Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hindu model killed by muslim boyfriend

Sahil Malik, the 28-year-old boyfriend of Priyanshi Chowdhury alias Rinky, the model and television actress allegedly found hanging from the kitchen ceiling on Thursday evening, has now been accused of murdering her. Oshiwara police station arrested Malik and has registered a case of murder. The case has been registered after Rinky’s mother accused Malik of murder.

Rinky’s body was found hanging by a rope from the ceiling fan in the kitchen of her fourth floor residence in Vallabh Society near Oshiwara bus depot.

Islam mandates violence against unbelievers

Part 1

Part 2

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another Pakistani arrested for attempted bombing in America

Pakistan - the Gift that keeps on Giving. Farooque Ahmed, man busted in alleged Metro bomb plot, wanted to fight US overseas, FBI says

BY Kerry Wills, James Gordon Meek and Helen Kennedy

Originally Published:Thursday, October 28th 2010, 11:18 AM
New York Daily News

The FBI knew in January that the former Staten Island man busted for plotting to bomb the Washington subways was telling people he wanted to give his life to kill Americans overseas.

So they set up an elaborate plot to snare Farooque Ahmed before he could hurt anyone. He was arrested Wednesday as he made plans to leave the country for good next month.

Posing as al Qaeda terrorists in the lobby of a hotel near Dulles Airport, the FBI handed Ahmed a Koran with code words to set up future meetings slipped inside and offered him a chance to help gather information for a spectacular subway attack.

He jumped at the chance, FBI agent Charles Dayoub wrote in a search warrant affidavit unsealed Thursday.

Ahmed told the men that he thought were al Qaeda that he "wanted to fight and kill Americans in Afghanistan," Dayoub wrote.

Asked if he wanted to die a martyr, Ahmed - who had a good job in computers, a pretty British wife and a bouncing new baby - responded "of course," Dayoub wrote.

For months, the agents followed Ahmed, 34, as he beetled around Washington, industriously sketching subway stations and using his cellphone to film entrances and exits while only pretending to talk on it.

The FBI also filmed and taped Ahmed, watched his house, and in some cases, appear to have been reading his mail.

The affidavit mentions that Ahmed had "an associate" with him during some his subway casing expeditions, but does not elaborate.

Ahmed, a Pakistani-born immigrant who grew up on Staten Island and became a naturalized citizen when he was 17, was arrested Wednesday. No other arrests have been made in the case.

According to the 17-page affidavit, Ahmed was told the targets to be hit in one simultaneous attack sometime in 2011 would be the Court House, Pentagon City and Arlington Cemetery metro stops, and an unnamed downtown hotel.

Ahmed sketched diagrams and filmed the stations, and when he reported back, he "provided suggestions on where to place explosives at each location to kill the most people," Dayoub said.

In one of the surreptiously filmed meeting with the faux terrorists, Ahmed was asked to pick the best bomb delivery system from among three backpacks. He tried one on, then opined that rolling suitcases would be better, the affidavit says.

He also suggested adding the Crystal City metro stop, which is used by many Pentagon workers, to the list of targets, saying he "wanted to kill as many military personnel as possible," Dayoub wrote.

Ahmed told the FBI he had studied martial arts for four years, could handle both a gun and a knife, and could teach these skills to others.

He also offered to send $10,000 to fund the cause in increments of $1,000 to avoid detection.

The affidavit says Ahmed either bought or tried to buy firearms in 2008 and 2009. His plan was to train and then wage jihad in Pakistan or Afghanistan after visiting Mecca in Saudi Arabia next month.

The feds stressed that he never posed a threat to D.C. straphangers or US soldiers.

Much like the four men convicted this month of plotting to attack a Bronx synagogue, Ahmed never met any real terrorists.

Ahmed, who got a computer science degree from the College of Staten Island in 2003, worked for Ericsson telecommunications in Virginia. The company all but disavowed him Thursday.

"This individual is not an Ericsson employee but has been doing work for Ericsson's US operation on a contract basis," said the Swedish company's spokeswoman, Jana Mancova. "We are closely monitoring the situation and will cooperate fully with the federal investigation."

His face hidden by a long beard, mustache and glasses, Ahmed appeared briefly in federal court Wednesday and was held until a detention hearing Friday. He said he could not afford a lawyer.

Neighbors in Ashburn, Va., said Wednesday he moved there a year ago with wife Sahar Mirza and their toddler son.

Sahar Mirza is co-organizer of a group for mothers of new babies called Hip Muslim Moms.

"He was out back mowing the lawn over the weekend. He just seemed like a normal guy. He never talked about politics," said neighbor Barbi Shires, 43. "I'm just glad it was the FBI he did it for, not al Qaeda."

Next door neighbor, Tanya Minor, 32, who works in a doctor's office, said Ahmed "came to look at the house with a man who spoke his language, who said he helped people from New York find apartments here. They were very quiet. They always had the blinds closed."

Marc Otterback said he was on the subway when he heard his neighbor was arrested for plotting to blow up the trains. "And I was like, 'Oh my God!' I'm a defense contractor - I was the target!"

On Staten Island, a man believed to be Ahmed's brother came home to the family house in a state of confusion. "I cannot answer any questions. I just found out myself. Please give us some time. I'm sorry," he said.

Ahmed's father, identified by friends as the retired officer of a Pakistani bank, also brushed off reporters, saying, "I don't know anything."

A neighbor named Beverly who lives in the other half of their duplex said she was shocked. "They're God-fearing people, very nice people. This is unbelieveable," she said.

Peter Compagno, 60, called Ahmed's family "sweethearts."

"They're so nice. They're good-hearted people," said Compagno, who has inoperable colon cancer. "They come over and console me."

Another neighbor, Linda Ballou, 52, said they were friendly.

"The mother's a lovely woman," Ballou said. "I've never had any trouble with them. They would sit on the porch and say hello. I'm shocked. I'm shocked."

