Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mind-State Solution


I’m not sure, but I think I have a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or at least another way of looking at it. It hit me the other day after I broke bread at Pat’s Restaurant with some people connected to Americans for Peace Now, a leftist Jewish organization that actively promotes the two-state solution.

Now, you should know that whenever I hear the words “peace now,” something inside of me cringes. I have never understood how Israel could make peace now with an enemy that hates her no matter what she does.

Over the years, I’ve asked this question of a number of people across the ideological spectrum: “If Israel dismantled all the settlements in the West Bank tomorrow, would it stop Palestinian hostility and violence toward Israel?”

I never once got a yes.

Why? I think it’s because most people intuitively understand that dismantling settlements is not the same thing as dismantling hatred. The hatred that has been taught for years in Palestinian schools and summer camps, through television shows and billboards and in mosques is not just aimed at Jewish settlers but at all Jews and at all of Israel. This kind of hatred is too deep to be washed away by well-meaning gestures.

So I came to my Peace Now lunch with some apprehension — and a lot of prejudice.

I can’t say I connected ideologically with my lunchmates, but I did end up connecting emotionally. The reason was that I trusted their deep commitment to Israel and their sincerity in their search for peace.

There was something very Jewish about their attitude toward the conflict. First, the idea of hope, of never giving up. Where would the Jews be today if we didn’t have hope?

There was also the idea of taking responsibility for our situation — of not blaming others for our fate. Again, where would the Jewish nation be today without that character trait?

My peace-loving lunch companions are not naive. They know about the spread of Jewish hatred in Palestinian society, and they understand the fear many of us have that a Palestinian state could easily become a terrorist state. But they believe the ideals of peace and a two-state solution are so valuable to Jews and to Israel that it is worth pursuing relentlessly, even if it means paying a significant price.

It’s this idea of paying a price for peace that made a lightbulb go off.

For nearly two decades, Israel has gone to one failed peace meeting after another with this question in mind: How much are we willing to pay for peace? In doing so, they have acted as if the Palestinians actually have something to sell.

Apparently, no one ever stood up during one of those meetings to say to the Israelis: “Wait a minute, you’re not the buyers, you’re the sellers!”

Why sellers? Because everyone knows that when Israel signs an agreement with an Arab country, it is capable of honoring it. On the other hand, it’s no secret that the Palestinians, with or without Hamas, are in no position to deliver peace to Israel.

It follows that if any party should be selling, it is Israel. Yet, incredibly, it is always the reverse: The Palestinians are selling a peace they can’t deliver, while the Israelis are buying a peace that doesn’t exist.

Is it any wonder that all the peace plans keep failing? That groups like Peace Now keep banging their heads against the wall, hoping that more concessions from Israel will somehow bring us closer to that elusive solution?

The problem with pressuring Israel to buy peace through concessions is that it perpetuates the illusion that the Palestinians have something to sell.

What the peace process needs more than anything is for the Palestinians to be able to deliver their end of the bargain. Until that happens, any question of creating a Palestinian state is moot.

My solution? Have the sides switch roles or mind-states.

Israelis should act like “peace owners,” and Palestinians should act like “peace buyers.” With a buyer mentality, Palestinians will be more likely to make their own offers, rather than passively rejecting Israeli offers, which is what they often do.

As buyers, Palestinians would also learn that Israel needs a minimum security deposit: Stop teaching Jew-hatred to your children. Palestinians can’t offer peace while they’re teaching war. Tragically, the anti-incitement clause was the great ignored clause of Oslo — so for more than 15 years, Palestinian society fell back on its habit of demonizing Jews, which contributed to the growth of terrorism and rejectionist forces like Hamas.

Israel is hardly blameless in this picture, and it has made its share of mistakes. But settlements or no settlements, the fact remains that the great majority of Israeli Jews have been more than ready to pay a huge price for peace, including evacuating most of the West bank.

Had the Palestinians been smart, had they taken more responsibility for their situation and developed a culture of co-existence, they would have long ago made Israel an offer it couldn’t refuse. They would have called Israel’s bluff and made the process real.

Instead, we’ve all been treated to the continuing and sorry spectacle of global diplomats parachuting into Jerusalem to coax adversaries into yet another round of the “let’s play peace process” game.

Leading the latest charge is our new can-do president, who believes that a solution is possible if only the U.S. becomes more “engaged.” He will soon learn that no amount of American engagement or Israeli concessions can undo the reality that for the foreseeable future, the Palestinians are utterly incapable of delivering peace to Israel.

All this, of course, is very sobering for those of us who fear for the future of Israel as a Jewish democratic state. Going forward, the one thing we can be sure of is that groups like Peace Now will continue to pressure Israel to make concessions, and people like me will lament that the whole process is upside down.

David Suissa, an advertising executive, is founder of OLAM magazine, Meals4Israel.com and Ads4Israel.com. He can be reached at dsuissa@olam.org.

Source: Jewish Journal
H/T: Tundra Tabloids

Monday, March 30, 2009

Morocco announces end to homosexual tolerance

No Homosexuals
(ANSAmed) - MADRID, MARCH 24 - Morocco announces the end of tolerance with regard to homosexuality, is the title of the full page article in today's El Pais, referring to the initiative which the Ministry for the interior in Morocco is using to 'confront all actions which go against religious and moral values, within the framework of the law''. An article with the headline in red on the front page of magazine Al Michaal triggered the reaction by the government in Rabat; in it a gay Moroccan couple tell the story of their wedding, reciting a prayer which comes before the reading from the Koran. The formula is very common in Morocco, between heterosexual couples as well, but it does not mean that the union is legal. In a message quoted by El Pais, the Ministry for the interior registered "voices in the media which are trying to make a case for ignoble behaviour which is a provocation to national public opinion and which are against the moral values and teachings of our society". The government will carry act against these people "within the framework of current laws". Homosexuality is punishable in Morocco from six months to three years imprisonment, even though courts do not usually pass sentences for this kind of crime. Nevertheless arrests of gays are commonly made as a 'deterrent''. El Pais notes that "while several publications are indulgent towards Moroccan gays, the main body of the press is asking for a strong hand against perverts". Spain's ambassador in Rabat, Luis Planas, recently became involved in the controversy, when he was photographed with the secretary of Colegas, a Spanish association which defends the rights of gays and lesbians, and with Bargachi, the coordinator of Kifkif (from equal to equal), an association which supports gays in Morocco. (ANSAmed).

