Friday, November 30, 2007

The education of young girls is vital to moderation of islam

Air Force explosives disposal team defuses bombs at Afghan school
Stars and Stripes

by Les Neuhaus

POORAK, Afghanistan — Going to school can be deadly if you are a girl in Afghanistan. The Taliban believe that women should not have the opportunity of an education.

The roughly 400 girls enrolled at the Poorak Girls School in eastern Afghanistan’s Logar province were reminded of that on Thursday when two bombs were found by Afghan and U.S. forces. One, a hand grenade rigged to explode, was planted underneath the guard building at the school’s entrance.

“The Taliban do not want girls to go to school, to be educated or to grow up to be leaders,” said Col. Abdul Majeed Latifi, the deputy chief of police in Logar. “I am 100 percent sure this was the work of the Taliban.”

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The dominos of bloodless cultural linchpin laws will stop this from spreading


Mannequins Removed From Peshawar Shops After Threats
The Hindu News

Mannequins removed from Peshawar shops after threats

Islamabad (PTI): Garment shop owners in northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar are removing mannequins from their displays or covering them up with clothes following threats from militants.

A meeting of the shopkeepers' association of Karimpura in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), on Wednesday discussed the threatening letters from militants. The association decided to either remove the mannequins from shops or cover them up fully with clothes.

The meeting was informed that 10 militants visited Shaheen Bazaar, a market for women, and asked shopkeepers to remove mannequins. The militants claimed the mannequins promoted obscenity, 'Dawn' newspaper reported today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Was Israel sent by God to teach muslims the path to love and forgiveness?


Israel, the hope of the Muslim world
By Spengler

The state of Israel embodies the last, best chance for the Islamic world to come to terms with the modern world. Received wisdom in the foreign ministries of the West holds that relations with Muslims would be ever so much easier without the annoying presence of the Jewish state, which humiliates the Muslim world. Just the opposite is true. The Israeli presence in the territory of the ancient Jewish commonwealth, on land that once belonged to the Dar al’Islam, offers the single, slender hope for the future of the Muslim world, precisely because it constitutes a humiliation.

The premise of Western policy is to tread lightly upon Muslim sensibilities. That is an error of first magnitude, for Muslim sensibilities are what prevents the Islamic world from creating modern states. Islam cannot produce the preconditions for democracy in the Western sense out of its own resources.

Free elections in Muslim lands tend to hand power to fanatical despots. Why should that be true? The first premise of Western democracy, that the rights of the weakest and most despised citizens are sacred, stems from the Judeo-Christian notion of divine humility. The creator of the universe suffers along with his creatures, and bears a special love for the weak and helpless, a belief that appears absurd in Islam. Islam has no inherent concept of humility; it can only be imported to Muslim countries from the outside.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Taliban burned food destined for pregnant women


Taliban burn aid agency food: officials

WANA: Local Taliban militants seized and burned thousands of kilogrammes of food destined for pregnant women from a hospital in South Waziristan, officials said on Sunday.

The food, mainly lentils and cooking oil, had been supplied by the aid charity Save the Children to feed pregnant women suffering from malnutrition.

Cultural linchpin laws in the West will start the dominos like this falling


Exclusive: Saudi Rape Victim Tells Her Story

Victim to Receive Whipping and Jail for Being in Nonrelative's Car When Attacked

"Everyone looks at me as if I'm wrong. I couldn't even continue my studies. I wanted to die. I tried to commit suicide twice," she said of her experience just after the attack.

The woman, known anonymously in the Saudi press as "Qatif Girl" for the eastern province town where the crime took place, was originally sentenced to 90 lashes for being in a state of "khalwa" -- retreat with a male who's not a relative.

But the General Court of Qatif increased the punishment to 200 lashes and six months in jail after she took her case to the press. Authorities deemed it an "attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media," according to Saudi Arabia's English-language newspaper Arab News.

The seven attackers were convicted of rape with sentences that ranged from two to nine years in prison, according to Arab News.

In a December 2006 interview in Khobar, Saudi Arabia the woman gave a full account of her testimony to Human Rights Watch, describing the incident as she did before the court. She was meeting a male acquaintance, a former boyfriend, when the attack took place.



Ordeal Began With a Photo"I [was] 19 years old. I had a relationship with someone on the phone. We were both 16. I had never seen him before. I just knew his voice. He started to threaten me, and I got afraid. He threatened to tell my family about the relationship. Because of the threats and fear, I agreed to give him a photo of myself," she recounted.

"A few months [later], I asked him for the photo back but he refused. I had gotten married to another man. He said, 'I'll give you the photo on the condition that you come out with me in my car.' I told him we could meet at a souk [market[ near my neighborhood city plaza in Qatif.

"He started to drive me home. …We were 15 minutes from my house. I told him that I was afraid and that he should speed up. We were about to turn the corner to my house when they [another car] stopped right in front of our car. Two people got out of their car and stood on either side of our car. They man on my side had a knife. They tried to open our door. I told the individual with me not to open the door, but he did. He let them come in. I screamed.

"One of the men brought a knife to my throat. They told me not to speak. They pushed us to the back of the car and started driving. We drove a lot, but I didn't see anything since my head was forced down."

read more at abcnews

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cultural linchpin laws would make dominos like this start to fall


Egypt Jails Christian Woman for Father's Conversion

An Egyptian Christian woman has been jailed for her father’s brief conversion to Islam over 40 years ago which made her legally a Muslim despite her official papers stating that she is a Christian, her lawyer said Thursday.



An Egyptian Christian woman has been jailed for her father’s brief conversion to Islam over 40 years ago which made her legally a Muslim despite her official papers stating that she is a Christian, her lawyer said Thursday.

Shadia Nagui Ibrahim, 47, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in jail on the charge of fraud for stating she is a Christian on her marriage certificate, according to Agence France-Presse.

Under Egyptian law, a person’s official religion is based on the father’s religion.

Nagui Ibrahim’s father converted to Islam in 1962 after leaving home when she was two years old. Three years later he reconciled with her mother and returned home, re-converting back to Christianity. He had someone forge his document to say he was Christian.



In Egypt, it is extremely difficult to near impossible to officially change one’s religion from Islam. However, it is easy to officially change one’s religion to Islam.

The man who forged Ibrahim’s document was arrested in 1996 for creating dozens of false documents. In the process, the man confessed he made false papers for Ibrahim.

Authorities detained Ibrahim and informed Shadia that on paper her father and her are still Muslim.

Under Egyptian law it is illegal for a Muslim woman to marry a Christian man.

Although she was unaware of her father’s conversion, she was charged with “providing false information on official documents” for stating she was Christian on her 1982 marriage certificate, according to AFP.

Nagui Ibrahim was sentenced to three years in 2000 but her case was dropped. However, in August she was again detained and on Wednesday sentenced to three years after one brief court session, her lawyer said.



Her case follows another convert legal battle earlier this year which threw Egypt in an uproar. An Egyptian man who converted to Christianity from Islam, in an unprecedented act, sued Egypt for rejecting his application to officially change his religion on his identification papers.

Covert Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy was forced into hiding because Muslim extremists threatened to kill him for leaving Islam after his case made national headlines.

Egypt has no law banning conversion from Islam, but the country’s Muslims look upon apostasy very negatively with some even calling for punishment by death.

Egypt’s population of 80 million is about 90 percent Muslim and only about 10 percent Christian. Although the percentage of Christians in Egypt is small, it represents the largest Christian population in the Middle East.

Once good people taste freedom, they NEVER GO BACK TO FASCISM



fas·cism

a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control early instances of army fascism and brutality

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It is proper to challenge Islam



It is proper to challenge Islam
UK Telegraph

by Jemima Khan

recently attended a debate entitled "Is Islam good for London?" Despite its billing as the most important issue facing Londoners today, the "for London" in the title proved superfluous. It was the intellectual equivalent of reality TV: excruciating to watch but impossible to walk away from. At that kind of very confrontational debate, people turn up to support their own team. It's more about who is wrong than who is right. Rarely does anyone leave with a changed view.

The spectacle kicked off with an assertion by the journalist Rod Liddle that "the pernicious, bigoted, misogynistic, totalitarian, fascistic ideology of Islam must be rejected".

There was a spirited defence of Islam by Ed Husain, reformed extremist and author of The Islamist. He argued that Islamism and Islam are distinct: Islamism is a political ideology, which proposes a profoundly conservative religious vision for state and society which in its attitudes to apostasy, women, homosexuality and free speech is generally anathema to Western liberal convictions (including, emphatically, his and, for the record, mine). The social conservatism and separatist mindset of Muslims in the West, he argued, must be challenged.

He was let down by his teammate Inayat Bunglawala (bungle by name…) of the Muslim Council of Britain, who went down in the first round to the braying of the audience.

Those arguing in favour of the Liddle point of view prefaced their arguments with the usual spiel about it being an attack on the ideology and not the people, but it all got horribly personal. When a female member of the audience asked a question about Palestine, a man behind me shouted "Nazi!" For the faint-hearted it was almost too bloody to watch.

