Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120618

Financial Crisis
»German FM Says Greece Voted to Go Ahead With Reforms
»Italy’s Billion-Euro-a-Day Ministries
»Why the Young Should Welcome Austerity
»Christian Missionary Group With Pig’s Head Taunt Arab-Americans at Dearborn Festival
»Conservatives for Shariah
»Muslims Marching Toward Victory in USA Conference
Europe and the EU
»Germany: British Suspected Islamic Terrorist Arrested in Germany
»Greece: As Beggars Fight for Scraps, Even Police Flirt With the Neo-Nazis, Writes Andrew Malone in a Special Dispatch From Athens
»Ireland: ‘Undriveable’ Car Sees Case Dismissed
»Italy: Male Models Says ‘Ruby’ Offered Him €4k for Sex
»Italy: Grillo Calls for ‘Nuremberg Trial’ For Italian Parties
»UK: ‘Serious Weaknesses’ In Care System
»UK: Baroness Warsi and the ‘Extremist’ Who Went to Downing Street
»UK: Faiths to March in Show of Unity
»UK: How the BBC is Dragging Its Feet on Bias
»UK: Islamic Scholars Reject Machine Slaughter
»UK: Outrage at Hussain ‘Promotion’
North Africa
»Mohammed Morsi Muslim Brotherhood Candidate Wins Egyptian Presidency
Israel and the Palestinians
»And Now it Begins: Attack From Egypt Signals Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas Jihad Against Israel
»Israel Kills Two Islamic Jihad Activists in Gaza
»One Israeli Killed as Gunmen Attack From Across Egypt Border
»Shmuel Katz: “Hearing is Believing” On Israel’s Peace Treaty With Egypt
Middle East
»Iranian Muslims Pay Tribute to Prophet Mohammad
»Turkey: Eight Arrested for ‘Al-Qaeda Ties’
»UAE: Islamic Golden Age Remembered
»Yemen: Government Forces Recapture Al-Qaeda Strongholds
South Asia
»India: Rajasthan: Married Off at 9, A 24-Yr-Old Woman Wants Her Marriage Annulled
»India: JI in IHK Denounces Desecration of Mosque, Holy Quran
»Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
Australia — Pacific
»Fiji: Mosque Committee Member Charged
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Court Declares Islamic Banking in Nigeria Illegal
»Dozens Killed in Bomb and Retaliatory Attacks in Northern Nigeria
»Ghana: Muslim or Christian: The Dead Deserve Dignity and Peace
»Ghana: NDC Has Kept Faith With Muslims — Ofosu-Ampofo
»Ghana: Return Home; Fleeing Hohoe Muslims Urged
»Series of Bombings Hit Nigerian Churches
»Judges Who Allow Foreign Criminals to Stay in Britain

Financial Crisis

German FM Says Greece Voted to Go Ahead With Reforms

(AGI) Berlin — German Finance Minister Schaeuble said the Greeks voted to go ahead with large-scale economic and fiscal reforms. Wolfgang Schaeuble said the outcome of today’s elections in Greece proves that the country is willing to implement much-needed economic and budget reforms. Schaeuble went on to say that the German government interprets the result of the vote in Greece as “a decision by the Greek people to go ahead with the implementation of large-scale economic and fiscal reforms”.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Italy’s Billion-Euro-a-Day Ministries

Half of €283 billion annual spending goes on administration

ROME — Ministerial expenditure has again come under pressure to ensure the success of the first stage of the spending review. The campaign should now guarantee savings of €5 billion instead of €4.2 billion. The adjustment, needed to respond to earthquake damage in Emilia, is set to be approved at Monday’s [today’s — Ed.] meeting of the interministerial committee, chaired by the prime minister, Mario Monti.

The session will draft guidelines for the decree law to come into effect at the end of the month. Experts hope to avoid October’s — at least — one per cent increase in VAT rates, which provides resources for earthquake reconstruction. Where will the money come from? Through cuts of €5 billion to public spending between June and September 2012, the equivalent of roughly €8.5 billion in structural savings from 2013. Three billion euros is expected to come from spending cuts being drafted by special commissioner Enrico Bondi and the rest will be clawed back through further cuts to ministries’ current expenditure. The Senate’s budget service has analysed all items of ministerial spending, which represent €283 billion (including salaries) out of Italy’s €779 billion total expenditure. Half of those resources, some €108 billion, are required merely to keep the ministerial machinery running, in comparison with the €36 billion that goes into the capital account.

Senate analysts highlighted the largest allocations at each ministry in proportion to the total 2012 budget. For example, the €79 billion spent by the economy ministry includes transfers to publicly owned companies: €1.8 billion to the railway, ANAS (road management) and ENAV (air traffic control) enterprises; and €4.4 billion to INPS (social security) to cover the deficit of the railway pension fund. There is an odd-looking transfer of €1.1 billion to “religious denominations”. Operating expenditure includes substantial amounts set aside to bolster the fight against tax evasion: €1.4 billion to the financial police and €2.6 billion for suppressing fraud and tax offences. The development ministry costs €7 billion and devotes €6.6 billion to capital account expenditure. The report focuses on a number of operating expenses: €17 billion in transfers to the competition and markets watchdog; €122 million to the foreign trade institute, ICE; and a capital injection of €158 million to the new technology, energy and environment agency, ENEA. The ministry of employment has a budget of €100 billion, spending as much as €98 billion on social policy while €300 million keeps local offices operating. Some €3.2 billion of the justice ministry’s €7 billion goes on keeping the courts working but the €848 million spent on electronic eavesdropping comes under the microscope. Out of €1.7 billion spent by the foreign ministry, €579 million keeps offices abroad ticking over and €461 million goes in contributions to international organisations…

