Author Topic: Islam in Arabic/Islamic Countries:  (Read 113113 times)


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Judge upholds 47 year old man marrying 8 year old girl
« Reply #100 on: April 12, 2009, 05:36:59 PM »
A Saudi judge has refused for a second time to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man, a relative of the girl told CNN.

The most recent ruling, in which the judge upheld his original verdict, was handed down Saturday in the Saudi city of Onaiza, where late last year the same judge rejected a petition from the girl's mother, who was seeking a divorce for her daughter.

The relative said the judge, Sheikh Habib Al-Habib, "stuck by his earlier verdict and insisted that the girl could petition the court for a divorce once she reached puberty." The family member, who requested anonymity, added that the mother will continue to pursue a divorce for her daughter.

The case, which has drawn criticism from local and international rights groups, came to light in December when al-Habib declined to annul the marriage on a legal technicality. The judge ruled the girl's mother -- who is separated from the girl's father -- was not the girl's legal guardian and therefore could not represent her in court, according to Abdullah al-Jutaili, the mother's lawyer.

The girl's father, according to the attorney, arranged the marriage in order to settle his debts with the man, who is "a close friend" of his. At the time of the initial verdict, the judge required the girl's husband to sign a pledge that he would not have sex with her until she reaches puberty, al-Jutaili told CNN. The judge ruled that when the girl reaches puberty, she will have the right to request a divorce by filing a petition with the court, the lawyer said.

Last month, an appeals court in the Saudi capital of Riyadh declined to certify the original ruling, in essence rejecting al-Habib's verdict, and sent the case back to al-Habib for reconsideration.

Under the complicated Saudi legal process, the appeals court ruling meant that the marriage was still in effect, but that a challenge to the marriage was still ongoing. The appeals court in Riyadh will now take up the case again and a hearing is scheduled for next month, according to the relative.

The issue of child marriage has been a hot-button topic in the deeply conservative kingdom recently. While rights groups have been petitioning the government to enact laws that would protect children from this type of marriage, the kingdom's top cleric has said that it's OK for girls as young as 10 to wed.

"It is incorrect to say that it's not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger," Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, the kingdom's grand mufti, said in remarks last January quoted in the regional Al-Hayat newspaper. "A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she's too young are wrong and they are being unfair to her."

Al-Sheikh reportedly made the remarks when he was asked during a lecture about parents forcing their underage daughters to marry.

"We hear a lot in the media about the marriage of underage girls," he said, according to the newspaper. "We should know that Sharia law has not brought injustice to women."

Sharia law is Islamic law. Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam called Wahhabism.

CNN was unable to reach government officials for comment.

Christoph Wilcke, a Saudi Arabia researcher for Human Rights Watch, told CNN in December that his organization has heard of many other cases of child marriages.

"We've been hearing about these types of cases once every four or five months because the Saudi public is now able to express this kind of anger -- especially so when girls are traded off to older men," Wilcke said.

Wilcke explained that while Saudi ministries may make decisions designed to protect children, "It is still the religious establishment that holds sway in the courts, and in many realms beyond the court."

Last December, Zuhair al-Harithi, a spokesman for the Saudi government-run Human Rights Commission, said his organization is fighting against child marriages.

"The Human Rights Commission opposes child marriages in Saudi Arabia," al-Harithi said. "Child marriages violate international agreements that have been signed by Saudi Arabia and should not be allowed." He added that his organization has been able to intervene and stop at least one child marriage from taking place.

Wajeha al-Huwaider, co-founder of the Society of Defending Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia, told CNN that achieving human rights in the kingdom means standing against those who want to "keep us backward and in the dark ages."

She said the marriages cause girls to "lose their sense of security and safety. Also, it destroys their feeling of being loved and nurtured. It causes them a lifetime of psychological problems and severe depression."


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AK 47 Elopement
« Reply #101 on: April 14, 2009, 08:35:19 AM »
Taleban 'kill love affair couple'
The Taleban in Afghanistan have publicly killed a young couple who they said had tried to run away to get married, officials say.

The man, 21, and woman, 19, were shot dead on Monday in front of a mosque in the south-western province of Nimroz.

Nimroz is an area where the Taleban have a strong influence.

Governor Ghulam Dastageer Azad told the AFP news agency the killings followed a decree by local religious leaders and were an "insult to Islam".

Dangerous region

Mr Azad said: "An unmarried young boy and an unmarried girl who loved each other and wanted to get married had eloped because their families would not approve the marriage."

Officials said the couple were traced by militants after they tried to go to Iran. They were made to return to their village in Khash Rod district.

"Three Taleban mullahs brought them to the local mosque and they passed a fatwa (religious decree) that they must be killed. They were shot and killed in front of the mosque in public," the governor said.

He said there were some reports that the families of the young couple could have links with the Taleban. The Taleban could not be immediately reached for comment.

Correspondents say that the killings took place in a remote and dangerous region, where the government has no access.

The Taleban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and during that time implemented its austere interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, carrying out public killings and floggings.

Unmarried men and women were forbidden from talking or meeting in public and women were not allowed out of their homes without a male relative. Girls were discouraged from going to school.

Extrajudicial "honour killings" have been widely carried out in Afghanistan since then by conservative families angered by a relative who has brought them shame - usually by refusing to marry a chosen partner.

The Taleban have widened their influence over the past three years and now control many remote districts where there are not enough coalition forces to establish a permanent presence.


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NYT: Election results in Indonesia
« Reply #102 on: April 25, 2009, 06:24:40 AM »
JAKARTA, Indonesia — From Pakistan to Gaza and Lebanon, militant Islamic movements have gained ground rapidly in recent years, fanning Western fears of a consolidation of radical Muslim governments. But here in the world’s most populous Muslim nation just the opposite is happening, with Islamic parties suffering a steep drop in popular support.

In parliamentary elections this month, voters punished Islamic parties that focused narrowly on religious issues, and even the parties’ best efforts to appeal to the country’s mainstream failed to sway the public.

The largest Islamic party, the Prosperous Justice Party, ran television commercials of young women without head scarves and distributed pamphlets in the colors of the country’s major secular parties. But the party fell far short of its goal of garnering 15 percent of the vote, squeezing out a gain of less than one percentage point over its 7.2 percent showing in 2004.

That was a big letdown for a party and a movement that had grown phenomenally in recent years, even as more radical elements directed terrorist attacks against Western tourists and targets. The party had projected that it would double its share of seats in Parliament even as it stuck to its founding goal of bringing Shariah, or Islamic law, to Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, with 240 million people.

Altogether, the major Islamic parties suffered a drop in support from 38 percent in 2004 to less than 26 percent this year, according to the Indonesian Survey Institute, an independent polling firm whose figures are in keeping with partial official results.

Political experts and politicians attribute the decline to voters’ disillusionment with Islamic parties that once called for idealism, but became embroiled in the messy, often corrupt world of Indonesian politics. They also say that the popular president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is expected to be re-elected in July, appropriated the largest Islamic party’s signature theme of clean government through a far-reaching anticorruption drive.

On a deeper level, some of the parties’ fundamentalist measures seem to have alienated moderate Indonesians. While Indonesia has a long tradition of moderation, it was badly destabilized with the end of military rule in 1998, which gave rise to Islamist politicians who preached righteousness and to some hard-core elements, who practiced violence. The country has only recently achieved a measure of stability.

Although final results from the election on April 9 will not be announced until next month, partial official results and exit polls by several independent companies indicate that Indonesians overwhelmingly backed the country’s major secular parties, even though more of them are continuing to turn to Islam in their private lives.

“People in general do not feel that there should be an integration of faith and politics,” said Azyumardi Azra, director of the graduate school at Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University. “Even though more and more Muslims, in particular women, have become more Islamic and have a growing attachment to Islam, that does not translate into voting behavior.”

The Islamic parties’ 2004 surge occurred around the time that Indonesian terrorists were attacking hotels and nightclubs popular among Westerners, as well as the Australian Embassy here. A growing number of communities were adopting Shariah as some of the smaller, more hard-line Islamic parties also pushed to insert Islamic law in the Constitution.

The hard-line stance, though, was at odds with the attitudes of Indonesians; most of them practice a moderate version of Islam and were attracted to the Islamic parties for nonreligious reasons.

In 2004, just two years after its founding, the Prosperous Justice Party came out of nowhere, then joined the coalition government of President Yudhoyono and won several governors’ races. Although one of its founding principles is to bring Islamic law to Indonesia, the party attracted middle-class urban voters by emphasizing clean government, anticorruption policies and humanitarian activities.

Once the Islamic parties were in office, their pristine image was tarnished after several of their lawmakers were prosecuted in corruption cases. One member of the Prosperous Justice Party is under investigation in a bribery case.

The parties angered many Indonesians by pressing hard on several symbolic religious issues, like a vague “antipornography” law that could be used to ban everything from displays of partial nudity to yoga. The governor of West Java, a member of the Prosperous Justice Party, tried to ban a dance called jaipong, deeming it too erotic, but many people view it as part of their cultural heritage.

“There are now problems in hotels because they can’t serve alcohol,” said Jusuf Wanandi, a political analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a policy research group based here. “That’s why people started to recognize what they are up to and why the middle class that supported them now have second thoughts.”


Page 2 of 2)

Ahmad Zainuddin, a lawmaker with the Prosperous Justice Party and one of its founders, acknowledged that support for his party had fallen considerably in the election. Mr. Zainuddin, 42, who had predicted that the party would double its share of the votes, now says that it would be hard pressed to expand its appeal.

“If we emphasize Shariah or religious matters, our supporters will decline, so we should emphasize mostly clean government and anticorruption,” he said in an interview at the party’s headquarters, whose facade mostly bears images of the party’s humanitarian activities and has no references to its religious goals.

But Mr. Zainuddin — who graduated from Lipia, a Saudi-financed university here that promotes Wahhabism, a rigid interpretation of Islam — also believes in the party’s founding goal of carrying out Shariah in Indonesia.

The party is now split between those committed to pursuing the party’s Islamist goals and those who want to stress good government.

Zulkieflimansyah, 36, a lawmaker with the Prosperous Justice Party, said many younger party members were trying to steer the party away from its Islamist origins and away from older members who were inspired by radical Islamic organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan.

Mr. Zulkieflimansyah, who, like many Indonesians, uses only one name, added: “If we are too critical, they will kick us harder than we thought. Or, borrowing an expression from our friends in the United States, don’t force a pig to sing. It will not work, and it annoys the pig as well.”

Despite the Islamic parties’ decline, they remain influential, analysts say. The country’s major secular parties, including President Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, have courted them and their supporters. And the Prosperous Justice Party, despite its minor gain of less than one percentage point, is pressing to increase the number of ministers it has in the coalition government to four from three.

“It’s still not clear where they stand on many issues like freedom of expression, morality, the place of women,” said Ahmad Suaedy, director of the Wahid Institute, a research organization based here. “The agenda of many people inside the party is still to Islamize Indonesia, and that’s a constraint on democracy.”


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8 year old girl allowed to divorce 50 yr. old man
« Reply #103 on: April 30, 2009, 07:50:41 PM »

By HADEEL AL-SHALCHI, Associated Press Writer Hadeel Al-shalchi, Associated Press Writer – 19 mins ago
CAIRO – An 8-year-old Saudi girl has divorced her middle-aged husband after her father forced her to marry him last year in exchange for about $13,000, her lawyer said Thursday.
Saudi Arabia has come under increasing criticism at home and abroad for permitting child marriages. The United States, a close ally of the conservative Muslim kingdom, has called child marriage a "clear and unacceptable" violation of human rights.
The girl was allowed to divorce the 50-year-old man who she married in August after an out-of-court settlement had been reached in the case, said her lawyer, Abdulla al-Jeteli. The exact date of the divorce was not immediately known.
A court in the central Oneiza region previously rejected a request by the girl's mother for a divorce and ruled that the girl would have to wait until she reached puberty to file a petition then.
There are no laws in Saudi Arabia defining the minimum age for marriage. Though a woman's consent is legally required, some marriage officials don't seek it.
But there has been a push by Saudi human rights groups to define the age of marriage and put an end to the phenomenon.
One Saudi human rights activist Sohaila Zain al-Abdeen was optimistic that the girl's divorce would help efforts to get a law passed enforcing a minimum marriage age of 18.
"Unfortunately, some fathers trade their daughters," she told The Associated Press. "They are weak people who are sometimes in need of money and forget their roles as parents."
It was not clear if the man received money for the divorce settlement. The man had given the girl's father 50,000 riyals, or about $13,350, as a marriage gift in return for his daughter, the lawyer said.
The 8-year-old girl's marriage was not the only one in the kingdom to receive attention in recent months. Saudi newspapers have highlighted several cases in which young girls were married off to much older men or young boys including a 15-year-old girl whose father, a death-row inmate, married her off to a cell mate.
Saudi Arabia's conservative Muslim clergy have opposed the drive to end child marriages. In January, the kingdom's most senior cleric said it was permissible for 10-year-old girls to marry and those who believe they are too young are doing the girls an injustice.
But some in the government appear to support the movement to set a minimum age for marriage. The kingdom's new justice minister was quoted in mid-April as saying the government was doing a study on underage marriage that would include regulations.
There are no statistics to show how many marriages involving children are performed in Saudi Arabia every year. Activists say the girls are given away in return for hefty marriage gifts or as a result of long-standing custom in which a father promises his infant daughters and sons to cousins out of a belief that marriage will protect them from illicit relationships.


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School girls poisoned
« Reply #104 on: May 13, 2009, 03:37:38 PM »
84 Hospitalized in Apparent Poisoning at Afghan Girls School
Tuesday , May 12, 2009
MUHMUD RAQI, Afghanistan —

At least 84 Afghan schoolgirls were admitted to a hospital Tuesday for headaches and vomiting in the third apparent poison attack on a girls school in as many weeks, officials and doctors said.

The students were lining up outside their school in northeastern Afghanistan on Tuesday morning when a strange odor filled the school yard, and one girl collapsed, said the school's principal, who was herself in a hospital bed gasping for breath as she described the event.

"We took her inside and splashed water on her face," said Mossena, who like many Afghans goes by one name. Then other girls started passing out in the yard and they sent all the students home.

It was unclear if the incident was a deliberate attack on the school, though the Taliban and other conservative extremist groups in Afghanistan, who oppose girls education, have been known to target schoolgirls.

Mossena said she did not know what happened next because she collapsed and woke up in the main hospital in Muhmud Raqi, the capital of Kapisa province, which lies just northeast of Kabul.

At least 98 patients were admitted from Aftab Bachi school, including the principal, 11 teachers and two cleaners, said Khalid Enayat, the hospital's deputy director. He said about another 30 students were being monitored to see if they developed symptoms, although they were not admitted to the hospital. An official earlier said 89 schoolgirls had been hospitalized.

Click here for photos.

Tuesday's apparent attack is the third alleged poisoning at a girls' school in less than three weeks. It comes one day after 61 schoolgirls and one teacher from a school in neighboring Parwan province were admitted to a hospital after complaining of sudden illness. They were irritable, confused and weeping, and several of the girls passed out.

The patients in Kapisa complained of similar symptoms to those in the Parwan incidents -- headaches, vomiting and shivering, said Aziz Agha, a doctor treating the girls.

"I got dizzy and my head hurt. Some other students took me home, then I passed out and they brought me to the hospital," said a startled looking 11-year-old, Tahira, from her hospital bed.

The fifth grader said she planned to go back to school when she felt better, but that now it would fill her with fear.

"I'm going to be scared when I go back to school. What if we die?" she said.

Interior Ministry Spokesman Zemeri Bashary said officials suspect some sort of gas poisoning, and that police were still investigating.

Under the Taliban's 1996-2001 regime, girls were not allowed to attend school. Though it was unclear if the recent incidents were the result of attacks, militants in the south have previously assaulted schoolgirls by spraying acid in their faces and burning down schools to protest the government.

Scores of Afghan schools have been forced to close because of violence. Still, the three recent apparent poisonings have taken place in northeast Afghanistan, which is not as opposed to education for girls as Afghanistan's conservative southern regions.

The first apparent poison attack took place late last month in Parwan, when dozens of girls were hospitalized after being sickened by what Afghan officials said were strong fumes or a possible poison gas cloud.


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Re: Islam in Islamic Countries:
« Reply #105 on: May 14, 2009, 04:55:57 AM »
Turkey: Ankara's "General Directorate for Foundations" appropriates Orthodox church properties for gaming halls, other uses
Islamic Tolerance Alert: Would they turn mosque property into a gaming hall? No. "Bartholomew I appeals to the European Court in Strasbourg against Ankara," by Nat da Polis for Asia News, May 13:

Istanbul (AsiaNews) – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has announced his intention to appeal to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg over violations against the Orthodox community and its foundations, unjustly expropriated of lands and buildings by Ankara’s Direction for Religious Foundations.
Formally known as the General Directorate for Foundations, which regulates non-Muslim religious activity.

