Egypt sentences man to 6 years in prison for ‘Liking’ Christian Facebook post

Thursday, 26 June 2014

An Egyptian man was convicted and sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison along with a fine of $840 dollars for violating Egypt’s blasphemy laws, which make illegal any criticism of the Islamic religion.


The International Christian Concern (ICC) reported that Kerolos Shawky, a Christian man living in southern Egypt, was initially accused of violating the Islamic blasphemy laws in article 98 of the Egyptian penal code, which prohibits “ridiculing or insulting heavenly religions or inciting sectarian strife”, but as the ICC notes, the law is almost always used to go after religious minorities. Continue reading “Egypt sentences man to 6 years in prison for ‘Liking’ Christian Facebook post”

Promoting or being involved in a one-way trip to the Red Planet is prohibited in Islam

One-way trip to Mars prohibited in Islam
Ahmed Shaaban  / 19 February 2014

 Fatwa committee under the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment in the UAE says such a journey poses a real risk to life.                             Promoting or being involved in a one-way trip to the Red Planet is prohibited in Islam, a fatwa committee under the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment in the UAE has ruled.“Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam,” the committee said.  “There is a possibility that an individual who travels to planet Mars may not be able to remain alive there, and is more vulnerable to death.” Continue reading “Promoting or being involved in a one-way trip to the Red Planet is prohibited in Islam”

Stoning for adulterers and amputation for thieves: Sultan of Brunei announces strict punishments for criminals under new Islamic laws

The punishments are set to come into force over the next six months

John Hall

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Sultan of Brunei has announced strict new Islamic punishments for criminals – including amputation for theft and stoning for adultery.

The punishments, which are set to come into force over the next six months, form part of the tiny, oil-rich monarchy’s new Shariah Penal Code and will apply to Muslims only.

In a speech unveiling the legalisation, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said the new code should be regarded as a form of “special guidance” from God and would be “part of the great history” of Borneo island.

He said: “By the grace of Allah, with the coming into effect of this legislation, our duty to Allah is therefore being fulfilled.“

Brunei’s Shariah Islamic court had previously handled mainly family-related disputes. The sultan has been hoping to implement the new law for years to bolster the influence of Islam in Brunei, where Muslims comprise about two-thirds of the population of nearly 420,000 people.

The minorities are mainly Buddhist, Christians and people of indigenous faiths.

Brunei’s top Islamic scholar Mufti Awang Abdul Aziz told a legal conference that Shariah law in the country “guarantees justice for everyone and safeguards their well-being.”

He said: “Let us not just look at the hand-cutting or the stoning or the caning per se, but let us also look at the conditions governing them“

Awang went on to say: “It is not indiscriminate cutting or stoning or caning. There are conditions and there are methods that are just and fair.”

Under secular laws, Brunei already prescribes caning as a penalty for crimes including immigration offenses, for which convicts can be legally flogged.

Awang said, however, that there should be no concerns that foreign travellers might end up avoiding Brunei after the law is implemented.

“Please listen to our answer. Sir, do all potential tourists to Brunei plan to steal? If they do not, then what do they need to fear,” he said. “Believe me when I say that with our Shariah criminal law, everyone, including tourists, will receive proper protection.”

The implementation of Shariah criminal law is not expected to face vocal opposition in Brunei, which has long been known for conservative policies such as banning the public sale of liquor.

Sultan Hassanal, who has reigned since 1967, is Brunei’s head of state with full executive authority. Public criticism of his policies is extremely rare in Brunei.

Saudi Arabian cleric says female drivers risk damaging ovaries ( Says “medical studies show” ) ?

Saudi Arabian cleric says female drivers risk damaging ovaries

Conservative’s comments aimed at activists protesting against Islamic kingdom’s male-only driving rules

Female Saudi motorist

A female Saudi motorist speaks to the media in 2011 after driving her vehicle in defiance of the ban on  women driving.  Photograph: Fahad Shadeed/Reuters

A conservative Saudi Arabian cleric has said women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children with clinical problems, countering activists who are trying to end the Islamic kingdom’s male-only driving rules.

A campaign calling for women to defy the ban in a protest drive on 26 October has spread rapidly online over the past week and gained support from prominent women activists. On Sunday, the campaign’s website was blocked in the kingdom.

In an interview published on Friday on the website, Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan, a judicial adviser to an association of Gulf psychologists, said women aiming to overturn the ban on driving should put “reason ahead of their hearts, emotions and passions”.

Lohaidan’s strong endorsement of the ban demonstrates how entrenched the opposition is to women driving among some conservative Saudis.

“If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards,” he told Sabq. “That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problemsof varying degrees.”

He did not cite specific medical studies to support his arguments.

The ban on women driving is not backed by a specific law, but only men are granted driving licences. Women can be fined for driving without a licence but have also been detained and put on trial in the past on charges of political protest.

Sheikh Abdulatif al-Sheikh, the head of the morality police, told Reuters last week that there was no text in the documents making up sharia law that bars women from driving.

King Abdullah has pushed some cautious reforms aimed at expanding women’s freedoms in Saudi Arabia, including opening more employment opportunities for them, but he has not addressed the issue of driving.

• This story was amended on 29 September 2013. The original wrongly identified Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan as Sheikh Saleh bin Mohammed al-Lohaidan, one of the 21 members of the senior council of scholars. This has been corrected.

Turkey: blasphemy; pianist Fazil Say sentenced to 10 months

20 September, 12:26

(ANSAmed) – ISTANBUL – World-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say, who was sentenced to 10 months in prison for blasphemy in April, was again sentenced to 10 months by an Istanbul court today in a retrial, Hurriyet online reports quoting Dogan News Agency.
Say had received a suspended 10-month prison sentence on charges of “insulting religious beliefs held by a section of the society,” for re-tweeting several lines, which are attributed to poet Omar Khayyam. Say’s lawyers had demanded his suspension be canceled. His demand had been accepted by the court, and the court had paved the way for Say to be re-tried.
The 19th Istanbul Peace Court sentenced Say to 10 months in prison but since Say has no criminal record, the court suspended the sentence and ordered supervised liberty. If Say does not commit another crime within two years, the case will be dropped.

Say was found guilty of ‘insulting religious values’ under article 216 of the Turkish criminal code for a few tweets in which he joked about the hasty call to prayer of a muezzin at a mosque in Istanbul – ’22 seconds ..: why such a hurry? A lover? Raki (Turkish anisette)?’. And on Islamic heaven he quoted a great Persian poet from 1100, Omar Khayyam: ‘You say rivers of wine flow in Paradise: Is it a celestial pub? And that two virgins are awaiting every believer, is Paradise a celestial brothel?’.

Three Islamic activists reported Say who was subsequently indicted by prosecutors in Istanbul.

The musician, 43, a self-proclaimed atheist and leftist, is a well-known opponent of the government of Islamist premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and one of the most renowned Turkish intellectuals. The pianist and composer is considered a’Turkish Mozart’ in Germany. Many Turkish artists and intellectuals have supported him. In a message sent after the first sentence to the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Fay said freedom of expression is increasingly at risk in Turkey and the country is living through ‘a difficult period as those who try to consolidate their power exploiting religion are oppressing people’. (ANSAmed).

Non-Muslim teachers ‘forced to wear veil’ at faith school / Derbyshire

Female teachers at a state funded Muslim school have been ordered to cover their heads with Islamic scarves during school hours even if they are not Muslim, it has been claimed.

Female teachers at state funded Muslim school have been ordered to cover their heads with Islamic scarves during school hours even if they are not Muslim, it has been claimed.

Staff at Al-Madinah School, Derbyshire, claim they have been told to sign new contracts agreeing to wear hijabs Photo: Caters


11:54AM BST 20 Sep 2013

Staff at Al-Madinah School, in Derbyshire, say that they have been told to sign new contracts agreeing to wear hijabs and make girls sit at the back of classes.

The Muslim faith school, which caters for 200 students aged four to 16, also forbids the teachers from bringing in non-Halal food or wearing unacceptable jewellery, it is claimed.

Non-Asian staff have been seen removing the headwear immediately when leaving the building, but refused to reveal the extent of the school’s demands.

Nick Raine, regional NUT officer, said: “We are very worried about the school and the education of the 200 children there.

“It’s one thing to have a dress code which we can challenge and quite another to build it into a contract.

“The school is publicly accountable so there needs to be greater transparency.”

The school, which has different sites for its primary and secondary school, was set up in September 2012.

The then head teacher Andrew Cutts-Mckay, who left after less than a year in post, said it was being established so that “the timetable will be flexible with time for Islamic teaching but pupils will be able to opt out of this and there will be a chance to learn about other faiths”.

He said they would “honour all faiths” and that he envisaged a school where 50 per cent of pupils were Islamic and the other half were not.

Sue Arguile, branch secretary of Derby National Union of Teachers, said: “There are worries over practices concerning the discrimination between male and female pupils in the school, with the girls being told to sit at the back of the class regardless of whether they can see the board properly.

“This school was first launched as based on Muslim principles and not as a Muslim school.

“If the school is not sticking to the original reasons behind why it was set up, then it does call into question whether public money is being used properly and for its intended purpose.”

The free school will eventually have up to 1,100 pupils, it is planned. Free schools operate in much the same way as private schools, academies outside local authority control but qualifying for government funding.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “Schools and colleges have the freedom to set their own uniform policies.”

The school has yet to receive an inspection by Ofsted, which could reasonably be expected to happen this academic year as it is a new school. It could be brought forward in view of representations from the teaching unions and city council.

An Ofsted spokeswoman said: “As schools are only notified the afternoon before inspections begin, we would not be able to let anyone know when the school is being inspected.”

Despite numerous attempts to contact the school, they have refused to comment on the claims.

Egypt’s Coptic Christians forced to pay taxes to Muslim Brotherhood

4:32 PM  09/11/2013

The Muslim Brotherhood has started implementing a tax on the nearly 15,000  Coptic Christians in Egypt’s Dalga Village, the Washington Times reports.

Those that do not convert to Islam will be forced to pay the tax, or will be  killed.

The tax, known as a “jizya,” is a direct reference to a verse in the Quran  that states, “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who  do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who  do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture –  [fight] until they give the jizya willingly while they are humbled” (9:29).

And it’s not just happening in Egypt. It’s happening in surrounding areas,  too.

