Sunday, November 30, 2008

US State Department praises religious freedom in UAE

WAM Abu Dhabi, Nov 28th, 2008 (WAM): The US Department of State has lauded the religious tolerance and cultural coexistence found in United Arab Emirates.

The International Religious Freedom Report 2008 released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour affiliated to the Department of State, surveyed the life in the UAE to establish that the country keenly protects freedom of faith and encourages tolerance among the followers of various religions.

The recent edition of the report cited several efforts being made in the country to boost interfaith understanding.

Among them was a symposium organised by the Centre for Information Affairs in Abu Dhabi, on 'The Role of the Vatican in Spreading the Principles of Coexistence in the World and the Religious Tolerance in the United Arab Emirates'.

The key speakers of the symposium held earlier in May this year included Archbishop Mounged El-Hachem, the Papal Nuncio to the United Arab Emirates and Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar for the entire Arabian Peninsula and Bishop of St. Joseph's Catholic Cathedral.

The report noted that the constitution of UAE provides for freedom of religion in accordance with established customs.

Earlier in June 2008, President Khalifa's Religious Affairs Adviser Al-Sayed Ali al-Hashemi hosted an interfaith gathering at his residence, to which he invited the Apostolic Vicar of Arabia and Roman Catholic Bishop of Abu Dhabi, Paul Hinder, and the local Coptic Church patriarch to deliver homilies to a gathering of Muslim scholars, clergy, and foreign (including non-Muslim) diplomats, the report noted.

On April 15, 2008, the President received the credentials of 13 ambassadors, including a new envoy from the Vatican. The Vatican envoy passed to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan the greetings of Pope Benedict XVI, who paid tribute to the country's leadership for its care for cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. He touted the country as a model in its support for and advocacy of tolerance and respect for cultural diversity and cross cultural interaction. President Khalifa reaffirmed the country's determination to foster dialogue among cultures and civilizations and tolerance among various religious groups, the report cited.

In March this year, Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al-Nahyan opened a new Evangelical Church building in Abu Dhabi, which will house 21 congregations in larger accommodations than were previously available to them. The church inauguration coincided with Easter celebrations. Sheikh Nahyan congratulated Christians for Easter and the inauguration of the church, adding that 'the Evangelical Church building in Abu Dhabi reflects once more that the country is tolerant and respects the beliefs of others'.

The report also noted that there are temples shared by Sikhs and Hindus in Dubai, and Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs conducts religious ceremonies in private homes without interference.

Source: WAM


Religious head incited killers

Bruce Loudon, South Asia correspondent
December 01, 2008

THE al-Qa'ida-linked Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists suspected over the Mumbai massacre were trained in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, and were incited by speeches from their leader in Lahore.

As the sole surviving terrorist was interrogated in Mumbai, security sources told The Australian that 10 terrorists were picked by LET for the suicide mission.

They were ordered to "kill until your last breath" and murder up to 5000 people.

They did so after provocative speeches by Hafiz Mohammed Saeed last month in Lahore, capital of the Punjab.

Saeed, described as LET's supreme religious and political head, declared in one speech: "The only language India understands is that of force, and that is the language it must be talked to in."

The email claiming responsibility for the Mumbai attack minutes after it started last Wednesday was generated on a computer based in Pakistan.

And a satellite telephone captured from the terrorists revealed calls made to numbers in Pakistan during the attacks, reports said.

Officials said the terrorists' route to Mumbai had been recorded on GPS co-ordinates contained in the satellite phones.

Sources said the 10 terrorists -- most of whom were believed to be Pakistanis -- were ordered to undergo training to attack Mumbai.

The captured gunman, Ajmal Amir Kamal, 21, reportedly told intelligence sources the group had trained openly in Muzaffarabad before heading to the nearby Mangala dam for lessons in marine commando techniques.

The group then visited Rawalpindi, which adjoins Islamabad, the Pakistan capital and site of the Pakistan army headquarters.

From there, the group took a train to the port city of Karachi, where, heavily armed, they boarded a freighter for the trip to Mumbai. Along the way, they became nervous about Indian coastguard activity and almost aborted the mission.

They "dragooned" a less conspicuous, passing fishing boat into service, shooting dead four of its crew members. The skipper of the fishing boat and another crew member took them closer to Mumbai before they, too, were killed. One was decapitated and the other had his throat slit.