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Why the Young Should Welcome Austerity

by Niall Ferguson

Governments should be more honest about the size of their debts and young voters would be wise to get politicians to pay them off as soon as possible, says economic historian Niall Ferguson in the first of his BBC Reith Lectures. The critics of Western democracy are right to discern that something is amiss with our political institutions. The most obvious symptom of the malaise is the huge debts we have managed to accumulate in recent decades, which — unlike in the past — cannot largely be blamed on wars. According to the International Monetary Fund, the gross government debt of Greece this year will reach 153% of GDP. For Italy the figure is 123%, for Ireland 113%, for Portugal 112% and for the United States 107%. Britain’s debt is approaching 88%. Japan is the world leader, with a mountain of government debt approaching 236% of GDP — more than triple what it was 20 years ago.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Christian Missionary Group With Pig’s Head Taunt Arab-Americans at Dearborn Festival

Tensions flared Friday evening at the annual Arab International Festival in Dearborn as members of some Christian missionary groups — including one called the Bible Believers — taunted Arab Americans with a pig’s head and signs that promoted hatred of Islam. “You’re gonna burn in hell,” one missionary shouted at a group of young Arab-American boys listening to him speak on Warren Avenue, where the festival takes place. The festival continues today in Dearborn, but the members of the Bible Believers won’t be there because they’ll be protesting a gay festival in Ohio, said Arab Festival organizers.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Conservatives for Shariah

by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East has caused many Americans to reflect on that group’s stated ambition to impose worldwide the totalitarian,supremacist Islamic doctrine known as shariah. Particularly unsettling is evidence of the group’s goal in America, namely of “destroying Western civilization from within,” as documented in the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas in 2008.

But for some prominent conservatives, such facts are not just inconvenient. They — and any who point them out — must be denied, ignored or suppressed.

The latest examples involve a pair of articles published in two of the Right’s most prominent online outlets: Townhall and National Review Online. The former recently distributed an essay by Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman ( He was joined on June 13 by Matthew Schmitz in NRO ( Both caricatured the “bogus” threat of “creeping shariah” as a figment of the superheated imagination of its American opponents…

           — Hat tip: CSP[Return to headlines]

Muslims Marching Toward Victory in USA Conference

Hizb Al-Tahrir America, held a Conference In Illinois today, titled Revolution: Liberation by Revelation, Muslims Marching to Victory. This group, Advocates Jihad, Says Iran And Saudi Arabia Are ‘Modern Non-Expansionist Nation States’ And Have Thus Abandoned ‘The Definitive [Islamic] Obligation Of Jihad’ As Stipulated In The Koran

Hizb Al-Tahrir America is a branch of Hizb Al-Tahrir Al-Islami, an international Islamist group that advocates the message of jihad in order to re-establish a Khilafah Rashida (a righteous caliphate). It has scheduled a June 17, 2012 conference in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, raising concerns about its ideological campaign in the U.S., especially among American Muslims.[1]


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Germany: British Suspected Islamic Terrorist Arrested in Germany

A major German security operation targeted “dangerous” Islamist extremists in dawn raids by 850 police officers on 70 mosques, schools and homes across Germany.

Hans-Peter Friedrich, Germany’s interior minister, banned one Salafist network, Millatu Ibrahim, for “working against our constitutional order and against understanding between peoples”. He also announced an investigation into two other networks, Dawa FFM and “The True Religion”, with a view to a seeking additional bans. “We are ready to defend freedom and fundamental rights in this country and I hope this is understood by those who are of a different opinion,” he said. The Daily Telegraph understands that the raids followed a discussion of the risk posed by a pan-European network of Salafist Islamists at an EU meeting of interior ministers, including Theresa May, the Home Secretary, last week. Last month, the G6 group of interior ministers from the EU’s biggest countries met in Munich to discuss “suspicious patterns of movement”.

Secret intelligence gathered by police and anti-terrorism officers across Europe gave “cause for concern” in Germany, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Austria, said an official.

According to leaked documents, the German interior ministry decided to launch the raids and to ban Millatu Ibrahim, based in the western town of Solingen, after an explosive vest was found during a search of premises in Berlin last month. “The vest is a further sign of the organisation’s underlying aggression,” the document said. At the beginning of May, German authorities opened investigations into 44 members of the Islamic Salafist sects and 37 others after violent clashes with police in Solingen. A 23-year-old man from Birmingham was also arrested in the raid under a European Arrest Warrant in an unrelated matter. He is wanted for failing to appear in court on fraud charges and is now awaiting transfer back to the UK, a spokesman for West Midlands Police said.

The ultraconservative Salafists, with origins in Saudi Arabia want to establish Sharia law in Europe and came to the attention of the authorities with a drive to convert non-Muslims by handing out 25 million copies of the Koran in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Previous police investigations have found audio and video messages in which the Salafists proclaimed war against democracy and threatened “unbelievers”. Ralf Jaeger, the regional state interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, hailed a “decisive step by the security services in the fight against dangerous extremists”. “Today’s operation shows that we’re turning up the pressure on the Salafists,” he said.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Greece: As Beggars Fight for Scraps, Even Police Flirt With the Neo-Nazis, Writes Andrew Malone in a Special Dispatch From Athens

Basking in the sun as Greece went to the polls yesterday, Dimitri Panaglos sipped a cold beer and gave a personal — and very cynical — insight into how his tiny country could ignite global financial meltdown and leave the cradle of civilisation in economic ruins.