It wasn't just me who found the title, tone and content of the debate disturbing. The liberal rabbi, Pete Tobias, described it as a "damaging and hurtful exercise", sinisterly reminiscent of the campaign a century ago to alert the population to "the Problem of the Alien" - namely the Eastern Jews fleeing persecution who had found refuge in the capital.

My view is that it was symptomatic of a much wider and deeper hostility to Islam and, contrary to the claims of the panellists, to Muslims too.

Martin Amis recently said it was the ideology of Islam and not Muslims he had a problem with, but added: "They are gaining on us demographically at a huge rate. A quarter of humanity now and by 2025 they'll be a third. We're just going to be outnumbered." It's clear when he talks of the dangers of being outnumbered and outbred, that Amis is not talking about the ideology or even militant Islamists, but about ordinary Muslims.

He continued (in what he later defended as a "thought experiment"): "There's a definite urge - don't you have it? - to say the Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order. What sort of suffering? Not let them travel. Deportation - further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people who look like they're from the Middle East or from Pakistan… Discriminatory stuff, until it hurts the whole Muslim community and they start getting tough with their children."

On the subject of Muslims, liberal intellectuals like Amis find themselves uncomfortably in bed with the neocons. They even sound alike. British Muslims that I know feel overwhelmed in the face of such hostility.

In my experience, having lived for 10 years in a Muslim country and visited many others, there is a huge variety of beliefs within Islam and a cultural diversity amongst Muslims that is not often taken into account. Islam is not a monolithic entity. Which Islam, which Muslims do they hate? Mystical Sufi Islam? The culturally-influenced Islam of the Subcontinent? The literalist and extreme Wahabbi Islam? Militant jihadist Islam?

The Albanian Muslim is different from his Saudi brother. There are devout Muslims and less devout Muslims. Some drink, some don't. Some believe in arranged marriages, others have sex outside marriage. A minority believe that homosexuals and infidels should be murdered. A majority find such views repugnant.

It's true that the Muslim community is bad at introspection and self-criticism. Labelling all critics Islamophobes, as often happens (though Rod Liddle outed himself: "Islamophobia? Count me in") is an old ploy to close down debate. It was used 70 years ago, when a critic of the Soviet Union could expect to be called a fascist. A critic of Israeli government policy today is often labelled anti-Semitic.

And although Muslims increasingly feel like a demonised minority, even by liberals, it is also true that Islam is an ideology. As such it must expect to be challenged in an open society, no matter how uncomfortable or personal that debate becomes. Not only must Islam - with its social and political mandate - expect to be challenged by modern secular society but, more importantly, it must also expect to be challenged from within the Islamic tradition. Its evolution depends on such a challenge.

But it would help greatly if critics of Islam would give as much attention to the moderate Muslims engaged in that vital internal debate as they do to the hook-handed, effigy-burning few.

Why the dominos of moderation need to fall


Saudi says woman in controversial rape case was adultress

RIYADH (AFP) — A woman in Saudi Arabia sentenced to six months in jail and 200 lashes despite being gang raped has confessed to adultery, the justice ministry said on Saturday as it tried to fend off mounting criticism.

Despite being sexually assaulted by seven men who kidnapped her with a male companion at knife-point, the unidentified 19 year-old woman was sentenced in November 2006 to 90 lashes.

The judge sentenced her for being in a car with a man who was not her relative, a taboo in the conservative Muslim kingdom which imposes strict segregation of the sexes.

But her story hit international headlines last week when her sentence was increased to six months in jail and 200 lashes after she spoke to the media.

The justice ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency that the woman had owned up to having an extramarital affair with the man in the car.

"She admitted to ... exchanging sinful relations," the statement said, adding the woman was in state of undress with the man in the car before the attack took place.

The woman and her alleged lover remained quiet about the attack, which was only reported to the authorities several months later when the woman's husband received an e-mail from an unidentified source informing him of the affair.

"She admitted to what happened and the husband then reported the incident three months after it happened," the justice ministry said, adding it wanted to correct the "largely incorrect" details published in the media about the case.

The ministry also stressed the Saudi judicial system was based on Islamic law derived from the holy Koran and that a court ruling in the kingdom was only made after both sides in a case are given a fair and balanced hearing.

The men were initially sentenced to one to five years in jail, but those terms were also toughened on appeal to between two and nine years.

A rape conviction carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, but the court did not impose it due to the "lack of witnesses" and the "absence of confessions," the justice ministry said on Tuesday.

The woman's husband told local media that they would appeal, even though the judge had warned that the sentence could be increased again if she loses the appeal.

The justice ministry noted that the law gives the right of appeal, but warned that "resorting to the media" could have "a negative effect on the other parties in the case."

The court dealing with the case revoked the licence of the woman's lawyer, who has also been summoned by the justice ministry to appear before a disciplinary panel next month.

New York-based Human Rights Watch slammed the ruling against the woman and urged King Abdullah to "void the verdict and drop all charges against the rape victim and to order the court to end its harassment of her lawyer."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Children being brainwashed into hatred and death? Cultural linchpin laws badly needed




Islamic academy under attack

By MATTHEW BARAKAT



ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Its most virulent critics have dubbed it "Terror High" and 12 U.S. senators and a federal commission want to shut it down.

The teachers, administrators and some 900 students at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Fairfax County have heard the allegations for years — after the Sept. 11 attacks and then a few years later when a class valedictorian admitted he had joined al-Qaida.

Now the school is on the defensive again, with a report issued last month by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom saying the academy should be closed pending a review of its curriculum and textbooks.

Abdalla al-Shabnan, the school's director general, says criticism of the school is based not on evidence but on preconceived notions of the Saudi educational system.

The school, serving grades K-12 on campuses in Fairfax and Alexandria, receives financial support from the Saudi government and its textbooks are based on Saudi curriculum. Critics say the Saudis propagate a severe version of Islam in their schools.

But al-Shabnan said the school significantly modified those textbooks to remove passages deemed intolerant of other religions. Among the changes, officials removed from teachers' versions of first-grade textbooks an excerpt instructing teachers to explain "that all religions, other than Islam, are false, including that of the Jews, Christians and all others."

At an open house earlier this month in which the school invited reporters to tour the school and meet students and faculty, al-Shabnan seemed weary of the criticism.

"I didn't think we'd have to do this," he said of the open house. "Our neighbors know us. They know the job we are doing."

Indeed, many people familiar with the school say the accusations are unfounded. Fairfax County Supervisor Gerald Hyland, whose district includes the academy, has defended it and arranged for the county to review the textbooks to put questions to rest. That review is under way. The academy's Alexandria campus is leased from Fairfax County.

Schools that regularly compete against the academy in interscholastic sports — many of them small, private Christian schools — are among the academy's strongest defenders.

Robert Mead, soccer coach at Bryant Alternative High School, a public school in the Alexandria section of Fairfax county, said the academy's reputation has been unfairly marred by people who haven't even bothered to visit the school.

"We've never had one altercation" with the academy's players on the soccer field, Mead said. "My guys are hostile. Their guys keep fights from breaking out."

The academy opened in 1984 and stayed out of the spotlight until the Sept. 11 attacks. Criticisms were revived in 2005, when a former class valedictorian, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, was charged with joining al-Qaida while attending college in Saudi Arabia. He was convicted on several charges, including plotting to assassinate President Bush, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Most recently, the religious freedom commission — an independent federal agency created by Congress — issued its report, saying it was rebuffed in its efforts to obtain textbooks to verify claims they had been reformed.

The commission recommended that the academy be shut down until it could review the textbooks to ensure they do not promote intolerance.

Since the commission's report, the academy has given copies of its books to the Saudi embassy, which then provided them to the State Department. The commission is waiting to get the books from the State Department.

On Nov. 15, a dozen U.S. senators, including Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., wrote a letter to the State Department urging it to act on the commission's recommendations. And on Tuesday, Reps. Frank Wolf, R-Va., and Steve Israel, D-N.Y., introduced legislation to write the commission's recommendations regarding the academy into law.

Michael Cromartie, the commission's chairman, said he does not question the character of the student body or the faculty, most of whom are Christian. The commission is focused specifically on the textbooks, and has legitimate concerns given the problems that have been endemic in the Saudi curriculum, he said.

"It's not about whether the students are civil to their opponents on a ball field. It's about the textbooks," he said.

At the open house, seniors said they worry that news accounts will hurt their college applications. Most students said they were shocked that the government panel had recommended closing the school.

Omar Talib, a senior, said the school caters to students from across the Muslim world, not just Saudis. It makes no judgments on other religions or against Shiite Islam, as some critics have contended.

"I have four children at this school. I've never heard them say 'Mom, today we learned we should kill the Jews,'" said Malika Chughtai of Vienna. "If I heard that kind of talk, I would not have them here."

Every muslim in the world should be working to get dominos like this falling

New boss turns the tables on Al Qaeda

Ex-Sunni insurgent becomes U.S. ally

By Liz Sly, Tribune foreign correspondent; Nadeem Majeed contributed to this report November 22, 2007 BAGHDAD

The once-dreaded Al Qaeda in Iraq stronghold of Amariyah has a new boss, and he's not shy about telling the story of the shootout that turned him into a local legend and helped change the tenor of the Iraq war.