Source: ANSAmed
H/T: Jihad Watch

Palestinian authorities disband youth orchestra that played for Holocaust survivors

Palestinian Children
Palestinian children from the Jenin refugee camp in
the West Bank play for Holocaust
survivors at a center in Holon, last Wednesday.
By Khaled Abu Toameh

Palestinian authorities disbanded a youth orchestra from a West Bank refugee camp after it played for a group of Holocaust survivors in Israel, a local official said on Sunday.

Adnan Hindi of the Jenin camp called the Holocaust a "political issue" and accused conductor Wafa Younis of unknowingly dragging the children into a political dispute.

He added that Younis has been barred from the camp and the apartment where she taught the 13-member Strings of Freedom orchestra has been boarded up.

On Saturday, The Jerusalem Post found that leaders and representatives of the Jenin refugee camp condemned the participation of Palestinian teenagers from the camp in a concert honoring Holocaust survivors in Holon last week. Read more ...

Source: Jerusalem Post
H/T: Jihad Watch

Muslim women told: For family's sake, commit suicide
Honor killers avoid prison by forcing victims to take own lives.

Turkey's crackdown on the practice of honor killing has resulted in unintended consequences – instead of being murdered by a close male relative for bringing dishonor to their families, Muslim women are being pressured to commit suicide.

And the numbers of "honor suicides" are soaring, reported the UK's Independent.

Despite a 2005 change in the nation's penal code requiring a mandatory life sentence for honor killers, the number of women killed by male relatives is at a record level – more than 200 a year, half of all murders committed in Turkey. But it is that change in the law that has given rise to the growing phenomenon of women taking their own lives. Prior to 2005, killers were able to receive reduced sentences by claiming provocation. Read more ...

Source: WND

Islamic Law's Influence in America a Growing Concern


By David Lewkowict

As America's Muslim population grows, so too does the influence of Islamic law, or Shariah, in daily life in the U.S.

"Shariah Law is the totality of the Muslim's obligation," said Abdullahi An-Na'im, a professor of law at Emory University in Atlanta. According to An-Na'im, Shariah is similar to Jewish Talmudic Law or Catholic Canon Law in that it guides an adherent's moral conduct.

"As a citizen, I am a subject of the United States," An-Na'im said. "I owe allegiance to the United States, to the Constitution of the United States. That is not inconsistent with observing a religious code in terms of my own personal behavior."

While many view this as a testament to the "great American melting pot," others see Islamic law's growing influence as a threat. Shariah's critics point to cases such as the airport in Minneapolis, where some Shariah-adherent taxi drivers made headlines in 2006 for refusing to pick up passengers they suspected of carrying liquor. The drivers' aversion to alcohol stemmed from a verse in the Qur'an that describes "intoxicants and gambling" as "an abomination of Satan's handiwork." Read more ...

Source: Fox News

Muslim Coalition Supports FBI Freeze of CAIR

An advertisement in the new issue of the Weekly Standard is most welcome to those who argue the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) inflates its support among American Muslims. The ad notes that U.S. government officials have been "mostly baffled by extremism among American Muslims," a state best illustrated by past, warm relations with CAIR:
"We, the undersigned American Muslims, have long known the true character of CAIR and its allies."
The FBI broke off most contacts with CAIR last summer and has indicated "certain issues" must be resolved by CAIR leaders before its access is restored. Those issues appear connected to evidence in the terror-finance trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) which ended with the conviction of five men on 108 counts related to Hamas-support last November. Sentencing is scheduled for late May.

Evidence in the trial places CAIR founders in pivotal conversations among members of a secret Hamas-support network in the U.S. Other transcripts indicate CAIR was a direct outgrowth of that network.

The advertisement It was placed by the Center for Islamic Pluralism and signed by four center officials – President Kemal Silay, Executive Director Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, fellow Imaad Malik, Nawab Agha Mousvi and Southern Director Jalal Zuberi. Joining them were Supna Zaidi, an assistant director at Islamist Watch, M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Khalim Massoud of Muslims Against Sharia, Kiran Sayyed of the Council for Democracy and Tolerance, and Shia.Protest@yahoo.com.

Under the heading "American Muslims Commend FBI for Rejection of CAIR," the group explains the reasons it supports the FBI move. Among them:
"We observe their commitment to radical aims, their attempts to chill free speech by calling critics of radical Islam "Islamophobes," and their false, ugly accusations against moderate American Muslims who disagree with their agenda.

We reject any claim that CAIR and its supporters are legitimate civil liberties advocates or appropriate partners between the U.S. government and American Muslims."
Click here to see the entire ad.

Source: IPT Blog

Latest recipient of the Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Supporters of Hamas should be:

 I am a Muslim
Left alone
Jailed until the War on Terror is over
Forever rotting in Gitmo
Shot on sight

 I am not a Muslim
Left alone
Jailed until the War on Terror is over
Forever rotting in Gitmo
Shot on sight


Judicial Nominee Says Prayers to Allah Okay, But Not to Jesus

True to his campaign promises, President Barack Hussein Obama has picked a rabid judicial activist as his first federal court pick. Judge David Hamilton has been chosen by Obama to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

Hamilton is precisely what Obama wants in a judge: Someone who ignores the Constitution and imposes his own liberal ideas on each case. Hamilton will have what Obama calls “empathy” for the poor, child molesters, abortionists, murderers, etc.

Hamilton has ideal liberal credentials. He is a former ACLU lawyer and was a fundraiser for the corrupt group known as ACORN. This organization engages in fraudulent voter registration campaigns and is deeply involved in housing and poverty issues. Obama was an attorney for ACORN when he worked as a “community organizer” in Chicago. ACORN will be gathering data for the 2010 Census.

This lawyer is so radical that the liberal ABA rated him as “not qualified” when Bill Clinton nominated him for a district court post in 1994.

As a judge, Hamilton was a friend of abortionists, criminals, drug pushers and child sex offenders. He made is easier for child sex offenders to move around Indiana by invalidating a law designed to protect children. He helps criminals by suppressing evidence and warrants. He has ruled against waiting periods for those women seeking abortions.