Widely travelled, with family in London where he studied for a degree in fine art, the 40-year-old smiled grimly and told me: ‘We Greeks are all thieves. People didn’t know it when we had the drachma. But you soon knew when we joined the euro. We borrowed and spent without ever planning to pay it back. That’s just the Greek way.’

Now selling hand-drawn cartoons to tourists, having lost his studio and home, he added: ‘We are Greeks, not Europeans. That’s why we have always had two prices in every cafe — one on the sign that’s for foreigners and local cheap rates for Greeks.

‘Europe has never understood Greece — it’s a country where you take from foreigners, not give.’

Many of his countrymen would fiercely dispute his words. What cannot be denied, however, is that the good life seems to be coming to an emphatic end for the Greeks.

With Europe demanding austerity measures in return for keeping the country afloat — more than 240billion euros has already been provided by Europe’s taxpayers — Greeks were last night effectively voting on whether to accept the deal or plunge into chaos and possible bloodshed.


The EU has said that the conditions of the latest 130billion-euro bailout deal must be accepted fully by a new government or funds will be cut off, driving the country into bankruptcy.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, warned that Greece will not be allowed to dodge its austerity agreement and ‘lead everyone else through the arena by the nose ring’.

Many businesses are already pulling out of the country, with Carrefour, the French supermarket giant, the latest to announce it is quitting. This is against a background of fears that Greece is about to descend once more into the political dark ages almost four decades after the end of the country’s military dictatorship.

Germany’s biggest newspaperBild, summed up the mood of taxpayers there in an open letter to the Greek people this weekend. It said: ‘Your cash machines continue to give you euros only because we put them there, the Germans and the other nations that have the euro.

‘Yet you still call us “Nazis”. If the elections are won by parties that want to put an end to austerity and reform — breaching every agreement — we will stop paying. You will choose between painful logic and complete disaster. And we are very much afraid that you don’t get that yet.’

Already, in a chilling portent of what may lie ahead, some hospitals were yesterday running short of medicines…

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Ireland: ‘Undriveable’ Car Sees Case Dismissed

(Not ‘Mechanically Propelled’)

A MAN who was almost three times over the drink driving limit when he crashed his car into a telegraph pole had the case against him dismissed because the car was so badly damaged it could no longer be considered a mechanically propelled vehicle.

Damien Kierans (25), Chapel Road, Clogherhead, was charged with being drunk in charge of an MPV at the Chord Road on September 23 last.

Garda Ursula Clarke told the court Gardaí had received a report of a single vehicle collision on the Chord Road at 6.05 a.m. on the date in question. She attended the scene and saw the vehicle had impacted with a telegraph poll just off the right hand lane.

She said there was one person in the driving seat of the car, the engine was running, the lights were on and the keys were in the ignition. She spoke to Damien Kierans, who was in the driving seat, and he was awake and responsive.

Garda Clarke said Kieran’s speech was slurred and there was a strong smell of alcohol on his breath. The defendant was brought to Drogheda Garda Station where a subsequent intoxiliser test gave a reading of 84mg/100ml of breath.

She said the vehicle was removed from the scene by a recovery company as it was undriveable. It had been severely impacted by the accident, she said.

Defence barrister Irene Sands said a question arose as to whether the vehicle was an MPV because it was so badly damaged. She said the Garda had given clear evidence that the car was not driveable and by law, if this was the case, then it could not be considered a mechanically propelled vehicle since it was not capable of being mechanically propelled because of the amount of damage.

Inspector Brendan Cadden said the evidence given was that the motor was running which meant it was still mechanically propelled.. ‘A severe impact doesn’t mean it isn’t driveable, it is mechanically propelled if the engine is still running,’ he said.

However, Ms. Sands said the Garda had twice agreed that the vehicle had not be driveable following the accident.

Agreeing, Judge Flann Brennan said: ‘If it wasn’t driveable then it wasn’t an MPV, that is the law,’ before dismissing the case.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Italy: Male Models Says ‘Ruby’ Offered Him €4k for Sex

Milan, 15 June (AKI) — A male model told former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ‘bunga bunga’ sex trial he was offered 4,000 euros by the teenage Moroccan nightclub dancer ‘Ruby’ to have sex with her.

“Ruby, who I put up for two nights at my home, offered me said she’d give me 4,000 euros if I had sex with her,” Antonio Passaro told a Milan court on Friday.

In the case, 75-year-old Berlusconi is on trial for having sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of office over his relations with Moroccan-born ‘Ruby’ whose real name is Karima El Mahroug.

Passaro, who met El Mahroug in 2009, denied knowing about her alleged encounters with Berlusconi in May 2010, when she was 17.

“I only learned of this from media reports,” Passaro told the court.

Passaro, a former dancer whose stage name is ‘Manuel’, told prosecutors how he met El Mahroug in a Milan nightclub and how she allegedly became obsessed with him.

When they met, El Mahroug told Passaro she was 25 and was a belly-dancer from the northern Egyptian port city of Alessandria, he said.

“I didn’t believe a word she said,” Passaro stated, claiming he had to move house to escape her unwelcome attentions that included bombarding him with phone-calls.

“I didn’t report her for stalking though, as she was clearly needy and I felt sorry for her,” Passaro said.