Speaking to faithful in St Georges’ Parish, close to the Byzantine walls of Istanbul, the Patriarch affirmed that the decision to go to the Strasbourg court was made by the Synod.
“We have and you have come here - he said - to celebrate this religious ceremony in a parish that is facing many difficulties. Unfortunately it is not alone. The problem is that this parish and its community, as is the case with many other s of the Church of Constantinople, have been abusively declared mazbut (occupied) by the Direction for Religious Foundations. This means that we cannot claim any rights to the management of the properties of this community, nor proceed with the election of its administrative board. As a result of this we have no right to manage that which was left to us by our forefathers. The only thing we are allowed to carry out in these places are religious functions. Unfortunately this is fate of this parish and many other parishes of the Church of Constantinople”.
“In the court yard of this parish – the Patriarch continued – the building which housed the community’s school still exists. It unfortunately has been transformed into a gaming hall and its management has been ceded by the authorities to a private individual, who in turn compensated them with rent”.
“In an attempt to put an end to these injustices which we are being subjected to –added Bartholomew I – the Synod has reached a decision; to appeal firstly to the State Judiciary of Turkey, then, if all else should fail to the European Court in Strasbourg, following the example of the orphanage on Prince Buyukada Island, in the hopes that in this case too, justice will be done”. (ref., 29/11/2007 The Supreme Court in Strasburg allows Patriarchs’ appeal for Buyukada orphanage).
“We do not want – he concluded – special treatment, but neither can we allow our rights to be trampled on or our identity and the cultural heritage entrusted us by our forefathers be erased”.


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Funny, you don't look Jewish....
« Reply #106 on: May 15, 2009, 11:35:25 AM »
Pigs Must Die, Because They Are Descended from the Jews
By: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch | Friday, May 15, 2009

All pigs alive today are descendants of the Jews who were turned into pigs by Allah, according to a senior Egyptian religious leader. Since all pigs are descendants of Jews, it is obligatory to kill all pigs, says Sheikh Ahmed Ali Othman. 

Presumably if pigs were merely animals, they would not face destruction. It is their Jewish ancestry that condemns them to death.   

The Jordanian newspaper Al-Hakika al-Dawliya adds that this is not the only opinion. It cites Sheikh Ali Abu Al-Hassan, head of the Fatwa Committee at Al-Azhar [Sunni Islamic university], who believes that all the Jews who were turned into pigs by Allah died out without reproducing, and therefore there is no relationship between today's pigs and Jews.

The following is the transcript from Al-Moheet Arab News Network:   

"CAIRO -- Sheikh Ahmed Ali Othman, supervisor of the Da'awa [Islamic Indoctrination] of the Egyptian Waqf [Islamic Holy places], has issued a Religious Ruling (Fatwa) that pigs in our time have their origins in Jews who angered Allah, such that He turned them into monkeys, pigs, and Satan-worshippers, and it is obligatory to kill and slaughter them [the pigs].

Othman based his ruling on the respected Quranic verse, 'Say [to the People of the Book - Jews and Christians], Come and I shall make known to you who receives the worst retribution of all from Allah: those whom Allah has cursed and upon whom He has poured His wrath, whom He has made into monkeys and pigs, and who have served abominations. Their place is worst of all, and their deviation is the greatest of all...' (Quran, sura 5, verse 60)

Sheikh Othman noted that this verse concerning the nation of the prophet Moses descended [from Allah to the Quran], and the books of commentary confirm this. There are two opinions among the Ulama [Islamic scholars] in this regard: The first is that the Jews, whom Allah transformed and turned into pigs, remained in that state until they died, without producing descendants. The other opinion is that the Jews who turned into pigs multiplied and produced descendants, and their line continues to this day. Sheikh Othman also cited Hadiths (traditions attributed to Muhammad) as support...

The Jordanian newspaper Al-Hakika al-Dawliya quoted Othman: "I personally tend towards the view that the pigs that exist now have their origins with the Jews, and therefore their consumption is forbidden in the words of Allah: 'A carcass, and blood, and the flesh of a pig are forbidden to you....' Moreover, our master Jesus, peace be unto him - one of the tasks that he will fulfill when he descends to earth is the killing of the pigs, and this is proof that their source is Jewish.

Sheikh Othman said that whoever eats pig, it's as if he ate meat of an impure person, and stressed that this Religious Ruling is backed by the Islamic Sages of Al Azhar, but they are afraid to say this publically... so the Sages won't be accused of Anti-Semitism.     

Sheikh Ali Abu Al-Hassan, head of the Fatwa Committee at Al-Azhar [Sunni Islamic university], said that the first view is accurate, because when Allah punishes a group of people he punishes only them. When Allah grew angry with the nation of Moses, He turned them into pigs and monkeys as an extraordinary punishment... but they died out without leaving descendants."

[Al-Moheet Arab News Network, May 10, 2009]
[Al-Hakika al-Dawliya, May 9, 2009]

Itamar Marcus is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. He was appointed by the Israeli government to be the Israeli representative (communication specialist) to the Trilateral (Israeli-American-Palestinian) Anti-Incitement Committee established under the Wye Accords. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Marcus served as research director of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, writing reports on PA, Syrian, and Jordanian schoolbooks. He holds a BA in political science from City College of New York and an MA in Hebrew culture from New York University. Barbara Crook is associate director and North American representative of Palestinian Media Watch. She teaches at the School of Journalism and Communications at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She holds an Honors BA in English literature from Queen's University, an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Southam Fellow at the University of Toronto.


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Re: Funny, you don't look Jewish....
« Reply #107 on: May 15, 2009, 06:55:24 PM »
Pigs Must Die, Because They Are Descended from the Jews
By: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch | Friday, May 15, 2009

All pigs alive today are descendants of the Jews who were turned into pigs by Allah, according to a senior Egyptian religious leader. Since all pigs are descendants of Jews, it is obligatory to kill all pigs, says Sheikh Ahmed Ali Othman. 

Culturally these people are retarded and were it not for oil revenue they would still be living in mud huts herding goats and camels.

i give you exhibit A;

More people are killed by Islamists each year than in all 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition combined.
Islamic terrorists murder more people everyday than the Ku Klux Klan has in the last 50 years.

More civilians were killed by Muslim extremists in two hours on September 11th than in the 36 years of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.

19 Muslim hijackers killed more innocents in two hours on September 11th than the number of American criminals executed in the last 65 years.


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Re: Islam in Islamic Countries:
« Reply #108 on: June 07, 2009, 08:02:00 PM »
(from Israel thread)

I will look forward to someone explaining to me how men beating up a woman for non-Muslim dress is not discrimination against non-Muslims - in a most brutal way.

One poster says a Muslim in same circumstance would receive same treatment so the beating is non-discriminatory.  UNBELIEVABLE.  An adherant Muslim would not be in the same circumstance.  That is a distinction without any meaning, a distraction and a diversion from holding that religion accountable for inhumane practices againsty many, many groups of people including non-Muslims.

Same poster: "She should have been either not there (many don't bring their wives) or educated in the proper rules and regulations before venturing off base."



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Re: Islam in Islamic Countries:
« Reply #109 on: June 07, 2009, 08:49:03 PM »
Non discriminatory.  "UNBELIEVABLE"  :?   WHY?
Muslim women have disobeyed Muslim law with much worse consequences therefore it is "non - discriminatory"

I said;
"In contrast, Boyo's post was not an example of discriminatory mistreatment of non muslims and therefore I disagreed."
And Crafty said in response;
"FAIR ENOUGH!!!  (caps and exclamations added)

Logically, it was non-discriminatory.  One group (Muslims or non-Muslims) are not being favored.  Why is this simple LOGIC difficult?
In contrast, GM posted an example where Muslims were specifically favored over non Muslims.  Now that is discriminatory and I acknowledged it.

As for proper rules, I happen to be reading a US State Department Release on visiting North Korea this morning.  They STRONGLY advice obeying the rules, ALL RULES, or you may suffer the consequences.  For example taking a picture, talking to strangers, etc. OR YOU MAY BE ARRESTED AND PUT IN PRISON.  Fair, no, it's not.  But those are the rules in North Korea so either don't go or obey the rules or suffer the consequences.  It is very simple.  The woman in Boyo's example committed a "crime" in the country she visited.  Frankly, she was probably lucky, if she had been Muslim, she would have been beaten much worse, therefore I repeat it is non discriminatory.  She made the mistake, she committed a "crime" although I blame her husband and/or the Security Company he worked for; she truly should have been educated about the LAW before leaving base.

"Like blaming the rape victim for dress and location"?  Wrong.  A better example is the 50 year old says, "She loved me, she consented, I didn't know she was only 17 years old".  In California that's still statutory rape, off to  jail he goes.  Or the perp claims, "in my state, the age for consent is 16 years old, I didn't know CA law was 18".  Do you think that will get you off?  It's simple; read the law and obey.  And don't blame the law when you are a guest.  Or don't go.


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Re: Islam in Islamic Countries:
« Reply #110 on: June 08, 2009, 06:28:40 AM »
Mother caned in Bangladesh for talking to Hindu man
By Shafiq Alam – 2 days ago

DHAKA (AFP) — A Muslim mother has been caned for talking to a Hindu man in Bangladesh, police said Saturday, prompting fresh concerns about a rise in cases of harsh treatment of women under strict Islamic law.

The punishment was carried out in a remote village in Muslim-majority Bangladesh on the orders of village elders, local police chief Enamul Monowar told AFP by telephone.

The village elders found Kamala Begum, 38, a mother of four, guilty under Islamic sharia law of chatting with an unidentified Hindu man, Monowar said. Hindus make up around 10 percent of Bangladesh's population.

"The villagers got bundles of 25 sticks and hit her four times on the back. They claimed it was a symbolic punishment. But she's humiliated and has been in great mental pain," Monowar said.

It was the third such reported case in two weeks in the country and stirred concern among women's groups in Muslim-majority but officially secular Bangladesh, about what they say is a rise in the brutal treatment of women under locally applied Islamic laws.

"In the last few months, we have seen villagers invoking sharia to mete out barbaric punishments to women," said Salma Ali, the head of rights group Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers Association.

Police have arrested one man and are looking for others who meted out the punishment to the woman in Shason in northeastern Bangladesh, Monowar said.

Earlier this month a man and a woman were caned for adultery after being convicted by a village court, police said.

Village courts are common in Bangladesh, particularly in more conservative rural areas, but are not recognised as legitimate courts of law.

Also this month, a 22-year-old unwed woman was caned 39 times and left fighting for her life after saying a neighbour was the father of her six-year-old son.

The case caused a national outcry with Premier Sheikh Hasina ordering the woman shifted from her village home to the capital for treatment. The woman is now in a stable condition.

So far, Bangladesh has been little affected by the spread of hardline Islamic sentiment that has badly shaken its South Asian neighbour Pakistan.

But women's rights groups say there has been a spike in the number of "fatwas" -- judgments in line with sharia law -- in rural areas.

"In the last few months, we've seen villagers invoking sharia to mete out barbaric punishments to women," said lawyer Ali.

"It's disturbing sign and a real concern. It shows some parts of the country are becoming more conservative," she said.

Bangladesh has been ruled by female leaders for 16 of the last 19 years and prides itself for empowering women.

But although women hold high government and private sector posts, a move last year to give equal property rights to women was scuttled by Islamist protests.

The Awami League government has vowed to eradicate militancy from the country, hit by series of blasts by outlawed Islamic groups in 2005, and has warned of "zero tolerance" for harsh sharia punishments.


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Re: Islam in Islamic Countries:
« Reply #111 on: June 08, 2009, 06:30:29 AM »
Pakistani Catholic leaders come out against the Taliban and the imposition of the jizya

by Qaiser Felix
Tax on non-Muslims is a threat that violates basic human rights. In tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan more than 700 non-Muslim families are persecuted and forced to pay. Federal Religious Minorities minister strongly condemns the tax, pledges help for the victims.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) has condemned the imposition of the Jizya, the poll tax for non-Muslims, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan because of its discriminatory nature and because it constitutes a direct threat to basic human rights.
Mgr John Saldanha, archbishop of Lahore, and Peter Jacob, NCJP executive secretary, have urged the federal and provincial governments in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) to do something to alleviate the plight of non-Muslim families forced to “hand over their hard earned bread and butter to the extremists.”

Lashkar-e-Islam, a militant Islamist organisation based in Bara, about 10 kilometres south-west of Peshawar, is responsible for applying the tax.

Local sources said that more than 700 non-Muslim families have had to pay the tax.

NCJP leaders have complained about the lack of security among religious minorities in Orkazai and Khyber agency areas and that they are victims of harassment, religious taxation and expulsion.

The tax also is a threat to the country’s “democratic credentials and political system”. For this reason the government “should make it clear that Pakistan is a democratic country that cannot allow religious minorities to be subjected to such discrimination and economic injustice because they are equal citizens and not a conquered people.” These principles, the NCJP statement said, “are still part of the Constitution and the political system.”

Religious Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti reacted to the appeals of Catholic leaders by strongly condemning the demand on non-Muslims to pay the jizya.

Speaking to AsiaNews, the minister, who is Catholic, said that the tax “is illegal, unethical and against the Constitution of Pakistan.”

Moreover, in condemning those who perpetrate violence in the name of religion, he insisted that the protection of non-Muslims “is our constitutional obligation and moral duty”. The government, he reiterated, “will not let the Taliban threat and harm the minorities.”


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Re: Islam in Islamic Countries:
« Reply #112 on: June 08, 2009, 06:34:05 AM »
I think its time for a little reciprocity.  If they want to persecute Christians abroad muslims should not be able to build mosques or operate charitable groups who receive tax breaks.   Notice that CAIR not only always over looks these types of events (listed above) but they are always quick to come to the legal aid of "suspected" terrorists. 


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Hints of religious pluralism in Egypt?
« Reply #113 on: August 31, 2009, 07:31:54 AM »
nts of Pluralism in Egyptian Religious Debates
Published: August 30, 2009
CAIRO — Writing in his weekly newspaper column, Gamal al-Banna said recently that God had created humans as fallible and therefore destined to sin. So even a scantily clad belly dancer, or for that matter a nude dancer, should not automatically be condemned as immoral, but should be judged by weighing that person’s sins against her good deeds.

Gamal al-Banna, 88, is a religious writer in Cairo. He has found a broader audience on the Internet for his liberal Islamic views.
This view is provocative in Egypt’s conservative society, where many argue that such thinking goes against the hard and fast rules of divine law. Within two hours of the article’s posting last week on the Web site of Al Masry al Youm, readers had left more than 30 comments — none supporting his position.

“So a woman can dance at night and pray in the morning; this is duplicity and ignorance,” wrote a reader who identified himself as Hany. “Fear God and do not preach impiety.”

Still, Mr. Banna was pleased because at least his ideas were being circulated. Mr. Banna, who is 88 years old and is the brother of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been preaching liberal Islamic views for decades.

But only now, he said, does he have the chance to be heard widely. It is not that a majority agrees with him; it is not that the tide is shifting to a more moderate interpretative view of religion; it is just that the rise of relatively independent media — like privately owned newspapers, satellite television channels and the Internet — has given him access to a broader audience.

And there is another reason: The most radical and least flexible thinkers no longer intimidate everyone with differing views into silence.

“Everything has its time,” Mr. Banna said, seated in his dusty office crammed with bookshelves that stretch from floor to ceiling.

It is a testament to how little public debate there has been over the value of pluralism, or more specifically of the role of religion in society, that so many see the mere chance to provoke as progress. But now, more than any time in many years, there are people willing to risk challenging conventional thinking, said writers, academics and religious thinkers like Mr. Banna.

“There is a relative development, enough to at least be able to present a different opinion that confronts the oppressive religious current which prevails in politics and on the street, and which has made the state try to outbid the religious groups,” said Gamal Asaad, a former member of Parliament and a Coptic intellectual.

It is difficult to say exactly why this is happening. Some of those who have begun to speak up say they are acting in spite of — and not with the encouragement of — the Egyptian government. Political analysts said that the government still tried to compete with the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned but tolerated Islamic movement, to present itself as the guardian of conservative Muslim values.

Several factors have changed the public debate and erased some of the fear associated with challenging conventional orthodoxy, political analysts, academics and social activists said. These include a disillusionment and growing rejection of the more radical Islamic ideology associated with Al Qaeda, they said. At the same time, President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world has quieted the accusation that the United States is at war with Islam, making it easier for liberal Muslims to promote more Western secular ideas, Egyptian political analysts said.

“It is not a strategic or transformational change, but it is a relative change,” said Mr. Asaad, who emphasized that the dynamic was for Christians as well as Muslims in Egypt. “And the civil forces can unite to capitalize on this atmosphere and invest in it to raise it to become a more general atmosphere.”

Two events this summer highlighted the new willingness of a minority to confront the majority — and the overwhelming response by a still conservative community.

