Thursday, March 31, 2005

Swedish Bikinis for Babies Spark Controversy

Thanks to the Kafir Constitutionalist for the link:

A Swedish bikini-style top for toddlers will be withdrawn from sale amid criticism from a Norwegian cabinet minister that bra-like clothing was inappropriate for small girls. "It is remarkably daft to make bra-like bikinis for one-year-olds," Norwegian Minister of Children and Family Affairs Laila Daavoey was quoted as telling the Norwegian daily Verdens Gang Thursday. "This is a terrible commercialization of childhood. Children are not women. Bikinis on small children are a way of linking children to sexuality." Swedish clothes maker Lindex said it would withdraw one design of top, meant for girls aged 1-2, after an internal review.

'Allah' etched into wall of Temple Mount

The word "Allah," written in Arabic, was found etched on the southern corner of the Temple Mount's eastern wall in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning. Members of the committee for the prevention of damage to Temple Mount antiquities, who found the graffiti Wednesday, said it caused "serious damage to the site" and that it was "part of an attempt to grant an exclusively Muslim character to the Temple Mount and impair any Jewish connection to the site."

China Flexing Muscles in Asia

22 Million Chinese Seek to Block Japan's Bid to Join U.N. Council

A grass-roots Chinese campaign to keep Japan out of the United Nations Security Council has gathered some 22 million signatures, increasing the chances that China will block Japan's bid to join the group, organizers and analysts said today. The petition effort, conducted through popular Chinese Web sites, enjoys tacit support from the government, which has allowed state-controlled news media to cover the campaign prominently. If China prevents Japan's elevation, it would mark the most direct confrontation between Asia's two leading powers since they re-established diplomatic ties in 1972.

China's Secret War

When FBI Assistant Director Dan Szady, who heads the agency’s counter-intelligence division, made a rare public appearance to speak at the National Intelligence Conference and Exposition held last month in Alexandria, Virginia, it wasn’t to discuss Iran, Iraq, or any country in the Middle East, as many may have expected. Instead, the 33-year veteran of the Bureau discussed the “huge” threat posed to our national security by the Chinese intelligence apparatus. His most harrowing charge, among many other disturbing accusations, concerned the existence of an estimated 3,000 Chinese front companies that presently operate within the US. The main purpose of these pseudo-businesses, he said, is to facilitate often-illegal technology transfers to the Chinese government.

With their fervent pursuit of American secrets and their newfound ability to purchase advanced western weaponry from our French and German “allies,” the Chinese seem well on their way to achieving their stated goal of effectively countering American military might in the Pacific. While the recent steps taken by the Bush administration against Chinese espionage are promising, it will require a determined government-wide effort—backed by a significant amount of political will—before the United States can begin to root out the powerful Chinese intelligence network in its midst.

America’s Closeness to Islamic Ideals

America is closer, in a sense, to the Islamic ideals it is pitted against, than the liberal, post-Enlightenment attitudes of the Western nations it is expected to rub shoulders with as its natural allies. So should we conclude, then, that between the religious police tactics of the Taleban, and the periodic episodes of witch-hunting in America, there is only a difference in methods, but not intent? But to say so would be heresy, would it not?

Ice Ages Blamed on Tilted Earth

In the past million years, the Earth experienced a major ice age about every 100,000 years. Scientists have several theories to explain this glacial cycle, but new research suggests the primary driving force is all in how the planet leans. The Earth’s rotation axis is not perpendicular to the plane in which it orbits the Sun. It's offset by 23.5 degrees. This tilt, or obliquity, explains why we have seasons and why places above the Arctic Circle have 24-hour darkness in winter and constant sunlight in the summer. But the angle is not constant – it is currently decreasing from a maximum of 24 degrees towards a minimum of 22.5 degrees. This variation goes in a 40,000-year cycle. Peter Huybers and Carl Wunsch have compared the timing of the tilt variations with that of the last seven ice ages. They found that the ends of those periods corresponded to times of greatest tilt.

The U.N. thinks about tomorrow's cyberspace

The International Telecommunication Union is one of the most venerable of bureaucracies. Created in 1865 to facilitate telegraph transmissions, its mandate has expanded to include radio and telephone communications. But the ITU enjoys virtually no influence over the Internet. The ITU, a United Nations agency, would like to change that. "The whole world is looking for a better solution for Internet governance, unwilling to maintain the current situation," Houlin Zhao, director of the ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, said last year. Zhao, a former government official in China's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, has been in his current job since 1999.

Pre-war Jewish property in Poland worth $30b

The Jewish property left in Poland on the eve of World War II is today worth more than $30 billion, according to a comprehensive report drawn up at the request of the Israeli government. The estimate does not include communal buildings and facilities held by the various Jewish communities in different parts of Poland. The report was drawn up by experts from the government, the business sector and non-profit and non-governmental organizations. Some 10 percent of Poland's population was Jewish before the Holocaust.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Zarqawi planning chemical attack in Europe

Iraq's most wanted man, the fugitive Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been planning a chemical weapons attack in Europe, a German magazine said on Wednesday, citing intelligence sources. "We in Europe have been afraid that a big bang is coming sometime and that Zarqawi is planning it," an official at Germany's BND federal intelligence service told. According to the magazine, the Jordanian extremist and his supporters, who are linked to the Al-Qaeda network, have been trying to get hold of arms components in Russia's volatile north Caucasus region and in Georgia. Another BND source said that it was unclear whether Zarqawi's attempts had been successful. "We only know that he is working on it," the source said. Zarqawi is also being tried in absentia by Jordan's courts for planning a major chemical weapons attack that was uncovered by the authorities.

I'm a Ku Klux Klan Member, says blogger

My posts about Muslim rapes in Sweden and in Norway got some bizarre responses. Here's a blogger who thinks I have to be a KKK member to write about Muslim rapes:

In complete contradistinction to this flickr mode, which I associate with reverie, you must travel to blogs like this, from Norway. How long it took for Fjordman to master the insinuative racist bait he spews is unclear. He's studied with some master baiters. As we hear how vile slacker muslims are raping the helpless Aryan children of Scandinavia, fellow Klansmen, let us hearken back to our own sweet days of yore, when good lynchings made good niggahs.

Mein Kampf in English on Radio Islam, Sweden

It's not just in Turkey Muslims love Nazi literature. Danish blog Uriasposten links to Radio Islam, based in Sweden, where they have the complete versions of both Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" online in English. How fitting that the Aryan Nation reaches out to al Qaeda. Birds of feather flock together.

Norway: Left wing alliance advances

The potential alternative coalition of the Labor, Socialist Left (SV) and Center (Sp) parties continues to look like a viable majority government according to a new poll. The so-called red-green coalition has majority support in a new political survey. Two Easter polls showed that Labor and SV could form a majority government as a pair, the Sentio study indicates that the agrarian Center Party is necessary for a majority. There was strong movement on the opposite side of the political spectrum. The Conservatives advanced 2.1 points to 17.9 percent while government partners the Christian Democrats fell 2 percent points to 6.6 percent. The populist Progress Party dropped fully 4.2 points to 17.8 percent on the Sentio poll, making the Conservatives the largest right-wing party.

Immigrant gang crime on the increase

Gang crime committed by first and second generation immigrants has reached an unprecedented level, Danish police said this morning. Danish police are seeing gang members who are as young as 12 or 13 years of age, and more and more of them are carrying guns or knives. At the same time, the gangs have become more violent, and this development means that Danish juvenile pris-ons are currently overcrowded. Last year, these detention centres had to turn away 86 young offenders due to overcrowding, which is more than twice as many as the year before.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Egyptian stabs tourists who kissed outside mosque

An Egyptian stabbed a Hungarian man and woman, slightly wounding them, after the couple kissed while pausing for a photograph near a mosque at Cairo's popular tourist bazaar, police said Tuesday. Hesham Mohammed, 36, apparently was upset by the kiss Monday in front of Al-Hussein Mosque, a security official said on customary condition of anonymity. The mosque is adjacent to the Khan el-Khalili market where foreign tourists flock to buy souvenirs and locally made crafts. The Hungarians, who were not identified, were treated at a nearby hospital for minor wounds, the official said, and Mohammed was being questioned. He was described as unemployed and suffering from severe depression. Tourism is Egypt's top foreign-currency earner, bringing in more than $7 billion Cdn last year and providing an estimated 2.2 million jobs.

Afghanistan: Campaign against "anti-Islamic" TV stations

Reporters Without Borders today called on President Hamid Karzai to take a clear and definitive public stance in support of cable television and diversity in the broadcast media in response to a new wave of pressure from conservatives, especially the Ulema Council led by supreme court president Fazl Hadi Shinwari, for a ban on "anti-Islamic" TV stations. The Ulema Council asked the government on 13 March to make the country's state and privately-owned TV stations stop broadcasting "immoral and anti-Islamic" programmes. Around 100 of the council's members meeting in Kabul singled out the only privately-owned broadcast station, Tolo TV, for criticism.

One representative of the Council told Pajhwok Afghan News agency : "We have decided this in accordance with the constitution and we have also called for a ban on telecasts which have dances as this is absolutely contrary to the Sharia." Article 3 of the constitution says no law can be contrary to the Sharia, while article 34 protects freedom of expression.

Indonesian Muslim leader meets Thai PM on southern unrest

The head of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Islamic group, met with Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra Monday at the start of a trip aimed at easing tensions in Thailand’s Muslim south. Muzadi and Thaksin agreed the militants were using religion to fuel the violence, and that improved education in the Muslim-dominated south was key to boosting living standards and ending economic problems in the region. “We hope the visit will help, as their mission represents the Muslim world coming here to find the truth,” Kantathi said. “A military approach only makes the fundamentalists more and more strong,” said Muzadi. “Problem solving is not only with a military approach, but also a justice approach, an economic approach, and also an educational approach.”

