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Sep 19 12 9:03 AM
A French policeman stands guard outside the headquarters of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. Police took up positions outside the Paris offices of the satirical French weekly that published crude caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday that ridicule the film and the furor surrounding it. The provocative weekly, Charlie Hebdo, was firebombed last year after it released a special edition that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a "guest editor" and took aim at radical Islam.
Video: Afghans burn Obama effigy at anti-film protest
PARIS - A French magazine ridiculed the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday by portraying him naked in cartoons, threatening to fuel the anger of Muslims around the world who are already incensed by a film depiction of him as a lecherous fool.
The drawings in satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo risked exacerbating a crisis that has seen the storming of U.S. and other Western embassies, the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and a deadly suicide bombing in Afghanistan.
Riot police were deployed to protect the magazine's Paris offices after it hit the news stands with a cover showing an Orthodox Jew pushing the turbaned figure of Mohammad in a wheelchair.
On the inside pages, several caricatures of the Prophet showed him naked. One, entitled "Mohammad: a star is born", depicted a bearded figure crouching over to display his buttocks and genitals.
The French government, which had urged the weekly not to print the cartoons, said it was temporarily shutting down premises including embassies and schools in 20 countries on Friday, when protests sometimes break out after Muslim prayers.
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby called the drawings provocative and outrageous but said those who were offended by them should "use peaceful means to express their firm rejection".
Tunisia's governing Islamist party, Ennahda, condemned the cartoons as an act of "aggression" against Mohammad. It urged Muslims, in responding to it, to avoid falling into a trap designed by "suspicious parties to derail the Arab Spring and turn it into a conflict with the West".
In Lebanon, Salafist cleric Sheikh Nabil Rahim said the incident would raise tensions that were already dangerously high.
"We will try to keep things managed and peaceful, but these things easily get out of hand. I fear there could more targeting of foreigners, and this is why I wish they would not persist with these provocations," he said.
In the northern Paris suburb of Sarcelles, one person was slightly hurt when two masked men threw a small explosive device through the window of a kosher Jewish supermarket, a police source said, adding it was too early to link the incident to the cartoons.
The posting of a short film on YouTube last week that mocked Mohammad as a womanizing buffoon has sparked protests in many countries, some of them deadly.
The U.S. envoy to Libya and three other Americans were killed in an attack in Benghazi, and U.S. and other foreign embassies were stormed in cities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East by furious Muslims. Afghan militants said a suicide bombing that killed 12 people on Tuesday was carried out in retaliation for the film, which was made with private funds in California.
At least four people died last week after hundreds of protesters forced their way into the U.S. embassy in Tunis, ransacking it and burning some of its annexes.
The furor has emerged as an issue in the U.S. presidential election campaign and sparked a wider international debate over free speech, religion and the right to offend. Many Muslims consider any representation of Allah or the Prophet Mohammad blasphemous.
"We have the impression that it's officially allowed for Charlie Hebdo to attack the Catholic far-right but we cannot poke fun at fundamental Islamists," said editor Stephane Charbonnier, who drew the front-page cartoon.
"It shows the climate - everyone is driven by fear, and that is exactly what this small handful of extremists who do not represent anyone want - to make everyone afraid, to shut us all in a cave," he told Reuters.
One cartoon, in reference to the scandal over a French magazine's decision to publish topless photos of the wife of Britain's Prince William, showed a topless, bearded character with the caption: "Riots in Arab countries after photos of Mrs. Mohammad are published."
BEEFED UP SECURITY
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius criticized the magazine's move as a provocation.
"We saw what happened last week in Libya and in other countries such as Afghanistan," Fabius told a regular government news conference. "We have to call on all to behave responsibly."
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said France was closing its embassies, consulates, cultural centers and schools in 20 countries on Friday as a "precautionary measure".
In Egypt, Essam Erian, acting head of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, told Reuters: "We reject and condemn the French cartoons that dishonor the Prophet and we condemn any action that defames the sacred according to people's beliefs."
Charlie Hebdo has a long reputation for being provocative. Its Paris offices were firebombed last November after it published a mocking caricature of Mohammad, and Charbonnier has been under police guard ever since.
Speaking outside his offices in an eastern neighborhood with many residents of North African origin, Charbonnier said he had not received any threats over the latest cartoons. In a message on its Twitter account, Charlie Hebdo said its website had been hacked, but referred readers to a blog it also uses.
The French Muslim Council, the main body representing Muslims in France, accused Charlie Hebdo of firing up anti-Muslim sentiment at a sensitive time.
"The CFCM is profoundly worried by this irresponsible act, which in such a fraught climate risks further exacerbating tensions and sparking damaging reactions," it said.
Richard Prasquier, head of the body representing France's Jewish community - Europe's largest - said religious censorship was wrong but added: "Publishing Mohammad cartoons at this time, in the name of freedom, is irresponsible".
In 2005, Danish cartoons of the Prophet sparked a wave of violent protests across the Muslim world that killed at least 50 people.
The decision to temporarily close some embassies comes at a time when France is already on heightened alert over possible attacks by al Qaeda on French interests in West Africa.
A diplomatic source said this week Paris recently foiled attacks on economic and diplomatic targets and had credible evidence that more were planned. "Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is a direct and immediate threat," the source said.
Separately, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the authorities had rejected a request to hold a march against the Mohammad film in Paris.
Social media had circulated calls for a protest on Saturday against the film, after police arrested about 150 people who tried to take part in an unauthorized protest near the U.S. Embassy in Paris last week.http://news.yahoo.com/fre...-cartoons-075449808.html
Sep 20 12 7:35 AM
September 20, 2012
According to Mohammad Qatanani, Imam of one of the largest mosques in New Jersey, free speech that is critical of Islam poses a national security threat and "should be investigated by the Department of Homeland Security," The Blaze reported Thursday.
“We, as Americans, have to put limits and borders [on] freedom of speech,” he told The Blaze.
"He explained that while Americans may 'have the freedom' to speak their mind, ultimately, they 'have no right to [talk about Muslim] holy issues' as it will incite 'hatred or war among people,'” Tiffany Gabbay wrote.
The religious leader also said that speech that denigrates Islam puts Americans at risk both in the United States and abroad. The solution, therefore, is to scrap the First Amendment and replace it with sharia law "for the ultimate 'good' of society."
Gabbay noted that Qatanani was "nearly deported in 2008 for failing to disclose his former ties to the terrorist organization Hamas on a 1996 Green Card application."
Stressing the online anti-Islamic video that some claim is behind the riots and protests at U.S. embassies, Qatanani said that Homeland Security needs to prevent artists from producing works that are critical of Islam or the prophet Mohammed.
“They [Muslims] think our [American] freedoms are too much,” he said. “The freedom of the American people is so different from their [Muslims'] freedoms. We believe freedoms have limits and rules, otherwise we will get people into trouble…Freedom according to Islam must be according to the Quran and Sunnah. You can do [anything] you like within the teachings of these two resources. This is the difference and main reason [for the conflict].”
He also told The Blaze that it is okay, however, for Muslims to mock Jesus or Moses.
"An interesting point to note was that throughout the discussion, Qatanani repeatedly called for peaceful action and condemned violence as being anathema to true Islam. Conversely, he referred to the attacks on U.S. embassies abroad that left a U.S. ambassador, two Navy SEALs and one additional civil servant dead, as merely 'a bad reaction,'” Gabbay added.
On Monday, we reported that Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said the United States should amend the law to prevent free speech critical of Islam.
On Wednesday, a post at RadicalIslam.org said that European politicians were bowing to Islamic pressure to limit free speech.
"German political leaders are now equivocating about their commitment to free speech," Soeren Kern wrote. "German Chancellor Angela Merkel, commenting on the anti-Islam movie, said, 'I can imagine there would be good reasons to outlaw the film' – a reversal of her statement of just two years ago, when, commenting on the Danish cartoon controversy, she declared: 'Free speech is one of the greatest treasures of our society.'"
Egyptian Prime Minister: U.S. should limit free speech, many rioters paidhttp://www.examiner.com/a...national-security-threat
Jan 15 13 5:35 AM
Hassan al-Banna - Hassan al-Banna (Arabic: حسن البنا) was born October 14, 1906 and died February 12, 1949. Al Banna was a radical Islamist and founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (Jamaat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun).