The Christian Science Monitor gives a  few examples of the way the tax is being implemented. The news outlet wrote on  Sunday that a photo shop owner in Baghdad was given three choices: convert to  Islam, pay the $70,000 jizya tax, or get killed along with his family.

He fled to Jordan with his wife.

Another man from Mosul, Iraq recalled a phone call he received telling him  to pay the jizya, or he or his son would die. He, too, fled to Jordan, the  Christian Science Monitor reports.

The Times reports that as many as 40 Christian families have fled the Dalga  village since the tax was enforced. Many people who have not been able to pay  the tax have been attacked.

Read more:

News of chemical weapons attack in Syria published one day before massacre happened – Islamic Invitation Turkey ***GRAPHIC/ SHOWS CHILDREN***

 EEV: The video is only included by the Russian press in order to analyze the argument. Otherwise I would have omitted it.

2012 июль коллаж газ сирия газ сирия химическое оружие сирия

© Collage: Voice of Russia

The Islamic politics and cultural website Islamic Invitation Turkey claims that several videos were uploaded one day before the reports on chemical weapons use near Damascus in Syria. This evidence shows that the terrorists massacred people then recorded the scenes to deceive the world, but they gave themselves away. Terrorists in Syria uploaded the video of their crimes in East Ghouta, Damascus on August 20, 2013 and then blamed the Syrian government for the attack early on August 21, 2013, says the IIT website.

 This evidence supposedly shows the massacre by terrorists in Syria and their struggle to convince the public that the Syrian regime is behind the massacre. You will see that the terrorists uploaded the videos before the massacre and their so-called allegation of the time when the chemical weapons attack by the Syrian Army occurred.



 Even if we regard the chemical attack as taking place at 03:30, it is impossible to take the film of the scene and uploading those tens of videos… this shows that terrorists prepared and organized all of the scenes beforehand then accused the Syrian regime of a massacre that terrorists carried out.



 They did not even have mercy for the children and used them to deceive the public. They gathered all civilians, women and children to certain areas and then killed them brutally, then blamed the Syrian regime in order to legalize their brutality.



Was Boston Bomber a white supremacist? Investigation finds Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in possession of right-wing extremist literature in run-up to terror attack

  • Tamerlan  Tsarnaev read right-wing literature that claimed ‘Hitler had a  point’
  • The suspect  had material that claimed the 9/11 was a government  conspiracy
  • Tamerlan,  26, had literature on mass killings and how victims were  murdered

By  Anna Edwards

PUBLISHED: 03:38 EST, 5  August 2013 |  UPDATED: 03:42 EST, 5 August 2013


Tamerlan Tsarnaev 'read extreme right wing literature'Tamerlan Tsarnaev ‘read extreme right wing  literature’

One of the Boston Bomber suspects subscribed  to right-wing white supremacy literature and government conspiracy theories  before the horrific attack which killed three people.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev read extreme right-wing  literature that claimed ‘Hitler had a point’ and articles about the ‘rape of our  gun rights’, an investigation has found.

The 26-year-old also had material that  claimed the 9/11 attacks and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing were government  conspiracies.

He and his brother Dzhokhar, originally from  Chechnya, allegedly carried out the bombing at the Boston marathon’s finish line  on April 15 which killed three people and injured more than 260.

Until now the pair are believed to have  carried out the attacks due to their radical jihadist beliefs.

But an investigation by the BBC’s Panorama  programme has learnt that Tamerlan possessed white supremacist literature, and  material on mass killings and how victims were murdered.

After the shoot-out, it emerged that Tamerlan  had become interested in Islam – but to what extent is unclear.

A spokesman for Tamerlan’s mosque in  Cambridge, Massachuessets, said Tamerlan only prayed there occasionally, and  described him as an angry man who latched onto Islam, Panorama  reported.

The older of the two Chechen brothers once  dreamed of representing the U.S. as a boxer, it was reported, but before the  bombings had turned to Islam.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev read extreme right-wing literature  that claimed ‘Hitler had a point’ and articles about the ‘rape of our gun  rights’

Tamerlan wasn’t a devout practicing Muslim,  but within the last two years had begun praying five times a day, his aunt Maret  Tsarnaeva has said.

The relative said that the brothers and their  family came to the United States in 2002 after she helped them apply for refugee  status.

Tsarnaev has a three-year-old daughter called  Zahara with Katherine Russell, 24, who converted to Islam for her  husband.

He received his American citizenship on  September 11, 2012. He traveled to Russia last year and returned to the  U.S.  six months later, government officials told The Associated Press.

The attack at the Boston Marathon killed three and  injured more than 260 people


The brothers allegedly dumped two pressure cooker bombs  crammed with shrapnel and detonated them near the finish line

The eldest brother was killed in a police  shootout on April 19 – four days after he and his younger brother Dzhokhar  allegedly set off bombs during the Boston Marathon.

The gun battle happened a day after the FBI  released images of him and his younger brother at the Boston  marathon.

His brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar, was found  hiding in a boat parked in a suburban yard and suffered a self-inflicted gunshot  wound to the neck.

They allegedly dumped two pressure cooker  bombs crammed with shrapnel and detonated them near the finish line, killing  three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and injuring 180 more.

Three people were killed in the cowardly  attack and 264 more were wounded, several of whom lost limbs.

Dzhokhar, 19, has pleaded not guilty to 30  charges, including 17 that carry the death penalty.

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Malaysian woman, 38, arrested after Muslim outrage over video showing her performing religious rites on her dogs

  • Clip  features Maznah Mohd Yusof, 38,  celebrating the Eid al-Fitr  festival
  • Video shows woman washing her dog’s legs and  feeding them biscuits
  • Investigated on suspicion of causing  disharmony on religious grounds
  • Arrested last Wednesday and taken into  custody before being released

By  Mark Duell

PUBLISHED: 10:16 EST, 4  August 2013 |  UPDATED: 10:16 EST, 4 August 2013

A video showing a woman performing a washing  ritual on her pets has been branded  ‘anti-Islamic’.

The controversial two-minute YouTube clip  features dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof, 38, celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival  – known as Hari Raya in Malaysia, where it was filmed – washing her dogs’  legs.

It also shows Maznah walking near a mosque  and feeding biscuits to her pets and appeared on the Facebook pages of several  Islamic non-governmental organisations, prompting police to take  action.

Scroll down  for video

Controversial: The two-minute clip features dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof, 38, celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival - known as Hari Raya in Malaysia, where it was filmed - washing her dogs' legsControversial: The two-minute clip features dog trainer  Maznah Mohd Yusof, 38, celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival – known as Hari Raya  in Malaysia, where it was filmed – washing her dogs’ legs

Wiped down: Maznah was investigated on suspicion of causing disharmony on grounds of religion and arrested on Wednesday before being taken into custody in Kuala Lumpur and released on bail on FridayWiped down: Maznah was investigated on suspicion of  causing disharmony on grounds of religion and arrested on Wednesday before being  taken into custody in Kuala Lumpur and released on bail on Friday

Maznah was investigated on suspicion of  causing disharmony on grounds of religion and arrested last Wednesday and taken  into custody in Kuala Lumpur, before  being released on bail last  Friday.

It has been suggested that she could face up  to five years in prison if charged and found guilty. But Maznah has claimed the  video was filmed in 2010 and has nothing to do with insulting Islam.

She said that she was simply reminding people  to celebrate Eid al-Fitr – a holiday which marks the end of Ramadan and  literally means ‘the festival of breaking the fast’ – with animals and  humans.

The video has also sparked a debate over the  status of dogs in Islam, with many Muslims brought up in devout households  taught that dogs are scary and dirty – and that their saliva is  unclean.

Biscuits: It has been suggested that she could face up to five years in prison if charged and found guilty. But Maznah has claimed the video was filmed in 2010 and has nothing to do with insulting IslamBiscuits: It has been suggested that she could face up  to five years in prison if charged and found guilty. But Maznah has claimed the  video was filmed in 2010 and has nothing to do with insulting Islam

Reasoning: She said that she was simply reminding people to celebrate Eid al-Fitr - a holiday which marks the end of Ramadan and literally means 'the festival of breaking the fast' - with animals and humansReasoning: She said that she was simply reminding people  to celebrate Eid al-Fitr – a holiday which marks the end of Ramadan and  literally means ‘the festival of breaking the fast’ – with animals and  humans

But many Muslims around the world own dogs –  and while some argue that the animals should only be allowed for security and  hunting, others claim it is right to be kind to creatures on Earth.

Lawyer Latheefa Koya told Malaysia’s  Star newspaper that Maznah has admitted to  police that she is behind the video. Another of her lawyers said she will only  have to attend court in future if required.

‘If she fails to be present in court, she  will have to pay a fine of RM10,000 (£2,000),’ the lawyer, G. Visvanathan Nair,  told the Star.

The video, uploaded by a ‘Acaiseven Fiska’ to  YouTube last Monday, is entitled ‘menghina Islam . 1 hari di hari raya’ and has  been viewed more than 200,000 times.

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Christian teacher to be tried in Egypt for insulting Islam


Christian teacher to be tried in Egypt for insulting Islam

Egypt’s prosecutors on Tuesday referred a Christian schoolteacher to trial on charges of insulting Islam, judicial sources said.

Dimiana Abdel-Nour, who was arrested on Wednesday, was accused by her Muslim students’ parents of insulting Islam and comparing it to Christianity by saying that the late Coptic Pope Shenouda was better than the Prophet Mohammad.

Alongside the political and economic turmoil Egypt has endured since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February 2011, tensions have risen between Muslims and Christians, especially since the election of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in June.

Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s 84 million people and have complained that the authorities have failed to protect them since Mubarak was ousted, giving radical Islamists a free hand.

Last year, an Egyptian court sentenced a 17-year-old Christian to three years in jail for publishing cartoons on his Facebook page that mocked Islam and the Prophet, triggering sectarian violence.

At least three people were killed and more than 80 injured in clashes last month between Christians and Muslims at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo after a funeral service for four Christians killed in sectarian violence with Muslims.

Abdel-Nour will appear in a court in Luxor next Tuesday, a judicial source said. She was free on bail of 20 thousand Egyptian pounds ($2,900) pending her trial.


Boston bombers: FBI hunting 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked to brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

21 Apr 2013 00:01

Police believe the pair were specially  trained to carry out the devastating attack

Covered boat: Fugitive was found in back yard
Covered boat: Fugitive was found in back yard

The FBI was last night hunting a 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked to  the Boston  marathon bomb brothers.

