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Islamic World News ( 20 Aug 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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'Happy and Gay' in Pakistan?

India’s opposition BJP expels top leader for praising Pakistan founder Jinnah

Afghanistan elections despite Taliban terror

Attacks Bloody Afghan Vote Preparations

Fight for spoils splits Taliban

Pakistan attack is ‘an affront to God and Islam’

Secular France Piqued by Muslim Bathing Attire

Human Rights Report On Murders of Gays in Iraq

Islamic Society of Woodbury gets approval from Council

Canadian officials feared backlash to film on Islam

Dutch sack Muslim scholar over Iran government ties

India: Muslim Student Leaves College over Headscarf Row

Germany: Muslims with psychological problems face problems

Muslims must unite for Islam's saviour: Iran

Music in Muslim Spain by Salik Malik

Bosnia: Muslim spiritual leader urges more Sharia law

Victorian terrorist Kent helped make jihadist video

The Challenge of Muslim Immigration by Gary Rosenblatt

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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'Happy and Gay' in Pakistan?

Pakistani Laws Condemn Homosexuality, but Some People Are Willing to Discuss Their Sexuality Openly

It wasn't until she was 16 years old, when she'd left her Pashtun family in Peshawar for an elite school where the teachers were nuns, that Minot realized she was gay.

Pakistan Gay/Lesbians

In this file photo, Women in burqa wait in line at a repatriation centre in Peshawar, located in the North West Frontier Province on April 30, 2009.

(Adrees Latif/Reuters)

"I found out when I dated my literature teacher [a nun]," she said. "I got an A."

It is virtually unheard of in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for a lesbian to be willing to discuss her sexuality openly, especially a lesbian who is also Pashtun. The Taliban, who are overwhelmingly Pashtun and were born in Pakistan's northwest tribal areas near Peshawar, have pushed walls of bricks on top of gay Afghans.

But Minot, now 42, who asked that only her nickname be used because of societal stigma, sat recently in jeans and a T-shirt in the Pakistani city of Lahore, confidently talking about her sexuality, her girlfriends and her attempts to be with men.

"I have been with men, two men," she said. "But that was to get the confusion out of my mind. Since then," she said, pausing, "happy and gay."


India’s main opposition BJP expels its ex-foreign minister for praising Jinnah

SHIMLA | AUG 19, 2009

The ghost of Mohammed Ali Jinnah came back to haunt the BJP again. 

Two days after release of his book Jinnah-India, Partition, Independence in Delhi, which was boycotted by BJP leaders, the 71-year-old former union minister, who had held key portfolios at the centre, was expelled from the party severing his 30-year association with it.
The MP from Darjeeling, who was in his hotel room, not far away from the venue of BJP's brainstorming session of the top brass, was first told not to attend the chintan baithak and was later told over telephone that he had been expelled from the primary membership of the BJP by party President Rajnath Singh.
The decision was taken by the BJP Parliamentary Board in the opening session of the 3-day session that overshadowed the chintan baithak that was to discuss the state of affairs in the organisation in the wake of the Lok Sabha debacle and internal bickerings that have marred its image of late.
This is the second occasion on which the party has taken a tough stand against those praising Jinnah against the Sangh Parivar line. 

L K Advani was forced to quit as BJP President after his infamous trip in 2005 to Pakistan where he praised Jinnah.

Jaswant Singh, who has never been a member of the RSS, was a union minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee and had held the portfolios of External Affairs, Finance and Defence, was virtually declared a persona non grata when the entire BJP top brass and other leaders kept away from the function on Monday in the capital for the release of his book.
Singh, who had served with the Territorial Army, was elected to Lok Sabha from Darjeeling in West Bengal with the support of Gorkhaland outfit.
That things were not well with Jaswant Singh was clear this morning when he did not stir out of his hotel even after the brainstorming session began in Peterhof, the venue of the session.
His aides kept saying that he was not well and was resting. 

Earlier, Jaswant Singh had been in the news when he had circulated a note strongly critical of leaders seen as "responsible" for the Lok Sabha defeat being rewarded with positions in the Parliamentary Party. 

He was then considered to be a dissident along with leaders like Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie. 

He was reportedly upset with the appointment of Arun Jaitley as the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha and of Sushma Swaraj as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha

However, the party had sought to de-link him from the other dissidents by nominating him as the Chairman of the prestigious Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.