Hassan al-Banna was born in Mahmudiyya, Egypt, north-west of Cairo. His father, Shaykh Ahmad al-Banna, was a well regarded and pious local Imam and mosque teacher of the HanbaliMadh'hab (school of Fiqh - jurisprudence). He was a scholar of Islam who wrote and collaborated on books on Muslim traditions, and he also had a shop where he repaired watches and sold record players. Shaykh Ahmad al Banna and his wife owned some property, but they were not wealthy.
By age thirteen, al-Banna was already involved in politics, and participated in demonstrations during the revolution of 1919 against British rule. Hassan al-Banna joined the Hasafiya Sufiorder when he was 15, having become interested at age 12. He entered the State Teacher's Training Center and graduated first in his class in 1923 at the age of 16.
Al-Banna moved to Cairo to enter the Dar al-Ulum college in 1923. Because of his father's connections in the religious community, he met prominent Islamic scholars. He was also exposed to the breakdown of Islamic society in the city, and the trend to secularization, which shocked him. He was very concerned over the abandonment of Islam by younger people. He saw Islam as a religion besieged by the onslaught of Western culture, an onslaught that must be met by re-educating the young.
Al-Banna became an eager student of Islamic reformists, especially the Egyptian Muhammad 'Abduh, and 'Abduh's disciple, the Syrian Rashid Rida. Al-Banna was a dedicated follower of Rida and reader of Al-Manar, Rida's magazine.
Rida's major concern, like that of Muhammad Abduh, was the decline of Islamic civilization relative to western countries. They both believed that this trend could be reversed only by returning to a "pure" form of Islam, free of all the exegesis and innovations that had diluted the strength of its original message. But while Abduh had wanted to use what he thought of as the original principles of Islam to forge reform and liberalism, Rida and especially Banna identified different original principles and had a different program entirely. Al-Banna believed that the main danger to Islam was not the conservatism of Al-Azhar and the Ulema. Though he criticized the conservatives, Al-Banna was more afraid of the ascendancy of the West and secularism. He wanted the conservatives to be more active in condemning atheism and Christian missionaries, and in combating colonialism.
Al Banna decided to dedicate himself to becoming "a counselor and a teacher" of adults and children, to teach them "the objectives of religion and the sources of their well-being and happiness in life". He graduated from Dar al Ulum in 1927 and took a position as an Arabic language teacher in a state primary school in Isma'iliya, near the Suez Canal Zone.
In Isma'iliyya, in addition to his teaching duties, Al-Banna gave night classes to his pupils' parents. He also preached in the mosque, and in coffee-houses. He placed himself at shrines where pious Muslims were likely to congregate, and put an eclectic face on his teachings, avoiding disagreement with traditions and local customs. For example, the worship of deadMuslim saints is considered shirk, that is polytheistic. Pious but ignorant people nonetheless made cults centers out of the grave sites of holy men, which in theory threatens tawhid - monotheism. Al-Banna appeared at these sites and did not criticize the practices. He used the gatherings to draw people into his movement and hold meetings explaining his views about Islam. He also downplayed his disagreements with the religious élite, who were not happy with his free introduction of Ijtihad - innovation in Islam. Al-Banna adopted semi-western dress rather than traditional robes, and a modest beard, to appeal to the widest Egyptian audience and look modern.
Al Banna was repelled by the British and other colonial presence in Ismailiya, including the military camps, ownership of utilities by foreign concessions and the luxury hotels that contrasted with the slum housing of Egyptian workers.
Al-Banna launched the Society of the Muslim Brotherhood in March of 1928. The brotherhood was extremist and violent from its inception. It's motto is, "God is our purpose, the Prophet our leader, the Qur'an our constitution, Jihad our way and dying for God's cause our supreme objective."
Al-Banna was quite clear that his goal was not solely an anti-colonialist struggle in Egypt nor the refurbishment of Islam, but rather a world revolution that would establish Islam as the dominant religion of the entire world:
we will not stop at this point [i.e., “freeing Egypt from secularism and modernity”], but will pursue this evil force to its own lands, invade its Western heartland, and struggle to overcome it until all the world shouts by the name of the Prophet and the teachings of Islam spread throughout the world. Only then will Muslims achieve their fundamental goal… and all religion will be exclusively for Allah.(Habeck, Knowing the enemy p. 120)
The key themes of radical Islamism and Jihadism were reiterated in numerous quotes by Al Banna, including:
Central importance of violent Jihad - In traditional Islam, Jihad, which means "struggle" was divided into "Greater Jihad," an inner struggle to achieve sanctity and religious truth and a "Lesser Jihad" - war against enemies of Islam or Jihad Musallah. Al-Banna reversed the priorities. He relegated inner spiritual struggle to Jihad al-asghar, the lesser Jihad, and elevated violent war against enemies of Islam to Jihad al akbar, the great Jihad. His stance on this point is explicit. Al-Banna wrote:Many Muslims today mistakenly believe that fighting the enemy is jihad asghar (a lesser jihad) and that fighting one's ego is jihad akbar (a greater jihad). The following narration [athar] is quoted as proof: "We have returned from the lesser jihad to embark on the greater jihad." They said: "What is the greater jihad?" He said: "The jihad of the heart, or the jihad against one's ego."This narration is used by some to lessen the importance of fighting, to discourage any preparation for combat, and to deter any offering of jihad in Allah's way. This narration is not a saheeh (sound) tradition. (source: see Jihad )The cult of martyrdom - Al-Banna wrote:My brothers! The ummah that knows how to die a noble and honourable death is granted an exalted life in this world and eternal felicity in the next. Degradation and dishonour are the results of the love of this world and the fear of death. Therefore prepare for jihad and be the lovers of death. Life itself shall come searching after you.My brother, you should know that one day you will face death and this ominous event can only occur once. If you suffer on this occasion in the way of Allah, it will be to your benefit in this world and your reward in the next. (source: see Jihad )The supremacy of Islam - "Islam must dominate and is not to be dominated."Restoration of the lost caliphate - i'adat al Khalifa al Mafqudah - is the chief immediate political goal of the Islamist movement. The decadence and imminent demise of the west - "The civilization of the West, which was brilliant by virtue of its scientific perfection for a long time, and which subjugated the whole world with the products of this science to its states and nations, is now bankrupt and in decline. "Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism - The Jews are the agents of change and westernization, and responsible for the decline of the west as well as Islam. This was not a new theme in the Muslim and Arab world.
Central importance of violent Jihad - In traditional Islam, Jihad, which means "struggle" was divided into "Greater Jihad," an inner struggle to achieve sanctity and religious truth and a "Lesser Jihad" - war against enemies of Islam or Jihad Musallah. Al-Banna reversed the priorities. He relegated inner spiritual struggle to Jihad al-asghar, the lesser Jihad, and elevated violent war against enemies of Islam to Jihad al akbar, the great Jihad. His stance on this point is explicit. Al-Banna wrote:
Many Muslims today mistakenly believe that fighting the enemy is jihad asghar (a lesser jihad) and that fighting one's ego is jihad akbar (a greater jihad). The following narration [athar] is quoted as proof: "We have returned from the lesser jihad to embark on the greater jihad." They said: "What is the greater jihad?" He said: "The jihad of the heart, or the jihad against one's ego."This narration is used by some to lessen the importance of fighting, to discourage any preparation for combat, and to deter any offering of jihad in Allah's way. This narration is not a saheeh (sound) tradition. (source: see Jihad )
Many Muslims today mistakenly believe that fighting the enemy is jihad asghar (a lesser jihad) and that fighting one's ego is jihad akbar (a greater jihad). The following narration [athar] is quoted as proof: "We have returned from the lesser jihad to embark on the greater jihad." They said: "What is the greater jihad?" He said: "The jihad of the heart, or the jihad against one's ego."
This narration is used by some to lessen the importance of fighting, to discourage any preparation for combat, and to deter any offering of jihad in Allah's way. This narration is not a saheeh (sound) tradition. (source: see Jihad )
The cult of martyrdom - Al-Banna wrote:
My brothers! The ummah that knows how to die a noble and honourable death is granted an exalted life in this world and eternal felicity in the next. Degradation and dishonour are the results of the love of this world and the fear of death. Therefore prepare for jihad and be the lovers of death. Life itself shall come searching after you.My brother, you should know that one day you will face death and this ominous event can only occur once. If you suffer on this occasion in the way of Allah, it will be to your benefit in this world and your reward in the next. (source: see Jihad )
My brothers! The ummah that knows how to die a noble and honourable death is granted an exalted life in this world and eternal felicity in the next. Degradation and dishonour are the results of the love of this world and the fear of death. Therefore prepare for jihad and be the lovers of death. Life itself shall come searching after you.