Earlier this year, Abul Abed, a disgruntled Sunni insurgent leader, began secret talks with the Americans about ending Al Qaeda's reign of terror in this run-down, formerly middle-class Baghdad neighborhood, renowned as one of the city's most dangerous. He had been gathering intelligence on the group for months.

One day in late May, he said, he decided it was time to act.



Related links
Bombing Blamed on Iran-Backed Militants





He hailed the car carrying the feared leader of Al Qaeda in the neighborhood, a man known as the White Lion, on one of Amariyah's main streets. "We want you to stop destroying our neighborhood," he told the man.

"Do you know who you are talking to?" said the White Lion, getting out of his car. "I am Al Qaeda. I will destroy even your own houses!"

He pulled out his pistol and shot at Abul Abed. The gun jammed. He reloaded and fired again. Again, the gun jammed.

By this time, Abul Abed said, he had pulled his own gun. He fired once, killing the White Lion.

"I walked over to him, stepped on his hand and took his gun," Abul Abed, which is a nom de guerre, said at his new, pink-painted headquarters in a renovated school in Amariyah, as an American Army captain seated in the corner nodded his head in affirmation of the account. "And then the fight started."

It was the beginning of the end for Al Qaeda in Amariyah. The next day, a firefight erupted. Al Qaeda fighters closed in on Abul Abed. Most of the 150 men who had joined him fled. Holed up in a mosque with fewer than a dozen supporters, Abul Abed thought the end was near.

"The blue carpet was soaked red with blood," he recalled. Then the imam of the mosque called in American help.

A friendship was born.

Now Abul Abed, a swaggering former major in the Iraqi army and reputedly a top leader in the influential Islamic Army insurgent group, reigns supreme in Amariyah -- with considerable help from the U.S. military.

Still wearing the White Lion's pistol tucked into his belt, he commands his own 600-member paramilitary force, called the Knights of Mesopotamia. He receives $460,000 a month from the U.S. military to pay, arm and equip them. They wear crisp olive green uniforms with smart red and yellow badges bearing the Knights' horse-head logo. They are well-armed, and some have flak jackets.

But they don't really need them. Since the Knights drove Al Qaeda out of Amariyah after a two-month battle, the neighborhood has become largely safe.

"You can move freely in Amariyah at any time of the day or night," Abul Abed said. "You can even see women without head scarves, wearing tight jeans!"

An 'Awakening' in Iraq

Men like Abul Abed have helped change the face of the war. Following in the footsteps of the late Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, the tribal leader who led the Sunni revolt that drove Al Qaeda from the base of its operations in Iraq's Anbar province, more than 70,000 people, most of them Sunnis, in 148 groups have joined in the so-called Awakening, or Sahwa, movement, according to the U.S. military, turning against Al Qaeda and turning to the Americans for help.

Since Abul Abed's fight in Amariyah, some of the most feared Baghdad neighborhoods, including Abu Ghraib, Fadhil, Ghazaliyah, Dora and Adhamiyah, have followed suit, forming their own brigades of Knights, welcoming the U.S. military and receiving U.S. money.

Abul Abed is coy about his insurgent connections. He gave his real name as Saad Erebi Ghaffouri al-Obaidi, though he is known across Baghdad as Abul Abed. U.S. officials, Amariyah residents and Sunni leaders say he was a prominent commander in the Islamic Army. He described himself as a former Iraqi army major who "went into business" after the regime fell. He won't say what business.

But he acknowledged that many of his men once fought Americans and now work closely with them.

"They recognize that they made a big mistake," he said. "They realize that they were on the wrong path and that they wasted many chances with what they did."

The implications of creating this network of trained, armed paramilitaries loyal not to the government but to an assortment of local strongmen have yet to be played out. U.S. officials said they are relieved that the revolution within the Sunni community has helped to sharply reduce the number of attacks. According to the military, attacks in Iraq fell 55 percent between March and October.

The U.S. wants to absorb the Sunnis who have joined the Awakening movement into the Iraqi security forces, but so far the Shiite-led government has hesitated, concerned that they will one day turn against the government. If the government continues to frustrate the Sunnis, U.S. officials are concerned their new allies could go back to the insurgency.

"That's the big intangible that makes me nervous," said Col. Martin Stanton, who oversees the reconciliation and engagement effort. If there is no progress on getting the paramilitaries regular jobs with the security forces and delivering services to Sunni areas, Sunni frustrations will continue to mount, he said.

"The question is, what's the break point? ... How long before people start getting sick of it and start checking out?" he said.

'Americans are our protectors'

Abul Abed said the Sunni revolution has gone too far for that.

"Americans are our protectors and saviors," he said.

The real enemy of Iraq, he says, now is Iran. He pulled out his mobile phone to show pictures he has saved of the bodies of his four brothers, who were kidnapped and murdered in 2005 by what he suspects was a Shiite death squad with ties to Iran. One of them had a nail driven into his head. Another was missing a hand.

"Even animals wouldn't do that," he said, his face darkening. "Iran is so deeply infiltrated in Iraq, the problem here still cannot be solved. Iran wants to demolish us. If the Americans leave, then you can count Iraq as a second Tehran."

Where are the so called moderates? All muslims should work towards moderation

An Iraqi couple were beheaded in front of their children by their cousins because the man wore Western-style trousers.

DailyMail.com

Three suspected al Qaeda militants, including two sisters, beheaded their uncle and his wife, forcing the couple's children to watch, according to Iraqi police.

The killing came because the school guard Youssef al-Hayali was considered an infidel because he did not pray and wore western-style trousers.

The militants, later arrested in Diyala province northwest of Baghdad, killed Hayali and his wife Zeinab Kamel at the all-boys school in Jalawlah.

Sunni Arab communities across Iraq have been turning against al Qaeda because of its indiscriminate killings and strict interpretation of Islam, which includes a ban on smoking in public and forcing schoolgirls to wear veils.

Sunni Arab tribal sheikhs have been organising their young men into neighbourhood police units to drive out al Qaeda, a practice which U.S. and Iraqi officials say has helped bring down violence levels across Iraq.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Moderation badly needed

Turks in Christian murder trial
Sarah Rainsford

news.bbc.co.uk


Five young men are due to go on trial in eastern Turkey, accused of killing three Christians earlier this year.

The Christians, who included a pastor and a German missionary, were stabbed repeatedly and had their throats cut.

The suspects, aged 19 and 20, were detained at the scene of the crime, a Protestant publishing house in Malatya.

The murders have prompted three Christian families to leave the town, leaving only around two dozen people in its small Protestant community.

The five suspects face three life sentences each, while two other are charged with membership of a terrorist organisation.

The killings were gruesome, condemned at the time by Turkey's prime minister as savage.

The three Christians had their hands and feet bound.

They were stabbed repeatedly, then had their throats cut.

One was a local pastor, another a German missionary who had lived in Turkey with his family for several years.

The murders came a year after a Catholic priest was killed in northern Turkey and just months after the murder of ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The bluebird of happiness gives thanks for those who spread freedom (whether the crybabies like it or not)

the forces of light are continuing their relentless march against the forces of darkness

Syrians flocking to Lebanon to use Facebook
Ya Libnan


Beirut - In the old days, many Lebanese used to associate Syrians with either dusty soldiers or wretched men coming for cheap labor.

This is why the sight of spiffy young Syrian men and women in our Starbucks coffees browsing the web can seem odd to some (Except for Hamra residents who are used to seeing Syrian AUB students)

As Mark Mackinnon writes in the Globe and Mail, many young cyber dissidents are settling in Beirut where "they feel free to express their opinions and continue their political activism."

"It’s a safe place for us as Syrians. All the other Arab countries are dictatorships," said 23-year-old Ahed al-Hindi as he sat on the terrace of a Starbucks coffee shop in Beirut’s trendy Hamra neighborhood.

Mr. al-Hindi knows that first-hand. He was arrested in a Damascus Internet cafe late last year after the cafe manager filmed him posting what Mr. al-Hindi says were "political comments on the human-rights situation" on a Syrian news website and reported him to the police.

In other words, as Syria is getting more heavy handed, more and more Syrians are coming to Lebanon to freely express themselves. This sounds like an opportunity for Lebanon.

I argued before that since Syria uses brutal force to influence Lebanese politics, it is only fair for us the Lebanese to use our competitive advantage -namely open society and free flow of information- to influence Syrian politics.

This is why the Lebanese should make use of the Syrian crackdown to start to actively interacting with the Syrians who are now calling Beirut their cyber-refuge. In addition to that, the government should take the opportunity to remind the Lebanese of why these freedoms are important and why they shouldn’t be taken for granted.

We should remember after all, that we fought and we are still fighting for those very freedoms, not for some "treacherous" alliances with America and Israel, a theory that is peddled by the same people who are afraid of Facebook.