Police believe Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were specially trained to carry  out the devastating attack.

More than 1,000 FBI operatives were last night working to track down the cell  and arrested a man and two women 60 miles from Boston in the hours before  Dzhokhar’s dramatic capture after a bloody shootout on Friday.

A source close to the investigation said: “We have no doubt the brothers were  not acting alone. The devices used to detonate the two bombs were highly  sophisticated and not the kind of thing people learn from Google.

“They were too advanced. Someone gave the brothers the skills and it is now  our job to find out just who they were. Agents think the sleeper cell has up to  a dozen members and has been waiting several years for their day to come.”

A specialist team of CIA and FBI interrogators was yesterday flown to a  Boston hospital to grill wounded Dzhokhar, 19, about the secret group. The  University of Massachusetts student was caught on Friday after hiding out in a  boat parked in a garden in locked down Watertown the day after a gun battle with  police left his 26-year-old brother and a rookie cop dead.

Dzhokhar is said to have run his brother over as he escaped in a stolen car  while Tamerlan lay handcuffed on the ground. They were carrying six bombs with  them at the time, three of which ­exploded, as well as a handgun and rifle.  The devices were thought to be pipe bombs.

Last night Dzhokhar – badly wounded but alive – lay handcuffed to his  hospital bed under armed guard. The other three arrested in the port of New  Bedford are also believed to be of college age.

Still infrared image from police search of boat where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found hiding
An aerial infrared image shows the outline of Dzhokhar hiding in the  boat



Dzhokhar even went to a college party two days after the bombs wreaked havoc  at the finish line. According to fellow students, he “looked relaxed” as he  joined in a party at the campus on Wednesday night.

Hours later he was involved in the shootout which saw his brother killed.

Investigators have begun piecing together how the “well-mannered” brothers of  Chechen origin were radicalised. Neighbours of the family said older brother  Tamerlan had recently become obsessed with Islam. He mysteriously left the US in  January last year to spend six months in Russia. Yesterday senior FBI  counter-terrorism official Kevin Brock said: “It’s a key thread for  investigators.”

It also emerged the Bureau interviewed Tamerlan two years ago, at the request  of the Russian government, but could not establish that he had ties to terrorist  radicals.

This was despite his worrying Russian-language YouTube page featuring links  to extremist Islamic sites and others since taken down by YouTube.

One link showed an hour-long speech by an Islamic teacher called Shaykh Feiz  Mohammed, while other videos are labled “Terrorists” and “Islam”.

The radical cleric, with links to extremist British Muslims, encouraged his  followers to become martyrs for Islam. He said: “Teach them this: There is  nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid.”

Yesterday the brothers’ mother Zubeidat, speaking from her home in Russia,  added further intrigue to her sons’ murky past when she claimed the boys had  been framed by the FBI over the two bombs last Monday that left three dead and  178 injured.

Chechen bombers: Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev at the  Boston Marathon



She claimed the FBI had been keeping watch on her eldest boy for up to five  years. She said: “They knew what my son was doing. They knew what sites on the  internet he was going to.

“They were telling me that he was really an extremist leader and that they  were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets  from these extremist sites. They were controlling him.”

The bombers’ father Anzor wept at news that his youngest son had been  captured alive. In a phone interview with a US news channel he told his

son: “Tell police everything. Everything. Just be honest.”

US Government officials have said the brothers were not under surveillance as  possible militants. And an FBI statement said the matter was closed because  interviews with Tamerlan and family members “did not find any terrorism  activity, domestic or foreign”. But now they believe the pair, who emigrated to  the United States from Dagestan about a decade ago, were part of a terror  cell.

College dropout Tamerlan’s American wife Katherine Russell, 24, and their  three-year-old daughter Zahara were yesterday thrown into the spotlight. She was  a Christian before they married but converted to Islam. Her parents Warren, a  doctor, and Judith were said to be “stunned” by their son-in-law’s involvement  in the tragedy.

Judith and Warren issued a joint statement saying: “Our daughter has lost her  husband today, the father of her child. In the aftermath of the Patriot’s Day  horror, we know we never really knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Our hearts are sickened  by the horror he has inflicted.”

Katherine, wearing a black hijab, was picked up by FBI agents at their home  in Cambridge near Boston on Friday. Dope-smoker Dzhokhar was captured after a  Watertown resident called police to say the fugitive was hiding in a boat in his  back garden.

David Henneberry had gone into his garden for a cigarette after police lifted  restrictions on people leaving their homes, believing the bomber had left the  area. He noticed that the cover over his boat had blood on it and a strap had  been cut. He went back into the house to get a stepladder and looked inside.

His stepson Robert said: “He stuck his head under the tarp and noticed a pool  of blood and something crumpled up in a ball. Instead of being a hero of the  moment and yelling at what we now know was the suspect, he did the right thing  and called 911.”

Police immediately evacuated the family and surrounded the house, using a  megaphone to tell Dzhokhar to come out with his hands up.

When he failed to respond they opened fire at the boat’s hull. Robert said:  “They wound up ­shooting a couple of rounds through the boat. He wasn’t  going to like that.”

Dzhokhar was wounded by the volley of gunfire and police were able to move in  and arrest him. They later released infrared pictures taken from a helicopter  showing Dzhokhar hiding in the boat.

Investigators will interrogate the bomber, still seriously ill last night,  without reading him his rights – using special “public safety” powers.

The family of eight-year-old bombing victim Martin Richard welcomed the  arrest of Tsarnaev. “Our community is once again safe from these men,” the  family said in a statement.

Shortly before Dzhokhar’s capture, President Obama spoke by phone to Russian  President Vladimir Putin. The White House said Obama “praised the close  co-operation the US has received from Russia on counter-terrorism, including in  the wake of the Boston attack”.

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Saudi women allowed to ride bikes

Саудовская Аравия женщина дождь

Photo: EPA

Saudi women, who for many years have sought opportunities to operate vehicles have obtained such a right with the corresponding decision being made by the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the Saudi kingdom.

 However, they have only been allowed to ride bicycles and motorized buggies.

 According to the law women “are free to operate these vehicles but only on the condition that they will be accompanied by one of their male relatives.”

 Lady-drivers must dress modestly and not leave the area of ​​local parks or near the coast.

 Saudi Arabia is the only country where women cannot get a driver’s license.

 Voice of Russia, TASS

Egyptian mosque turned into house of torture for Christians



Egyptian mosque turned into house of torture for Christians

Islamic hard-liners stormed a mosque in suburban Cairo, turning it into  torture chamber for Christians who had been demonstrating against the ruling  Muslim Brotherhood in the latest case of violent persecution that experts fear  will only get worse.

Such stories have become increasingly common as tensions between Egypt’s  Muslims and Copts mount, but in the latest case, mosque officials corroborated  much of the account and even filed a police report. Demonstrators, some of whom  were Muslim, say they were taken from the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in  suburban Cairo to a nearby mosque on Friday and tortured for hours by hard-line  militia members.

“They accompanied me to one of the mosques in the area and I discovered the  mosque was being used to imprison demonstrators and torture them,” Amir Ayad, a  Coptic who has been a vocal protester against the regime, told MidEast Christian News from a  hospital bed.

Ayad said he was beaten for hours with sticks before being left for dead on a  roadside. Amir’s brother, Ezzat Ayad, said he received an anonymous phone call  at 3 a.m. Saturday, with the caller saying his brother had been found near death  and had been taken to the ambulance.

“He underwent radiation treatment that proved that he suffered a fracture in  the bottom of his skull, a fracture in his left arm, a bleeding in the right  eye, and birdshot injuries,” Ezzat Ayad said.

Officials at the Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque said radical militias stormed the  building, in the Cairo suburb of Moqattam, after Friday prayers.

“[We] deeply regret what has happened and apologize to the people of  Moqattam,” mosque officials said in a statement,  adding that “they had lost control over the mosque at the time.” The  statement also “denounced and condemned the violence and involving mosques in  political conflicts.”

The latest crackdown is further confirmation that the Muslim Brotherhood’s  most hard-line elements are consolidating control in Egypt, according to Shaul  Gabbay, a professor of international studies at the University of Denver.

“It will only get worse,” said Gabbay. “This has been a longstanding  conflict, but now that the Muslim Brotherhood is in power, it is moving forward  to implement its ideology – which is that Christians are supposed to become  Muslims.

“There is no longer anything to hold them back,” he continued. “The  floodgates are open.”

Gabbay said the violent militias that allegedly tortured Ayad work  hand-in-hand with police and may, in fact, be beyond the control of increasingly  unpopular President Mohammed Morsi. While he may benefit from roving bands that  attack demonstrators, they also undermine his claim of being a legitimate  leader.

“Egyptian society is split over the Morsi regime, and it is not just a  Coptic-Muslim split,” Gabbay said. “The less conservative elements of the Muslim  society are increasingly uneasy with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Christian Copts  are an easy target, but they are not alone in their mistrust of the  Brotherhood.”

Experts agreed that the Copts, who comprise roughly 10 percent of the  nation’s 83 million people, are not alone in their opposition to the Muslim  Brotherhood, which took power in hotly contested elections following the 2011  ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak. Moderate Muslims and secular  liberals are increasingly uncomfortable with the Islamization of the government.

Sheikh Ahmed Saber, a well-known imam and official in Egypt’s Ministry of  Endowments, has blasted Morsi’s justice ministry for allowing persecution of  Copts.

“All Egyptians in general are oppressed, but Christians are particularly  oppressed, because they suffer double of what others suffer,” Saber told  MCN


Couples caught having sex before marriage could be sent to prison for FIVE YEARS under new Muslim law in Indonesia

  • Even couples living together out of wedlock and have sex to  face year in jail
  • Part of a raft of proposals which include a  ban on witchcraft and black magic
  • Bid to revise laws based on laws of former  colonial ruler, the Netherlands

By  Matt Blake

PUBLISHED: 10:59 EST, 22  March 2013 |  UPDATED: 11:12 EST, 22 March 2013


Unmarried singles who have sex in Indonesia  could be jailed for up to five years under new laws tabled by the government, it  was revealed today.

Even couples who live together out of wedlock  will not escape the harsh new rules and could be imprisoned for one year if  caught in amorous congress.