My brother, you should know that one day you will face death and this ominous event can only occur once. If you suffer on this occasion in the way of Allah, it will be to your benefit in this world and your reward in the next. (source: see Jihad )
The supremacy of Islam - "Islam must dominate and is not to be dominated."
Restoration of the lost caliphate - i'adat al Khalifa al Mafqudah - is the chief immediate political goal of the Islamist movement.
The decadence and imminent demise of the west - "The civilization of the West, which was brilliant by virtue of its scientific perfection for a long time, and which subjugated the whole world with the products of this science to its states and nations, is now bankrupt and in decline. "
Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism - The Jews are the agents of change and westernization, and responsible for the decline of the west as well as Islam. This was not a new theme in the Muslim and Arab world.
Initially, the Muslim Brotherhood society seemed to be one among many small Islamic associations. These associations promoted personal piety and engaged in charitable activities. But the Muslim brotherhood was different. Al-Banna injected social content and economic messages into the Muslim brotherhood, making it into a channel for political discontent. Al-Banna's big chance came during the Arab Revolt in Palestine, and the rise of the Axis powers. For Al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Jewish presence in Palestine was another Westernizing colonialist influence that had to be stopped simply because it was Western.
In 1936, the Muslim Brotherhood had about 800 members around Cairo. By 1938, it boasted nearly 200,000 members, with fifty branches in Egypt alone, as well as numerous branches in Jordan and Palestine. The organization established mosques, schools, sport clubs, factories and a welfare service network. On the eve of World War II there were more than a half million active members registered in more than two thousand branches across the Arab world.
As noted, the purpose of the group was inherently subversive. Alongside the open layer of legitimate activities, the Brotherhood developed a network of underground cells (usar, singularusrah), They stole weapons, trained fighters, formed secret assassination squads, founded sleeper cells of supporters in the ranks of the army and police, and waited for the order to go public with terrorism, assassinations, and suicide missions.
Al Banna claimed to be a Salafi, but a Salafi group has published a detailed critique of theMuslim Brotherhood and Al Banna: Historical Development of the Methodologies of the Ikhwan al Muslimeen and their effect on contemporary Salaafi Dawah. They maintain that Muhammad Abduh, Hassan al-Banna and Muhammad Rashid Rida created an activist movement that was falsely presented as Salafiyyah, but that al-Banna's pretensions were purely a matter of political expediency.
The growth of the Muslim Brotherhood was accompanied or caused in part by the fact that Al-Banna associated it with the German Nazi party and the Third Reich. From the ideological point of view, the Jew hatred, authoritarianism, addiction to violence and desire to defeat the British of both the Muslim Brothers and the Nazis were quite enough to make the two movements find common cause.
The Brotherhood’s political and military alliance with Nazi Germany blossomed into formal state visits, de facto ambassadors, and overt and covert joint ventures. The MuslimBrotherhood transformed Nazi anti-Semitism into a Muslim version, providing Arab translations of Mein Kampf (translated into Arabic as “My Jihad”) and other Nazi anti-Semitic works, including Der Sturmer hate-cartoons, adapted to portray the Jew as the demonic enemy of Allah rather than the German Volk.
When World War II broke out, al-Banna worked to firm up his alliances with Hitler and Mussolini. He sent them letters and emissaries, and urged them to assist him in his struggle against the British and the westernized regime of Egypt's King Farouk. The Intelligence Service of the Muslim Brotherhood vigorously collected information on the heads of the regime in Cairo and on the movements of the British army, offering this and more to the Germans in return for closer relations.
Hassan al-Banna attempted to run for parliament in 1942, but was dissuaded from doing so. Side by side with the clandestine network, al-Banna built a grass roots propaganda apparatus and a highly structured mass movement. Like the Soviet Communist Party, the MuslimBrothers targeted specific groups in society. They had separate sections in charge of furthering the society's values among peasants, workers, and professionals. Similar to the Soviet Comintern and Agitprop and the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda, Al-Banna also created units entrusted with specified functions such as propaganda, liaison with the Islamic world, and press and translation.
The Muslim Brotherhood organization became a model for later Islamist movements. In addition to Comintern style "sections," Al-Banna relied heavily on pre-existing social networks, in particular those built around mosques, Islamic welfare associations, and neighborhood groups. Directly attached to the brotherhood, and feeding its expansion, were numerous businesses, clinics, and schools. This open layer of support was directly affiliated with the network of underground cells and helped to finance it. It formed both a recruiting ground and a mechanism for funneling money from charity into subversive activities.
The underground cells of the Muslim Brotherhood began to carry out major acts of violence in the 1940s. The relaxation of military rule following the war made it easier to carry out these attacks. In a single week in 1946, four attacks, in which guns and explosives were used, were directed at British occupation forces, wounding 128 people. A group of Brotherhood figures were put on trial and found guilty by judge Ahmed El-Khazindar. Eight months later, the judge was assassinated by two Brotherhood members.
In 1947 and 1948 several Jewish-owned businesses in Cairo were bombed by the Brotherhood, which also sent volunteers to fight in the first Arab-Israel war. The volunteers were incorporated in the Egyptian attack plans. However, the Egyptian government also announced that a large cache of weapons had been discovered at the home of a Brotherhood member in Ismailia.
When it became evident that the war against Israel was an ignominious failure, agitation against the government and dissatisfaction increased, and the Muslim Brotherhood was prominent in leading it. On December 18, 1948, Prime Minister Mahmoud El-Noqrashi Pasha issued a military decree dissolving the group. Ostensibly, it had secretly plotted to overthrow the monarchy. Twenty days later, a young Brotherhood member assasinated Noqrashi Pasha inside the Interior Ministry building.
Al-Banna was quick to try to dissociate himself from the assassination, which was in fact, in keeping with the teachings of the brotherhood and Al-Banna. He declared that those who had carried out the assassination were "neither brothers nor Muslims". The government was not convinced. Al-Banna was killed at the age of 43, apparently by government agents on February 12, 1949.
December 17, 2008
Sharon Say... oh my.. so did not want this to be true..but it was everywhere and I was blind. Bad start to a evil ideal.. and so it continues. I wish the Middle East could get rid of those sort of folks but they seem to be unable to do so. But then I did not know this and I had all this information at my fingertips and still did not know. In my mind anyone who admired Hitler belongs to the devil, how could they not, such evil can not be looked at by anyone as anything other than the work of the devil. God reads hearts.. those who carry such evil in their hearts will find that the flames of Gods anger are real, and very unpleasant. I know a thing or two about the wrath of God.. and no one should ever allow themselves to stand before God with evil in his mind or evil in his heart. God says that if we stand with evil men we shall be judged the same as them.. that is a warning. I love the folks at my church, they are kind and loving people and I walked away from that church because God says I must not stand with those who twist doctrine.. and knowing this and my Fathers power to punish I did not even look back.. I would walk away from my husband, my children, my friends rather than to anger my Father. I suggest others walk away from anyone who preaches hate, violence or twisted doctrine. Actually I suggest you run.
Mar 27 13 6:41 AM
Apr 22 13 7:42 AM
by Michael Brown
What would motivate two young Muslims to blow up innocent men, women, and children? What did America do to deserve such an outpouring of irrational, blind hatred? In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, it is clear that most Americans still do not understand the ideology of radical Islam.
Bill O’Reilly noted that America had been very kind to the Tsarnaev family, wondering how they could have paid back our generosity with such barbaric acts of terror. America is a great, open-hearted country that welcomed this immigrant family and made the American dream accessible to them. Now they kill and maim our people?
More than two decades ago, Daniel Coleman, an American intelligence agent, wondered what it was that fueled the fires of an obscure Islamic radical named Osama bin Laden. Reading one of bin Laden’s writings, Coleman observed that “one of the striking features of the document was that time seemed to have stopped a thousand years ago. There was now and there was then, but there was nothing in between. It was as if the Crusades were still going on in bin Laden’s universe. The intensity of the anger was also difficult for Coleman to grasp. What did we do to him? he wondered” (as recounted by Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower).
As Coleman was to learn, and as all of America should have learned by now, in the eyes of radical Muslims, America has done much to deserve their wrath.
First, America’s wars in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan are considered to be Western intrusions into the Muslim world, power-grabbing moves aimed at world domination, sometimes motivated by greed (= oil), always motivated by a sense of the superiority of American democracy.
What we view as wars of liberation at the cost of precious American lives, they view as acts of exploitation, as murderous incursions that are wiping out hundreds of thousands, if not millions of their people. (I am not supporting these views; I am simply stating how radical Muslims view us.)
