Friday, October 31, 2008

Belgium: First female imam in Europe

A mosque in southern Belgium has named a female Muslim professor to the post of imam, the first such a move in the northwestern European country.

"Hawaria Fattah has been granted the rank of imam," Abdel-Jalel Al-Hajaji, the curator of Al-Sahaba Mosque in the southern city of Verviers, told on Saturday, October 25.

"It is the first move of its kind in Belgium and Europe."

Chosen along with two male imams, Fattah, a mother of three, will supervise the preaching activities for women at the mosque.

"But she will not deliver the sermon of the Friday prayers or lead the prayers," stressed Hajaji.

"Her role will focus on supervising the preaching and guidance activities for women at the mosque." Read more ...

Source: Islam Online
H/T: Islam in Europe


France: Imam arrested for illegal marriages

The imam of the Al Bader mosque in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne) was indicted Tuesday for regularly celebrating religious marriage before the civil marriage and for unemployment fraud, and placed under judicial supervision, according to a judicial source. A judicial inquiry was started the same day.

The imam, Nourdine Mamoun (33), a French citizen, was banned from meeting husbands and marriage witnesses, and from leaving the country.

He is suspected of having celebrated 8 illegal marriages from Jan. 2006 to Dec. 2007 and of having improperly received a monthly allowance of 930 euro from Assedic (the French unemployment agency) from Aug. 2007 till today. Read more ...

Source: Le Monde
H/T: Islam in Europe


UK Centre for Social Cohesion press release - The UK government to work with extremist Muslim students

From November the UK government will begin working with the Federation of Student Islamic Societies in the UK and Ireland (FOSIS) to try to better understand Muslim students. This policy is likely to backfire given that FOSIS are unrepresentative of Muslim students and regularly give a platform to extremist speakers.

The Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) has announced plans to "commission a study exploring the views and attitudes of Muslim students in England" involving a poll of 1500 Muslim students and focus groups, overseen by a steering group consisting of representatives from the National Union of Students (NUS), the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and FOSIS.

FOSIS leaders are influenced heavily by a narrow form of political Islam, inspired by Islamist parties such as Jamaat-e-islami and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the group regularly gives a platform to extremist speakers at British and Irish universities.

In November FOSIS will give a platform to Dr Azzam Tamimi at universities in the UK and Ireland on at least three separate occasions. Tamimi will speak at the FOSIS Palestine Conference 2008 at Nottingham University on 1st November and two events at Trinity College in Ireland on "Islamic Revivalism in the 20th Century" and "Chronicles of Islamic Political Thought" on 7th and 8th November. Read more ...

Source: Militant Islam Monitor


Why thugs must not be allowed to prevail

The Jewel of Medina
By Luke Johnson

The credit crunch and shareholder activists are not the only challenges business has to face. There are rather more dangerous protesters out there than the occasional hedge fund manager who wants some shares to go up.

Last week at Borders, the UK and Irish bookstore chain owned by Risk Capital Partners, we received several threats from an extremist Islamic group saying we would suffer if we sold the controversial novel The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones in our shops. Read more ...

Source: Financial Times


Jasser's Righteous Stand

He wages a sometimes lonely battle against voices on extremism and intolerance within the American Muslim community. But M. Zuhdi Jasser has again demonstrated why his voice so important with comments about - of all things - a video game.

On Monday, Sony announced a delay in the much-hyped release of the Playstation 3 game Littlebigplanet after realizing some background songs contained Quranic expressions. The game's release was delayed out of a concern the music might offend and anger some Muslim players.

Littlebigplanet is a game involving a fantasy world of limitless imagination and a character known as Sackboy.

Jasser gave a statement to Edge magazine, which focuses on the burgeoning gaming industry, to say the company over-reacted:
"Muslims cannot benefit from freedom of expression and religion and then turn around and ask that anytime their sensibilities are offended that the freedom of others be restricted. The free market allows for expression of disfavor by simply not purchasing a game that may be offensive. But to demand that it be withdrawn is predicated on a society which gives theocrats who wish to control speech far more value than the central principle of freedom of expression upon which the very practice and freedom of religion is based." Read more ...
Source: IPT Blog
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser
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US condemns sentencing of 12 Syrian dissidents

Washington: The United States on Thursday condemned the sentencing of 12 leading Syrian dissidents sent to jail for advocating for freedom of expression and a democratic constitution in Syria.

