Thursday, April 30, 2009

The American Fight for Free Speech

Geert Wilders

Freedom of expression is under attack. This is a theme I am addressing here in America this week as part of the Free Speech Summit being held in Florida under the sponsorship of the Florida Security Council. And it is clear that a serious discussion of the threats to our freedoms in the West cannot come too soon.

For example, my friend Rep. Adam Hasner, the majority leader of the Florida House of Representatives was attacked in a press release issued by the national office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday for daring to appear at a private event with me this past weekend. Because of that appearance, CAIR is demanding that Rep. Hasner step down or be removed from his position.

This attack on a friend and fellow legislator is of grave concern to me. CAIR’s assault on Rep. Hasner strikes at the very heart of our most basic freedoms. In fact, it is but the latest episode in that organization’s long-running and determined effort to silence its critics. Indeed, CAIR seeks to suppress all those who dare to challenge the theo-political-legal program that authoritative Islam calls “Shariah.” In so doing, they are seeking to impose what amount to Shariah blasphemy codes.

It is especially important to note that Adam Hasner is not only being attacked for comments he made that are deemed offensive by those who seek to impose Shariah in America. His career is now being threatened for comments made by others in his presence – in this case, by me. Thus the Islamists are infringing not only on this country’s constitutionally protected freedom of expression but also freedom of association. Read more....

Source: Islam Watch

Geert Wilders
Latest recipient of The MASH Award

MASH Award

Rally for Human Rights - Sunday, May 3rd - Times Square



New York, New York, April 29, 2009 -- Times Square in Manhattan will be the site of a mass gathering of human rights leaders and organizations this coming Sunday, May 3rd, at noon. The gathering will call for defeat of radical Islam and heighten awareness about the danger radical Islam poses to human rights across the globe.

The "Rally for Human Rights and Freedom," will be attended by Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim leaders and organizations. Sponsored by the Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam (HRCARI) and dozens of other partner organizations, the event will feature a special ceremony to honor the US Military, Homeland Security, police, firefighters, emergency workers and others who have defended the United States from terror. Peter Gadiel of the 9/11 Families.who lost his son on 9/11 will be present, as will a retired NYC police officer who lost his son-in-law on 9/11.

The May 3rd event will mark the kick-off event for a new grassroots global action network that is taking on the fight against Radical Islam. A HRCARI spokesperson notes, “As part of this initiative, we intend to educate elected officials to helps prevent the spread of Shariah Islamic law. We will work to publicize the threat of Radical Islamic terrorist groups and their allies, and endeavor to protect the right to freedom of religion, and freedom of speech in the face of those who seek to silence advocates of human rights against the threat of Radical Islam.”

HRCARI believes that Radical Islam is a worldwide threat against commonly accepted human rights and is the most urgent topic of our generation.

The HRCARI rally coalition (still in formation) includes the 911 Families, ACT Manhattan, Aish Center, Americans for a Safe Israel, Alliance for Interfaith Resistance, AMCHA-Coalition for Jewish Concerns, Americans for Peace & Tolerance, American Center for Democracy, Arabs for Israel, Atlas Shrugs, Chinese Community Relations Council, The David Project, Fordham University School of Law's National Security and Law Society, Foundation Nepalese, Gathering of Eagles-NY, Hindu Human Rights Watch, Indian American Intellectuals Forum International Foundation of Bangladeshi Hindus, Iraq Model, Israpundit, Jewish Action Alliance, Mothers Against Terrorism, Muslims Against Sharia, Namdari Sikh Foundation, R.E.A.L Courage, Sikh Recognition Trust, Snapped Shot, StandWithUS, Sudan Freedom Walk, Women United: Code Red, Zionist Organization of America.

Source: The Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam
H/T: Ted Belman

Meet Your New Neighbors: Islamic Radicals from Gitmo

Jihadists are about to be freed and transplanted to American towns — maybe even yours.

By David J. Rusin

Scan any list of the most tasteless television series ever produced and you are bound to stumble across the 1990 British sitcom Heil Honey I’m Home! A spoof of 1950s-era comedies, the show depicts Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun enjoying a life of suburban bliss — until they begin tangling with their Jewish neighbors. Public outrage condemned it to the ash heap after just one episode.

What premise could spark a similar firestorm in 2009? Perhaps some crass young screenwriter drawing inspiration from his forebears might propose a series about Islamic jihadists, freshly released from a high-security American jail, who move to suburbia and find themselves face to face with Jews or liberated women — or, Allah forbid, liberated Jewish women — in the house next door. Oh, the zany adventures they could have on Heil Honey I’m Home (from Gitmo)! Read more ...

Source: Pajamas Media

Obama Administration
Latest recipient of The Dhimmi Award

The Dhimmi Award

'Gang of barbarians' go on trial for Paris torture and murder of Jewish man

A gang of 28 Muslims known as 'the barbarians' go on trial today accused of the 24-day torture and murder of a young Jewish man that appalled France due to its brutality and apparent anti-Semitism.

Ilan Halimi
By Henry Samuel in Paris | 28 April

Ilan Halimi: The 23-year-old was in a state of shock and unable to talk, his body covered with burns, cuts and bruises, and he died en route to hospital.

Ilan Halimi was lured into a honey trap, kidnapped and tortured for three weeks, before being found naked and handcuffed to a tree near a railway track in February 2006.

The 23-year-old was in a state of shock and unable to talk, his body covered with burns, cuts and bruises, and he died en route to hospital.

The alleged gang leader, Youssouf Fofana, and 26 others are to answer various charges during the trial, which will be held behind closed doors before a Paris juvenile court because two defendants were minors at the time of the crime.