UK: Muslims print BNP rag

I must admit that I find this a bit amusing. On the other hand: As much as I dislike the BNP, why on earth can't they get published in the UK when every extremist Islamic organization on the planet seems to be operating in London? From The Sun:

THE far right BNP has its newspaper printed by an ARAB firm — because no British company will touch it. The party’s monthly propaganda rag, The Voice of Freedom, is published by Satellite Graphics Ltd, which is Saudi owned and staffed by Muslims. BNP activist Phil Edwards said: “We didn’t know about them being Arab owned. “We would love to use a British firm, even if it meant paying a bit more. “But British firms are heavily unionised and the unions hate our guts.” BNP leader Nick Griffin was recently arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after denouncing Islam as a “wicked, vicious faith”. He was secretly filmed telling supporters that British Muslims were behind a “massive rape wave” aimed at spreading Islam in the West by impregnating white girls.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Swedish Muslims Call For Terror Attacks Against Sweden

The following information is based on a discussion in Swedish Muslim forum The more radical elements there, such as Swedish convert to Islam Abu Usama el-Swede, who is connected to Abu "The Hook" Hamza's group in the UK, have created a new forum called I can't provide any links to threads there, as this is a forum only members can read, and non-Muslims are forbidden to sign up for it. It seems as if the radicals openly praise Al-Qaida and call for terror attacks against the nation they live in. The following thread from February 2005 was posted at, but claims to have been copied from a thread made by Abu-Usama El Swede at

The author wonders why Swedish Muslims can get so worked up over a piece of "offensive" art, but don't seem to care about more serious issues. In a photo showing American soldiers in Iraq, one of them is carrying a Light Anti-Armor weapon manufactured by the Swedish company Bofors. Forum member Abu Mujahid writes:

"Wallahi I pray that Allah will severely punish all those who are involved in this war against Islam. And that Sweden will feel the punishment of the Mujahdiin that the USA and Spain and other countries have done for their involvement in Iraq. May Allah punish this hypocrite government, Ameen. (Wallahi Jag ber Allah swt att göra alla som har med detta att göra Kriget mot Islam att drabbas av ett grymt straff ameen Och att Sverige får känna på Mujahdiin straff som Usa och Spanien andra länder har gjort för deras inblanding i Irak. Må Allah swt straffa denna Hycklare till regering Ameen")

Member Abd al-Azeez comments objections made by another forum member:

Please give me evidence that kuffar (infidels) should NOT be allowed to kill. Why should you not be allowed to call Sweden Darul Harb (the House of War)? Ulama have stated many times that every state that does not judge according to sharia, and does not have a pact with the Muslims or is paying the Jiziya is a part of Dar ul-Harb, which is allowed to attack and their wealth permitted for all Muslims. Why not follow the example of what our Mujahid brother in Holland did with that pig Theo van Gogh? That brother's action really made a difference in the world, and because of it the Muslims now enjoy some respect and eminence among the kuffar.

Sure, Muslims enjoy "protection" in Sweden as citizens. So what? There are Muslims in the USA and Israel, too, getting "protection". What difference does it make? Allah made Jihad compulsory. A Muslim has to enter fully into Islam, not just ignore issues as he feels like. This is Islam, not a lunch buffet."

In all fairness, it should be noted that this thread was eventually locked. There were several Muslims arguing against the radicals calling for attacks against Sweden. No, not all Muslims will support this, probably not even the majority. But does that remove the problem? You don't need "all Muslims" to stage terror attacks, you just need a dedicated handful who think they have the perfect Islamic right to strike fear into the hearts of the infidels. And judging from this thread, Sweden has now reached "critical mass". In fact, a terror attack protesting the Russian war in Chechnya was carried out only days ago, although this may have been by Leftist "terrorist groupies" in stead of Muslims.

This should serve as a lesson to those who still claim that Islamic terrorism is caused by "Israeli aggression" or "American foreign policy". Sweden, a retirement home for foreign war criminals, doesn't have a colonial past. Yet it is probably the most pathetic dhimmi nation in the Western world, even if facing some stiff competition for the title, including from Norway. It has effectively, without a shot being fired, ceded its third largest city to Muslims, and the suburbs in several others. It has handed over its young women for gang rapes by Muslim immigrants, and shut down those daring to talk about it. It pays for preschool classes in Arabic while its leading politicians push for educating Swedes that this is for their own good. It subsidizes Palestinian terror conferences at a time when anti-Jewish harassment by Muslims is so bad that Swedish Jews sign up for service in the IDF to escape. IKEA, one of its largest companies, censors its own manuals in order not to offend Muslims. A Swedish court recently judged according to sharia. I have earlier read suggestions by a columnist in Sweden's largest newspaper, Aftonbladet, that Sweden should change its national anthem into "something multicultural". Two Swedish girls were also sent home from school for wearing sweaters showing a tiny Swedish flag. The headmaster was concerned that this might be deemed offensive by some immigrants. Sweden crawls to Muslims in every way imaginable, and it still isn't enough. There are still Muslim radicals who want to attack it.

In the end, as long as you don't convert to Islam or pay the Jizya as a properly submissive dhimmi, you are part of the Dar ul- Harb, the House of War. And you can be killed for opposing the spread of Islam. Even if all Swedes should become Muslims, there would always be those who didn't think they were Islamic enough, or in the right way. Islamic terrorism follows Islam like a shadow wherever it goes. The only way to stop it is by keeping Islam out of your lands. A few drops of pure Islamic poison can make even the most stable nation disintegrate. Sweden's ongoing collapse should serve as a scary reminder to others of what happens if you allow this religion to make roots in your country.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Al-Azhar: Jews Have no Rights in Jerusalem

Denying participation in a talked-about conference of the three monotheistic religions on sacred rights in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem), Al-Azhar said on Sunday, March 27, that Jews have no religious rights whatsoever in the holy city. “There is nothing called sacred rights in Al-Quds,” Sheikh Fawzi El-Zefzaf, chairman of Al-Azhar's Interfaith Dialogue Committee, told reporters. “Al-Quds is a Palestinian right that should be given back to the Palestinians,” he stressed. Mohammad Abu Ghadir, professor of Hebrew in Al-Azhar University, agreed. “Excavations and geological research have proved that Jews didn't have any right to claim sacred places in Al-Quds,” he said. “Israeli archeologists didn’t even manage to prove that the “wailing wall” is part of the so-called Temple of Solomon,” Abu Ghadir added. “Unfortunately, the world mistakenly believes that Jews do have sacred sites in Al-Quds like Muslims and Christians because of Israel’s heavy media campaigns that distorted historical facts.”

Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni authority in the Muslim world, categorically denied that it will take part in the reported conference. “Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohammad Sayed Tantawi has not received any invitation of that kind,” an official source said. He underlined that Al-Azhar's stance remains unchanged as it rejects talks with Jews over Al-Quds “because it is a very thorny issue that has not been yet resolved” on the political arena. Sheikh El-Zefzaf said his committee has not got the faintest idea of such a meeting. Some media reports suggested that preparations were underway to organize a conference grouping Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders on the religious rights of each faith in the holy city.

Al-Haram Al-Sharif was the first Qibla (direction Muslims take during prayers) and is the third holiest shrine after Al Ka'ba in Makkah and Prophet Mhuhammad's Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Its significance has been reinforced by the incident of Al Isra'a and Al Mi'raj (the night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds and the ascent to the Heavens by Prophet Muhammad).

German College Launches Disputed Islamic Program

Frankfurt University is the most recent German college to launch an Islamic studies program. But it's already under fire for working closely with Turkey's state religion authority. In only a few weeks the summer semester will begin at Frankfurt's Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University and for the first time students will be able to pursue Islamic studies at the college's theological faculty. Mehmet Emin Köktas and two professors of Protestant theology have been working on the curriculum for two years. Köktas, a Turk, is able to teach in Frankfurt thanks to an agreement signed between the university and the Turkish Presidium for Religious Affairs (Diyanet). Köktas suggested that Frankfurt graduates could eventually end up teaching Islam in school religion classes. So far, only very few of Germany's states allow for classes on Islam, but graduates may be able to apply for work in a project currently underway in North Rhine-Westphalia, where children in 100 schools receive Islamic instruction in German.

The Urgency of Da`wah (Missionary Work) in the West

Daniel Pipes, a critic of “Islamism,” has proposed the creation of a new “Anti-Islamist Institute” (AII), designed to expose legal political activities of “Islamists,” according to Jim Lobe of the Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS). The draft of a grant proposal by Pipes’ Middle East Forum (MEF), obtained by IPS, reads, “In the long term... the legal activities of Islamists pose as much or even a greater set of challenges than the illegal ones.” “Pipes is also working with Stephen Schwartz on a new ‘Center for Islamic Pluralism’ (CIP) whose aims are to ‘promote moderate Islam in the U.S. and globally’” and to oppose the influence of extremists,” Lobe writes. “It has almost become socially acceptable to engage in bigoted and racist speech about Muslims.” “The ‘extremists,’ according to the CIP proposal, are mainly represented by ... an array of organisations consisting of CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Muslim Students’ Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), as well as ‘secular’ groups, including the Arab-American Institute (AAI) and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC),” he adds.