The unusual sex embargo was proposed as part  of a raft of new edicts which also includes a ban on witchcraft and black magic  which – if proved to have caused ‘someone’s illness, death, mental or physical  suffering’ – will carry a five-year prison term.

Sex embargo: Even couples who live together out of wedlock will not escape the harsh new rules and could be imprisoned for one year if caught in amorous congressSex embargo: Even couples who live together out of  wedlock will not escape the harsh new rules and could be imprisoned for one year  if caught in amorous congress

The strict regulations were revealed by the  country’s Justice and Human Rights  Ministry director general for legislation Wahiduddin Adams.

‘[Singles engaging in premarital sex] is  liable for up to five years in jail,’ he said, adding: ‘Our society is not like  in the old penal code that allows this.’

While Indonesia has long followed a  moderate  version of Islam, an emphasis on Muslim practices and  identity with Islamic  traditions has gathered pace in recent years.

Beliefs in witchcraft and mysticism are  widespread, especially on the main  island of Java. Many Indonesians are  generally relaxed about  homosexuality.

Jailed: In November last year, Brit Rebecca Blake was sentenced to three months in a Dubai jail for having drunken sex in the back of a taxiJailed: In November last year, Brit Rebecca Blake was  sentenced to three months in a Dubai jail for having drunken sex in the back of  a taxi

The plans are part of efforts to revise  sections of the criminal code still largely based on laws of the former colonial  ruler, the Netherlands, and have apparently gained the support of other members  of the country’s parliament.

‘I think, it would be good if this is  regulated,’ People’s Conscience Party MP Syarifuddin Sudding said.

Parliamentary speaker Marzuki Alle caused  international outrage last year when he proposed a ban on the miniskirt,  targetting female  politicians who chose to wear skirts above the  knee.

Mr Alle said he was preparing draft rules  banning female politicians and  staff members from wearing mini-skirts because  ‘there have been a lot of rape cases and other immoral acts recently and this is  because women  aren’t wearing appropriate clothes’.

He added: ‘You know what men are like –  provocative clothing will make them do things.’

But Indonesia is not the only nation with  strict laws governing sex.

In November last year, Brit Rebecca Blake was  sentenced to three months in a Dubai jail for having drunken sex in the back of  a taxi.

The £100,000-a-year recruitment consultant  was accused of stripping naked and writhing on top of Irishman Conor McRedmond,  28, in a Dubai  cab. McRedmond was handed  the same sentence for his part in the tryst.

Their taxi driver alerted police after spotting Blake in his rearview mirror with her top off, straddling  McRedmond  and ‘making the sounds of a woman having sex’.

They were the latest expats to fall  foul of  the United Arab Emirates’ strict laws preventing drunkenness in  public and sex  outside marriage.

In 2008, Vince Acors, 38, and Michelle Palmer, 40, were jailed for three months for having sex on a beach. The sentence was suspended on appeal.

And in 2009 Charlotte Adams and Ayman  Najafi  spent a month in jail after an Emirati woman complained they were kissing in  public.

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Heavy fighting in front of Cairo’s Muslim Brotherhood office

Mar 17, 2013 01:28 Moscow Time

египет протест египет беспорядки египет каир

Photo: EPA

Violent clashes between police and a group of protesters broke out Saturday night at the headquarters of the “Muslim Brotherhood” in Cairo.

According to local media, the riots were sparked by an attack of activists of the Islamic association on journalists.

Opponents of the “Brotherhood” threw Molotov cocktails at a police patrol on duty at the HQ, with the police retaliating with tear gas. However, their efforts to contain the crowd failed, and the fire engine was unable to reach the blazing vehicle.

Egypt has recently witnessed increasingly frequent attacks on local media, which authorities accuse of distorting reality. Journalists are accused of “emphasizing the negative news, while ignoring real achievements of the revolution.”

Voice of Russia, TASS


The photos Saudi Arabia doesn’t want seen – and proof Islam’s most holy relics are being demolished in Mecca

Archaeologists fear billion-pound development has led to destruction of key historical sites

Jerome Taylor

Friday, 15 March 2013

The authorities in Saudi Arabia have begun dismantling some of the oldest sections of Islam’s most important mosque as part of a highly controversial multi-billion expansion.

Photographs obtained by The Independent reveal how workers with drills and mechanical diggers have started demolishing some Ottoman and Abbasid sections on the eastern side of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.

The building, which is also known as the Grand Mosque, is the holiest site in Islam because it contains the Kaaba –  the point to which all Muslims face when praying. The columns are the last remaining sections of the mosque which date back more than a few hundred years and form the inner perimeter on the outskirts of the white marble floor surrounding the Kaaba.

The new photos, taken over the last few weeks, have caused alarm among archaeologists and come as Prince Charles – a long term supporter of preserving architectural heritage – flew into Saudi Arabia yesterday for a visit with the Duchess of Cornwall. The timing of his tour has been criticised by human rights campaigners after the Saudis shot seven men in public earlier this week despite major concerns about their trial and the fact that some of the men were juveniles at the time of their alleged crimes.

Many of the Ottoman and Abbasid columns in Mecca were inscribed with intricate Arabic calligraphy marking the names of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions and key moments in the founder of Islam’s life. One column which is believed to have been ripped down is supposed to mark the sport where Muslims believe Muhammad began his heavenly journey on a winged horse which took him to Jerusalem and heaven in a single night.

To accommodate the ever increasing number of pilgrims heading to the twin holy cities of Mecca and Medina each year the Saudi authorities have embarked upon a massive expansion project. Billions of pounds have been poured in to increase the capacity of the Masjid al-Haram and the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina which marks where Muhammad is buried. King Abdullah has put the prominent Wahabi cleric and imam of the Grand Mosque, Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, in charge of the expansion while the Saudi Binladin Group – the country’s largest firms – has won the construction contract.

While there is little disagreement over the need to expand, critics have accused the Saudi regime of wantonly disregarding the archaeological, historical and cultural heritage of Islam’s two holiest cities. In the last decade Mecca has been transformed from a dusty desert pilgrimage town into a gleaming metropolis of sky scrapers that tower of the Masjid al-Haram and are filled with a myriad of shopping malls, luxury apartments and five star hotels.

But such a transformation has come at a cost. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of Mecca’s millennium-old buildings have been demolished in the past two decades alone. Dozens of key historical sites dating back to the birth of Islam have already been lost and there is a scramble among archaeologists and academics to try and encourage the authorities to preserve what little remains.

Many senior Wahabis are vehemently against the preservation of historical Islamic sites that are linked to the profit because they believe it encourages shirq – the sin of idol worshipping.

But Dr Irfan al-Alawi, executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation which obtained the new photographs from inside the Grand Mosque, says the removal of the Ottoman and Abbasid columns will leave future generations of Muslims ignorant of their significance.

“It matters because many of these columns signified certain areas of the mosque where the Prophet sat and prayed,” he said. “The historical record is being deleted. A new Muslim would never have a clue because there’s nothing marking these locations now. There are ways you could expand Mecca and Medina while protecting the historical heritage of the mosque itself and the surrounding sites.”

There are signs that King Abdullah has listened to concerns about the historical destruction of Mecca and Medina. Last October The Independent revealed how new plans for the masjid an-Nabawi in Medina would  result in the destruction of three of the world’s oldest mosques on the west hand side of the main complex. However new plans approved by King Abdullah last week appear to show a change of heart with the bulk of the expansion now slated to take place to the north of the Masjid an-Nabawi.

However key sites are still at risk. The Independent has obtained a presentation used by the Saudis to illustrate how the expansion of Mecca’s main mosque will look. In one of the slides it is clear that the Bayt al-Mawlid, an area which is believed to be the house where Muhammad was born it, will have to be removed unless plans change.

The Independent asked the Saudi Embassy in London a number of questions about the expansion plans and why more was not being done to preserve key historical sites. They replied: “Thank you for calling, but no comment.”

Further reading

Mecca for the rich: Islam’s holiest site ‘turning into Vegas’

Why don’t more Muslims speak out against the wanton destruction of Mecca’s holy sites?

Medina: Saudis take a bulldozer to Islam’s history–and-proof-islams-most-holy-relics-are-being-demolished-in-mecca-8536968.html#

Iran confiscates Buddha statues in crackdown on ‘cultural invasion’

Officials reportedly seizing statues from shops in Tehran to stop the promotion of Buddhism


    • Associated Press in Tehran
    •, Sunday 17 February 2013 08.32 EST


Buddha statue

A Buddha statue in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photograph: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images

Buddha statues have joined Barbie dolls and characters from The Simpsons as banned items in Iran.

Officials are confiscating the statues from shops in the capital, Tehran, to stop the promotion of Buddhism, according to a report in the independent Arman daily.

The Islamic republic has long fought against items such as Barbie toys to block western influence, but this appears to be the first time authorities have shown an opposition to symbols from the east.

The newspaper quoted Saeed Jaberi Ansari, an official for the protection of Iran’s cultural heritage, as calling the Buddha statues symbols of “cultural invasion”.

He reportedly said authorities would not permit a specific belief to be promoted through such items. Ansari did not say how many Buddhas had been seized, but said the “cleansing” would continue.

Some Iranians buy Buddha statues to decorate their homes and cars. Most are made in China and come from Iranian free-trade zones in the Gulf.

“As I understand, none of the customers cared about Buddhism, they only bought it for decoration,” said Reza Sanaei, a shopkeeper who sells the statues.

A customer, Marjan Arbabi, said she personally did not like the statues. “But my parents have a set of five Buddha statues at their home simply because they think the statues are beautiful,” she said.

Under Iran’s constitution, Christian and Jewish beliefs as well as Zoroastrianism are recognised alongside Islam, the official religion. The law says that in general the rights of all non-Muslims should be observed.

Some Islamists do not support the production of any statue, as they view it as a way to promote idols. In 2010 several statues depicting prominent Iranians disappeared from Tehran’s streets and squares. Their disappearance was blamed on an unnamed group with a strict interpretation of Islam that forbids depiction of the human form in art.


Saint Valentine: Egyptian Salafists say it’s a sin

Anyone in red or giving heart-shaped balloons is going to hell

14 February, 18:23

(ANSAmed) – CAIRO, FEBRUARY 14 – Saint Valentine’s is a Christian feast and therefore ”haram”, a sin, according to Egypt’s main Salafist movements. Jamaa Islamiya and Salafists in Suez put up posters calling for the abolition of St. Valentine’s, warning women not to wear red and street sellers not to sell heart-shaped balloons. Lovers’ presents, flowers and stuffed animals are also on the Salafist sin list.