A Syrian court sentenced 11 men and a woman to 2-1/2 years each in prison on Wednesday for political crimes.

"The United States condemns the sentencing of 12 members of the Damascus Declaration National Council to two and a half years in prison," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in a statement.

The dissidents were arrested last year in a case that drew international condemnation, with the United States and European nations repeatedly calling for their release. Syrian-US are already strained after a deadly American raid on eastern Syria this week. Read more ...

Source: Gulf News


Israeli-Backed PA Strikes Hamas Hard in West Bank


HEBRON, West Bank -- The Palestinian Authority recently uncovered a massive underground tunnel belonging to Hamas in the southern West Bank city of Hebron as the Islamic movement attempts to expand its power struggle from Gaza to the territory controlled by the pro-Western and moderate PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hundreds of these tunnels exist in the southern Gaza strip and are used to smuggle a variety of items from Egypt including arms, animals, foodstuffs and ordinary everyday household items. Under Israeli siege the hermetically sealed and deprived territory relies on these to provide various necessities.

However, this was the first such discovery of such a secret tunnel in the PA controlled West Bank where Hamas is finding it increasingly hard to train its military wing and store weapons as the PA, backed by the Israelis, beefs up its operations against the group.

The tunnel's entrance was discovered under the home of a Palestinian family during a raid by Palestinian forces in the area. Read more ...

Source: Middle East Times


Islamists Attempt to Impose Their Agenda on Kuwaiti Society; Reformists Fight Back

By H. Migron and E. B. Picali

In June 2008, the Kuwaiti parliament reinstated the Committee for the Study of Negative and Alien Phenomena in Kuwaiti Society. The goals of the committee, whose members are mostly Salafi MPs, is to study "alien practices and other negative phenomena that are harmful to Kuwaiti society," and to find "effective ways to control them."

Since its formation, the committee has instructed the Kuwaiti Information Ministry to censure art, video games, and TV programs that "do not adhere to Kuwaiti traditions," such as Star Academy, the Arabic American Idol, which the country has banned, following the committee's order. The committee has also warned the Kuwaiti press against publishing photos and materials that "violate the values of Kuwait," and questioned the Minister of Health regarding a dance party organized by a hospital which involved "immoral mixing of the genders." Another issue that concerns the committee is transsexualism, which it considers dangerous and threatening to Kuwaiti society and "requir[ing] prompt and serious action."

The committee's actions have evoked a wave of protest from Kuwaiti MPs, intellectuals, and journalists, who cast them as an attempt by Islamists to impose their agenda and curtail the country's democratic freedoms. Satirical articles have been published ridiculing the committee's attempts to police Kuwaiti morals, and criticizing it for being preoccupied with dance parties and TV programs instead of tackling the country's real problems. Read more ...

Source: MEMRI


Israeli Official Details Zakat Committee Links to Hamas

DALLAS – Palestinian charities receiving millions of dollars from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) were controlled by Hamas throughout the time they received the Texas-based charity's money, a lawyer for the Israeli Security Agency testified Wednesday and Thursday.

That opinion is based on the presence of Hamas leaders and activists serving in "key leadership roles" on the committees and the committees' work advancing the terrorist group's goals, said the lawyer, testifying anonymously under the pseudonym "Avi." He has been accepted as an expert witness on Hamas financing and social programs based upon his years of research in Israeli criminal probes.

And his opinion is based further on the presence of internal Hamas documents and propaganda items hyping the group in charity offices - even schools.

Five former HLF officials are accused of conspiring to provide material support to Hamas, largely through donations to Palestinian charities, known as zakat committees, which prosecutors say are controlled by Hamas. Avi, expected to be the final prosecution witness, is tasked with proving that connection. Read more ...

