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Monday, June 27, 2011

Prison sentences for over 500 Ethiopian Muslims responsible ror burning down churches, Christian homes


International Christian Concern has learned that Ethiopian courts sentenced 579 Muslims to prison terms ranging from three months to 18 years for taking part in violence against Christians that left one dead, and 69 churches and several Christian homes burned to the ground in Asendabo and surrounding areas.

An additional 107 individuals are accused of terrorism for their roles in the attacks against the Christians and the public prosecutors have brought charges against them in federal court.  Eight individuals suspected to be among the masterminds of the violence are still at large and Ethiopian authorities are searching for them.

The violence against Christians started on March 2 and continued for a week. ICC was the first organization to break the news about the attacks, warning of the impending destruction. Our supporters responded to the plight of the victims by providing for their emergency needs and signing a petition seeking justice on their behalf.

Speaking to ICC, an Ethiopian church leader said, “I am glad that the rule of law prevailed and the church has finally got protection from the government. The judges who looked at these cases have delivered justice. We are happy that the truth has finally been revealed.”

Ethiopia is a Christian majority country and was one of the first nations to accept Christianity. However, in the areas of the country where Muslims are the majority, Christians face attacks.

“We welcome the decision of Ethiopian courts. We hope that the decision sends a strong message to radical Muslims that violence against innocents will not go unpunished. We would like to thank those who helped the victims through their prayers, their gifts, and their signatures on ICC’s petition seeking justice on behalf of the victims,” said Jonathan Racho, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa.

Christians at Risk: A Jew's Concern

I read with dismay the reports of repeated assaults on Copts in Egypt.
Here's a Wall Street Journal account (June 11):

Five weeks after the fall of the Egyptian regime, Ayman Anwar Mitri's [a member of the Christian Coptic minority] apartment was torched. When he showed up to investigate, he was bundled inside by bearded Islamists...[who] accused him of having rented the apartment - by then unoccupied - to loose Muslim women...They beat him with the charred remains of his furniture. Then, one of them produced a box cutter and...amputated Mr. Mitri's right ear.

"When they were beating me, they kept saying: 'We won't leave any Christians in this country,'" Mr. Mitri recalled in a recent interview.

Earlier reports this year spoke of a destroyed church in Soul, 20 miles from Cairo, and the mass evacuation of Christians from the village, as well as the New Year's Day bombing of an Alexandria church, leaving 25 Christians dead and scores wounded. And that's only for starters.

Discrimination, distrust, and paranoia feed the troubling climate. Rumors spread like wildfire. A Christian has allegedly abducted a Muslim and tattooed her with a cross. A Muslim disappears and Christians are accused of violence. An intermarriage triggers fear that Christians are trying to subvert the majority population.

Egypt, of course, has been heavily in the political news in recent months. Unrest in the streets led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. The spirit of Tahrir Square captured the imagination of many. Talk of a new dawn in Egypt has been widespread.

But if a page is to be turned in the Arab world's most populous country, it cannot come at the expense of a vulnerable minority. Copts have lived in Egypt for nearly 2,000 years and represent the largest Christian minority in the Middle East, comprising ten percent of Egypt's 83 million inhabitants.

While some Egyptians, to their credit, have spoken bravely of national unity between Muslims and Copts, they have not been able to stop the deadly assaults or lessen the widespread fear.

As a Jew, I identify with the Copts' situation.

Perhaps it's because we can write a doctoral thesis on the topic of minority status. We know all too well what it means to live in a country where legal protections are left to the whim of the authorities, not embedded in a country's DNA or democratic architecture.


Delta airlines bans Jews from American flights to Saudi Arabia

Jews and Israelis, or passengers carrying any non-Islamic article of faith, will not be able to fly Delta AirLines flights from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia under Delta's new partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Although Delta announced in January that the Saudi airline would join its SkyTeam network next year, the implications of the deal only came to light recently, according to people who have scrutinized the details.

Saudi Arabia bans anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport from entering the country, even in transit. Many Jews believe the kingdom has also withheld visas from travelers with Jewish-sounding names.