Hamilton is also an enemy of the First Amendment and religious freedom. Interestingly enough, Hamilton has ruled that prayers in Jesus Name at the Indiana House of Representatives was unconstitutional, but prayers to Allah were not. [MASH consider ANY government-sponsored prayer that invokes specific religion a violation of the First Amendment]

The Senate Judiciary Committee should soundly reject him as an out-of-control radical who has no respect for the Constitution or the rule of law. With a liberal majority on this committee, however, it is likely that Hamilton will be easily approved and his nomination will then go to the full Senate for confirmation. With a liberal majority in the Senate, his confirmation is virtually assured.

Hamilton’s confirmation will be one more nail in the coffin of freedom in America – and Obama will have been the hammer.

Source: TVC
H/T: Gramfan

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: Pro-Israeli Bias or Ugly Reality?


H/T: Gramfan

University of Pennslyvania Hillel Continues To Work With Hamas Supporting Muslim Students Association

By Beila Rabinowitz and William Mayer

March 26, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On April 1 the Hillel and Muslim Student Association of the University of Pennsylvania will be hosting an event titled "Shariah 101: It's contemporary applications and theological validity." The discussion will take place on the second floor of the Hillel building and in true dhimmi mode, the Hillel will be serving a Halal [Shari'a compliant] meal.

This is not the first time that the Hillel at UPenn has worked with the Muslim Student Association despite being alerted to their Islamist agenda.

As these writers have documented in U Penn's Hillel and MSA's Excellent Spring Break Interfaith Jihad Adventure UPenn has a long history of conducting harmful outreach with the MSA, damaging its own credibility in the process. Read more ...

Source: Militant Islam Monitor

Latest recipient of The Dhimmi Award

The Dhimmi Award

Supporters of Hamas should be:

 I am a Muslim
Left alone
Jailed until the War on Terror is over
Forever rotting in Gitmo
Shot on sight

 I am not a Muslim
Left alone
Jailed until the War on Terror is over
Forever rotting in Gitmo
Shot on sight


At least 20 killed in attack on Pakistan police training centre


March 30

ATTACKERS armed with guns and grenades killed at least 20 policemen at a training centre in the Pakistani city of Lahore today.

A terror attack at a police training facility in Pakistan has killed eight police officers. 03/09...
Other police officials said the number of casualties may be higher given the heavy crossfire between the attackers holed up at the training centre and paramilitary troops who fanned around the perimeter of the ground.

“The number of killed is at least 20,” police sub inspector Amjad Ahmad told AFP outside the police training ground in Manawan. “The number of casualties may be more,” said police official Rias ad Bajwa.

Television footage showed bodies of policemen lying face down on the parade ground as heavy gunfire rattled out of the training ground at Manawan outside Pakistan's cultural capital Lahore.

Paramilitary soldiers, armed and wearing flak jackets and helmets, opened fire and fanned out around the perimeter of the site, which was surrounded by scores of police cars and armoured vehicles, an AFP reporter said.

Officials in Islamabad said the interior ministry chief was locked in an emergency meeting with senior police and security officials.

The attack came weeks after another attackers armed with guns and grenades mounted a coordinated assault on Sri Lanka's touring cricket team on March 3, killing eight people and wounding seven members of the squad.

Those attackers walked away unhindered by police and authorities have not announced any high-profile arrest in connection with the assault, which has at least temporarily ended Pakistani chances of hosting international sport.

Officials said that assault bore the hallmarks of the November 2008 attack on the Indian financial capital of Mumbai, which was blamed on Pakistan-based Islamic militants and killed 165 people.

Lahore is Pakistan's second largest city and capital of wheat-bowl Punjab province which also country's political nerve centre.

Extremists opposed to the Pakistan government's decision to side with the US in its “war on terror” have carried out a series of bombings and other attacks that have killed nearly 1,700 people in less than two years.

Much of the unrest has been concentrated in northwest Pakistan, where the army has been bogged down fighting Taliban militants and al-Qa’ida extremist

On Friday, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a packaged mosque in a town in the northwestern tribal town of Jamrud, killing around 50 people.

US officials say northwest Pakistan has degenerated into a safe haven for al-Qa’ida and Taliban militants who fled the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and have regrouped to launch attacks on foreign troops across the border.

Such is the scale of extremist violence that US President Barack Obama has placed Pakistan at the heart of the fight against al-Qa’ida, tripling US aid to the nuclear-armed nation as part of a new strategy that also commits billions of dollars and thousands more troops to the Afghan war.

Mr Obama said al-Qa’ida and its allies were “a cancer that risks killing Pakistan from within” and warned Islamabad to “demonstrate its commitment” to eliminating extremists on its soil.

Last month Zardari's government suspended Punjab's provincial assembly and administration, imposing central rule after a court ruling disqualifying its chief minister Shahbaz Sharif - brother of Pakistan's opposition leader Nawaz Sharif.

The governor who assumed administrative powers shuffled the bureaucracy and police in order to establish his hold, but critics say the hurried transfers undermined the security apparatus.

Source: The Australian

Muslims Against Sharia in the Media - March '09

The IPT Blog: Muslim Coalition Supports FBI Freeze of CAIR
Human Rights Tribune: Rejection of "defamation of religions" campaign
Anglican Samizdat: Anglicans win Demented Priest Award
Pajamas Media: Vindicated By Muslims Against Sharia Law
Point de Bascule: La campagne de Muslims Against Sharia pour faire reconnaître l’"honoricide" comme un crime haineux
Pajamas Media: Islam on Trial: That’s What the Buffalo Beheading is All About
Point de Bascule: ONU - Un diplomate canadien coupe court à l’adresse de David Littman au Conseil des droits de l’homme sur l’antisémitisme dans les livres musulmans
Kavkaz Center: Al-Azhar's head Tantawi comes to an agreement with Vatican to carry out 'cleanup' of Islamic textbooks Note: Kavkaz Center is a site of Chechen Islamonazis
FrontPage Magazine: The "Egyptian-Gaza" Initiative


The Threat Of Political Islam


By Sadia Dehlvi

The trail of terror continues with cricketers as the latest target. The Mumbai and Lahore attacks, public executions and the murder of over a thousand civilians in the Swat valley by Taliban style terrorists are horrifying examples of atrocities committed by militant groups thriving on political Islam. Global Muslim communities require urgent measures in condemning the agenda of political Islam that distorts religious scriptures to legitimise violence. This ideology of Islamism is threatening to replace a moderate and spiritual Islam, leading to the destruction of society, particularly oppressing women and minorities.