Prosecutors describe Mr Fofana, 28, as a "perverted megalomaniac" bent on kidnapping Jews for ransom "because they are loaded with dough" and "stick together". He escaped to the Ivory Coast shortly after the murder but was arrested and extradited to France.

Also known as "Ossama" and "Mohammed", Mr Fofana initially admitted to the murder but has since changed his story several times, often lapsing into unintelligible anti-Semitic rants. He has switched lawyers almost 40 times and has already served a one-year jail sentence for insulting officers and a judge.

The French-born son of Ivorian immigrants is the only defendant facing a life sentence, while 15 others are facing charges of kidnapping and sequestering.

As the gang's alleged ringleader, he is accused of stabbing Mr Halimi and dousing his body with rubbing alcohol before setting him alight because the victim "looked at him in the eyes" before he was let go.

Several other defendants are friends and family members of the gang, who come from the Paris suburbs and who are being prosecuted for having failed to report an offence.

Mr Halimi went missing on January 20, 2006 while on a date with a 17-year old girl he had met at the mobile phone store where he worked near République, central Paris.

It is alleged the girl turned out to be an accomplice of Mr Fofana and part of a well-prepared plot to lure him to a basement of a building in a Paris suburb. There, he was attacked, subdued with ether, handcuffed and his feet and mouth bound with tape.

He was moved to an empty apartment in the Paris suburb of Bagneux. Mr Fofana demanded 450,000 euros from his family. Photographs showing the hostage blindfolded and gaunt, and an audio message of the hostage pleading for his life were released by his captors. A videotaped plea was also sent to the captive's parents.

When no ransom was forthcoming, Mr Fofana's accomplices turned against the gang leader, arguing the kidnapping had gone far enough, say prosecutors.

On February 13, Mr Fofana told them he planned to release Mr Halimi, who was loaded into the trunk of a stolen car. Three hours later, a train driver spotted his nude body next to the railroad tracks and alerted police.

He died on the way to hospital. The then president, Jacques Chirac, met the parents and promised to bring the culprits to justice.

The victim's mother has accused police of having botched the investigation by ruling out anti-Semitism as a factor in the crime. "If Ilan wasn't Jewish, he wouldn't have been killed," she claimed.

Ruth Halimi is expected to urge the court to open the hearings to the public today to provide a full accounting of her son's death.

But Michel Wieviorka, the author of a book on anti-Semitism in France, said: "The motive was money first and anti-Semitism was an additional factor. But at the outset, it was not aimed at expressing hatred toward Jews."

Prosecutors believe the gang had used women to lure nine other men in the kidnapping scheme but that these attempts failed. The "Barbarians" also tried to racketeer several doctors and company bosses.

All deny murder.

Source: Telegraph UK

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Greg Sheridan: Pakistan must be saved from collapse


Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor | April 30,

KEVIN Rudd rightly linked Australia's increased troop commitment to Afghanistan with a desire to ensure the viability of the Pakistani state. He identified this as a vital interest for Australia. Like US President Barack Obama, Rudd has appointed a special envoy -- in this case former Defence Department head Ric Smith -- for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

That Rudd questions the viability of the Pakistani state should alert Australians to the perfect storm of trouble in Pakistan today. It is the worst and most dangerous security situation in the world, albeit with strong competition from Iran and with North Korea putting in a serious effort. Don't think I'm being alarmist. Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress that the security situation in Pakistan "poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world". She added: "The Pakistani Government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and the extremists ... we cannot underscore the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan."

Bear in mind that Pakistan is a nation of 170 million people and possesses 75 to 100 nuclear weapons. The Pakistani state is under assault from the Pakistani Taliban, allied with the Afghan Taliban and with al-Qa'ida. It is also under assault from other Islamist and terrorist groups, many of which it originally created or funded (just as it was involved in the founding of the Afghan Taliban) in order to harass India.

In the past few days the Pakistani military has hit back at the Taliban who had taken control of the Swat Valley and moved to within 80km of the capital, Islamabad.

This is not entirely removed from a situation of civil war. The fighting has been pretty indiscriminate and 30,000 Pakistani civilians have fled their homes, many taking shelter in camps that once housed Afghan refugees.

One of the finest analysts of South Asian security, Gopalaswamy Parthasarathy, a former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan, told me this week: "There is a serious concern about whether the Pakistani army is going to defend the state apparatus of Pakistan." More...

Source: The Australian

Obama: Bond with Israel 'unshakable'

The US bond with Israel is "as unshakable as ever" as both nations pursue peace, US President Barack Obama said on Israel's 61st birthday.

Obama with then-opposition...

Obama with then-opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, July 2008.
Photo: AP

"On behalf of the people of the United States, President Obama congratulates the people and government of Israel on the 61st anniversary of Israel's independence," said the statement issued Tuesday by the White House.

"The United States was the first country to recognize Israel in 1948, minutes after its declaration of independence, and the deep bonds of friendship between the US and Israel remain as strong and unshakable as ever.

"The president looks forward to working with Israel to advance our common interests, including the realization of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, ensuring Israel's security, and strengthening the bilateral relationship, over the months and years to come," the statement continued.

Obama is scheduled to meet President Shimon Peres in Washington next week.

Peres will be the first Israeli leader to be hosted by the new president, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pushed back his inaugural visit to Washington until mid-May.

Source: Jerusalem Post


Russian navy captures 29 Somali pirates

Russian Navy

April 29

A RUSSIAN naval destroyer has seized 29 suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia, the defence ministry said, according to Russian news agencies.

“The Admiral Panteleev (destroyer) captured Tuesday at 1412 GMT a boat carrying pirates. In total, 29 people were arrested,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Seven Kalachnikov machine-guns, handguns of different calibres, equipment including satellite navigation devices and a large number of empty shells were discovered on board the boat,” the ministry said, adding that an investigation has been opened.