Religious items such as Bibles that are not related to Islam may be confiscated at the airport.


Egyptian Muslims torch 8 Christian homes on rumor of church construction


A mob of nearly 200 Muslims torched eight Christian homes on Saturday morning in the Upper Egyptian village of Awlad Khalaf. The attack was initiated by a rumor that a house which is being built by Wahib Halim Attia will be turned into a church. Two Christians and one Muslim were injured, no fatalities were reported.

Wahib Halim Attia obtained a license to build a house in the village on a 95 square meter plot. The house grew to an area of 350 square meters but was still on agricultural land that he owns. This gave rise to the rumor that he intended to build a church instead.

Father Weesa Azmy, the priest at St. George Church in the neighboring village of Negou Madam East, said that someone went to the City Council in Dar es Salam and told them about the irregularities in the house construction, and Wahib was ordered to remove the excess by June 24. "Instead Wahib carried on with the construction, which angered the Muslims, who decided to play God and take the law into their own hands; they attacked the construction site and other Christian homes."

According to Father Weesa, Muslims broke into the home of Ihab Tamer, who defended himself with a rifle. A Muslim who was there to help Ihab was injured by a bullet in his leg from Tamer's rifle. The matter was explained and resolved with the family of that Muslim.

According to eyewitnesses the Muslims, mostly Salafists and some youngsters, looted and torched eight homes belonging to Wahib Halim Attia and his two brothers, his three cousins and two other Copts, including Ihab Tamer.

The police arrived three hours after the looting and torching had ended.

Father Weesa said Ihab Tamer, who was in hiding after the shooting incident, contacted him and he advised him to give himself up to the police as he was acting in self-defense. "If someone sees people breaking into his home, surely he has to defend his family and himself."

The police told father Weesa, who did not witness the incident himself, that most of the attackers were teenagers between the ages of 10 and 14 years old. This was refuted by eyewitnesses. However, he said "if it is true that there were children and teens, then definitely someone else has sent them." He added he will not attend any reconciliation meetings and the rule of law must be upheld, on the Copt if found guilty and the attackers. Most of the teens and children were arrested by the police but no adults were arrested.

Police and security are now present in Awlad Khalaf village and the 30 Christian homes are being guarded, the Security Chief said tonight on the Egyptian State TV.

Senegalese youths burn church, destroy bar

Hundreds of Muslim protesters descended on a Jehovah' Witness temple and a bar in a conservative Muslim neighborhood of the Senegalese capital on Sunday, setting the buildings on fire in a rare instance of religious extremism in this normally moderate Islamic republic.

Thierno Mbeugne, spokesman for the local imam association, said the head imam in the conservative Yoff district of Dakar had asked the youth to march on Sunday against what they considered as "acts of aggression against their faith." They were targeting the temple because they claim its members were proselytizing, and the bar because it was selling alcohol.

He said the Islamic religious leaders did not endorse the violence, "but they do think that the youth were right" to destroy the church and the bar.


Nigeria: Muslim hordes mass slaughter Christians

Burned corpses with machete wounds lay in roads and smoke rose above this city where rioting broke out again Tuesday among Muslim opposition supporters who were angered by the announcement that the Christian incumbent president had won the election.

On the outskirts of Kaduna, burned out minibuses and cars littered the highways, and at least six charred bodies could be seen. Skull caps and sandals were strewn nearby, left behind by those who frantically fled amid the chaos.
Authorities and aid groups have hesitated to release tolls following the riots across northern Nigeria for fear of inciting reprisal attacks, but the National Emergency Management Agency confirmed there had been fatalities. The Nigerian Red Cross said Tuesday that nearly 400 people had been wounded.


Nigeria Boko Haram Islamists 'bomb Maiduguri drinkers'

A bomb attack in the north-eastern Nigerian town of Maiduguri has killed at least 25 people and wounded dozens, security sources say.

They say they believe the attack, which occurred in a beer garden, was carried out by the Islamist sect Boko Haram.

The group wants to establish an Islamic government in Nigeria.