To preserve genuine Islam in the West, every sincere Muslim has an obligation to educate as many people as he/she can about Islamic beliefs and values. Islam is a complete way of life. We must adjust our lifestyle to our religion—not the other way round. That is, we cannot twist the laws of Allah and His message to fit our convenience or to please a person or group. To accomplish this noble mission, Muslims need to coordinate and unite their efforts to withstand the plots that aim at distorting Islamic teachings under slogans like “Reforming Islam” or “Promoting Liberal Islam.” We need to focus our energy in passing the genuine message of Allah to humanity.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Reuters: Not Religious Conflict in Armenia?

Notice how Al-Reuters can write an entire article about the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan without even mentioning the religious aspect of it:

What's going on in Nagorno-Karabakh?

The roots of the conflict pre-date the creation of the Soviet Union. Violent clashes in 1905 and 1918 evolved into fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over three contested border areas, Nagorno-Karabakh, Nakhichevan and Zangezur. In 1921, Nagorno-Karabakh was incorporated into Soviet Azerbaijan. As both Soviet republics embraced nationalism and political demonstrations turned violent, minority populations within each republic fled ethnic discrimination. Armenia and Azerbaijan witnessed a total population swap of some 1,000,000 inhabitants. In 1988, the Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians voted to secede and join Armenia. Azerbaijan attempted to prevent Nagorno-Karabakh’s secession by force, and when Armenia and Azerbaijan proclaimed independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh’s future escalated into a war between the two states.

Armenian forces invaded Nagorno-Karabakh in 1992 and occupied seven adjoining districts in Azerbaijan, creating a corridor -- the Lachin corridor -- connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia proper. Politically, socially, and economically Nagorno-Karabakh behaves like an autonomous Armenian province. With a growing population of approximately 200,000, Nagorno-Karabakh has become ethnically homogenous: 95 percent of residents are Armenian, and Assyrians, Greeks, and Kurds constitute the remaining 5 percent. Armenians rely on free movement and trade between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia proper, and Nagorno-Karabakh’s first elected leader, Robert Kocharian, is now Armenia’s president.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Did Free Trade Cause Neanderthal Extinction?

Economics-free trade may have contributed to the extinction of Neanderthals 30,000-40,000 years ago, according to a paper published in the “Journal of Economic Organization and Behavior.” “After at least 200,000 years of eking out an existence in glacial Eurasia, the Neanderthal suddenly went extinct,” writes University of Wyoming economist Jason Shogren, along with colleagues Richard Horan of Michigan State University and Erwin Bulte from Tilburg University in the Netherlands. “Early modern humans arriving on the scene shortly before are suspected to have been the perpetrator, but exactly how they caused Neanderthal extinction is unknown.” Creating a new kind of caveman economics in their published paper, they argue early modern humans were first to exploit the competitive edge gained from specialization and free trade. With more reliance on free trade, humans increased their activities in culture and technology, while simultaneously out-competing Neanderthals on their joint hunting grounds, the economists say.

US: The Overstretch Myth

At the peak of its global power the United Kingdom was a net creditor, but as it entered the twentieth century, it started losing its economic dominance to Germany and the United States. In contrast, the United States is a large net debtor. But in its case, no plausible challenger to its economic leadership exists, and its share of the global economy will not decline. Focusing exclusively on the NIIP obscures the United States' institutional, technological, and demographic advantages. The United States continues to reap major gains from what Charles de Gaulle called its "exorbitant privilege," its unique role in providing global liquidity by running chronic external imbalances. The resulting inflow of productivity-enhancing capital has strengthened its underlying economic position. Only one development could upset this optimistic prognosis: an end to the technological dynamism, openness to trade, and flexibility that have powered the U.S. economy. The biggest threat to U.S. hegemony, accordingly, stems not from the sentiments of foreign investors, but from protectionism and isolationism at home.

UK: Muslims praised by Brown

Gordon Brown last night paid tribute to British Muslims as "modern heroes" who brought hope and idealism to the country. The Chancellor said they had contributed to Britain spiritually and economically because Islam was a religion that encouraged fair play, social justice and equality. "Islam teaches us that we are all part of one moral universe, that humanity is intertwined and interlinked like different parts of a human body, reflecting each other's condition. This is a universal moral principle we can all learn from," he said. Many of Britain's 1.5 million Muslims supported Labour until the Iraq war and the party is now working hard to try to win them back. "As Chancellor, I want in particular to thank you for the enormous contribution the Muslim community makes to our economy. I have learnt much from your entrepreneurial flair and talent," Mr Brown said in a speech at the Muslim News awards for excellence. He went on: "So I want to honour you and members of the Muslim community as our modern heroes: standing for the highest ideals, bearing burdens, and bringing hope to Britain."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Muslim Ghetto in the USA

Younger Muslims in particular are increasingly choosing not to assimilate into American society. Young women are deciding to wear headscarves even if their mothers did not. Muslim Students' Associations on college campuses are growing rapidly as a barrier for Muslims who prefer not to interact socially with non-Muslims. To counter their discomfort in public schools' system, Muslims are building Islamic schools as an alternative. To thwart media bias, Muslims are developing their own radio programmes and publications. Radio Islam, the first Muslim daily radio programme in the US, debuted in Chicago in September. Americans are about a decade behind Europeans in the challenges they are likely to face living side by side with their Muslim neighbours. Three generations of discrimination against Muslim residents have brought Europe to a perilous tipping point. America needs to show more tolerance towards its Muslim citizens to avoid following the path of Europe with an even further deterioration of relations between Muslims and non- Muslims. Efforts to convince Muslims not to hate Americans need to be combined with efforts to convince Americans not to hate Muslims.

Russia's new Muslim lobby

The "Islamic Heritage" organization that was established at a congress in Moscow this week plans to lobby the Russian government at all levels on behalf of the traditionally Islamic peoples of that country in much the same way the Russian Jewish Congress already does on behalf of Russia's Jews, according to its founders. Because the new group can claim to speak for more than 10 percent of Russia's population, its leaders hope that they will wield a great deal of influence and even power. But that possibility almost inevitably means that Moscow will try to weaken the new group's base by promoting divisions within the country's ever-larger Muslim population. Khakimov told the meeting that "Russia has two legs, Islam and Orthodoxy and can stand up only by using both."

Terrorists Strike in Sweden

I have heard of this group, Global Intifada, before. I'm not quite sure, but my impression so far is that it is an extremist Leftist group, not an Islamic one. If so, it is yet another example of the Socialist-Islamic alliance in the West, one which is already evident in both Norway and Denmark:

Russian Embassy Vehicle In Flames

A Russian embassy vehicle burst into flames only minutes after a civil servant had parked it near the mission in Stockholm on Tuesday. According to police, the attack is being claimed by a group calling itself Global Intifada, and in a press release the group stated that the attack was a ”protest against Russia’s imperialistic war in Chechnya.” A police inspector in charge of Stockholm embassy surveillance said that a Russian civil servant had just parked the car five minutes before when it caught fire yesterday. He added that ”the group Global Intifada has claimed responsibility for this, but we don’t know how the car began to burn.” The organization, which has attacked the Danish embassy in Stockholm twice over the past year, reportedly sent a message to a Swedish media group saying that it had carried out the attack by planting a fire bomb under the car. In January, the group claimed responsibility for setting a Danish embassy vehicle on fire, and last September it confessed to vandalizing the Danish embassy here by breaking windows and spray painting the hall of the building red.

Swedes are soft on terrorism, Russians say

The Russian authorities accused Sweden of being soft on terrorism Wednesday after a car belonging to the Russian Embassy in Stockholm was set ablaze and a group protesting Moscow's involvement in Chechnya claimed responsibility. Russia's Foreign Ministry accused the Swedish authorities of ignoring repeated requests for increased security around the embassy. The Russian ministry also criticized the independent Swedish news agency TT for publishing an interview Monday with Shamil Basayev, the Chechen rebel leader, which it said may have led to the attack. "We note a striking coincidence which hardly appears accidental that the car arson happened a day after the publication of an interview Shamil Basayev in which he praised Sweden for its 'decent' behavior in criticizing Moscow and openly threatened new terrorist acts against Russia and its citizens," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "All this shows that terrorists in Sweden feel themselves perfectly free."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

All-Arabic Preschool Classes in Swedish City

Malmö, Sweden's third largest city, which should be known to those following Muslim immigration to Scandinavia, has now taken another step towards its Islamization: Starting from the fall of 2005, the district of Hyllie will begin education in Arabic only for groups of immigrant preschool children. This seems logical, given that Muslims already make up close to one third of its population, and may well be the majority within a few years as native Swedes are leaving the city in record numbers. The idea is that once the children learn the language of their parents, it will become easier for them to learn Swedish as well. So the Swedish state paying for educating Swedish citizens on Swedish ground in Arabic is somehow supposed to increase integration. The idea is so ridiculous that even the regional newspaper Sydsvenskan is skeptical.

Perhaps being good dhimmis and teaching in Arabic can stop one of the latest fads in Sweden: Burning schools. At least 139 schools in Sweden burnt during 2003 alone. Such as this one in Malmö, where three schools were put on fire during one night. "Teenage boys" are suspected to behind the arson. Malmö is descending into general chaos. Fights in the city's movie theaters have become a recurrent problem. Meanwhile, immigration to Sweden continues at full speed, with most of the established parties and the Socialist government in particular keeping a lid on all attempts to start a genuine immigration debate.

Private donation for Danish Koran translation

And just why do they think that a new translation of the Koran will bring more integration? The Koran is just as full of hate in any language or translation:

A private donor is willing to pay DKK 100,000 to launch a new effort to translate the Koran into Danish, daily newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad reported on Monday. The donor, sculptor and professor Hein Heinsen, said a new translation could contribute to a better understanding and integration of Muslims in Denmark. The offer was received with enthusiasm at the University of Copenhagen, where a team of linguists and religious scholars is ready to embark on the project, estimated to cost DKK 3-5 million.