These arrests would dwarf the numbers seized in other recent operations by international military forces patrolling the waters off the Gulf of Aden in the last year.

The question of where any eventual trial for the 29 might take place will also come to the fore.

Trials relating to a spiralling upsurge in pirate attacks in the region over the last year are largely being hosted by Kenya, following agreements with the European Union, the US and Britain.

Eleven Somalis are currently awaiting trial in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa for piracy after their high-seas arrest by the French navy deny.

But a Somali teenager captured by US forces in a high-seas drama is to stand trial in New York on piracy charges - the first in the US for a century - that could put him in jail for life.

Despite international naval missions - including from NATO and the European Union - ransom-hunting Somalis have tackled ever-bigger and more distant prizes.

Without an effective central government since 1991, Somali pirates are currently holding at least 16 ships and more than 250 seamen to ransom.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks off the lawless Horn of Africa nation increased tenfold in the first three months of this year compared with the same period in 2008, jumping from six to 61.

Mommy blows up with toddler — this has got to be a new low for militant Islam

April 28,

Having spent this morning catching up on my weekend reading, I came across this Page 4 article from Friday's New York Times. Here's the lead paragraph:

"BAGHDAD — At least 80 people died and 120 others were injured Thursday in three bombings, one by a female suicide bomber in Baghdad who, Iraqi officials said, held a young child’s hand as she set off her explosives among a group of women and children receiving emergency food aid."

Even putting aside our baseline revulsion at terrorism, there are three especially hideous things that jump out from this:

1) A mother deliberately taking her (presumed) child with her as she immolates herself. For all the hundreds of suicide bombings that Iraq has already witnessed, this has got to be a first.

2) This was a line for food aid. Islamists have gone from attacking U.S. soldiers, to attacking Iraqi soldiers, to attacking police stations, to attacking the religious ceremonies of rival sects — on down the line of nihilism until, now, they are reduced to blowing up hungry people seeking sustenance.

3) This hideous crime was played on page four of The New York Times. And a quick scan of other media suggests it got similar B-rate treatment elsewhere. This sort of act would have been worth a worldwide banner headline a decade ago. But now, it's just another demented Islamist senselessly slaughtering fellow Muslims. With her kid. Yawn.

Says a lot about the world we live in, doesn't it?

Source: National Post

H/T: Gateway Pundit

Female Homicide Bomber
Latest recipient of The Face of Evil Award

The Face of Award

Confronting Evil at Durban II

Durban II

Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Last week I came face to face with evil, as I stood just a few feet away from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. We were both staying in the same hotel in Geneva. He was there to be the opening speaker at Durban II, a review and reprise of Durban I, the United Nations sponsored conference on racism that had turned into a racist hate fest against the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

I was there - along with Elie Wiesel, Irwin Cotler and others who have devoted their lives to combating bigotry - to try to prevent a recurrence of Durban I. I first set eyes on Ahmadinejad when he walked into the hotel and waved in the general direction of where my wife and I were standing. We looked back contemptuously as my wife let out an audible hiss. He was about to be welcomed to Geneva by the Swiss President who made a special visit to the hotel in order to greet a man who denies the Holocaust while threatening another one, this time with nuclear weapons. When the Swiss President was widely criticized for his warm and uncritical embrace of one of the worlds most evil and dangerous tyrants, he offered two justifications. First, ... More »

Labour Party embroiled in race row after candidate told she was 'too white and Jewish' to be selected

Elaina Cohen

By Emily Andrews

Row: Elaina Cohen, pictured in 2001, claims she was told she was 'too white and Jewish' to be selected as a Labour candidate in Birmingham

The Labour Party has become embroiled in a race row after a prospective female councillor was allegedly told she was 'too white and Jewish' to be selected.

Elaina Cohen claims that Labour councillor Mahmood Hussain said he would not support her application for an inner-city ward because 'my Muslim members don't want you because you are Jewish'.

Mrs Cohen, 50, has made an official complaint about the alleged remarks made by Mr Hussain, a Muslim and former lord mayor of Birmingham.

She said: 'I am shocked and upset that a member of the Labour Party in this day and age could even think something like that, let alone say it.

'People should not be allowed to make racist comments like that. If someone in the party feels I cannot represent them because of my colour or religion, that's ridiculous.

'I felt particularly aggrieved because I have worked across all sections of the community, particularly with the Muslim section, and have been on official visits to Pakistan.'

Mrs Cohen had applied to stand as a Labour councillor for the Birmingham ward of East Handsworth and Lozells, which has a high Asian and Afro-Caribbean population.

As one of Labour's safest seats on Tory-led Birmingham city council, the final candidate would be almost certain of victory at the June 4 by-election.

But when Mrs Cohen telephoned 57-year-old Mr Hussain for his support, she was astonished to be told that she was too 'white and Jewish' to be considered.

Lorraine Briscoe, who runs a local community association, was sitting next to Mrs Cohen when the conversation took place on speakerphone last Tuesday.

'I was disgusted that a councillor could make comments like that in 2009,' she said.

'He told her, "They will not vote for someone who is white and Jewish. My Muslim members don't want you because you are Jewish".

'Elaina then asked him if he had talked to his Muslim members about it and he said, "I don't want to talk about it with you" and hung up.

'Elaina does a lot of good work in this community and she does not see race or religion, she just sees people.'

Two days after the alleged conversation, Mrs Cohen and another candidate were rejected by a pre-selection panel after failing to gain the support of the local party.

Instead, members were presented with one candidate, black South African Hendrina Quinnen, who was selected by an almost unanimous vote.