It has carried out a number of bombings in north-eastern Nigeria, as well as an attack on police headquarters in the capital Abuja earlier this month.

Gunmen on two motorcycles attacked a packed beer garden late on Sunday, officials said.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood arms Ogaden rebels

Although he began his life with joining the Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria .. However, he split on the group   after a few years , he founded “Civic Egypt’s  site” on the net since about one year ago ,  and  Because between this approach and that a vast sea , and Because he grew up at the Muslim Brotherhood  school ,  raised on their  ideology.

For all of that I thought to have an interview with him about:  Why did he leave the Muslim Brotherhood?  What are their inside system of work?  Why he considers the attack on Christians is not random and not bullying, but organized process with a specific goal?  And what some religious symbols meant by (We will implement the Islamic legitimate punishment, after we own the land)? The reasons of Muslim Brotherhood refusal of any criticism to them or to their ideology and meet that with threats? , And why he affirms that the ultimate goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is “being masters of the world”?

I present to you this very exciting interview with “Moomen Sallam”, a dissident member of Muslim Brotherhood, Who is full of nice ideas and humanitarian tendencies.

- What is happening now is a process “to break the Christians”.

- Adopting the majority of Muslims now to extremist interpretations of the chapters of Quran, is Due to tow elements!

- The Relationship between “ElBaradei”, Muslim Brotherhood and the American organization of “Soros”.

Muslim Brotherhood applies the proverb “fight others with loud voice unless they beat you!”

-The Muslim Brotherhood is waiting for the opportunity to apply “Al Hedoud” (the Islamic legitimate punishment)  , Do not believe what they said about they care for the  will of the people .

- This is what Islamic spiritual guide meant with: ”we‘ll raise the society as we want, till it comes to us requesting to apply the Islamic legitimate punishment of sharia  )!

- All   unions and syndicates turned into Muslim Brotherhood political unions, and not unions with purpose of serving people.

The accusation of “scientists of Sultan (president)” has been stuck to Al-Azhar sheikhs.
- Without a culture of acceptance the other, Egypt will be moving into the abyss.

- All the talk about “Shura” within the Muslim Brotherhood groups Is “imaginary”.

- These are the groups who we named them as “central security” within the Brotherhood.

- If the “Education Department” opened its mouse, you’ll hear the sweetest “rubble”, like (Hell with Egypt, the democracy is infidelity)!

-Certainly what is happening to members of   the Muslim Brotherhood group is a “brainwashed”!

- Muslim Brotherhood is extremist and closed minded.

Moomen explains: “99% of the Muslim Brotherhood members are being recruited to the group  … While I actually joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 1987 with my choice without being recruited.

The recruitment process has its origins basis.  The process starts with a friendship between a person of Muslim Brotherhood and an ordinary person. Through this friendship, the Muslim Brotherhood member starts to promote the average person’s mind.  The process in   which   begins the transmission of the Muslim Brotherhood Ideology in the person.

And then Muslim Brotherhood member invites average person for entertainment journey … (jokes, play and laughter) … but in between, ideas and thoughts happens to be promoted to him.

You said: “till they reach to the stage of “Well we needed   to do something for Islam and we have to save the Muslims from oppression and restore the “Sharia of Allah” (Islamic legislation of God), What kind of persecution that they convince you that the Muslims are facing?

They consider “Non-implementation of Sharia” kind of oppression. The arrests of some members of their groups, they considered also a persecution against Muslims, not just the Brotherhood.

Also , they say that : “ as we  are all Muslims, so there nothing  called Egyptian, Syrian or Malaysian” , so they used to fill a Muslim Brotherhood member’s mind with thoughts like: “That Muslims are persecuted in the Philippines ,The province of Ogaden ,  in Ethiopia, beside Palestine  of course,  they are persecuted also.  Therefore, it’s required that we save our sisters and brothers in religion from the persecution.