”St. Valentine is a Western invention and it has nothing to do with religion,” according to an Egyptian Salafist movement spokesperson, Khaled. In Alexandria, unknown militants distributed flyers warning against ”the wrath of God” and saying people who indulged in anything Valentine-related were going to hell. On Twitter, some fundamentalists threatened sinners with 80 lashes, because St.

Valentine is ”against sharia”, or Islamic law.

A branch of Sunni Islam, the Salafist movement calls for a strict and puritanical approach to religion, with some elements espousing violent jihad against civilians as a legitimate expression of Islam. (ANSAmed).


Egypt bans YouTube over Innocence of Muslims video

Published: 9 February, 2013, 20:01 Edited: 9 February, 2013, 20:01


An Egyptian court has ruled to ban video sharing portal YouTube for one month among the other websites hosting the controversial film trailer that mocked Islam and Prophet Mohammed.

­Egypt’s administrative court on Saturday ordered the authorities to block access to YouTube and other websites that have not removed the anti-Islamic trailer. The 14-minute clip made in the US was posted to YouTube in July 2012.

After having been translated into Arabic and partly broadcasted in Egypt last September, this low-budget film sparked a wave of outrage worldwide and anti-American protests in the Middle East that killed more than 70 people and injured hundreds.

The lawsuit against YouTube was filed by Egyptian attorney Hamed Salem amid accusations of the video-sharing service being a “threat to social peace.” Salem demanded YouTube and social media sites linking to the “insulting” video to be banned until all the anti-Islamic content is removed from them.

Egyptian protest movements have condemned the ban, calling YouTube a “vital resource for disseminating information about Human Rights abuses by the security forces,” Cairo-based journalist Bel Trew told RT on Saturday.

The Google-owned service had decided to temporarily block access to The Innocence of Muslims in specific countries, including Egypt and Libya. However, Google refused to remove the video, saying it didn’t violate YouTube’s community guidelines. YouTube still does not consider the film as hate speech towards Muslims, despite the Obama administration’s request to “reconsider” its status.

Recently, an Egyptian court upheld its decision that sentenced seven alleged makers of the film with death, and American pastor Terry Jones with jail term in absentia. Other countries such as Pakistan have taken legal action to suspend a list of Google services until the anti-Islamic video is removed.

Following the violent reaction to the film, to which the Benghazi attack that killed US ambassador in Libya was also initially attributed, a 55-year old US resident identified as a key filmmaker was arrested and sentenced to jail by an American court.

Egypt-born Coptic Christian Mark Bassely Youssef was sentenced to a year in prison and four years of supervised release after pleading guilty to four of the eight charges against him. A US-based Christian charity is said to have funded The Innocence of Muslims, which also portrayed the persecution of Copts in Egypt.

Hackers on anti-Egypt spree bury Egyptology journal in the sand


Bystanders in online war blasted offline

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 23rd January 2013 10:57 GMT

Free whitepaper – Enabling Datacenter and Cloud Service Management for Mid-Tier Enterprises

Hackers waging war against Egyptian websites have forced the closure of Egyptological, a journal on Egyptology.

Egyptologist Kate Phizackerley, who published the web periodical with Andrea Byrnes, has also closed down her personal blog [1] for the same reason. Egyptological was shut down [2] after it was “targeted by a professional hacking group as part of an onslaught on Egypt-related websites” during a wave of unrest that started late last year.

The hackers see Egyptology sites as “representing a form of political threat”, according to Phizackerley. For now, she has abandoned hope of restoring Egyptological and her personal website after negotiations with the hackers broke down.

Various ancient history bloggers – including Mike Heiser [3] and Roger Pearse [4] – accused Islamic hardliners of knocking Phizackerley’s web magazine offline. Phizackerley said on Tuesday she is unable to confirm this and expressed a desire to avoid politicising the issue.

“There seem to be suggestions that Andrea and I know the affiliation of those who hacked us,” Phizackerley wrote. “We don’t and by policy I haven’t speculated. Part of the reason for my reticence is that some, although not all, of the hackers have been polite to us. In particular, at no point did the hackers claim association with any religion.

“We have also made no public assessment of our web host for Egyptological. Were the site to reappear it would be with a different host, but we needed to swap hosts anyway on grounds of capacity and economy,” she added [5]. ®

Kuwaitis financed Brotherhood members held in UAE



Kuwaitis financed Brotherhood members held in UAE


Islamists held in the United Arab Emirates accused of planning to topple the government were financed by Kuwaiti nationals, Kuwaiti media reported on Friday, lending support to UAE fears of an international plot against its rulers.

The UAE, a major oil exporter, has detained more than 60 Islamists in the past year who it says belong to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group founded in Egypt in 1928 and which is banned in the Gulf Arab state, and who it accuses of planning to establish an Islamic state and operating an armed wing.

The UAE has repeatedly said that the detainees were receiving financial support from individuals in other Gulf Arab states, but had stopped short of naming those countries.

Several newspapers on Friday quoted Kuwaiti parliamentarians as saying Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah informed them at a confidential meeting held on Thursday that Kuwaiti nationals had been providing financial support to Muslim Brotherhood members in the UAE.

“Yes, there was financing coming from Kuwait,” Sheikh Jaber told the parliamentarians in the session, according to the Arabic-language daily al-Watan.

Sheikh Jaber gave no further details, al-Watan reported, adding only: “We can’t announce the names before they have been referred to the courts.”

The pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat carried a similar report, quoting two MPs as confirming the prime minister’s comments.

A government spokesman in Kuwait was not immediately available to comment, nor were UAE officials available on Friday, the first day of the weekend in most Gulf Arab states.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not banned in Kuwait, which has the most open political system in the Gulf.

Thanks to its state-sponsored cradle-to-grave welfare systems, the UAE has avoided the unrest that has unseated autocratic Arab rulers elsewhere in the past two years, but it has come down hard on any sign of political dissent.

Local Islamists became emboldened by their counterparts’ successes in other parts of the region during the Arab Spring, such as in Egypt and Tunisia, and made unprecedented use of social media to air their views.

In July, Dubai police chief Dhahi Khalfan warned of an international plot to overthrow Gulf Arab governments, saying the region needed to be prepared to counter any threat from Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers as well as from Syria and Iran.

Last week, local newspapers reported that the UAE had rejected a request by Egypt to free 11 of its citizens held on suspicion of training Islamists in how to overthrow governments.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said the men had been wrongfully arrested.


Egyptian high court on Wednesday sentenced to death US pastor Terry Jones for burning copies of the Koran

Egypt: Court sentences Terry Jones to death over burnt Koran

Death penalty also for 6 Copts in U.S. over anti-Mohammed film

28 November, 14:01

(ANSAmed) – Cairo, November 28 – An Egyptian high court on Wednesday sentenced to death US pastor Terry Jones for burning copies of the Koran.The same court also demanded the death penalty for six Copts who live in the United States for producing the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims. The court asked for the authorization of the Grand Mufti, as established by Egypt’s law.

Another Egyptian Copt who emigrated to the US was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the film which sparked violent protests across the Arab world in September. (ANSAmed)


Egyptian Christians sentenced to death for Islam film

A Cairo court on Wednesday sentenced to death seven Egyptian Christians tried in absentia for participating in an anti-Islam video that was released on the Internet in September and prompted violent protests in Muslim countries.

“The seven accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet,” Judge Saif al-Nasr Soliman said.

The low-budget video, produced privately in California, denigrated the Prophet Mohammad and triggered anti-U.S. protests and attacks on Western embassies around the Muslim world.

The convicted persons included Egyptian-American Nakoula Bassely Nakoula, who is currently serving a one-year-jail term in Los Angeles after an American court convicted him of probation violations that stemmed from his role in the movie.

The 13-minute video portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and a sexual deviant, although cast members have said they were misled into appearing in a film they believed was an adventure drama called “Desert Warrior.”

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church did not issue an official comment on the ruling.

“The Church denounced the movie, which it has nothing to do with. As for today’s case, it is a court ruling and the Church does not comment on court decisions,” said a Church source who asked not to be named.

Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt’s 83 million people and many complain of discrimination in work and treatment.


Teen held after ham is thrown at mosque

Boy held after ham thrown at Crawley mosque

Tom Pugh

Tuesday 27 November 2012

A 16-year-old boy was arrested by police investigating a hate crime after pieces of ham were thrown at a mosque.

The teenager was held on suspicion of a religiously aggravated public order offence by officers called to Broadfield Mosque in Crawley, West Sussex.

Sussex Police said “real anguish and anxiety” was caused to worshippers who witnessed the incident as they left the mosque at around 4pm last Tuesday.

Eating pork and products made from it is strictly forbidden in Islam.

The arrested teenager, who is from the local area, has been freed on police bail pending further inquiries.

Sergeant Jim Collen, of Sussex Police, said: “This was a very unpleasant incident which has naturally caused real anguish and anxiety amongst worshippers at the mosque.

“Sussex Police take all reports of hate crime extremely seriously and this investigation will be no exception.”

Disorder which broke out following the incident was also being investigated, police said.

Mr Collen said: “We are aware of a relatively minor altercation that we hope to resolve using our restorative justice programme.

“It must not be allowed to take the focus away from our investigation of the hate crime as this remains our priority.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Egypt: thousands protest in Tahrir Sq to call for Sharia law

Salafis want it to be basis of Constitution

09 November, 16:24

(ANSAmed) – CAIRO – Thousands of protesters gathered Friday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square calling for the introduction of Sharia law in Egypt.       Groups of Salafis asked for it to be the principle source of legislation in the country’s constitution.

Protesters, including many men with long beards and women in veils, are collecting signatures for a petition in which they ask for the Sharia to become ”the basis of all laws”.
”Those who accept a constitution that renounces the Sharia will be considered a traitor of God and the prophet,” said a preacher from a stage set up in the large square, a symbol of the revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.     ”Liberals and seculars are plotting against Islam to delete the Islamic identity of the country. They are only merchants of power, we can compare them to Satan and we must resist them and the Western plots”, said Mohamed el Sagher.       ”Islam is not a chocolate bar with a sell-by date. It should always be applied and we will return to the principles of our forefathers,” he added. (ANSAmed).