Source: IPT News


Islamic courts cleared to deal with family and divorce disputes as Government endorses sharia

Islamic courts will be able to decide
how a Muslim couple divide their money
and property and who gets the children
By Steve Doughty

Islamic courts have been cleared to deal with family and divorce disputes.

Sharia tribunals will be able to decide how a Muslim couple divide their money and property and who gets the children.

The sole proviso from Jack Straw's Justice Ministry is that a formal law court must rubber-stamp the ruling.

This would be in the form of a two-page form sent to a judge sitting in a family court. The divorcing couple would not need to attend.

The decision follows nine months of controversy over the role of tribunals run according to Islamic strictures.

In February, Downing Street slapped down the Archbishop of Canterbury when he suggested the rise of sharia law seemed 'unavoidable'.

But in July, Lord Phillips, who has since retired as Lord Chief Justice, said sharia principles could be the basis for resolving family and business disputes.

Muslim ministers have warned that sharia should not have an official role because it accords unequal status to men and women.

Giving more weight to evidence from men could hand them a greater share of property and enhanced custody rights.

Lawyers said yesterday that using the secretive family courts to endorse sharia decisions would draw a veil over matters of wide public interest.

Critics of the idea said yesterday advancing the role of Islamic tribunals would further marginalise isolated minority communities.

The endorsement of sharia was announced to MPs by Bridget Prentice, a junior justice minister.

She said the councils would still have no jurisdiction in England and that rulings by religious authorities had no legal force.
Rowan Williams
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, provoked controversy
when he suggested the rise of sharia law seemed 'unavoidable'

But Miss Prentice added: 'If, in a family dispute dealing with money or children, the parties to a judgment in a sharia council wish to have this recognised by English authorities, they are at liberty to draft a consent order embodying the terms of the agreement and submit it to an English court.

'This allows English judges to scrutinise it to ensure that it complies with English legal tenets.'

A consent order allows couples to have a 'clean break' divorce in which there are no long-term maintenance payments.

The orders can be approved only where a couple have negotiated and agreed all aspects of their break-up such as money, debts, property and children. The family court judge must decide whether the agreement is reasonable and ensure no side has been disadvantaged.

The great majority of consent orders are approved.

Barrister Neil Addison said yesterday: 'If the system works, the judge will not allow an agreement where there has been pressure on one party. He allows a consent order only if the agreement seems reasonable.

'However most mediation of disputes takes place in private and agreements are approved in open court. This is different - the original sharia law is secret and so is the judgment.'

Robert Whelan, of the Civitas think-tank, said: 'The problem with the Government's attitude is the big question over how far submission to sharia courts is voluntary among Muslim women.

'Women who live in some communities may have no option but to go to the sharia court. The case is then rubber-stamped by a family court without any of us knowing how the decision was reached.'

Islamic tribunals have authority to make decisions in business and financial disputes where both parties agree to accept arbitration.

Five sharia courts operate mediation systems under the Arbitration Act of 1996.

But financial disputes are less controversial because they are much less likely to raise problems over the status of women.

Source: Mail Online
Rowan Williams
British Government
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Egypt's Inexplicable Arrests

Egyptian police have arrested two relatives of an Islamic scholar who runs a U.S.-based center advocating for democracy and human rights in the Muslim World.

According to the International Quranic Center (IQC), officials arrested Mustafa Kamel Mohamed Ali Sunday. Ali is not politically or religiously active. But he is a cousin of IQC President Ahmed Subhy Mansour. Later, authorities arrested a second cousin who is who writes for the IQC.

Mansour, a former professor of Islamic history at Al-Azhar University, has managed to anger radical Islamists and the Mubarak government in Egypt. Mansour left Egypt after being fired from his job and jailed by the government.

According to the Center's post on the arrests, it's part of a troubling escalation in intimidating Mansour and his supporters through his relatives. Read more ...