In June, a writers’ committee affiliated with the Ministry of Culture gave a prestigious award to Sayyid al-Qimni, a sharp critic of Islamic fundamentalism who in 2005 stopped writing, disavowed his own work and moved after receiving death threats for his writing.

Muhammad Salmawy, a committee member and president of the Egyptian Writers’ Union, said he thought Mr. Qimni had been honored in part because “he represents the secular direction and discusses religion on an objective basis and is against the religious current.”

What happened next followed a predictable path, but then veered. Islamic fundamentalists like Sheik Youssef al-Badri asked the government to revoke the award and moved to file a lawsuit against Mr. Qimni and the government.

“Salman Rushdie was less of a disaster than Sayyid al-Qimni,” said Mr. Badri in a television appearance on O TV, an independent Egyptian satellite channel. “Salman Rushdie, everyone attacked him because he destroyed Islam overtly. But Sayyid al-Qimni is attacking Islam and destroying it tactfully, tastefully and politely.”

But this time Mr. Qimni did not go into hiding. He appeared on the television show, sitting beside Sheik Badri as he defended himself.

A second development involved a religious minority, Bahais, who face discrimination in Egypt, where the only legally recognized faiths are Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Nine years ago the state stopped issuing identification records to Bahais unless they agreed to characterize themselves as members of one of the three recognized faiths. The documents are essential for access to all government services.

An independent group, The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, won a court order on behalf of the Bahais that forced the government to issue records leaving the religious identification blank. The first cards were issued this month. While the decision was aimed specifically at solving the problem faced by the Bahai community, the case tapped into the evolving debate, said the group’s executive director, Hossam Bahgat.

“It is an unprecedented move to recognize that one can be Egyptian and not adhere to one of these three religions,” Mr. Bahgat said. Still, he remains less than optimistic; most of the public reaction to the Bahais’ legal victory was negative, Mr. Bahgat said.

“It is known that you are apostates,” read one of many comments posted on Al Youm Al Sabei, an online newspaper.

But there has been at least a hint of diversity and debate in response to Mr. Banna’s remarks on belly dancers. Hours after they were posted, some readers began, however tentatively, to come to his defense. “Take it easy on the man,” an anonymous post said. “He did not issue a religious edict saying belly dancing is condoned. But he is saying that a person’s deeds will be weighed out because God is just. Is anything wrong with that?”

Mona el-Naggar contributed reporting


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« Reply #114 on: September 17, 2009, 11:50:13 AM »
Indonesian Police Kill Alleged Terror Mastermind

September 18, 2009

Indonesian Police Kill Alleged Terror Mastermind

JAKARTA, Indonesia

In a dramatic conclusion to a two-month national manhunt, the Indonesian police said that one of Southeast Asia’s most-wanted terrorists was among four men killed during a six-hour shootout early Thursday between counterterrorism commandos and a militant cell in central Java.

The police said that although they were still awaiting DNA results, fingerprints from one of the bodies matched those of the Malaysian-born Noordin Muhammad Top, 41, whom law enforcement officials blame for bombing attacks last July on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta.

Those bombings killed seven people, six of them foreigners, in addition to the two bombers. More than 50 people were wounded.

He is also blamed for the first Marriott hotel bombing in 2003, a bombing of the Australian Embassy in 2004 and the 2005 bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali.

“We are sure Noordin M. Top has been killed,” the national police chief, Bambang Hendarso Danuri, said at a news conference. “In this holy month of Ramadan, the country of Indonesia has been blessed.”

The police said they were acting on a tip given to them by two suspects arrested only hours before the raid began. Those militants directed the police to the house in the central Javanese city of Solo, where they said they believed several terrorists were hiding. The police did not know beforehand, however, whether Mr. Noordin was among them.

“It’s a gift,” Mr. Danuri said.

Mr. Danuri also said that Bagus Budi Pranato, allegedly involved in the July hotel bombings, was also killed in the raid.

Mr. Pranato, also called Urwah, was known as one of Mr. Noordin’s closest associates and worked with him in the lead-up to the Australian Embassy bombing in 2004. The police arrested Mr. Pranato two months before that bombing, but he was released from detention in April 2007. A report by the private International Crisis Group said Mr. Pranato seemed “to have almost immediately re-established contact” with Mr. Noordin upon his release.

The two other men killed were Adib Susilo, who owned the house, and Aji, who police said was a protégé of Azahari Husin, a master bombmaker from Malaysia who came to Indonesia alongside Mr. Noordin but was killed by the Indonesian police during a raid on his house in 2005.

In addition to the four men who were killed, three others were arrested during the six-hour siege on the small house in Solo. The police said that about four hours into the assault, there was a large explosion from inside the house, possibly a suicide bomb, which may have contributed to the deaths of Mr. Noordin and his associates.

Sorting through the leveled house, the police said they found 200 kilograms, or 440 pounds, of explosives, an M-16 machine gun with bullets, a laptop computer and documents. Those documents revealed connections between Indonesian militant groups and Al Qaeda, Mr. Danuri said, but he did not elaborate.

Mr. Noordin had enjoyed legendary status in militant circles for managing to elude capture for so many years. The police said they were minutes away from catching him on several occasions, including in August, when they thought they had trapped Mr. Noordin in a farmhouse in central Java. After a 16-hour firefight, however, the police recovered one body, and it was not that of Mr. Noordin.

Forensic tests later revealed that it had been Ibrohim, an Indonesian militant who the police believe helped carry out the July attacks under Mr. Noordin’s tutelage. Mr. Ibrohim had been working as a florist at both the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels before the bombings.

Mr. Noordin was once a senior leader and fund-raiser with the regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah. He broke away from the group in 2002, when support for violent attacks was waning among Jemaah Islamiyah members.

In a video in 2005 he claimed to be Al Qaeda’s representative in Southeast Asia, calling himself “Al Qaeda for the Malay archipelago.”

The police said that Mr. Noordin, known as a charismatic recruiter, had been actively seeking out support right up to his death.

The arrests and raids conducted after the July bombings revealed a much larger network of support for Mr. Noordin than most analysts had thought possible, given how successful Indonesia’s counterterrorism forces seemed to have been in arresting, killing or converting Islamic militants.

“His network is proving to be larger and more sophisticated than previously thought,” wrote Sidney Jones in a recent report released by the International Crisis Group, where she is a senior analyst. “As more information comes to light, it looks increasingly likely that Noordin sought and received Middle Eastern funding. While the extent of foreign involvement remains unclear, recruitment in Indonesia has proved disturbingly easy.”

Ms. Jones said the Jihadist ideology remained confined to a tiny fraction of the country, but that fringe is able to draw on a wide variety of sources for recruitment, including several dozen Islamic boarding schools, various radical, but not necessarily violent, groups, an active Islamic publishing industry and impressionable youths.

“It is important that we realize that this isn’t over,” said a senior counter-terrorism official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. “To the best of our knowledge there are still people out there who have been trained by Top and others.”

“Symbolically his death is important. But it doesn’t mean we can rest,” he added.


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POTH: Syria reverses course
« Reply #115 on: September 04, 2010, 08:17:24 AM »
DAMASCUS, Syria — This country, which had sought to show solidarity with Islamist groups and allow religious figures a greater role in public life, has recently reversed course, moving forcefully to curb the influence of Muslim conservatives in its mosques, public universities and charities.

Enlarge This Image
Bryan Denton for The New York Times
Young Syrians gathered in Damascus. A crackdown on Islamists is an effort to reassert Syria’s secularism, officials say.
The government has asked imams for recordings of their Friday sermons and started to strictly monitor religious schools. Members of an influential Muslim women’s group have now been told to scale back activities like preaching or teaching Islamic law. And this summer, more than 1,000 teachers who wear the niqab, or the face veil, were transferred to administrative duties.

The crackdown, which began in 2008 but has gathered steam this summer, is an effort by President Bashar al-Assad to reassert Syria’s traditional secularism in the face of rising threats from radical groups in the region, Syrian officials say.

The policy amounts to a sharp reversal for Syria, which for years tolerated the rise of the conservatives. And it sets the government on the seemingly contradictory path of moving against political Islamists at home, while supporting movements like Hamas and Hezbollah abroad.

Syrian officials are adamant that the shifts stem from alarming domestic trends, and do not affect support for those groups, allies in their struggle against Israel. At the same time, they have spoken proudly about their secularizing campaign, though they have been reluctant to reveal its details. Some Syrian analysts view that as an overture to the United States and European nations, which have been courting Syria as part of a strategy to isolate Iran and curb the influence of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Human rights advocates say the policy exacerbates pressing concerns: the arbitrary imprisonment of Islamists, as well as the continued failure to allow them any political space.

Pressure on Islamic conservatives in Syria began in earnest after a powerful car bomb exploded in the Syrian capital in September 2008, killing 17 people. The government blamed the radical group Fatah al-Islam.

“The bombing was the trigger, but the pressure had been building,” said Peter Harling, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group. “After a period of accommodation with the Islamic groups, the regime entered this far more proactive and repressive mode. It realizes the challenge that the Islamization of Syrian society poses.”

The government’s campaign drew wider notice this summer, when a decision to bar students wearing the niqab from registering for university classes was compared to a similar ban in France. That move seemed to underscore a reduced tolerance for strict observance by Muslims in public life. Syrian officials have put it differently, saying the niqab is “alien” to Syrian society.

The campaign carries risks for a secular government that has fought repeated, violent battles with Islamists in the past, most notably in 1982, when Mr. Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, razed the city of Hama while confronting the Muslim Brotherhood, killing tens of thousands of people. For the moment there has been no visible domestic backlash, but one cleric, who said he was dismissed without being given a reason two years ago, suggested that could change.

“The Islamists now have a strong argument that the regime is antagonizing the Muslims,” he said.

The government courted religious conservatives as Western powers moved to isolate Syria amid accusations that it was behind the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri, in 2005. The government appointed a sheik instead of a member of the ruling Baathist party to head the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and allowed, for the first time, religious activities in the stadium at Damascus University.

As the country emerged from that isolation, it focused on domestic challenges, including the fear that sectarian tensions in the region could spread — a recurring fear in Syria, a country with a Sunni majority ruled by Alawites, a religious minority.

The government also focused on conservatives. “What they had nourished and empowered, they felt the need to break,” said Hassan Abbas, a Syrian researcher.

The details of the campaign have remained murky, though Syrian officials have not been afraid to publicize its aims, including in foreign media outlets. In an interview with the American talk show host Charlie Rose in May, Mr. Assad was asked to name his biggest challenge.

“How we can keep our society as secular as it is today,” he said. “The challenge is the extremism in this region.”

Mr. Assad has in the past singled out northern Lebanon as a source of that extremism.

“We didn’t forget Nahr al-Bared,” said Mohammed al-Habash, a Syrian lawmaker, referring to battles in that region three years ago between Lebanese forces and Fatah al-Islam. “We have to take this seriously.”

Beginning in 2008, the government embarked on its new course when it fired administrators at several Islamic charities, according to the former cleric, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared reprisal by the government.

The clampdown has intensified in recent months. Last spring, the Qubaisiate, an underground women’s prayer group that was growing in prominence, was barred from meeting at mosques, according to members. Earlier this summer, top officials in Damascus Governorate were fired for their religious leanings, according to Syrian analysts.

Other moves underscore the delicacy of Mr. Assad’s campaign — or perhaps send mixed signals. A planned conference on secularism earlier this year, initially approved by the government, was abruptly canceled for no reason, according to Mr. Abbas.

“Secularism is their version of being secular,” Mr. Abbas said.

Another episode can be seen as a concession to Islamists, or a sign of just how comfortable the conservatives have become. A proposed rewrite of Syria’s personal status law, which governs civil matters, leaked last year, retained provisions that made it legal for men to marry girls as young as 13 years old. Under pressure, including from women’s groups, lawmakers abandoned the draft law.

“There are limits to what they can do,” Mr. Harling, the analyst, said of the Syrian government. “They will try things out and pedal back if things go too far. It says a lot about how difficult it is — even for a regime that is deeply secular itself and whose survival is tied to the secular nature of Syrian society.”


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Reform Requires Self-Criticism
« Reply #116 on: November 18, 2010, 10:54:27 AM »
How to Reform Islam
Self-criticism is the key.

I have often argued that one of the redemptive graces of Western civilization is self-criticism, a deeply ingrained habit that has enabled Western man to reflect, to adjust, to improve his beliefs, to correct and change his situation — in short, to reform. The West has been able to submit even its most cherished beliefs to scrutiny. By contrast, self-criticism remains an elusive goal in modern Islamic cultures. David Pryce-Jones argues that the “acquisition of honour, pride, dignity, respect and the converse avoidance of shame, disgrace, and humiliation are keys to Arab motivation, clarifying and illuminating behaviour in the past as well as in the present.” The codes of honor and shame “enforce identity and conformity of behaviour.” In such a system of values, it is impossible to admit publicly that one is wrong, for that would bring shame on the individual, the family, the country, or even one’s religion. Western-style satire would be very difficult in Arabic society, for that would risk the humiliation of one’s own culture.

However, there are signs of change. First came the Arab Human Development Report of 2003, in which leading Arab intellectuals lamented the poor state of the Arab Muslim world in every field of endeavor — from the scientific to the cultural. Then, in October 2010, came “The Casablanca Call for Democracy and Human Rights,” a document published by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy urging governments and activists across the Middle East to continue working toward democratic reforms. It is the result of a conference organized by the Arab Human Rights Movement.

The Casablanca Call must be seen against the background of past Arab Human Rights Movement conferences. The group’s first international conference, “Prospects for the Future,” took place in Casablanca, Morocco, in April 1999, and was organized by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) with the collaboration of the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights. That the conference took place in Morocco is significant, since Morocco has made considerable efforts to improve its human-rights record.

The Casablanca Call is a remarkable document for many reasons. It calls for separation of powers and endorses the principle of the sovereignty of the people — a truly democratic demand, since, in an Islamic state, sovereignty belongs to God and His Law. It also calls for:

[an] independent judiciary as a prerequisite for the protection of human rights and freedoms, and as the guarantor for the supremacy of the rule of law and state institutions; the immediate release of all political prisoners — numbering in the thousands in various Arab prisons — and putting an end to political trials of any kind, torture of political opponents, and the practice of kidnapping; enabling and encouraging political parties and trade unions to engage in their right to organize freely, use all available media outlets, take advantage of public funding, and be free of any interference of the state apparatus in their affairs; acknowledgment of the right of civil society organizations to perform their advocacy roles freely and effectively, having their independence and privacy duly respected, their internal affairs not disrupted, and their sources of financial support kept open and active.

Regarding freedom of speech, the Casablanca Call advocates:

free access of the media and journalists to information and news sources; the respect for the independence of journalists’ syndicates and allowing them to disseminate information and opinion without censorship, and undue administrative, or judicial pressures, and the abolishment of the imprisonment penalty in cases against journalists.

Amongst the other Casablanca Call demands is the “summoning of the private sector to play its role in the contribution to political reforms.” And no declaration from the Islamic world could possibly leave out the religious factor; the authors reaffirm the “interconnectedness of political reform with the renewal of religious thought, which requires support for, and expansion of, the practice of ijtihad [that is, independent reasoning] in a climate of complete freedom of thought, under democratic systems of government.”

Finally, the authors of the declaration “support the dialogue that began several years ago between Islamists and secularists at the local and regional levels and emphasize the importance of continuing such endeavors in order to provide solid ground for the protection of democracy and human rights from any political or ideological setbacks.”

There have been several similar declarations in recent years, but as the authors of the Casablanca Call themselves confess, there has been scant progress in many areas of political and civil life.

One wonders if there will ever be real progress without someone, somewhere, beginning the necessary critique of Islam and its scriptures. As Jonathan Israel showed in his two monumental studies of the European Enlightenment — the process that radically changed European and American society forever, the process that gave us the egalitarian and democratic core values and ideals of the modern world — it began with one man, and one book: Baruch Spinoza and his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, first published in Amsterdam in 1670. That was the beginning of Biblical criticism and the modern world; but where is the Koranic criticism that alone can unshackle people’s minds?

— Ibn Warraq is a visiting fellow at the Center for Law and Counterterrorism, a project of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; an independent scholar; and the author of five books on Islam and Koranic criticism — Why I Am Not a Muslim; The Origins of the Koran; What the Koran Really Says; Virgins? What Virgins? And Other Essays; and Which Koran?


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Re: Islam in Arabic/Islamic Countries:
« Reply #117 on: November 18, 2010, 10:58:45 AM »
Note that Ibn Warraq is a pseudonym, as lots of muslims have expressed a desire to kill him for his writings.


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Major busts in SA
« Reply #118 on: November 27, 2010, 08:59:05 AM »
I can't find it on the LA Times's website, but in my paper this morning there was an article about well over 100 arrests of AQ folks in Saudi Arabia.