Egypt to become a radical islamic nation


In February 11, the day Hosni Mubarak gave in to protesters’ demands and stepped down, President Barack Obama applauded the transition under way in Egypt. He placed the struggle of the Tahrir Square protesters on an “arc of justice” extending from the French revolutionaries to Martin Luther King Jr., lauding their determination. The president said he was “confident that the people of Egypt can find the answers and do so peacefully, constructively, and in the spirit of unity that has defined these last few weeks.”

Shortly after Mubarak’s regime was toppled, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry addressed the West’s naive perspective on the revolution:

[M]any of the Western world’s leaders see what is happening in Egypt as good news. They fail to see the strength of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, and some of them fail to see the broken will of America—which all the Middle East leaders see!

Many people in the West hope to see Egypt transform into a picture of democracy and peace. But what do the Egyptian people want? Are Western leaders willing to look at the reality?

A major survey by the Pew Research Center last year showed that the people of Egypt have no interest in Western-style democracy. They actually want strict Islamic rule. … A powerful Mubarak was able to control or contain the more extreme views of his own people. But that dam was broken when he resigned.

Four months after Mubarak’s ouster, it is becoming clear to more and more analysts that Egypt’s revolution was not the democratic triumph starry-eyed liberals mistook it for—and that it is, as Mr. Flurry wrote, a lunge toward the Islamist camp.

On May 29, Jerusalem Post columnist Barry Rubin wrote that Egypt is “well on its way to becoming the next Iran.” Rubin wrote this about a violent May 15 demonstration at the Israeli Embassy in Cairo in which 185 people were arrested, 18 policemen were injured, and protesters set fire to an Israeli flag (emphasis ours throughout):

The demonstration was organized on Facebook by the April 6 Youth Movement—the same “moderate” and “democratic” group so highly praised in the West for “leading” the Egyptian revolution. Asmaa Mahfouz is a leader of the movement. … Mahfouz is trying to launch a new revolution against the military rulers.

One of the reasons she’s protesting the transitional military regime is that the army protected the Israeli Embassy from being seized by the demonstrators.

President Barack Obama believes these people are the hope for the future, and backs them 100 percent. Of course, there are moderate democrats supporting the movement in Egypt, but they are few, and terrible at organizing a political structure. There is no strong moderate party running in the parliamentary elections. The Muslim Brotherhood is well-organized.

Rubin continues, saying the “dominant emotion in Egypt today is fear. The dominant response in the West is blindness.”

Rubin also expressed concern about Judge Mahmoud al-Khodeiri, the former deputy head of Egypt’s Court of Appeals, who recently praised the terrorists who bombed the pipeline that carries gas from Egypt to Israel.

[J]udges are supposed to uphold the rule of law. If a judge can cheer those who blow things up, that opens the door to supporting other acts of lawless violence. Wherever Khodheiri draws the line, others will find justification for mayhem. Attack Christians? Kill Jews? Assassinate secularists or government officials? Once lawlessness is rationalized as absolute right, there are no limits.

If judges call for violence and murder, invoking blood and treason, how might common people behave? What example is being offered to the national political culture? Obama and European leaders don’t get it. We are about to be projected back to the bad old days of radical Arab nationalist regimes competing with each other in militancy, anti-Americanism and hatred of Israel. Except this time they’re Islamists, and that’s worse.

A look at the way Egypt’s Christians have fared since the revolution provides another sobering indication of Egypt’s true post-Mubarak trajectory. The situation was tough for Egypt’s Christian minority even while Mubarak was in power, but has deteriorated since he stepped down. In Cairo alone, sectarian violence has resulted in 24 deaths, 200 wounded people, and three burned churches in recent months. This surge of sectarian violence has revealed Christian-Muslim hostility to be among the most serious threats to the country’s stability.

It has revealed that Egypt’s revolution was not a victory for democracy, but for those who want Egypt to be ruled by Islam.

As far back as July 1993, Mr. Flurry predicted that a radical shift would launch Egyptian politics toward the Islamist camp. That shift is well under way. The end result of Egypt’s revolution will not be the democratic Egypt that Western analysts had hoped for, but the birth of another radical Islamist nation.