The dominos continue to fall

Road From Damascus ~~ Iraqis are voting with their feet by returning home after exile
Times (UK)


The figures are hard to estimate precisely but the process could involve hundreds of thousands of people. The numbers are certainly large enough, as we report today, for a mass convoy to be planned next week as Iraqis who had opted for exile in Syria return to their homeland. It is one of the most striking signs that not only has violence in Baghdad and adjacent provinces decreased dramatically in recent months, but confidence in the economic and political future of Iraq has risen sharply. Nor is this movement the action of men and women who could easily reverse course and turn back again. Tighter visa restrictions imposed by Damascus mean that those who are returning to Iraq cannot assume that they could quickly retreat again to Syria if that suited them. This is, for many, a one-way decision. It represents a vote of confidence in Iraq.

The homecoming is not an isolated development. The security situation in Baghdad, while far from totally peaceful, has improved substantially in the past few months, with civilian fatalities falling by three quarters since the early summer. This has been reflected on the streets with markets, clubs and restaurants that had been closed for months, especially at night, now reopening. This good news has not attracted the attention that it should because critics of the conflict in 2003 and its aftermath have been extremely reluctant to acknowledge progress in the country. Yet even observers from publications long hostile to US policy in Iraq, such as The New York Times, are finally conceding that “the violence has diminished significantly since the United States reinforced troop levels in Iraq and adopted a new counter-insurgency strategy”.

The dominos are starting to fall

'Awakening' in Iraq Signals Citizens' Rise Against al Qaeda
American Forces Press Service

Capt. Johnny Giroux, USA



WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2007 – Determined to rise up against al Qaeda terrorists, concerned local citizens, working together with coalition forces, have started neighborhood watch programs in this area of northern Iraq.

The citizens are calling the movement "Sahwa," an Arabic term that means "awakening."

The neighborhood watch programs were established Nov. 14, two weeks after local citizens approached soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, with the idea. More than 1,000 citizens showed up, ready to be recruited to take up arms in defense against the terrorists in the region.

The program provides the citizens with weapons and a regular paycheck and has the goal not only of providing employment, but also improving security throughout the region.

"This is the biggest thing going on (for the local Iraqis) ... because one, it's putting money in their pockets and stimulating the local economy, and two, these people really want to provide their own security," said Maj. John Allen, 1-87 Infantry operations officer.

These newly drafted members of the local Multaka Night Watch, as they also are known, will take to the streets as sentinels against terrorist activity while receiving salaries based on the effectiveness of their performance.

For example, for every roadside bomb attack that occurs in their neighborhood, a certain amount of money will be withheld from that pay period as a penalty, while consistent periods of tranquility will be rewarded with bonuses.

"What this program is doing is creating significant problems for the insurgents, because it drives a wedge between them and the populace," said Army 2nd Lt. Alan Finnie, 1-87 Infantry. "By taking away the one incentive advantage the insurgents had over the government, namely money, the people now have every reason to reject terrorist intimidation and embrace the responsibility of eliminating (al Qaeda in Iraq) influence in their communities."

As a result, coalition and Iraqi forces benefit from the increased freedom of maneuver provided by the citizens groups, allowing them to more effectively seek out and eliminate the terrorist threat, Finnie said, also noting that many recruits appeared quite enthusiastic.

"It was good to see regular people showing up in street clothes taking pride in their own area so they can stand on their own feet and provide their own security instead of relying on us to do it for them," said Army Cpl. Evan Siegrist, 1-87 Infantry Personal Security Detachment squad leader.

Such a show of force by Iraqi citizens willing to confront terrorists sends a message to insurgents that their destructive influence among the population will no longer be tolerated.

"Al Qaeda in Iraq is threatened by the Sahwa," Allen said as he described immediate intelligence reports of disrupted terrorist movements due to citizens group activity.

The success of this initial recruitment effort marks the beginning of a two week-long initiative to enlist volunteers for the program throughout the 1-87 Infantry Battalion's area of operation.

Self examination rather than blaming others is the first baby domino step towards moderation

Lashing Out at the Media Over the Qatif Girl Case

Arab News © 2003

Abeer Mishkhas


The case of what has come to be called the Qatif girl is the talk of the media in Saudi and abroad; it is full of issues that we need to examine closely. To begin with, it raises questions about the country’s legal system, the fear of the power of the media and the secrecy that courts prefer to shroud cases in. There is also the social ruling against the girl, which is another important issue that has to be thoroughly looked into.

To put it bluntly, the picture that emerges is that justice is absent from so many court cases in our country. This girl’s case and the way it has gone shows us that the verdict was reached from day one. With no regard for evidence. The verdict was a given and that was that; any proceedings happening afterwards seem to have been only a formality. Otherwise, what possible explanation is there for the increased sentences after the first ruling? And how can we come to grips with the possibility that yet another increase in the sentence is just around the corner merely because she refuses to accept the second one?

The Minister of Justice has commented that people who have a problem with any ruling should appeal, instead of “stirring up agitation through the media that may not be objective and cannot grant anyone any right as much as it can negatively affect the other parties involved in the case.”

I beg to differ with the minister here, because as citizens in this country, we have the right to voice concerns about a case that could apply to any Saudi woman. Not everyone can go to the court and appeal. Add to this that these trials are not accessible to the public which makes it the role of the press to discuss the issues — and if the ministry finds the coverage “emotional” and “not objective,” then there is enough space in the same papers for official statements explaining the misunderstood implications of such rulings.

The ruling in this case, and the minister’s statement, obviously say much about the relationship between official bodies and the media. According to those bodies, the media people are ignorant of the facts, inciters of public anger, and naturally emotional. So the solution in this instance is that the media stop covering such cases, and let society enjoy its peaceful — and ignorant — sleep. Unreported or hidden facts do not hurt anyone or so they like to think.

The media, according to the judges, were also to blame. The girl was actually sentenced to extra lashes for going to the media with her story, and her lawyer got his share of blame and actual punishment for talking to newspapers about the case. The girl was also punished for something that is not actually a crime. She was out with a male friend in front of a shopping center so it was in a public space — not a secluded private one — and there were passers-by and shoppers all around. The mere implication that she brought this on herself by being out with a stranger only rubs salt into the wound. Basically, what those judges are saying to the girl is “You deserve what happened to you!” which is a very cruel and unjust way to think.

To say that for being in a public street with a man she deserved to be raped 14 times is simply beyond belief. But even if, for the sake of argument, we allow this comment to pass, how could it apply to other cases of rape in the Kingdom? We have simple questions to put to those judges: Were all the rape victims in other cases out with strange men? What about boys who are raped in similar circumstances? Boys do not have to stay at home nor do they need a chaperone. If they are raped, will those judges say to them “You deserved this”? And what about the girl’s companion in this case who was also raped?

To add to all of the above, we know that the girl’s husband has supported her throughout her ordeal and this says volumes about who has the right to be upset about her meeting another man.

Does anybody care to respond to what I have asked? Maybe because I am from the media my comments will be taken as the “emotional stirring of agitation.”

Cultural linchpin laws badly needed - moderates wouldn't be upset

Cartoon upsets Muslims
Anton Ferreira


FREE SPEECH: Jonathan Shapiro Picture: ARAMINTA DE CLERMONT

Zapiro’s dig at a Sunday newspaper’s zero tolerance for Satanism upsets some readers.

Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro — better known as Zapiro — has riled Muslims with a cartoon that portrays Allah, but he is unrepentant.

“I do these things because I believe in freedom of expression,” Shapiro said, acknowledging that his cartoon in the Cape Times yesterday had landed him in hot water.

He said he understood the cartoon had provoked a flood of angry SMS messages from the Muslim community.

It was drawn in support of columnist Deon Maas, who was fired by Rapport newspaper last week after he argued that people should be allowed to believe in Satan if they wanted to.

The Zapiro cartoon included pictures of, among others, Allah, Jehovah, the Holy Trinity, Shiva and Satan. The caption said there was no proof that any of them actually existed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Moderation laws badly needed to start the dominos falling

A One-Year Old Bomb in Pakistan

In an effort to get close enough to murder Benazir Bhutto, one of the Islamist attackers reportedly strapped his explosives to a one-year old infant.

Meanwhile, horrifying new details emerged last night of the attempt by suicide bombers to kill Ms Bhutto on her return home from exile last month.

Investigators from Ms Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party said yesterday they believed the bomb, which killed 170 people and left hundreds more wounded, was strapped to a one-year-old child carried by its jihadist father.

They said the suicide bomber tried repeatedly to carry the baby to Ms Bhutto’s vehicle as she drove in a late-night cavalcade through the streets of Karachi.

“At the point where the bombs exploded, Benazir Bhutto herself saw the man with the child and asked him to come closer so that she could hug or kiss the infant,” investigators were reported as saying. “But someone came in between and a guard felt that the man with the child was not behaving normally. So the child was not allowed to come aboard Benazir’s vehicle.”