'He has been expelled'

BJP President Rajnath Singh, who had yesterday issued a statement totally distancing the party from Jaswant Singh's book , announced the party decision to the media.
"I had issued a statement yesterday that the party fully dissociates itself from the contents of the book. Today I put up the matter before the Parliamentary Board which decided to end his primary membership.
"So he has been expelled. From now onwards he will not be a member of any body of the party or be an office bearer," he said on the expulsion of the 71-year-old party veteran.
Rajnath Singh further said that he had told Jaswant Singh yesterday not to come to Shimla for participating in the chintan baithak.
Jaswant Singh has been having an uneasy relationship with the party leadership, particularly since the Lok Sabha elections on which he had circulated a note demanding a thorough discussion on the debacle.

'No Sin against the party or the country'

Reacting to the party decision, a visibly emotional Jaswant Singh said he had been "thrown out of a house in which he lived for 30 years" for committing no no "sin" against the party or the country.

"30 years of my political life with BJP to end on this note has saddened me and on grounds of writing a book," he said.
However, he maintained, "I am convinced that I have committed no no sin. None whatsover against India or the party," he said adding he had no no regrets about writing the book that led to his expulsion.

To a question about his expulsion for writing the book on Jinnah but at the same time Advani continuing in positions after his infamous trip to Pakistan hailing Jinnah, Singh said "you please ask this question to Advani."
Asked if his expulsion was a result of a succession war or petty quarrels in the party, Singh said "I don't know if there is a succession war. It is something the party should decide because I am no longer in a position to talk about internal affairs of the party."
Singh said he was never a member of RSS and it was for BJP to consider the "wise counsel" of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat who had talked of the need for younger leadership in BJP.
He said Rajnath Singh called him this morning and told him not to come to the brainstorming session because "tempers are running high".
Jaswant Singh said there ought not to be selectivity on dissent and discussion. "There are members in the party who feel there is a great deal of selectivity," he said.
About the book, he said he has been punished even before it was read fully. "The day we stop reading, writing, thinking and reflecting we will be a poorer nation. More so for a political organisation if it stops reading, writing and thinking. We are entering a very very dark alley," he said.
On the book, he said Hamid Haroon, Editor-in-Chief of Pakistan daily Dawn, who had attended the book launch, had said it would set Pakistan on fire but actually it was troubling India. © Copyright PTI.


 Afghanistan elections despite Taliban terror threats

19 Aug, 2009

Special thanks to Sergeant 1st Class Michael J. Carden, United States Army, for the information submitted to the National Association of Chiefs of Police's Terrorism Committee.

When Afghans go to the polls to cast their votes on Thursday, August 20, they'll see Afghans providing their own security, not US or NATO forces, according to Sergeant Michael Carden of the American Forces Press Service.

Carden provided a video news conference today from Kabul with Australia's Brigadier General Damien Cantwell, chief of the election task force for NATO's International Security Assistance Force. The conference stressed that the Afghan security forces are completely in charge of planning and implementing security efforts for the elections.

"Afghan security forces have committed themselves fully across the country with the intent to provide all they can within their resource limitations in terms of manpower and other capabilities to ensure that the best possible security picture is able to be presented to the community," Gen. Cantwell said.

Full Report At:


Attacks Bloody Afghan Vote Preparations

18 Aug, 2009

KABUL – Only two days to the landmark presidential and provincial council elections, Taliban fighters struck in different parts of Afghanistan on Tuesday, August 19, killing election personnel, US soldiers and civilians. "Taliban ambushed the provincial candidate and he was killed," Khalil Aminzada, the police chief in the remote northern province of Jawzjan, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Abdul Rahim, one of 72 candidates standing for the provincial council, was shot dead in a the province, which is relatively sheltered from Taliban who focus their attacks in the south and east.

At least three other provincial candidates, from a field of more than 3,000, have been killed ahead of Thursday’s election day.

About 17 million registered voters are due to select 420 provincial councillors in 34 provinces and a new president.

Incumbent West-backed Hamid Karzai, in powers since shortly after the 2001 US-led invasion, is the frontrunner but could be forced into a run-off against his popular former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah.

Taliban, ousted by the Americans from power eight years ago, has been leading a guerrilla war against the US-led and government troops, with violence now at record highs.

It fighters have threatened to attack the 223-million-dollar election, warning voters to stay away from the polls.

Full Report At:


Fight for spoils splits Taliban

19 Aug, 2009

PESHAWAR: As various militant groups fight it out to inherit about two billion rupees in cash and weaponry left behind by Baitullah Mehsud, government and security officials say it will take the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan a considerable time to rebuild and recover from a shocking blow to its leadership.

 ‘The cracks within the TTP are all too visible. In classical counter-insurgency terms, the fissures within the TTP conglomerate suggest that their decline has started. We are over the hump,’ a senior security official with considerable experience in counter-terrorism told Dawn.