Generation Hate Attacks and Creative Islamic hackers


November 9, 2012: In late October Israeli police were ordered to stop using the Internet or plugging USB memory sticks into their PCs. All this was prompted by the recent discovery of stealthy hacker software hidden in some police PCs. The source of this infection was a Trojan horse program delivered by official looking emails with a compressed (.rar) file attached. If a policeman opened the rar file that installed a RAT (Remote Access Trojan) which allowed the sender of the email to secretly take control of infected PCs. The police department network protection software should have detected this infection but did not, at least not quickly enough. Now, as the police scramble to improve their network defenses, they temporarily ordered their staff to stay off the Internet and not use memory sticks (another way to getting RATs onto a network.) This has been one of the most successful Islamic terrorist uses of hacking so far. For over a decade now Islamic terrorists have been trying, without a lot of success to make attacks on Israel via the Internet. The Islamic hackers were expected to get better over time, but Israel believed its defenses could improve faster. That has not always been the case.

Four years ago Islamic Hackers attacked the web site of the Bank of Israel on Passover weekend (April 19-20), and shut it down for two days. The hackers identified themselves as “The Moorish,” indicating that they belonged to a known Algerian hacking organization. But Israel suspected Hezbollah, which had been trying to build a Cyber War capability. The bank insisted that the damage was minimal, but they would say that in order to deny the hackers any inside information on how successful they were. Moslem hackers have been attacking Israeli commercial and government web sites for years. Until recently they have had little success, as the Israelis have been constantly improving their defenses.

It was expected that eventually Islamic terrorist hackers would get better. That’s because of Islamic terrorist connections to the hacker community. It’s no secret that the Internet is overrun with scams and crooks. We only have to look at the stuff that slips through our spam filters to get a taste. Less known is the fact that some of these Internet crooks are doing it to support Islamic terrorism. For over five years intelligence agencies and Internet security companies have known of hackers that also maintained several Islamic radical websites, and that used some of their stolen credit card profits to buy communications gear and laptops of the type favored by terrorists. Many of these terrorist hackers have been arrested, but in this aspect of the war on terror, you don’t broadcast success. That’s because you want the people the hackers work with (rarely face-to-face) to believe the Islamic radical hackers are still in business. That way, you can identify more of the people involved, especially those terrorists on the receiving end of stolen money and goods.

While the pro-terrorist hackers have suffered a lot of losses, the use of PCs and the Internet had expanded rapidly among Moslems in the past decade. This has created a generation of young hackers, many of them eager to go after those they have always been taught to hate. For a Moslem kid, that mainly means Israel. ©      2012

The Saudis are bulldozing Islam’s heritage. Why the silence from the Muslim world?


By WorldLast updated:  November 2nd, 2012


Modern Mecca, courtesy of the House of Saud (Photo: AFP/Getty)

From Saturday’s Daily Telegraph

Imagine that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem – the traditional site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus – has been taken over by Cromwellian Puritans. The new owners of the shrine plan to send bulldozers in, replacing the old church with a monstrous building resembling a concrete spaceship. This is so pilgrims can pray without being distracted by “superstitious” icons. Also, the Old City will be buried under hotels that make Vegas look like Venice.

It wouldn’t happen, would it? Christians would fight to the death to preserve Jerusalem. So would Jews and Muslims. And, for once, they’d have the support of secular politicians and scholars, horrified by the prospect of an act of cultural vandalism unprecedented in modern times.

Unprecedented until now, that is. The long-cherished ambition of Saudi Arabia’s ruling Wahhabi sect to smash up the ancient buildings of Mecca and Medina is nearing fruition.

In Mecca, the house of one of Mohammed’s wives has been demolished to make space for public lavatories. His birthplace may disappear, too, as part of King Abdullah’s scheme to complement the skyscrapers and shopping malls with a Grand Mosque fashioned from the same materials as a multi-storey car park in Wolverhampton.

As for Islam’s second holiest place, the city of Medina, a recent article by Jerome Taylor in the Independent revealed a megalomaniac plan to pull down three 7th-century mosques. Taylor added: “Ten years ago, a mosque which belonged to the Prophet’s grandson was dynamited. Pictures of the demolition that were secretly taken and smuggled out of the kingdom showed the religious police celebrating.”

Only a small minority of the world’s billion Muslims are Wahhabis, despite the tens of billions of petrodollars spent by the Saudis propagating their creed. (Bosnia, for example, is now littered with Saudi-style mosques, replacing the graceful Ottoman architecture that Wahhabis detest.) Many pilgrims to Mecca are revolted by the marriage of Puritanism and greed they find there. Yet protests are scattered and muted. Why?

One answer is that the House of Saud, though widely hated, is also feared: its wealth and terrorist connections make it unlikely that, say, a Pakistani politician would speak openly about the desecration of the Hajj.

The West can hardly complain about such gutlessness: this year’s Hajj exhibition at the British Museum was creepily sanitised – no mention of bulldozers or the 2,000ft clock tower built right next to the Kaaba, the black cube-shaped building that is the centrepiece of Islamic devotions.

But what sticks in the craw is the hypocrisy of Muslims who throw a fit if Israeli archaeologists carry out non-intrusive work underneath the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, “Islam’s third holiest place”, as we’re constantly reminded. Such anger would be more convincing if the first and second holy sites weren’t being ploughed up by a police state. Likewise, are cartoons of Mohammed really more offensive than reducing the remains of his life to rubble?

As one Middle East expert put it to me: “Jews disturbing the Dome of the Rock fits into an anti-Western narrative, so Muslims can cope with that. The Saudi destruction of Mecca doesn’t fit into that narrative, and so there’s virtual silence.” Something worth bearing in mind, perhaps, when you wonder why the murder of Muslims by Muslims in Darfur or Syria provokes only limited outrage in the Islamic world.

Polly’s praise has a hollow ring

Dear Polly Toynbee was in such a tizzy over the EU in yesterday’s Guardian, trying to reconcile her support for Labour’s new line with her ferocious Europhilia. I’ll spare you the details of her contortions, except to say that she ended up by praising the one Blairite minister who had been properly “tireless” in his support of the European Union: Denis MacShane. That’s the same Denis MacShane MP who resigned yesterday after being found guilty of tirelessly submitting 19 false invoices for “research and translation” services. As Polly says, a man truly in communion with the spirit of Brussels.

Vicars with a satanic side

“An ex-Satanist returns to the Catholic Church,” read a headline on a US website this week. Alas, it was just about some woman who’d given up astrology, surely the realm of the feeble-minded rather than of Devil-worshippers.

As it happens, I do know a Christian who used to be a Satanist punk rocker. He’s now an Anglican vicar and a jolly good one, so I won’t embarrass him by naming him.

Mention of Satan and vicars always reminds me of “The Daemons”, my favourite Jon Pertwee Doctor Who story, in which Roger Delgado’s Master poses as the Rev Mr Magister.

He strikes me as your typical Low Church country parson – until, that is, he retires to the crypt to conduct black magic rubrics with distinctly Anglo-Catholic flamboyance.

A sorry state of affairs

Here’s a contender for most humiliating apology of the year: a 540-word mea culpa issued to Lord Ashcroft by Dr Éoin Clarke, whose boring and sanctimonious blog “The Green Benches” is devoted to exposing the wickedness of Conservative health policy. Dr Clarke has been forced to say sorry on five separate counts, including wrongly suggesting that Ashcroft donated money to the Tory party in order to increase the use of agency staff in the NHS.

Incidentally, we’re not talking about a GP blogger who was too busy to check his facts. The only house calls Dr Clarke is qualified to make are to people urgently seeking info on Irish women’s history, the subject of his PhD. As I’ve noted before, Clarke is so proud of his doctorate that he even calls himself “@DrEoinClarke” on Twitter. Bless.

Incidentally, how do you pronounce his name? Says my Gaelic expert: “It’s basically ‘Eeyore’, but with just a hint of the click sound made by Xhosa tribesmen.”

The plot thickens

How very, very odd. We learnt this week that the Slimming World All-Party Parliamentary Group, which allows Westminster politicians to discuss “weight management”, is being wound up. The reason given: a fall in membership. Hmm. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but why have the numbers dropped off since 2010? Might it be politically disadvantageous, shall we say, for an ambitious Tory MP to show too much interest in the subject of double chins?

I seek out my Deep Throat in the Downing Street kitchens. At the mention of the words “Slimming World” she raises a knowing eyebrow. “You’ll have to do your own research,” she says. “All I can tell you is: follow the custard.”


Girl, 15, lashed 60 times for ‘speaking to men in the street’ : Mali

  • Islamist  group Ansar Dine said to have repeatedly warned girl to stop talking to men in  the street in Timbuktu, Mali

By Associated Press Reporter

PUBLISHED:07:55 EST, 17  October 2012| UPDATED:09:14 EST, 17 October 2012

A teenaged girl received 60 lashes in  Timbuktu after Islamist extremists convicted her of speaking to men on the  street.

The girl, believed to be 15 years old, was  allegedly caught speaking with men by Ansar Dine, the militant Islamist group  who control Timbuktu and much of northern Mali.

One resident claimed the girl was warned  repeatedly by the Islamists to stop what she was doing, but persisted in talking  to men in public.

Strict: Ansar Dine, one of a number of Islamists groups who have seized control of northern Mali, allegedly lashed a girl, 15, for speaking to men in public in Timbuktu. File photoStrict: Ansar Dine, one of a number of Islamist groups  who have seized control of northern Mali, allegedly lashed a girl, 15, for  speaking to men in public in Timbuktu. File photo

Ousmane Maiga, a Timbuktu resident, said: ‘The Islamists said that the girl was warned five times by Islamist police but  she continued to speak to men in the street.

‘After the hearing, the Islamists gave 60  lashes to the girl. The population did not turn out in large numbers to attend  this flogging.’

The public whipping took place at around 11am  local time in front of the new headquarters of the Islamic police in downtown  Timbuktu, next to Independence Square.

Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) is the most  prevalent of a number of Al-Qaeda-linked groups that have seized northern Mali  after a power vacuum opened by a military coup in the south in March.

The groups have since been imposing Sharia  law throughout the territory and intend on imposing the strict Islamic laws  across Mali.

Shocking: Islamists in northern Mali have also recruited and paid as many as 1,000 children Shocking: Islamists in northern Mali have also recruited  and paid as many as 1,000 children

In an incident in July, a man was lashed 40  times by Ansar Dine after being accused of drinking alcohol.