Some other neighbors called the family brusque, saying they often order kids off their front walk.

Subhail Muzaffar, former chairman of the board at the Masjid Al Noor mosque where Ahmed's father prays, called him "a very decent man" but said he knew little of his son.

"It's such a difficult situation for all Muslims each time things like this happen," Muzaffar said.

"We call this home and we want it secure," he said, adding that the mosque proudly cooperates with the FBI on community outreach. "The right education in any religion does not lead you to this path," he said.

According to the federal complaint, Ahmed began meeting with the faux terrorists in April, turning over video footage, crowd estimates and sketches of stations, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors said he pledged funds for terror attacks, offered to travel overseas and made helpful suggestions about where to plant bombs on trains to kill as many commuters as possible.

Ahmed is the second would-be terrorist from Staten Island arrested this week. Abdel Hameed Shehadeh was charged Tuesday with lying to the feds about attempts to join the Taliban.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Islam-Islamic plunder and brutality against India

Part 1

Part 2

Arundhati Roy is dangerously wrong on Kashmir

Protesters in Indian-administered Kashmir hold the Koran, denouncing Denmark and other European nations where the cartoons have been printed.

Venkatesan Vembu
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

There’s a mesmeric, seductive quality to Arundhati Roy’s prose. For all its verbiage, it teases, tempts and torments the mind and lures it into the parlour of a contrarian world; it then persuades it, with the sheer power of its eloquence that the natural order of things in the ‘real’ world as we know it is wholly unnatural and completely flawed.

“So you think India is a superpower in the making?” it says, and marshals compelling arguments for why India is more in the “bhookey-nangey” category. “So you think big dams are great for development?” it asks. “Perhaps you’ll feel differently if it were your home and your livelihood that needed to be sacrificed for the greater good”.

A fair-minded person might concede that Roy has at least half a point, even if, once the seductive power of her prose has worn off, her polemical pounding of that half-point is grating in the extreme. Heck, she’s not even the only one who holds an unflattering mirror to Indian society and forces us to reflect on our failings.

The social historian Ramachandra Guha does it no less trenchantly, no less controversially and no less eloquently; but he does it with a far greater sensitivity to the burden of history, and he at least has the intellectual honesty — and the good grace — to acknowledge the merits, such as they are, of India’s democracy, flawed though it is.

But whereas the soundbite-savvy Roy’s polemics were once merely infuriatingly dishonest (even when they had half a point), her most recent public articulations on Kashmir, coming on top of her unvarnished defence of Maoist resort to violence, cross the threshold of what any self-respecting, law-bound nation-state can tolerate. Roy may have declared herself an ‘independent mobile republic’, as she did after the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests in order to dissociate herself from the BJP’s nuclear jingoism; but she’s still bound by the sedition laws of the decidedly immobile republic she inhabits.

Apart from being historically inaccurate, Roy’s words also betray an inadequate sensitivity to the enormous gravity of any loose talk of azaadi or self-determination at a time when the separatist campaign in Kashmir finally stands exposed before the world as having been propelled all along by Pakistan-backed jihadis who are playing for much larger stakes: the disintegration of secular India.

Perhaps in parlour room polemics, among calm and politically sanitised minds, there may be little risk from intellectual explorations of the merits of Kashmiri self-determination. But the Kashmir mind today is in a fevered state as a result of years of hot-headed jihadi indoctrination; only when that fever subsides can other cures be contemplated. Right now, given that inflamed state, Roy’s words have the potency to bestir indoctrinated minds into extreme action.

History doesn’t flow in straight lines, but in contours, and in Kashmir’s tortured history there are many contours to negotiate. The Indian state may not always have got it right in Kashmir, but Roy’s black-and-white delineation represents a colossal and intellectually dishonest oversimplification of the problem without sufficient appreciation of the fanatical geopolitical forces at work. It also takes her farther down the slippery slope of shrill and decidedly dangerous sloganeering which has enormous lethal consequences in the real world. Perhaps she should break the spell that her own hypnotic prose appears to have on herself and her increasingly fanatical flock of followers.

"The Swedish are tired of walking around in their own neighborhoods and feeling like they're in Saudi Arabia"

Anti-Muslim feelings propel right wing

By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

STOCKHOLM - On the heels of elections that stunned many in this famously progressive land, Kent Ekeroth and his peers marched through the castle-like parliament doors this month on a mission to combat what they call Sweden's greatest problem: Muslim immigration.

The 20 Swedish Democrats - the first national lawmakers from a party initially spawned in the 1980s by white supremacists - are working to impose a moratorium on new mosques, ban the shroud-like coverings worn by some conservative Muslim women and largely halt immigration from predominantly Muslim nations.

Alarm over the anti-immigrant wave intensified recently as authorities warned "dark-skinned" residents in the southern city of Malmo that one or more snipers are targeting immigrants, killing one and wounding eight in 15 separate shootings this year.

The rise to office of the Swedish Democrats in September's elections touched off a heated debate in this country, home of the Nobel Prize and known as the "conscience of the world" for aiding refugees and pioneering laws for women's equality and gay rights. Yet even here, the Swedish Democrats made it into the Rikstag by tapping into a surge of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment sweeping across many nations in Western Europe, propelling right-wing and nationalist parties to their biggest gains in years.

"The Swedish are tired of walking around in their own neighborhoods and feeling like they're in Saudi Arabia," said Ekeroth, an intense 30-year-old and founder of the new Anti-Islamic Fund, which promotes criticism of radical Islam. "It is time for the Swedish to be comfortable again in their own country."

At the same time, resentment is brewing in nations like Sweden over a rising tide of Muslim immigrants and the reluctance of some to adopt local customs, testing the limits of tolerance in some of the world's most open-minded societies.