Source: IPT Blog
International Quranic Center
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Muslims Against Sharia in the Media - October '08

No Quarter: Vilken muslim är moderat? Några kriterier
Shade of Swords (Islamonazi Blog): Munafiquun : Past and Present
Note: We are honored to be on the same list as Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Tawfik Hamid, etc.
Canada National Post: Sharia Law - the board game
FrontPage Magazine: Russia: A Future Radical Muslim Superpower?
New Times: Joe Badran is supposed to help keep Broward County schools diverse, but Americans Against Hate says he supports Hamas and terrorism


New Drive to Abolish "Honour Crime" Laws

Stop Honorcide
Syrian leaders have recommended reforming laws under which criminals convicted of so-called “honour crimes” get lenient sentences.

The commission for family affairs – a government body – proposed the change last week at the end of a state-sponsored forum on honour crimes, the first of its kind in Syria. More than 100 civic, religious and government leaders as well as legal experts attended the conference in Damascus, which also drew support from the ministry of justice and the ministry of religious endowments.

Under Syrian law, men who catch a female family member engaging in adultery or other “illegitimate sexual acts”, or even in a “suspicious state”, are exempted from the standard punishments for murder and assault. Those convicted of murders deemed to be honour killings face only six months to a year in prison.

The conference called for the honour crime exemption to be eliminated from the statute books, so that individuals convicted of murder in honour-related crimes would face a minimum of 15 years in prison.

“Article 548 gives permission for half of the [Syrian] people to commit murder,” said family affairs commission chair Simwa Astor. “We want to eliminate this article… for the sake of the sovereignty of the law, and to protect human beings.”

Source: Institute for war & peace reporting


WAAY-TV pulls ad about Griffith's 'Islam' remark



A local TV station has pulled the latest National Republican Congressional Committee ad in the 5th Congressional District campaign, apparently because of disputes over Democratic candidate Parker Griffith's statements about "radical Islam," according to an NRCC spokesman.

WAAY-TV Channel 31 did not air the ad, which features black-and-white footage of several terrorist bombings and the Sept. 11 attacks before airing audio of Griffith saying, "We have nothing to fear from radical Islam."

NRCC spokesman Brendan Buck said the station told him that some of Griffith's words were taken out of context.

Station mangers at WAAY-TV Channel 31 did not return phone messages left Friday afternoon.

Buck said the NRCC is working with the station to clear up any misunderstandings and hopes to have to the ad back on the air early next week. Read more ...

Source: The Huntsville Times


Bloods and Crips and Muslims, oh my!

MOUNT HOLLY - Muslim gangsters terrorizing New Jersey streets were among the lot of thugs nabbed in recent sweeps and thrown into jail this week, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office said yesterday.

Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi, with Attorney General Anne Milgram at his flank, along with Jose Cordero, statewide director of Gangs, Guns and Violent Crime Control Strategies, said the Burlco Gang Task Force executed 22 arrest warrants on Wednesday.

Some big suspects — including eight gang members — were caught in the net of Operation Crew Cut. They included three recent murder arrests, three attempted murder arrests and a bank robbery.

The Muslims Over Everything (MOE) suspects included ranking gang member Michael Barrett, 28, of Mount Holly, who was arrested on prior drug distribution charges in Mount Holly and also charged Sept. 23 in Willingboro with possession of a .40-caliber handgun.

MOE member Anthony Pack, 20, was arrested in Burlington Township on June 19 for armed robbery of Beneficial Bank. Bernardi said Pack had a loaded .357 Magnum handgun in his car, $21,000 cash and a helping of crack cocaine. He’s slated for sentencing Dec. 19 in federal court.

n Bloods gang member Rashaun Turner, 21, of Edgewater Park, was arrested Sept. 24 for selling an M-1 carbine assault rifle in Edgewater Park, while another Bloods gangster, Antonio Streater, 25, of Camden, was one of three men nabbed in connection with the Aug. 16 double shooting at the Mount Laurel Marriott. Read more ...