Ms Bhutto is said to have told investigators she recalls the face of the man who was carrying the infant. She has asked to see recordings made by television news channels to try to identify the man.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bloodless cultural linchpin laws will start a moderating domino effect that will moderate extremism

Fighting faith

Radical Islam poses a grave threat to the United States

CavalierDaily.com

by John Nelson

STANDING before Iran's parliament earlier this year, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked his countrymen one question: "Who are our enemies?" His answer: godless America. This past Monday, before a crowd of University students, former Sen. Rick Santorum posed the same question for Americans. In his speech, Santorum accurately identified radical Islam as a major threat to the United States, but he did not identify the complex nature of faith that underlies this threat. The faith of radical Muslims fuels, complicates and intensifies the conflict in the Middle East.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The trappings of extremism must be moderated - startomg a domino effect

moderate religions also do not threaten the world

Free people do not threaten the world. But just as important is the fact that moderate religions also do not threaten the world. It is absolutely essential to pass social linchpin laws to moderate extremist religion


Clinton-Obama-Bush Doctrine
NYSun.com

The big news out of the most recent Democratic presidential debate was that two of the leading Democratic candidates, Senator Clinton and Senator Obama, endorsed the Bush Doctrine that is at the core of our current president's foreign policy. We haven't seen it reported anywhere else, but it's a big story. Here's what Mrs. Clinton said: "There's absolutely a connection between a democratic regime and heightened security for the United States." Here's what Mr. Obama said: "The more we see repression, the more there are no outlets for how people can express themselves and their aspirations, the worse off we're going to be, and the more anti-American sentiment there's going to be in the Middle East."

Or, as President Bush has put it in enunciating what has come to be known as the Bush Doctrine: "For decades, free nations tolerated oppression in the Middle East for the sake of stability. In practice, this approach brought little stability and much oppression, so I have changed this policy." Or, as he put it again, "Some who call themselves realists question whether the spread of democracy in the Middle East should be any concern of ours. But the realists in this case have lost contact with a fundamental reality: America has always been less secure when freedom is in retreat; America is always more secure when freedom is on the march."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Very important to not allow cultural demands like this

Muslim Airport Employee Suspended For Refusing To Wear Knee-Length Skirt

http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_16858.aspx


A security guard at Toronto's Pearson Airport was ordered off the job for wearing a skirt that's too long.

Halima Muse, a practicing Muslim, was laid off without pay by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority until she agrees to wear a standard uniform that includes either slacks or a skirt that falls at the knee.

Not willing to oblige by the rules, she took matters into her own hands and filed a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission saying she was the target of religious discrimination, since Islam instructs that she dress modestly.

Muse, 33, claims that she's never had any problems with her employer in the five years that she's worked there, until now. She told media that her decision to sport the longer skirt was not a matter of personal style, it was about dignity.

In a statement she made to the Commission, Muse said she never liked the uniform pants that she used to wear because they showed the shape of her body. So she asked the person in charge of work attire for a skirt that's longer than the standard one, but was told it didn't exist. So she went out and bought material matching in colour and made her own skirt that reached her ankle.

For six months, nobody said anything to her about the garment until a manager told her she had to conform to regulations. She was suspended for one day on Aug. 11, then for three days on Aug. 15 followed by a subsequent five-day suspension and then was sent home indefinitely on Aug. 29.

A single mother from Somalia with a teenage son, Muse has been out of a job for the last three months. In that time, she's racked up debt on her credit card and has been borrowing money from relatives, according to a media report.

She said the federal employment insurance agency has rejected her application because she's not officially unemployed. She's allowed to go back to work as long as she conforms to regulations that she considers to be a violation of her religious rights.

Moderation will bring peace to muslims wherever moderation goes

British officials hold talks with Mahdi army
by Richard Norton-Taylor

guardian.co.uk

The British commander in southern Iraq confirmed yesterday that UK officials have been holding talks with supporters of the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army in the hope they would be drawn into the political process.

Major General Graham Binns said the security situation in Basra province - to be handed over to Iraqi forces next month - was improving and attacks against British and Iraqi forces had fallen by 90% since British troops withdrew from their last base in the centre of the city in September.

Confirming the talks with the Mahdi army, first reported in the Guardian, Binns said: "We may get to the point where the main Sadrist strain will support the Iraqi security forces - that's the goal."

He said "not everyone" in the militia was behind the talks because for some "the offer of money to attack us is still too tempting." But, he said the Badr brigade - the main rival to the Mahdi army - had been too weak to mount a challenge.

"The Sadrist militia is all powerful here - more powerful than Badr. If Badr was allowed to take on [the Mahdi army] in Basra, they'd lose pretty quickly," he said. The Badr brigade is a rival militia connected to Iraq's biggest Shia party, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cultural linchpin laws needed everywhere

Taliban militants in Afghanistan shot a killed a teenage boy for teaching English.


http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_2221738,00.html

Armed militants entered the school and dragged the boy out of his class and shot him dead. Their reason was because the boy was teaching English to other students after school hours and had been warned to stop.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Countless lives are being destroyed as we speak-culture linchpin laws needed to moderate and save lives

A Grim Milestone Ignored
Frontpagemag.com

by Patrick Poole


The establishment media is seemingly obsessed with “grim milestones” in the War on Terror, as the Associated Press reminds us this past weekend. But in the next week those same establishment media outlets will probably stand mute when yet another “grim milestone” is reached – the10,000th attack by Islamic terrorists and militants since 9/11, which is responsible for approximately 60,000 dead and 90,000 injured.

The chronicler of this bloody tally is Glen Reinsford, editor of TheReligionofPeace.com, who began compiling and updating daily a detailed list of reported incidents of violence and terrorism around the world targeting non-Muslims and Muslims alike. Because of space limitations he only posts the past two months worth of attacks on his websites main page, though he has archived all of the incidents from past years (2001-2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007). He also maintains a banner graphic with the updated number of attacks, which people can post on their own websites.

When asked what prompted him to begin such a labor-intensive undertaking, Reinsford identifies the tepid response to Islamic terrorism by otherwise outspoken Muslim groups, with one organization particularly in mind:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations. After 9/11, I kept an eye on them and was quite disgusted by their lack of moral perspective. They complain about issues that affect Muslims which are quite trivial, on average, compared to what is happening in the name of their religion. They do occasionally denounce terror in a general, somewhat ambiguous, sense but there is an obvious lack of passion. Their real interest is themselves.

Reviewing the list of recent incidents, it is surprising how many “smaller” attacks occur daily, which the establishment media pass with only a casual mention. While high profile attacks, like the one last week in Baghlan Province, Afghanistan that killed 75 and wounded at least 100 (many of them school children), receive plenty of attention, smaller incidents, such as the attack last week on a hotel in Baramulla, India that killed one, rarely register with the Western media.

Because Reinsford relies on the establishment media for his numbers, the true number of attacks and their victims are underreported:

In my case, I use published media reports from reputable sources on the Internet, such as the Associated Press. None of the information comes from rumor or word of mouth. Every bit of it can be verified through publicly-available sources. If anything, I undercount the attacks.

In his explanation of his methodology, he notes that he doesn’t include combat-related statistics, and acknowledges that the death toll may increase in the days and months following the attack as victims die from their injuries, which almost never get reported. The list also doesn’t account for the genocide in Darfur committed by the Islamist government in Sudan and their Janjaweed marauding militias, which the UN estimated last year had resulted in 400,000 dead and 2 million displaced.

With such seemingly incomprehensible carnage, I ask Reinsford if there were any particular incidents that stand out, and he identified three (qualifying that he could easily identify 15 more):

Nadimarg, India (3/23/03), dozens of Hindu villagers roused out of their beds and machine-gunned by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) Islamists.

Beslan, Russia (9/3/04), some 350 people slaughtered by Islamic militants - half of them children.

Malatya, Turkey (4/18/07), three Christian Bible distributors are tied up, tortured for hours then gruesomely murdered by men who acted explicitly in the name of Islam.

For me, a September 2006 Washington Post article stands out concerning an attack targeting Shi’ite women and children stands out, when a Sunni suicide bomber detonated a kerosene fuel bomb filled with ball bearings (for added effect) ripped through a crowd waiting in line to buy fuel. The Post described the horrific scene:

The horrific blast sent women engulfed in flames screaming through the streets. Two preteen girls embraced each other as they burned to death, witnesses said. Later, wailing mourners thronged the scene of the blast, which was strewn with the shoes of victims and a woman's bloodied cloak, and voiced doubt that the reprisal violence would ever end.

While many Muslim organizations in the West expend considerable effort portraying themselves as victims of Western “Islamophobia”, very little is said by those groups about the fact that many of the countless victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims themselves. There are certainly no public protests by organizations like CAIR in recognition of those Muslims murdered and maimed by Muslims, though they are quick to cite the number of civilians accidentally killed by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan (though Reinsford notes that while 225 Iraqis were killed in collateral damage incidents in 2006, there were 16,791 Iraqi civilians killed by Islamic terrorists that same year).

Reinsford says that the skewed perspective of ignoring the toll Islamic terrorism takes on Muslims stems from a failure by Muslim leaders to recognize the glaring problems that are resident in the heart of their own community:

Yes, most of the victims of Islamic terror are Muslim, yet there is very little outrage on the part of the Islamic world to terror, relative to, say, a Muhammad cartoon or an "insult to Islam" by a public figure. What does this tell us about the priorities of Islam? In fact, sympathies for terrorists run much higher than many people realize. Even those that do truly disagree with violence (and there are many) somehow avoid taking any sort of responsibility for ending it by convincing themselves that it has nothing to do with Islam. Obviously it has everything to do with Islam, and the unwillingness on the part of Muslims in the West to provide moral leadership against Islamic extremism will ensure that the terror continues for a long time.