Unlike in the United States, where Latinos dominate the immigration debate, European angst is increasingly focused on waves of Muslims - Turks, Iraqis, Somalis and others - who have become the hottest-button issue in recent elections. In Austria this month, the far-right Freedom Party made massive gains in regional elections after an anti-immigrant campaign that included a "Bye Bye Mosque" Internet game. It allowed players to target virtual minarets in elegant Vienna and pastoral Alpine villages with a single word: "stop."

With climbing unemployment rates and painful spending cuts in the aftermath of the economic crisis, even mainstream leaders of the center right, including France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, are noting the growing anti-immigration undercurrent. Through measures including a ban on the full-length veils worn by conservative Muslim women, critics say, Sarkozy is seeking the support of the far-right backers of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the French nationalist who made a strong presidential bid in 2002.

Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued her toughest line yet on immigrants. For weeks, Merkel has condemned Thilo Sarrazin, a former Central Bank board member turned folk hero in Germany who penned a shocking bestseller arguing that Turkish and Kurdish immigrants are genetically inferior.

But the book also ignited a debate in Germany over the unwillingness of many immigrants - particularly Muslims - to integrate. Merkel last week appeared to side with immigration critics, saying at a party conference that Germany's experiment to build a "multicultural" nation had "failed, absolutely failed."

The long-liberal lands of Scandinavia and the Netherlands are also seeing a nationalist party renaissance. Last week, a conservative Dutch government came to power with the support of the anti-Islamic party of Geert Wilders, who is standing trial on a charge of inciting racial hatred against Muslims. In exchange for his support, Wilders extracted promises that the new government would take dramatic steps to curb immigration and follow the French in banning full-length Muslim veils.

In recent months, right-wing and nationalist parties have also consolidated or are now poised to expand their power in Denmark, Norway and Finland.

Farther south, Italy's Northern League - which is already part of the government's ruling coalition and has opposed the construction of a mosque in Milan - won key victories in Venice and Piedmont last March.

"In many parts of Europe, the debate over immigration and Islam are now the same thing," said Lisa Bjurwald, an author and journalist based in Stockholm who has written about Muslim immigration.
Influx touches nerve

The number of immigrants in Sweden rose from 58,000 in 2000 to 102,000 last year, including refugees from Somalia and Iraq. Last year, 1.3 million people out of Sweden's population of 9.3 million were foreign-born.

The influx has touched a nerve in communities like Almgarden, a blue-collar suburb of cement-block apartment buildings and well-tended green parks outside Malmo in the Swedish south.

Tensions are running high in this traditionally more-conservative part of Sweden. Police are more frequently clashing with Muslim youths in one immigrant neighborhood; during a riot last year, dozens of angry teens torched cars and broke shop windows.

After the shootings in Malmo, authories warned immigrants to be extra vigilant. Police have not revealed details about suspects, saying only that they are looking for at least one male and that the crimes appear to be racially motivated.

The case has echoes of the "Laser Man" shootings here in the 1990s that took place around the time another far-right party briefly managed to enter the Swedish parliament. Starting in summer 1991, John Ausonius - known as Laser Man for his rifle's red-laser targeting system - shot 11 immigrants, killing one, before being caught and sentenced to life in prison in 1994.

The Swedish Democrats earned only 2 percent of the vote in liberal Stockholm but 35 percent in Almgarden.

"It isn't racist to want to preserve your culture," said Leif Johansson, a 64-year-old carpenter. "I'm open to immigration, but these people come without a thought to integration, no interest in learning Swedish or being part of Swedish society."

Indeed, the Swedish Democrats, like more and more nationalist parties in Europe, have tried to go mainstream, purging former white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Ekeroth, for instance, has a Jewish mother and strongly backs Israel. In addition, he said the Swedish Democrats no longer oppose gay rights, and he cites instances of gay-bashing committed by Muslims in Sweden to bolster his party's position on immigration. The party doubled its support from the last elections to almost 6 percent of the vote in September, allowing it to sit in parliament for the first time.

The Swedish Democrats are denounced as xenophobes by the ruling center-right coalition, which has vowed not to cooperate with their agenda. Nevertheless, even the government is rethinking parts of Sweden's immigration policy, among the most liberal in the world.
Voting from fear

While there have long been vocal anti-immigrant groups in Sweden, most Swedes in recent decades have embraced "multiculturalism," or the notion that immigrants have the right to preserve their language, customs and values.

But with a recent poll showing that 73 percent of Swedes consider the lack of integration a problem, the government is set to announce a new measure in December that would compel more immigrants to learn Swedish.

In addition, one of the major coalition parties is supporting a more limited ban on full-length Muslim veils in schools and this month came out against a panel recommendation that all major religions should be given equal time in lesson plans, saying Christianity should maintain a special status in Swedish schools.

In Stockholm's predominantly immigrant neighborhood of Rinkeby, the mood in the kebab houses and coffee shops is still one of shock at the success of the Swedish Democrats.

But Alma Adan, a 32-year-old Somali immigrant and youth counselor, said the Muslim community should also look inward. New immigrants, she said, should settle across Sweden, not just in neighborhoods like Rinkeby, and learn Swedish. Through workshops and counseling, she is trying to help young Muslims - including those who rioted in her neighborhood this summer, burning down a school building and setting cars on fire - feel more at home in their adopted homeland.

"That vote was about fear," she said, referring to support for the Swedish Democrats. "Fear among Swedes that their country is being taken away from them. But it is up to us to show them that this is not the case."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Christian leader who styled himself 'Black Jesus' convicted of raping young 'flower girls'

The Independent (UK)

Tari had thousands of village followers, including a core of armed warriors to protect him, in what is commonly referred to in PNG as a 'cargo cult'.

As part of his 'culture ministry' Tari preached the young girls were to be married to him as it was God's prophecy.

One woman told police that she was present when Tari killed her young daughter by slitting her throat after which he drank her blood.

Interviewed in Madang's Boen Prison a year later after his dramatic capture, Tari defended his practice in the black arts and of sleeping with young girls who joined his cult, admitting that 'I got plenty - 430 girls'.