Shari'a and violence in American Mosques

How great is the danger of extremist violence in the name of Islam in the United States? Recent congressional hearings into this question by Rep. Peter King (Republican of New York), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, have generated a firestorm of controversy among his colleagues, the press, and the general public.

Though similar hearings have taken place at least fourteen times since 2001, King was labeled a latter-day Joe McCarthy and the hearings called an assault on civil liberties and a contemporary witch-hunt.

Yet the larger dilemmas outlined by both the congressman and some of his witnesses remain: To what extent are American Muslims, native-born as well as naturalized, being radicalized by Islamists? And what steps can those who are sworn to the protection of American citizenry take that will uncover and disrupt the plots of those willing to take up arms against others for the sake of jihad?


Friday, June 3, 2011

The truth about Islam and book-burning


The burning of books is an uncivil and distasteful act no matter where and under what circumstances.

The senseless destruction of Egypt's precious ancient archives and historic texts in the Alexandria Library was one of these barbaric acts. Arab-Muslims committed this atrocity in and around the year 685 A.D., immediately after their invasion of Egypt. Many centuries' worth of pre-Islamic Egyptian and Coptic information was eradicated, leaving great gaps in history and causing many unanswered questions concerning Coptic links to Egypt's past.

Historically, Muslims have been guilty of horrendous sacrilege -- destroying priceless and irreplaceable sacred texts, places of worship, and revered icons of religions and cultures (including their own). In the year 1197, Muslims sacked the Nalanda Monastic University, the ancient center of higher learning in India. The multi-story building burned for three months when they set fire to it, presumably for the great library's lacking a copy of the Quran.

Ten years ago in early 2001, Muslims destroyed ancient Buddha statues in the Bamiyan region of Afghanistan -- an act which erased more than a thousand years of cultural heritage. On April 20, 2011, just a few months after Pastor Terry Jones announced his intention to burn a single copy of the Quran in Florida, an Arabic-language broadcast on Shia TV showed a video of three mosques and Qurans set ablaze by Muslims in Bahrain. The Muslim world never condemned these actions.

According to Muslim belief, the original Quran was written in Heaven at the time of creation and now sits at the throne of Allah, sealed and incorruptible. Therefore, in reality, no one can ever taint or destroy the Quran. The fearless Colorado resident Ann Barnhardt caught on to something like this when she pointed out in her video that a single copy of the Quran is merely the ink and paper among millions of copies around the world. Apparently, a copy of the Quran -- which, remember, Muslims accept as sealed in heaven and therefore indestructible -- is still of greater value than the life of a non-Muslim.

So what was the difference between the Bahrain Qurans and the Florida Quran? Perhaps it has something to do with suppressing Western opinions. In accordance with the agenda to subordinate the West to Islam, crying out in outrage furthers short- and long-term goals. In essence, the Muslim faith is the "best" religion and must therefore dominate every nation on earth, each with a government informed by the laws of Allah. Unfortunately, moderate Muslims around the world who call for secular government and separation of mosque and state -- not unlike those who rose up and revolted against the Mubarak regime in Egypt -- are not winning this debate within the house of Islam. As of yet, moderate Muslims and orthodox Muslims are not even holding a discourse.

Back to the Quran: interestingly, both Quran-burning and murder are rooted in the very origin of the sacred text of the Mushaf (Quran). In the first four centuries of Hegira (after Muhammad immigrated to Medina), many different versions of the one and only sacred text handed down from Allah by the angel Gabriel were written and used. According to the Islamic Encyclopedia, as many as eleven authors had competing claims to the one original text.

Having reached a total of thirty-one versions of the same divinely given Quran, one author named Osman Ebn Affan took it upon himself to burn all the written Qurans except his own version, which came to be the official Quran as we know it today. Having taken matters into his own hands to settle the conflict and confusion over authenticity, Osman was later murdered by Muhammad Ebn Abu Bakr El Sedeek for burning the books of Allah. The fact remains that the Quran Muslims use today was arbitrarily chosen for the sake of expedience and, strictly speaking, may not comprise the unique and complete verses given by Allah via his angel. However, most importantly, Islam accepts it as genuine.