How many Iraqi and Afghani citizens have been killed by American bombs? they would ask. How many innocent Muslim men, women, and children have been slaughtered? They will now inflict that same terror on us, not by dropping bombs on us from the air (since they don’t have the capability of doing so), but by planting bombs on our busy city streets.
Second, while Israel is known as the Little Satan in the radical Islamic world, America is called the Great Satan, and not only because of our support for Israel (although that is obviously one of our greatest evils in their eyes). We are seen as the champion of Western decadence, the chief exporter of sexual immorality to the rest of the world. (Tragically, the Muslim world in general sees this as the fruit of Christianity, since America is a perceived as a “Christian nation,” whereas the reality is that we have a great and wonderful Christian heritage but we have largely departed from it.)
In a USA Today interview in 1997, Islamic radicals in Egypt expressed their views: “They cite figures on the divorce rate in the United States. They point to crime and drug use. They talk about America’s preoccupation with sex. ‘You will never find these things where true Islam exists,’ argues Ziad Ali, 34. ‘Islam is the only answer, not Christianity, not Judaism, not Buddha. Without it, America is going to hell.’ He points to a young Muslim woman . . . who is fully clothed from head to toe and even wearing gloves. . . . . ‘That is how a woman must dress, not the way they dress in America, in Britain,’ Ali says. ‘In America, your women dress like harlots. They have no dignity. We want to change that here in Egypt so our harlots don’t go to hell.’” (Cited in my book Revolution.)
They see Islamic dress as preserving the dignity of their women; we see it as suffocating and oppressive. They see Sharia laws that call for the beheading of adulterers as safeguarding the honor of marriage; we see them as primitive and barbaric. (Is it any surprise that the media is now reporting that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was married and that his wife is an American convert to Islam who wears a black hijab?)
Third, young, radicalized Muslims love death the way Americans love life, being taught that martyrdom for the cause of Allah guarantees them entry into the heavenly kingdom, replete with 70 virgins (per man!) and many other sumptuous pleasures. In contrast, even the most devout Muslim in the world is not guaranteed acceptance into Paradise, since he might somehow have fallen short of the mark.
And if, in fact, there is a connection between the Boston bombings and Chechnyan Muslims, the tradition of martyrdom is very relevant, as General Mashkadov, a Muslim leader of the breakaway republic, commented on the tenacity of his troops in the late 1990’s as they fought against Russia: “I can only wonder at the strength with which my men fight. . . . All we can do is fight on, to show not only that we want our independence, but that we are willing to die for it.”
Fourth, our killing of Osama bin Laden is viewed as the cold-blooded murder of one of their most revered leaders. If Islamic soldiers assassinated one of our greatest heroes, how would we respond?
And so, bin Laden may be dead, but radical Islam is far from dead. We had better wake up to reality.http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2013/04/22/why-do-radical-muslims-hate-us-n1574973/page/full/
Oct 28 13 8:08 AM
Oct 28 13 8:10 AM
CAIRO, Egypt – The wounded mother of a 12-year-old girl killed at a church wedding on Oct. 20 in suburban Cairo lay in a hospital bed on Thursday (Oct. 24), lost in anguish.
Howida Refaat Azer, 30, had spent days slipping in and out of consciousness following operations on her right leg, and that afternoon her family finally gained the courage to tell her that her daughter, Mariam Nabil Fahmy Azer, had been shot dead in an attack that killed three other wedding guests. Hours later, Azer was shifting back and forth between numbness and agony as five women encircling her bed tried and failed to console her.
During a period of calm, she stared ahead, expressionless and void, then suddenly lifted her head off her pillow, looked at the ceiling and cried out the name of her daughter.
“Mariam! Oh, God – why did You take her from me? Why did You give me two daughters and then take one from me?” she cried, and then mumbled as she collapsed back into the sheets, “Thank you, God. Please forgive me, God. I can’t take any more of this.”
Azer’s daughter was one of two girls killed in the drive-by machine-gun attack on Coptic Christians that were filing into the Church of the Holy Virgin and the Archangel Michael in Giza, in the Al-Warraq area of greater Cairo, for a wedding that had yet to take place. The other child killed, 8-year-old Mariam Ashraf Mesiha, was the 12-year-old’s cousin. The attack came amid weeks of anti-Christian violence by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi; Muslim Brotherhood members and other supporters blame Christians for his downfall.
Camilia Helmy Attyia, 62, the mother of the groom, died on the pavement outside the church. Samir Fahmy Azer, 46, died on the way to the hospital or immediately after arriving there, as did the girls, according to family members; he was the brother of Howida Azer’s husband.
Hours after two men on a motorcycle sprayed the waiting crowd outside the church building with bullets, the couple was married very late that night, dressed in mourning black, the groom’s brother told Morning Star News. Three people attended the ceremony.
Four days later, when relatives told Howida Azer that her daughter had been killed, she was devastated but said she had suspected as much because of a recurring dream she’d had in her hospital bed. Several times, Azer told relatives, she had dreamt that her 12-year-old, dressed in white in the after-life, had told her not to worry about her, that she was okay.
Faith of the Afflicted
At the Armed Forces Hospital in Maadi, the fifth floor is full with members of the bride’s family. Like Azer, they believe they have no option but to turn to God.
As brutal as the loss has been to Howida Azer, a relative of the bride, members of her family still cannot bring themselves to tell her husband, Nabil Fahmy Azer, 40, about the death of his daughter.
Since learning about the killing of his brother and his niece, Nabil Azer has been unable to speak. He is still recovering from his wounds, and his family fears that learning about the loss of his daughter could lead to death or push him into insanity. Because of the near-constant presence of his daughter’s image in news media around the country, no magazines or newspapers are allowed near him, and any television sets, radios or Internet sources around him remain silent.
How his faith confronts the trauma he’s suffered remains to be seen, while the faith of others is more apparent. Most of those injured in the ward are men, with bullet wounds to their legs. One critical exception was Ashraf Ayad Attyia, 33, who was shot through the neck. Miraculously, the bullet passed completely through without severing his larynx, arteries or spinal column.
Even though he was still in pain on Thursday, he smiled and admitted he realized how lucky he was to be alive.
“I thank God for sparing my life,” Attyia said.
Awad Botros Khalil, 40, a self-professed “nominal Christian,” said the shooting convicted him of his lack of faith. He was hit in his right leg. The bullet went in and severed three veins just above his foot, which he now cannot move. In a country where attending church services can mean death, he said he needed to “step up” to what he is supposed to be spiritually.
“When I was shot, almost dying and seeing the love of God and people around me, I know now I need to get close to God,” Khalil said.
His comments were echoed by many others in the recovery ward.
Among the wounded were two children who were at the Coptic Orthodox church. Marina Maged George, 13, has a bullet wound to her arm, and Felobateer Ashraf, 7, remains in serious condition with a bullet wound to his stomach.
Most of those injured said they couldn’t remember being shot or even seeing the shooters, but others said they saw the assailants on the motorcycle, their heads wrapped in scarves to hide their identity. From the motorcycle, one of the shooters emptied one clip of ammunition from his rifle, reloaded another clip and emptied it into the crowd. An accomplice in a car had blocked traffic from entering the street to enable escape, and the car and the motorcycle then sped off into traffic.
Members of the Azer family said they feel like Copts in Egypt are being attacked as a people, but that the assaults make their faith stronger.
A priest at the church, the Rev. Sawaris Boushra, was in the church library when the shooting started. The attack has had a significant effect on Christians in the area, he said, with many feeling like they are “under siege.” Boushra said the Oct. 20 attack, previous assaults and ones to come are to be “expected.”
“Christianity is based on persecution,” he said. “Christ said there would come a time when people will kill Christians and think they are doing God’s will. That is happening now.”
Days after the attack, church officials accused police officers of not posting guards at the site, a standard practice throughout Egypt for years because of the constant threat of violence against churches. There have been reports that security guards were either not present during the event or that they had left prior to the attack.
Many are doubtful as to whether more adequate security could have prevented or limited the effects of the shooting but are calling for an investigation into whether there was failure or negligence on the part of security forces.
According to one unconfirmed report, five men were arrested on Oct. 21 in connection with the shooting.
At around 8 p.m. that night, according to witnesses, the accomplice’s car blocked off the street in front of the church building while the two men on the motorcycle drove up to the entrance and sprayed the crowd outside with gunfire from at least one automatic rifle.