But he added: 'What I did is under and in line with my religion. It was religious and was not wrong.'

But when Tari appeared before Judge David Cannings this week he was convicted on four rape charges.

He will be sentenced later this month and police said they expected him to receive a long term in jail.

Tari had gathered more than six thousand 'disciples' as he travelled through villages in jungle-clad mountains,.

He dressed in long white robes and stood on boulders declaring that he was the modern Jesus.

But when word spread that he had sacrificed three young women, drinking their blood and eating part of their flesh as part of his bizarre ceremonies, the devotion of his followers began to turn to fear.

Added to concerns were claims by the relatives of a mother who was said to have fallen under his spell and drank her own daughter's blood.

A Mail investigation in the remote villages of Papua New Guinea heard claims from relatives of 13-year-old Rita Hemen that she had been stripped naked, tied to a crude bed and raped by Tari before having her throat cut.

Her relatives said her blood had been drained into a coconut shell and drunk by Tari and his evil henchmen - and in a final horrific act they had eaten strips of her flesh.

Tari's wickedness came to an end when he reached the village of Matepi, where he was overpowered while sleeping in a hut.

A church pastor, Paul Makura, said it had been difficult for police to catch Tari as he never stayed long in one place.

'When he came here we heard that he had killed young women so we put a plan into action. We encouraged him to stay on and when he went to a hut to rest a group of eight villagers broke in, pounced on him and tied him up.'

Heavily armed police who made their way to Matepi found Tari tied to a tree. There was no sign of his bow-and-arrow-carrying bodyguards who, on a previous occasion, had engaged in a fight to the death with police.

Tari was still in possession of what he called his 'magic rod' - a knife - and a battered Bible, many of the teachings of which he had denied in his own sermons.

A spokesman for the Lutheran church, which is strongly represented in Papua New Guinea, said: 'We hope that the passage of time will erase memories of what this evil man has done.'

Pakistani woman killed in Italy over arranged marriage

(AFP) – Oct 4, 2010

ROME — A Pakistani woman has died in Italy after her husband beat her with a brick for opposing the arranged marriage of her daughter, triggering a wave of outrage among Italian politicians on Monday.

The daughter, 20-year-old Nosheen Butt, was hospitalised with a cranial traumatism and a broken arm after her 19-year-old brother beat her with a stick in the courtyard of their building in Novi, near the northern city of Modena.

According to Modena prosecutors' initial findings, the father Ahmad Khan Butt, a 53-year-old construction worker, threw his wife to the ground and beat her with a brick while the brother Umair attacked his sister.

"The victim did not want her daughter to have an unhappy relationship like the one that had been forced on her," said deputy Modena prosecutor Lucia Musti, who is in charge of the investigation.

"The mother and the daughter were on the same side and this could be called a 'cultural' homicide because in addition to domestic violence there is the issue of the traditions that may have motivated the crime," Musti said.

The family's three other children have been taken in by Italian social services.

The Italian political class reacted with indignation at the incident which was highly similar to the cases of a girl of Pakistani origin in 2006 and a Moroccan girl in 2009 who wanted to lead Western lives with Italian boyfriends.

Livia Turco, a senior politician in the Democrats of the Left main opposition party, condemned "arranged marriages and violence against women" on the pretext of "ethnic traditions" that she blasted as "medieval practices".

Politician Isabella Bertolini in Italy's main conservative party said that the deceased woman, Beghm Shnez, was a "martyr for freedom, a victim of obscurantism and Islamic fundamentalism".

She said that the father had been in Italy less that 10 years and was the owner of the local mosque.

Conservative lawmaker Souad Sbai of Moroccan origin said that such "intolerable barbarism" was the "result of failed integration" of the father and brother into Italian society.

It doesn’t take much to set off certain men, and when your culture and religion pretty much stipulate that you have the right to discipline the female members of your family, anger plus that ‘right’ often lead to tragedy. That’s why honor killings happen, why scorned lovers try harm the women who scorn them by burning them or throwing acid on their faces or cutting off ears and noses. That takes a lot of unbridled anger to harm another, but it happens all the time in both countries where it originates and by immigrants to other countries, where those old cultural and religious habits die hard.

And many of the reasons for killing someone are downright ridiculous. Take 20-year-old Nosheen Butt’s mother,Beghm Shnez. A Pakistani woman living in Novi, Italy with her 53-year-old husband Ahmad Khan Butt, her daughter, 19-year-old son, Umair and three other kids. The family had been living in Italy for almost ten years and Ahmad was a construction worker and owned a local mosque. Beghm lost her life after she was beaten to death with a brick by her husband because she happened to oppose the arranged marriage of Nosheen. But Beghm wasn’t the only victim here, while dad was beating mom, the brother got into the act by beating Nosheen with a stick. He broke her arm and cracked her skull, and the young woman had to be hospitalized for her injuries.

The mother was, in essence, protecting her daughter and for that she lost her life.

“The victim did not want her daughter to have an unhappy relationship like the one that had been forced on her,” said deputy Modena prosecutor Lucia Musti, who is in charge of the investigation.

“The mother and the daughter were on the same side and this could be called a ‘cultural’ homicide because in addition to domestic violence there is the issue of the traditions that may have motivated the crime,” Ms Musti said.

Now the three younger children have no mother and no father and have been placed into the custody of Italian social services.

This isn’t the first similar occurrence and it has the Italians hopping mad.

The Italian political class reacted with indignation at the incident which was highly similar to the cases of a girl of Pakistani origin in 2006 and a Moroccan girl in 2009 who wanted to lead Western lives with Italian boyfriends.

Livia Turco, a senior politician in the Democrats of the Left main opposition party, condemned “arranged marriages and violence against women” on the pretext of “ethnic traditions” that she blasted as “medieval practices”.