Muslims have a moral responsibility to engage in the social, political and economic development of the societies they live in. Global Muslim societies would do well in following the exceptional efforts of the Indian clerics in denouncing terrorism and de linking it with Islam. Sincere moral outrage needs to be expressed at Taliban atrocities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, political kidnappings and assassinations, militancy in Kashmir, Shia Sunni killings in Iraq and Pakistan, fatwas that condone suicide bombings in the Israel Palestine conflict and other such atrocities that effect innocent lives. Muslims require the consensus of the international in combating extremism but our credibility is lost when we demonstrate selective outrage as in the aftermath of the Danish cartoons.

Political Islam draws its lifeblood from the ideology of fighting the oppressor, but has clearly become the oppressor.

Even though some Islamist groups have renounced violence and accepted the principles of democracy, marginally improved their stand on women and minority rights, they remain socially conservative. In Jordan, the Islamist party does not support the rights of women to file for divorce. In Kuwait the Islamists fought against the right of women to vote. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood will not allow a woman or a person from a minority community to become head of state. Unfortunately, militant Islamist groups thrive in the political vacuum created by oppressive regimes in most Islamic countries.

Muslims must stop blaming the problem of extremism on catastrophic foreign policies for two wrongs simply do not make a right. Islamism is primarily a Muslim problem, threatening both Muslim and non- Muslim societies. We need to acknowledge there is a problem of theology when extremists talk of going straight to heaven after taking innocent lives.

The roots of all modern militant Islamic movements can be traced to one man called Abdul Wahab from Nejd in the Arabian Peninsula. He set out to ‘purify’ Islam, believing that Muslims had drifted away from true religion. Wahab’s followers destroyed many sacred sites he considered idols. Attacking the arts for being frivolous and dangerous, Wahab sanctioned the rape; murder and plunder of those who refused to follow his injunctions. He was considered a heretic by most, for Makkah and Madinah were then centres of contemplative Islam, inhabited by Sufis from all over the world.

In 1774-5 Wahab negotiated a deal with the then nomadic tribe of Saud, forebears of the current royal family in exchange for support in their quest for political domination. Most Saudi’s reject the name Wahabbi; they either call themselves Muwahuddin- Unitarians- or Salafi, refering to salaf, the venerated companions of the Prophet. In this blinkered view, no other version of religious truth can exist. This new face of Islam has nothing to do with Sufis, music, poetry, miracles or the countless devotional customs of Muslim cultures across the world.

Under the patronage of the Saudi Arabia, Wahabism went from strength to strength. Abul Ala Mawdudi, a journalist who translated the Quran outside the paradigms of classical propagated the Wahabi ideology. He founded the political party Jamaat e Islami in Pakistan, making jihad central to Islamic discourse. Addressing non-Muslims as infidels, he grouped Muslims into ‘partial’ and ‘true’ Muslims. Mawdudi’s ideas of Islam as a revolutionary doctrine to take over governments and overturn the whole universal order deeply influenced Syed Qutub of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. These groups have been motivated by political upheavals and the rejection of traditional scholars. Syed Qutub’s brother happened to be among the teachers of Osama bin Laden.

The extremism now found in Makkah and Madinah, the heartland of Islam, is the Wahabi ideology that the Saudis have spent millions in promoting through their outreach programs. There is no tolerance for Shias, Sunni Sufis or other Muslim traditions, leave alone non -Muslims. Unfortunately, there is no collective Muslim protest against the Saudi regime for bulldozing graveyards, destroying cultural and religious heritage in the holy cities, imposing a certain sexual segregation of the sexes inside the Prophets mosque at Madinah, radical sermons, or the distribution of radical literature outside Saudi mosques, many of them issuing calls for death to whoever they view as infidels or innovators of Islam. The problem of Muslim extremism began in the Muslim world and the responsibility of resolving it lies with us.

The inability to present a picture of Islam as a peaceful religion is a collective failure of global Muslim communities. We could begin with increasing the decibel in condemning violence, sectarianism, standing up for the rights of women, stop demonising the other as kufaar (infidels) and show increased support for democratic movements in Muslim countries. It is time for the devout, silent peace-loving Muslim majority to speak for Islam. Let us become louder than the radical voices that claim to represent us.

Sadia Dehlvi is a Delhi based writer and author of the forthcoming book, “Sufism: The Heart of Islam” published by HarperCollins India.

Source: Indian Muslims

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Paul Sheehan: Islamophobia is a fabrication

Paul Sheehan | March 30

I've been considering a request from a post-graduate student who wants to do a thesis on Islamophobia in Australia. She writes: "I am researching the topic Islamophobia, and I am trying to prove whether Islamophobia is based on religion fear or cultural fear of Islam."

What about proving that Islamophobia exists at all? That would be the logical, ethical and scholarly starting point. But it appears the outcome has already been decided. This would fit the prevailing orthodoxy in academia that the default position for Muslims in Australia is victim. The jargon, "Islamophobia" is part of this ideological construct. Literally, it means fear of Muslims.

I reflected on all this while on holiday in Malaysia and the Maldives last week. This was my twelfth visit to Muslim societies because I do not "fear" Muslims and do not "fear" Islam. Yes, there is ample evidence that Australians have become uneasy about Muslims in general and hostile in specific cases, but this is about cause and effect.

Consider the series of blows to the image of Muslims in just the past three weeks, where the everyday decency of the majority have been collaterally damaged by the antics of the few.

On March 8, the night of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, police say a group of about 100 young Muslim men, allegedly members of a loose gang called MBM - Muslim Brotherhood Movement - moved through the centre of the city intimidating, harassing and beating bystanders.