Besides the four Christians killed, 17 people were injured, including two Muslim men and one Muslim boy. Additionally, two children have been reported missing, according to the Coptic newspaper, Watani Weekly.
Almost all of those killed or injured, with the exception of the three Muslim men, were members of the families of the bride or the groom. On Thursday night, Mohammed Ibrahim Mahmoud, 17, one of the Muslim bystanders injured during the attack, died in the hospital.
As with several other anonymous attacks in recent months targeting Coptic Christians, including the Aug. 6 shooting death of 10-year-old Jessica Boulous, no one has claimed responsibility for the killings, and no arrests have been made.
Two days after the shooting, victims of the attack who were recovering in various hospitals in Cairo were all taken to the military hospital by order of the national government. Military hospitals are known throughout Egypt as having a better standard of care than the average, crowded, poorly staffed and poorly funded public hospitals serving most Egyptians.
The wedding attack was the latest in a series of assaults against the Coptic Christian community since the ouster of Morsi in July. After the military broke up pro-Morsi protest camps on August 14, Islamists attacked close to 60 churches and dozens of Christian-owned businesses across Egypt. When the large-scale attacks died down, sporadic, seemingly random attacks began.
On July 6 Mina Aboud Sharween , (previously identified as Sharubim), a Coptic priest, was gunned down in El Arish in North Sinai. Days later the decapitated body of Christian businessman Magdy Lamei was found in the town of Sheikh Zuwayed, also in North Sinai. The sporadic attacks continued with the shooting death of Boulous and a Sept. 30 assassination attempt on Bishop Anba Makarios of Minya.
These came on top of almost weekly reports of Copts being kidnapped across Egypt. The kidnappings are carried out in hopes of collecting ransom money, but the disproportionate number of Copts kidnapped seems to indicate anti-Christian motives.
Over the summer, Islamists gradually took over the town of Delga in Central Egypt, threatening and harassing Christians daily and forcing them to pay a form of Jizya tax. On Sept. 16, the government finally intervened; the army attacked the town, seized it from the Islamists and, after days of fighting, generally restored order.
Nov 4 13 3:53 AM
By STANDARD REPORTER
Repeated attacks on churches and the unsolved killings of both Muslim and Christian clerics in recent days have brought to the fore simmering religious tensions in various parts of the country.
Both Christian and Muslim clerics in Mombasa say tension has been building up since 2006 when suspected Islamic extremists attacked a Christian FM station for airing testimonies of Muslim apostates.
But according to Father Wilybard Lagho, vicar general of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa, recent attacks were fuelled by religious intolerance and the tension has partly increased due to competition for resources.
Some Christian groups in Mombasa have in the past raised concern over the exclusion of Christians in the management of Mombasa county affairs, despite being the biggest voting bloc.
They say it has become difficult for Christians to get business permits or permission to put up churches from Mombasa county government and those operating entertainment joints — most of them are Christians — are being attacked and even harassed by the county government officials.
“Some of the things fuelling religious tensions are not in themself religious and include terrorism and anti-terrorism strategies and related backlash, mistrust of security agents by the public, killings of religious leaders, disappearing of clerics in mysterious circumstances, singling out of individuals and places of worship for attack, use of public preaching and radio programmes to abuse other religious groups,” said Fatherr Lagho, who is in charge of interreligious dialogue at Archdiocese of Mombasa.
He said religious leaders should now rise above partisan interests and protect Kenyans against religious extremism.
“The real solution to religious extremism will be achieved when religious leaders overcome the culture of denial or simply blaming other religions for crimes and social ills,” said Father Lagho in an interview.
Kenya National Muslim Advisory Council Chairman Juma Ngao, however, accuses the former regime of laxity in dealing with radicalisation of Muslim youth despite the fact that they provided information when it started.
“In 2005 we told the government that some Muslim clerics were radicalising youths in Mombasa and sending them to fight in Somalia but they did nothing about it.
Enemies of Islam
“These are the same youths coming back with a notion that Christians are enemies of Islam and they should be attacked, but I remind them that when Muslims were being persecuted in Mecca, the prophet (Mohamed) sent his close friend to Ethiopia, then Abyssinia, which was dominated by Christians to seek sanctuary,” said Sheikh Ngao.
He said the number Muslim clerics with radical doctrines entering the country has been on the rise and that CDs with their sermons are being sold in most streets in Mombasa but the government is not doing anything about it.
According to unofficial statistics, the number of attacks on Christians and churches have reached 22 since May 2006 when the Pentecostal Church-run Hope FM was attacked in Nairobi by suspected Islamic fundamentalists for airing testimonies of Muslim apostates.
n September 14, 2008, Muslim youths stormed a church in Garissa and started to pelt stones at the congregation injuring ten worshipers.
And two years later, in January 15, 2010, a gunman fired into a crowd of Christians in Nairobi, killing one and injuring five. Eight months later six Christian missionaries were abducted by in Nairobi and held for three days by people who proclaimed to be true Muslims.
According to Sheikh Muhdhar Khitami, the killing of Sheikh Aboud Rogo on August 28, 2012, saw an almost complete breakdown of relationship between Muslims and Christians in the region as some clerics started to incite local youths against churches and Christians.
“After the killing of Rogo things have never been the same. The government may try to bury its head in the sand but the fact is if it doesn’t act fast this smouldering hate will explode.
It should not only institute healing mechanism, but it should investigate and tell Kenyans who killed these clerics to contain speculation,” said Sheikh Khitami, adding that like in political rallies, clerics inciting Kenyans during sermons should be arrested and charged.
Sheik Aboud Rogo, a fiery cleric of Masjid Musa mosque in Majengo, Mombasa, was killed last year when his car was sprayed with bullets by unknown assailants as he drove along the Mombasa-Malindi highway.
His successor, Sheikh Ibrahim Ismail, was also shot dead with three others last month on the same route.
The two incidents sparked riots by his militant followers at Masjid Musa mosque that set ablaze Salvation Army church in Majengo and tried to burn down a Pentecostal church in Kisauni area.
Other than the two slain clerics, another preacher who also shared the same philosophy and was accused by security agencies of radicalising local youth in the same mosque, Samir Khan, was also killed and his body dumped near Voi on Mombasa-Nairobi highway on April 12, 2012.
According to Sheikh Khitami compact discs (CDs) containing their ideologies are still being sold on the streets of Mombasa.
Some of the CDs that were easily obtained by The Standard on Saturday were those of a fiery Tanzanian Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ilunga Hassan, calling for the revenge of Sheikh Rogo’s death by killing Christian bishops and pastors.
“You don’t revenge by burning car tyres on the road. If they kill a sheikh you revenge by killing bishops and if you’re not ready now wait, even for three years, then revenge. Once we do that they will fear killing our sheikhs,” said Sheikh Ilunga.
Other than Ilunga, other Muslim clerics with radical doctrines that have in the past entered the country and issued sermons aimed at inciting Muslim youths against Christians include Canadian born Sheikh Bilal Philips who was repatriated last year hours after he jetted in over what immigration official termed as the government’s fears that he would “poison” the youth.
Two-years ago, the government was also forced to hire a private jet to fly Jamaica-born Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal out of the country after major airlines refused to carry him days after he sneaked into the country through the Lunga Lunga border.
According to Bishop Lambert Mbela of Redeemed Gospel Church, northern Coast region, efforts to stop attacks against churches have not borne fruit as the trend in Mombasa, Nairobi and North Eastern towns continues.
“This has become too much for the Christians to bear. Evil will not be allowed to reign forever, neither will the patience of those provoked last indefinitely. We have seen people in public places openly despising and making fun of the Christian faith in mihadharas called “Wacha Biblia Iseme”. This is a form of radical indoctrination against the Christian faith,” said Bishop Mbela, in a statement .
In July last year the biggest number of Christians were killed in Garissa when a suspected Islamic extremist threw grenades into two churches killing 16 worshippers including three children and injuring 66. The assailants also shot worshipers who tried to flee.
This year, according to local religious leaders, there have been over seven attacks on Christians and churches in Wajir, Mombasa and Garissa. The recent attacks are the last month’s burning of the Salvation Army Church in Majengo and mysterious killing of a pastor in Kisauni.
The Mombasa Catholic Church is now calling for a de-radicalisation exercise that would reverse the notion among local Muslims youths that killing Christians is a jihad sanctioned by God.
Nov 7 13 5:25 PM
Australian muslim citizens destroying australian graveyard, as wel as chritian and jewish monuments from world war 2.
Dec 15 13 11:19 AM
BANGUI – Thousands of Christians have sought refuge at the Central African Republic’s (CAR) airport, fleeing violence from mostly Muslim ex-rebels.