Politician Isabella Bertolini in Italy’s main conservative party said that the deceased woman, Beghm Shnez, was a “martyr for freedom, a victim of obscurantism and Islamic fundamentalism”.

One of the major problems is a failure of immigrant families to adapt to their new homelands, and even fellow Muslims seem to feel the same way about the lack of integration.

Conservative lawmaker Souad Sbai of Moroccan origin said that such “intolerable barbarism” was the “result of failed integration” of the father and brother into Italian society.

Old habits die hard, but there are some things that need to be addressed when immigrants move to Western countries. The religious, cultural community needs to reach out to these people to help them. After ten years in a country one would assume that they would have assimilated, but obviously not. He might have gotten off lightly in Pakistan for killing his wife, but I don’t think that will happen in Italy.

The daughter, 20-year-old Nosheen Butt, was admitted to hospital with a cranial traumatism and a broken arm after her 19-year-old brother beat her with a stick in the courtyard of their building in Novi, near the north Italy city of Modena.

According to Modena prosecutors' initial findings, the father Ahmad Khan Butt, a 53-year-old construction worker, threw his wife to the ground and beat her with a brick while the brother Umair attacked his sister.

"The victim did not want her daughter to have an unhappy relationship like the one that had been forced on her," said deputy Modena prosecutor Lucia Musti, who is in charge of the investigation.

"The mother and the daughter were on the same side and this could be called a 'cultural' homicide because in addition to domestic violence there is the issue of the traditions that may have motivated the crime," Ms Musti said.

The family's three other children have been taken in by Italian social services.

The Italian political class reacted with indignation at the incident which was highly similar to the cases of a girl of Pakistani origin in 2006 and a Moroccan girl in 2009 who wanted to lead Western lives with Italian boyfriends.

Livia Turco, a senior politician in the Democrats of the Left main opposition party, condemned "arranged marriages and violence against women" on the pretext of "ethnic traditions" that she blasted as "medieval practices".

Politician Isabella Bertolini in Italy's main conservative party said that the deceased woman, Beghm Shnez, was a "martyr for freedom, a victim of obscurantism and Islamic fundamentalism".

She said that the father had been in Italy less that 10 years and was the owner of the local mosque.

Conservative lawmaker Souad Sbai of Moroccan origin said that such "intolerable barbarism" was the "result of failed integration" of the father and brother into Italian society.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Conversion of non-Muslim places of worship into mosques

Conversion of non-Muslim places of worship into mosques began during the life of Muhammad and continued during subsequent Islamic conquests and under the Muslim rule. As a result, numerous Hindu temples, churches, synagogues, the Parthenon and Zoroastrian temples became mosques. Wikipedia

April 2, 2007
Old Church Becomes Mosque in Uneasy Britain
New York times

CLITHEROE, England — On a chilly night this winter, this pristine town in some of Britain’s most untouched countryside voted to allow a former Christian church to become a mosque.

The narrow vote by the municipal authorities marked the end of a bitter struggle by the tiny Muslim population to establish a place of worship, one that will put a mosque in an imposing stone Methodist church that had been used as a factory since its congregation dwindled away 40 years ago.

The battle underscored Britain’s unease with its Muslim minority, and particularly the infiltration of terrorist cells among the faithful, whose devotion has challenged an increasingly secular Britain’s sense of itself.

Britain may continue to regard itself as a Christian nation. But practicing Muslims are likely to outnumber church-attending Christians in several decades, according to a recent survey by Christian Research, a group that specializes in documenting the status of Christianity in Britain.

More conspicuous than ever in both the halls of power and in working-class neighborhoods, Britain’s 1.6 million Muslims, about 2.7 percent of the population, are at once alienated and increasingly assertive.

In Clitheroe, the tussle involved a passionate young professional of Pakistani descent coming up against the raw nerves of tradition-bound local residents.

“We’ve been trying to get a place of worship for 30 years,” said Sheraz Arshad, 31, the Muslim leader here, his voice rattling around the empty old Mount Zion Methodist Church that will house his mosque. “It’s fitting it is a church: it is visually symbolic, the coming together of religions.”

With a population of 14,500, a Norman castle and an Anglican church established in 1122, Clitheroe is tucked away in Lancashire County in the north. People here liked to think they represented a last barrier to the mosques that had become features in surrounding industrial towns. But Clitheroe had not bargained on the determination of Mr. Arshad, a project manager at British Aerospace. He is the British-born son of Mohamed Arshad, who came to Clitheroe from Rawalpindi in 1965 to work at the cement works on the town’s outskirts.

When his father died in 2000, leaving his efforts to establish a mosque for the approximately 300 Muslims unfulfilled, Mr. Arshad took up the challenge.

“I thought, why should I be treated any less well?” Mr. Arshad said. “One quarter of my salary goes in tax, too. I was driven to do the mosque.”

In all, Mr. Arshad and his father made eight applications for a mosque, and even proposed buying a modest terrace house on the edge of town to be used for worship. Mr. Arshad said he tried to buy land from the council but was rebuffed.

Often there was booing at council meetings, and, he said, cries of “Go home, Paki!”

The authorities’ official reasoning for the rejections was generally that a mosque would attract outsiders — a veiled reference to Muslims — to Clitheroe.

Letters to the local newspaper, The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times, warned that what had happened in Blackburn and Preston, two bigger nearby industrial towns with substantial Muslim populations, would happen to Clitheroe.

Mr. Arshad decided to get organized and demonstrate that he was a moderate Muslim who could take part in all the town’s affairs.

He formed an interfaith scout group — Beaver Scouts — that honored many religious occasions, including the Taoist and Jewish new years. He established the Medina Islamic Education Center as an interfaith group for adults, and persuaded the local council to allow the group to lead a key committee. He organized a series of lectures on global conflict that attracted important academics.

On Dec. 21, the night of the vote on the mosque, the council chambers overflowed with 150 people. The police were poised outside. The vote was 7 to 5 for the mosque; there was no violence.