The only existing Danish translation of the Koran was published in 1967. It is neither acknowledged by Shia nor Sunni Muslims, as the translator, Abdul S. Madsen, belonged to the Muslim sect of Ahmadiyya, which teaches that a second prophet arrived after Mohammed. Nevertheless, Liberal Integration Minister Rikke Hvilshøj said the government would not contribute to the translation project. ‘If the state contributes to a project like that, there will be a lot of other things that should be translated as well,’ she told daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende. ‘I think it’s a fine idea if private or scholarly donors contribute to the cause, but it won’t happen with help from the Ministry of Integration.’

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Catholics back Muslim claims against evangelical Christians

The Catholic Church confirms its standing as the worst dhimmi institution in the Western world. Let's hope the next Pope has some backbone:

Catholics back Muslim claims against evangelical Christians

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart's Vicar for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations has explained its support for the Islamic Council of Victoria's anti-vilification case against Catch the Fire Ministries, before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. A statement from the Archdiocese's Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission says that Episcopal Vicar Fr Peter Kenny sought to make an intervention on behalf of the Islamic Council. The Uniting Church also sought to make such an intervention. Dr Gary Bouma, an Anglican priest, appeared as an expert witness on behalf of the Islamic Council.

In response to questions from Catholics and other Christians about why Christian witnesses were appearing in court supporting non-Christians against another Christian group, the Archdiocesan Commission said that it believed that Muslims in Victoria had indeed been vilified by the activities of Catch the Fire Ministries. The Commission said that the intention of the Catholic intervention was to show the respect the Catholic Church has towards Islam.

Norway: Royal lineage doubts debunked

A historian at the University of Oslo is throwing cold water on another author's theory that Norway's King Haakon wasn't the biological father of his son Olav. He has few doubts over the Norwegian royal lineage. Bomann-Larsen notes in his book that there was intense speculation in the early 1900s over the parentage of the little boy who became Norway's King Olav V. Prince Carl and Princess Maud of Denmark (who later became King Haakon and Queen Maud of Norway) had been childless for years before the boy was born and top Norwegian officials later probed (and dashed) persistent rumors that Prince Carl was homosexual.

Bomann-Larsen tracked records of a lengthy and secret stay by Princess Maud at a private clinic in London in the autumn before the baby was born in July of the following year. A physical separation between Maud and Prince Carl at the time raised questions, Bomann-Larsen argues, over whether Prince Carl could have fathered the child. Instead, the author raises the possibility that Maud's doctor succeeded in an early form of artificial insemination, resulting in the birth of Olav the next summer. The family of three later moved to Norway to take over as the country's first modern royal family after Norway won sovereignty in 1905, something that never would have happened if they hadn't had a royal heir. Storsveen, however, claims he can't find adequate sourcing for Bomann-Larsen's "hypothesis" that Olav wasn't the son of King Haakon. "King Olav's descendants can take it easy," Storsveen says, referring to today's royal family in Norway, and adding that Bomann-Larsen's claims lack credibility.

Saudi: 200 lashes for 'mocking long beards'

A SAUDI academic has been sentenced to 200 lashes and time in jail for insulting an Islamist colleague, a Saudi-owned newspaper reported today.
Hamza al-Muzaini, a lecturer in linguistics at King Saud University, was accused by Abdullah al-Barak, a lecturer of Islamic culture at the same university, of defamation and insult, the London-based Al-Hayat reported. Barak, who is described as a radical salafist - a strict form of Sunni Islam - reportedly accused Muzaini of "mocking long beards" and questioning his knowledge in an article published a few months ago, other reports said. Muzaini was sentenced to 200 lashes, four months in prison and banned from publishing, a verdict he immediately appealed, the newspaper said.

Monday, March 21, 2005

"Blogs - Not Permissible in Islam"

Recently, many people have been asking about the permissibility of blogs, i.e. online diaries - I'm sure many of us have seen and read them. I submitted a question to Mufti Nawalur-Rahman about them, the answer can be heard here:


The translation for non-urdu speakers (provided by brother salman):

Going to websites like these will not be permissible, because they contain personal matters and also they specify names/identities which can create a path for bay-hayaai (shamelessness), and unlawful relations, and It is a source that may leak out the faults/kharaabiyan "aayb" of muslims. It will not be permissible.

Edit: added translation.

Sweden and Cuba: Demonstrate or be damned

The Swedish National Labour Market Administration is the catchy English designation for the dreaded job centre, or Arbetsförmedlingen. The Nyköping branch decided it would get its job-seekers out of the house for a while. Using an old trick beloved of authoritarian states everywhere, the Administration told unemployed construction workers that if they did not attend a demonstration in favour of collective agreements, it would assume they were in gainful employment and their benefits would be duly withdrawn. Here are a couple of snippets from the threatening letter:

You will receive information on the bus to Stockholm City Centre, where Byggnads [Union for Hurling Abuse at Latvians] will hold a demonstration about the significance of collective agreements, in which you are expected to take part. Attendance at the meeting is compulsory. If you do not attend, I will take it for granted that you are fully occupied and no longer seeking employment through the Labour Market Administration. You will be removed from the unemployment register and your unemployment benefits will cease.

The Liberal Party’s Lars Leijonborg has this to say about the Labour Market Administration’s intervention: This is a shocking example of where we end up when we have a society where the Social Democrats become inseparable from the State. This is a completely unacceptable example of threatening individuals to make them take part in the Social Democratic propaganda machine.

Dangerous Ethnic Tensions in France

Via, a piece from Expatica:

Thousands of French high-school students who demonstrated against the government in central Paris Tuesday were protected by an extensive security detail after violence and muggings that marred a similar march a week ago. Le Monde newspaper carried disturbing interviews with attackers and victims in last week's trouble - both sides agreeing that the violence was exclusively carried out on white boys and girls by black and Arab teenagers. "If I went, it was not to demonstrate but to take telephones and beat people up. There were groups of people running about stirring things up, and in the middle these idiots - these little French people just asking for it," an 18-year-old of Tunisian origin called Heikel said.

"We came to demonstrate against inequalities and we got beaten up. It's as if they thought that we - the "white Parisians " - had plenty of money, that we could buy a new mobile phone tomorrow," said Tristan Goldbronn, 16, who was badly hurt. Police estimated that between 700 and 1,000 youngsters came into the city centre to spoil the March 8 demonstration, most of them from the Seine-Saint-Denis department in the northern suburbs. Heikel, who attends a secondary school in the area, told Le Monde that the mainly white Parisian students who took part in the march - known in street parlance as "bolos" - were seen as spoilt and privileged, and therefore fair game. "A bolo - he's a sitting duck, a victim," he said.

"China More Important Than Islam"

China, the most-populous nation on Earth, is now an economic force to be reckoned with. It is undoubtedly the most exciting business story of the decade, if not the most important geopolitical story, and it is the territory Ted C. Fishman examines in ''China, Inc.: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World.'' By one estimate, China's economy — which today ranks as about the seventh-largest — could be 75 percent bigger than America's by the year 2050. China's future is not yet secure. For the moment, with China's economy charging ahead at 10 percent annual growth, more people probably are happy — or at least patient — than are unhappy, but any unforeseen calamity that derails progress — whether a banking meltdown or regional currency crisis — could lead to chaos. ''While all eyes turn to the so-called clash of civilizations between Islam and the West,'' Fishman warns, ''in the long run China will have the most profound impact on the world.''

Svikter universitetene i Midtøsten-debatten?

Den norske bloggeren Fjordman gir sin tillatelse på forhånd til at alle som ønsker det kan kopiere, republisere, sende inn som kronikk eller leserinnlegg til avis, eller gjentrykke hele eller deler av alle mine norske tekster etter fritt ønske, så lenge du tilhører et demokratisk (ikke høyreekstremt) ståsted. Du kan også klippe og lime fra flere av dem, men ikke blande mine tekster med andres under navnet Fjordman, da jeg ikke lenger vil ha kontroll på hvilke meninger som formidles med min støtte. Dersom du blander mine tekster med egne skrifter, foretrekker jeg at du ikke nevner mitt navn. De som sender inn mine tekster til aviser kan bruke sitt eget navn, og dersom de ønsker det nevne at teksten gjengis med tillatelse av Fjordman. Det er hyggelig, men absolutt intet krav, dersom en referanse gis til min blog.

Blant flere oppgaver man ofte forestiller seg at universitetene skal oppfylle, kommer opplæring i kritisk tenkning som regel høyt. Ideelt sett skal studentene trenes til å stille spørsmål ved vedtatte sannheter, spesielt dersom disse ”sannhetene” er utbredte og er med på å forme den offentlige debatten. Klarer universitetene denne oppgaven? Undertegnede vil hevde at de ikke gjør det. I særlig grad har de sviktet i Midtøsten- og islamrelaterte temaer. Mens diskusjonen raser omkring Irak og Afghanistan, konflikten mellom israelere og palestinere, terrorangrep mot Madrid og spenninger mellom innfødte europeere og muslimske innvandrere, er det mange debattanter som fremsetter påstander det kan stilles mange spørsmålstegn ved. Ikke bare blir dette gjort i altfor liten grad av våre akademikere, ikke sjelden er de aktivt med på å støtte opp om slike myter.