The French military, which controls the Bangui airport, guarded the area as the Christians sought safety from Seleka soldiers with machetes and guns. The UN Security Council had passed a motion last week to allow the French to protect civilians in the country from the violence, which is considered to be the worst the nation has seen since March.
Troops told reporters that approximately 2,000 Central Africans took refuge at the airport— and that most, if not all, were Christian.
The large gathering of Christians laid out their mats as closely to the runway as possible near the barbed wire fencing. Dead bodies could be seen on the other side of the fence.
“They are slaughtering us like chickens,” one of the Christians, Appolinaire Donoboy, told the Associated Press.
“We are angry,” said Yves Wayina, who escaped with his wife and six children.
“The Muslims should go back where they came from. France must come and rapidly deploy and do everything possible to save us,” he added, adding that he was unsure if he would ever return to live among Muslims because of the violence.
“They took everything they could or destroyed it; for what?” Badenga Fidele, the village headman, told reporters. “Now we have no protection. No army. No police. African peacekeepers came out here one afternoon last week, but what can they do?”
Central African Republic President Michel Djotodia, a Muslim, states that his residence has also been looted and vandalized amid the fighting. In an effort to prevent violence against Christians, he broadcast a dusk-to-dawn curfew that would keep citizens off the streets.
In a recent speech, Djotodia also explained that the French forces were not in the Central African Republic favor one side or the other, but merely to help prevent the ongoing violence, which has claimed at least 400 lives so far in the past week.
U.S. State Department has stated that it is “deeply concerned” about the fighting in the country, but applauded the French military for its intervention. But the president of Guinea said that although he was “appreciative” of France’s assistance, it was a “humiliation for Africa that 50 years afterward [after independence], we are not able to manage our problems ourselves.”
According to the UN, children are being forced to fight, and are increasingly victims of the ongoing violence in the Central African Republic
Jan 8 14 4:36 AM
A Christian library in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli was intentionally burned down on Friday night after its owner, a Greek Orthodox priest, was falsely accused of writing an article insulting Islam and the prophet Mohammed.
Assailants set fire to the Saeh Library, destroying two-thirds of the collection of 80,000 books and manuscripts, the French news agency Agence France-Presse reported.
Father Ibrahim Surouj, a Greek Orthodox priest who owns the library was earlier accused of writing a pamphlet that was insulting to Islam and the prophet Mohammed, a Lebanese security source told AFP.
The unnamed source said that later, however, “it became clear the priest had nothing to do with the pamphlet.”
In an interview on Lebanese television on Saturday, Father Surouj said he forgives those responsible and prays for peace in Tripoli, Ya Libnan reported.
f Several blogs and social media users said this photo shows the library as it burned. TheBlaze is unable to verify its veracity (Image: A Separate State of Mind blog)
Lebanon’s Daily Star reported that “civil defense teams struggled to put out the flames which engulfed the bookstore,” calling the site “one of Lebanon’s most renowned libraries.”
Even Muslim leaders defended the priest against the accusation he had written an anti-Muslim article. Salafist Sheikh Salem al-Rafei told reporters he would like to see Lebanese security forces prosecute those who incited the arson attack.
“I call on [security agencies] to prosecute those who incited, ordered and issued a fatwa in favor of the attack rather than the fervent boys who carried out the attack,” Rafei said.
The former head of Internal Security Forces Ashraf Rifi echoed the assessment that the arson attack resulted from rumors about an article insulting the prophet Mohammed.
Internal Security Forces Brig. Imad Ayyoubi dismissed the allegations against the Christian leader.
“Father Surouj has nothing to do with the article and the source of the website is from Denmark and was published on Jan. 7, 2010,” Ayyoubi said, adding that investigators believe they know who perpetrated the attack.
Hundreds of Lebanese citizens demonstrated Saturday in Lebanon’s second largest city in support of the priest, while others volunteered to try to salvage books and rebuild the library.
Sharon Says...oh so the book burning begins... but one shining and beautiful note to this was that hundreds protested this evil.. and want to help restore this library! God Bless them!!
Mar 3 14 4:25 AM
(RNS) After months of calm in Zanzibar, two homemade bombs exploded Monday (Feb. 24) near St. Monica Anglican Cathedral and the Mercury restaurant, a popular hangout for tourists visiting the Indian Ocean archipelago.
No one was hurt, but one day earlier, four people were injured in another explosion, targeting an Assemblies of God church.
The attacks are blamed on the secessionist Uamsho, a religious group pressing for the full autonomy of the archipelago. Uamsho, which means “awakening” in Swahili, is also known as the Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation.
“The bomb blasts have caused a lot fear among Christians here,” said Zanzibar Anglican Bishop Michael Hafidh. “We are very concerned.”
With the increasing attacks, church leaders say they believe the assailants want to frighten non-Muslims to leave.
The semiautonomous archipelago off the coast of Tanzania is mostly Muslim, and assailants have targeted churches, burning some and killing or severely injuring Christian clerics.
Last February, a Roman Catholic priest, the Rev. Evaristus Mushi, was killed by unknown gunmen, while in September, another Catholic priest, the Rev. Anselmo Mwang’amba, was seriously injured when attackers splashed him with acid.
In August, two British teens volunteering with a local church nursery school suffered severe burns in a similar acid attack.
“This is not the first time churches have been targeted,” said Hafidh. “I think the attackers are people who do not want us here.”
Jun 19 14 9:27 AM
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has shocked many by announcing in a royal proclamation that under new laws, being an atheist and spreading atheist ideas is now a terrorist action. The Interior Ministry of Saudi Arabia has issued new guide lines about what exactly defines an atheist, which includes, “calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.” The changes in law have come, the authorities in Saudi Arabia claim, to prevent dissidence and unrest within the country and to better protect their law-abiding citizens. They are specifically to prevent protests and other actions that could “harm public order.” However, it is perhaps more accurate to say that there is concern within Saudi Arabia that their citizens are traveling to Syria to aid in the fighting there, and then returning with new ideas about how a government should interact with its people. The re-definition of atheist is thought to be an easy way of tarring the names of those that the government of Saudi Arabia wishes to remove and criminalizing anyone that has thought or speech that contradicts the government’s official positions.
The effects of these changes in law, however, are not limited to new arrests that may occur in the future. They also apply to those that are currently in prison in Saudi Arabia. This could greatly alter the resolution of cases against inmates that are considered dissenters by the Saudi Arabian government. On the other hand, it has been argued that in many legal cases, these new definitions have been used for a while to convict people of slight offenses.
Saudi Arabia is understandably concerned about terrorism. After all, eighteen of the nineteen 9/11 bombers were from Saudi Arabia. This move, however, has caused outrage amongst human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, which monitors actions taken to limit the rights of citizens. The laws will merely aid officials within Saudi Arabia that are currently carrying out systematic campaigns of fear, intimidation, panic, and investigation of their own population.
Sep 8 14 4:37 AM
By Ed Husain
Along with a billion Muslims across the globe, I turn to Mecca in Saudi Arabia every day to say my prayers. But when I visit the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the resting place of the Prophet Muhammad, I am forced to leave overwhelmed with anguish at the power of extremism running amok in Islam’s birthplace. Non-Muslims are forbidden to enter this part of the kingdom, so there is no international scrutiny of the ideas and practices that affect the 13 million Muslims who visit each year.
Last week, Saudi Arabia donated $100 million to the United Nations to fund a counter terrorism agency. This was a welcome contribution, but last year, Saudi Arabia rejected a rotating seat on the United Nations Security Council. This half-in, half-out posture of the Saudi kingdom is a reflection of its inner paralysis in dealing with Sunni Islamist radicalism: It wants to stop violence, but will not address the Salafism that helps justify it.
Let’s be clear: Al Qaeda, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram, the Shabab and others are all violent Sunni Salafi groupings. For five decades, Saudi Arabia has been the official sponsor of Sunni Salafism across the globe.
Most Sunni Muslims around the world, approximately 90 percent of the Muslim population, are not Salafis. Salafism is seen as too rigid, too literalist, too detached from mainstream Islam. While Shiite and other denominations account for 10 percent of the total, Salafi adherents and other fundamentalists represent 3 percent of the world’s Muslims.
Unlike a majority of Sunnis, Salafis are evangelicals who wish to convert Muslims and others to their “purer” form of Islam — unpolluted, as they see it, by modernity. In this effort, they have been lavishly supported by the Saudi government, which has appointed emissaries to its embassies in Muslim countries who proselytize for Salafism. The kingdom also grants compliant imams V.I.P. access for the annual hajj, and bankrolls ultraconservative Islamic organizations like the Muslim World League and World Assembly of Muslim Youth.
