that the place had been targeted been extremist Muslims.

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