Close to shore, they transferred to small speedboats for the run into the two landing points they had selected in Mumbai - Sassoon Docks and Badhwar Park, on Cuff Parade.

Conflicting evidence obtained by intelligence agencies suggests that the group may have had local support, and that one or more of its members may have been staying locally, possibly even in the Taj Mahal hotel.

A British link to the attacks was raised over the weekend when a senior Indian official claimed that Britons were among the militants.

Vilasrao Deshmukh, the chief minister of Maharashtra state, in which Mumbai lies, was quoted on an Indian television station as saying that British citizens had been detained.

British MP Patrick Mercer, a former Tory security spokesman, said he had been given information that at least two of the terrorists had credit cards and other identifying documents that linked them to Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, in northeast England.

The claims, however, were not substantiated by official British sources, who said there was no evidence "at this stage" that Britons had taken part in the attacks, although they acknowledged that events were "moving fast" and more information was emerging about the nationality of the terrorists.

MI5 and British counter-terrorist police are keeping in close touch with their counterparts in India and are alert to the possibility that Britons with Pakistani origins might have been involved. Significant numbers of young British Pakistanis have taken part in terrorist training in Pakistan.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that there was no evidence of Britons being involved, and the Foreign Secretary David Miliband said: "We obviously will want to work very closely with the Indians but it is too early to say whether or not any of them are British."

Malaysian police are investigating reports that Malaysian-issued credit cards were found in the belongings of the terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said Malaysia had no links with the terrorists, responding to an Indian report that nine of the gunmen claimed to be Malaysian students when they travelled to Mumbai several months ago.

Terror analyst Praveen Swami said that at a meeting of key LET leaders in Lahore on October 19, LET leader Saeed, who insists he is only head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa welfare organisation, made plain his view of Pakistan's neighbour.

"India, he claimed, was building dams in (Indian-controlled) Jammu and Kashmir to choke Pakistan's water supplies and cripple its agriculture," Mr Swami reported Saeed as saying.

"Earlier, in an October 6 speech, Saeed claimed that India had 'made a deal with the United States to send 150,000 Indian troops to Afghanistan' and that it agreed to support the US in its existential war against Islam.

"Finally, in a sermon to a congregation at the Jamia Masjid al-Qudsia (mosque) in Lahore at the end of October, Saeed proclaimed that there was an 'ongoing war in the world between Islam and its enemies'.

"He claimed that 'crusaders of the East and West have united in a cohesive onslaught against Muslims'."

Source: The Australian


Israel to free 250 Palestinian prisoners

November 30, 2008

JERUSALEM (AP) -- The Israeli government has approved the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture ahead of a Muslim festival next week.

Government spokesman Mark Regev says the release is meant to strengthen peace talks with the government of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel has been holding peace talks with Abbas for the past year, while shunning the rival Hamas militant group's government in the Gaza Strip. All prisoners set to be freed are members of Abbas' Fatah party.

Israel currently holds more than 9,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced the planned release earlier this month. On Sunday, his Cabinet formally approved the move.

A date for the release wasn't given. But it's expected to take place before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha on December 8.

Source: CNN


Euphemisms No Match for Radical Islam

While Western governments scoff at the anti-blasphemy measure that a UN General Assembly committee passed on November 24, they actually have led the way in perfecting the art of self-censorship. Bureaucrats and elected officials, in de facto sympathy with the resolution's claim that "Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism," twist themselves into pretzels to cleanse references to the faith from relevant discussions.

The immediate consequences of refusing to call a spade a spade are as predictable as they are maddening. Consider this lesson in the obvious, courtesy of Great Britain:
Attempts to turn young people away from Islamic extremism are being hampered by politically correct language, according to a new report.

Ministers last year directed councils to use the terms "anti-Islamic activity" and "community resilience" instead of terrorism and extremism, as part of a drive to win over the Muslim community.

But the rebranding has spread confusion and is preventing local authorities and public bodies from talking openly about the radicalization of young people.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was ridiculed for renaming terrorism "anti-Islamic activity." Given that citizens and councilors alike can point to legions of Muslim terrorists who have sought to justify their atrocities by appealing to Islam, it is little surprise that such policies "spread confusion." The replacement of "extremism" with "community resilience" is even more baffling. Read more ...