El Mahroug and Berlusconi deny they had sex, but Michelle Conceicao, a Brazilian model who attended the parties and witness in the trial told Italian weekly Espresso that Berlusconi definitely had sex with El Mahroug and paid her 5,000 euros for this.

Conceicao also claimed that Berlusconi telephoned her as recently as in May and asked her to lie about his encounter with El Mahroug when she appears in court later this month.

Dozens of show girls and aspiring starlets received cash and other gifts for taking part in sex games at Berlusconi’s Milan home and other residences, according to prosecutors.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Italy: Grillo Calls for ‘Nuremberg Trial’ For Italian Parties

(AGI) Rome — Beppe Grillo calls for a “Nuremberg trial” of italian parties. “A public trial of the political class is necessary. No violence is needed, we are a civic people. A people that has been frauded, abused, derided, crushed, yet civic”, the leader of the 5 Stelle movement wrote on his blog.

“Nobody can think they can replace the magistracy or repeat episodes such as the hanging of Mussolini. Sain Just and Robespierre are not examples to be followed, even because they too ended up on the cart that took them to the guillotine. The trial must be moral, collective. Every citizens must have the right to ‘virtually’ spit against them”.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Serious Weaknesses’ In Care System

“Serious weaknesses” in England’s care system have been revealed by a report that follows the recent case of sexual exploitation in Rochdale. The findings come a month after the conviction of nine men in Rochdale for sexually exploiting young girls. One of the girls was in care at the time and all were said to have been known to social services at some point.

The leader of Rochdale Borough Council, Councillor Colin Lambert, recently said children should no longer be sent to care homes in the borough because their safety “is not being guaranteed”. An investigation by MPs found placing youngsters far from home could encourage them to abscond. Much of the criticism by the all-party parliamentary groups on children in care and on runaways and missing people focuses on homes where about 5,000 of the 65,000 of those in care are looked after. The report says the system of residential care is “not fit for purpose” for children who go missing.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Baroness Warsi and the ‘Extremist’ Who Went to Downing Street

by Jason Lewis, Investigations Editor

A man who had once been a prominent activist in Hizb ut Tahrir, a group which wants Britain to be run under stritct Islamic law, shook hands with David Cameron in the drawing room of 10 Downing Street.

It was a moment that, for Abid Hussain, must live long in the memory. He was standing in the drawing room of No10 shaking the hand of the Prime Minister. It was an extraordinary turn of events for a man who had once been a prominent activist in Hizb ut Tahrir, a group which wants to overthrow Britain’s democracy and replace it with a state run under strict Islamic law. He was introduced to David Cameron at an event to celebrate the festival of Eid which had been organised by Downing Street with the help of Baroness Warsi, the Conservative Party co-chairman, and her office. Whether it was the Cabinet minister who put his name on the guest list for the event in November 2010 is unclear, but what was not known at the time was that Mr Hussain was actually Lady Warsi’s business partner: they are the joint owners of a company.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Faiths to March in Show of Unity

FAITH and friendship will be celebrated in Oxford tomorrow as people from all religions join a peace walk through the city centre. The annual friendship walk, which sees hundreds of worshippers from more than nine different faiths taking to the streets, starts from the synagogue in Richmond Road, Jericho, at 6.15pm. Walkers will say prayers before setting off for St Giles’ Church. From there they move to Radcliffe Square, where Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh prayers will be said for the first time in the walk’s eight-year history. The walk will finish with more prayers and a meal at the Central Mosque in Manzil Way, off Cowley Road. Rickshaws are being provided to help people with mobility difficulties take part and the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Tim Stevenson and the Lord Mayor of Oxford Alan Armitage are set to attend.


[JP note: We know what Islam is and either accept or reject it in its totality.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: How the BBC is Dragging Its Feet on Bias

Despite sterling efforts by BBC Four, the broadcaster still betrays a liberal-Left leaning, writes Dennis Sewell.

I think the BBC should be biased. As its chairman Lord Patten told the Commons culture committee last year: “It should be biased in favour of tolerant, civilized pluralism.” But Conservatives tend to believe that the corporation displays other, less wholesome biases. Some say it is less than impartial in its reporting of Israel-Palestine and the European Union. Others point to a seeming readiness to pick up and run with the Labour Party’s chosen talking points.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Islamic Scholars Reject Machine Slaughter

UK — Leading Islamic scholars have unanimously rejected the automated slaughter of halal poultry using machines with rotary blades, insisting each animal must be killed with a hand held knife.

According to, some 35 scholars attended a debate on religious slaughter and all rejected the mechanisation of the procedure under halal law, according to the meeting organiser, Naved Syed, a member of Eblex’s halal steering group. The issue is controversial, however, with some halal organisations reported to take a more pragmatic view and apparently agreeing to automated slaughter under certain conditions. It is also a delicate matter for enforcement authorities aware of the highly sensitive nature of religious slaughter.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Outrage at Hussain ‘Promotion’

The news that Labour councillor Aftab Hussain has been ‘promoted’ to Chairman of the Pennines Township Committee has been unpopular amongst the people of Rochdale. Hussain gave a positive character reference for Abdul Qayyum, who was later convicted of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child. Both Hussain and former mayor Zulfiquar Ali, who stepped down, appeared as character witnesses for Qayyum. Ali has since called his decision as a “silly mistake”. Hussain, however, remains in his role as a Labour councillor in the Firgrove and Smallbridge ward, and is now chairman of a Township committee.