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Saudis trumpet al-Qaeda arrests
« Reply #119 on: November 27, 2010, 09:21:03 AM »

26 November 2010 Last updated at 10:06 ET

Saudis trumpet al-Qaeda arrests
Saudi security guards and pilgrims at Mena, 14/11 Saudi officials say militants were trying to collect money from Hajj pilgrims
Continue reading the main story
Related stories

    * Saudi Arabia's shadowy connection
    * Profile: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested 149 al-Qaeda suspects over the past eight months, officials have announced.

Most of the detainees were Saudis, but 25 were from other Arab, African and South Asian countries, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry said agents had foiled plots to attack Saudi officials, civilians and journalists..

The Saudis have pursued aggressive anti-terror policies since 2003, when militants launched a series of attacks.

The Interior Ministry said the 149 suspects came from 19 separate militant cells.

"These cells have links with al-Qaeda that is disturbing security in Yemen, and with Somalia and organisations in Afghanistan," said ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki.
Continue reading the main story
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

    * Formed in January 2009 by a merger between al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and Yemen
    * Based in eastern Yemen
    * Aims to topple Saudi monarchy and Yemeni government, and establish an Islamic caliphate
    * Says it was behind an attempt to blow up US passenger jet in December 2009

A ministry statement said 2.24m riyal ($600,000; £380,000) had been confiscated from al-Qaeda during the Muslim pilgrimages of Hajj and Umra, where militants had been fundraising.


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Blasphemy in Pakistan
« Reply #120 on: December 12, 2010, 08:22:08 AM »


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Goldberg: Which way the hijack?
« Reply #121 on: January 07, 2011, 02:44:16 AM »
For years we've been hearing about how the peaceful religion of Islam has been hijacked by extremists.

What if it's the other way around? Worse, what if the peaceful hijackers are losing their bid to take over the religion?

That certainly seems to be the case in Pakistan.

Salman Taseer, a popular Pakistani governor, was assassinated this week because he was critical of Pakistan's blasphemy law.  Specifically, Taseer was supportive of a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who has been sentenced to death for "insulting Muhammad."

Bibi had offered some fellow farm laborers some water. They refused to drink it because Christian hands apparently make water unclean. An argument followed. She defended her faith, which they took as synonymous with attacking theirs. Later, she says, a mob of her accusers raped her. Naturally, a Pakistani judge sentenced her to hang for blasphemy.  And Governor Taseer, who bravely visited her and sympathized with her plight, had 40 bullets pumped into him by one of his own bodyguards.

"Salmaan Taseer is a blasphemer and this is the punishment for a blasphemer," Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri said to the television cameras even as he was being arrested.

Now, so far, it's hard to say who is the hijacker and who is the hijackee. After all, Taseer the moderate was a prominent politician, Qadri a mere bodyguard.  A reasonable person might look at this tragic situation and say it is indeed proof of extremists trying to hijack the religion and the country.

Except, it was Taseer who wanted to change the status quo and Qadri who wanted to protect it. Pakistan's blasphemy laws have been on the books for decades, and while judicial death sentences for blasphemy are rare, the police and security forces have been enforcing it unilaterally for years.

And what of the reaction to the assassination?

Many columnists and commentators denounced the murder, but the public's reaction was often celebratory. A Facebook fan page for Qadri had to be taken down even as it was drawing thousands of followers.

And what of the country's official guardians of the faith?

A group of more than 500 leading Muslim scholars, representing what the Associated Press describes a "moderate school of Islam" and the British Guardian calls the "mainstream religious organizations" in Pakistan not only celebrated the murder, but warned that no Muslim should mourn Taseer's murder or pray for him.  They even went so far as to warn government officials and journalists that the "supporter is as equally guilty as one who committed blasphemy," and so therefore they should all take "a lesson from the exemplary death" of Salman Taseer.

If that's what counts for religious moderation in Pakistan, I think it's a little late to be talking about extremists hijacking the religion. The religion has long since been hijacked, and it's now moving on to even bigger things.

Pakistan is a special case, but it is hardly a unique one. In Egypt, Coptic Christians were recently slaughtered in an Islamist terrorist attack. The Egyptian government, which has a long record of brutalizing and killing its own Christian minority, was sufficiently embarrassed by the competition from non-governmental Islamists that it is now offering protection. How long that will last is anyone's guess.

But Pakistan is special because it has nuclear weapons and is inextricably bound up in the war in neighboring Afghanistan and the larger war on terror. U.S. relations with the Pakistani military remain strong, but as we've seen with Turkey, good relations with a military don't make up for losing support from an allied government as it goes Islamist. And it seems unlikely that a government can long stay secular when the people want it to become ever more Islamist.

Sadanand Dhume, a Wall Street Journal columnist (and my colleague at the American Enterprise Institute), writes that even "relatively secular-minded Pakistanis are an endangered species."

While most of the enlightened chatters remain mute or incoherent as they struggle for a way to blame Israel for all of this, the question becomes all the more pressing: How do we deal with a movement or a nation that refuses to abide by the expiring cliché "Islam means peace"?


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POTH/NYTimes: The Islam that hard-liners hate
« Reply #122 on: January 07, 2011, 02:59:17 AM »

Also a good video clip at

The Islam That Hard-Liners Hate
KASUR, Pakistan — In Pakistan’s heartland, holy men with bells tied to their feet close their eyes and sway to the music. Nearby, rose petals are tossed on tombstones. Free food is distributed to devotees.

This peaceful tableau is part of Sufism, Pakistan’s most popular brand of Islam, which attracts millions of worshipers at about a dozen major festivals throughout the year. Each day, thousands visit shrines dedicated to Sufi saints.

But the rituals came under heavy attack in 2010, as minority hard-line militants took responsibility for five shrine attacks that killed 64 people — a marked increased compared with 2005 to 2009, when nine attacks killed 81 people.

Attacks in previous years occurred in the middle of the night or when worshipers were not present, apparently in an effort to avoid causalities. But in 2010, terrorists carried out suicide bombings when thousands of worshipers were present, and in the nation’s largest cities, like Karachi and Lahore.

The increase in attacks, and a direct effort to kill those who practice a more mystical brand of Islam, has torn the fabric of mainstream worship in Pakistan. But as worshipers continue to visit the Sufi shrines and many Sufi festivals continue in the face of threats, it also evidences the perseverance of Pakistan’s more moderate brand of Islam.
“It’s a very disturbing picture that militants have extended their targets to shrines, which are symbols of popular Islam in Pakistan and are widely visited,” said Rasul Bakhsh Rais, a professor of political science at Lahore University of Management Sciences. “However, I don’t think the militants are succeeding – thousands of people still visit the shrines despite these attacks.”

Although there is no official data, the number of people who informally follow Sufi traditions is believed to be in the millions. They have long been condemned as un-Islamic by fundamentalist groups because they worship saints and perform music and dance.

The United States, meanwhile, sees Sufi Islam as a counter force to terrorism, and has helped promote it by giving more than $1.5 million since 2001 on the restoration and conservation of Sufi shrines in Pakistan.

Amir Rana, the director of the Pak Institute for  Peace Studies, a think tank that analyzes religious conflict, said there were  several reasons for the recent spike in attacks on Sufi shrines.

Groups within Al Qaeda, which have increased their strategic operations in Pakistan since 2007, have expanded their ideological war on the sectarian divide.

Mr. Rana also said militants suddenly changed their strategy in 2009, when they started soft targets, or popular and less secure venues, such as the Meena Bazaar in Peshawar, as a way to retain their radical sympathizers.

Other experts say that fragmented militant groups in Pakistan have fully spun out control, and the shrine attacks fit a larger pattern that finds extremist groups who in the past have focused on Kashmir and Afghanistan now turning inward to assert their power and ideology within Pakistan’s borders.

“Militancy keeps on demanding sacrifices,” Ayesha Siddiqa, a security analyst who says he is a descendant of a Sufi saint, said. “So if it’s not targeting the enemy outside, it’s targeting the enemy within.”

In the eyes of some extremists, Sufi loyalists can be viewed as cohorts of the Pakistani government. Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi both carry saint-like status because they are from prominent Sufi families that have been caretakers for shrines synonymous with the ruling elite. In turn, those in power often use such devoted followings as a tool for recruiting voters.

Pir Tayyab, a hard-line Deobandi cleric who has been associated with militant organizations, including the Pakistani Taliban, said that while it was acceptable to pray for a saint’s soul at a shrine, it is forbidden to search for God’s qualities in a saint.

“The singing and dancing that takes place at shrines is disrespectful,” he said. However, he said, bombing a shrine is also unacceptable. “It is not correct to disrespect a grave or to remove someone from his grave.”

While provincial governments have scaled back some musical performances in response to threats, the large gatherings persist, drawing big and determined crowds at major shrines on a near weekly basis.

The only major cancellation over security fears was made by the Sindh provincial government, which canceled musical performances that were a permanent feature of Karachi’s festivals.

Prodded by protests that demanded more security, the government of Punjab, which oversees more than 500 shrines, is spending $400,000 on increased security at 15 of its major shrines this year, including the installation of cameras, security gates and metal detectors. At some shrines, officials said donors had paid for new security installations.

But security is rarely a deterrent to attacks. The Pakistani Taliban remains unfazed by the government’s efforts to safeguard the shrines. The government installed two security gates in 2008 at Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine, the most famous shrine in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city. But in October 2010, two suicide bombers detonated explosives there, killing 9 and injuring 75. Since the blasts, and just before an annual Sufi celebration, the government installed 18 security cameras at the shrine.

Adam B. Ellick contributed reporting


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Stratfor: MB strategy
« Reply #123 on: February 01, 2011, 05:56:28 PM »
Dispatch: The Muslim Brotherhood's Strategies in Egypt and Jordan
February 1, 2011 | 2108 GMT
Click on image below to watch video:

Analyst Reva Bhalla examines the different political strategies pursued by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan.

Editor’s Note:Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Today, Jordanian King Abdullah II decided to dissolve the government, and asked for a new Cabinet to be formed. Now obviously the timing of the events in Jordan are critical, as the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan is watching events play out in Egypt. This isn’t necessarily a sign of a domino effect taking place in the region and in fact there are very important factors to keep in mind when comparing the situation in Egypt versus Jordan.

Jordan deals with its opposition very differently than the Egyptian government has, for example, the Jordanian government has more of an accommadationist approach with its opposition. The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Islamic Action Front is recognized as a legitimate political entity in Jordan even though it is still struggling to adequately represent itself in the parliament. Tensions in Jordan have really been simmering since the parliamentary elections that were held in November last year. The Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm hotly opposed those elections, particularly an electoral law that they argued favored pro-monarchy areas in rural parts of Jordan. Since then, the group has been demanding a lowering of prices in food and fuel, they’ve been demanding a change to the electoral law and they’ve been organizing these mass demonstrations and sit-ins that have been peaceful.

Now one thing to note is that they are not demanding regime change, unlike the situation in Egypt. The political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood sees an opportunity right now and they’re basically just trying to take advantage of the current situation to push their own political demands. The Jordanian government has already announced a $452 million subsidy plan to bring down the price of food, to bring down the price of fuel, to increase pension, and things of the sort to basically accommodate the opposition. In other words this is not so much a crisis point like we’re seeing in Tunisia and Egypt, this is more of government trying to maintain the upper hand in trying to rush toward accommodation in preventing a larger conflagration.

The image that Jordan is portraying right now in conceding to these demands could carry significant repercussions beyond Jordan’s borders, particularly if the events in Jordan are perceived as an Islamist organization being successful and forcing a regime like the Hashemite monarchy to bend to their demands. This could not only inspire other fledgling opposition groups in other countries to attempt the same, but it could also further embolden the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is playing a very careful game right now. I think the Brotherhood is very well aware that the romanticism of the revolution in the streets could wear off the longer the people go without a regular supply of food, without security, and most important without results. It’s become clear so far that Mubarak does not have any intention of leaving anytime soon. At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood needs to sustain the momentum in the streets right now. What they want to avoid is having people think that “Look, I waited three decades to get rid of Mubarak, I can wait another eight months until September elections for him to be deposed.” At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood is very conscious of the negative connotations associated with its Islamist branding and for that reason it’s trying to reach out to certain secularist leaders for example, Mohamed ElBaradei, who may lack credibility but at least he’s a secular leader that a lot of people can at least look to for some sort of leadership while the Muslim Brotherhood works on creating this political opening that they’ve been waiting for for decades.


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Tunisian Pledges a New Caliphate
« Reply #124 on: November 16, 2011, 09:38:36 PM »
Tunisian Pledges a New Caliphate
IPT News
November 16, 2011

Secular Tunisians are expressing concerns after a leader of the country's Islamist Al-Nahda movement said Tunisia's emerging government marks "the Sixth Righteous Caliphate."

The fifth caliphate, an Islamic imperial governing system, was abolished by Turkish secular Kemal Ataturk in 1924. In a speech posted on YouTube Sunday, Hamadi Jbeli also pledged that "we shall set forth with God's help to conquer Jerusalem, if Allah wills… From here is conquest with the help of Allah Almighty."

Al-Nahda won 98 of 217 parliamentary seats in the nation's first free elections and Jbeli may be its candidate for prime minister. The group's electoral success won international praise as a "moderate" movement promoting a democratic form of political Islam. Headlines in mainstream media outlets like theNew York Times, Los Angeles Times, and CNN called Al-Nahda moderate.

Jbeli's statements have many Tunisians questioning the label's validity. He spoke at a rally held by the group in celebration of its electoral success and leading role in forming a governing coalition. It is also not the first time the group has promoted moderation to outsiders while preaching different values to party members.

Leading secularist party Ettakatol suspended its participation in committees to form a governing coalition. "We do not accept this statement," said Khemais Ksila, an executive committee member of Ettakatol. "We thought we were going to build a second republic with our partner, not a sixth caliphate." Issam Chelbi of the secular PDP party called the speech "very dangerous."

"This is what we feared," Chelbi said.

Tunisian women's groups also have been skeptical of Al-Nahda's moderation, saying there has been an increase in verbal and physical abuse since President Zine Abidine Ben Ali resigned in the wake of a popular uprising.

Party leaders tried to contain the damage, telling Reuters that Jbeli was talking about "good governance and a break with corruption ... not the establishment of an Islamic regime."

Although Al-Nahda's breach of Tunisian secularism dominated reports on the controversial political rally, including Reuters' article, speakers also promoted the military conquest of Israel. The event also marked the first time Al-Nahda invited a Hamas representative, Houda Naim of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza, to address a political rally in Tunisia.

Naim expressed hope that the liberation of Tunisia would lead to the "liberation of Palestine," which Hamas believes can only be achieved through violence or "resistance." Al-Nahda's secretary general echoed Naim's call, stating, "The liberation of Tunisia will, Allah willing, bring about the liberation of Jerusalem."

Support for Hamas and the complete "liberation of Palestine" have been consistent messages from Al-Nahda's political leaders and its charter. Hamas has reciprocated with its support for Tunisia's revolt against dictatorship and embracing political Islam.

The Arab Spring "will achieve positive results on the path to the Palestinian cause and threaten the extinction of Israel," Party leader and ideologue Rashid Ghannounshi said in a May interview with the Al Arab Qatari website. "The liberation of Palestine from Israeli occupation represents the biggest challenge facing the Umma [Muslim nation] and the Umma cannot have existence in light of the Israeli occupation."

Further, in the same interview, Ghannouchi said: "I give you the good news that the Arab region will get rid of the bacillus [bacteria] of Israel. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the leader of Hamas, said that Israel will disappear by the year 2027. I say that this date may be too far away, and Israel may disappear before this."

Ghannouchi has also given his support to specific types of terror carried out by Hamas, including rocket attacks against Israeli civilians and "martyrdom operations."

In June 2001, Ghannouchi appeared in an al-Jazeerah panel discussion in which he blessed the mothers of Palestinian suicide bombers:

"I would like to send my blessings to the mothers of those youth, those men who succeeded in creating a new balance of power…I bless the mothers who planted in the blessed land of Palestine the amazing seeds of these youths, who taught the international system and the Israel (sic) arrogance, supported by the US, an important lesson. The Palestinian woman, mother of the Shahids (martyrs), is a martyr herself, and she has created a new model of woman."

Ghannounchi has even gone beyond rhetoric, calling for Muslims to fund and provide logistical support for Hamas. He signed the controversial "Istanbul Declaration," issued by Muslim clerics in support of Hamas after Israel's January 2009 war in Gaza. The declaration stated that there was an "obligation of the Islamic nation to open the crossings – all crossings – in and out of Palestine permanently" to provide supplies and weapons to Hamas to "perform the jihad in the way of Allah Almighty."

Ghannounchi's statements are consistent with Al-Nahda's platform, which declares that the party "struggles to achieve the following goals … To struggle for the liberation of Palestine and consider it as a central mission and a duty required by the need to challenge the Zionist colonial attack. The platform also refers to Israel as an "alien entity planted in the heart of the homeland, which constitutes an obstacle to unity and reflects the image of the conflict between our civilization and its enemies."