Source: Islamist Watch Blog


The U.S. Terror Support Network Exposed

The Holy Land Foundation trial unveiled the extent of the financing of terrorism among leading American Islamic organizations.

By Patrick Poole

The retrial of five officials of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Islamic charity in the U.S. shut down by the government weeks after 9/11, concluded on November 24 with guilty verdicts on all 108 counts. Federal prosecutors had charged that Holy Land officials had conspired to provide material support to terrorists and served as the fundraising arm of Hamas in the U.S., which raised more than $12 million after Hamas had been designated a terrorist organization in 1995.

The implications of these guilty verdicts are staggering in their importance. The most immediate is that federal prosecutors have proved they can win these kinds of complicated terrorism financing cases. Monday’s guilty verdicts are in sharp contrast to the first trial in this case, which ended in October 2007 in a mistrial and victory celebrations by the defendants and their supporters. In response, prosecutors streamlined their case, dropped a number of lesser charges, and prepared new exhibits to help jurors understand the scope of the conspiracy. Read more ...

Source: Pajamas Media


Mumbai terrorists were 'funded by cash raised in UK mosques'

'Funded by UK cash': The Taj Mahal hotel burns during the terror attack on Mumbai - an Islamic
terrorist group funded with cash raised in British mosques is thought to be behind the attack
A banned Islamic terrorist group funded with cash raised in British mosques is believed to be behind the Mumbai attacks.

Kashmiri separatists Lashkar-e-Taiba, ‘The Army of the Righteous’, which has strong links to Al Qaeda, is accused of previous terrorist outrages in India.

And intercepted telephone and radio communications before and during the latest attacks apparently suggest a link.

Indian officials say at least one of the gunmen captured after the attacks is part of a Lashkar network.

The group last week denied any responsibility and the unknown group Deccan Mujahideen said it was behind the atrocity.

But earlier this year another group, the Indian Mujahideen, which has links to Lashkar-e-Taiba, sent an email to Indian police warning it was planning an attack in Mumbai.

The message read: ‘We are keeping a close eye on you and just waiting for the right time to execute your bloodshed...Let the Indian Mujahideen warn all the people of Mumbai...You are already on our hit list and this time very, very seriously.’ Read more ...

Source: Mail Online


'I was told to kill to my last breath': Captured terrorist's account of Mumbai massacre reveals plan was to kill 5,000

Azam Amir Kasab
Face of evil: Azam Amir Kasab, the only terrorist to be captured alive,
has confessed to being a member of Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba
By Ian Gallagher

The only terrorist captured alive after the Mumbai massacre has given police the first full account of the extraordinary events that led to it – revealing he was ordered to ‘kill until the last breath’.

Azam Amir Kasab, 21, from Pakistan, said the attacks were meticulously planned six months ago and were intended to kill 5,000 people.

He revealed that the ten terrorists, who were highly trained in marine assault and crept into the city by boat, had planned to blow up the Taj Mahal Palace hotel after first executing British and American tourists and then taking hostages.

Mercifully, the group, armed with plastic explosives, underestimated the strength of the 105-year-old building’s solid foundations.

As it is, their deadly attacks have left close to 200 confirmed dead, with the toll expected to rise to nearly 300 once the hotel has been fully searched by security forces.

Yesterday, Kasab chillingly went through details of Wednesday night’s killing spree across the city, which ended when he was cornered by police.

He pretended to be dead, which probably saved his life. It was only when he was being transferred to hospital by ambulance that his accompanying officer noticed he was still breathing. Read more ...

Source: Daily Mail


Плox ли XAMAC для Изpaиля?

Гай Бехор

Пока в ожидании выборов израильтяне наблюдают за перелицовкой старых политических костюмов, у них под боком, в Палестинской автономии в Иудее и Самарии, незаметно, но неумолимо, приближается революция. Внешнее спокойствие обманчиво, и очень скоро в Шхеме, Рамалле и Бейт-Лехеме разразится буря. ФАТХ и ХАМАС готовятся к сражению, хотя по-настоящему мечи куют только исламисты - ФАТХ почти ничего не делает, он готовит оправдания для будущего поражения. Когда во главе организации стоит Абу-Мазен вместе с гвардией 70-летних ветеранов, трудно ожидать иного исхода.