Mrs Cohen has now sent an official complaint to Labour Party general secretary Ray Collins and Birmingham city council accusing Mr Hussain of improper conduct.

Mr Hussain said yesterday: 'I would not make those sort of comments. The allegations are not true.'

Source: Daily Mail

H/T: Jihadwatch

30,000 flee anti-Taliban operation in Pakistan


Correspondents in Peshawar, Pakistan | April 29

A MILITARY offensive to flush out Taliban militants has displaced about 30,000 people in northwest Pakistan, a provincial minister said last night.

Residents said terrified people, mostly women and children, were continuing to flee the area with their belongings after Pakistan troops and helicopter gunships launched Operation Black Thunder to drive out the Taliban.

One local charity said yesterday it had registered 2241 displaced families.

"Up to 30,000 people have left Maidan in Lower Dir district over the past few days.

"We are making arrangements for them in Peshawar, Nowshera and Timargarah districts," minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said.

Mr Hussain said the Government remained "determined to fully implement the (operation) but some outsiders who do not want peace have infiltrated in Buner and Dir districts to sabotage the accord". Pakistan troops and helicopter gunships launched the offensive in Lower Dir, near the Taliban-held Swat valley, on Sunday, killing about 50 insurgents, officials said. The military said eight paramilitary soldiers had been killed.

Heavy artillery shelling by the paramilitary Frontier Corps troops continued yesterday, a senior military officer said.

"We destroyed several militants' hideouts in heavy artillery shelling of suspected bases in the area," the officer said.

Following the military push into Dir, a district on the Afghanistan border, militants described their peace pact with the Government as "worthless". Pakistan agreed in February to impose Islamic law in the Taliban-held Swat valley and surrounding districts of the Malakand Division if militants ended a rebellion that included beheading opponents and burning schools for girls.

However, the concession appeared to embolden the Taliban, which staged a foray last week into neighbouring Buner district, just 100km from the capital, Islamabad, reportedly patrolling other areas in the region as well.

Losing Lower or Upper Dir would be a blow not only for Pakistan but for US efforts to shore up the faltering war effort against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

US officials worry the pact could turn Swat into another haven for militants and encourage extremists to call for Islamic law in other areas of the country.

Western allies have expressed frustration that Pakistan is focusing on arch-rival India, distracting the Government from dealing with extremist sanctuaries on the Afghan border.

Afghan police clashed with Taliban fighters outside the capital, Kabul, leaving a dozen militants and an officer dead, while bomb blasts killed five more policemen, the Government said yesterday.

The fresh violence was linked to the insurgency led by the Taliban, who are battling to wrest back power after being ousted from government by the 2001 US-led invasion. The militants were killed on Monday in a sweep to clear Taliban from Musayi district about 15km south of Kabul, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary.

"The head of the district criminal investigation department was wounded and later died in hospital.

"Twelve enemies were also killed," he said.

Separately, a rocket landed inside an international military base on the outskirts of Kabul early yesterday, wounding three French soldiers, a French military spokesman said.

Meanwhile, US officials yesterday denied claims from Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari that Osama bin Laden was dead.

The officials said yesterday that the planner of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington was most likely hiding in the mountains along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. "We continue to believe that bin Laden is alive," one US official said.

Source: The Australian

Hamas and Fatah talk Palestinian unity in Egypt


John Lyons, Middle East correspondent | April 29

RIVAL Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah resumed talks in Cairo yesterday to negotiate a national unity government as hostilities between the two reached new lows.

The first of four sessions ended without a breakthrough on the key questions of security, the Palestine Liberation Organisation and elections, said senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath.

However, "the climate was positive", he said.

"The issues are complex and we are taking an open approach towards them," said Hamas's senior Gaza leader, Mahmud Zahar, confirming that talks would continue overnight.

"The dialogue is in its final phase," the state-run MENA news agency quoted a senior Egyptian official as saying.

"Egypt has put forward proposals to bring the two sides together ... and will listen to their responses."

A national unity government could then begin talks with Israel aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The meetings came two weeks after Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, accused Fatah, responsible for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, of attempting to assassinate one of its leaders.

Egyptian officials have been trying since the end of the Gaza war in January to broker a peace deal. This is their third attempt and is seen by many observers as likely to be the last for some time if it fails.

The key points of difference appear to be Hamas's refusal to recognise Israel's right to exist and renounce violence.

Another major difference involves the role of the Palestinian police and security officers - many security personnel in the West Bank are trained by Jordan or the US, which Hamas says is unacceptable.

The Cairo talks resumed as Israel's Foreign Ministry said recognition of Israel as a Jewish state was an essential condition for any resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

This followed comments last week by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he did not see recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as a pre-condition for peace talks.

Israeli president Shimon Peres warned yesterday that if Israel was drawn into another war it "will always win".

"We do not want war, but if it is forced upon us ... we will always win. The fallen have left behind them a strong and assured country," he said.

Source: The Australian

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CAIR Exploits Terror Case to Thwart FBI Intelligence Gathering

By Steve Emerson

A potentially significant terrorist case in California is being exploited by radical Islamist groups to mount a campaign against FBI efforts to collect intelligence on suspected terrorists.

The case involves Ahmadullah Niazi, who has been indicted on immigration
charges. His brother-in-law has served as Osama bin Laden's security coordinator. During a February bond hearing, an FBI agent testified that Niazi referred to bin Laden as "an angel" and provided an informant with taped sermons from an imam considered to have been a spiritual advisor for two September 11th hijackers. Read more ...