In September, the organization stated that it "supports the struggle of peoples seeking liberation and justice and encourages world peace and aims to promote cooperation and collaboration and unity especially among Arab and Islamic countries and considers the Palestinian struggle for liberation to be a central cause and stands against normalization."

Standing against peace. Envisioning a new Caliphate. Meet the moderate Al-Nahda party.


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Among Criminal Muslims
« Reply #125 on: December 03, 2011, 11:59:40 AM »
- FrontPage Magazine - -

Among Criminal Muslims

Posted By Jamie Glazov On May 5, 2010 @ 12:30 am In FrontPage | 117 Comments

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Nicolai Sennels, a Danish psychologist who worked for several years with young criminal Muslims in a Copenhagen prison. He is the author of Among Criminal Muslims. A Psychologist’s Experience from the Copenhagen Municipality. The book will be out in English later this year. He can be contact at:
FP: Nicolai Sennels, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
I would like to talk to you today about your experience working with young criminal Muslims in a Copenhagen prison. Let’s begin by talking about how you got into your line of work.
Sennels: Thank Jamie.

Well., many people think that I took the prison job because I wanted to get a closer look at Muslim mentality, failed integration and Islam. But I did not. I was just looking for a job and having worked as a social worker taking care of teenagers for several years part time while studying at Copenhagen University to become a psychologist, it was natural for me to apply for a job involving juvenile offenders. I had no idea that seven out of ten teenagers in the average Danish youth prisons have a Muslim background. Since I was the first psychologist at the institution I was very free to develop my position as psychologist.
The main job was to find out the young peoples’ pedagogical and therapeutic needs and develop therapeutic methods fitted for those needs. And this I did and this is what my book is about. The unusual thing about my work is that I found out that my Muslim clients had certain psychological characteristics that my non-Muslim – mostly Danish – clients did not have. They were all between 15 and 17 years old, most of them showed antisocial behaviour and a big part of both groups came from homes with a certain lack of emotional support. I guess nine out of  ten were boys and though the main part came from less well functioning homes I also had many Muslim and Danish clients who’s parents and elder siblings were well educated, had normal jobs and so on.
I worked in the prison for a bit less than three years and had around 150 Muslim clients and 100 Danish clients. I conducted group therapies and individual therapies and with such a large amount of both Muslim and non-Muslim clients I had a relatively large background material for understanding and comparing their psychological development and the underlying conditions influencing this development. Normal “real” research projects of this kind – consisting of long and several qualitative interviews – most often only have 20-30 subjects as background material.
FP: Ok, so some of your conclusions?
Sennels: Well, one significant conclusion was that having been raised in a Muslim environment – with Muslim parents and traditions – includes the risk of developing certain antisocial patterns.
About two thirds of all teenagers accused for criminal actions in Copenhagen have a Muslim background. For years the explanation for this phenomenon has been that Muslims are discriminated against by Danish employers and are thus unable to find a job. The consequence is that Muslims are poor – and this poverty then gets the blame for the high crime rate among young Muslim men.
As a humanist and psychologist I have to expose and oppose this faulty explanation. Explaining psychological development and complicated human mental and behavioural patterns by pointing on the amount of kroner, Euros or dollars rolling in to a person’s bank account every first bank day of the month is a very materialistic and two-dimensional view on the human being. What is first of all deciding our actions is our own free will and motivation – which are first of all influenced by the emotional, cultural and in some cases religious frame that we grew up in.
It is easy to establish a statistical connection between poverty and criminal behaviour – but what comes first? I saw a lot of young teenagers sowing the seeds for their own future unemployment by not going to school, staining their criminal records and developing unattractive social habits such as aggressiveness, insecurity and lack of respect for authorities.
FP: Did you find any real differences between Muslims coming from different parts of the Muslim world?
Sennels: My experience from working with Muslims is that the culture developed under Islamic influence supports the development of certain psychological characteristics. I had Muslim clients from most of the Muslim world: most of the Middle East, Muslim countries in Africa, Pakistan and ex-Yugoslavia. I did not register any major differences between the mentalities between these countries. The only real importance deciding the impact of Muslim mentality was whether the client himself identified himself strongly as belonging to the Muslim society or not. There was a quantitative difference from the often less Islamic Muslims from e.g. ex-Yugoslavia and the clients from the Middle East who mostly identified themselves strongly as being Muslims.
By far the most of my 150 Muslim clients expressed strong loyalty to their God, Allah,  and their prophet but less than half was actively practising Islam by doing their prayers, Quran studies etc. But there did not seem to be any difference between the actively practising group and the group that could be called loyal but passive believers. Seen from the therapy room, the mentality stemming from Islamic influence on the societies where it is the dominating value system is so strongly rooted in the culture that Muslims are influenced by its dogmas and values no matter if they pray five times a day and can recite the Quran or not.
FP: Draw for us a psychological profile of Muslim culture. How does it shape a human being’s mind and behaviour to grow up in such a culture?
Sennels: The most important characteristics that I found concerns aggression, self-confidence, individual responsibility and identity.
Concerning anger, it quickly becomes clear that Muslims in general have a different view on aggression, anger and threatening behaviour than Danes and probably most of our Western world.
For most Westerners, it is an embarrassing sign of weakness if people become angry. This view on anger is probably consolidated already in early childhood. I have been working as a school psychologist for several years and bullying is a continuous problem at the schools that I work in. The interesting thing is that the children who are most likely to be the target of being bullied are the children that get angry the easiest. If people get angry we have a tendency to lose respect for them and in many cases we try to tease them to provoke them even more – with the pedagogical aim of helping the person to realize the childishness of his or her behaviour. Trying to get one’s will by acting aggressively or using threats is seen as immature and our reaction is often to ridicule or simply ignore them. Thus, the shortest way to lose face in our Western culture is to show anger.
It is completely opposite in the Muslim culture. While most of my Danish clients who had problems with anger felt embarrassed about it, none of my Muslim clients ever seemed to understand our view on anger. I spent countless hours doing Anger Management therapy with both Danish and Muslim clients and hence I had very good opportunities to experience the cultural differences concerning this specific emotion, ways of handling it and reacting to it.
In Muslim culture, it is expected that one should show anger and threatening behaviour if one is criticized or teased. If a Muslim does not react aggressively when criticized he is seen as weak, not worth trusting and he thus loses social status immediately.
This cocktail of cultural differences has sparked the ongoing debate on free speech all over the world. The free world’s criticism and jokes about Islam is met with anger and threats of terror. When a Danish cartoonist shows the Muslims’ prophet with a bomb in his turban to illustrate the fact that Mohammed conducted dozens of massacres and called for global violent jihad against non-Muslims, the reaction of Muslim leaders and their followers was exactly to confirm Westergaard’s drawing: They responded with jihad on all possible levels – threats of genocide, terror, economical boycott, lawsuits and using democratic systems in our countries, EU and the UN to challenge and destroy our laws on free speech.
The wisdom and bravery of any child in any school yard to people using aggression to hide their own insecurity because of a simple drawing would lead to more jokes and logic as a mean to pedagogically point out obvious human weaknesses. Unfortunately most of our politicians are not as wise and brave as the average school child.
FP: Expand a bit on the differences between Muslim and Western cultures in terms of self-confidence.
Sennels: The concept of honor in the Muslim culture is – just like in the case with anger – opposite of our Western view. It is common in the Muslim culture to be exceedingly aware of one’s status in the group, other peoples’ view of oneself and any signs of any kind of criticism. The aggressive response to anything that can make one insecure is seen as an expression of honorable behaviour. But what is honorable about that? What kind of honor needs to be defended by all means necessary – including the abolishment of women’s human rights, such as the right to pick their own sexual partners, clothes, husband and life style? What is honorable about anger and the lack of ability to ignore provocations and handle criticism constructively?
After listening to more than a hundred Muslim teenagers telling their stories about their feelings, thoughts, reactions, families, religion, culture, the life in their Muslim ghettos and their home countries, it became clear to me that to a Muslim such behavior is the very core of keeping one’s honor. But seen through the eyes of Western psychology, it is all an expression of a lack of self-confidence. According to our view, the base of being authentic and honorable is to know one’s strengths and weakness – and accepting them. The ability to think “your opinion about me, not mine – and mine counts to me” when provoked and being mature enough to handle criticism constructively is a source of social status in the Western world.
Unfortunately, the Muslim concept of honor transforms especially their men into fragile glass-like personalities that need to protect themselves by scaring their surroundings with their aggressive attitude. The show of so-called narcissistic rage is very common among Muslims. The fear of criticism is in many cases not far from paranoia. It is not without reason that self-irony and self-criticism is completely absent in the Muslim societies. Seen from a psychological perspective – whose aim is to produce self-confident, happy, free, loving and productive individuals; and not to please a hateful God or culture traditions – Muslim culture is in many ways psychologically unhealthy to grow up in.


FP: Ok and how does individual responsibility fit into all of this?
Sennels: To discuss individual responsibility, I need to first introduce the readers to the psychological term “locus of control.” Locus of control concerns if people see their life mainly influenced by inner or outer factors. In our Western culture, we see inner factors as more important than outer ones. Our point of view, our way of handling our emotions, our way of thinking, our way of reflecting, our way of reacting is all seen as ways that we decide our own lives. We may not always be aware of the way we think etc. and a whole industry has appeared because of that fact. Indeed, psychologists, therapists, psychiatrists, coaches plus countless self-help books and magazines are overflowing in our societies and are all aiming at helping us to become aware of how we decide our own lives.
None of these things exists in the Muslim world. The few psychiatrists they have are often educated in the West and whatever psychology and pedagogy that exists in Muslim countries does not have root in the Muslim culture but are ideas imported from the West.
Thus, when a Westerner experiences problems he asks himself: “What can I change in myself/my life to become happier?” This mentality showed it self clearly among my Danish clients. It was deeply rooted in them that talking about oneself can be a way of finding better ways of handling one’s own life. When having Muslim clients on my couch it was in most cases like having someone from another planet visiting me. Under normal conditions, Westerners and Muslims can communicate relatively easy – as long as it does not involve criticism. But in a setting where the whole concept is centred about that the Muslim client has to talk about his own feelings and thoughts because the psychologist thinks that it will help him to become more happy and able to live constructively, the “chain falls of the bike” as we say in Denmark. They shake their heads: in which way can they become happier if they expose the weaknesses that they have been taught since birth to hide in order to retain their honor? No way, José. I finally managed to develop a therapeutic method that to a certain extent could address these cultural difficulties, but therapy and Muslim mentality will probably never become real friends.
An important aspect of this difference concerning locus of control is that people who see their own lives mainly guided by outer factors – a fearsome God, a powerful father, influential imams, ancient but strong cultural traditions – very easily develop a victim mentality. It is thus not without reason that conspiracies and blaming the non-Muslims are so central in Muslim leaders’ rhetoric and politics. This victim mentality also dominates the mentality of Muslim immigrants, who often have a long row of demands for economic support and Islamization of our societies to satisfy their personal needs.
FP: Well it becomes pretty obvious why Muslims cannot integrate into our Western society. Crystallize the reasons for us.
Sennels: My experience is that you need three things to be able to integrate. You need to want it, you need to be allowed and you need to have the surplus. Very few Muslim immigrants fulfil these three criteria.
First we have to ask ourselves: why should Muslim immigrants want to integrate? They can live their culture, receive enough money, and have a full functioning social life with their Muslim friends without even learning our language — or even working. There is not really anything that makes it necessary to integrate. Of course there exist immigrant Muslims who want to adapt to the lifestyle and mentality in their new country but they are very few. In France only 14 percent of the millions of Muslim immigrants see themselves as “more French than Muslim.”  In Germany only 12 percent of Muslims identify themselves as more German than Muslim.
A survey in Denmark showed that only 14 percent of the Muslims living here can identify themselves as being Danish and democratic minded. My experience from my Muslim clients is that they do not see their Muslim identity as compatible with leading a Western life style. Being a Muslim also means that you see yourself as very different and actually as a better person than non-Muslims. This mentality easily leads to apartheid and racism. This is probably the reason that even though Muslim immigrants are more than five times as violent as ethnic Danes – according to crime statistics - three out of four victims of violence are Danish.
The second criteria – being allowed to integrate – is also not very common. There is an exceedingly strong social control in the Muslim society. Everybody is keeping an eye on everybody and if someone does not follow the cultural or religious codex they are met with strong criticism and risk to be excluded from their society – often even from their own family. In worst case – and there are many of those – especially Muslim women live under a constant death threat that keeps them from entering our Western life style that includes such human rights as to pick one’s own sexual partners, clothing style, friends, religion and life style overall. Most of my Muslim clients saw their religious and cultural background as the height of civilization and morality – leaving it would be seen as a kind of cultural and religious apostasy by their kinsmen. Such acts often have severe consequences in not only gangs like Hells Angels and other tribal communities but also – and especially – among Muslims.
Finally, it takes a lot of personal surplus to integrate into another culture. It involves changing a part of one’s identity from belonging to one group into belonging to a group with completely other cultural values and traditions. It is not just like changing a bad habit such as quitting smoking – integration goes much deeper concerning the individual’s psychology. I met a few Muslim girls who as part of Western inspired teenage rebelling wanted to integrate and did not care that they were not allowed. Those girls did not posses the personal surplus and ended up in complete identity crises, going too wild, doing drugs and having random sex with all kinds of strange men etc.
For these reasons I am completely convinced that Muslim integration will never happen to the necessary extent.
FP: What is your view of the future of Europe in terms of the skyrocketing Muslim population?
Sennels: We are in the historical embarrassing situation that we have invited millions of people to our continent that do not want to integrate and are also not able to. Since the integration of Muslims will never happen – a fact I think that has already been proven years ago – we will end up with a significant part of our population that are actively working to Islamize our societies. There exist both Muslims and non-Muslims that see this Islamization as Islamic jihad – but it is more than that: it is human nature. People who do not feel at home where they live will naturally strive to change their surroundings. Muslims attempts to Islamize our societies have just begun — as they are feeling stronger and stronger in power and numbers. This process is pushed forward by Muslim leaders inside and outside Europe and helped on its way by a kind of collective cowardice called Political Correctness.
The World Economic Forum published a huge survey in 12 Muslim and 12 non-Muslim countries in their report “Islam and the West: Annual Report on the State of Dialogue, January 2008.” The report in general shows a great amount of distrust between the two groups of countries and discloses strong feelings of enmity. The last question in the survey is: “Do you think violent conflict between the Muslim and Western worlds can be avoided or not?” The report shows that a majority of the populations in all 24 countries believed that such a conflict can be avoided. But at the same time a majority of the 22 countries think that “the interaction between the Muslim and Western world is getting worse.” The majority of people still haven’t lost their hope but at the same time a majority see this hope getting smaller and smaller.
As Muslim immigrants push for Islamization and the original Europeans increasingly feel being exploited and threatened by growing and still more violent Muslim communities, a continent wide civil war might become unavoidable. We are already on our way to get our own European Islamic Gaza Stripes where non-Islamic authorities are met with flying stones and angry crowds while Islamic authorities such as imams, groups of elderly men and home made Sharia courts, are free to exercise their power. Such developments are very alarming and should be confronted with large amounts of police, strict laws, and cuts on economic support for families having more children than the country’s average and demands that Muslim organizations and leaders reform their version of Islam.
My guess is we will see more dead police men and kidnappings as a mean to negotiate the release of imprisoned Muslim religious or gang leaders, terror bombs, economical and practical support from Muslim countries to Muslim communities here in the West. Economic and police resources are already being drained by the many consequences of Muslim immigration and the need for profound reforming of our welfare system and for involving the army is inevitable in the long run. The feeling of safety and social coherence is already long gone in many parts in hundreds of European cities as a result of Muslims’ antisocial behaviour and enmity towards non-Muslims.
As I see it, the greatest danger is that the common European will fall into strong negative feelings and that the population and our authorities will feel pressed to compromise our own humanistic values in order to overcome the catastrophe. The sooner we handle the problems the greater the chance is that we can keep our important and unique human values.
FP: It’s all pretty depressing what political correctness and the Left has achieved in engendering and overseeing this Muslim infiltration of our society. The Left wanted to destroy its host society and it shrewdly figured out how to do so through the weapon of “multiculturalism.” Talk a bit about where this might not all be hopeless, how those of us who care about or society’s values can fight back. What can we do to avoid the surrender that the West is engaged in as we speak?
Sennels: Well Jamie, first let me stress that our “surrender” so to speak would not be enough. Only mass conversion would satisfy the rules of the Quran and its preachers. And even though Muslim leaders continuously claim that the only way to ensure global peace and morality is for all of mankind to become followers of their prophet, I am not so sure: Muslim countries are definitely less peaceful and morality concerning free speech, human rights and respect for human life is clearly less existent under Islamic rule than anywhere else.
Besides my suggestions mentioned above, the Western world has to put a complete halt to Muslim immigration and non-Western immigrants who did not already receive a citizenship. They should either fulfil a long row of criteria concerning integration or leave the country. Permanent citizenships to Muslim refugees should not be possible. I would like to mention that the average price for having an asylum seeker living in Denmark is 33.000 Euros (45.000 US dollars) a year. According to UNHCR the price for helping a refugee in a refugee camp close to his own country is 33 Euros (45 US dollars).
We should in general make it so unpleasant and the economic disadvantage so big that the consequences of non-integration would motivate resident Muslims to emigrate – preferably to a Muslim country where they can live in a culture where they already know the language, culture and religion and do not live under the pressure to integrate and do not feel stigmatized by anti-immigration organisations and Islam critics.
Responsible lovers and protectors of our Western culture should make an effort to write letters to the editors, and internet bloggers have to make sure that the information that our main stream medias consciously avoid to publish gets known. We need to create a UN exclusively for democratic countries and the EU’s power to force immigration onto its member states should be taken away. Oil should only be used for transport, while heating should be replaced by green energy and nuclear power – to avoid dependency on Arab oil.
FP: Nicolai Sennels, thank you for joining us. You have shared some dark realities and warnings with us. I pray the West will eventually gain the will and capacity to defend itself.
Editor’s note: To get the whole story behind why the Left aids and abets the Muslim infiltration of the West, get Jamie Glazov’s new book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror.