И ХАМАС, и ФАТХ понимают, что жребий брошен. Известна и дата начала схватки - январь 2009 года. Грядущие события навсегда изменят лицо палестинского мира, который переживет религиозную и национальную и ментальную революции. Переворот, который повлияет и на их отношения с Израилем, будет облегчен двумя обстоятельствами: ослаблением (с точки зрения ХАМАСа) Израиля и приходом в январе в Белый дом президента-новичка.

В результате переворота вместе с Абу-Мазеном сойдет со сцены поколение ветеранов ФАТХа, такие как Ахмед Куреи (Абу-Ала) и главы сил безопасности и разведки, в большинстве 70-летние старики. Подобная революция уже произошла в секторе Газа, где к власти пришли сорокалетние. В январе это может случиться и в Иудее и Самарии.

Будущий переворот положит конец ООП и светскому национальному движению палестинцев в том виде, в каком оно сформировалось в конце 50-х годов, и руководство перейдет в руки политического ислама, как это было при иерусалимском муфтии Хадж Амин аль-Хусейни. Это будет означать смерть национальной идеи палестинцев, родившейся на волне левых "национально-освободительных движений" в мире в 50-60 гг. Сегодня ясно, что эта идея была искусственной и не была воспринята палестинцами вполне.

В Иудее и Самарии произойдет то же, что случилось в секторе Газа: полное отделение от Израиля, или, по крайней мере, стремление к такому отделению. Это будет означать полное прекращение переговоров и конец иллюзии возможности достижения соглашения между Израилем и палестинцами, иллюзии, которая родилась в Осло, воспламенила Иудею и Самарию и погубила жизни тысяч людей. Уж лучше осознать, что никакие переговоры и договоренности невозможны - пусть все будет ясно. Зачем пробуждать бесплодные и опасные иллюзии?

Как ни странно, ХАМАС будет недалек от истины, когда заявит, что переворот вполне демократический, ибо он осуществляет волю палестинского народа. ХАМАС возьмет власть, причитающуюся ему по праву - в январе 2006 года он действительно победил на выборах в Иудее и Самарии. Однако результаты выборов в Рамалле отменили, правительство не было сформировано ХАМАСом, а председателем автономии стал Абу-Мазен, чья администрация известна своей коррумпированностью.

Как ХАМАС осуществит переворот? Ему не составит труда вывести на улицы сотни тысяч своих сторонников, которые просто пойдут маршем к учреждениям ФАТХа и правительства. В такой ситуации у Абу-Мазена не останется альтернативы - его люди сложат оружие и сбегут.

Куда? В июне прошлого года они бежали без боя через территорию Израиля в Иудею и Самарию. Но куда бежать из Рамаллы и Шхема? Верхушка ПА уже готовит для себя приятное убежище в арабских странах, кто в Эмиратах, кто в Египте или Иордании, а некоторые зондируют почву в Западной Европе. Сомнительно, что Израиль приютит у себя главарей ФАТХа, хотя в нашей стране и в этом нельзя быть уверенным...

ХАМАС накапливает оружие, а правительство Салама Файеда тем временем ругает исламистов за то, что они "завалили автономию поддельными лекарствами", чтобы на вырученные деньги покупать оружие. Силовики ФАТХа, заикаясь, ищут объяснения и... виновных. Виноват, разумеется, Израиль: мы не даем им оружие и деньги, будто Израиль должен играть роль спонсора сил безопасности палестинцев!

Через Израиль из Газы в Иудею и Самарию не попасть. Но ХАМАС наладил переправку боевиков через подземные туннели в Египет, оттуда на паромах в иорданскую Акабу, и из Акабы в Иудею и Самарию, где исламисты тайком создают боевые отряды... на деньги, которые Израиль переводит в Газу. Абу Убейда, пресс-секретарь военного крыла ХАМАСа, завляет, что "взрыв близок", обвиняя Абу-Мазена в сотрудничестве с "сионистским врагом".

Вероятность, что власть ФАТХа на территориях падет, достаточно велика. Плохо ли это для Израиля? Вовсе нет! Так же как Израилю был выгоден захват ХАМАСом власти в Газе.

На этом закончатся лживые и опасные переговоры Израиля с ФАТХом и палестинским национальным движением, переговоры, основанные на фантазии, будто можно решить проблему беженцев, Иерусалима и всего остального. После того, как были пролиты реки крови, следует признать, что решения этих проблем не существует, и только глупец мог отважиться класть свою голову в пасть льву, как это было сделано в Осло.