After 9/11, under American pressure, much of this global financial support dried up, but the bastion of Salafism remains strong in the kingdom, enforcing the hard-line application of outdated Shariah punishments long abandoned by a majority of Muslims. Just since Aug. 4, 19 people have been beheaded in Saudi Arabia, nearly half for nonviolent crimes.
We are rightly outraged at the beheading of James Foley by Islamist militants, and by ISIS’ other atrocities, but we overlook the public executions by beheading permitted by Saudi Arabia. By licensing such barbarity, the kingdom normalizes and indirectly encourages such punishments elsewhere. When the country that does so is the birthplace of Islam, that message resonates.
I lived in Saudi Arabia’s most liberal city, Jidda, in 2005. That year, in an effort to open closed Saudi Salafi minds, King Abdullah supported dialogue with people of other religions. In my mosque, the cleric used his Friday Prayer sermon to prohibit such dialogue on grounds that it put Islam on a par with “false religions.” It was a slippery slope to freedom, democracy and gender equality, he argued — corrupt practices of the infidel West.
This tension between the king and Salafi clerics is at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s inability to reform. The king is a modernizer, but he and his advisers do not wish to disturb the 270-year-old tribal pact between the House of Saud and the founder of Wahhabism (an austere form of Islam close to Salafism). That 1744 desert treaty must now be nullified.
The influence that clerics wield is unrivaled. Even Saudis’ Twitter heroes are religious figures: An extremist cleric like Muhammad al-Arifi, who was banned last year from the European Union for advocating wife-beating and hatred of Jews, commands a following of 9. 4 million. The kingdom is also patrolled by a religious police force that enforces the veil for women, prohibits young lovers from meeting and ensures that shops do not display “indecent” magazine covers. In the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the religious police beat women with sticks if they stray into male-only areas, or if their dress is considered immodest by Salafi standards. “This is not an Islam that the Prophet Muhammad would recognize”.
Salafi intolerance has led to the destruction of Islamic heritage in Mecca and Medina. If ISIS is detonating shrines, it learned to do so from the precedent set in 1925 by the House of Saud with the Wahhabi-inspired demolition of 1,400-year-old tombs in the Jannat Al Baqi cemetery in Medina. In the last two years, violent Salafis have carried out similar sectarian vandalism, blowing up shrines from Libya to Pakistan, from Mali to Iraq. Fighters from Hezbollah have even entered Syria to protect holy sites.
Textbooks in Saudi Arabia’s schools and universities teach this brand of Islam. The University of Medina recruits students from around the world, trains them in the bigotry of Salafism and sends them to Muslim communities in places like the Balkans, Africa, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Egypt, where these Saudi-trained hard-liners work to eradicate the local, harmonious forms of Islam.
What is religious extremism but this aim to apply Shariah as state law? This is exactly what ISIS (Islamic State) is attempting do with its caliphate. Unless we challenge this un-Islamic, impractical and flawed concept of trying to govern by a rigid interpretation of Shariah, no amount of work by a United Nations agency can unravel Islamist terrorism.
Saudi Arabia created the monster that is Salafi terrorism. It cannot now outsource the slaying of this beast to the United Nations. It must address the theological and ideological roots of extremism at home, starting in Mecca and Medina. Reforming the home of Islam would be a giant step toward winning against extremism in this global battle of ideas.
Sep 8 14 4:54 AM
ERBIL, Iraq -- While the Obama administration tries to figure out if targeting terrorists is worthwhile, thousands of refugees are suffering across northern Iraq.
Talk to anyone who has fled the Islamic State and they'll share their story of tragedy and suffering.
One Christian CBN News spoke to said the terrorists seized all his gold and money, thenthreatened to cut off his hand.
This boy was traumatized when he witnessed Islamic State fighters armed with machine guns open fire on fleeing Christians near Mosul.
Islam: Religion of Peace or War?Arabic scholars bring you a historical and shocking narrative on the tenets of Islam and the life of its founder. Know the truth. Download now.
Tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians now live in tents, schools, and abandoned buildings. War weary and despondent, most now say they want to leave Iraq.
"Go to America, Christians go to America. No, stay in Iraq!" one refugee woman said of the enormous decision to leave the land of their ancestors.
When Islamic State fighters seized his city, this former police officer took his family, including his newborn daughter, to safety in Erbil.
"If we return to our village, they will kill us," he said.
With passports in hand, these Iraqi Christians hope Congress will soon grant them immediate religious asylum status so they can live in the United States.
Ten families from this church, Ankawa Evangelical, have already left Iraq since the crisis began last June. That troubled Pastor Ghassan Yalda, who urged them to stay.
"This is hurting a lot because the faith that we have is that the Christians are the salt of this land and the light of this land," he said.
"If everybody leaves this country, who is going to be speaking the truth to the people who need it and who is going to be keeping this area from the wrath of the Lord because the sin is everywhere and people are killing each other?" he asked.
Those still here are reaching out to help. Here in the Kurdistan capital city of Erbil is a Christian neighborhood known as Ankawa.
It usually has a population of about 22,000 people. But with the massive influx of refugees from around the country fleeing the fighting with ISIS, the population has swelled to over 100,000 -- five times above normal.
And that is overwhelming the churches and the community here.
CBN Disaster Relief has partnered with Ankawa Evangelical to relieve some of the pressure and to bring help to Yazidis and basic food and toiletries for Christians.
"Today we're giving out clothing to the Yazidis who fled to northern Iraq," CBN Disaster Relief's Brian Scott said.
"We did this because they have very little, no money to purchase anything and they don't have anything but the clothes on their back," he said.
CBN is also providing episodes of the animated Bible series "Superbook," shown to the refugee children in their own Arabic language.
"Through the comfort of the Gospel... to show them that Christians truly love them, to be blessed and receive relief," Scott said.
The help is giving Iraqi refugees a break from their misery, providing them with some of life's basic necessities and with spiritual encouragement to last a lifetime.
Sep 12 14 4:18 AM
The Jewish museum in Brussels will reopen on Sunday under tight security, in a message of defiance against "brutes" after a gunman shot dead four people there in May, officials said.
Museum officials also said on Tuesday that the French suspect held in what the authorities describe as a terrorist-linked shooting does not want to take part in a reconstruction of the events as part of the legal case against him.
"We should not give free rein – I dare say – to bastards," the museum's secretary general, Norbert Cige, told reporters when asked what message the reopening gave. "We are continuing our educational work. In this world of brutes, it's necessary."
Unlike synagogues and other Jewish community sites in Brussels, the museum did not have special security precautions before the 24 May attack.
But on Sunday, two police officers will guard the entrance, a metal detector will be set up and visitors searched, officials said. The museum president, Philippe Blondin, added: "The public and our staff can be reassured."
Two exhibitions that began before the shooting – Warsawwarsaw and The dress is elsewhere – will resume. Another, Gotlib's worlds, will open to the public on 13 November and run through to 15 February next year.
In the longer term, part of the museum in the heart of Brussels will be demolished and rebuilt.
Blondin said: "We want, with absolute determination, to retake our place in the cultural arena of Brussels."
Mehdi Nemmouche, a Frenchman of Algerian origin who was extradited from France to Belgium in July and charged with the murders, "does not want to take part in the reconstruction" of the event, Blondin said.
Nonetheless, he said, Nemmouche will "perhaps be brought to the scene" for the re-enactment designed to help prosecutors piece together the crime. "But will he speak, will he cooperate? We know nothing," Blondin, said hoping the reconstruction would happen as "quickly as possible".
Officials had said earlier the museum would remain closed until the re-enactment, but Blondin said the investigating judge finally agreed that it could reopen Sunday on condition that nothing be changed to the entrance where the four people were gunned down.
Sunday is a European day of Jewish culture.
Sep 15 14 4:38 AM
(CNN) -- A suicide bomber hit an African Union Mission in Somalia convoy on Monday, killing 16 people, Lower Shabelle Gov. Adukadir Mohamed Sidi said.
Sidi said the explosion destroyed two buses traveling behind the military convoy, which was transporting the governor as he traveled back from Mogadishu.
The blast killed 16 civilians and injured 22 people, including two soldiers, he said.
The Al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack and said Americans and South Africans were among those killed.
The bombing comes a week after a U.S. airstrike claimed the life of the group's leader, Ahmed Godane.