 ‘There is a struggle for the leadership and this would include the struggle for power, territory, stature and resources,’ a senior military official said.

And signs of fissures within the TTP are all too evident, these officials said. The TTP has not been able to choose a new leader. Indeed, different accounts speak of a shootout at a shura meeting in Makeen soon after Baitullah’s death to choose his successor, between Waliur Rehman and Hakeemullah, two top aides of the slain militant commander.

Subsequently, two militant groups clashed in the Orakzai tribal region followed by an ambush of a group of militants associated with Wana-based Maulvi Nazir in the Mehsud-dominated region in South Waziristan.

 ‘The TTP will not be the TTP it was. Their time is up. We feel that the threat to national security is receding,’ a cautious military official said.

Formed in Dec 2007, the TTP has been able to accumulate resources and strength at such a lightning speed that it baffled and stunned the national security apparatus that eventually declared its leader a national enemy after trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to rope him in through flawed peace deals.

Full report at:


Pakistan attack is ‘an affront to God and Islam’

By: George Conger. 18 Aug, 2009

The recent attack on the Christian village of Gojra in Pakistan must be denounced by all Christians and Muslims as an affront to God, the C-1 World Dialogue group of religious leaders has declared.

            Pakistan attack is ‘an affront to God and Islam’

On Aug 9, the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres and the Grand Mufti of Egypt Dr Ali Gomaa released a statement on behalf of the interfaith group saying “murder, arson and theft committed in the name of God is both a crime and sacrilege.”

The “perpetrators of this attack” had committed crimes “not only against Christians but against Pakistan and beyond even that, against the honour and dignity of Islam,” they said.

They called for the government to bring the killers to justice and to provide “security and protection for all religious minorities.” “False rumours” of the desecration of a Koran “were used to inflame those who launched the attack,” they said.

 “It is important that what is sacred in religion should not be abused, but it is also vital that there is proper protection from false and malicious allegations and such formal protections as this may require. We call upon all pastors and imams in every mosque and church to speak out against these deeds and to spread the true message of cooperation harmony and peace,” the C-1 World Dialogue group said.

They urged all religious leaders to teach “the message of tolerance and cooperation so that we can overcome differences and together build a more secure future for all.”

Full report at:


Secular France Piqued by Muslim Bathing Attire

By Martin Barilla 18 Aug, 2009

A woman in France, a convert to Islam, was turned away from a public pool for wearing a burkini: the Muslim answer to the more liberal bikini.

The debate over Muslim attitudes regarding clothing, especially for women, took another turn in France when on August 1 a woman was refused admission to a public swimming pool in a Parisian suburb. The citizen identified as “Carole” had previously frequented the pool but was this time turned back by administrators who decided that her bathing costume, which some call "a burkini," was not acceptable.

In a country famed for its topless beaches and sun-loving bathers, Carole was turned away for wearing a garment that revealed nothing but her face, hands, and feet, much in the tradition of Muslim countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia that impose strict dress codes on women.

Having been previously allowed to bathe at the pool in her aquatic hijab, Carole went to the nearest police station to file a complaint that she had been subjected to illegal “segregation.” Said the convert to Islam, “I understand that it is something that may come as a surprise, but what bothers me the most is that they would have me believe that it is a political problem.” Carole is planning to file suit against the the town of Emerainville, which operates the pool.

One of the pool administrators gave assurances that “under no circumstances” should the affair be understood as a “political or religious matter” but instead a matter of “hygiene.” As for using other services provided by the community, such as the public library, the same administrator said that Carole is welcome to wear a veil there. He also admitted that there had been an error in previously allowing the Muslim woman to swim in her burkini.

Full Report At:


Human Rights Report On Murders Of Gays In Iraq

By Steve Inskeep 18 Aug, 2009

Possibly having run out of other people to kill for the moment, Iraq's Shiite militias are turning on gay men. That's the conclusion of a Human Rights Watch report out this week.

The report is painful to read. It begins with the words of an Iraqi man describing the abduction, murder, and mutilation of his partner -- and it's not clear from the description if the three events happened in that order. Like many HRW reports it appears to be based on the specific, detailed accounts of survivors and eyewitnesses. Homosexuality in Iraq is so thoroughly submerged that according to the report there is not even a commonly accepted term for it, no Iraqi equivalent of "gay." Nevertheless it has become a major focus for Iraqi militiamen, who have waged a "killing campaign" to eliminate what some consider it a social disease brought by the American army.