Обе стороны повернутся друг к другу спиной, и без всяких переговоров начнется процесс размежевания с палестинцами в Иудее и Самарии. "Страшные" сценарии об "одном государстве для двух народов", о которых без конца твердили израильские левые, о том, будто палестинцы захотят стать частью еврейского государства, покажут свою несостоятельность. Каждый пойдет своей дорогой.

Никто в мире не признает ХАМАС. Его все бойкотируют, включая арабов. В такой ситуации всем станет ясно, кто на Ближнем Востоке плохой и кто хороший. Исчезнет аура народного движения, которой так ловко умел себя окружать ФАТХ. Постепенно сойдет на нет поток денег, которые каждый месяц переводил Палестинской автономии Израиль, и прекратится поток палестинских рабочих, которые снова потекли в Израиль.

Пусть хозяином на территориях, как и в Газе, станет ХАМАС! ФАТХ никогда не был надежным партнером - он всегда старался не навязывать свою волю другим организациям.

Так как ЦАХАЛ остается в Иудее и Самарии, немедленной угрозы ракетных обстрелов не предвидится. Правит ХАМАС или нет, палестинские организации, включая ФАТХ, и без того пытаются освоить на территориях простую технологию изготовления "кассамов".

Поселения останутся на месте под охраной ЦАХАЛа.

ХАМАС говорит правду, которую ловко скрывают другие палестинские организации: "Нас не интересует Израиль, и мы не намерены с ним сотрудничать". Разве не так же думает большинство израильтян о связях с палестинцами?

Последнее и самое важное: Израиль должен открыть границу между Западным и Восточным берегами Иордана, координируя этот шаг с иорданцами. Так же как открытие Рафиаха означает возврат Египта в сектор Газа, открытие границы с Иорданией будет означать возвращение Хашимитского королевства на территории, и в Аммане это прекрасно знают. Иордания будет контролировать границу лучше, чем мы.

Здесь-то и начнет вырисовываться решение палестинской проблемы: возрастающая ответственность Египта за Газу и Иордании за арабские районы Иудеи и Самарии. Что сделают египтяне и иорданцы с достоянием, которое вернется к ним впервые после 1967 года? Израиль должен исходить из того, что это их проблема. Будут там созданы палестинские государства или нет (египтяне и иорданцы не допустят, чтобы это произошло), нам следует полагать, что это по большей части их арабская проблема.

Source: G-Planet
H/T: Zman


Murder in Mumbai

Dry Bones

Source: Dry Bones


Hundreds killed in Nigeria over election results

November 30, 2008

HUNDREDS of people were killed in the central Nigerian city of Jos when Christians and Muslims clashed over the result of a local election.

"Hundreds of people have been killed in the last two days since the riots started. Remains of burnt bodies litter some parts of the town; it is so terrible,'' Christian clergyman Yakumu Pam said.

Local Radio Plateau said the governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, had placed four districts of the city under a curfew and had ordered police to fire on anyone who broke it following the clashes on Friday.

Aminu Manu said incidents of violence were still being reported in the city today.

"So far over 10,000 people have been displaced from their homes and are now seeking refuge in churches, mosques and army and police barracks," a Nigerian Red Cross official in Jos said.

"I can't give any figures but there are dead bodies on the streets that are yet to be evacuated. We are afraid of an outbreak of an epidemic if they are allowed to decompose," he said.

Source: The Australian from Agence France-Presse


The Final Reckoning for Palestine

By Mark Silverberg

On November 25th, TIME magazine reported that the Bush administration is in the process of establishing relations with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and has warned Israeli Prime Minister Olmert against resorting to any military action against it or Iran before he leaves office. If true, the US and Israel are on a collision course. Nations not only have the right, but the obligation to defend their citizenry and territory from attack. As such, it is only a matter of time before Hamas and its Palestinian sympathizers are called to account for the death and destruction wrought by thousands of missiles they have fired into Israeli cities, towns and kibbutzim over the past three years.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar noted recently: "We do not recognize the State of Israel or its right to control any of the land of Palestine. Palestine is holy Islamic land. Our national problem is not related only to the West Bank, Gaza, and al-Quds (Jerusalem)...but to Palestine, all [the territory of] Palestine." By that he meant Israel proper or what he terms "the Zionist entity." Unfortunately, Zahar is not alone in this thinking. A recent poll of Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza asked: "Do you support or oppose suicide bombings against Israeli civilians?" Fifty-six percent (56%) said they support it. This parallels the results of an earlier survey conducted jointly by Public Opinion Research of Israel and the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion. That survey found that only 13% of Palestinians agreed with the statement that "Hamas was a terrorist group"; 82% agreed that Hamas was a "freedom-fighting organization"; and a mere 10% believed that bombings targeting Israeli civilians in buses and restaurants could be classified as "acts of terrorism." Read more ...