With some of the biggest figures in the Islamic religious establishment preaching jihad beamed around the globe on Islamic satellite networks, and countless websites offering jihadist tracts, YouTube hosting a veritable smorgasbord of videos documenting terrorist incidents, and Internet forums dedicated to networking would-be jihadists and encouraging violence, it might be that Islamic extremists are a minority, but they clearly have dominated the conversation. And it is doubtful that the situation will change as long as that remains the case.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Culture that murders doctors must be moderated

IRAQ: Male Gynaecologists Attacked By Extremists


IRIN News


BAGHDAD, 13 November 2007 (IRIN) - Male gynaecologists are being targeted by Islamic extremists in Iraq as they are accused of invading the privacy of women. Women’s NGOs have raised concerns as there are few women gynaecologists in the country and their male counterparts are scared to continue working.

“Because of the extremists’ religious views, doctors are scared to continue with their work and the number of women gynaecologists is very low and cannot meet the demand,” said Mayada Zuhair, spokeswoman for the Women’ Rights Association (WRA).

“Extremists say that [male] doctors are not allowed to see the private parts of women and two male doctors were reportedly killed last week after leaving their clinics. A message was left near their bodies saying that was the end for any doctor who insists in invading the privacy of Muslim women,” Mayada added.

An Iraqi Medical Association (IMA) spokesman, Walid Rafi, told IRIN it knew of at least 22 male gynaecologists who had been sent threatening letters.

Extremists say that [male] doctors are not allowed to see the private parts of women and two male doctors were reportedly killed last week after leaving their clinics.

“In one case the extremists tried to carry out their threat. They kidnapped the son of a doctor and only released him after the doctor had closed his clinic in Karada district, in Baghdad,” Rafi said. “We are worried about women’s health in this country. Few of them have access to good medical care and now with the fear of male gynaecologists, few remain in the job and this could have a serious impact in the coming months.”

Rafi added that aggression against doctors who treat women had also been reported in the northern provinces. “We don’t know the exact number of doctors who have been killed but we can confirm that four doctors were killed in the north for refusing to circumcise young girls.”

Case in point

Yasser Issam, a gynaecologist in Baghdad, said that since 20 October there had been two attempts on his life and he had received a letter asking him to stop treating women in his clinic as he was offending the privacy of Muslim women.

“I didn’t have a choice. I preferred to leave my job altogether with two other colleagues who were in the same situation. We left the clinic in the hands of two female colleagues who later said they could not cope with the demand and have started to turn down patients,” Issam said.

The Ministry of Health has said it is investigating the cases and has asked the Ministry of Interior to protect doctors and nurses countrywide.

Heath services in Iraq have been seriously undermined by the shortage of doctors. According to the IMA, at least 75 percent of doctors, pharmacists and nurses have left their jobs at universities, clinics and hospitals. Of these, at least 55 percent have fled abroad.

“There are days when we find more than 80 patients per doctor in our hospital, an average of 170 daily. All of them are divided among the two women gynaecologists who are left in our clinic,” said Afaf Abdul-Qahar, a gynaecologist at Karada Maternity Centre, in the capital.

Britons oppose Muslim veils in schools

Britons oppose Muslim veils in schools

thisislondon.co.uk

Strong opposition to the use of the Muslim veil in schools and face covering in public is revealed today in a new opinion poll for the Evening Standard.

Nearly 90 per cent of respondents say that Muslim teachers should not be allowed to wear a veil when teaching.

And 84 per cent say that Muslim pupils should not be allowed to wear a veil at school.

The survey shows the sharply divided views of Britons on Islam and the contribution of Muslims to life in the capital.

Among the most striking findings are that half believe that Islam is a "generally intolerant" faith and that Muslims are "isolated" from the rest of the community.

At the same time, about 40 per cent hold the opposite opinion, while seven out of 10 believe that Muslims make a positive contribution to the economy.

More than 70 per cent also say that they would be happy to vote for a Muslim as London Mayor.

There is strong opposition, however, to the censorship of images or words that might offend Islamic sensibilities and the idea of making Eid a public holiday.

Almost three-quarters of respondents also blame Islam for the 7 July bombings, although nine per cent say it played no role and a further 13 per cent say its influence was minimal.

The findings are contained in a survey of more than 700 "influentials" - a category including business leaders, innovators, politicians and other prominent individuals - carried out for the Standard by opinion pollsters YouGovStone.

...49 per cent say they regard the religion as a generally intolerant faith.

Vital cultural linchpin law - banning headscarf will STOP extremism in it's tracks!

Maldives moves against veiled women, jihadis on TV

afp.google.com


State-run television in the Maldives has been ordered not to employ women who cover their heads and to stop praising Palestinian suicide bombers, a government minister told AFP.

The measures are part of a package of restrictions designed to stem a feared spread of militant Islam that could damage the Indian Ocean archipelago's status as a top destination for rich tourists.

"We have instructed Television Maldives to stop hiring female anchors who wear headscarves and not show fully veiled women, even in news reports," Information Minister Mohamed Nasheed said in an interview late Tuesday.

He said state-run television had also been ordered to no longer refer to Palestinian suicide bombers as "jihadis" -- or holy warriors -- and to cease glorifying "holy war".

"We are taking off panelists on programmes who are not moderate, going through scripts, checking terminology to make sure there is no language that contains extremist kinds of things," he said.

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom ordered a crackdown on radical Islam after a bomb attack in the capital Male on September 29 wounded a British honeymoon couple, eight Chinese and two Japanese tourists.

The Sunni Muslim nation of 330,000 people has traditionally been regarded as one of the most peaceful places in the world, building one of South Asia's most successful economies on its upmarket tourism.

"Tourism has since recovered. There was a slight dip after the blast. But we can't afford another blast, it will kill the industry," Nasheed said.

"We can't afford to ignore the rise of extremism in the country. We can't afford to look back thousands of years, or go back to that era," he added.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid also argued that covered-up women were a security risk.

The culture that gives children textbooks of hatred and death must be moderated in the US

Textbooks from Saudi school in US to be revised
Alarabiya.net


DUBAI

American syllabus checkers will revise textbooks from the Islamic Saudi Academy in Washington after a federal human rights panel charged that the books incited violence and hatred, according to America in Arabic news agency.

In its report, the committee recommended closing down the school until the syllabus was revised and discriminatory insinuations eliminated.

"The texts imply that protecting Islam necessitates the suppression of 'the other,' its findings read."

The committee said it sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia to follow up on the kingdom's promises to promote religious freedom and human rights, which included revising its textbooks.

The mission of the private Islamic school, according to its Web site, is to "enable our students to excel academically while maintaining the values of Islam and proficiency with the Arabic language. The Academy endeavors to provide a caring, challenging and supportive learning environment where students can achieve their highest potential while exhibiting civic responsibility and multicultural appreciation."

In recent years, several groups have cited examples of inflammatory statements in religious textbooks in Saudi Arabia, including claims that a ninth-grade textbook reads that the hour of judgment will not come “until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

In any other country, the speaker would be killed

Muslims muzzling Memphis
The American Thinker
by Brigitte Gabriel

Universities, for those of us who lecture on campuses, are the battleground for the heart and soul of the next generation of leaders. They are the battleground where we must fight to win back the opinions and allegiance of American college students. This is made harder when Islamists in both the college and local communities try to intimidate us and deny our free speech on campuses in some of the least likely places.

We have grown to expect these things on the major East and West Coast cities 'elite' university campuses that harbor radical professors and anarchist student and radical Muslim community activities. But not in the heartland where I spoke last week at the University of Memphis. What was shocking was that it occurred in the South, in "Bubbaland" as my friends from the region call it.

I was invited to give a lecture sponsored by Professor David Patterson of the Judaic Studies Program. When news about my appearance spread, the Muslim community both on and off campus launched a full—scale campaign to stop my lecture. They demanded that Dr. Patterson cancel my speech. E—mails flooded the University of Memphis administration and Dr. Patterson from Muslim students on campus and Muslims in the community and mosques. Here are some of their comments:

"People like Brigitte are plenty in the world, they are the true enemies of Islam. And despite their rubbish talks, the truth about Islam is spreading like a wildfire across Americas and across the globe (All Praise to Allah)."

Dr. Patterson, hosting of this lady is orders of magnitude worse than hosting of the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Do you honestly think the scheduled lecture will serve any useful purpose other than inflaming the Muslims, insulting them and spilling poison in the community?

It is interesting to see the reaction of the Muslim community to someone with Muslim—fired shrapnel in her body who speaks against butchering innocent people in the name of Allah. If they would put the same energy into condemning the radical element within Islam and join us in saying that slaughtering people in the name of Allah is murder not Jihad, maybe we wouldn't be tempred to question their loyalty as American citizens. Dr. Patterson refused to bow to their intimidation and insisted on going on with the scheduled speech.