Another important fact is that the Quran is not known and never has been known as the Holy Quran in Islamic countries.  In the Arabic language, which is the Quran's official language and the language of the heavenly original, Muslims refer to the Quran as the Quran Karem (meaning generous, kind, and gracious).  The Bible, however, does in fact have the word "Holy" in its title.  The fact that the Bible's title is mimicked by Quran advocates in America is significant: it contributes to the narrative adopted by the friendly American that Islamic culture is very much like our own Judeo-Christian one and suggests a desire for parity among religions.  In reality, however, dominance by Islam is the goal.

Similarly, to hear our Muslim neighbors say to us that their children will attend "Sunday School" for their Islamic religious studies, which I have heard numerous times, simply makes no sense at all.  The Arabic term "El Kutab" means a Muslim religious school for the study of the Quran.  It would be difficult to imagine a Muslim applying the Christian term "Sunday School" to religious school for the study of the Quran in a country like Egypt.  The targeted use of language belonging to the religious practice of the Infidel is a characteristic tactic to ingratiate Islamic culture to America. All in all, the appearance of Islam in America as "just like us" is manufactured; it intentionally distorts the real face of Islam. This is nothing less than stealth jihad.

A gullible and vulnerable America needs an immediate education from the proper sources (such as Egyptian Copts) about the psychological warfare of Islam so we can combat the lies now being spoon-fed to us in our churches, schools, neighborhoods, universities, and media. Let's lift the gag order of self-censorship and fear and begin to talk freely about the character and reality of Islam in America.

Pakistani sheiks call for Bible ban

Pakistani Christians reacted with dismay Thursday to campaign by radical Muslim clerics to have the Bible declared blasphemous and banned, but some said the community should respond calmly, without fear, trusting God to protect His word.

Muslims should not blame Pakistan’s Christian minority for the actions of one misguided pastor in Florida, said one activist, who also noted that even Mohammed, the 7th century Muslim prophet, had not outlawed the Bible.

A group of Muslim clerics has asked the Supreme Court of Pakistan to determine that certain passages of the Bible violate the country’s blasphemy laws, because they depict some biblical figures – whom Muslims revere as “Islamic prophets” – as flawed or immoral.

If the court does not make the declaration, the campaigners said, they would lodge an formal application for the Bible to be banned in its entirety.


Al-Shabab militants: Somali-American of Minnesota carried out suicide attack at Mogadishu base


The militant group al-Shabab says a man who carried out a suicide bomb attack at a base in Mogadishu this week was a Somali-American from Minnesota.

Al-Shabab says 25-year-old Abdullahi Ahmed attacked the African Union peacekeeping base in Somalia's capital on Monday, killing two AU troops and one government soldier. The group says on its website that Ahmed moved to Somalia from Minnesota two years ago.

The Internet report purported to quote Ahmed before his death saying that he wanted to carry out the attack because of abuses by Christians in Muslim countries.
If the report is confirmed, Ahmed will become at least the third Somali-American to have carried out a suicide bombing in Somalia.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Islamists Project Islam's worst traits onto Christians

In recent weeks, we saw how the Muslim world's obsession with gaining converts evinces, in the words of one Muslim intellectual, an "inferiority complex"--a deadly one at that.

As it happens, inferiority complex is not the only psychological ailment besetting the Muslim world: some Muslims are also projecting the worst traits of Islam onto the beleaguered Christian communities living among them.

Take Egypt's Christian Copts, for example. Much of the recent violence inflicted upon them is based on the constant--but baseless--accusation that the Coptic Church is abducting and tormenting Coptic women who convert to Islam. Amazingly, it is precisely the opposite scenario--Muslims kidnapping Christian women and forcing them to convert to Islam--that is a notorious phenomenon in Egypt.