“I went in resigned to the fact we would lose,” Mr. Arshad said. “In the end, it was very humbling.”

The church’s demarcation as a place of worship in the town’s planning records helped carry the day, said Geoffrey Jackson, chief executive of Trinity Partnership, a social welfare agency, and a Methodist who backed Mr. Arshad.

So did Mr. Arshad’s demeanor. “He’s a top lad, with a Lancashire accent, born and bred here, and educated at Clitheroe Grammar,” Mr. Jackson said.

But the fight is hardly over. Beneath the official vote lies a river of resentment among those who fear that the broader patterns in Britain will emerge here. In one sign of the tensions, some of the church’s windows have been smashed.

“There was so much opposition,” said Robert Kay, a hired driver. “The people who were for the mosque were those who were not going to end up with it on their doorstep.”

The Mount Zion Methodist Church became a factory for making scarves for export to the Middle East in the 1960s, when Christian church-going in Britain had already begun to decline.

Today, Britain has fewer than 500,000 practicing Methodists, and of its Christians, only about 6 percent are regulars at church, according to Peter Brierley, executive director of Christian Research. Though numbers for comparison are not known precisely, most agree that Britain’s Muslims are far more regular mosque attendants.

The symbolic encroachment of Islam at the pinnacles of British power is already clear. At Oxford University, town residents recently but unsuccessfully fought the building of a Center for Islamic Studies, and in the House of Lords the number of Muslim members has gone from none to seven during the decade of the Labor government.

In working-class neighborhoods, the differences are stark between white Britons and immigrant Muslim Asians, who began arriving in significant numbers from former British colonies in Pakistan and Bangladesh in the 1970s. The whites are less likely to marry, and they bear more children out of wedlock, trends many Muslims, who put stock in intact families, find disturbing.

The high rate of alcohol consumption among whites sets the groups apart, too. In Blackburn and Preston, increasing numbers of neighborhoods have become exclusively Muslim, and the growing influence of the conservative Wahhabi school of Islam is more and more apparent among women who wear black robes and cover all but their eyes.

In Blackburn, the constituency of Jack Straw, the leader of the House of Commons, there are 30,000 Muslims among a population of 80,000. But in a telltale sign for the future, the number of children 10 years and younger is evenly divided between Christian and Muslim.

It is those demographics, and the visibility of Blackburn’s 40 mosques alongside the ancient Christian church spires, that frightened the mosque opponents in Clitheroe.

As Mr. Arshad makes plans to renovate the church, Clitheroe’s Christians are taking stock.

At St. Mary Magdalene Church, where the first stone was laid in the 12th century, the congregation has dropped to about 90 people on Sunday, and the average age of congregants is 75, said the Anglican vicar, Philip Dearden. Christenings are now rare, and he has only seven weddings booked for the year.

“Lancashire is the last place to see secularization in Britain,” Mr. Dearden, 64, said. “We’re seeing it now quite drastically. People don’t have a conscience about religion; they don’t come anymore.”

In the nearby town of Kendal, an Anglican vicar, Alan Billings, has written a book, “Secular Lives, Sacred Hearts: The Role of the Church in a Time of No Religion.”

He says the growing opposition to new mosques among the white population reflects an anxiety in Britain that has become more exposed since the London suicide bombings in July 2005.

“Often it’s expressed as low objections, more cars, more people,” said Mr. Billings, who is also a frequent contributor to the BBC’s religious programs. “But it is really a deeper anxiety about what is happening in society. It is the fear of what will happen to the culture and feel of Britain.”

At a Saturday gathering of about 50 believers, almost all of them white-haired, Mr. Billings warned that the church was under pressure. Islam could now be seen as an alternative to Christianity, he said.

On a recent Sunday, only one child turned up to Sunday school classes. The story books, paper and pencils lay unused as an elderly teacher tutored the 6-year-old boy in an otherwise empty room.

In contrast, Shamim Ahmed Miah, 26, a British-born mufti of Pakistani origin in Accrington, a town next to Clitheroe, teaches 30 Arabic and Koranic students, ages 5 to 15, in three sessions daily.

Mr. Miah coaxed 10 primary school students, seated at desks in a brightly lighted community center, to recite the Arabic alphabet. He handed out sheets of paper to each student for them to draw some letters. “Be gentle, this is an art,” Mr. Miah said.

Mr. Arshad is considering inviting Mr. Miah to be the imam in Clitheroe. “He’s progressive,” he said.

As for the new mosque, there will be no obvious changes to the church’s exterior, though the cross at the top will come down.

Women will be welcome to pray in the main prayer hall, “not in a cubby hole in the corner,” Mr. Arshad said.

“We don’t want a dome,” he said. “That looks pretty in Egypt and Turkey, but in a market town in England it looks like a big onion. There will be no external call to prayer. What matters is what goes on inside.”

300 years Old Church in Turkey was Converted to Mosque with One Petition

Church converted into a Mosque - Formerly St. Marks Cathedral in England

1743 French Protestant Church converted to Mosque

Colosse, Turkey the Eastern Orthodox church was converted to a mosque in 1945

Belgium's dwindling churches to be converted into mosques

The struggle against jihad

While Muslim parents pack public meetings with pronouncements that 'Islam is a religion of peace,' their sons and daughters are being taught something else

By Tarek Fatah and Salma Siddiqui,
Citizen Special
August 31, 2010

Relatives and supporters of men charged with planning terrorist attacks in the Toronto area arrive for a bail hearing in 2006. Community leaders often decry bad 'behaviour' and denounce 'terrorism,' but fail to take on the jihadist ideology that is poisoning Muslim youth.

Relatives and supporters of men charged with planning terrorist attacks in the Toronto area arrive for a bail hearing in 2006. Community leaders often decry bad 'behaviour' and denounce 'terrorism,' but fail to take on the jihadist ideology that is poisoning Muslim youth.
Photograph by: J.F. Moczulski, Reuters

No sooner did news of the Ottawa Terror Plot unfold on national TV, than one could predict the response of Canada's Islamists and their organizations.