On March 15, Abdul Darwiche was murdered, shot to death in a shopping centre in the latest hyper-violence involving two warring Lebanese Muslim clans. Police later arrested Darwiche's brother, Michael, for driving around with a loaded pistol. A third brother, Adnan, appeared in the NSW Supreme Court three years ago to be sentenced for a double murder. He and his fellow accused, Nasaem El-Zeyat and Ramzi Aouad, laughed and joked, going out of their way to express their contempt for Australian law. After the three men were all given life sentences they shouted "God is great!" This was the same Adnan Darwiche who purchased rocket launchers stolen from the Australian Army, which have never been recovered.

Hundreds of mourners attended Abdul Darwiche's funeral at the Lakemba Mosque, where, within days, Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly was involved in yet another controversy. Channel Nine obtained a copy of a video surveillance tape which shows the former mufti of Australia kicking in a door, then returning soon after in the company of police. Apparently he called police over vandalism which he committed, blaming others who are engaged in a power struggle at the mosque. Sheik Hilaly has been embroiled repeatedly in controversy and provocation, making numerous inflammatory remarks about Australia and Australians.

A few days later, yet another rape sentence was handed down to one of the K brothers, three of whom, during their various trials for gang rape, claimed they were victims of an anti-Muslim conspiracy. Between them, four K brothers have been convicted of gang-raping five girls.

This sentencing followed closely on the conviction of seven Sydney schoolboys for the aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in a toilet block in Yagoona in 2007. According to police, the ring-leader was on his phone speaking in Arabic during the assaults and most or all of the boys are of Muslim background.

If this is so, these latest convictions produce a morbid tally of more than 30 young Muslim men involved in serious proven sexual assaults of non-Muslim girls in Sydney, involving the Skaf brothers, the K brothers, the E-M cousins, the Yagoona schoolboys and various others. Because sexual assault is the least reported crime (about 15 per cent of incidents are reported to police) this particular phenomenon was certainly much broader.

Finally, there has been fatal violence between bikie gangs, accompanied by news that there has been an infusion of young Muslim men into the bikie culture. There is now warring between new gangs and traditional Anglo criminal gangs for control of the drug and protection markets. Gang leaders named Mahmoud and Hassan and Ismail have been prominent. Gangs like MBM, Notorious and Asesinoz have flaunted their ethnicity. Overtly racist videos have been posted on YouTube, such as the message that "Asesinoz is now targeting Aussies", with an image of a vandalised Australian flag.

The events of the past week have been a variation on a theme police have been dealing with for years. It erupted spectacularly in 2005 when a self-styled "intifada" by armed Muslim men, travelling in convoys, staged numerous co-ordinated assaults across the eastern beach suburbs of Sydney. The attacks were in response to the most notorious case of anti-Muslim feeling in Australia, the Cronulla riot in December, 2005. The roots of this demonstration was the failure of the police, who for years had preferred to pretend the problem did not exist.

Given the abundant evidence of violent cause and fearful effect, involving a small percentage of antagonists, the general charge of Islamophobia is an ideological fabrication.

As for the criminal gangs, for more than 10 years I have argued that Australia needed anti-gang laws similar to the RICO laws (racketeering influenced corrupt organisations) used in the United States, which smashed the code of silence and solidarity by criminal gangs. Finally, the state Labor Government has begun to stir on this issue.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

British donations funding hate education in Palestine

By Houriya Ahmed

A new report by the Taxpayer's Alliance, Palestinian Hate Education Since Annapolis, shows how £100 million of taxpayer's money donated by the British government to the Palestinian Territories in 2007 supports organisations that propagates hate education.

The Palestinian Authority, responsible for disseminating the aid, has funded, for example, media outlets, such as newspapers, radio stations and TV channels. These media outlets have broadcasted statements that have encouraged the continuation of violence instead of peace.

One such broadcast is: "Palestine is our dream. Brothers, Oh Fatah's loyal masses the land is thirsty [for martyr blood] [...] Jaffa, Haifa and Acre are calling. Ramallah.. Nablus and Gaza: "When will we meet and break the chains?" To Jerusalem march millions of Martyrs"

The Taxpayers Alliance says that there is a responsibility to make sure British taxpayers are not being misused by the Palestinian Authority. Read more ...

Source: CSC

I was a victim of libel tourism

Free Speech

The net has extended the global reach of published material, but writers are finding their right to free speech has been curtailed

By Rachel Ehrenfeld

Sitting at my desk on 23 January 2004, I was interrupted by an email from a law firm in London. It was a letter threatening to sue me for libel in a British court, for statements made in my book, Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop It, about their client, Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz.

The letter claimed Mahfouz denied allegations in my book that he "knowingly" funded al-Qaida and other Muslim terrorist organisations.

Mahfouz's lawyers demanded my public apology, retraction, removing my book from circulation, legal fees and a donation to a charity of Mahfouz's choice. This was followed by further correspondence and then legal papers were served.

As an American citizen, I refused to recognise the British court's jurisdiction over me. I did not believe that I had to defend myself in a country where I do not live, and where my book was not published or marketed. Besides the cost would have been prohibitive. Read more ...

Source: The Guardian

Police identify 200 children as potential terrorists

Drastic new tactics to prevent school pupils as young as 13 falling into extremism

By Mark Hughes

Two hundred schoolchildren in Britain, some as young as 13, have been identified as potential terrorists by a police scheme that aims to spot youngsters who are "vulnerable" to Islamic radicalisation.

The number was revealed to The Independent by Sir Norman Bettison, the chief constable of West Yorkshire Police and Britain's most senior officer in charge of terror prevention.

He said the "Channel project" had intervened in the cases of at least 200 children who were thought to be at risk of extremism, since it began 18 months ago. The number has leapt from 10 children identified by June 2008.

The programme, run by the Association of Chief Police Officers, asks teachers, parents and other community figures to be vigilant for signs that may indicate an attraction to extreme views or susceptibility to being "groomed" by radicalisers. Sir Norman, whose force covers the area in which all four 7 July 2005 bombers grew up, said: "What will often manifest itself is what might be regarded as racism and the adoption of bad attitudes towards 'the West'. Read more ...

Source: The Independent
H/T: Jihad Watch

Child Abuse: Islamist Indoctrination

H/T: Jihad Watch

Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) slams warrant for Sudan's Beshir

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - The Organisation of the Islamic Conference has slammed the international arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir for alleged war crimes in conflict-ravaged Darfur.