For anyone who may be tempted to think that HRW is just superimposing Western values on a Muslim country, the report goes on to allege that murders are disallowed under the tenets of Islam. The authors of the HRW report took the trouble to look up Islamic law on the subject. Muslim jurisprudence, they write, "considers homosexual conduct between men a crime," punishable by anything ranging from a warning to death.

Yet it would appear that even a conservative reading of Islam offers some safeguards for people suspected of violating religious dictates. There must be substantial evidence for their behavior. There are even more requirements before a serious punishment can be imposed. A false allegation can lead to punishment for the accuser.

It is hard to believe that a man whose body was thrown in the garbage received the due process to which he was entitled even under religious law. And it goes without saying that he received no protection at all from the actual civil authorities in Iraq.


Islamic Society of Woodbury gets approval from Council

By: Hank Long 18 Aug, 2009

Organizers for the center needed to seek a conditional-use permit because the property is zoned for industrial park use.

The city has approved a number of conditional-use permits to other tenants in the Crossroads Commerce Center including Spirit of Life Church, Executive Automotive and K-9 Connection.

Representatives for the Islamic Society of Woodbury said they plan to open this fall. The organization will function as a community gathering place and worship center.

Tags: islamic society of woodbury, conditional use permit, local news, woodbury, city, council

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Canadian officials feared backlash to film on Islam: reports

By Stewart Bell 18 Aug, 2009

Canadian security officials closely monitored last year's release of a Dutch film about Islam, fearing it could spark violent protests, documents released under the Access to Information Act show.

The National Post has obtained copies of seven intelligence reports, circulated by Ottawa last year, that warn of a possible backlash against the documentary Fitna and Danish cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

"There are concerns that reprinting of the cartoons and the release of the movie could provoke the kind of violent reaction which occurred within some Muslim communities overseas when the cartoons were originally published," one of the reports says.

The Integrated Threat Assessment Centre, the federal agency that wrote the reports, typically tracks terrorist threats, but the documents show that during four months in 2008 its focus turned to cartoons and movies and whether they would incite Muslims to violence.

More than 100 died in 2006 during worldwide protests by Muslims angry about the Muhammad cartoons. The issue has resurfaced after Yale University Press said it would not include the images in a forthcoming book, The Cartoons That Shook the World, due to fears of violence.

Full report at:


Dutch sack Muslim scholar over Iran government ties

18 Aug, 2009

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch city of Rotterdam and its university have fired Swiss Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan as an adviser to the city over his involvement with groups that detractors say hurt his role as an expert on integration issues.

Ramadan is a visiting professor of theology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands' second-largest city.

Rotterdam's mayor is Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Muslim who was formerly junior minister for social affairs and who has vowed to ease tensions between the city's native Dutch and a growing immigrant population.

Ramadan was criticized after media reported last week he was hosting a weekly television show on broadcaster Press TV, which Rotterdam says is financed by the Iran government.

"Although there is no doubt about the personal effort of Tariq Ramadan, both boards (of the city and the university) find this indirect relation with this repressive regime or even to be associated with it, not acceptable," the city of Rotterdam said

in a statement, published on its website on Tuesday.

Full report at:


India: Muslim Student Leaves College over Headscarf Row

The Huffington Post 18 Aug, 2009

A Muslim girl who was asked by her college near Mangalore, India, to stop wearing her headscarf to class due to classmates' complaints has left her studies as a result, NDTV reports.

The Mangalore College has defended its request, saying it did so not on the basis of any personal issues but because they wish to quell tensions between Muslim and Hindu students.

The college principal said, "It is one rule for all students. She is the only one not following the rule."

There have been an increasing number of reports about Hindus and Muslims being asked not to speak to one another or to eat together in restaurants, NDTV reports.

Confrontations between Muslim and non-Muslims revolving around traditional Muslim dress have been surfacing in recent weeks.

A Paris pool refused entry to a Muslim woman recently for showing up in a burqini, swimwear resembling a wetsuit which covers the body from head to toe and incorporates a hood. She had been previously admitted to the same pool but on the latter occasion was told she could not enter unless wearing traditional swimming attire.

Earlier this summer, young pregnant Muslim woman Marwa al-Sherbini was stabbed to death in a German courtroom by a man who had previously called her a "terrorist" and tried to take her headscarf.