Indeed, a bipartisan group of eighteen members of the U.S. Congress wrote last year to Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, director of the State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Office, documenting how Coptic females are increasingly subject to "fraud, physical and sexual violence, captivity, forced marriage, and exploitation in forced domestic servitude or commercial sexual exploitation, and financial benefit to the individuals who secure the forced conversion" (see Christian Solidarity International's full report on the abuse of Christian women in Muslim Egypt for complete details).

A well-known psychological phenomenon, "projection" is defined as "the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people." An academic article dealing with violence and projection states, "Projection allows the killer to project his (unacceptable) desire to kill (torture, rape, steal, dominate, etc.) onto some target group or person. This demonizes his target, making it even more acceptable to kill."

Of course, projection has long been a means to demonize Israel. Islamists accuse Israel and the Jews of living for "perpetual war," "legitimizing land theft in the name of God," and "plundering their opponent's property."

In fact, nothing less than Islam's holy law, Sharia law, mandates perpetual war, land grab, and the plundering of non-believers. Muslim scriptures, history, and current events are rife with examples; the overwhelming majority of what constitutes the Muslim world was taken by force. Only recently, popular Muslim preacher Abu Ishaq al-Huweini boasted about how jihad is one of the highlights of Islam, specifically because it allows the plundering of infidels and enslavement of their women and children.

Yet, because Muslims are currently in a weakened position, they see themselves as victims--not just vis-à-vis a stronger Israel, but even small and vulnerable communities like the Copts.


Islamic Schools of Child Sexual Abuse

Recently released American diplomatic cables have revealed Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirate donors to be spending $100 million a year to fund a Pakistani network of jihadist religious schools. While these Islamic schools — known as madrassas — are better known as places to recruit and train young boys and girls as terrorist fighters and suicide bombers, they have other equally disturbing uses.

Madrassas have been cited as major links to terrorist organizations, providing militant groups juvenile recruits, organizational bases, transit points and military training. While wealthy Arab donors have long been suspected of funding them, the diplomatic documents also pointed to direct active support by both the Saudi Arabian and UAE governments.

Most of the funds in question were sent to madrassas in Pakistan’s Punjab province. Despite a reputation as the most moderate of Pakistani provinces, reports from 2008 have claimed anywhere from 5,000 to 9,000 Punjab children to be fighting in Afghanistan.

In either case, the Pakistanis, according to the cables, reportedly turned a fearful blind eye to the issue, stating “The provincial and federal governments, while fully aware of the problem, appear to fear direct confrontation with these extremist groups.”

According to the cable the juveniles — as young as age 8 — were being recruited from mostly large, poverty stricken families. As such, each child’s family would receive a $6500 compensation as well as “God’s favor,” if the child happened to be martyred along the way.

Once enrolled in the madrassa, children would then be isolated from direct contact with the outside world and “taught sectarian extremism and hatred for non-Muslims.” After several months of indoctrination, they would then be sent to more established training camps before going on to wage jihad, either as combat insurgents or as suicide bombers.


Ugandan legislation pits Muslims vs. Christians over power of courts

Christians call a proposed religious law a sly attempt to favor Muslims in this predominantly Christian country and warn that it could promote Islamic fundamentalism. Muslims say the reaction to the bill just shows Islamophobia.

The Muslim Personal Law bill - which would give more power to Islamic Kadhi courts for Muslims on matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance - is straining relations between Uganda’s two largest religious groups.

Each side is vowing to resist the other to protect what both say are the fundamental rights of their respective communities.

The dispute also highlights an apparent contradiction between two sections of the Ugandan Constitution.

Muslims, who make up roughly 12 percent of Uganda’s 32 million people, point to Article 129 of the constitution, which explicitly allows for the creation of Kadhi civil courts. Under current law, Kadhi court decisions are not legally binding.

Christians argue that Article 129 conflicts with another section of the constitution, Article 21, which states that all people are equal under the law in all spheres of life. Institutionalizing the Islamic courts would give the country two parallel legal systems that would undermine the secular nature of the Ugandan Constitution, Christian leaders say.


Al-Qaeda on the move in Yemen

As the Yemeni government escalates its war against protestors seeking the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Islamist groups in the southern part of the country are exploiting the power vacuum caused by the chaos to gain local and regional influence while they establish themselves in cities and towns abandoned by police and the army.