In a statement after a meeting of the OIC executive committee at the United Nations on Friday, the Saudi-based grouping condemned the International Criminal Court action of March 4 as "unwarranted, totally unacceptable."

The ICC move would "not only undermine the ongoing efforts aimed at facilitating the early resolution of the conflict in Darfur and promote long lasting peace and reconciliation in the Sudan, but also lead to destabilisation of the country and the region," it said. Read more ...

Source: AFP
H/T: Jihad Watch

Pakistan: Christians face discrimination, persecution under Sharia

ISTANBUL, March 27 (Compass Direct News) – Just over a month since Pakistan’s fertile Swat Valley turned into a Taliban stronghold where sharia (Islamic law) rules, the fate of the remaining Christians in the area is uncertain.

Last month, in an effort to end a bloody two-year battle, the Islamabad administration struck a deal with Taliban forces surrendering all governance of Swat Valley in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Sources told Compass that after the violence that has killed and displaced hundreds, an estimated 500 Christians remain in the area. Traditionally these have been low-skilled workers, but younger, more educated Christians work as nurses, teachers and in various other professions.

The sole Church of Pakistan congregation in Swat, consisting of 40 families, has been renting space for nearly 100 years. The government has never given them permission to buy land in order to build a church building. Read more ...

Source: Compass Direct News
H/T: Jihad Watch

Muslim Women in U.S. Struggle to Balance Western Freedoms and Islamic Culture

Muslim Women

By Ruth Ravve

DEARBORN, Mich. — The "call to prayer" is a sound heard five times a day in this city, but this is not the Middle East. It’s Dearborn, Michigan — which has the largest Arab-American population in the U.S.

Like other immigrant groups, many came here years ago in search of a better life. In the past few decades, the auto industry needed workers, so Michigan became a top destination.

Over time, thousands of the Muslim faithful from around the world settled here, opening shops and restaurants and turning Dearborn into a heavily Muslim-influenced community, replete with mosques in every section of town and traditional foods from places like Pakistan and Syria.

But while there are plenty of comforts from their home countries, Muslim women say they’re constantly caught balancing their lives between the freedoms they have in Western culture and the restrictions they face from religious and societal pressure. They worry about whether they’re following the habits of "a good Muslim woman."

Zeinab Fakhreddine, a Lebanese-American woman raised in Dearborn, walks down the street wearing a traditional two-piece suit and a Muslim headscarf, called a hijab. The scarf covers her hair and tightly frames her face. She says the hijab was designed as a way to honor women in Islam, by concealing their beauty.

In her community, she says, so many women are dressed this way, nobody looks twice at her. "It's kind of like a comfort zone in Dearborn, but when you leave here, it kind of becomes very different."

Outside Dearborn, it's a different story.

Despite the fact that Islamic groups are growing in major cities in the U.S., many Muslim women living here say assimilating into Western culture is still very difficult.

Many of the immigrant women come to the United States from Muslim countries where they have few rights. Women are not allowed to drive cars or keep their own passports in Saudi Arabia, for example. It is very difficult for a woman to go to school or even leave her home without a male relative escorting her in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In fact, life for Muslim women in the U.S. is so different that they say they're not sure whether to accept the sudden opportunities they have here, or reject them for fear that it doesn't fit within their religious followings.

"In our religion it's forbidden to listen to music and there’s some areas that we stay away from ... because we don’t listen to music," said Fakhreddine.

Also under Islam, it's acceptable for a man to have up to four wives at a time. While that's illegal in the United States, Islamic leaders say the religion designates the man as the head of the household.

"The big decisions are from the husband. Actually, we have to discuss everything with them," says Umia Mustafa, who moved here from Pakistan 10 years ago, after her parents arranged her marriage to a Pakistani man already living here.

She says in her religion, no matter where it’s practiced, there's no question who is in charge.

And sometimes clashes of cultures can have deadly consequences.

Last month, Buffalo resident Aasiya Hassan, 37, was found decapitated after she had been complaining to police about domestic violence. Her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, was charged with the crime.

While Muslim leaders caution against stereotypes and point out that domestic violence happens in all cultures, some women's rights leaders worry that Islam is being used to justify violence against women.

"The typical Muslim man, they always are very overprotective, they're very controlling over the women. They're not allowed to do this, they're not allowed to do that," says 23-year-old Fai Oman, who was born in Yemen.

She says she feels lucky to be living in the West because she has more freedom and security than she would have in her home country.

Taking on Western viewpoints and a less traditional look makes Oman stand out in the typical female Muslim community. She dresses in jeans and a low-cut sweater. Her dark hair is highlighted with blonde streaks, and her eyes are colored with bright blue shadow.

Some Islamic leaders fear women like Oman will become more common and that Western culture will have too much influence over generations of Muslim women who grow up and live in America.

"It does worry me because it's improper behavior [that] does lead to ... harm to the female," said Yemen native Sakainah Faleh, a teacher who tutors young Muslim girls in the proper ways of Islam.

She's concerned about Muslim women straying too far from the religion, she says.

But Muslim leaders like Amina Aharif, from the Council on American Islamic relations (CAIR), say that with so many women coming here from multiple Muslim countries, there are already different viewpoints and traditions influencing them.

Each comes to the United States with her own versions of cultural and religious practices, she adds.

"Just like America is a melting pot for people from all over the world, it is a melting pot for Muslims from all over the world," said Aharif. "It is such a diverse community."

Source: FoxNews

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The rise and rise of new gangs

Les Kennedy | March 29

THEY call themselves MBM - the Muslim Brotherhood Movement - a gang of 600 men who boast they are the toughest and best young street fighters of Middle Eastern descent in Sydney.

MBM claims to be the biggest of four new gangs to emerge on Sydney streets in the past year. Its numbers rival those of the state's largest bikie gang, the Rebels.

The sudden appearance of MBM, with its growing membership recruited predominantly from the city's south-western suburbs, has alarmed senior police already battling to combat open warfare among outlaw motorbike gangs.