Det hevdes av mange at våre dagers islamsk ekstremisme og terrorisme i stor grad skyldes fattigdom og desperasjon, og er et svar på langvarig vestlig undertrykkelse og kolonialisering. Går man denne påstanden etter i sømmene, har den en del store hull. Det er liten tvil om at den delen av verden som har lidd mest under vestlig kolonialisme og utbytting er Nord – og Sør – Amerika, og kanskje Australia. Europeisk kolonisering startet allerede på slutten av 1400 – tallet her. Selv etter at europeerne på 1800 – tallet forlot Latin – Amerika har Vesten i USAs skikkelse aktivt blandet seg inn i disse landenes affærer. Tross den brutale slavehandelen ble ikke en gang afrikanerne fortrengt i sitt eget land i en slik grad som de amerikanske indianerne ble.

Til kontrast kom det europeiske nærværet i Den arabiske verden mye seinere, varte mye kortere og, med unntak av Algerie, var også mildere enn i Amerika. Sentrale deler av Den arabiske halvøya ble aldri reelt kolonisert. Dersom det skulle være en direkte sammenheng mellom vestlig undertrykkelse og moderne terrorisme mot Vesten, burde gjerningsmennene bak 11.september vært fattige indianere fra Latin- Amerika. Tvert imot kom de fleste fra Saudi – Arabia, et rikt land som aldri har vært en europeisk koloni, og som faktisk selv drev sin egen kolonisering lenge før europeerne hadde satt sin for i andre deler av verden. Arabernes erobringer startet med islams inntog på midten av 600 – tallet, og medførte totalt uprovoserte angrep på Egypt, Nord – Afrika, Iran, Asia og deler av Europa. For de som hevder at muslimers mistro til Vesten stammer fra korstogene, kan det nevnes at det første av disse ble erklært i 1095. De foregikk 400 – 500 år ETTER at muslimene uten forvarsel hadde angrepet det kristne Europa og Midtøsten. Historikere som Bernard Lewis har da også påpekt at korstogene bør sees på som en forsinket forsvarsreaksjon fra et Europa som hadde vært beleiret av muslimer i århundrer, og at begrepet om ”hellig krig” ble importert til Europa fra nettopp islam. Uavhengig av dette pågikk det dessuten til dels brutale muslimske angrep på Sentral – Asia og India. Islamsk krigføring regnes som en av de viktigste grunnene til at buddhismen ble utryddet i sitt gamle kjerneområde i hjertet av Asia. Muslimsk aggresjon begynte et halvt tusen år før korstogene, nesten tusen år før europeisk kolonitid, 1100 år før USA i det hele tatt ble grunnlagt, og 1300 år før staten Israel ble opprettet. Fenomenet kan umulig forklares med noen av disse faktorene.

Andre enn muslimer har dessuten blitt utsatt for overgrep i moderne historie. Japanerne gikk på 1900 – tallet svært brutalt frem under sin kolonisering av Korea, deler av Kina og Sørøst – Asia, et område som i dag utgjør planetens raskest voksende økonomier. Hinduene i India var like lenge og mye under europeisk styre som muslimene. Likevel viser det seg i land som England at hinduer gjør det bedre på skolen og i arbeidsmarkedet, og har mindre konflikter med den innfødte befolkningen enn blant annet pakistanere. Det finnes ingen hinduistiske terrorgrupper i Storbritannia, mens britisk etterretning mange ganger har avverget muslimske terrorister fra å utføre angrep på uskyldige sivile. Innvandrerne fra Sør – Asia har nokså lik hudfarge, og har alle ikke-vestlig kulturell og religiøs bakgrunn. Forskjellene kan altså umulig begrunnes med bare vestlig rasisme og fremmedfrykt, heller ikke med kolonitida eller økonomisk utgangspunkt.

Noe annet som svært ofte hevdes er at ”islamsk kultur” var ledende i middelalderen, og at europeere skylder mye av vår teknologiske fremgang til muslimene. Dersom man sier at ”Midtøsten” var Europa kulturelt og økonomisk overlegen i middelalderen, er dette riktig. Slik hadde det imidlertid vært i tusenvis av år før islam så dagens lys. De eldste sivilisasjonene menneskeheten kjenner til strakte seg i et belte fra Egypt via Syria, Libanon, Irak og Iran til dagens Pakistan. Det er ingen tilfeldighet at de første europeiske høykulturene vokste frem i land som lå nært Midtøsten: Kreta, Hellas og seinere Italia. Selv i Romerriket var de østlige delene av riket sterkere, med flere og større byer og tettere handel enn de nordlige og vestlige delene. Da de muslimske araberne, et tilbakestående krigerfolk som ikke en gang hadde et utviklet skriftspråk, erobret Egypt, Syria og Iran, overtok de noen av verdens største sentre for oppsamlet kunnskap. Å si at ”muslimene” skapte Midtøstens høykulturer kan best sammenlignes med at en analfabet stormer inn i verdens største bibliotek, og gjør krav på å ha skrevet alle bøkene der. Midtøstens kulturelle overlegenhet i forhold til Europa begynte ikke med islams inntog. Faktisk sluttet den gradvis etter dette. En av historiens store gåter er hvordan denne en gang så dynamiske regionen i dag er blitt verdens problemområde nummer en. Tilfeldigvis overlapper denne nedgangen delvis med islamiseringen, selv om enkelte vil hevde at det var begynt før. Moderne vestlig kultur skylder mye til egyptere, grekere, romere, persere, bysantinere, assyrere, jøder, indere og kinesere. Vi skylder lite eller ingenting til islam.

Det faktum at slike påstander, som i beste fall er meget tvilsomme, får sirkulere så fritt i den offentlige diskusjonen, og bare sjelden blir motsagt, kan vanskelig tolkes som noe annet enn en svikt i universitetssystemet. Kanskje bør vi erkjenne at også andre kulturer har sine myter om egen fortreffelighet? Bør ikke disse også være gjenstand for kritisk vurdering? Lider Midtøsten-relaterte studier av en pro-islamsk slagside, eller bunner dette fenomenet i en overdrevet frykt for å bli stemplet som fremmedfiendtlig? Uansett årsak er det viktig at spørsmålet fokuseres på. Dersom man kommer med gale analyser av et problem, er det lite sannsynlig at man er i stand til å løse det. Tatt i betraktning de internasjonale spenningene vi har nå, har vi kort og godt ikke råd til å mislykkes i så viktige temaer. Tida er derfor overmoden for å rette søkelyset mot våre institusjoner for høyere utdanning, og den rollen de spiller i denne debatten.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Bombs Against Shakespeare

I got the link from Norwegian blog Don't these people know that Shakespeare was a Sufi?

Car bomb targets theatre in Qatar

A British man has been killed and about 12 other people injured in a suspected suicide bomb attack in Qatar. The car bomb blast occurred at the Doha Players theatre outside the capital, Doha, near a British school. The blast occurred at a theatre opposite the Doha English Speaking school in the Khalifa district, a few kilometres from the city centre. The theatre was performing Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

France’s Hijab Law Proven "Discriminatory" - Report

The French law banning hijab in schools has proved discriminatory against the Muslim minority and a violation of France's secularism, said the Coalition against Islamophobia in its report marking the first anniversary of the controversial law. Some 42 Muslim female students were ousted from schools. Six of them had no other option but to join schools in Belgium and Turkey, while 17 others attended classes in private institutes." The hijab-banning law would take a psychological toll on Muslim females and their position in society, and could trigger more backlash and Islamophobic acts against the Muslim minority, the report warned.

Hidden in Plain Sight - Prostitution in the Arab World

Prostitution is alive and well in Amman. This massage parlour, although illegal, is by no means unique; in fact, its dull façade is practically the standard for such businesses, which have sprung up across Jordan’s capital in the last year. “You can see their advertisements in newspapers,” says Tamer Khreis, a human-rights lawyer in Jordan. “People all know that massage parlours are used for something other than massage.”

Everyone also knows that this is not the only way to pay for sex. It is available on street corners, as well as in hundreds of similarly nondescript nightclubs that cater to expats and wealthy Jordanians. Pornography is viewed, shared and habitually obsessed over in Internet cafés around the city. Because a woman’s virginity is prized, al-Qassem says that young Jordanians choose to have anal sex instead—usually without protection.

Internet porn is more than rampant in Amman; it is an epidemic. “Most of the people who use the Internet, they use it for porn,” al-Qassem says. “They pay 7 to 8 JDs [$12–$14] for the day, and they just watch porno." The stories Ayman tells seem almost surreal, at least to Western ears. He once had a woman wearing a hijab ask for help downloading hardcore pornography.

Internet culture in Jordan is rife with homosexuality, he says, despite—or perhaps because of—the severe repression of gay sexual activity. To him, it’s a question of logic. “You have a guy, he’s horny, and he can’t have sex with a girl. So he goes to an Internet café to meet other guys and to be with them. And no one talks about it.”

In Syria and Saudi Arabia—a far more prosperous but no less repressive country—technological savvy often trumps government censorship. Though Saudi Arabia has one of the largest Internet filtering systems this side of China, ostensibly blocking (according to Reporters Without Borders) some four hundred thousand Web pages that “violate the principles of Islam and the social norms,” access is nonetheless relatively easy. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the Internet can use proxy servers located outside the country to circumvent state-controlled ISPs. Saudis use this trick to access information about their royal family and Israel, as well as news about Saudi affairs from sources other than the state-controlled media. Yet, according to the same Reporters Without Borders brief, “in the great majority of cases, these relay servers are used to access pornography sites.”