By the time I showed up at the amphitheater style lecture hall on campus, police officers were already standing at each entrance. Nearly half of the hall was filled with Muslims with their leaders dressed Osama Bin Laden style sitting in the front two rows at eye level making 'their point,' that I wasn't going to get away with speaking freely.

Just as the program was about to begin, a Muslim student walked to the front and asked the crowd to raise their hands if they believed that this lecture was 'undemocratic.' They complained that I would be taking questions on cards instead of allowing them to ask them publicly. Experienced in these settings, I knew they would make speeches, spew anti American and Israeli sentiments and create chaos in the room during the Q&A. I decided that they were not going to do that. The provocative Muslim student behavior before I even began my lecture proved my foresight. Dr. Patterson explained that taking questions from cards distributed to the audience was normal protocol at university speaking events like mine.

Patterson tried to calm the unruly crowd but nothing was working. Fed up, I went straight to the podium and ordered everyone to sit. I told them, this is my lecture and I run the show. If they didn't like the way I conducted my lecture and my questions they could leave the room, now. Shocked at my behavior and authority they shut—up. The non—Muslim members of the audience applauded.

I finished, asked Professor Patterson to make introductory remarks and returned to my seat.

Dr. Patterson introduced me by telling the audience what an eye opener this lecture had become because of the reaction. He stated that he never realized that here in Memphis a speaker should be threatened for his/her safety just to speak on a college campus. He introduced me and I delivered my speech with police officers on both sides as well as about eight others in the lecture hall and around the building.

Unknown to me, a Muslim student attending the University of Memphis was arrested weeks prior to my lecture for, among other things, possession of DVD's on pilot training and charts on the layout of the Memphis airport. They found links on his computer to sites associated with a radical Sunni Muslim organization in Iraq, and searches for information on how guns and bombs can be smuggled past airport security. After witnessing the Muslim reaction to my lecture and what happened few weeks ago at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when an Iranian Muslim student drove into, for Allah's sake, innocent students gathering on university grounds, the Memphis police were not going to take any chances.

It is a sad state of affairs when any speaker on any American University campus has to be surrounded by police officers to protect their freedom of speech and person from intimidation and menace. America is the country where free speech is protected under our constitution. Who would have expected that in the home of the Beale Street Blues, W.C. Handy and Elvis, I would be confronted by Muslims trying to muzzle my free speech and perhaps all of us?

At the end of the lecture the Muslims immediately in front swarmed over me questioning and intimidating. Police officers quickly moved in and pulled me out straight to the police cars as the enraged Muslims started shouting.

Based on what happened to me in Memphis, I think its time for Americans to wake up as to what is occurring within their very midst. It is time to be energized and empowered to stand up and fight to take back our universities. Its incidents like this that spurs speakers like me to defend our civilization and everything it stands for.

Sounds like it's still fun to kill non muslims

Terrorism: New Jihadi manual rejects militant violence in Arab-Islamic world
AdnKronos.com

Cairo, 13 Nov. (AKI) - Jailed Egyptian terrorist leader, Sayd Imam, ideologue of the Islamist group, Jamaa al-Islamiya, is to release a new manual expected to call for an end to militant operations in Arab-Islamic countries and the killing of civilians.
The controversial new manual written by Sayd Imam and a group of Egyptian Islamic Ulema or scholars, will be released in Egypt on Sunday and is expected to shake up al-Qaeda.

Sayd Imam, a surgeon still known by his underground name of "Dr Fadel", is expected to stress his distance from the al-Qaeda terror network in the book and strong criticism of the organisation's strategy.

The new manual will call for an end to all Jihadi operations inside Arab-Islamic countries as well as an end to the killings of civilians in general and tourists, in particular, of all nationalities.

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Why the civilized world MUST pass strict cultural linchpin laws

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=2&cid=1192380800225&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Our World: Islam and the nation-state
Jerusalem Post ^

By CAROLINE GLICK



Throughout the world, one of the most prevalent causes of war, terrorism and political instability is the ongoing weakening of the nation-state system. There are several reasons that the nation-state as a political unit of sovereignty is under threat. One of the most basic causes of this continuous erosion of national power throughout the world is the transformation of minority-dominated enclaves within nation-states into ungovernable areas where state power is either not applied or applied in a haphazard and generally unconstructive manner.

While domestic strife between majority and minority populations has been an enduring feature of democratic and indeed all societies throughout history, the current turbulence constitutes a unique challenge to the nation-state system. This is because much of the internal strife between minority and majority populations within states today is financed and often directed from outside the country.

Traditionally, minorities used various local means to engage the majority population in a bid to influence the political direction or cultural norms of the nation state. The classic examples of this traditional minority-majority engagement are the black civil rights movement in the US in the 1960s and the labor movements in the West throughout the 20th century. By and large, these movements were domestic protests informed by national sensibilities even when they enjoyed the support of foreign governments.

Today while similar movements continue to flourish, they are now being superseded by a new type of minority challenge to national majorities.

This challenge is not primarily the result of domestic injustice but the consequence of foreign agitation. The roots of these minority challenges are found outside the borders of the targeted states. And their goals are not limited to a call for the reform of national institutions and politics. Rather they set their sights on weakening national institutions and eroding national sovereignty.

MUSLIM MINORITIES throughout the world are being financed and ideologically trained in Saudi and UAE funded mosques and Islamic centers. These minorities act in strikingly similar manners in the countries where they are situated throughout the world. On the one hand, their local political leaders demand extraordinary communal rights, rights accorded neither to the national majority nor to other minority populations. On the other hand, Muslim neighborhoods, particularly in Europe, but also in Israel, the Philippines and Australia, are rendered increasingly ungovernable as arms of the state like the police and tax authorities come under attack when they attempt to assert state power in these Muslim communities.

Logic would have it that targeted states would respond to the threat to their authority through a dual strategy. On the one hand, they would firmly assert their authority by enforcing their laws against both individual lawbreakers and against subversive, foreign financed institutions that incite the overthrow of their governments and their replacement with Islamic governments. On the other hand, they would seek out and empower local Muslims who accept the authority and legitimacy of their states and their rule of law.

Unfortunately, with the notable exception of the Howard government in Australia, in country after country, governments respond to this challenge by attempting to appease Muslim irredentists and their state sponsors. The British responded to the July 7, 2005 bombings by giving representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood an official role in crafting and carrying out counter-terror policies.

In 2003, then French president Jacques Chirac sent then interior minister Nicholas Sarkozy to Egypt to seek the permission of Sheikh Mohammed Tantawi of the Islamist al-Azhar mosque for the French parliament's plan to outlaw hijabs in French schools.

In the US, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the FBI asked the terror-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations to conduct sensitivity training for FBI agents.

In Holland last year, the Dutch government effectively expelled anti-Islamist politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the interest of currying favor with Holland's restive Muslim minority.

THE FOREIGN policy aspect of the rush to appease is twofold. First, targeted states refuse to support one another when individual governments attempt to use the tools of law enforcement to handle their domestic jihad threat. For instance, European states have harshly criticized the US Patriot Act while the US criticized the French decision to prohibit the hijab in public schools.

More acutely, targeted states lead the charge in calling for the establishment of Muslim-only states. Today the US and the EU are leading the charge towards the establishment of a Palestinian state and the creation of an independent state of Kosovo.

In two weeks, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will host the Annapolis conference where together with her European and Arab counterparts, she will exert enormous pressure on the Olmert government to agree to the establishment of a jihadist Palestinian state in Israel's heartland with its capital in Jerusalem and its sovereignty extending over Judaism's most sacred site, the Temple Mount.

The establishment of the sought-for Palestinian state presupposes the ethnic cleansing of at a minimum 80,000 Israelis from their homes and communities simply because they are Jews. Jews of course will be prohibited from living in Palestine.

FOR ITS part, the Palestinian leadership to which Israel will be expected to communicate its acceptance of the establishment of Palestine, is one part criminal, and two parts jihadist. As Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues have made clear, while they are willing to accept Israel's concessions, they are not willing to accept Israel. This is why they refuse to acknowledge Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

A rare consensus exists today in Israel. From the far-left to the far-right, from IDF Military Intelligence to the Mossad, all agree that the Annapolis conference will fail to bring a peace accord. Since Rice's approach to reaching just such an accord has been to apply unrelenting pressure on Israel, it is fairly clear that she will blame Israel for the conference's preordained failure and cause a further deterioration in US-Israeli relations.

While Israel is supposed to accept a Jew-free Palestine, it goes without saying that its own 20 percent Arab minority will continue to enjoy the full rights of Israeli citizenship. Yet one of the direct consequences of the establishment of a Jew-free, pro-jihadist State of Palestine will be the further radicalization of Israeli Arabs. They will intensify their current rejection of Israel's national identity.

With Palestinian and outside support, they will intensify their irredentist activities and so exert an even more devastating attack on Israel's sovereignty and right to national self-determination.

SHORTLY AFTER the Annapolis conference fails, and no doubt in a bid to buck up its standing with the Arab world, the US may well stand by its stated intention to recognize the independence of Kosovo.