When asked their thoughts on Hussain’s position, the people of Rochdale were unanimous. A Harris, who works in the town centre, said: “It’s just Rochdale all over, it’s an absolute joke. He should have been sacked, never mind standing down. It infuriates me.” Richard Brockley said: “I don’t think he should have kept his job, and I don’t think he should be earning any more either. I think it’d be the same though in any other town.” A resident who did not want to be named said: “He should have been out of the job the moment he wrote the letter. This town only protects certain people, and we can’t do anything about it. Have the police just turned a blind eye?”

One of the integral roles of a councillor is that of a corporate parent, a role that gives responsibility to all councillors for the welfare of the town’s children. Jean Ashworth is an ex-councillor. She said: “Corporate parenting is one of the most important roles a councillor undertakes. It involves protecting, supporting and being there for all vulnerable children.

“Councillor Hussain should have known better than to support a suspect. Is an apology enough? At the end of the day the man was convicted — Hussain has gone against this poor girl.”

[Reader comment by Streetshack on 16 June 2012 at 11:29:59.]

Another blindingly poor decision by Rochdale Labour Council. There should be a public enquiry into all aspects of this matter with sackings in the Council the Social Services Child protection team and the police initially involved made as the bare minimum response to this sad catalogue of errors rather than the usual “whitewash” of inconvienient truths we have all become accustomed to for too long. You can hear George Galloway MP thumbing through his A-Z of electoral wards.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Mohammed Morsi Muslim Brotherhood Candidate Wins Egyptian Presidency

While the world media breathed a sigh of temporary relief about the results of Greek elections, yesterday with little impact on the crises in the Euro Zone, the EU and world trade, they have yet to focus on the Presidential victory by Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi. His election to Egypt’s Presidency follows the High Court ruling declaring illegal the Parliamentary elections over the period from November 2011 to January 20102 . The Muslim Brotherhood party took nearly half the seats in those parliamentary runoff elections. The Muslim Brotherhood Peace and Freedom Party has protested the court ruling. That supposed ‘soft coup’ by the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) didn’t boost the voter interest in their preferred candidate, Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s last Prime Minister. Further Christian Copts, a significant minority in Egypt, have good reason to be concerned about a future Egyptian government led by Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood with support from fundamentalist Salaist preachers and Qatar-backed tele preacher, the anti-Semitic Yusuf al Qaradawi. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri urged fundamentalist Egyptian Muslims to vote for Morsi. Moreover conservative Egyptian Muslim women came out in droves to cast a ballot for Morsi. Morsi’s election will also throw in doubt the 33 year old cold peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The SCAF might seek to maintain the treaty via veto power over whatever Constitution emerges from a new Parliament. President Obama has cozyed up to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa region as witnessed by attendance of key State Department Muslim Ummah outreach officials and National Security advisors at a recent Saban Center for Middle East Policy US World Islam Forum in Qatar in late May. CGiven this situation, domestic exhaustion and further tensions should be expected both within Egyptian civil society but also at a political institutional level. Indeed, following the SCAF statement questions remain over whether the armed forces will fall under the ultimate authority of the executive branch and/or whether they will actually obey presidential orders. Civil rights activists claim that SCAFs declaration rendered the scheduled handover of power to a democratically elected executive meaningless. From a regional context, the events of the last week in Egypt could be read as a proxy war between two Gulf Arab powers: Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The former backs the Muslim Brotherhood through funding, clerical consultations and massive media coordination, while latter has backed SCAF and its favoured candidate Shafiq.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

And Now it Begins: Attack From Egypt Signals Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas Jihad Against Israel

By Barry Rubin

A well-organized, well-equipped group of terrorists has attacked Israel from Egyptian territory Monday morning, possibly the second such Egyptian-assisted assault in a week.

An armed squad of two men—said to be Hamas, though this is not confirmed—crossed the border after travelling 30 miles from the Gaza Strip through Egyptian territory. They wore flak jackets, camouflaged uniforms, and carried a large amounts of explosives. Members of their support team remained on the Egyptian side of the border. The two men hid by Israel’s highway 12, near an area called White River Lake. When two vehicles came by, carrying workers finishing up a security fence to guard against just such attacks, they set off a bomb that had been placed on the roadway and fired a rocket-propelled grenade. Both missed but bullets from a Kalashnikov hit one of the vehicles which flipped over. One Israeli, an ethnic Arab labor contractor, was killed, two or three terrorists have been shot dead.

Within minutes, Israeli soldiers arrived and fired on the terrorists. Their bullets blew up a suicide vest being worn by one of them, killing two of the attackers.

This event follows a report in Haaretz newspaper, attributed to Israeli security officials, that the Muslim Brotherhood had asked Hamas to attack Israel. According to the story, an Egyptian Bedouin unit was given the job of firing a rocket, which landed in open ground in southern Israel. This story was not picked up by other Israeli newspapers, suggesting either that it was wrong or that it had been a security leak which the army had then stopped.

So far this year, 280 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. This has prompted no international concern or action. The new fence along the Egypt-Israel border is mostly complete but due to difficult terrain the last portion will only be finished late this year.

At any rate, we are now at the beginning of Egypt’s involvement, directly or indirectly, in a new wave of terrorist assault on Israel. If the Muslim Brotherhood takes over Egypt, a likelihood made less probable perhaps by the military’s dissolution of parliament, this offensive will enjoy official support.. Even if the army remains in control, the Brotherhood and Salafists will use their considerable assets to back this new insurgency war.