Source: Family Security Matters


Brit hate preacher glorifies Mumbai terrorists

Anjem Choudary
London, Nov.28 (ANI): British hate preacher Anjem Choudary last night praised the slaughter of 127 people by terrorists in Mumbai.

In a vile rant, the Daily Star quoted Choudhary as saying that any Brits killed had only themselves to blame for being on the battlefield in the war Muslims nuts are waging against the world.

Extremist Choudary, 41, said the attacks were revenge for the Wests crusades against Islam. The attacks bear all the hallmarks of a carefully planned al-Qaida operation as part of the global jihad against the crusades. I would not be surprised if they release a video very soon, he added.

Source: ANI
H/T: Weasel Zippers
Anjem Choudary
Latest recipient of the Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Distinguished Islamofascist Award


Report: Iran court upholds stoning death sentence

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's Supreme Court upheld the stoning death sentence against woman convicted of adultery in the southern city of Shiraz, an independent newspaper reported Saturday.

The daily Etemad Melli, or National Confidence, reported that the court also upheld another death sentence, this one by hanging, against the woman who also was convicted of killing her husband with the help of a male accomplice.

The man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he was convicted of being an accomplice in a murder. He also was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery, but was not given the death penalty because he was married. The newspaper only identified the two by their first names.

Judiciary officials were not immediately available for comment. It was not known when the slaying took place or when the two were convicted.

While the ruling is final, Iran's judiciary chief or the country's supreme leader are authorized to stop death sentences from being carried out.

Under Iran's Islamic laws, adultery is the only capital offense punishable by stoning. A man is usually buried up to his waist, while a woman is buried up to her neck. Those carrying out the verdict then throw stones until the condemned dies.

In July, Iran stoned a man convicted of adultery to death after the sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Stoning was widely imposed in the early years after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, but it has seldom been applied in recent years, though the government rarely confirms when it carries out stoning sentences.

Reformist legislators have demanded an end to death by stoning as a punishment for adultery, but opposition from hardline clerics has sidelined their efforts. Read more ...

Source: AP


They were in no hurry. Cool and composed, they killed and killed.

The young men came by boat to unleash a night of carnage on the 'gateway to India'. Americans and British tourists were targeted, but Indians made up most of the victims.

By Randeep Ramesh, Duncan Campbell and Paul Lewis

The gunmen, most of them apparently in their twenties, wearing T-shirts, black shirts and jeans, came ashore in black and yellow inflatable rubber dinghies. Armed with automatic weapons, and carrying rucksacks packed with hand grenades and explosives, they abandoned their landing-craft on the beach, from where they would have been able to make out the outlines of their targets, some of Mumbai's most famous buildings.

It would appear that they had landed earlier, around 8pm, in a larger vessel at Sasoon dock and then used the dinghies to get closer to their targets in the heart of the city.

"Six young men with large bags came ashore, after which the two who remained in the boat started the outboard motor again and sped off," said one witness. "They were fair, chikna [well-off] and looked around 20, 22, 25 years old. They said they were students. When we tried to find out what they were doing, they spoke very aggressively, and I got scared."

Within two hours, the young gunmen were causing mayhem in the city that has always prided itself as being the hospitable gateway to India. Read more ...

Source: The Guardian


Child-Sex Case Grips Turkey Amid Religious Young-Brides Split

By Ben Holland

Huseyin Uzmez denies having sex with a 14-year-old girl. He just defends a man’s right to marry one.

Uzmez, 76, a columnist at Turkey’s Islamist Vakit newspaper, is pleading not guilty to charges of sexually abusing a minor in a case that has gripped the country of 70 million. Since his release on bail on Oct. 28, Uzmez has publicly defended Islamic rules that permit girls to wed below the legal age of 16.