‘After the hearing, the Islamists  gave 60 lashes to the girl. The population did not turn out in large numbers to attend this flogging’

– Ousmane Maiga, Timbuktu  resident

‘A young man has just been lashed 40 times  for drinking alcohol. The whipping took place in the Timbuktu market,’ a  resident of Timbuktu told reporters.

The man was later treated in hospital for his  injuries.

A man and woman accused of having a child out  of wedlock were given 100 lashes each in Timbuktu on June 20.

Ansar Dine has also destroyed all the city’s  bars.

The group also demolished many of the ancient  city’s shrines to Muslim saints, as the jihadists believe they should not be  seen as idols.

Another Islamist group, the Movement for  Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), has burnt cigarettes, whipped smokers  and forbidden people to play football or watch television in territories under  its control, provoking violent protests in May in the northern city of  Gao.

The Islamist movement in the north of the  country was recently found to be recruiting and paying up to 1,000 children from  rural towns to fight in their militia.

Control: Islamist groups like Ansar Dine have seized control of much of northern Mali and rule following strict Sharia lawControl: Islamist groups like Ansar Dine have seized  control of much of northern Mali and rule following strict Sharia law

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

One big fraud? Questions over whether ‘$5million’ film that portrayed Mohammed as a pedophile and womanizer AND the producer behind it are fake

  • ‘Innocence of Muslims’ led to protests  across Egypt and Libya on Tuesday

  • Producer claimed he was an Israeli Jew  living in California named Sam Bacile

  • But film’s consultant, Steve Klein, said the  man was using a pseudonym

  • Amid concerns over the filmmakers’ safety,  Klein: ‘I sleep with a 12 gauge shotgun by me and my wife sleeps with a 38  caliber pistol next to her’

  • Also doubts over veracity of film after  poorly dubbed scenes and editing

  • Cast and crew distanced themselves from film  saying they were ‘misled’

  • Speculation Bacile could be Morris Sadek, an  anti-Islamic Epytian

By Jill Reilly, Daniel Bates and Lydia Warren

PUBLISHED:07:09 EST, 12  September 2012| UPDATED:16:57 EST, 12 September 2012

Unapologetic: Steve Klein was a consultant on the film that sparked outrage in Libya, leading to the death of the U.S. ambassador 

Unapologetic: Steve Klein was a consultant on the film  that sparked  outrage in Libya and Egypt – but said the filmmaker worked under a  pseudonym

A search is on for the man behind the  ‘blasphemous’ film that branded Mohammed a fraud, a pedophile and a womaniser  and sparked deadly protests after records apparently reveal he does not  exist.

Questions have also arisen about the veracity  of the film itself after a trailer shows it is poorly over-dubbed and edited –  despite claims it cost $5 million to make.

The producer, whose movie led to  demonstrations that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other American  officials dead on Tuesday, has previously claimed he was an Israeli Jew named  Sam Bacile living in California.

But his identity began to crumble as it  emerged Israeli authorities had no records of him being a citizen, and there  were no property, phone, license or court  records of Bacile in California.

He also has  virtually no footprint in the  Hollywood community, has no agent listed on  IMDBPro and no credits on  any film or TV production.

Steve Klein, a consultant for the film, told  the Nationalthat Bacile is not Israeli or Jewish and is  in fact working under a pseudonym – but he does not know the man’s real  name.

It raises questions over the real identity of  the man behind the ‘offensive’ film and his motives for creating a movie that  promised to spark outrage – and death.

And it appears he fooled the 80 cast and crew  members who worked on the film, Innocence of Muslims, who claimed in a statement  that they were misled by the producer.

‘The entire cast and crew are extremely upset  and feel taken advantage of by the producer,’ they said. ‘We are 100% not behind  this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose.

‘We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of  the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by  the tragedies that have occurred.’

Fury: Christopher Stevens US ambassador to Libya and Hillary Clinton. The film sparked violent attacks against U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt yesterday, killing five American citizens, including the US diplomat 

Fury: The US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens,  right, died amid violent protests against the film

‘Bacile’ claimed the two-hour movie cost $5  million and was financed with the help of more than 100  Jewish donors, who  believe the film will help his native  land by exposing Islam’s flaws to the  world.

Yet the film’s trailer, which is on YouTube,  show poor production values that call that tall expenditure into  question.

Klein, who works as a Christian activist in  California, said ‘Bacile’  contacted him with help on the film as he leads  anti-Islam protests. ‘The Middle East  Christian and Jewish communities trust me,’ he said.

Klein added he knew little about the  filmmaker, but was certain Israel and the radical Christian pastor Terry Jones  were not involved.

‘His name is a pseudonym,’  he said. ‘All these Middle Eastern folks I work  with have pseudonyms. I would  suspect this is a  disinformation campaign.’

Jeffrey Goldberg, who wrote the article for  the National, said he will take the interview with Klein ‘with a grain of salt’ – yet he still has nothing to prove the name is anything but a  pseudonym.

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group  

Fury: The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames  after a mob attacked the base

The strange turn of events come after a 13-minute trailer for his film, The Innocence  of Muslims, was dubbed  in Arabic last week and immediately sparked outrage in  Egypt.

Despite ‘Bacile’ claiming it cost $5 million,  the film showcases an amateur cast performing a wooden dialogue of insults  disguised as revelations about Muhammad, whose obedient followers are  presented as a cadre of goons.

In an original English version and one dubbed  into Arabic,  Muhammad is depicted as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman in a  ridiculing way, showing him having sex and demanding massacres.

Matters came to a head yesterday when hundreds of mainly ultraconservative Islamist protesters marched to the  US  Embassy in downtown Cairo and circled the U.S. embassy in Benghazi,  Libya.

Amid the  demonstration it is believed a  group of attackers took the opportunity  to target the embassy, releasing  grenades, opening fire and killing  Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other  officials.

Violence: A vehicle sits smoldering in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late yesterday  

Violence: A vehicle sits smoldering in flames after  being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late yesterday

But speaking to MailOnline, Klein said of the  death: ‘It is not our fault, we told the truth’.

He said that he did not feel guilty for the  murder of John Christopher Stevens and that the mob who carried it out were to  blame as they were following Mohammed’s violent teachings.

Klein said that the film was designed to stop  the Muslim population in America reaching 10 per cent as they would then ‘work  together and attack their host country’.

He said: ‘I feel bad for the death of  the  ambassador – he didn’t do anything to anybody – but it’s not our  fault. We  didn’t want anybody to get killed but on the other hand the  truth had to come  out.

‘We told the truth and these people reacted  the way that Mohammed wanted to them to react – by killing people.

Protection: Egyptian soldiers sit at one entrance to the US embassy, one day after Islamist protesters scaled the walls of the embassy in Cairo 

Protection: Egyptian soldiers sit at one entrance to the  US embassy, one day after Islamist protesters scaled the walls of the embassy in  Cairo


An Egyptian protester yells slogans in front of United States Embassy , the morning after it was vandalised. Protests are continuing in front of the US Embassy in Cairo, one day after thousands of Egyptians demonstrated at the Embassy compound 

An Egyptian protester yells slogans in front of United  States Embassy , the morning after it was vandalised. Protests are continuing in  front of the US Embassy in Cairo, one day after thousands of Egyptians  demonstrated at the Embassy compound

‘Do I feel guilt? Yes, but not for me, I feel  it for those that did this.  Do I feel shame? Yes, but not for me. Killing this  man fits in with  their legal and ethical standpoint.’

Terry Jones, Pastor  

Outrage: Pastor Terry Jones, who inflamed anger in the  Muslim  world in 2010 with plans to burn the Koran, said he had promoted  Innocence of Muslims

Mr Klein, a Christian who is now head of a  group called Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment, said that he was  prepared for a backlash against him personally.

He said: ‘I am not afraid and if these people  tried to kill me they would  not be the first. I sleep with a 12 gauge shotgun  by me and my wife  sleeps with a 38 caliber pistol next to her.

‘I live in rural California with lots and  lots of guns – I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in.’

Mr Klein said that he had spoken to Mr  Bacile on Tuesday night and that the  director was ‘in fear of his life’.

Klein said he warned the director  ‘you’re  going to be the next Theo van Gogh’ – a Dutch filmmaker killed  by a Muslim  extremist in 2004 after  making a film that was perceived as insulting to  Islam.

Mr Klein said: ‘He is scared and  nervous. He  didn’t say much. Going into this we knew something was going to happen, but we  didn’t realise this. He is in hiding and I have no  idea where he  is.’

While he declined to give details, Klein said  the film was paid for by ‘Middle Easterners, Jewish people, Christians and a lot  of former Muslims’. Some money came from Britain, Scotland, France, Germany and  Holland,’ he said.

But when it premiered in a cinema in Los  Angeles three months ago, he thought it was a ‘failure’.

Mr Klein said: ‘We handed out flyers all  around Southern California. It was originally called: ‘The Innocence of bin  Laden’ as we wanted to  draw in the most radical Muslims and we figured the one  per cent who  were the most militant would interested.

Murdered: Chris Stevens, pictured in Tripoli in June, was a 21-year veteran of the foreign service and determined to bring democracy to the people of Libya 

Murdered: Chris Stevens, pictured in Tripoli in June,  was a 21-year veteran of the foreign service and determined to bring democracy  to the people of Libya


‘In the end nobody showed up to see the  premiere. I called Sam right away and he sank into a depression.

Concern: Fears he will be next Theo van Gogh- the Dutch filmmaker was killed by a Muslim extremist after making film that was perceived as insulting to Islam 

Concern: There were fears ‘Bacile’ could be targeted  like Theo van Gogh, pictured, who was killed by a Muslim extremist after making  an anti-Islamic film

‘I told him nobody was there and he said: ‘Really?’ He was really upset. It seemed to fizzle out until a few days  ago.’

In a bizarre twist, Mr Klein added: ‘I was so  worried about retaliation  that I did not get out of my car when I was watching  to see who turned  up to the film.

‘I have gray hair and a big grey moustache so  I dyed them both black and wore  sunglasses so nobody would recognise me. I was  worried somebody would  turn up who knew who I was.’

There has been speculation that  Bacile may  in fact be Morris Sadek, a Coptic lawyer who has strong  anti-Islamic views and  fled Egypt in 1969. Last year, he was stripped of Egyptian citizenship after he  called on the US to intervene in the  country to protect its Christians.