Even hardened private security guards have expressed concern to police about the indiscriminate "punch and run" tactics of MBM members who, in the past two weeks, have arrived in large numbers at city nightclub venues and who walk the streets in intimidating mobs. But the objectives of MBM - its emblem features two crossed pistols and a hand grenade - and its leadership remain unclear to officers of both the Organised Crime and Gang Squad and Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad.

Police say that a fortnight ago MBM members embarked upon a campaign of random assaults on men who crossed the path of a mob of about 100 toughs stalking Darlinghurst and Kings Cross during the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

A week ago about 30 MBM members intimidated private security guards at government car auctions at Smithfield.

The emergence of MBM also coincides with the rise of two other urban Sydney gangs - the Parra Boyz or Asesinoz MC and Brothers For Life or BFL.

Police say BFL - with a logo featuring crossed machine-guns - is not dissimilar to MBM in its extremist views, but membership numbers are unknown. Police describe Asesinoz, comprising teenagers of Middle Eastern decent, as "tough kids" who use the video-sharing website YouTube to promote Islamic extremism and anti-Australian actions such as flag burning.

The group, which recently changed its name from the Parra Boyz, has more than 40 members, some of whom are known to police for committing acts of violence and vandalism.

Its creation follows that of the Notorious bikie gang, comprising members of Middle Eastern and Pacific Islander extraction, more than a year ago after a split in the membership of the Nomads motorcycle club.

Notorious members, who police allege are engaged in a series of tit-for-tat drive-by shootings on members of rival club the Bandidos in western Sydney, declared they will not be stood over by other gangs.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Melanie Phillips: The real lobby and its acolytes

27th March

Those who are regularly left open-mouthed at the way in which the British media puts across an overwhelmingly Arab narrative about Israel and the Middle East, transmitting lies and distortions as facts and reversing victim and victimiser to present Israel as the regional aggressor and the Palestinians as their targets, may well also scratch their heads at being told with monotonous regularity that ‘the Jews control the media’.

Well now Arab Media Watch lifts a curtain to show us the real lobby at work. It boasts:

Some 200 guests gathered at Kensington's Royal Garden Hotel on 21 March 2009 to attend Arab Media Watch’s fifth annual fundraising dinner, and to mark its ninth anniversary. Among the guests were almost three-dozen senior journalists from the BBC, Al Jazeera English, Financial Times, Reuters, Daily Mail, Independent, Asharq Al Awsat, Al Quds Al Arabi, Al Hayat and others.

The evening began with a welcome speech by AMW chairman Sharif Hikmat Nashashibi, who outlined the extensive work done by the organisation during and since Israel's invasion of Gaza, including:

- forcing the media to correct factual errors
- meeting with editors and journalists
- providing them with information
- being interviewed by them or arranging interviews for them
- getting letters and articles published
- being quoted and cited in articles
- publishing studies, press releases and Action Alerts
- organising and speaking at events
- helping university students and researchers

‘All this was done,’ Nashashibi reminded the audience, ‘while continuing our work on media portrayals of the entire Arab world, a huge but vital task undertaken on a budget that’s dwarfed by that of the pro-Israel lobbies.’ He added: ‘We've proven the sceptics wrong for the last nine years, establishing ourselves as a credible, professional, dynamic organisation with the recognition, respect and support of much of the British media, and high-level contacts in every news organisation…AMW is making a considerable and invaluable difference, and wants to continue doing so.’

Here are some of the ‘factual errors’ that on its website AMW has tried to correct:

  • The ‘myth that Hamas is out to destroy Israel
  • The ‘myth that Palestinian rockets are a grave threat to Israeli civilians’
  • The ‘myth that five Arab armies tried to wipe out Israel in 1948: ‘Strictly speaking, therefore, the Arab states did not launch a war against Israel, but undertook an armed intervention which was both lawful and justified.’

On and on its goes, lie after smear after brazen lie. And now just look at how, as AMW goes on to detail, the British media fawned over these purveyors of gross and inflammatory untruths:

Ian Black, the Guardian’s Middle East editor, was unable to speak at the dinner due to illness, but he wrote a statement of support that Nashashibi read out. ‘I'd like briefly to pay tribute to the work of AMW,’ the statement began.

‘For anyone in the British media writing about the Middle East or the wider Arab world, AMW - very ably run by Sharif Nashashibi - has become a force to be reckoned with. It has served notice that inaccuracy, misrepresentation, half-truths and prejudice are simply not acceptable - and has done much to monitor and combat them.’

Black continued: ‘AMW has played an especially important role on Iraq and Palestine. Its work on the Gaza war was both combative and effective. Its letters to editors, op-ed articles and complaints about biased or misleading coverage have become part of the landscape.’

He added: ‘To some extent AMW has filled the gap left by the failures of the Palestinians and Arab governments to state their case as effectively as they could and should've done. That's especially true with regard to the Arab Peace Initiative, which surely remains the only workable basis for a just and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.’

Black concluded: ‘The work of AMW is necessary, courteous and professional. I commend it to you wholeheartedly.’

The next speaker was Barbara Serra, presenter for Al Jazeera English (formerly with the BBC, Sky News and Channel 5), whose introduction was followed by projected footage of her heated interview of Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev during the Gaza invasion.

‘It's easy to forget, when one works closely with and in the Middle East, how little knowledge the general public across the world often has about the issues behind the continuing tensions, from the illegal occupation in the West Bank to the continuing expansion of settlements there,’she said.

‘That's why the work of AMW is so invaluable. They don't just fight against prejudice and distortion in the media, but also highlight inaccuracies which, if left unchecked, would only reinforce the misconceptions many hold towards the Arab world.’

A performance by comedian Ian Stone was followed by the presentation of AMW's annual award for excellence in journalism to world-renowned reporter, author and documentary filmmaker John Pilger, whose daughter Zoe accepted the award and read out a statement by him.

‘This is an honour I very much appreciate, and I send warm thanks from Australia to all of you at AMW, ‘he wrote. ‘I pay tribute tonight to AMW, and to Al Jazeera, and to all the courageous Arab journalists who have brought us the truth...’ Attendees watched clips of Pilger’s documentaries ‘Breaking the Silence: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror’ and ‘Palestine is Still the Issue.’