“A girl who’s reached puberty, who’s having periods, is of age, according to our beliefs,” Uzmez told national television the day he got out. “And if she’s of age, she can marry.”

Uzmez returns to court on Dec. 16. Whatever the eventual outcome, the case has widened the gulf between Turks promoting Islamic law and those who support the secular system put in place by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the 1920s. The state religious authority, which employs imams at Turkey’s 80,000 mosques, opposes child marriage, though the practice remains rife.

Thirty-nine percent of married women in the southern province of Sanliurfa were 16 or younger on their wedding day, according to the Istanbul-based Social Democracy Foundation, which is campaigning against the practice. Read more ...

Source: Bloomberg


Saturday, November 29, 2008

European Islamist Groups Calling for Boycott of Dutch Goods Because of new Mohammed Movie

According to Moroccan newspaper Al-Jarida al-Ula, European Islamist organizations are calling for a boycott of Dutch products because of Ehsan Jami's movie. The movie will premier December 10th, Jami announced this week in an interview with weekly HP/De Tijd.

The unnamed organizations are upset that Jami is coming out with a cartoon move about Mohammed. The ex-Muslim originally planed that, but called it off at the end of March at the urging of justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin. The organizations are calling, according to the newspaper, for a boycott because of the publication of 'a cartoon movie about the wives of the prophet Muhammad." Already since last month there have been calls to boycott Dutch products circulating on the internet.

In the 10 minute long movie "Interview with Mohammed", the former chairperson of the Committee for Ex-Muslims questions Muhammed about women's rights, Jews and apostasy. In the clip the actor who plays Muhammed will be unrecognizable. The movie will be in English. Jami invited Hirsch Ballin to the movie's pre-premiere. The anti-Koran movie Fitna of PVV head Geert Wilders led in the past to protests in the Muslim world and several calls to a boycott of Dutch products. Read more ...

Source: Weasel Zippers


Umar Lee: "Why American-Muslims Should Not Condemn Mumbai Attacks"

Why do I believe American-Muslims should not condemn the Mumbai attacks and why am I encouraging Muslims to not join in on any such effort to do so being promoted by another Muslim website?
1. As Muslims in America we are not exactly relevant to the situation. Not only are we geographically and culturally distant we are also not a part of any conflict raging in India and we are not in a position to influence any party. Does anyone believe Indian mujahedeen, the Congress Party or the BJP is waiting to see what American-Muslims think before they make their next move? This makes our condemnation little more than rhetorical nonsense that is made only to please the ears of the media and Muslim-haters.

2. As of now, there are very few facts available as to what happened. Any condemnation made today is one that is made with minimal information.
3. Condemning these acts plays into the trap set by those hostile to Islam in that it reinforces the notion that all Muslims become guilty if a few do something bad and therefore the entire community has to apologize for the actions of the few.

4. Many of those rushing to condemn the Mumbai attacks are not keeping it real. Some of the first to condemn have been leading Pakistani Muslim figures in America. Some of these same brothers for years, until it became ill-advised in the post 9-11 climate, vocally and forcefully supported armed aggression against the Indian State by mujahedeen groups and I am sorry I am just not buying your crocodile tears for Mumbai.

5. We risk getting used as pawns in a pro-Indian hysteria that is sweeping the media. In doing so we may be overlooking the plight of Muslims in India and the hostile stance towards the Muslim World India has taken. Read more ...
Source: Umar Lee
H/T: Weasel Zippers
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Muslim terrorists in Mumbai tell media: 'stop hating us'

The terror group that ruthlessly struck at Mumbai's heart has demanded an end to persecution of Muslims and the release of militants from prison.

The previously unknown group that claimed responsibility for the attacks across Mumbai has added to the growing belief that India is confronting a home-grown Islamic militancy.

The vast majority of previous attacks on Indian soil have been squarely blamed on groups based in or directly supported by neighbouring Pakistan.

But attacks over the last year have been claimed by groups with names stressing their local origins.

Deccan Mujahedeen, which said it was responsible for the Mumbai assault on Wednesday night, takes its title from the Deccan plateau that covers much of south India.

The outfit sent emails to local media saying it carried out the attacks.

One of the gunmen holed up in the Trident hotel told the India TV channel by phone on Thursday that the little-known terror outfit wanted an end to the persecution of Indian Muslims and the release of all fellow Islamic militants detained in India. Read more ...

Source: AFP
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