The young women were jumpy and didn’t want to talk, constantly looking over their shoulder for police. Apparently, they were right to be nervous. “Sometimes when police catch a prostitute, and they know she’s a prostitute, they try to be with her in the police department,” confirms Tamer Khreis,the Jordanian lawyer. “Sometimes they will take her money or even rape her, threatening to tell her family”—which can amount to a death sentence.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Lebanese Cardinal wants Hizb Allah disarmed

Cardinal Nasr Allah Butrus Sfair also said after talks with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that Annan would dispatch international observers to monitor Lebanon's May parliamentary elections, to ensure they were free and fair. But UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen said that while the world body wanted monitors in Lebanon, there was not yet an agreement to let them in.

"This is clearly my opinion and this is a part of my dialogue with the parties," Roed-Larsen said in an interview on National Public Radio's All Things Considered show. "I have a continued dialogue with them which is not yet concluded," he said when asked if that meant the parties were resisting the idea of observers. Annan has asked Roed-Larsen to press for enforcement of a resolution, drafted by France and the United States, that calls on Syria to withdraw all its forces from Lebanon. The resolution, adopted by the Security Council in November, also seeks the disarmament of all Lebanese militias such as Hizb Allah.

Woman leads Muslim prayer service in New York City

I'm not sure I believe Islam can be reformed, but I will nevertheless give credit to those who do an honest try. There are not many of them, but Amina Wadud should be included on the list:

Woman leads Muslim prayer service in New York City despite criticism in the Middle East

Muslim leaders in the Middle East sharply criticized a female professor who led an Islamic prayer service before a mixed congregation of men and women in New York and complained that it violated centuries of tradition. Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the service she lead Friday helped emphasize ``the belief in the reality that women are equal'' under Islam. ``We will no longer accept the back door or the shadows,'' Nomani said. ``Today, we are ushering Islam into the 21st century, reclaiming the voice that the prophet gave us 1,400 years ago.''

She introduced a 10-item list she dubbed as ``An Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Mosque,'' which included the right to enter through the front door and to lead prayers. For many critics, the forum was a blasphemous affront to mainstream Islam. Particularly controversial was Wadud's periodic substitution of the Arabic word for God, Allah, with the pronouns, he, she and it, arguing that God's omnipresence defied gender definition.

``All she is doing is twisting the interpretation of Islam to suit her needs. This is blasphemy, pure and simple,'' said Mohammed Nussrah, a Brooklyn native whose family is Algerian. Nussrah, a member of a local Muslim group named the Islamic Thinkers, added: ``If this was an Islamic state, this woman would be hanged.'' It was not clear whether Wadud heard opponents' comments or saw the placards they carried outside, one of which read: ``Mixed-Gender Prayers Today, Hellfire Tomorrow.'' She did not accept interviews after the event.

``People in America think they are going to be the vanguards of change,'' Haddad said. ``But for Arab Muslims in the Middle East, American Muslims continue to be viewed on the margins of the faith.'' The sheik of Cairo's Al-Azhar mosque, the Islamic world's leading Sunni Muslim institution, said Islam permits women to lead other women in prayer but not a congregation with men.

Some more articles about Amina Wadud:

"I am a nigger"

Blasphemy against Islam and the Holy Quran by Amina Wadud

Islam Aids link uproar

What are the conditions for this worldwide resurgence of Islam that we're seeing today?

A'ishah's legacy: Amina Wadud looks at the struggle for women's rights within Islam

American Muslim women announce campaign to pray inside mosques

Friday, March 18, 2005

Norway: The Rapes Continue

7 Kurdish Muslim immigrants are suspects in a gang rape case against a 16 year old Norwegian girl in Oslo in December. One of the men charged with the gang rape is suspected of being involved in another gang rape of a girl in Oslo ten days later.

Now, everybody is innocent until proven otherwise, and none of these men have yet been convicted of anything. But it does sound a lot like a recent such case in Sweden, where a group of Kurdish males had raped a Swedish teenage girl for hours and taken photos of the event. There are reports of more such incidents coming in with disturbing frequency. Kurdish Muslims in Norway have even openly threatened Norwegian girls with rape before.

I am by now almost convinced that the theory presented in my first post about Muslim rapes in Sweden and Norway is true. The staggering numbers revealed in 2001 in Oslo have been suppressed for political reasons, as they would destroy too many multicultural pipe dreams and be inconvenient for the elites. So in the end, the safety of young Scandinavian women is sacrificed in order to keep the glossy image of a multicultural society intact. I find this absolutely appalling. I don't know who made the decision to quiet down these statistics. It has to be somebody high up in the police hierarchy, or probably in the Ministry of Justice. Regardless, it is in the end the responsibility of the Norwegian Minister of Justice, Odd Einar Dørum, who should announce his immediate resignation.

It is a national, if not international, scandal that the authorities in a nation that prides itself on being a champion of women’s rights can put fear of offending Muslim immigrants higher than the security of its own young women. Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik should also consider resigning. At a time when racist attacks from Muslim immigrant youngsters make it increasingly unsafe for Norwegian women in their own capital city, their Prime Minister is mainly concerned with who puts together book shelves at IKEA. Such a politician either does not understand what’s going on in his own country or no longer cares about protecting his own people. In both cases, he is unfit for public office, let alone that of Prime Minister.

If you find this as grotesque as I do, here are some suggested emails, in case you want to send a letter of protest in English or Norwegian.

Note: The email addresses have been removed, as they may no longer be updated.

Norway "to import Swedish heads"

Svenska Dagbladet reported on Thursday that Oslo's teaching hospital, Rikshospitalet, is running out of body parts for their anatomy classes. Now they are interested in "importing Swedish heads for studying and biology research". There is a lack of donors in Norway and it means that the country has to turn to "a new form of cross-border trade", as SvD put it. The hospital wants to import heads from Swedish corpses. "We just have to do this", said Dr. Trygve Lundar at Rikshospitalet to the Norwegian papers. It is believed that animal heads and plastic models cannot give the students the insight they need. The hospital board believes their students should practice on "the real thing" if they're to get a head start in their medical careers.

Swedish Prisoner of Guantanamo Ghezali to sue Rumsfeld

Mehdi Ghezali has announced through his lawyer that he intends to sue US Secretary of State for Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, for damages. The Swede spent over two years in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba under suspicion of membership of the al-Qaida terror network. No concrete evidence was ever produced and he was released in July last year. Ghezali is being represented by one of Sweden's most famous lawyers, Peter Althin. Althin had no qualms about aiming for one of the top figures in the American administration:

"We're talking about a figure in the millions. The issue is Secretary of State Rumsfeld and his subordinates... Damages would be some kind of consolation for Ghezali. It's not certain that he'll ever get over his ordeal." Althin is currently negotiating with an American legal firm to help bring the case to court.

Ghezali claims that in 2001 he had spent time in Pakistan and then Afghanistan studying Islam. When the Americans invaded Afghanistan, he was in Jalalabad and fled back to Pakistan. He was in a group of refugees which was then handed over to American forces on suspicion of belonging to al-Qaida.

In the book, Ghezali gives numerous examples of harsh treatment and torture. These include sexual harassment at the hands of a female guard, being exposed to extreme heat and cold and long periods of sleep deprivation. He describes being chained for up to 14 hours a day in a cold interrogation room: "After a while it got so cold my body started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn't stop the shaking." However, Ghezali claims that his ordeal did not end when he stepped off the plane in Sweden on 8 July last year. Hultén is just as indignant at the treatment the Swede has received in his home country.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

American Wins $985,000 Norwegian Math Prize

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters awarded its prestigious Abel prize, a kind of surrogate for a Nobel prize in mathematics, to American Peter Lax, the academy said on Thursday. Hungarian-born Lax, 78, has been a professor at New York University since 1958. "He has had a profound influence, not only by his research, but also by his writing, his lifelong commitment to education and his generosity to younger mathematicians," the academy said. The prize, named for Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829), has been awarded since 2003. There is no Nobel prize for mathematics.

Finding Pluto: Tough Task, Even 75 Years Later

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the discovery of Pluto. Clyde Tombaugh discovered the ninth planet in the solar system on the afternoon of Feb. 18, 1930 while he meticulously examined a pair of photographic plates he had exposed in January at Lowell Observatory. The official announcement was made on March 13. This most renegade of all the planets has been an odd, mysterious world ever since. It will remain so for at least another decade, until the yet to be launched New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission arrives at Pluto, the last planet in our solar system to be visited by a spacecraft. New Horizons is scheduled to launch in January 2006, and is due to swing past Jupiter for a gravity boost and scientific studies in February 2007, before finally reaching Pluto and its moon, Charon, in July 2015.

A rather interesting astronomical issue has surfaced in recent years as to whether Pluto should legitimately be included in the roster of nine major planets. It's decidedly small size makes it considerably smaller than any other planet, even smaller than several planetary satellites. In addition, it has a moon (Charon) that is more than half its size, as well as a most unplanetary, asteroid like orbit. For some time people have suggested that Pluto is really an escaped satellite of Neptune. Other's have proposed that Pluto should not be considered a planet, but rather as the "King of the Kuiper Belt Objects", a ring of a few hundred chunks of ice, strung like a dirty diamond necklace in the vastness of space beyond Neptune.

Human rights in Islam

Islamic teachings never allow any person professing a different religious belief in an Islamic state to be deprived of human or religious rights because Islamic teachings clearly state that there is no compulsion of any kind over others in matters of religion or faith. A famous Hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) says “All creatures are God's family or children who are dependent on Him for their life and survival. Among all these creations, the dearest to Him is one who behaves gently with His creatures.”