The ultimate scenario would be if Hamas decided to renew a large-scale offensive against Israel from the Gaza Strip using rockets, mortars, and attempted cross-border attacks…

           — Hat tip: Barry Rubin[Return to headlines]

Israel Kills Two Islamic Jihad Activists in Gaza

Israeli air strike kills two members of Jihad hours after gunmen mount deadly ambush on Egyptian border.

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike on north Gaza on Monday, medics said, just hours after gunmen mounted a deadly ambush on the Egyptian border, killing an Israeli. “Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli air strike targeting a group of people east of Beit Hanun,” said Adham Abu Selmiya, spokesman for the Hamas-run emergency services. A spokesman for the Israeli military confirmed the strike but refused to say whether it was connected to the early-morning attack along the Egyptian border. “I can confirm there was a targeted attack a while ago against two terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip,” he said. Witnesses identified the two men as members of the radical Islamic Jihad movement and said they were riding a motorcycle near the Israeli border at the time.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

One Israeli Killed as Gunmen Attack From Across Egypt Border

One Israeli was killed as gunmen from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula attacked workers constructing a border security fence with small arms and explosives, an Israeli Defense Ministry official said. The Israeli was a civilian contract employee, the official said, speaking anonymously as he was not authorized to comment on record. At least two of the gunmen were killed after Israeli forces returned fire, an army spokesman said, speaking anonymously in accordance with military regulation. The attack, which followed rockets fired from Sinai into southern Israel over the weekend, raised concerns in Israel about security on the border with Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with the Jewish state more than three decades ago.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Shmuel Katz: “Hearing is Believing” On Israel’s Peace Treaty With Egypt

Don’t count on the survival of the 33 year old Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt. The likely Presidential victory of Mohammed Morsi , the Muslim Brotherhood candidate in Egypt may not be stopped by the ‘soft coup’ of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in Cairo. Just look at the recent Sinai terrorist attack on the work party building a barrier along Israel’s southern border with Egypt. Three terrorists and one Israeli contractor were killed, while another Israeli was wounded. Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak noted in a Jerusalem Post article set against the backdrop of Egypt’s Presidential runoff elections: We expect the President to take responsibility for all of Egypt’s international commitments including the peace treaty with Israel and to ensure security arrangements are in place in the Sinai to stop these kinds of attacks. There are a lot of Israel’s supporters, myself included, who viewed the Egyptian Peace Treaty, negotiated between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter at Camp David in 1979 as a capitulation of Israel’s strategic depth. The Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai is ill equipped to monitor increasing al Qaeda and Palestinian terrorist activity. If SCAF fails to survive or checkmate a Muslim Brotherhood regime, you can bet on who loses the strategic high ground. Therefore Israel will proceed with completion of the security fence between the two countries.David Isaac of Americans For a Safe Israel reminds us of someone who opposed his friend Israeli PM Menachem Begin’s conclusion of the 1979 Camp David Accords, Shmuel Katz (1914-2008). Katz had been a personal advisor to Begin, but publicly broke with him over the Peace Treaty with Egypt.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Iranian Muslims Pay Tribute to Prophet Mohammad

Iranian Muslims are out celebrating Eide Mabas. Eide Mabas occurred on August 10, 610 CE when Mohammad received the 1st revelation. Iranians explained to Press TV the importance of this momentous occasion. Muslims have no discrepancy on the importance of this time of the year. It is when all Islamic entities celebrate this occasion. Angel Gabriel came to Mohammad and descended upon him the 1st revelation of Allah or God. It was after this event that Muhammad became a prophet of Allah. Then on the 21st of the holy month of Ramadan the Qur’an began to be revealed to him in full. Muhammad was nearly 40 years old at the time, when angel Gabriel came and asked him for three times to read the holy scriptures, Mohammad who did not know how to read and write at the time was then able to read in full and began to teach others the holy words of God.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Turkey: Eight Arrested for ‘Al-Qaeda Ties’

Ankara, 15 June (AKI) — Turkey on Friday arrested eight people for allegedly having ties with Al-Qaeda.

The suspects arrested in the western Bursa Balikesir provinces are accused of training in terrorist camps and recruiting militants, the Turkish Anadolu news agency reported.

Turkey has stepped up its fight against Al-Qaeda after two Jewish synagogues and the British consulate and the UK’s HSBC Bank were bombed in November 2003 killing around 100 people and wounding more than 1,000.

Seven people in 2007 were found guilty of carrying out the synagogue attacks and given 67 consecutive life sentences.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

UAE: Islamic Golden Age Remembered

Did you know that ancient Arab scientists were pioneers in the field of ophthalmology? The contributions of scientists, inventors and thinkers who lived during the Islamic Golden Age, a period ranging from 750 CE (Common Era) to 1257 CE goes largely unrecognised, opined nine young students. “The Arab world played a very important part in the development of science,” said Malvika Vijayan, 14, and a student of the Delhi Private School, Sharjah. With the aim of developing a scientific temper and spirit of enquiry among youngsters, the JSS Private School and the Science India Forum (SIF) organised an Inter-School Science Exhibition and Knowledge Fair at its campus on June 14.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Yemen: Government Forces Recapture Al-Qaeda Strongholds

Sanaa, 15 June (AKI) — Yemen’s military on Friday recaptured the southern city of al-Shaqra, considered a stronghold by Al-Qaeda militants.

It was the third city retaken from militants who captured them more than a year ago.