Sadek said he was promoting the video on his  website and on certain TV stations, which he did not identify.

Asked if he felt sorry about the  deaths,  Sadek said: ‘Of course, of course, of course. Thought should be  answered by  thought,’ adding that he did not think the film was  offensive to  Islam.

Speaking by phone from an undisclosed  location on Tuesday, ‘Bacile’ remained defiant, saying he intended his  film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion.

‘This is a political movie,’ said Bacile.  ‘The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and  Afghanistan, but we’re fighting with ideas.’

‘Islam is a cancer, period,’ he said  repeatedly, his solemn voice thickly accented.


Attack: Hillary Clinton speaks in reaction to the killing of the US Ambassador to Libya, who she swore into office earlier this year 

Attack: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks in  reaction to the killing of the US  Ambassador to Libya on Wednesday. She swore  him into office as the ambassador just a few months ago

The film depicts Muhammad as a  feckless  philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse, among other  overtly insulting  claims that have caused outrage.

Muslims find it offensive to depict Muhammad  in any manner, let alone insult the prophet.

A Danish newspaper’s 2005 publication of 12  caricatures of the prophet triggered riots in many Muslim countries.

U.S. pastor Terry Jones, who had  inflamed  anger in the Muslim world in 2010 with plans to burn the Koran, said he had also  promoted ‘Innocence of Muslims’.

On his website yesterday he stated: ‘Tonight  after International Judge  Mohammad Day we will be showing the Mohammad Movie  Trailer, a video  promoting the movie, Innocence of Muslims.

‘It is an American production, not designed  to attack Muslims but to show  the destructive ideology of Islam. The movie  further reveals in a  satirical fashion the life of Muhammad.’

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey,  asked Jones to withdraw his support of the anti-Muslim film on  Wednesday.

He called the pastor to express his concerns  about the film, saying it could inflame tensions and trigger violence – but  Dempsey’s spokesperson did not say whether Jones agreed to limit his  support

Read more:

Bail hopes dashed of Christian girl in Pakistan blasphemy case


A judge has deferred hearing of Rimsha Masih over charges of burning sacred Islamic texts after legal wrangling

  •,             Saturday 1 September 2012 09.16 EDT


Lawyers leave a court in Islamabad hearing the case of a Christian girl accused of violating Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws. Photograph: Anjum Naveed/AP

Hopes that a Christian girl in Pakistan accused of blasphemy would be released on bail have been dashed, as the case, which has attracted worldwide condemnation, became bogged down in legal wrangling.

A judge at an Islamabad court deferred the bail hearing of Rimsha Masih until Monday after it emerged that two separate sets of lawyers were attempting to defend her against charges of burning sacred Islamic texts – a crime in Pakistan that can be punished by death.

The dispute allowed lawyers from the other side to challenge the authenticity of the bail application.

In court for the short hearing was Rimsha’s accuser, Malik Amad, who claims to have spotted her last month walking near her house in a slum area on the outskirts of Islamabad carrying ashes, which it is claimed included burned pages with verses from the Qu’ran.

The desecration of the holy book is regarded as a particularly grave form of blasphemy and can easily spark violent public reactions in Pakistan.

Also present was a local mullah, Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, who has called for the law to be followed to its conclusion, even if that means the girl is executed. As with other members of the Muslim community in the area, he has rejected claims that Rimsha has Down’s syndrome or is mentally impaired.

Central to the case is the age of Rimsha and whether her case should be heard by the more lenient juvenile justice system. In their bail application, the defence lawyers argue she is 13. A medical report prepared earlier in the week said she was 14 with a lower mental age, although the court has not yet decided to accept the report.

Chishti has also been at the forefront of a dispute between the two communities, complaining that Christians in the area were holding noisy services in their churches. He welcomed the departure of nearly all the Christians from the Islamabad neighbourhood in the tense days after Rimsha’s arrest, but about half of the families have now returned to the area.

“They have returned, but they are still living in fear,” said Shamaun Alfred Gill, spokesman for the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance.

With the plight of Rimsha attracting international condemnation the case has brought more attention to the treatment of Pakistan’s minorities.

Murderous attacks against members of the Shia sect are on the rise, particularly in the restive province of Baluchistan. On Saturday the death toll increased again, with seven people gunned down in two separate incidents near Quetta, the provincial capital.

Complaints by Hindus have also been mounting in recent months, with families claiming their daughters have been forcibly kidnapped, converted to Islam and then married to their abductors. Parties of Hindu pilgrims were recently detained at the border with India after the government feared they intended to claim asylum and never return.

Christians, as well as Muslims, have long suffered at the hands of the country’s blasphemy laws. For years rights campaigners have demonstrated how the laws, which ultimately stem from British colonial rule, have been used by individuals to settle scores and economic disputes, often on the basis of flimsy evidence.

Despite several ludicrous cases, including the jailing of people for allegedly touching a Qu’ran with dirty hands, public figures are loath to try to reform the system. Two politicians have been assassinated by religious hardliners for criticising the laws.

Unusually, Rimsha has attracted support from some heavyweight Islamic clerics, many of them regarded as hardliners. A statement published earlier in the week by Rimsha’s father, Misrek Masih, credited the support by the clerics to the amount of international attention the case was getting, which had also forced the attention of the president, Asif Ali Zardari.

In an online petition, Masih urged supporters to “keep up the global outcry on my daughter’s case”. The uproar, however, has bemused Rao Abdur Raheem a lawyer for the prosecution, who said Muslims could “take the law into their own hands” if Rimsha was not convicted.

On Saturday he blamed foreign powers for whipping up support. “I don’t understand the interest of the international community because there are so many innocent people in Pakistan being murdered,” he said. “A single drone attack and hundreds of people die. What is the difference between Rimsha and these innocent people?”

Another member of the prosecution team said that even if Rimsha was acquitted she would never be able to return with her family to her home. “She would not stay in Pakistan,” said Mohammad Izzat Khan. “She would be in America within a week.”

Pakistan arrests 11 year old, mentally disabled Christian girl for alleged Qur’an desecration

By Jon Boone, The Guardian
Sunday, August 19, 2012 20:06 EDT

An 11-year-old Christian Pakistani girl said to suffer from a mental disorder could face the death penalty under the country’s notorious blasphemy laws, after she was accused by her neighbours of deliberately burning sacred Islamic texts.

Rifta Masih was arrested on Thursday, after complaints against her prompted angry demonstrations, and Asif Ali Zardari, the president, has ordered the interior ministry to investigate the case.

As communal tensions continued to rise, around 900 Christians living on the outskirts of Islamabad have been ordered to leave a neighbourhood where they have lived for almost two decades.

On Sunday houses on the backstreets of Mehrabadi, an area 20 minutes drive from western embassies and government ministries, were locked with padlocks, their occupants having fled to already overcrowded Christian slums in and around the capital.

One of the senior members of the dominant Muslim community told the Christians to remove all their belongings from their houses by September 1. “I don’t think anyone will dare go back after this,” said one Christian, Arif Masih. “The area is not safe for us now.”

A few brave souls have stayed behind, but shopkeepers have refused to serve their Christian neighbours or supply them with water. Locals say only about 10% of families in the area are Christian, renting cramped houses from Muslim landlords. They tend to do dirty, menial jobs such as sewer maintenance.

Relations between the communities had been simmering for months after complaints were made about the noise coming from three churches in the area during religious services. Two of the landlords who owned the buildings had already ordered an end to worship and some services had been forcibly broken up.

But there was no indication that all the Christians would be forced out so suddenly until Rifta was accused of the provocative act of burning the sacred words of Islam.

It sparked immediate demonstrations by crowds estimated at between 600 and 1,000 people, some of whom blocked the nearby Kashmir highway, the major road running west out of the capital.

The police, initially unwilling to take action, eventually charged the girl with blasphemy and took her into custody. The rest of the community, including her parents, fled.

As with many other aspects of the incident, there is disagreement about exactly what was burned. Some say it was a small pocket book of Qur’anic verses. Others claim it was pages of the Qur’an. Either it was a relatively small quantity of ash carried in an earthenware dish, or it was around half a kilogram of refuse that filled a small plastic shopping bag.

Hammad Malik, a 23-year-old with a shaven head and bushy beard who is deemed a “scoundrel” by the Christian community, said he saw Rifta walking out of the tiny, single-room dwelling where she lived with her parents and sister at some time after 6pm.

He said it was pure chance that he noticed her bundle.

“I looked at it but did not know exactly what it was but I could see it had words written in Arabic,” he said.

He concedes that no one actually saw her burning anything as the offence allegedly happened inside the house, and she was caught while finding somewhere to throw away the remains. However the local mullah claims there was a witness: another young girl who caught her in the act and then ran to the mosque to raise the alarm.

One thing the Muslim community does agree on is that claims in the local media, sourced to the police, that the girl has Down’s syndrome are false.

“She is a completely normal girl,” said Kamran Khan, cousin of the Masih family’s landlord. As the largely male and grownup crowd gathered outside the house last night all nodded in agreement, a young girl who said she knew Rifta said that, actually, she did behave oddly – she talked to herself and walked in a peculiar way.

The other point of general agreement is that “the law should be followed”. Unfortunately, the law in question is Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which has a proven track record of ensnaring people on the flimsiest of evidence and being cynically used to intimidate communities or settle quarrels over money and property.

Even though no one has yet been executed for blasphemy in Pakistan, long prison terms are common – one Christian couple was sentenced to 25 years in 2010 after being accused of touching the Qur’an with unwashed hands.

There have also been cases of people killed by lynch mobs demanding instant punishment. Daring to criticise the law is incredibly risky and few do it. In 2011 Salman Taseer, the former governor of Punjab province, was gunned down by his own bodyguard after he had spoken out against the case of Aasia Bibi, another Christian woman accused of blasphemy.

The Christian community of Mehrabadi say the whole thing is a plot. They too have conflicting accounts of what happened. In one version, according to local priest Boota Masih, a Muslim neighbour asked the girl to throw out the ash into which the desecrated pages had been placed.

Either way, one hotly contested incident involving a very young girl looks set to change the complexion of the neighbourhood for ever.

“They have done this to provoke the Muslims, like they have with their noisy banging and singing from their churches,” said a local mullah, who would not give his name. “We are not upset the Christians have left and we will be pleased if they don’t come back.” © Guardian News and Media 2012