Western media presents a distorted image of Islam. The Islamic way of life lays emphasis on justice. It treats humanity on equal footing and provides freedom after ending slavery. The charter of human rights which the United Nations presented before the world in 1948 was preached by the Prophet of Islam 1400 years ago. (Translated from Urdu)

Austrian Minister Backtracks on Anti-Hijab Comment

Austrian Interior Minister Liese Prokop has backtracked on anti-hijab statements, thanks to immediate and astute action from the Muslim minority in the south-central European country. “I respect Muslim women and their right to choose their attire,” Prokop said in press statements carried by Tuesday, March 15.

She shifted her ground following a visit by a delegation led by Amina Baghajati, the media spokeswoman for the Islamic Religious Authority (IGG), the main representative body of the Muslim minority in Austria. Prokop told the state-run Falter magazine on March 8 that she strongly supported banning hijab-clad women from teaching in schools. “I consider now the legality of banning hijab in schools,” Prokop told the state-run Falter Magazine Tuesday, March 8. “But, anyhow, I will throw my weight about the ban.” Expectedly, the minister’s statements raised the ire of the Muslim minority and government officials with Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel saying Prokop was in no position to address such an issue. Muslims make up some 8 per cent of the country’s eight million population.

Pakistan model state for Muslim world: Rice

"Pakistan is a model country for the Muslim world," Rice said. In Washington, she had stated that she would push General Musharraf on "commitment to a democratic path" for his country. Rice also held a separate meeting with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and exchanged views on Pak-US relations, regional security and other important regional and international issues. Rice will fly to the Afghan capital Kabul early today and then return to Islamabad later the same day for over three-hour formal talks with her counterpart Khurshid Kasuri and other officials.

Although the hype about the sale of F-16s in Pakistan and India did not materialise yet the issue is still going to figure high in the meeting. "The issue of F-16s has become far more complex after the nuclear scandal while the United States is ready to discuss the same with the two countries. Pakistan would press Washington get more than 70-odd aircraft besides a total upgrade of its existing fleet," said well-placed source in Islamabad. According to him, the trade off for Islamabad was too big as the United States would sell Patriots to India if "we get the latest version of F-16s". Another well-placed official source told The News, "Significant part of the talks focus on the ‘Glide Path’ cooperation or next steps in strategic cooperation on the nuclear realm which out of uranium enrichment". US and India are already engaged in high-technology trade which is intended to build stronger economic ties to complement the strategic partnership between the two nations.

Saudi Venom in U.S. Mosques

Freedom House's Muslim volunteers went to 15 prominent mosques from New York to San Diego and collected more than 200 books and other publications disseminated by Saudi Arabia (some 90% in Arabic) in mosque libraries, publication racks, and bookstores. For example, they:

See non-Muslims as the enemy: "Be dissociated from the infidels, hate them for their religion, leave them, never rely on them for support, do not admire them, and always oppose them in every way according to Islamic law."
See America as hostile territory: "It is forbidden for a Muslim to become a citizen of a country governed by infidels because this is a means of acquiescing to their infidelity and accepting all their erroneous ways."
Prepare for war against America: "To be true Muslims, we must prepare and be ready for jihad in Allah's way. It is the duty of the citizen and the government."

The insidious Saudi assault on America must be made central to the (misnamed) war on terror. The Bush administration needs to confront the domestic menace that the Wahhabi kingdom presents to America. That means junking the fantasy of Saudi friendship and seeing the country, like China, as a formidable rival whose ambitions for a very different world order must be repulsed and contained.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Norwegian blogger humiliates Leftist newspaper

Bjørn Stærk, the grand old man of Norwegian blogging, has made waves in Norway after he revealed that Dagsavisen, a leading Leftist newspaper, had, well, manufactured a story about how Norway had been put at risk for giving some microscopic aid to the Americans. Today, another national newspaper called Dagbladet runs a large story about how Bjørn Stærk "picked Dagsavisen's piece apart".

Three cheers to Bjørn for showing the way and putting blogs on the map even up here in the far north!

Dutch court allows film sequel to "Submission"

A Dutch court on Tuesday rejected a bid by a Muslim association to prevent the making of a sequel to the film "Submission," which led to its maker Theo van Gogh being murdered in Amsterdam by an alleged Islamic extremist. The court ruled that member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is proposing to make the sequel, could go ahead, and it also refused to bar her from making further statements deemed offensive to Muslims.

Hirsi Ali, who wrote the scenario for "Submission," had to go into hiding after the killing of van Gogh last November, and she then announced that she was working on a sequel. The ANP news agency said the court judge ruled that although Hirsi Ali "went to the limits of what is tolerable," there were not for the moment sufficient reasons to prevent her making a sequel to the film. Van Gogh was shot and stabbed while cycling in Amsterdam last November. Police allege the suspect is an Islamic extremist who killed the director because of his strongly critical stance on Islam and women.

However, according to Dutch Report, the judge also recommended Hirsi Ali not to call Muhammad a pedophile:

But amazingly the judge also warned Hirsi Ali to be careful when she does statements about the prophet. Hirsi Ali had in a newspaper interview said that according to our current norms and values the prophet was a "perverse tyrant" and a "pedophile". Judge Paris questions, "if it was needed to use these words".

"It looks like if [Hirsi Ali] with the use of these words has sought the limits of the permissible. The term pedophile has been chosen unfortunate because for that there would be the need of a pattern, although it is in the story a one time event". Judge Paris said that she did not break the law when she said it, but that would be questionable if she would repeat saying it. The lawyer of the Muslims says that she has been warned and that she received a red ticket. But Hirsi Ali, later said on Radio 1 that the Dutch language is a rich language and she will find other words.

Not a pedophile, eh? What else do you call a 54 year old man who has sex with a 9 year old child?

Aisha the Child Wife of Muhammad

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64
Narrated 'Aisha:
that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).

Children of Hitler's breeding plan cry out in Norway

There's Paul Hansen, who grew up in a mental home even though there was nothing wrong with him. There's Tove Laila Strand, sipping a drink and looking as fragile as the single zinnia on her table. Her mother and stepfather used to beat her with a clothes hanger. Downstairs in the lobby, Hugo Frebel, a large, amiable 62-year-old, starts to tell his story, then lowers his voice and glances around. "People are listening," he says, and leads his guest upstairs to the company of people who can understand what he has been through: members of the League Lebensborn of Norwegian Children of War.

Victims of World War II, these are the children born of Hitler's dream of breeding a master race by pairing German soldiers with north European women deemed to meet the blond, fair-skinned Aryan ideal. Their parentage condemned many of them to the margins of society. It denied them an education or cost them their marriages. Only now, as the 60th anniversary of the war's end approaches, is the government offering them compensation.

"I was a German baby. Worse than an insect," Frebel recalls. "They threw stones at us." During the five-year occupation, tens of thousands of children across Europe were born of relationships between German soldiers and local women. But in Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium, there was a more sinister side to the liaisons. It was called Lebensborn, which means fountain of life.

The program had been set up by German SS chief Heinrich Himmler in 1935 to propagate Aryan children. After the Nazis overran Germany's neighbor states in 1940, German occupation soldiers were encouraged to find suitable local mates. Once pregnant, the women could turn to one of 10 homes, which would eventually register 8,000 Lebensborn children. The first opened in March 1941.

A Lebensborn home was not a breeding facility, as some people have believed, "but more as a care facility," said Stein Larsen of the War and Children research project in the western Norway city of Bergen. Outside Germany, Norway was the jewel of the Lebensborn program, and the postwar hatred of its children was the greatest.

Innocent children of Hitler's racial master plan still haunt Norway 60 years after war's end

There were whispers of "German Baby," and even before starting school, he learned who his father was. Years later he tracked him down in Germany, but "he wanted nothing to do with me." He found refuge in the wilderness, and occasional companionship with the Sami, the indigenous reindeer herders of the Arctic. They had something in common: The Sami, like the war babies, were shunned by mainstream society.

The Sami "did not care that we were war babies," said Frebel. "But sometimes they got a hard time about it from the so-called 'proper Norwegians'." "My aunt said to me a week ago, 'I won't give you a share of my inheritance because your father was German.' I said, 'It was not my choice. I had no say in who my parents were."'

Uprising blazes throughout Iran capital

Tehran was left in a standstill this evening as the population poured into the streets to mark the national 'fire' festival of Chahar-shanbeh Souri despite intense pressures by the Iranian regime to prevent a possible uprising. Eye-witnesses reported that full-size puppets of high-ranking officials, such as the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the regime's president Mohammad Khatami, were set on fire by youths at numerous locations throughout the Iranian capital. Trucks belonging to Iran's security forces were also set ablaze.

Despite a general ban on the festival by the regime and repeated demands by the Iranian authorities that people avoid leaving their houses on the day, the main Iranian opposition group, the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) issued a call for the nation to take part in the event and call for the overthrow of the clerical regime. Thousands of people gathered in Vali-Asr Square in the city of Tabriz to celebrate the fire festival. Young people set off smoke bombs and sonic booms. Clashes were reported at Abressan Junction, where a huge crowd assembled.

Turkish parliament passes controversial headscarf amnesty

Secularism keeps being pushed back in Turkey:

The Turkish parliament Tuesday passed for a second time a controversial law pardoning tens of thousands of women who were expelled from universities for reasons including the wearing of the Islamic headscarf, banned under Turkey's secular education system. The bill was drawn up by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has roots in a now banned Islamic movement. Headscarves are regarded by the establishment, including the Turkish army, as a statement of opposition to the overwhelmingly Muslim nation's strictly secular order.