The group appointed a new leader last week and said Godane's death would not stop its attacks. Somalia has been on high alert for strikes since.
Sep 15 14 4:43 AM
Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- The Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab has named a successor to its leader killed in an American airstrike this week, a spokesman said Saturday.
The announcement came as Somalia braced for possible retaliation after Monday's killing of Ahmed Godane.
Al-Shabaab's new leader is Ahmed Omar Abu Ubaidah, spokesman Sheikh Ali Dheere said in an audio message posted online.
He is the group's third leader and was characterized as a low-ranking commander. No other information was available.
"The death of Godane will not stop the group from carrying out its terror operations," the spokesman said. "We lost our great leader Ahmed Godane and two other coHis confirmation came after days of denying his death.
Militants attack African Union troops
Somali Islamist militants ambushed African Union peacekeeping troops in southwestern Somalia, a local official said.
The militants attacked a convoy carrying Ethiopian AU troops in two locations between the towns of Qansahdheere and Burdhubo, said Hassan Mohamud Ali, district commissioner of the latter town.
The AU troops eventually stopped the attack and secured the area, Ali said. No information was available on the casualties.
The troops have a base in Burdhubo, which used to be held by Al-Shabaab before Somali and AU forces captured it in March. It's about 250 miles (400 kilometers) south of the capital of Mogadishu.
A Burdhubo resident said he could hear Saturday's clashes from the town.
"We are hearing heavy fighting and shelling," resident Ali Mohamed said.
Shortly before the attack, the nation's security ministry placed government buildings on high alert because of the killing of Godane.
Intelligence reports indicated the group is planning attacks in Somalia, according to Mohamed Yusuf, a spokesman for the security ministry.
'Symbolic and operational loss'
The U.S. military said it killed Godane in a thunderous attack Monday.
"Removing Godane from the battlefield is a major symbolic and operational loss to Al-Shabaab," said Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon press secretary.
Godane had been at the helm since the group started a campaign of terror in East Africa, killing Somali officials, aid workers and others in a spate of suicide bombings.
U.S. officials were tipped off to what Kirby called "actionable intelligence ... strong enough" to suggest his whereabouts.
Commandos flew in Monday and took the leader out with the help of drones and laser-guided missiles, Kirby said.
The man behind Al-Shabaab
Godane, who was also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubayr, became the leader of the militant group in 2008.
The group started off with a goal of waging a war against the Somali government in an effort to implement a stricter form of Islamic law, or sharia.
But it has shifted focus to terrorist attacks beyond Somalia. It has targeted East African states supporting the Somali government, especially Uganda and Kenya.
A year ago, militants raided a mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in an audacious siege that lasted days and left 67 people dead.
The attack wasn't the group's first strike outside Somalia.
In 2010, it carried out suicide bombings in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, killing more than 70 people.
Under Godane, the terror group became a formal ally of al Qaeda.mmanders in hands of the enemy on Monday night's U.S. airstrikehttp://www.cnn.com/2014/09/06/world/africa/somalia-godane-high-alert/."
Sep 28 15 10:16 AM
I received this email from someone, and I am passing it along. Some may find it interesting, or controversial. It reflects the behavior of Muslims as their population grows in a country. What do you think?
What Islam Isn’t
By Dr. Peter HammondFrontPageMagazine. com | Monday, April 21, 2008
The following is adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book:Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat:
Islam is not a religion nor is it a cult. It is a complete system.
Islam has religious, legal, political, economic and military components. The religious component is a beard for all the other components.
Islamization occurs when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their so-called ‘religious rights.’
When politically correct and culturally diverse societies agree to ‘the reasonable’ Muslim demands for their ‘religious rights,’ they also get the other components under the table. Here’s how it works (percentages source CIA: The World Fact Book (2007)).
As long as the Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country they will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone. In fact, they may be featured in articles and films, stereotyped for their colorful uniqueness:
United States — Muslim 1.0%Australia — Muslim 1.5%Canada — Muslim 1.9%China — Muslim 1%-2%Italy — Muslim 1.5%Norway — Muslim 1.8%
At 2% and 3% they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs:
Denmark — Muslim 2%Germany — Muslim 3.7%United Kingdom — Muslim 2.7%Spain — Muslim 4%Thailand — Muslim 4.6%
From 5% on they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population.
They will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. (United States ).
France — Muslim 8%Philippines — Muslim 5%Sweden — Muslim 5%Switzerland — Muslim 4.3%The Netherlands — Muslim 5.5%Trinidad &Tobago — Muslim 5.8%
At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islam is not to convert the world but to establish Sharia law over the entire world.
When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they willincrease lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions ( Paris –car-burnings) . Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats ( Amsterdam – Mohammed cartoons).
Guyana — Muslim 10%India — Muslim 13.4%Israel — Muslim 16%Kenya — Muslim 10%Russia — Muslim 10-15%
After reaching 20% expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings and church and synagogue burning:
Ethiopia — Muslim 32.8%
At 40% you will find widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks and ongoing militia warfare:
Bosnia — Muslim 40%Chad — Muslim 53.1%Lebanon — Muslim 59.7%
From 60% you may expect unfettered persecution of non-believers and other religions, sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels:
Albania — Muslim 70%Malaysia — Muslim 60.4%Qatar — Muslim 77.5%Sudan — Muslim 70%
After 80% expect State run ethnic cleansing and genocide:
Bangladesh — Muslim 83%Egypt — Muslim 90%Gaza — Muslim 98.7%Indonesia — Muslim 86.1%Iran — Muslim 98%Iraq — Muslim 97%Jordan — Muslim 92%Morocco — Muslim 98.7%Pakistan — Muslim 97%Palestine — Muslim 99%Syria — Muslim 90%Tajikistan — Muslim 90%Turkey — Muslim 99.8%United Arab Emirates — Muslim 96%
100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ — the Islamic House of Peace — there’s supposed to be peace because everybody is a Muslim:
Afghanistan — Muslim 100%Saudi Arabia — Muslim 100%Somalia — Muslim 100%Yemen — Muslim 99.9%
Of course, that’s not the case. To satisfy their blood lust, Muslims then start killing each other for a variety of reasons.
‘Before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world and all of us against the infidel. – Leon Uris, ‘The Haj’
It is good to remember that in many, many countries, such as France, the Muslim populations are centered around ghettos based on their ethnicity. Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. Therefore, they exercise more power than their national average would indicate.
In the Bible, God prophesied that Ishmael and his descendants would be wild and fight with everyone. This prediction has held true throughout history. Will the world ever have peace with Ishmael? Will Ishmael even find peace himself? Deep down, don’t we all want the same things (love, peace, acceptance)? I wonder how much longer we will have to wait before real peace comes to humanity.
Gen 16:11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou [art] with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
Gen 16:12 And he will be a wild man; his hand [will be] against every man, and every man’s hand against him;and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
Jan 14 16 2:59 AM
The arrest of Samar Badawi, a prominent human rights defender, as well as the sister of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi and the former spouse of imprisoned human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, is the latest example of Saudi Arabia’s utter contempt for its human rights obligations and provides further damning proof of the authorities’ intent to suppress all signs of peaceful dissent, said Amnesty International.
According to local activists, Samar Badawi was arrested in the morning on January 12 in Jeddah and transferred along with her two-year-old daughter Joud to a police station. After four hours of questioning, she was transferred to Dhaban prison and is due to appear before a prosecutor tomorrow. She is believed to have been arrested at least partly in connection with her alleged role in managing a Twitter account campaigning for the release of her former husband.
“Samar Badawi’s arrest today is yet another alarming setback for human rights in Saudi Arabia and demonstrates the extreme lengths to which the authorities are prepared to go in their relentless campaign to harass and intimidate human rights defenders into silent submission,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program.
“Just weeks after Saudi Arabia shocked the world by executing 47 people in a single day, including the Shi’a Muslim cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, it has once again demonstrated its utter disregard for human rights. Samar Badawi has been arrested purely for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression, she must be immediately and unconditionally released.”
In December 2014 the Ministry of Interior issued a travel ban on Samar Badawi to prevent her from travelling to Brussels for a human rights event.
Samar Badawi’s former husband, Waleed Abu al-Khair, is serving a 15-year prison sentence also in connection with his work protecting and defending human rights in Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of thousands of Amnesty International’s supporters campaigned for his release during its December 2015 Write for Rights Campaign.
Her brother Raif was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website for public debate. He received the first 50 lashes just over a year ago. They are both prisoners of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released.
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