Source: The Trentonian


Al-Qaeda calls for Bush's humiliation

From correspondents in Dubai | October 31, 2008

AN al-Qaeda leader has called for US President George W. Bush and the Republicans to be "humiliated", without endorsing any party in the upcoming US presidential election, according to a video posted on the internet.

"O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him," Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the internet.

Libi, one of the top al-Qaeda commanders believed to be living in Afghanistan or Pakistan, called for God's wrath to be brought against Mr Bush equating him with past tyrants in history.

The remarks were the first comments from a leading al-Qaeda figure referring, albeit indirectly, to the US elections.

Muslim clerics often end sermons by calling on God to guide and support Muslims and help defeat their enemies.

In 2004 al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden issued his first video in more than a year just days before the elections to deride President Bush and warn of possible new Sept. 11-style attacks.

Bin Laden made little mention of Mr Bush's Democratic challenger John Kerry, telling Americans: "Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al-Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands and each state which does not harm our security will remain safe."

Source: The Australian


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Migration Board: 'Hamas is a liberation movement'

By Peter Vinthagen Simpson

A Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) employee with 20 years' experience sued his employers alleging that he was demoted due to his pro-Israel political views. The board's counsel in the hearing has courted controversy by calling Hamas 'a liberation movement.'

The Local reported back in February 2008 that Lennart Eriksson, 51, after a 'long and relatively happy' career at the Migration Board (Migrationsverket), had been demoted from his post as head of an asylum assessment unit.

Eriksson sued the Board alleging that he was moved to a lower ranking position when his supervisor, Eugene Palmer, learned of his pro-Israel views expressed on his blog, Sapere aude!

"I want to defend freedom and democracy. I try to be humble and just. Therefore I must—as every good democrat must—defend Israel," read a passage on Eriksson's blog.

Palmer said at the time that after learning of Eriksson's controversial blog he was not alone in questioning whether it was appropriate for someone with Eriksson’s position at the Board to publicly express opinions about such a sensitive topic.

"Of course everyone has a right to any opinion. However, when holding an upper-level management position at the Migration Board, one must be careful about how one chooses to express private opinions in a public fashion," Palmer told The Local.

Staffan Opitz, representing the Migration Board at the hearing held at the district court in Mölndal, said during court proceedings on Friday, October 10th that Palestinian group Hamas should be considered a 'liberation movement'.

Opitz added that its founder Yassin was a 'Palestinian freedom-fighter', according to a report in Dagen, a Christian website.

The comments have further called into question the neutrality of the Migration Board.

Christian Democrat MP Annelie Enochson has now asked the foreign minister, Carl Bildt, what he intends to do to ensure that public authorities do not forward political agendas significantly different from government policy.

While conceding that it was not a minister's job to engage in the detail of how a public authority operates, Enochson pointed out that Hamas has been classified by the (Swedish) government and the EU as a terror organisation.

"The statement from the Migration Board is therefore not in line with current government policy," Enochson argued in a press release on Friday.

"The Swedish government stands for Israel's right to exist while Hamas through armed struggle wants to obliterate Israel and has the goal of liberating Palestine and Israel from the Jews. The question is whether it is the Migration Board's task to push its own foreign policy agenda."

The Migration Board's official position in the hearing at Mölndal district court, which concluded on Monday, October 13th, was that Eriksson's reassigment was due to poor performance and a lack of confidence in his abilities.

Lennart Eriksson hopes that the court will rule in his favour and force the Migration Board to nullify its decision and reinstate him.

He is also seeking damages of 100,000 kronor ($15,850) plus interest.

The verdict in the trial will be announced on Monday, November 10th 2008.

Source: The Local
Swedish Migration Board
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Islamic Religious Judge Forbids Arabs to Vote in Jerusalem

( One of the senior Islamic legal authorities in the Palestinian Authority (PA), Sheikh Taiseer Tamimi, issued a fatwa ruling prohibiting Arabs who live in Jerusalem from voting in the upcoming municipal elections.

In the past PA clerics have urged Jerusalem's Arabs to not vote, but according to the Post this is the first official religious decree to this effect.