Danish Socialists support fight against Danes in Iraq

Is there no such thing as "treason" anymore? From DR Nyheder:

The Danish organisation, International Socialists, is prepared to support Iraqi opposition to the coalition in Iraq, of which Denmark is a part. The organisation considers the Danish soldiers stationed in Iraq to be “an occupying power” and therefore legitimate targets for car bombing and kidnapping. Defence Minister, Søren Gade, is surprised and concerned that a Danish organisation can accept the murder of Danish soldiers abroad. “The organisation is totally wrong to describe us as an “occupying power”. We are functioning according to the Iraqi leadership and United Nation’s wishes,” he said.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Belgium: Breeding Ground for Muslim Terror

The following is a translation of an article in Belgian newspaper Het Volk, with English translation provided by forum member Bluebonnet at Little Green Footballs:

Some of the Brussel’s Imams also recruit active jihad fighters who are prepared to give their life for the holy war.Investigation journalist Hind Fraihi, a faithful Moslem woman, lived two months disguised as a sociology student in the heart of Molenbeek. “I am astonished about what I discovered. Many Brussels Moslems do not show the slightest intention to integrate. They look upon the Belgians as infidels and do not have any affection with our country. They consider Molenbeek not as a part of Belgium anymore but as an Islamic enclave where they make the rules as in an Islamic state and where Belgians are not welcome.”

Hundreds of young adults study for years the “pure” Koran. They form a breeding-ground for hundreds of jihad fighters who are prepared to carry out attacks and to fight the holy ware against the infidels. “There is no imminent danger for attacks in Belgium. They look upon our country as an ideal operating base. For them Belgium is a safe harbor where they can plan with very few risk all sorts of attacks and activities abroad. They will not put that situation in jeopardy. There is not a big, well-organised Moslem terror structure in our country, but a whole series of extremist cells. Therefore those cells are very difficult to map for the police.”

'Understanding Islam' forum held with American Sociology Students

Aslam Abdullah ended an Islamic panelist discussion Monday evening with a little humor while addressing the question of Islam's role in America and terrorism. Abdullah said that whenever he speaks and wherever he goes people ask if Muslims are responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "My response to them is that we may be responsible for 7-11," Abdullah said, joking but also speaking to the participation of Muslims in American society. "We must understand that 9/11 was as tragic for us as for other Americans," Abdullah said. He is an author and editor of Muslim newspapers in Los Angeles and Detroit.

More than 230 people attended the forum, many of them college sociology students for class credit. Payne and her friend Christopher Papa, 27, learned of the similarities between Islam, Christianity, and Judiasm. Papa said he was beginning to understand the Muslim view and even the conditions surrounding Sept. 11. "If you study it you can understand 9/11," Papa said. "Though it's not justifiable in any way."

Islamic schools gain popularity in Michigan

Islamic schools are gaining strength in Michigan as growing numbers of Muslim parents decide that their children can benefit from the religious, cultural, and academic atmosphere. Parents say they are attracted by the discipline, the values-based instruction, and the stress on academic achievement that includes individual attention and smaller class sizes. The Muslim American Youth Academy in Dearborn has a waiting list of 20 and an enrollment of 211, up from 40 when the school opened in 1997. Plans are under way to build a high school to the preschool through eighth-grade school. In Wayne County's Canton Township, west of Detroit, the Crescent Academy plans to admit 350 in a new building next year, an increase from 300 this year and about 250 in 2000. Nationwide, in the last three years, the number of Islamic schools has grown from 194 to about 220, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Lessons in Islam at Elementary Schools in Germany

Starting with the 2006/07 school year, Islamic religious education will be offered at public schools in Baden-Wuerttemberg for the first time. According to Ali Demir, the chairman of the Islamic religious community, the lessons will be offered in German at about a dozen elementary schools. Lessons offered will be tied closely to the local Islamic communities and local politics. The teachers will be educators of Islamic faith already working in the teaching profession, who underwent additional training, according to Demir. Otherwise,faith-oriented religious education is only offered at a few schools in Lower Saxony and one school in Bavaria. There are about 70.000 elementary school students that are of Islamic faith in Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Dutch Muslims plan to form political party

A group of Muslims in the Dutch city of Amsterdam plans to set up the Muslim Democratic Party (MDP) at the end of May. The party wants to compete in the upcoming local government elections in five cities and later also in the parliamentary elections, Dutch news agency ANP has reported. The MDP will promote the interests of Muslims in the Netherlands, the agency quoted spokesman M. Jabri saying. The MDP has drawn up a provisional manifesto with the outline of the movement. Islam forms the basic point here. "The MDP declares solidarity with the peoples of the south in their fight against the neo-colonialism that is steered by the US and neo-liberal Europe, but also against the occupation and aggression of the US, its lackeys and internal dictators," according to the manifesto, quoted by ANP.

Dutch Muslim Women ‘Face Racial Oppression’

How does the Islamic race look like again? From IslamOnline:

Along with the media reports which stereotype them as oppressed under Islam, Muslim women in Holland have other more concerns to worry about, a leading Dutch feminist said. It is a sort of cliché and stereotype to say that women are oppressed under Islam, but it is a fact to say that immigrant women in the country - particularly Muslims - are being discriminated against, lawyer Vamli Van Arslan told on Monday, March 14.

Arslan believed that Muslim women in the Netherlands take the brunt of religious discrimination and racial profiling in the labor market because of their attire and names. “The government remains largely inactive towards such incidents,” she said. Arslan, herself a Muslim, said that women should have the right to put on whatever suits them, a principle she said is enshrined by the secular laws.

Muslims make up one million of the Netherlands’s 16 million population. Turks represent 80 percent of the Muslim minority. There are some 450 mosques in the Netherlands, 1,000 Islamic cultural centers, two Islamic universities and 42 preparatory schools, according to recent estimates.

Young Muslim immigrant killers deported from Denmark

Two young criminals have been sentenced to deportation to Turkey, after killing an Italian tourist in Copenhagen in 2003. Two teenagers were sentenced to deportation by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, for murdering an Italian tourist in Copenhagen's Nørrebro quarter in 2003. The cousins Hizir and Ferhat Kilic were 16 and 17 years old when they assaulted and stabbed a young Italian traveller, Antonio Currà, and left him to die on the street.

The court sentenced them to 10 and 8 years in prison for the murder, and to be deported to the country of their birth, Turkey, even though they had lived almost all their lives in Denmark. 'The deportation is ten times worse than the prison sentence,' Hizir Kilic told the court last week. 'I won't be able to go to Turkey and survive.' The cousins' defense attorneys tried in vain to convince the court's seven judges, that the boys' young age and strong roots in Denmark should exempt them from new laws, which allow courts to have criminal immigrants deported.

Two young Turks convicted of murder expelled from Denmark for life

In a historic ruling, the Danish Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to expel two young Turks, convicted of murdering an Italian tourist, from Denmark for life even though they have lived in the Scandinavian country their entire lives. The decision, which upholds a previous Appeals Court ruling, marks the first time criminals born and raised in Denmark have been expulsed from the country for life after serving their sentence.

One of the men, Hizir Kilic, was born in Denmark, while his cousin Ferhat Kilic came to the country when he was three. The two men were minors at the time of the crime, and had therefore not yet become Danish citizens, since anyone born to immigrant parents in Denmark must be at least 18 before requesting to become a national.

Monday, March 14, 2005

French trial highlights role of friendship in Muslim militant groups

Beghal's friends also include the man allegedly designated as the embassy suicide bomber, Nizar Trabelsi, a Tunisian. He was convicted in Belgium in September 2003 after admitting to plans to drive a car bomb into a Belgian air base where U.S. nuclear weapons are believed stored.

Another friend, Jerome Courtallier, a French convert to Islam, was convicted of a role in the U.S. Embassy plot in a trial in the Netherlands. Camaraderie and family ties have turned up in other terror cases, too. A group of young men funneling would-be Islamic warriors to Iraq from an eastern Paris neighborhood grew up together. The ring, dismantled in January, was allegedly headed by a 23-year-old whose stature ballooned after his big brother, an Islamic activist, was deported to Algeria.

In one of the most serious terrorism plots uncovered in France, an alleged chemical attack on Russian interests in France, four of the suspects are related, others are friends. Menad Benchellali allegedly mixed toxic potions in his mother's jars of facial cream at their apartment in Venissieux, outside Lyon, while his father, Chellali Benchellali, collected money for Muslim Chechen rebels at the makeshift mosque he ran. A third son, Mourad, ended up in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, along with a friend. Both were returned home in July.

When questioned about visits and favors for acquaintances, some of the defendants in the U.S. Embassy bomb plot trial showed surprise at what they said was a way of life. ``Where's the problem?'' said Lefkir when asked about services he rendered to suspect friends. ``We Muslims are like that.''

Turkish Guides twist Gallipoli into a `holy jihad'

Unlicensed Turkish tour guides who claim the Gallipoli campaign was a "holy jihad" decided by the hand of Allah. In lectures delivered on the battlefields, the guides tell their audiences that "Muslim saints" repelled Allied artillery attacks and enemy soldiers were swallowed by a "green mist". The lectures have sparked outrage across Turkey and have prompted a court challenge to the guides' right to speak about the Gallipoli campaign. The Turkish Government ordered a crackdown on unofficial guides last year – but The Advertiser has learned senior members of the Turkish Government are now backing them.

Canakkale Tourism Association chairman Ahmet Kasikci said he had heard one guide claim the trenches at Gallipoli still resound to the chants of "Allah! Allah!" Another guide reportedly claims the Battle of the Dardanelles, ranked as Turkey's greatest naval victory, was decided by Allah himself. "He said he struck down the British ships with his fists," said Turkish newspaper publisher Murat Kiray. "Others have claimed Allied soldiers disappeared into a green mist concocted by Muslim martyrs. It is all part of a wider agenda to promote Turkey's Islamic connections and play down the role of Ataturk."