Among the retreating insurgents was Jalal al-Baleidi, also known as Abu Hamza al-Zinjibari, the leader of Ansar al Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) in Abyan, seeking refuge in tribal areas, Reuters reported.

The United States has helped the government offensive that started more than a month ago, taking back militant strongholds of Jaazr and Zinjibr.

Yemen said its soldiers killed 40 militants in fighting on Thursday.

The United States has used drone strikes and military training to help Yemen combat Islamist militants.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

South Asia

India: Rajasthan: Married Off at 9, A 24-Yr-Old Woman Wants Her Marriage Annulled

State High Court orders government to protect Shobha Choudhary and her family after village authorities threaten them. The young woman is finishing a university degree, whilst her husband is semi-illiterate. “I cannot accept such a marriage,” she says. Child marriage in india is illegal but widespread.

Jaipur (AsiaNews) — A 24-year-old woman from the village of Rajwa (Rajasthan) has asked the state’s High Court to annul her marriage, which was celebrated when she was nine. In view of the situation, the court ordered the government to protect Shobha Choudhary and her family since her local Khap Panchayat (caste assembly) issued threats against them. Dr Pascoal Carvalho, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, called her decision “courageous”, a tool against “a blight on Indian society.”

“My husband is semi-illiterate and can barely write his name,” said Shobha Choudhary who graduated from school and is currently in university. “I’m working as well as completing a Bachelor of Education. It was not my decision to get married; I was only nine. I cannot accept such a marriage.”

She found the strength to rebel after a court ruling made Indian legal history. Back in April, a court in Rajasthan annulled the marriage of 18-year-old Laxmi Sargara, who was married off at the age of one.

Although a 1929 Indian law bans child marriages and imposes stiff fines on those involved, such a practice has survived. In many parts of the country, like Rajasthan but also Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, mass child marriages are performed.

“There are many ways to get around the law,” Dr Carvalho said. “Once they are done, they cannot be annulled. Not only are such marriages a violation of human rights, but they are the worst kind of exploitation and abuse.”

According to the US-based International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), 50 per cent of all Indian women are married before they are 18.

In addition to domestic (and often sexual) abuse and psychological problems, they are often infected with the HIV virus by their husbands. Post-partum mortality is also a major cause of death for women 15 to 18.

The High Court has set a hearing for 4 July. “I hope the court will annul the marriage to send a message to all the young men and women who want a better life for themselves and rid us of the tradition of child marriage,” Dr Carvalho said. “Although this practice is waning in some parts of the country, we still have a long way to go before we eliminate it from society for good.”

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

India: JI in IHK Denounces Desecration of Mosque, Holy Quran

Srinagar, June 17 (KMS): The Jamaat-e-Islami of occupied Kashmir has strongly condemned the desecration of mosque and holy Quran in Badirpore by the workers of an Indian construction company. The Jama’at spokesman in a statement issued in Srinagar said that use of brute force by Indian troops and police personnel against the people protesting peacefully in Bandipore was unjustified. He demanded strict action against those involved in the desecration of mosque and holy Quran. Meanwhile, the spokesman also expressed serious concern over the ill-treatment meted out to the illegally detained Hurriyet leaders and activists at Kot Bhalwal and Amphala jails in Jammu. He also demanded immediate unconditional release of all illegally detained Hurriyet leaders and activists languishing in different jails of India and the occupied territory.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

A 25-year-old combat engineer from Flint has been killed in an insurgent attack in Afghanistan. Sgt. 1C Joseph Lilly was part of the 18th Engineer Company from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Lilly’s aunt Martha Alexander said her nephew was on patrol Tuesday when he was injured by an improvised explosive device. She said he died Thursday on a medical flight from Afghanistan to Germany. Lilly was a graduate of Carman-Ainsworth High School and was on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. Alexander said her nephew also served a tour in Iraq. He is survived by a wife and 3-year-old son.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Fiji: Mosque Committee Member Charged

Police have laid charges against a committee member of a Suva based mosque for inciting to commit an offence of assault. CID Police Director, SSP Vakacegu Toduadua said that they will question more people in relation to the matter. He added that the alleged incident is a result of a rift between some of the committee members.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Court Declares Islamic Banking in Nigeria Illegal

A federal High Court in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, has declared the non-interest financial institution operating under the principles of Islamic jurisprudence as illegal and unconstitutional. Justice Kolawole Friday held that but for the plaintiff, Godwin Sunday Ogboji, who, he said, lacked the locus standi to institute the action, the licence issued to the Jaiz International Bank PLC to carry out Islamic banking in the country would have been nullified.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Dozens Killed in Bomb and Retaliatory Attacks in Northern Nigeria

Several churches in Nigeria’s Kaduna State were bombed on Sunday. Dozens of people were killed in the blasts and interreligious riots that followed. Analysts say this latest spat of violence undermines President Goodluck Jonathan’s promise to eradicate the Boko Haram islamist group by June. A church was targeted in the state capital, also called Kaduna, and blasts ripped through two churches 30 kilometres away in the city of Zaria in coordinated bomb attacks. At the Christ The King Catholic Church in the Gari district of Zaria, thirteen people were killed when a suicide bomber attempted to drive through a barricade at the entrance. The death toll could have been higher had it not been for security measures in place. “If they had succeeded in entering only god knows what would have happened. I probably wouldn’t be alive,” George Dodo, the reverend of Christ The King Catholic Church told RFI. Both the Christ The King’s Catholic Church and ECWA Church (ECWA) are situated close to a Nigerian Army barracks. No group has claimed responsibility, although last week the Islamist group, Boko Haram, said it carried out attacks on two churches in the city of Jos that killed seven people.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Ghana: Muslim or Christian: The Dead Deserve Dignity and Peace