Meanwhile, the embattled president has once again reneged on a promise to resign, claiming that al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists would take over the country if he left. It is a sign of how bad things are for Saleh that no one believes him. In fact, the president stands accused of ordering the abandonment of a key provincial capital to the militants in an effort to justify the continuation of his rule.

About 400 Islamic extremists have moved into the southern coastal city of Zinjibar in the lawless province of Abyan with the stated purpose of establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state in Yemen. There are conflicting reports about which group has seized this provincial capital and third largest city in the country, with some residents reporting that it is Al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which has moved in, while other press reports identify a local fundamentalist tribal group known as Ansar al-Sharia. But Yemen scholar Gregory Johnsen tweeted on Sunday that AQAP has begun calling itself by that name recently.


Egypt: ‘virginity checks’ of female protestors causes outrage


Revelations that the Egyptian army administered “virginity checks” on detained female protestors have triggered outrage since a senior general admitted the procedure in a televised interview.

Allegations of "virginity tests" first surfaced in a report by Amnesty International about a protest on March 9 in Tahrir Square in which it said 17 female demonstrators were tortured, given electric shocks and forced to submit to virginity checks.

Egyptian authorities denied the allegations but a senior general on Monday admitted to the virginity checks, according to CNN.
"The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine," he said. "These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs)."

He said the virginity checks were conducted to prevent women from later charging authorities with sexual assault.

"We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place. None of them were (virgins)," he told CNN.

The general’s views caused immediate outrage and social media feeds erupted with anger and disgust.

The Egyptian army was heralded for its role in the January uprising that saw the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

At least 846 protesters were killed, and thousands injured during the 18-day uprising, according to a government fact-finding mission.

Mr. Mubarak and his former aides are facing trial on charges of corruption, misappropriation of public funds and also ordering violence on the protestors.

But the army’s popularity was soon tested at a protest in March, organized to voice frustration over the slow pace of reform, which saw the military target the protestors—clearing Tahrir Square of demonstrators by force.

The Amnesty International report quoted detained protestors, which is where allegations of virginity tests first surfaced.

One 20-year-old hairdresser who was quoted in the report spoke of being tied up by soldiers who slapped her, shocked her with a stun gun while calling her a prostitute, according to the CNN report.

"They wanted to teach us a lesson," she said soon after the Amnesty report came out. "They wanted to make us feel that we do not have dignity."

She said the treatment she and 16 other demonstrators faced at a detention center in Heikstep only worsened: the women were strip searched in the presence of male soldiers and it was here they were all subjected to virginity tests.

"We did not agree for a male doctor to perform the test," she said but she and her colleagues were threatened with stun-gun shocks if they did not comply.

"I was going through a nervous breakdown at that moment. There was no one standing during the test, except for a woman and the male doctor. But several soldiers were standing behind us watching the backside of the bed. I think they had them standing there as witnesses," CNN quotes her as saying.

According to the senior general, 149 detainees were tried in military courts after the March 9 protest and most were sentenced to a year in prison, but the many had their sentences revoked, said CNN.

"When we discovered that some of the detainees had university degrees, so we decided to give them a second chance," he told CNN.

Egypt is scheduled to hold elections by September.

Some political groups are calling on the ruling council to delay the elections saying that a September date does not give them time to prepare for the polls and that the date favors the Muslim Brotherhood which is well-organized.

But the army has reiterated that it plans to hand over power to the civilians and return to the barracks

Sudan orders UN out of restive south

Sudan has ordered the official termination of the UN's north-south peacekeeping mission on July 9, the date the south will declare full independence, Khartoum’s official news agency said.

“Sudan has officially notified the United Nations of the end of the term of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) on July 9,” Suna said in a statement late on Saturday.

Violence in the contested border region of Abyei following the occupation on May 21 by Khartoum’s troops and tanks have raised fears the two sides could tip back into civil war.

Heavy fighting has forced thousands of people to flee southwards.