On December 10, the UN-sponsored troika from the US, Russia and Germany is due to present their report on the ongoing UN-sponsored negotiations between the Kosovo Muslims and the Serbian government regarding the future of the restive province of Serbia. Since the Kosovo Muslims insist on full sovereignty and Serbia's government refuses to accept Kosovo's independence, those talks are deadlocked. Since Russia refuses to support Kosovo's removal from Serbia, there is no chance that the UN Security Council will pass a resolution calling for Kosovar independence.

The push for Kosovar independence was begun by the Clinton administration. It was the natural consequence of the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. Yet the basic assumptions of that bombing campaign have been turned on their head in recent years. In 1999, Serbia was run by a murderous dictator Slobodan Milosovic. He stood accused of ethnically cleansing Kosovo of its Muslim population which was perceived as innocent. Today, led by Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, Serbia is taking bold steps towards becoming a liberal democracy which abjures ethnic cleansing and political violence. On the other hand, the Saudi-financed Kosovo Muslims have destroyed more than 150 churches over the past several years, and have terrorized Kosovar Christians and so led to their mass exodus from the province.

As Julia Gorin documented in a recent article in Jewish World Review, Kosovo's connections with Albanian criminal syndicates and global jihadists are legion. Moreover, Kosovar independence would likely spur irredentist movements among the Muslim minorities in all Balkan states. In Macedonia for instance, a quarter of the population is Muslim. These irredentist movements in turn would increase Muslim irredentism throughout Europe just as Palestinian statehood will foment an intensification of the Islamization of Israel's Arab minority.

The Kosovo government announced last month that given the diplomatic impasse, it plans to declare its independence next month. Currently, the Bush administration is signaling its willingness to recognize an independent Kosovo even though doing so will threaten US-Russian relations.

In a bid both to prevent the Bush administration from turning on Israel in the aftermath of the failure of the Annapolis conference and to make clear Israel's own rejection of the notion that a "solution" to the Palestinian conflict with Israel can be imposed by foreign powers, the Olmert government should immediately and loudly restate its opposition to the imposition of Kosovar independence on Serbia.

In the interest of defending the nation-state system, on which American sovereignty and foreign policy is based, the US should reassess the logic of its support for the establishment of Muslim-only states. It should similarly revisit its refusal to openly support the right of non-Islamic states like Israel, Serbia and even France, to assert their rights to defend their sovereignty, national security and national character from outside-sponsored domestic Islamic subversion.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Britons oppose Muslim veils in schools - wise cultural move

Britons oppose Muslim veils in schools
Londons Evening Standard ^

Strong opposition to the use of the Muslim veil in schools and face covering in public is revealed today in a new opinion poll for the Evening Standard.

Nearly 90 per cent of respondents say that Muslim teachers should not be allowed to wear a veil when teaching.

And 84 per cent say that Muslim pupils should not be allowed to wear a veil at school.

The survey shows the sharply divided views of Britons on Islam and the contribution of Muslims to life in the capital.

Among the most striking findings are that half believe that Islam is a "generally intolerant" faith and that Muslims are "isolated" from the rest of the community.

At the same time, about 40 per cent hold the opposite opinion, while seven out of 10 believe that Muslims make a positive contribution to the economy.

More than 70 per cent also say that they would be happy to vote for a Muslim as London Mayor.

There is strong opposition, however, to the censorship of images or words that might offend Islamic sensibilities and the idea of making Eid a public holiday.

Almost three-quarters of respondents also blame Islam for the 7 July bombings, although nine per cent say it played no role and a further 13 per cent say its influence was minimal.

What specifically has the world of Islam done to make the world a better place for humanity?

Can muslims please tell us ignorant non muslims just what, specifically, over the last 20 years or so, what the world of Islam has done for humanity and what the world of Islam has done to make the world a better place for all of us?

Please name specific events.

(Hopefully something not seen as self serving and manipulative such as Arafat offering his blood soaked millions to New York after 9/11.)

Families in predominantly Kurdish southeast Turkey are pressing young daughters or wives to take their own lives to spare the men of the family PRISON

Women Forced Into 'Honour Suicides'
By Yael Lavie
Senior Middle East Producer


Women are being forced to commit suicide for bringing dishonour on their families, a Sky News investigation in Turkey has revealed.

Woman's family wanted her deadThe disturbing phenomenon appears to be a result of the country's tightening of laws against honour crimes recently in the hope of joining the European Union.

But the stricter sentences handed to men accused of killing women for "shaming" the family are causing a rise in the number of honour suicides, say campaign groups.

Families in predominantly Kurdish southeast Turkey are pressing young daughters or wives to take their own lives to spare the men of the family from serving time.

Women's organisations in the city of Batman say that around 80 female suicides were recorded in the city in 2006 alone.

The women's shelter there has recorded hundreds of suicides in the last five years as well as many unnatural deaths in mysterious circumstances.

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Activists believe the actual number may be much higher but the code of honour in the region, steeped in centuries-old rural customs, is protected by the community's silence.

This is a silence that is almost impossible for authorities to break.

Batman is an industrial town where Turkey's old customs clash with modern day life.

Many residents come from the villages surrounding it but they do not leave their honour codes behind.

Young girls can be accused of dishonouring the family simply for wearing jeans or glancing at a boy or even being looked at by a man in a wrong way.

Such was the case of Halimeh Baytkin, an 18-year-old girl who was found dead in 2005.

Her family said she killed herself because she was depressed by what she saw on television and the political situation.


Many subscribe to ancient traditionsHowever, the authorities have told Sky News they believe she was forced to commit suicide simply for having a boyfriend.

Despite their claim, they have been unable to prosecute anyone over her killing.

Sky News spoke to another woman whose identity cannot be revealed. She married at the age of 15. Her husband beat her and was unfaithful.

When she complained and asked for a divorce her own family told her to commit suicide.

"My sister said kill yourself, kill yourself. Your husband, your family disowns you.

"If I were you I wouldn't take this for one more second, I would kill myself. But I was saying no I'm not taking this. I'm resisting against them."

The problem for Turkish authorities investigating honour suicides is the secrecy these crimes are cloaked in.

The Turkish government claims it is cracking down on honour crimes under pressure from Europe to improve human rights, but it may take decades to overcome this ancient bloody tradition.
Muslims Against Sharia said... Muslims Against Sharia congratulate David Horowitz FREEDOM CENTER and Mike Adams, Tammy Bruce, Phyllis Chesler, Ann Coulter, Nonie Darwish, Greg Davis, Stephen Gale, David Horowitz, Joe Kaufman, Michael Ledeen, Michael Medved, Alan Nathan, Cyrus Nowrasteh, Daphne Patai, Daniel Pipes, Dennis Prager, Luana Saghieh, Rick Santorum, Jonathan Schanzer, Christina Sommers, Robert Spencer, Brian Sussman, Ed Turzanski, Ibn Warraq and other speakers on the success of the Islamofascism Awareness Week.

Islamofascism (or Islamism) is the main threat facing modern civilization and ignorance about this threat is astounding. We hope that this event becomes regular and reaches every campus.

A great many Westerners do not see the clear distinction between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism). They need to understand that the difference between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism) is the same as the difference between Christianity and Christian Identity Movement (White Supremacy Movement).


The big lie is that Christianity is the same as Islam. The reason that more and more Westerners are not seeing a clear distinction between Islam and Islamism is that there IS NO CLEAR DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE ISLAM AND ISLAMISM.

Many atrocities have been done in the name of Christianity but from the beginning Christianity taught love and forgiveness as the way to heaven.

From the beginning, Islam taught the way to heaven is murder, hated, suicide and a twisted deviant males-only sexual orgy in heaven.

Islamism IS Islam, you moderates get how dangerous Islamism is, but also you moderates are in severe denial about how you are enabling the violence.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Once repressed people get a taste of freedom, they NEVER GO BACK TO REPRESSION -

Iraq's liquor stores are on the rebound
Targeted in '03 by militants, drop in violence fuels rise in customers


By CHRISTIAN BERTHELSEN and SAID RIFAI
Los Angeles Times

BAGHDAD, IRAQ — It's Thursday night, the end of the Iraqi workweek, and Fami Ameen is scrambling in his crowded Assassin's Gate liquor store as customers clamor for everything from beer and whiskey to ouzo and arak, the popular local alcohol.

Call Ameen an unexpected beneficiary of the "surge."

For decades, Iraq had a reputation as a modern, secular society that liked to drink and knew how to party, from wild hotel discotheques to genteel members-only social clubs. But after the fall of Saddam Hussein, extremists unleashed waves of firebombings against liquor stores, even killing owners, because alcohol is forbidden under Islamic law.

Just a year ago, Iraqis' taste for alcohol, and the businesses that sated it, were written off as a casualty of the country's new Islam-dominated order.

But violence in Baghdad has dropped in recent months under the U.S. military's security crackdown.

Coming from all over

And although many stores are shuttered, their faded Carlsberg awnings caked with dirt, the booze business has rebounded, as Iraqis negotiating the gulf between their faith and their proclivities strike a delicate balance, discreetly traveling from all over the city, and even other provinces, to the remaining liquor shops.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/5290739.html

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