Source: FSM

50 State Counterterrorism Research Tour Stops in Nashville

By Dave Gaubatz

Earlier this year, I conducted research at a Somali Islamic Center (Al Farooq) in Nashville. One need only to have studied and understand Counterterrorism 101 to know this Center and its leadership advocates violence against America, which of course includes innocent children of all religions, races, and cultures.

Our researchers have an enormous amount of counterterrorism training; understand the Islamic ideology, the mindset of Islamic terrorist groups, and most importantly, their tactics and methodology of implementing/achieving their goal of forming an Islamic Ummah (Nation) worldwide and under Sharia law. Evidence to support my professional opinion that the leadership and their supporters of Al Farooq pose a serious threat to our national security was provided to senior law enforcement, the Nashville Prosecutor’s office, and to Nashville Child Protective Services. This included video/audio of a child crying because Islamic leaders had been “hitting” the children during Quran and Sharia lessons. This child had also mentioned having a husband (she is seven years old). Read more ...

Source: FSM

More Dems call for tough Iran sanctions

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
By David S. Cloud

Democrats in Congress are joining Republicans in calling for tough new sanctions on Iran and warning the Obama administration that its policy of engagement shouldn’t last too long before turning to harsher steps aimed at halting Tehran’s nuclear program.

This week, as many as 20 senators, including several senior Democrats in the House and Senate, are expected to join in introducing a bill that would authorize sanctions against companies involved in supplying gasoline and other refined petroleum products to Iran.

A similar bill is also in the works in the House. Last month, seven senior Democrats, including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), warned President Barack Obama against “open-ended engagement with Iran.”

The administration is so far moving on a slower timetable, refusing to commit itself to new sanctions until it sees whether its diplomatic outreach to Iran produces results. Read more ...

Source: Politico

Faith Fighter: Mohammed vs. Jesus

FoxNews and the AP today are reporting that the Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference, representing most Muslim nations, has persuaded Molleindustria to remove its online game "Faith Fighter" in which various gods are depicted fighting each other.

From the news story:

In the game "Faith Fighter," caricatures of Jesus, the Prophet Muhammad, Buddha, God and the Hindu god Ganesh fight each other against a backdrop of burning buildings.

God attacks with bolts of lighting and pillars of fire while the turbaned Muhammad can summon a burning black meteorite.

The OIC's complaint was "The game was incendiary in its content and offensive to Muslims and Christians. ... The game would serve no other purpose than to incite intolerance."

Molleindustria has the following statement on its website:

Today after an official statement by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) we decided to remove the game Faith Fighter from our site.

Faith Fighter was meant to be a game against intolerance that used over the top irony and a cartoonish style to express the instrumental use of religions.

Faith Fighter depicted in a mildly politically incorrect way all the major religions as a response to the one-way islamophobic satire of the Danish Mohammad cartoons.

If a established organization didn't understand the irony and the message of the game and is claiming it is inciting intolerance, we simply failed.

The game has been released more than a year ago, it got international news coverage and has been played by millions of players on the Internet and it has been exhibited in several artistic venues around the world. Reviews have been generally positive and we only received two letters of complaints by two catholic players.

We suspect that people at OIC never played the game and only referred to the article on Metro UK that successfully manufactured this controversy.
According to Molleindustria's site, it is composed of "an Italian team of artists, designers and programmers that aims at starting a serious discussion about social and political implications of video games." One should question, however, how this team invited "serious" discussions given their other "games": "Pedopriest," which mocks the Catholic Church's recent scandals, "Queer Power," where the inhabitants of Queerland do not have "fixed sexual orientations" but rather fornicate with whomever with whatever whim, and "Oiligarchy," where you as the oil baron can explore and drill, corrupting politicians and suppressing alternative fuels as you go.

One could perhaps argue that Molleindustria showed some cultural sensitivity in giving the game a "censored" option, which blocked out the face of Muhammad ... But, it is unlikely that one could get very far with that argument.

[submitted by kmacginn of Hummers & Cigarettes]

Rally for Human Rights - Sunday, May 3rd - Times Square


The Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam

Radical Islam presents a worldwide threat to human rights. Our group does not debate theology and will never claim “Islam” is inherently radical, or that all Muslims are “radicals” or terrorists. However, it is a simple fact that Radical Islam is a threat to world peace. Presently there are Radical Muslims fighting in countries across the world, including, but not limited to: India, Thailand, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia and “Western” states such as the United States, Australia and Western Europe.

The Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam is not anti-Muslim. On the contrary! Radical Islam is a threat to Muslims even more than it is to non-Muslims. More Muslims have died due to Radical Islam than non-Muslims. The Taliban makes life a living hell for citizens of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Women are honor killed and gays have been killed for the mere crime of being gay. It is with an eye towards protecting human rights around the world that this diverse group has formed.

Who are we and what are our goals?

1. We are a coalition of organizations and individuals representing a full cross-section of the American people. Americans of every race, color and creed are represented in this coalition of groups -- all have been personally affected by the spread of Radical Islam. As such, individuals from continents across the world and religions from around the world have joined together to say "YES to human rights" and "NO to radical Islam." The religions and ideologies represented include Christians of numerous denominations, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Secular Humanists.

2. Our mission is to educate the American people to the threat of Radical Islam and Sharia Law, and to challenge those enablers and apologists who would diminish our vigilance in opposing this virulent threat to humanistic values and values of tolerance. With education comes mobilization to action, as noted in mission statement #3, below.

3. Our strategy is to leverage the strengths of our coalition participants: 1) to conduct physical events such as marches, demonstrations, and leafleting; 2) to utilize the Internet to spread our message; 3) to promote media appearances by those who support our cause; 4) to utilize print and video to educate the public and the media to the threats we face; 5) to lobby locally and in Washington DC with letter writing campaigns; 6) to picket media and other outlets which promote the anti-human rights agenda of Radical Islam; 7) to expand our outreach to include educational seminars at local community centers, churches, synagogues and schools.