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Saudi Arabia Awakes to the Perils of Inbreeding
« Reply #126 on: December 03, 2011, 12:24:41 PM »

Saudi Arabia Awakes to the Perils of Inbreeding

Published: May 01, 2003

When she was 17, marrying age for a Saudi girl, Salha al-Hefthi was presented with a husband.

She was lucky, her parents told her when they planned the wedding, that she was to marry such a good man, a man from her own tribe, a man who would care for their children and make a good living. He was the son of her father's brother -- her first cousin -- and everyone, including the bride, agreed that ''a first cousin was a first choice,'' she said.

The couple had two healthy boys, now 22 and 20, but their third child, a girl, was born with spinal muscular atrophy, a crippling and usually fatal disease that was carried in the genes of both parents. Their fourth, sixth and seventh children were also born with the disorder.

Spinal muscular atrophy and the gene that causes it, along with several other serious genetic disorders, are common in Saudi Arabia, where women have an average of six children and where in some regions more than half of the marriages are between close relatives.

Across the Arab world today an average of 45 percent of married couples are related, according to Dr. Nadia Sakati, a pediatrician and senior consultant for the genetics research center at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh.

In some parts of Saudi Arabia, particularly in the south, where Mrs. Hefthi was raised, the rate of marriage among blood relatives ranges from 55 to 70 percent, among the highest rates in the world, according to the Saudi government.

Widespread inbreeding in Saudi Arabia has produced several genetic disorders, Saudi public health officials said, including the blood diseases of thalassemia, a potentially fatal hemoglobin deficiency, and sickle cell anemia. Spinal muscular atrophy and diabetes are also common, especially in the regions with the longest traditions of marriage between relatives. Dr. Sakati said she had also found links between inbreeding and deafness and muteness.

Saudi health authorities, well aware of the enormous social and economic costs of marriage between family members, have quietly debated what to do for decades, since before Mrs. Hefthi was married 23 years ago. Now, for the first time, the government, after starting a nationwide educational campaign to inform related couples who intend to marry of the risk of genetic disease, is planning to require mandatory blood tests before marriage and premarital counseling.

Mrs. Hefthi, for one, wishes she had been given the opportunity to test for genetic risks.

''If I knew, I would have said no to that marriage,'' Mrs. Hefthi, an elementary school teacher, said the other night, sitting in her living room with three of her sons.

''Why? It's very painful. Why? If you know something is wrong, would you do it?''

Mrs. Hefthi did not know it when her daughter was born, but Ashjan, now 18, would never walk. Her childhood would be filled with terrible colds, sore throats, assorted other illnesses and an obsessive longing to walk and run like her older brothers.

''Why can't I walk,'' she would shout to her mother when she was 6.

''It is God's will,'' her mother would say. ''In paradise you will walk.''

''In paradise will I have a magic carpet?'' she would ask constantly. ''In paradise will I have a horse with wings?''

Ashjan would never be able to comb her hair or dress or clean herself. Her body would grow only in tiny spurts, her spine curving into the shape of a half-moon. Once she reached adolescence, she would shrivel year by year, and she would most likely die by the time she turned 20.

Health officials and genetic researchers here say there is no way to stop inbreeding in this deeply conservative Muslim society, where marrying within the family is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years.

Today, when most unions are still arranged by parents, marrying into wealth and influence often means marrying a relative. Social lives are so restricted that it is virtually impossible for men and women to meet one another outside the umbrella of an extended family. Courtships without parental supervision are rare.

Among more educated Saudis, marrying relatives has become less common and younger generations have begun to pull away from the practice. But for the vast majority, the tradition is still deeply embedded in Saudi culture.

Statistics on the prevalence of genetically based diseases and the extent to which they are a direct result of marriage between close relatives -- second cousins or closer -- are scarce or unreliable because many Saudi parents raise their disabled children in obscurity, ashamed to seek services.

That has begun to change as more programs intended to educate disabled children open in Saudi Arabia, where there were almost none until a decade ago. Genetic research is emerging here and several projects have recently begun in an effort to document the connection between inbreeding and disease and to quantify the prevalence of the diseases.

''Saudi Arabia is a living genetics laboratory,'' said the executive director of the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research, Dr. Stephen R. Schroeder, an American geneticist who has been doing research in Saudi Arabia for the last year. ''Here you can look at 10 families to study genetic disorders, where you would need 10,000 families to study disorders in the United States.''

One of the oldest and best known educational programs for disabled children in Saudi Arabia is the Disabled Children's Association in Riyadh, which opened in 1986. There, 200 children from infancy to age 12 suffering from a variety of diseases and disorders attend day care programs and classes. At the school, the director, Sahar F. al-Hashani, pointed out at least one or two students in each of six classrooms whose parents were related.

Not all marriages between close relatives produce children with genetic disorders. In fact, most do not. But testing could identify couples who test positive for serious diseases. Under a fatwa issued by the World Islamic League in 1990, Islam permits abortions up to 120 days after conception if an unborn child tests positive for a serious disorder.

In the case of spinal muscular atrophy, if both parents are carriers of the gene, the couple has a 25 percent chance of having a child with the disease -- or one in four children. The percentage regrettably turned out to be much higher for Mrs. Hefthi and her husband, with four out of their seven children afflicted.

Mrs. Hefthi said she would not allow any of her three healthy boys to marry a relative. In a society that places such a premium on having children, she said, many people would choose to find another mate if they learned that they were at risk of having severely disabled children and if their parents supported their decision.

''I suffered,'' she said. ''People, sometimes when they see me they say how tired I am. They tell me I could put my children in an institution. But I tell them I am a mother.''


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Psychological Research: Muslim Inbreeding Promotes Terrorism
« Reply #127 on: December 03, 2011, 12:34:59 PM »

Psychological Research: Muslim Inbreeding Promotes Terrorism
Posted by Ned May Dec 20th 2010 at 2:05 am in Islam, Islamic extremism | Comments (61)


The Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels has written previously about the effects of Muslim inbreeding. In the essay below he traces the possible connection between the genetic damage done by inbreeding and terroristic behavior.
The connection between Muslim inbreeding and terrorism
by Nicolai Sennels
If there are two things that characterize Islamic culture, they are terrorism and inbreeding. The latest research shows that these two things might be closely connected.
The concept of Islamic terror does not need any introduction. Not everyone might know, however, that seventy percent of Pakistanis and forty percent of Turks are inbred (Jyllands-Posten, 27/2 2009 “More stillbirths among immigrants”). Research shows that the same goes for close to half of all Arabs (Reproductive Health Journal, 2009 “Consanguinity and reproductive health among Arabs”).
First cousin marriages have been the tradition in many Muslim families for innumerable generations. Such marriages increase the risk of negative mental and physical consequences. My article “Muslim inbreeding: Impacts on intelligence, sanity, health and society” details extensive research data on the subject. In brief, inbreeding through consanguineous marriages increases the risk of depression (Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 2009 “Relationship between consanguinity and depression in a south Indian population”) and schizophrenia (American Psychiatric Press, 1982 “The role of genetic factors in the etiology of the schizophrenic disorders”).
The risk of serious illnesses or handicaps increases by up to 1800 percent (BMJ, 1994 “Infant death and consanguineous marriage”). Risk of mental retardation increases with 400 percent (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 1978 “Effect of inbreeding on IQ and mental retardation”). Research shows that the IQ is 10-16 points lower in children born from blood related parents and that abilities related to social behavior and empathy develops slower in inbred babies (Indian National Science Academy, 1983 “Consanguinity Effects on Intelligence Quotient and Neonatal Behaviours of nsari Muslim Children” [pdf]). Such facts might make several pieces fall into place for many people.
Here comes another eye opener:
Research published in The Journal of Aggression and Violent Behaviour has proven a connection between suicide bombers and depression and physical handicaps (BT, December 15th 2010 “Why most terrorists are useless”). Research suggests that many suicide bombers are suffering from depression, and their actions are just a socially accepted (among Muslims) way of committing suicide in order to end their mental torment.

Yusuf Yadgari of the Medical University of Kabul has autopsied the remains of suicide bombers and his findings support this theory. Yadgari found that close to ninety percent were suffering from severe illness such as blindness, cancer, missing limbs or leprosy. Many Muslim societies, including that of Afghanistan, have a low social acceptance of handicaps and severe illnesses. According to Yadgari, being physically handicapped or mentally retarded often leads to exclusion in a society like Afghanistan, and becoming a martyr might be the only chance of achieving social recognition and honour — if not just a way to end the pain of being socially isolated (which is especially traumatizing in collectivist cultures like Islam). Al Qaida’s use of people with Down’s syndrome might be another unpleasant side effect of the many chromosomal illnesses resulting from inbreeding between first cousins. People with low intelligence (because of inbreeding) might also be easier to brainwash with fundamentalist Islam.
Surely the Quran’s numerous verses ordering Muslims to fight to the death in order to spread sharia and defend the honour of their religion and prophet is the most obvious and strongest motivator for Islamic terrorism. Being an outcast due to a physical handicap, living in a country that does not manage to take care of handicapped people, suffering from physical pain following disease, or being depressed or schizophrenic, has now proved to be an important factor as well.
The unhealthy culture of inbreeding in Muslim societies increases the number of Muslim martyrs who are looking for an honourable and socially and religiously accepted way out of here.
Nicolai Sennels is a psychologist and the author of “Among Criminal Muslims: A Psychologist’s experiences with the Copenhagen Municipality”.


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POTH: Islamism is winning
« Reply #128 on: January 07, 2012, 08:59:07 AM »
Why Islamism Is Winning
Published: January 6, 2012
EGYPT’S final round of parliamentary elections won’t end until next week, but the outcome is becoming clear. The Muslim Brotherhood will most likely win half the lower house of Parliament, and more extreme Islamists will occupy a quarter. Secular parties will be left with just 25 percent of the seats.

Islamism did not cause the Arab Spring. The region’s authoritarian governments had simply failed to deliver on their promises. Though Arab authoritarianism had a good run from the 1950s until the 1980s, economies eventually stagnated, debts mounted and growing, well-educated populations saw the prosperous egalitarian societies they had been promised receding over the horizon, aggrieving virtually everyone, secularists and Islamists alike.

The last few weeks, however, have confirmed that a revolution’s consequences need not follow from its causes. Rather than bringing secular revolutionaries to power, the Arab Spring is producing flowers of a decidedly Islamist hue. More unsettling to many, Islamists are winning fairly: religious parties are placing first in free, open elections in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt. So why are so many Arabs voting for parties that seem politically regressive to Westerners?

The West’s own history furnishes an answer. From 1820 to 1850, Europe resembled today’s Arab world in two ways. Both regions experienced historic and seemingly contagious rebellions that swept from country to country. And in both cases, frustrated people in many nations with relatively little in common rallied around a single ideology — one not of their own making, but inherited from previous generations of radicals.

In 19th-century Europe, that ideology was liberalism. It emerged in the late 18th century from the American, Dutch, Polish and especially French revolutions. Whereas the chief political divide in society had long been between monarchs and aristocrats, the revolutions drew a new line between the “old regime” of monarchy, nobility and church, and the new commercial classes and small landholders. For the latter group, it was the old regime that produced the predatory taxes, bankrupt treasuries, corruption, perpetual wars and other pathologies that dragged down their societies. The liberal solution was to extend rights and liberties beyond the aristocracy, which had inherited them from the Middle Ages.

Suppressing liberalism became the chief aim of absolutist regimes in Austria, Russia and Prussia after they helped defeat France in 1815. Prince Klemens von Metternich, Austria’s powerful chancellor, claimed that “English principles” of liberty were foreign to the Continent. But networks of liberals — Italian carbonari, Freemasons, English Radicals — continued to operate underground, communicating across societies and providing a common language for dissent.

This helped lay the ideological groundwork for Spain’s liberal revolution in 1820. From there, revolts spread to Portugal, the Italian states of Naples and Piedmont, and Greece. News of the Spanish revolution even spurred the adoption of liberal constitutions in the nascent states of Gran Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Mexico. Despite their varied grievances, in each case liberalism served as a rallying point and political program on which the malcontents could agree.

A decade later, in July 1830, a revolution toppled France’s conservative Bourbon monarchy. Insurrection spread to Belgium, Switzerland, a number of German and Italian states and Poland. Once again, a variety of complaints were distilled into the rejection of the old regime and the acceptance of liberalism.

The revolutions of 1848 were more numerous and consequential but remarkably similar to the earlier ones. Rebels with little in common — factory workers in Paris, peasants in Ireland, artisans in Vienna — followed a script written in the 1790s that was rehearsed continuously in the ensuing years across the continent.

Today, rural and urban Arabs with widely varying cultures and histories are showing that they share more than a deep frustration with despots and a demand for dignity. Most, whether moderate or radical, or living in a monarchy or a republic, share a common inherited language of dissent: Islamism.

Political Islam, especially the strict version practiced by Salafists in Egypt, is thriving largely because it is tapping into ideological roots that were laid down long before the revolts began. Invented in the 1920s by the Muslim Brotherhood, kept alive by their many affiliates and offshoots, boosted by the failures of Nasserism and Baathism, allegedly bankrolled by Saudi and Qatari money, and inspired by the defiant example of revolutionary Iran, Islamism has for years provided a coherent narrative about what ails Muslim societies and where the cure lies. Far from rendering Islamism unnecessary, as some experts forecast, the Arab Spring has increased its credibility; Islamists, after all, have long condemned these corrupt regimes as destined to fail.

Liberalism in 19th-century Europe, and Islamism in the Arab world today, are like channels dug by one generation of activists and kept open, sometimes quietly, by future ones. When the storms of revolution arrive, whether in Europe or the Middle East, the waters will find those channels. Islamism is winning out because it is the deepest and widest channel into which today’s Arab discontent can flow.

John M. Owen IV, a professor of politics at the University of Virginia, is the author of “The Clash of Ideas in World Politics: Transnational Networks, States, and Regime Change, 1510-2010.”


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Oren in WSJ: Israel and the plight of Mideast Christians
« Reply #129 on: March 09, 2012, 10:20:48 AM »

By MICHAEL OREN The church in Bethlehem had survived more than 1,000 years, through wars and conquests, but its future now seemed in jeopardy. Spray-painted all over its ancient stone walls were the Arabic letters for Hamas. The year was 1994 and the city was about to pass from Israeli to Palestinian control. I was meeting with the church's clergy as an Israeli government adviser on inter-religious affairs. They were despondent but too frightened to file a complaint. The same Hamas thugs who had desecrated their sanctuary were liable to take their lives.

The trauma of those priests is now commonplace among Middle Eastern Christians. Their share of the region's population has plunged from 20% a century ago to less than 5% today and falling. In Egypt, 200,000 Coptic Christians fled their homes last year after beatings and massacres by Muslim extremist mobs. Since 2003, 70 Iraqi churches have been burned and nearly a thousand Christians killed in Baghdad alone, causing more than half of this million-member community to flee. Conversion to Christianity is a capital offense in Iran, where last month Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was sentenced to death. Saudi Arabia outlaws private Christian prayer.

As 800,000 Jews were once expelled from Arab countries, so are Christians being forced from lands they've inhabited for centuries.

The only place in the Middle East where Christians aren't endangered but flourishing is Israel. Since Israel's founding in 1948, its Christian communities (including Russian and Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians and Protestants) have expanded more than 1,000%.

Christians are prominent in all aspects of Israeli life, serving in the Knesset, the Foreign Ministry and on the Supreme Court. They are exempt from military service, but thousands have volunteered and been sworn in on special New Testaments printed in Hebrew. Israeli Arab Christians are on average more affluent than Israeli Jews and better-educated, even scoring higher on their SATs.