Across Canada, apologists of the terror suspects repeated the same mantra. The three men arrested were portrayed as "innocent" and the wider Muslim community was positioned as the real victims of the episode. It was as if the Islamist leadership had dusted off the speaking notes from the days of the Toronto 18 trials when leader after leader stood up to claim the young men arrested were framed, not real terrorists.

As Muslim Canadians, both of us, while asking for the due judicial process to take its course, had no hesitation in condemning the rising tide of jihadi radicalism that is sweeping like a contagious disease among Muslim youth, especially of Pakistani ancestry, across Canada. However, by and large the leadership of traditional Islamist organizations and the mosque establishment repeated the now tired and clich├ę-ridden depiction of Muslims as the real victims.

Not a single imam that we have heard has mustered the courage to say, "The doctrine of armed jihad is defunct and inapplicable in the 21st century." Instead the same tired old clich├ęs were repeated about Islam being a religion of peace and denouncing terrorism, while keeping mum about jihad.

Saira Rahman, a filmmaker, told the Winnipeg Free Press, "It's so very frustrating. It's very unfair -- you're demonizing communities again and creating a situation where everyone's guilty till proven innocent." She was not alone in being in denial.

From Ottawa, the epicentre of the latest terror threat, Nazira Tareen of the Ottawa Muslim Women's Organization wrote, "99.9 per cent of them (Muslims) are law abiding, hardworking, peace loving, caring and contributing citizens of Canada. ... I personally know all the imams of all the mosques in the Nation's Capital Region and all of them are totally against this type of behaviour. We are unanimous in condemning this type of behaviour." Again condemning "behaviour," but has nothing useful to say about the underlying jihadi ideology.

Obviously Tareen was not aware of the Environics Poll of 2007 that found 12 per cent of Canada's Muslims having a favourable disposition towards the Toronto 18 terrorists and 14 per cent who identified themselves with "extremists" within the Muslim community.

This means there could be as many as 100,000 Muslim Canadians who are hostile to Canada and western civilization. A scary number by any measure.

If individual Muslim Canadians were pushing the victimhood agenda, their organizations were doing no better. The Canadian Islamic Congress, which supported the introduction of Shariah law in Canada, issued a statement saying:

"Canadian Muslims, more than other citizens, are deeply concerned and disturbed ... especially about the psychological, social and emotional impact of these arrests on the wellbeing of Canadian Muslims." One was left scratching one's head: What about non-Muslim Canadians who were allegedly the real targets of these suspected terrorists? The CIC statement went further. It expressed concern about "how these arrests would be managed in Canada and what kind of impact the media reports will have on Canadian citizens of Muslim faith." Added to the spin was the accusation of journalistic "sensationalism, prejudgment, or speculation."

Unfortunately, the Muslim victimhood agenda was helped by the leader of the Liberal Party, Michael Ignatieff, who stepped into the fray by claiming that the terror suspects need to be treated as innocent. He then made this outrageous remark: "It's important for Canadians to realize in the Toronto case, the courts acquitted many people."

Not true, Mr. Ignatieff. While charges were dropped in some cases, not a single member of the Toronto terror plot tried by the courts was acquitted. Everyone who was tried before the court was either convicted or confessed. As card-carrying Liberals, we were shocked to read how our leader was buying in to the Islamist agenda.

The Ottawa arrests have links to a Montreal Mosque, another hotbed of Islamist activity. Two of the suspects attended the Islamic Community Centre Mosque in Brossard. At the mosque too the men in charge were on the defensive, claiming no knowledge of any extremist activity.

Faisal Shahabuddin, a member of the mosque's board when asked to explain how two members of the congregation had allegedly gotten themselves involved in the terror plot, stated, "Why should I explain if we don't know it's true?"

However, this Montreal suburban mosque has had a history of Islamist activity. In September 2005, the leadership of the same mosque targeted fellow Muslim Fatima Houda-Pepin, member of the Quebec National Assembly, because she had dared to oppose Shariah law and was instrumental in moving a unanimous resolution against introducing Islamic law in Quebec.

She was intimidated and told the congregation would work to defeat her in the next elections. She won hands down. Responding to the bullying by the mosque, Fatima Houda-Pepin said, "We must not underestimate the threat posed by fundamentalists on women and the justice system."

Muslims of Ottawa are not new to the involvement of their sons in terrorism. Most are aware of the conviction of Momin Khawaja, yet continue to treat him as a victim and martyr.

The jihad that Momin Khawaja talked about in his musings is the armed jihad of warfare as clearly enunciated by such 20th-century Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood as Syed Qutb and Hassan al-Banna and Pakistan's Syed Maudoodi. It is this triad who are the ideological gurus of the world Islamist movements whose works are fanning the flames of armed jihad around the world.

As you read this column, young Islamists in campuses across Canada are distributing free booklets titled Towards Understanding Islam, written by Maudoodi. In the booklet, Maudoodi exhorts ordinary Muslims to launch jihad, as in armed struggle, against non-Muslims.

"Jihad is part of this overall defence of Islam," he writes. In case the reader is left with any doubt about the meaning of the word "jihad," Maudoodi clarifies: "In the language of the Divine Law, this word (jihad) is used specifically for the war that is waged solely in the name of God against those who perpetrate oppression as enemies of Islam. This supreme sacrifice is the responsibility of all Muslims."

Maudoodi goes on to label Muslims who refuse the call to armed jihad as apostates:

"Jihad is as much a primary duty as are daily prayers or fasting. One who avoids it is a sinner. His every claim to being a Muslim is doubtful. He is plainly a hypocrite who fails in the test of sincerity and all his acts of worship are a sham, a worthless, hollow show of deception." If Muslim countries do not go to war against the enemies of Islam, Maudoodi says a worldwide uprising by ordinary Muslims is the answer. He writes: "Muslims of the whole world must fight the common enemy."