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

It is increasingly becoming clear that the Mills-Mahama government of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC) is fast losing control of our national security apparatus, with the National Security Advisor, Brig.-Gen. Joseph Nunoo -Mensah, preferring to fruitlessly engage in a sideshow over whether Nana Akufo-Addo’s free-education up to SHS campaign promise is either feasible or even desirable, than purposefully hunching down the trenches and helping to keep the peace in an increasingly volatile nation caught in the grips of interethnic and religious conflicts. In the latest of such incidents, at least two residents of the Hohoe municipality, in the Volta Region, were reportedly killed in clashes between the Ewe youths of Hohoe and their counterparts in the Muslim community (See “Hohoe Muslims on Rampage over Exhumation of Imam” 6/11/12). The story itself is rather sketchy and about the only agreement that all the media reports on the incident have in common is the fact that the Paramount Chief of the Gbi Traditional Area, which includes the Hohoe municipality, is smack behind the conflict.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Ghana: NDC Has Kept Faith With Muslims — Ofosu-Ampofo

Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has said that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has kept faith with Muslims. He said the NDC Government had instituted holidays for the celebration of the two important Muslim festivals, Eid-ul Adha , and Eid-ul Fitr. The Minister was speaking at the inauguration of the Adjei Kojo branch of the Zongo Caucus of the party over the weekend. He said the NDC had established the Islamic Education Unit to ensure that Muslim children benefitted from quality education.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Ghana: Return Home; Fleeing Hohoe Muslims Urged

Fleeing Muslims in the Volta Region town of Hohoe have been asked to return home. The area is enjoying relative calm after days of violent attacks between indigenes of the Gbi Traditional area and some aggrieved Muslim youths who were angered by the exhumation of their Imam. Two people lost their lives and properties including the palace of the Gbi Traditional Council were vandalized. Several thousands of people were displaced most of who were Muslims. The Muslims fled to neighbouring towns following threats by the Council that the Muslims had 48 hours to return stolen regalia from the palace or face the consequences. With a dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed and a thorough peace process led by the Regional Security Council in the Volta Region, military as well as the presidency, calm has returned to the area. Regional NADMO coordinator Simon Kaba told Joy News Hohoe is now safe and the Muslims can now return home. According to him over 6,041 had fled to neighbouring towns, adding, the number of fleeing Muslims has stabilized. He said it is now time for them to go back home. The Volta Regional Minister, Ford Kamel says security officials in Hohoe will provide maximum security even as the Chief, Togbui Gaabusu visits the community tomorrow.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Series of Bombings Hit Nigerian Churches

A series of apparently coordinated bombings targeting churches in northern Nigeria yesterday killed at least 17 people and provoked reprisals against Muslims by mobs of angry Christians.

Explosions hit churches in four cities in Kaduna state in the latest in a series of attacks on Sunday congregations in the majority Muslim north of the country. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Nigeria’s al-Qaeda-linked Islamist terror group Boko Haram has carried out at least 10 similar strikes so far this year. Authorities in Kaduna imposed a 24-hour curfew ordering everyone to stay indoors after gangs of young men blocked a major highway heading south out of the state capital and dragged Muslims from their cars. There were unconfirmed reports that several were killed, and that the attacks were to revenge the bombings earlier in the day. Four children playing outside a church in Zaria were among the first victims of yesterday’s blasts, at the Evangelical GoodNews Church in the city’s Sabon-Gari district.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Judges Who Allow Foreign Criminals to Stay in Britain

Three senior immigration judges have allowed 26 foreign criminals to stay in Britain because of their “right to family life” in the past year, while ruling that only seven should be sent home.

An investigation into decisions by the country’s highest immigration court has revealed how some judges rule far more often than others in favour of offenders seeking to avoid deportation. While one judge backed claims by 11 criminals and ruled against only two, another ruled against all nine criminals whose cases he heard. Among cases heard by the three judges who allowed the most appeals — Richard McKee, Kate Eshun and Jonathan Perkins — one saw a man permitted to stay in Britain after serving a nine-year sentence for manslaughter. The killer won his case in front of Miss Eshun, partly because of his right to a “family life” with his brother who was also jailed for the same killing. Others among the 26 allowed to stay in the country included a man who punched an 84-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer in the face, and a motorist who killed a woman while driving at 60mph in a built-up area.


Miss Eshun, another senior immigration judge, heard 13 cases during the period, in which she ruled in the criminal’s favour nine times — including two on the grounds that they were European Union citizens — and in the Home Office’s favour four times. Criminals she let stay in Britain included:

  • Nuno Jesus Ramos, 26, a Portugese national who the Home Office tried to deport for his role in the manslaughter of 47-year-old Joao DaCosta Mitendele, who was robbed in his own home, tortured and left to suffocate.
  • A Mauritian man, Peter Derek Anil Gokhool, 41, who was given a hospital order after he admitted assaulting an 84-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer, whom he punched twice in the face after encountering him in the street.
  • Mohammad Farooq Khan, from Pakistan, who had been convicted of 71 offences over 28 years, including drug possession and racially or religiously aggravated harassment. The judge upheld his “family life” claim even though he lived with his brother and not with his wife and children.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]