A three-course dinner was then served, with Arabic music in the background, quotes from the night's speakers projected on screen, and a raffle and auction which included five-star holidays, paintings by renowned Arab artists, and antique Arab furniture.

Peter Oborne, political columnist at the Daily Mail and contributing editor at the Spectator, was unable to speak at the dinner because he had to travel unexpectedly to Afghanistan, but he wrote a message of support that Nashashibi read out:

‘The most noble purpose of journalism is to tell the truth and expose falsehood. Too often, British journalism achieves the exact opposite. It tells lies and glorifies falsehood. That's why the work of AMW is so important. It sets out to combat the climate of deception that dominates too much of our reporting.’

And here is more feedback from AMW’s grateful media client base:

‘Thank you…We did enjoy it.’ - Financial Times / Reuters

‘Many thanks for inviting me. I enjoyed it.’ - The Independent

‘I enjoyed the programme and the company of your nice guests.’ - BBC

‘Thank you very much for the invitation. I wish you all the success you deserve.’ - BBC

‘Thank you very much for the invitation. I really enjoyed the annual dinner. It was refreshing. It was, as before, perfectly organised…’ – BBC

‘Thank you so much for your generous invitation…The event was wonderful and the presentation was flawless…Best wishes for continued success…’ – BBC.

Source: The Spectator

Do Current Islamic Scholars Advocate Forced Marriage of Children?

Child Bride
Are there current materials in the mosques and Islamic bookstores that still advocate men to marry (sexually abuse) young girls?

By Dave Gaubatz

The topic of Prophet Mohammad being a “pedophile” has been hashed out in media forums for years. My personal opinion is that when a 54-year-old man marries a 6-year-old girl, he is a pedophile, regardless if it were 1,400 years ago or today. Islamic scholars, Muslim organizations, liberals, politicians, and many of our law enforcement managers justify the sexual abuse because Mohammad lived 1,400 years ago and “things were different then.”

Although I can’t give anyone who marries a 6-year-old a benefit of the doubt, billions of people throughout the world do. I will simply ask the question that if Prophet Mohammad is allegedly the man of great character, moral standing, and a “religious” leader who is supposed to be an example for Muslim men to follow, is it possible some of them still adhere to marrying young children? Are there current materials in the mosques and Islamic bookstores that still advocate men to marry (sexually abuse) young girls? For this article I will use only current statements from Islamic literature distributed and used to teach their worshippers the “Pure Islam” as preached by Islamic scholars now in every city throughout America. I will not use the Koran as reference, because it makes it too easy for Islamic scholars and liberals to say it is “1,400 hundred years old.” Therefore, I will stick to other materials used at Sunni mosques in 2009. Read more ...

Source: FSM

Should there be a minimum age for marriage?

 I am a Muslim
No, setting minimum age for marriage is against Sharia
Yes, Sharia should be ignored (at least in this case)

 I am not a Muslim
No, every culture should have its own rules
Yes, pedophilia must not be justified by religion or tradition


Taliban and al-Qaeda 'must be stopped'

Bin Laden
March 28

President Barack Obama has escalated war efforts in Afghanistan, thrusting more troops and billions of dollars into the campaign.

Obama vowed to win the conflict being waged by al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying the situation is 'increasingly perilous' and warning terror groups they face defeat.

The US moves were welcomed by allies ahead of an international conference on Afghanistan in The Hague next week.

Britain is reportedly preparing a troop increase in Afghanistan and Russia said it's ready to step up cooperation with NATO in the country. EU countries said they could increase civilian help.

'Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al-Qaeda is actively planning attacks on the US homeland from its safe-haven in Pakistan,' Obama said in a televised speech on Friday announcing a review of the war.

'We have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan and to prevent their return to either country in the future,' he said.

The president said 4,000 more US troops will be sent to Afghanistan to train the army and police - on top of an extra 17,000 combat forces already authorised - and aid to Pakistan will be tripled to $US7.5 billion ($A10.65 billion) over five years.

'Make no mistake, al-Qaeda and its extremist allies are a cancer that risks killing Pakistan from within,' he said, hours after a suicide bomb at a mosque in Pakistan killed more than 50 people and wounded 50 more.

But he warned Pakistan must play a more active role in eliminating militant groups. 'After years of mixed results, we will not and cannot provide a blank cheque.'

Obama also called on US global partners to join his push to send more civilian and development workers to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan embraced the US strategy. 'We agree with the contents of his speech,' President Hamid Karzai's chief spokesman, Homayun Hamidzada, told AFP.

'We particularly appreciate the recognition that the al-Qaeda threat mainly emanates from Pakistan and it poses a danger to Afghanistan and our international friends here,' he said.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari also backed Obama's 'initiatives to strengthen democracy', Pakistan's state media reported.

Following reports that more US missile strikes on Pakistan militant targets could be part of the tactics, Pakistan's foreign ministry had earlier asked Washington to reconsider.

'Pakistan's concerns in this regard have been conveyed to the US government at the highest level,' foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said.

US officials said they expect to secure pledges for additional military help in Afghanistan when Obama presents the strategy at the NATO alliance annual summit on the France-Germany border.

Britain's chief of staff, General Richard Dannatt, told The Times that troops from Britain's 12 Mechanised Brigade have been 'earmarked' for Afghanistan.

He said there are no plans to send all the brigade's 4,000 troops to join the 8,000 British troops already there. The Times cited defence sources as saying 1,700 to 2,000 extra troops are seen as 'the uppermost ceiling'.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has 60,000 troops and there are another 10,000 US forces not under NATO command.

At a conference in Moscow on Afghanistan attended by both the United States and Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country is prepared to expand cooperation with NATO.

Moscow has already allowed the transit of non-lethal material through its territory. 'We are ready to examine other kinds of constructive cooperation,' he said.

The Moscow meeting's participants emphasised 'the need for sustained international support to strengthen Afghan security institutions to effectively combat the scourges of terrorism and production and trafficking of narcotics'.

European foreign ministers said they are ready to increase civilian action in Afghanistan, to support the US strategy. 'We are always prepared to do more,' Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country holds the EU presidency, said at a ministerial meeting.

EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said more financial aid to Afghanistan will be announced at The Hague meeting on Tuesday.

Source: SkyNews

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