If Maudoodi's exhortations to jihad are not enough, we have the words of the late Hassan al-Banna being distributed in our schools and universities. Al-Banna makes it quite clear that the word "jihad" means armed conflict. He mocks those who claim jihad is merely an internal struggle; al-Banna says this redefinition of the term "jihad" is a conspiracy so that "Muslims should become negligent."

While their parents pack public meetings with pronouncements that "Islam is a religion of peace," their sons and daughters are being taught something else.

Here is what Qutb, another Egyptian stalwart of the Islamist movement and the Muslim Brotherhood, writes in his seminal work on Islam and its relationship with the West, Milestones:

"Any place where Islamic Shariah is not enforced and where Islam is not dominant becomes the Home of Hostility (Dar-ul-Harb or the West). ... A Muslim will remain prepared to fight against it, whether it be his birthplace or a place where his relatives reside or where his property or any other material interests are located."

Unless the leaders of Canadian mosques as well as the Islamic organizations denounce the doctrine of jihad as pronounced by the Muslim Brotherhood, and distance themselves from the ideology of Qutb, al-Banna and Maudoodi, their chant that "Islam means peace" will fall on deaf ears.

It will merely reinforce the suspicions of many Canadians who feel some overseas groups are pulling the strings in this carefully staged puppet show.

Tarek Fatah is the author of The Jew is Not My Enemy (McClelland & Stewart) and a host on NewsTalk 1010 Radio in Toronto. Salma Siddiqui is vice-president of the Muslim Canadian Congress and is a businesswoman in Ottawa.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Is Iran instigating Kashmir's Deadly Protests

Iranian TV's Role in Kashmir's Deadly Protests

By Yusuf Jameel/Srinagar
Sunday, Sep. 19, 2010

Time International

Last week's deadly outburst in Kashmir, sparked by reports of a Koran being desecrated in the US, claimed two dozen lives as police fired on rampaging mobs. In the wake of this summer's widespread political unrest, alleged footage of Americans tearing pages out of a Koran on Sept. 11 prompted protesters, mainly Shiite Muslims, in the Indian-controlled territory to defy curfews, torch a Christian school and try to burn another. Government officials believe Iran's Press TV, which is popular among Kashmir's Shia, played a major role in instigating the violence.

"It is surprising that only this television channel [Press TV] based in Iran showed one unknown individual without verification or any authenticity desecrating the holy Koran," said the region's Chief Secretary S. S. Kapoor, who added that the broadcast "seems to be a deliberate act and conspiracy to instigate innocent sentiments of people." (See Kashmir's new warriors.)

He announced a ban on airing Press TV across the predominantly Muslim region, where anti-India sentiments run high and often find expression on the streets. Press TV, which claimed that the Muslim holy book had been torn up and burned in Washington as well as in other US cities, criticized the ban, saying the channel's popularity in Kashmir over the past three months has made Indian authorities nervous.

Press TV had also broadcast a message from Iranian leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei, who talked about the "insane, hateful, and disgusting insult to the holy Koran in the US," alleging the desecration took place under police protection and describing it as a calculated move by centers that have pursued the policy of Islamophobia and anti-Islamism for many years.

He cautioned Muslims, however, not retaliate by attacking what is held sacred in other religions. "Public discord among Muslims and Christians is exactly what the enemies and those who planned this insane theater desire," he said. "And what the Holy Koran has taught us is the opposite of what they did."

But his plea was ignored by his followers in Kashmir.

Shiite protesters went after symbols of Kashmir's tiny Christian minority, whose numbers total just 25,000 out of the Indian region's population of more than 11 million. People from Shiite-dominated villages in the Baramulla district walked long distances to target the hilly township of Tangmarg, where they committed arson and other acts of violence including torching C.M.S Tyndale Biscoe Memorial School, which was started by Christian missionaries in 1880. (See Time's video on Kashmir's online revolution.)

Witnesses in Tangmarg said Ali Muhammad Sofi, a local leader of the ruling National Conference (NC), and his son spoke to the protesters in the town's main square and helped whip them into frenzy. Police shot and killed one protestor, sparking another surge of anger, in which several government buildings and vehicles and other public property were damaged or set ablaze. As police tried to quell the mob, six more protesters were killed. Bashir Manzar, a local editor, said in an interview that Tangmarg residents tried to resist the outsiders but were outnumbered.

Elsewhere in the region, 15 people were killed in clashes with security forces, including three who were shot dead in Mendhar, a town with a sizeable Shiite population.

The police authorities, however, chose to blame the violence on separatists, with some government officials claiming that vested interests including the separatists capitalized on the reported Koran desecration in order to stir up mayhem.

Some analysts, on the other hand, see in last week's happenings another expression of the Indian Kashmir population's protracted political discontent. (See pictures of the new Kashmir protestors.)

"The situation in Kashmir was already volatile," said Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a professor of human rights and international law at the Kashmir University, Srinagar. As the holy month of Ramadan was drawing to a close, he added, "failure of the government to take any measures on the eve of Eid al-Fitr to address the situation has catalyzed the cycle of violence."

Meanwhile, separatist leaders in Kashmir worried that the attacks on Christian schools would help the Indian government — which has on several occasions floated the idea that radical Islamist groups are behind the stone-throwing protests — justify the use of extreme force by the police. In June, after a 17-year-old student was fatally struck by a tear gas shell, more than 70 enraged civilians were killed by police firings.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the region's chief Muslim cleric and chairman of a faction of separatist Hurriyat (Arabic and Urdu for "freedom") Conference alliance, doesn't want the recent Koran-related incidents to overshadow Kashmir's struggle for independence from India. He went on TV and urged people to "maintain calm and not to resort to violence over the alleged desecration of Koran in the US as that would only harm our otherwise just cause."