4. Our group seeks to promote a human rights agenda. The specific enemies of human rights we are struggling against are, in addition to ignorance and apathy, those groups and individuals in the United States and elsewhere who are part of, or supporters of, Radical Islam. These groups include, amongst others, Al Queda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Deobandi Islamists, the Iranian regime, and other supporters known as Wahhabists (fundamentalist Muslims and Islamists). Additional groups and ideologies that fight against human rights are the “enablers” of Radical Islam.

These groups and ideologies include “political correctness,” the mainstream media (which often blame terror attacks on 'South Asians' or 'militants', rather than simply naming the enemy, and which seeks to employ tactics of moral equivalence), university faculties (which often employ known members of terror groups, such as Sami Al-Arian, and Rashid Khalidi, who was a PLO spokesperson, and similarly teach “post-modern” moral equivalence), student groups such as the International Solidarity Movement (which acts as “human shields” and aids and abets Radical Islam); and “human rights” groups, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations (which, through ignorance, misunderstanding, paternalism, willful blindness or guilt, fail to appreciate Radical Islam’s threat to decency, tolerance and peace). These “human rights” groups have taken over the English language, claiming they believe in 'peace', when in fact they are often aiding and abeting Radical Islam.

5. This group will be tarred and feathered in the press as being 'Islamophobic', even as we seek to promote the human rights of Muslims. Our group will always show a tolerant and moderate message of human rights; however, it is a simple fact that those who seek to promote the truth about Radical Islam face the claim of being “Islamophobic.” In order to avoid pitfalls others have fallen into, this group will never debate theology. The group’s goal is not to present Islam as inherently one way or another, but rather to showcase the human rights atrocities going on across the world, in order to spur action. If necessary, a legal defense fund will be set up to ensure that our human rights message is seen and heard around the world.

Source: The Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam
H/T: Ted Belman

Despite Reports, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Not Waterboarded 183 Times

The number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded was the focus of major media attention -- and highly misleading.

By Joseph Abrams

The New York Times reported last week that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, was waterboarded 183 times in one month by CIA interrogators. The "183 times" was widely circulated by news outlets throughout the world.

It was shocking. And it was highly misleading. The number is a vast inflation, according to information from a U.S. official and the testimony of the terrorists themselves.

A U.S. official with knowledge of the interrogation program told FOX News that the much-cited figure represents the number of times water was poured onto Mohammed's face -- not the number of times the CIA applied the simulated-drowning technique on the terror suspect. According to a 2007 Red Cross report, he was subjected a total of "five sessions of ill-treatment." Read more ...

Source: Fox News
H/T: Christopher Brown

Al-Qaeda's PR Machine: a picture is worth a thousand jihadists.

By Ben Johnson

IF HISTORY IS ANY GUIDE, A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND JIHADISTS. In 2004, after the media published photos of Abu Ghraib and leftist politicians blamed America, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi prefaced his beheading of Nicholas Berg with these words: “we tell you that the dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls. You will not receive anything from us but coffins after coffins...slaughtered in this way.” Yet those images had a more lasting impact on the War on Terror. John McCain revealed four months ago that “a former high-ranking member of al-Qaeda” told him “‘the greatest recruiting tool we had – we were able to recruit thousands of young men,’ he said – ‘was Abu Ghraib.’”

Yet America’s dark history of releasing compromising photos is not detaining President Obama from handing al-Qaeda a veritable public relations coup. The media have emphasized that he plans to release 44 photos of interrogators abusing detainees by May 28; however, sources report the administration will release a “substantial number” of other images, and up to 2,000 photos in all could be divulged. Read more ...

Source: FrontPage Magazine
Barack Obama
Latest recipient of The Dhimmi Award

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Abbas refuses to recognise Israel as Jewish state

Mideast: Abbas refuses to recognise Israel as Jewish state

Ramallah, 27 April (AKI) - Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Monday dismissed calls by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recognise Israel as a Jewish state. He also said a halt to Israel's continuing expansion of illegal Jewish settlements inside the West Bank was a prerequisite for resuming peace talks.

"A Jewish state, what is that supposed to mean?," said Abbas, quoted by Israeli media. "You can call yourselves as you like, but I don't accept it and I say so publicly."

He also said it was not his job to define or name the Israeli state.

"Name yourself, it's not my business. Name yourself the Hebrew Socialist Republic. All I know is that there is the state of Israel, in the borders of 1967, not one centimetre more, not one centimetre less. Anything else, I do not accept."

Many observers believe the so called 'green line' – the pre-1967 Six-Day War ceasefire line between Israel and Jordan – should be the basis for an international border between Israel and the West Bank in the creation of a future Palestinian state.

Israeli daily Haaretz said last week that Netanyahu wanted to impose the precondition of recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in order to resume peace negotiations.

However, it is believed such recognition would block the Palestinians demand for the "right of return" of millions of refugees who fled or were expelled by Jewish forces, during the establishment of Israel in 1948 and subsequent wars. The refugees are now scattered throughout the Middle East.

Israel's hardline foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said last Thursday that the right of return is not up for discussion.

Netanyahu has also not yet accepted the establishment of a Palestinian state existing alongside Israel, which is a main goal of US-backed peace talks.

Abbas and Netanyahu will travel to Washington in May for their first meeting with US president Barack Obama since he became president.

A defiant Abbas said a complete building freeze on Israel's building of settlements inside the West Bank is essential for the resumption of peace talks.

"For sure, we will not submit to pressures. For example, if they say 'come and then we will see, come.' No, we won't accept it.