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A damaged crucifix survives the burning of a Greek-Orthodox church in Tulkarem in the West Bank on Sept. 17, 2006.
.This does not mean that Israeli Christians do not occasionally encounter intolerance. But in contrast to elsewhere in the Middle East where hatred of Christians is ignored or encouraged, Israel remains committed to its Declaration of Independence pledge to "ensure the complete equality of all its citizens irrespective of religion." It guarantees free access to all Christian holy places, which are under the exclusive aegis of Christian clergy. When Muslims tried to erect a mosque near the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the Israeli government interceded to preserve the sanctity of the shrine.

Israel abounds with such sites (Capernaum, the Hill of the Beatitudes, the birth place of St. John the Baptist) but the state constitutes only part of the Holy Land. The rest, according to Jewish and Christian tradition, is in Gaza and the West Bank. Christians in those areas suffer the same plight as their co-religionists throughout the region.

Since the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, half the Christian community has fled. Christmas decorations and public displays of crucifixes are forbidden. In a December 2010 broadcast, Hamas officials exhorted Muslims to slaughter their Christian neighbors. Rami Ayad, owner of Gaza's only Christian bookstore, was murdered, his store reduced to ash. This is the same Hamas with which the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank recently signed a unity pact.

Little wonder, then, that the West Bank is also hemorrhaging Christians. Once 15% of the population, they now make up less than 2%. Some have attributed the flight to Israeli policies that allegedly deny Christians economic opportunities, stunt demographic growth, and impede access to the holy sites of Jerusalem. In fact, most West Bank Christians live in cities such as Nablus, Jericho and Ramallah, which are under Palestinian Authority control. All those cities have experienced marked economic growth and sharp population increase—among Muslims.

Israel, in spite of its need to safeguard its borders from terrorists, allows holiday access to Jerusalem's churches to Christians from both the West Bank and Gaza. In Jerusalem, the number of Arabs—among them Christians—has tripled since the city's reunification by Israel in 1967.

There must be another reason, then, for the West Bank's Christian exodus. The answer lies in Bethlehem. Under Israeli auspices, the city's Christian population grew by 57%. But under the Palestinian Authority since 1995, those numbers have plummeted. Palestinian gunmen seized Christian homes—compelling Israel to build a protective barrier between them and Jewish neighborhoods—and then occupied the Church of the Nativity, looting it and using it as a latrine. Today, Christians comprise a mere one-fifth of their holy city's population.

The extinction of the Middle East's Christian communities is an injustice of historic magnitude. Yet Israel provides an example of how this trend can not only be prevented but reversed. With the respect and appreciation that they receive in the Jewish state, the Christians of Muslim countries could not only survive but thrive.

Mr. Oren is Israel's ambassador to the United States.


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How long until the French surrender?
« Reply #130 on: March 21, 2012, 05:38:13 PM »

After 21-hour siege, French cops finally move in on jihadi suspected in Jewish school shooting; Update: Cops suspend siege

posted at 7:52 pm on March 21, 2012 by Allahpundit

British media has been covering the standoff all day, replete with live updates at the Telegraph and Guardian. Follow those links for developments tonight; the latest as I write this is that French police have blown open a door in his apartment building after negotiating with him since 3 a.m. local time this morning. For background on the whole story, though, read CBS’s account. The total death toll: Three Jewish children, a rabbi, and three French paratroopers, at least one of whom was Muslim. And he allegedly had plans to go out and kill another soldier before the cops surrounded him.

The suspect has told police he belonged to al Qaeda and wanted to take revenge for Palestinian children killed in the Middle East, Interior Minister Claude Gueant said, adding the man was also angry about French military intervention abroad…
An Interior Ministry official told The Associated Press that Merah has been under surveillance for years for having “fundamentalist” views. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Merah is a self-proclaimed member of the Forsan al-Izza or “Knights of Glory” group, which the French government banned in January following suspicion that it was recruiting Jihadists to Afghanistan…
Gueant told reporters Merah is “less explicit” about why he killed French paratroopers. The paratroopers were of Muslim and French Caribbean origin, but the interior minister said the suspect told them the ethnic origin has nothing to do with his actions.
He traveled to Afghanistan two years ago and, according to a French prosecutor, trained in Waziristan, but apparently earlier reports about him having been jailed there as a jihadi fighter and then escaped in a prison break are incorrect. He’s not the only local who’s trained for jihad abroad either, per French counterterror officials. They’ve had their eye on a number of men from Toulouse and estimate that there are 30 or more across Europe who went to Afghanistan or Iraq and then came home. In fact, French intelligence already knew who the suspect, Mohammed Merah, was. How he managed to kill seven people, including three soldiers, over several days without anyone moving in on him is the big question mark right now.
Two interesting wrinkles in this case. One: Some major newspapers, including the NYT and the Guardian, were quick to suggest that the shooter must be part of the European far right. That’s not implausible after the Anders Breivik massacre, and anti-semitic attitudes in France are on the rise, but to leap to that conclusion after fully 10 years of western counterterror officials warning of homegrown jihadists is simply insane. (Ace speculates that the media thought it unlikely that a jihadist would target Muslim members of the French army and notes, correctly, that that assumption is doubly insane.) Which brings us to the other wrinkle: Does Merah’s M.O. signal a deadly tactical shift by AQ and affiliated terrorists?

In the intelligence world, they are known as the Nike terrorists, whose motto when it comes to committing acts of terrorism is simply: “Just do it.”…
Rather than trying to carry out spectacular attacks on the scale of September 11, the Nike terrorists are encouraged to use any means at their disposal to cause the maximum number of casualties. The architect of this new way of killing was Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical cleric who masterminded al-Qaeda’s operations from Yemen until killed by a US drone strike last September.
Awlaki, whose perfect command of English made him a highly effective al-Qaeda propagandist, regularly posted sermons on the internet urging his followers to carry out rudimentary attacks against Western “infidels” using any means at their disposal.
Read this analysis at the JPost making the same point and noting that Inspire, the Al Qaeda “magazine,” explicitly urged followers to attack locally and on their own. If the reports about him being trained in Waziristan are true, then he’s not a “lone wolf,” strictly speaking. But he was effective enough here (as was Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood) that more aspiring jihadis are bound to start eschewing high explosives for the low-tech yet highly effective machine-gun-in-the-mall approach. Bad days ahead.

Update: Just as I hit publish, the Telegraph updates to say that the earlier explosion was designed to intimidate Merah into surrendering. But he’s not intimidated and refuses to surrender. So … they’re going to start negotiating with him again. Ah, France.


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Emerson: Ramadan, Holy Month of Christian Oppression
« Reply #132 on: August 24, 2012, 06:48:49 PM »
Guest Column: Ramadan: Islam's 'Holy Month' of Christian Oppression

Steven Emerson, Executive Director

August 24, 2012

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Guest Column: Ramadan: Islam's 'Holy Month' of Christian Oppression

by Raymond Ibrahim
Special to IPT News
August 24, 2012






Be the first of your friends to like this.

The month of Ramadan, which ended earlier this week, proved to be a month of renewed
Muslim piety on the one hand, and renewed oppression of non-Muslim minorities on the
other. In Nigeria, for example, Islamic militants are living up to the assertion
that "Ramadan is a month of jihad and death for Allah," proving that killing
Christians is not only reserved for Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter --
when militants bombed churches killing dozens -- but is especially applicable during
Islam's Ramadan.

Usually, however, Ramadan-related oppression has to do with Muslim perceptions that
Christians do not "know their place"--either because the latter openly do things
forbidden to Muslims during Ramadan, or because they dare object to the things
Muslims do during Ramadan.

When it comes to these aspects of dhimmitude, Egypt offers countless examples, past
and present, simply because it houses the Middle East's largest Christian minority,
the Copts, and thus offers more opportunities for the intolerant face of Ramadan to
reveal itself. Two recent examples follow:

First, according to Coptic websites, on July 27, a diabetic man in Egypt was driving
his car in Maadi, a suburb of southern Cairo, when he was struck with great thirst,
"which he could not bear" (a side-effect of diabetes, further exacerbated by Egypt's
July weather). He pulled over near a public water source and started drinking water.
Soon three passers-by approached him, inquiring why he was drinking water (among the
many things forbidden to Muslims during daylight in Ramadan). The diabetic man
replied, "Because I am a Christian, and sick," to which they exclaimed "you're a
Christian, too!" and begun beating him mercilessly. Other passers-by began to
congregate to see what was happening, but no one intervened on behalf of the
diabetic non-Muslim until he managed to make a dash for his parked car and fled the

Though not forbidden to him, this infidel Christian openly violated a principle of
Islamic Ramadan, which was deemed a great affront and was punished accordingly. This
idea that non-Muslims must show respect for Islamic observances is commonplace.
Around the same time this story took place, for instance, a Christian Lebanese
singer was taken to police while in Algeria for smoking in public, and "failing to
show due respect to Muslims." She was released after police warned her that "she was
not allowed to smoke in public during Ramadan in Muslim Algeria, even though she was
a Christian."

The second story from Egypt concerns a young Christian doctor, Maher Rizkalla Ghali,
who was shot by riotous Muslims, including easily-identified Salafis, resulting in
the loss of one eye and the likely loss of the other. According to Watan Voice, the
perpetrators live downstairs and regularly fired bullets in the air while feasting
during sahur (the time before dawn when Muslims are permitted the things they are
forbidden in daylight, including food, water, and sex). One night the raucous was so
unbearable that the Copt spoke to them from his window, saying that their actions
were disturbing to the children and elderly.

Their response was to "insult his religion" and open fire at him, severely
disfiguring him. The Muslims then tried to break through the door to attack and
plunder the Christian household. Although the family filed a police report,
"security forces have not taken any action towards the perpetrators." Likewise,
though they tried to admit the blinded Christian man to several hospitals, they were
refused admission until Kasr Hospital accepted them.

This story is almost identical to what happened to a family in Turkey around the
same time. According to Hurriyet Daily News, the home of an Alevi family "was stoned
and their stables burned down by an angry mob" because they "told a Ramadan drummer
not to wake them for sahur, the meal before sunrise," resulting in a quarrel. After
local Muslims found out about the family's temerity, "a mob of around 60 people"
gathered around the house hurling stones, setting the stable on fire, and chanting
Islamic slogans, including "Allahu Akbar!" "They came to lynch us," explained a
family member, and "told us to leave and threatened to kill us if we did not."

The above anecdotes demonstrate the stark antithesis between the West and the Muslim
world concerning the notion of being "sensitive" to religious minorities during the
holidays of the dominant religion: whereas almost every year, stories appear of
Christmas being suppressed to accommodate Muslim sensitivities in the West, in the
Muslim world, Christians themselves are being suppressed to accommodate Muslim

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an
Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum

Related Topics: Raymond Ibrahim

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Egypt: Christians crucified
« Reply #133 on: September 04, 2012, 08:14:33 AM »
Not Geller, not Spencer  :evil:

Guest Column: Crucifixions, Not Fictions

Steven Emerson, Executive Director

September 4, 2012

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Guest Column: Crucifixions, Not Fictions

by Raymond Ibrahim
IPT News
September 4, 2012

I recently wrote an article based on Arabic reports that Muslim Brotherhood
supporters had crucified Morsi's opponents. Because it was picked up by several
websites and disseminated far and wide, as usual, Islam's apologists and others
claimed "hoax."

Readers sent me a couple of these articles which, upon further investigation, seem
to be based on a National Post article titled "Egypt's 'crucifixion' hoax becomes an
instant Internet myth" by Jonathan Kay. He characterizes the crucifixion account as
"a story worth dissecting -- not because it's true (it isn't), but because it is a
textbook example of how the Internet, once thought to be the perfect medium of
truth-seeking, has been co-opted by culture warriors as a weapon to fire up the
naïve masses with lies and urban legends."

Alternatively, dissecting Kay's claims is useful as it is a textbook example of how
the Western mindset tries to rationalize away whatever does not fit its intellectual

First, after mentioning the several websites that carried or quoted my article, Kay
wondered how none of the "sources supply the original Sky reporting that purportedly
outlines the facts." Then, he offers the following sentence as its own paragraph,
apparently as something of an eye-opening revelation:

"That's because there is no Sky report on the subject."

Actually, this big "aha" moment was made earlier and by someone else--me, in my
original article. After posting the names of several Arabic websites that carried
the same verbatim quote from Sky News, I pointed out that Sky removed its original
report. I did not have to make this point, or mention Sky News at all, since other
reports--including El Balad, a much higher trafficked Arabic website which I also
quoted--independently mentions the crucifixions in original language and further
adds that two people died. And that report, as of now, is still up.

Kay then quotes a Sky News official who supposedly told him that the crucifixion claim

began on social media. It started getting pick-up from there and eventually reached
us [Sky News]. Our reporters came across reports of the alleged crucifixions and a
story very briefly appeared on the Sky News Arabia website. The story -- which was
taken down within minutes -- was based on third-party reports and I am not aware
that any of our reporters said or confirmed anything along the lines of what is
quoted in the article… none of our correspondents confirmed this issue or commented
on it.

Several points here:

First, Sky News admits to having published a story about crucifixions. Likewise,
though it admits to taking it down, it never states that the crucifixion accounts
are a "hoax" or even false. It simply offers no comment. This is not proof that the
story is a hoax.

As for the claim that the report was "taken down within minutes," in fact, someone
forwarded me the Sky News link almost two days before I actually clicked it, and the
article was still up and written exactly like a report. Investigative reporter
Patrick Poole sent me a clear snapshot of the webpage before it was removed, which
is before me.

The title, "Protesters Crucified in Front of Presidential Palace in Egypt," is
followed by the following standard reporting information: "Thursday, August 9, 3:19
am Abu Dhabi time; 11:19 pm Greenwich; Samir Umar [reporter], Cairo, Sky News
Arabic," followed by the portion I originally translated: "A Sky News Arabic
correspondent in Cairo confirmed that protestors belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood
crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front
of the presidential palace while abusing others."

Moreover, the photo of the page shows 286 face book likes: one doubts that a report
on a modestly trafficked website would reach that number if it was only up for mere

Kay also ignored the context of the crucifixions in my original article: Muslim
Brotherhood supporters were brutalizing the media for constantly exposing the
Islamist agenda--a well documented fact. A major news media facility was ransacked,
popular anchors beat and terrorized. Soon thereafter, Brotherhood officials were
appointed to "oversee" major media outlets in Egypt.

As I originally pointed out, Sky News may have "censored itself for fear that it
would be next in the terror campaign against the media." If this is the case--if Sky
News had removed its report on Brotherhood crucifixions in light of the fact that
the Brotherhood was in the process of abusing and threatening the media--would it
then get itself in deeper trouble by, of all things, telling a Western reporter,
"Yes, the Brotherhood crucified people and we took the story down in fear of the
Brotherhood"? Not likely.

Kay also writes: "If that [crucifixion] happened, wouldn't someone, you know, take a
picture?... Maybe just a few shots with a cell phone camera from one of the tens of
thousands of people who no doubt would have witnessed this Biblical horror in one of
the most densely trafficked patches of real estate in the entire Arab world?"

One wonders if Kay has ever been around a wild pro-Sharia mob in Egypt savaging its
opponents. It's not pretty; the usual instinct is to run for one's life, not take
photos and thus further enrage the mob by collecting evidence against them.
Likewise, if photos were the ultimate criteria to validate reports, then over 90% of
all news stories become suspect for not carrying pictures.

Even so, yet another reputable Arabic website, Dostor Watany, did post a graphic
picture, which appeared in my original article. It depicts a man rescued by security
forces, with one side of his body literally carved off. But apparently doubting Kay
needs to see the actual holes in the victim's hands before he believes that the same
Muslim Brotherhood supporters who mutilated this man could ever crucify someone.

Moreover, the reports do not mention any numbers. Yet even if there were, as Kay
asserts, "tens of thousands" of people present, that would still say very little.

Recall Egypt's Maspero Massacre: while the disconnected Western mainstream media was
portraying it as violent Christians attacking Egyptian police, in fact, it was the
Egyptian military slaughtering Christians, killing dozens and wounding hundreds,
simply because they came out in large numbers to protest the constant destruction of
their churches. And although there were several thousands of people present that
night, only a very few amateur videos appeared showing armored-vehicles running over
Christians--and these, too, I now see have been taken down from YouTube.

Kay's "evidence" culminates by quoting, of all things, a comment under one of the
websites carrying my story, from someone who claims to be a Copt, lives near the
area, and heard of no such occurrences.

Such is the sort of "proof" being relied on to "debunk" this story--as if this
commenter could not be, say, a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer living up to the
dictum of Islam's prophet, that "war is deceit."

All this leads to the most important point. Whereas Kay appears intent on proving
that the crucifixions never happened, a close read of my article shows that I never
said they did happen. As always, I merely reported and translated what was on the
Arabic media; noted that Sky News took its story down; and then offered my own
interpretation--including the fact that Muslims have been known to crucify their
opponents in the modern era, crucifixions are prescribed by the Koran and Sharia,
and an Egyptian parliamentarian recently called for crucifixions to be legalized.