Source: INN


The Head of Algerian Muslim Scholars: "The Syrian poet Adonis is a pervert"

Abderahmane Chibane
The Head of Algerian Muslim Ulemas Association, Sheikh Abderahmane Chibane, said he is clinging to his declaration qualifying the Syrian poet Adonis as “a pervert”.

A communiqué released by the Association added that those who have responded fiercely to his opinion “are neither acquainted with his personality, nor with his opinion preaching tolerance.”

Moreover, the communiqué signed by Abdelhamid Abdous, the Director of Al-Bassair newspaper, which is considered as a tribune of the Association, said Mr. Chibane had not the intention of debating the ideas of the Syrian poet Adonis. However the conference held by Adonis, has not focused only on his poetic thesis, but he has criticized Islam, Muslim scholars, and even the Companions of Prophet Mohammad, (Peace Be upon Him).

In another communiqué released few days ago, Mr. Chibane, Adonis has been qualified as an “arrogant” following ideas he expressed at a conference held at the national library in Algiers, last Oct.14. “Living under an Islamic regime, means that our civilization will extinguish,” said Adonis at that time.

According to the recent communiqué, of which El Khabar got a copy, said newspapers which criticized the position of Chibane, while saying that he uses moral and religion principles to sow division between the Algerian people, “are not acquainted with the personality of the Sheikh, who preaches jurisprudence, moderation, tolerance, peace, and unity.”

Source: El Khabar
Abderahmane Chibane
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Police are warned of Ramadan tensions during Games

By Richard Kerbaj and Ruth Gledhill

Specialist advice is being given to Scotland Yard on how to reduce tensions between police and Muslims during the London Olympics because of growing concerns about the Games clashing with the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during the day, The Times has learnt.

Experts will also warn the Metropolitan Police to ensure that the planned commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the massacre of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Games does not offend local and travelling Muslims.

The recommendations have been made by inter-faith advisers to Scotland Yard, where antiterrorism police are preparing to combat any possible Islamic terrorist threat to the Games.

Community tensions in the lead-up to the games have already been raised by a controversial Muslim movement, Tablighi Jamaat, which plans to build Britain’s largest mosque and Islamic complex near the 2012 Olympic stadium site. Read more ...

Source: The Times


Three minor girls given in marriage to murderer

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a man who killed his second wife for allegedly having an illicit relationship with another received impunity on the pretext of an honour killing by the 'Jirga', the illegal tribal justice system on October 20, 2008. The Jirga has also ordered the other party who allegedly had the relationship with the deceased wife to hand over three girls together with 20 buffaloes as compensation to the husband. Police arrested the killer but soon released him and have respected the decision of the Jirga. Read more ...

Source: ICAHK


Church sign reads "Annihilate Islam"

Source: LiveLeak

St. Michael's Catholic church ... trying to win "Idiot of the Year" Award



Anti-Christian violence spills into Kenya as Somali Muslims attack in Nairobi.

al Shabab
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 27 (Compass Direct News) – Among at least 24 aid workers killed in Somalia this year was one who was beheaded last month specifically for converting from Islam to Christianity, among other charges, according to an eyewitness. Muslim extremists from the al Shabab group fighting the transitional government on Sept. 23 sliced the head off of Mansuur Mohammed, 25, a World Food Program (WFP) worker, before horrified onlookers of Manyafulka village, 10 kilometers (six miles) from Baidoa. The militants had intercepted Mohammed and a WFP driver, who managed to escape, earlier in the morning. Sources close to Mohammed’s family said he converted from Islam to Christianity in 2005. The eyewitness, who requested anonymity for security reasons, said the militants that afternoon gathered the villagers of Manyafulka, telling them that they would prepare a feast for them. Five masked men emerged, carrying guns, wielding Somali swords and dragging the handcuffed Mohammed. One recited the Quran as he proclaimed that Mohammed was a “murtid,” an Arabic term for one who converts from Islam to Christianity. Mohammed remained calm with an expressionless face, never uttering a word, said the eyewitness.

Source: Compass Direct News


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