"Regarding the peace talks, this is our position, even if someone, if anyone in the world says 'you're wrong', he said.

Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law and are a major source of friction between Israelis and Palestinians. They are one of the most contentious issues in the long-running conflict.

Meanwhile, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics said on Monday that Israel's population stands at 7.41 million inhabitants, of which 75 per cent of them are Jewish and 20.2 percent Arab.
Source: Adnkronos
H/T: Jihadwatch

Al Qaeda leader Abu Omar al Baghdadi confirmed captured: Prime Minister Maliki

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi
Hamed Dawood Mohammed Khalil al Zawi,
who is better known as Abu Omar al Baghdadi.
By Bill Roggio

Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the leader of al Qaeda’s puppet Islamic State of Iraq, was captured after a two-month-long intelligence operation, Iraq’s prime minister said.

Last week, the Ministry of Defense reported Baghdadi was captured during a raid by Iraqi forces. The US military has yet to confirm Baghdadi’s capture. Al Qaeda in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq, and other jihadi web forums have neither confirmed nor denied Baghdadi’s capture. In the past, al Qaeda has been quick to dismiss false reports of its captured senior leaders.

Iraq has a poor track record for reporting on the death or capture of senior al Qaeda leaders. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the brutal former leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was reported to have been killed or captured several times before he was finally killed by US forces in Baqubah in June 2006. Read more ...

Source: The Long War Journal

Capturers of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi
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In September 2007 Muslims Against Sharia issued s statement that we will provide a payment of 100,000kr (about $15,000) for the information leading to capture or neutralization of Abu Omar Al Baghdadi. Please contact us at info at Anonymity guaranteed.

Spanish navy captures pirates suspected of cruise attack

Somali Pirates

April 28

A SPANISH warship has intercepted a skiff carrying nine suspected Somali pirates believed to have attacked an Italian cruise ship at the weekend, the defence ministry said today.

The Numancia frigate “intercepted a skiff with nine occupants who could be connected to the hijacking attempt of the Italian cruise ship which was eventually repelled by the boat,” it said in a statement.

The cruise liner Melody, carrying more than 1,500 people, was attacked on Saturday but Israeli security guards on board the ship responded to the pirates' gunfire and were able to repel them.

After the hijacking attempt The Numancia, along with patrol planes from France and the Seychelles and an Indian navy ship, launched a high-seas hunt for the assailants.

During the search, the naval mission found “two small boats with nine suspects on board very close to the scene of the attack against the cruise,” the Spanish defence ministry said.

The suspects abandoned one the boats and were later caught in the skiff. The Spanish navy handed over the suspects to a Seychelles ship since they were captured in the island nation's waters in the Indian Ocean.

A commander of the pirates who attacked the cruise ship described the bandits' attempt to seize the boat in an interview with AFP today.

“Unfortunately, for technical reasons, we could not seize the ship,” Mohamed Muse told AFP by phone from the pirate lair of Eyl, in the northern Somali breakaway state of Puntland.

“We were aware that hijacking such a big ship would have been a new landmark in piracy off the coast of Somalia but unfortunately they used good tactics and we were not able to board,” he said.

“It was not the first time we went for that kind of ship and this time we came closer to capturing it and we really sprayed it with gunfire,” Muse said.

The captain of the cruise liner, Ciro Pinto, said the attack had felt like a war, and praised the response of the security guards.

“The ship was very big and there were only a dozen pirates involved in the attack so we eventually had to decide to back off after chasing it for close to 30 minutes,” Muse said.

Somali pirates are currently holding at least 16 ships and more than 250 seamen to ransom. Attacks surged in April as calm seas allowed them to approach their prey more easily and dodge the increasing naval presence in the region.

The Taliban's "AfPak" Strategy - A jihadist preemptive war.

By Dr. Walid Phares

As the U.S. administration and its allies are devising a new strategy for the next steps in Afghanistan, the jihadists have already begun their next move — but this time it’s inside Pakistan. As I’ve written over the past few months, we need to look at Afghanistan, Pakistan and India as one regional battlefield where the “other side” is coordinating strategically, acting methodically and for sure beating the international coalition in speed. If Washington and its allies fail to see the big picture in the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, the rapidly deteriorating situation will soon exceed the northwestern provinces of Pakistan to spill over to both Afghanistan and India, if not beyond. That’s how I suggest “reading” the recent worrisome leaps achieved by the Taliban from the SWAT valley into the neighboring district of Buner. So what’s the story and why should we consider it as a crossing of red lines? Read more ...

Source: FrontPage Magazine

Caroline Glick: Our World - Israel's Arab cheerleaders


It is a strange situation when Egypt and Jordan feel it necessary to defend Israel against American criticism. But this is the situation in which we find ourselves today.

Last Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee that Arab support for Israel's bid to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is contingent on its agreeing to support the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state. In her words, "For Israel to get the kind of strong support it's looking for vis-a-vis Iran, it can't stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts." As far as Clinton is concerned, the two, "go hand-in-hand."

But just around the time that Clinton was making this statement, Jordan's King Abdullah II was telling The Washington Post that he is satisfied with the Netanyahu government's position on the Palestinians. In his words, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has "sent a message that he's committed to peace with the Arabs. All the words I heard were the right words."