In light of all the above, I reiterate my original conclusion: "there is little
reason to doubt this crucifixion story."

Indeed, soon after this crucifixion story appeared in the Egyptian media, a
disturbing video surfaced from Yemen, of a mutilated man, crucified.

How long before the usual naysayers try to portray even this video as a "hoax"?

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an
Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Related Topics: Raymond Ibrahim

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HufPo: SA Council says Driving=more sluts and homos
« Reply #134 on: October 06, 2012, 03:21:50 PM »
Allowing Women To Drive Would Mean No More Virgins, Saudi Arabia Religious Council Says
Huffington Post UK Felicity Morse First Posted: 02/12/2011 17:01 GMT Updated: 02/10/2012 19:01 BST

Allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia would mean no more virgins and an increase in homosexuality, according to academics at Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, Majlis al-Ifta' al-A'ala, it has been reported in the Telegraph.

More pornography would be used if women were allowed on the roads and rates of prostitution and divorce would alo rise, the report stated.

Produced in conjunction with Kamal Subhi, a former professor at the King Fahd University, the study into repealing the ban predicted that there would be no more virgins left in the Arab kingdom in 10 years.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which bans women from driving.

Professor Subhi described sitting in a coffee shop in an unnamed Arab state where “all the women were looking at me“.

“One made a gesture that made it clear that she was available,” he said. “This is what happens when women are allowed to drive.”

The report was produced for the country's legislative assembly, the Shura Council. However this institution has no power as Saudi Arabia is ruled by a monarchy with absolute power.

The state’s controversial ban on female drivers last came under attack in September after Shaima Jastaniya was sentenced to 10 lashes just days after Saudi King Abdullah granted women the right to vote. The punishment was overturned after international and domestic pressure.

Saudi Arabia is currently considering a law for women to cover up their eyes if they are deemed too "tempting."


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Reporter tells the truth about the Taliban, Al-Qaida...
« Reply #135 on: October 09, 2012, 05:20:40 AM »
Reporter Lara Logan brings ominous news from Middle East

For those who may not remember - Lara Logan is the "60 Minutes" reporter who was repeatedly and brutally raped in Tahrir Square last year while covering the uprising and Mubarek's ouster.

BY LAURA WASHINGTON for the Chicago Sun-Times

Last Modified: Oct 8, 2012 02:18AM
This was no ordinary rubber chicken affair. That was my reaction to the extraordinary keynoter at Tuesday’s Better Government Association annual luncheon.

Lara Logan, a correspondent for CBS’ “60 Minutes,” delivered a provocative speech to about 1,100 influentials from government, politics, media, and the legal and corporate arenas. Such downtown gatherings are a regular on Chicago’s networking circuit. (I am a member of the BGA’s Civic Leadership Committee, and the Chicago Sun-Times was a sponsor).

Her ominous and frightening message was gleaned from years of covering our wars in the Middle East. She arrived in Chicago on the heels of her Sept. 30 report, “The Longest War.” It examined the Afghanistan conflict and exposed the perils that still confront America, 11 years after 9/11.

Eleven years later, “they” still hate us, now more than ever, Logan told the crowd. The Taliban and al-Qaida have not been vanquished, she added. They’re coming back.

“I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated . . .” Logan declared in her native South African accent.

The lie is that America’s military might has tamed the Taliban.

“There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years,” Logan said. It is driven in part by “Taliban apologists,” who claim “they are just the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban,” she added sarcastically. “It’s such nonsense!”

Logan stepped way out of the “objective,” journalistic role. The audience was riveted as she told of plowing through reams of documents, and interviewing John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan; Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and a Taliban commander trained by al-Qaida. The Taliban and al-Qaida are teaming up and recruiting new terrorists to do us deadly harm, she reports.

She made a passionate case that our government is downplaying the strength of our enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a rationale of getting us out of the longest war. We have been lulled into believing that the perils are in the past: “You’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance, you think you write the script.”

Our enemies are writing the story, she suggests, and there’s no happy ending for us.

As a journalist, I was queasy. Reporters should tell the story, not be the story. As an American, I was frightened.

Logan even called for retribution for the recent terrorist killings of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other officials. The event is a harbinger of our vulnerability, she said. Logan hopes that America will “exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil. That its ambassadors will not be murdered, and that the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”

In the “good old days,” reporters did not advocate, crusade or call for revenge.

In these “new” days in a post-9/11 world, perhaps we need more reporters who are willing to break the rules.
"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.


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Raymond Ibrahim on Islam's Insanities...
« Reply #136 on: October 11, 2012, 04:45:50 AM »
Islam’s Insanities: All Just a ‘Hoax’?

Posted By Raymond Ibrahim On October 11, 2012 -

You read something immensely disturbing concerning the Muslim world—say, that some Muslims seek to legalize sex-slavery or destroy Egypt’s Pyramids or approve of sodomy-suicide-missions or crucify infidels.  Your mind—exclaiming “tell me this is a joke!”—finds it difficult to accept such news. Then, somewhere from the bowels of the Internet, relief arrives.

The much welcomed word “Hoax!” appears, reconfirming your worldview.  All is well again.

But is it?  Are such accounts mere hoaxes?  Or is this just another strategy by those who apologize for Islam’s insanities—a strategy that relies exclusively on the fact that the Western mindset cannot fathom such news, anyway, and thus is all too willing to accept the hoax charge without a second thought?

Recall the news that Salafi parliamentarians in Egypt were pushing for a law legalizing necrophilia.  This information first appeared in Egypt’s most circulated newspaper, Al Ahram, followed by Al Arabiya.  The news went viral, prompting Western dismay.  But then a cutesy Christian Science Monitor article titled “Egypt ‘necrophilia law’? Hooey, utter hooey” tried to return us to the status quo.  Its author, one Dan Murphy, admonished the many websites that disseminated the necrophilia story: “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, kids. At least until there’s like, you know, some proof.”

And his “proof” that it was a hoax?  Nothing.  He even confirmed that “there was a Moroccan cleric a few years back who apparently did issue a religious ruling saying that husbands remained married to their wives in the first six hours after death and, so, well, you know [i.e., he permitted necrophilia].  But that guy is far, far out on the nutty fringe.”

Aside from Murphy’s immature tone—“so, well, you know” what?—one fails to see how characterizing a cleric as a “nut” means that his religious ruling is a “hoax”—that it never existed?  Likewise, when it comes to fatwas, it matters not which nation they hail from, so that Egyptians can easily uphold the fatwa of a Moroccan, or vice-versa, because in Islam there is no “national” distinction, only the umma.

And yet, no matter how shallow or lacking in evidence, the hoax charges resonate well, simply because the mainstream Western mentality instinctively rejects, in this case, the idea of codifying necrophilia.

Much of this is exacerbated by the fact that most Westerners, including reporters, cannot independently verify such stories, as they usually originate in Middle Eastern languages.  Which leads to my familiarity with this matter: I get most of my news directly from the Arabic media—knowing that it is better to get my information directly “from the horse’s mouth” than to get it from the limited and filtered Western media.

Accordingly, I am often first to expose stories that go unreported in the West—for instance, the fact that the U.S. embassy in Cairo was being threatened days before the Muhammad movie became a convenient excuse to riot and destroy (the original reason was to coerce the U.S. to free the Blind Sheikh and others).

However, those who prefer to keep such stories suppressed have learned to cry “hoax”—taking advantage of the fact that most Americans cannot read Arabic or verify these accounts for themselves.

Thus, when I documented the indisputable fact that several Islamists were calling for the destruction of Egypt’s Pyramids, the New York Times and Huffington Post cried “hoax”; when I shed light on an obscure “sodomy fatwa” which helped explain the role of intention in Islam (or niyya), Muslims and others cried hoax, including by lying and distorting; and when I reported on how Muslim Brotherhood supporters crucified their opponents, the National Post and others cried hoax.

And yet, none of these naysayers offered any meaningful evidence.  Instead, they banked on the fact that it is simply too hard to believe these stories in the first place.

So what should the objective Western reader do—who is stuck in the middle, does not read Arabic, and cannot independently verify anything—when confronted with absurd news emanating from the Islamic world?

Along with evaluating the evidence as best they can, I suggest they learn to connect-the-dots.  The fact is, there is no end of bizarre anecdotes emanating from the Islamic world.  Saudi Arabia’s highest Islamic authority until he died in 1999, Sheikh Bin Baz—hardly someone to be dismissed as being “far, far out on the nutty fringe”—insisted that the earth was flat and that all scientific evidence otherwise is a Western conspiracy.

In 2007, Egypt’s second highest Islamic authority, Sheikh Ali Gomaa—the same “moderate” Grand Mufti who deems all Christians “infidels”—decreed that drinking the urine of Muhammad was a great blessing.  Likewise, a few weeks ago in Egypt it was revealed that there is now a clinic “healing” people by giving them camel urine to drink—because Muhammad once advised it.

Then there are the notorious breastfeeding fatwas: Several Islamic clerics—including Dr. Izzat Atiya, of Egypt’s Al Azhar University—advised Muslim female workers to “breastfeed” their male co-workers in order to be in each other’s company (more “moderate” clerics say it is not necessary for the man to drink the milk directly from the teat but may use a cup).

The list goes on and on: Several Muslims, including prominent ones, are calling for the reinstitution of sex-slavery, whereby “infidel” women can be bought and sold in markets.   One female Kuwaiti politician even recommends that Russian women seized during the Chechnya jihad be sold as sex-slaves on Muslim markets.

Other prominent clerics insist that Islam allows men to get “married” to baby girls still in the cradle, having sex with them once these children are “capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men.”

How does one explain these absurd and vile teachings—teachings advocated, not from radicals nor clerics “far, far out on the nutty fringe”—but often from its highest authorities?  Simple: Islamic jurisprudence, which is responsible for defining what is right and wrong in Islam, is fundamentally based on the words of a 7th century Arab whom Muslims venerate as a prophet.  And this man said and did many things that defy modern day sensibilities.

Indeed, he said and did many things that defied the sensibilities of his contemporaries—such as stripping naked and lying with a dead woman to the surprise of her gravediggers (which, incidentally, is cited by the necrophilia fatwas).  Likewise, it was the prophet who first ordered a woman to “breastfeed” a man in order to be in his company.

Here, then, is the rule of thumb: When it comes to determining whether a story from the Muslim world is a hoax or not, first determine whether it is it Islamic or not—whether it has doctrinal or historic support; whether it has some backing in the Quran and/or the hadith.

As it happens, destroying pyramids and pre-Islamic antiquities is very Islamic with a long paper trail; engaging in forbidden acts like sodomy or suicide or lying in order to empower Islam is legitimate according to the Islamic notion of niyya (or intention); crucifying the opponents of Islam is prescribed in the Quran—just as is sex-slavery and pedophilia; drinking urine—whether camels’ or Muhammad’s—is lauded in the hadith.

In short, the true test of whether an Islam-related story is a hoax or not, is not whether it accords with our sensibilities, but whether it accords with Islam’s teachings, many of which are strange if not downright bizarre by Western standards.
"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.


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Pters: Islam cleansing Mideast of Christians
« Reply #139 on: April 01, 2013, 08:21:17 AM »
A Christian Catastrophe

Islamist ‘cleansing’ in Mideast
Last Updated: 12:11 AM, April 1, 2013
Posted: 10:13 PM, March 31, 2013

Islamist terrorists and fanatics are methodically exterminating the 2,000-year-old Christian civilization of the Middle East through oppression, threats, appropriations and deadly violence.  Our media ignore the intensifying savagery against Christians in Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Egypt. Unconfirmed reports assert that, last month, Muslim Brothers dragged Christian protesters to a mosque and tortured them — but our reporters won’t look into an Islamist Abu Ghraib.

For a century and a half, the varied strands of Middle East Christianity have faced increasingly fierce pogroms and, for the Armenians, outright genocide. But with the rise of Wahhabi and Salafist terror, the long, slow-motion Holocaust accelerated.
Western liberals romanticize barbaric cultures but have no interest in the destruction — before their averted eyes — of a great and brilliant religious civilization. It’s as if they accept the Islamist creed that Christians don’t belong in the realms of Islam.  But the Middle East was more than just Christianity’s birthplace. The faith we know matured in the Middle East and North Africa, from Ephesus and Antioch to Alexandria and beyond. St. Augustine, the most influential church father after St. Paul, was a North African.

Rome was a latecomer to Christian authority. Through the Middle Ages, substantially more Christians lived east of Constantinople (now Istanbul) than in Europe, the faith’s backwater, whose northern reaches had yet to be evangelized.

Christianity’s greatest thinkers, greatest monuments and greatest triumphs for its first 1,000 years rose in the Middle East. Even the Muslim conquest and relative servitude could not dislodge Christianity. In the worst of times, Christianity turned the other cheek and endured. Some Christians flourished.

Today, the end is in sight.

In Iraq, cities such as Mosul and Saddam’s hometown, Tikrit, were once vital centers of Christianity. But the country’s Christian population, estimated at up to 2 million a decade ago, has fallen by half — perhaps by three-quarters.  Over 2 million Christians in Syria dread Islamist terror and religious cleansing so much, they lean toward the vicious Assad regime, which at least shielded minorities. Those who can, flee the country.

Christians were early supporters of Arab nationalism. One of the fiercest Palestinian leaders, George Habash, was a Christian, as was the wife of Yasser Arafat. Their thanks? Two-thirds of the West Bank’s and more of Gaza’s Christians have been driven out. They’re now a small minority even in Bethlehem (a situation ignored by our visiting president).

Egypt has the region’s largest remaining Christian population, at least 10 million Copts. With rare exceptions, they’ve long been confined to squalid quarters and treated as third-class citizens. Now the Salafist fanatics have been unleashed. The nation’s Muslim Brotherhood rulers could put a stop to anti-Christian violence, but appear willing to let the Salafists do the dirty work for them. They’re playing bad cop, not-so-bad cop.

And we’ll send the regime at least a billion dollars this year — with no stipulations or conditions except that military-related funds must purchase US-made or US-licensed equipment. With Egypt’s economy in desperate straits and the Brotherhood’s popularity fading, we’re propping up religious-cleansing bigots.

Christians in Iran? Gone. Turkey? Almost gone. Saudi Arabia? The once-thriving Christian and Jewish populations of Mecca and Medina were finished off centuries ago.

And in Lebanon, the only Middle East country that until recently had a Christian majority, Christian rights have been so threatened by Sunni fanaticism that some Christians have reached out to Shia Hezbollah in their desperate hunt for allies.

Far to the east, in Pakistan, Christians face trumped-up charges of insulting Islam or rape, beatings, murder and church bombings. And we still pour billions into Pakistan.

It’s the end of a world as we know it.   If Islam is a “religion of peace,” it’s time to show the evidence to the endangered Christians of the Middle East.

Of course, not all Christians are angels, nor are all Muslims demons. Most humans of any faith just want to get through the day. And some Christians have collaborated with odious Baathist regimes (usually, to ensure their community’s survival). Nor are most Muslims active supporters of the religious cleansing of Christians from their shared homelands.  But disappointingly few Muslims actively defend religious minorities. It’s not unlike Nazi Germany, where most Germans didn’t want to murder Jews, but were complicit through their silence.

If a Michigan mosque is defaced with graffiti, it makes national news and the Justice Department views it as a hate crime. It’s time for our government and media to apply the same standard abroad on behalf of Christians.


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Islamic Countries "Testing" for Homosexuality...
« Reply #147 on: October 10, 2013, 04:39:19 AM »
Here is Robert Spencer's post quoting an article in the Daily Mail - Rush Limbaugh also quoted this article on his show on Tuesday.  Of course - there is no such "test," but these barbarians are claiming to have one, and to be using it to prevent homo travelers from entering their countries.

Why is it that I don't hear a peep from "gay activists" in the U.S. about this?  They love to scream about "oppression" of gays here.  Meanwhile - within this article is a list of Middle Eastern countries that mete out the death penalty for homosexuality.

As Robert facetiously asks in his post:  "Hmmmmm, what do all these countries have in common?"  But - I've been called a "bigot" here in Atlanta by gay people simply for suggesting that Islam oppresses gays, women, and non-believers. Sadly, "mainstream" - otherwise known as liberal or idiotic - gay organizations continue to defend Islam, or at a minimum stay silent about it.  NOTABLY - Israel welcomes gay people and has a large population of open gay couples, who are even allowed to adopt children.  Israel is the ONLY Middle Eastern country where homosexuals don't have to live in fear for their lives.  See below:

« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 10:44:09 AM by objectivist1 »
"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.


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Re: Islam in Arabic/Islamic Countries, Testing for gay people
« Reply #149 on: October 15, 2013, 02:45:42 PM »
When Ahmadinejad said (in 2007) "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country", his Columbia University audience laughed at him.  When he said then name those gays in Iran and tell their addresses, the same audience went eerily silent.  A joke lost in translation is the way the media described it.