As for Egypt, in spite of the media's hysteria that Egypt won't deal with the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration's warning that Israel can only expect Egypt to support its position that Iran must be denied nuclear weapons if it gives Jerusalem to the PLO, last week's visit by Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman clearly demonstrated that Egypt wishes to work with the government on a whole host of issues. Coming as it did on the heels of Egypt's revelation that Iranian-controlled Hizbullah agents were arrested for planning strategic attacks against it, Suleiman's visit was a clear sign that Egypt is as keen as Israel to neutralize Iranian power in the region by preventing it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

And Egypt and Jordan are not alone in supporting Israel's commitment to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power. American and other Western sources who have visited the Persian Gulf in recent months report that leaders of the Gulf states from Bahrain - which Iran refers to as its 14th province - to Saudi Arabia to Kuwait and, of course, to Iraq - are praying for Israel to strike Iran's nuclear facilities and only complain that it has waited so long to attack them.

As one American who recently met with Persian Gulf leaders explained last week, "As far as the Gulf leaders are concerned, Israel cannot attack Iran fast enough. They understand what the stakes are." More......

Source: Jerusalem Post

The world's bravest bloggers


Bloggers are taking on Iran's mullahs and winning. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, bloggers are on the front line of the struggle for freedom. Today, there are about 80,000 bloggers in Iran living under constant threat of surveillance, harassment and imprisonment. One such blogger, Mojtaba Saminejad, 28, was arrested and tortured along with 30 others in 2004. He spent three months in solitary confinement in Iran's notorious Evin Prison. Two weeks after he was freed, he was arrested again for complaining on his blog about the mistreatment he had endured. He was held for 21 months on the charge of showing disrespect to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

We recently conducted an exclusive interview with Mr. Saminejad, translated by Ladan Yazdian. He told us Iranian blog sites have proliferated as a direct consequence of the regime's restrictions on other forms of public expression. "In Iran, people need to get a permit to publish any piece of information, including a book, an article or a song," he told us. "Therefore, with the government's total control over people's minds, it is difficult to bypass the government's numerous filters, and even more difficult to access information. Such boundaries do not exist in the blogosphere." He said blogs are "an ideal forum to express private thoughts" in a county where privacy is increasingly scarce.

The Iranian blogosphere took off in 2001 and has since faced a continually escalating war with the regime. "Monitoring all the blogs is not possible," Mr. Saminejad said, "so the government shows its frustration by imposing pressure and intimidation." Tehran began filtering Web sites, and bloggers responded with filtering countermeasures. Then bloggers were arrested, "frequently jailed for 'un-Islamic' content, which is against the national security interests of the country," so the opposition began to form closer, more cooperative support networks and continued to post on the arrested bloggers' sites. The regime responded by sponsoring pro-regime bloggers and held a "Festival of Web Logs and Web Sites of the Islamic Revolution."

The regime also sanctioned hacker groups, such as the Hadid Hacking Team and IHS (Iran Hackers Sabotage), which launched attacks on dissident blog sites and Western, frequently Israeli, targets. In response, dissidents moved to alternate platforms, utilized e-mail and RSS distribution, stood up mirror sites and joined invitation-only online communities such as Google's Orkut.

In 2006, the regime proposed a national Internet structure that would host all government and nongovernment sites inside Iran and cut out Western and especially U.S. servers. In 2008, the regime reached the pinnacle of blogger oppression with a draft law that imposes the death penalty for facad - undermining the authority or stability of the state - which is a dangerously vague and sufficiently elastic charge that could slip any blogger's head into the noose. "Under this law," Mr. Saminejad told us, "any freedom-seeking blogger can face the death penalty for promoting illegal activities."

Some never even get their day in a kangaroo court. Twenty-five-year-old Omid-Reza Mirsayafi died in Evin Prison in March under mysterious circumstances. The next day the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps was unleashed on bloggers and made mass arrests. Tehran claimed "these detainees are part of organized networks who are working on evil projects that insult the holy Koran, spread pornographic material and advertise the 'sale' of Iranian girls."

The future is difficult for Iranian bloggers like Mr. Saminejad, but he and his compatriots see no alternative but to continue their dangerous activities. There is no other alternative. As Mr. Saminejad says, the blogosphere is "the main outlet to receive the news and analysis from Iran." And so long as their sites survive, the world will know freedom's flame still burns in Iran.

Source: Washington Times

Roxana Saberi on Hunger Strike

Roxana Saberi

Reporters without Borders reports that Iranian-American journalist, Roxana Saberi — sentenced last Saturday to 8 years in prison after a sham 1 day closed trial in Tehran — is protesting her detention with a hunger strike. (For more background on Saberi, and her dubious arrest by Iranian authorities, read this profile by her former employer, the BBC.)

Even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, not typically the most civil liberties friendly, had directly appealed to the Iran’s independent judiciary to process the case of Saberi with openness and transparency. Perhaps he is feeling the pressure of a potential American rapprochement. The visibility of the Saberi case could easily flare up into a full grown diplomatic feud. So far, Secretary Clinton’s language has been measured, though concerned.

Might the internet play a constructive role here in changing the diplomatic end game by raising the heat on Iranian authorities? Imagine, it was years before Solzhenitsin could get The Gulag Archipelago published in the West, much less in the Soviet Union. Now, despite all the Iranians’ best efforts at a low key and hack job political trial, anyone with Google can learn the inner workings of Saberi’s detention and moreover Iran’s infamous Evin political prison where she’s being held.

While — as AbuAardvark and NetEffect’s Evgeny Morozov have been right to point out — the internet is not radically democraticizing the world, it does raise the embarassment and diplomatic costs of political prisoners. Hard to complain you’ve been shut out of the community of nations when your injustice is plainly on display. And the web is what solves this informational assymetry, even if it can’t shake kings and autocrats.

Saberi’s partner, Kurdish-Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi, has written an open letter appealing to Iranian authorities. The letter can be read in full here and is circulating on numerous media outlets and websites (BBC, Campaign for Human Rights in Iran to name a few).

Source: Internet and Democracy

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