Germany: Muslims with psychological problems face additional difficulties

Islam in Europe 17 Aug, 2009

Psychological illness among Muslims is regarded as a special problem. Many doctors do not know how to deal with the situation, while treatment concepts and patient-focused services are lacking in Germany. By Cigdem Akyol

Yilmaz A. is 60 years old and came with his wife to the Ruhr region of Germany from eastern Turkey some 36 years ago. Mr A., who's Kurdish, worked as a welder. The couple had three daughters, and lived quietly in the middle of the Ruhr – his only link to his home country being a satellite dish so that he could watch Turkish television.

His family isn't particularly religious. Neither his wife not his daughters wears a headscarf. Mr A. never goes to the mosque, preferring instead the tearoom. Ten years ago, he lost his job and did not look for a new one. He began to lose himself in thought and his psychological state became unbalanced.

Mr A. says that, for a long time, he didn't know what was wrong with him. Neither did his doctors. Only later did a psychiatrist recognize his symptoms as being those of clinical depression and, since then, he has been taking the anti-depressant drug Fluoxetin.

Lack of interest in the needs of the Muslims

Mr A. is just one of 15 million migrants living in Germany. Among them are some 3.5 million persons of Muslim faith, who have turned Islam into Germany's second largest religious community. For far too long, the majority society has not interested itself in the life led by "the foreigners" apart from their work in the coal mines and on the construction sites.

Full report at:


Muslims must unite for Islam's savior: Iran

19 Aug, 2009

Dubai, August 19: The spokesman of Iran's Supreme Leader called on neighboring countries to

mobilize their forces in preparation for the coming of the savior of Islam and to unite with the Islamic Republic in paving the way for his arrival, an Iranian news agency reported Sunday.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's spokesman, Ali Saeedi, said countries like Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan should gather together all their forces in order to make drastic changes to prepare for the coming of al-Mahdi al-Montazar, Arabic for "the awaited guided one."

" Since the armed forces are commanded by the Supreme Leader, they are thus obeying the orders of the Awaited Mahdi "
Ali Saeedi, Iran rep.

"We still have a long way to go in order to achieve this. We have to train honest forces that can stop the obstacles that may hinder the coming of the Mahdi like the United States and Israel," Saeedi said in statement posted by the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA).

Saeedi also said that the supreme leader of Iran is the direct representative of the Mahdi and that obeying him is like obeying the "guided one," who is the prophesized savior of Islam.

Ali Saeedi

"Since the armed forces are commanded by the Supreme Leader, they are thus obeying the orders of the awaited Mahdi," Saeedi said, adding "the Revolutionary Guards and the armed forces in Iran hold religious authority to prepare for the appearance of the Mahdi."

The Mahdi is believed by Muslims to be arriving before Judgment Day to rid the world of injustice. Although present in both major Islamic schools of thought, the Mahdi is more prominent in the Shiite doctrine than the Sunni one.


Music in Muslim Spain

By Salik Malik 19 Aug, 2009

It is widely thought that music is forbidden in Islam. Scholars cite hadith, or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, that certain types of music distract from worship, and that music is a source of temptation that leads to committing other excesses and sins. Others cite hadith showing that the Prophet Muhammad did permit singing, as long as the purpose of the song itself is beneficial, and the words used in the song fall within the range of permitted speech.

For example, songs that are neither defamatory nor incite to sin, that are sung to accompany work or stir the audience to remembrance and unity are permitted. According to this interpretation, Islamic practice recognizes the elemental human affinity for rhythmic speech and melody. There is also wide agreement that use of the drum to enhance and lead the rhythm of song is permitted.

Music offers an interesting example of the intersections and differences between religious beliefs and culture in Muslim societies. Whatever religious scholars may have said about musical expression, every cultural and ethnic group now counted among the Muslims of the world has its musical traditions and expressions.

These traditions have been adapted to Islamic ideals, incorporating spiritual ideas and celebrating Islamic themes. They have become part of Islamic rites of passage and events such as marriages, births, and festivals. Many groups have brought their native musical instruments into the culture and retained them, as well as passing them on to others. Drums and other rhythm instruments, plucked and bowed stringed instruments, and horns and flutes, are found among the musical traditions and folk arts of Muslim peoples. The common thread of the art of the human voice runs through in Arabic and other languages such as Persian, Turkish, Urdu, and hundreds of other Asian, African, and European languages.

Full report at:


Bosnia: Muslim spiritual leader urges more Sharia law

17 Aug, 2009

Sarajevo, (AKI) – Bosnia’s Muslim spiritual leader, Reiss-ul-Ulema Mustafa Ceric, has drawn strong criticism from moderate Muslims and from Bosnian Serbs, after he called for Islamic Sharia law to be incorporated into the Bosnian constitution.

Ceric made the controversial suggestion when he conducted Bosnia's first Sharia mass wedding on Saturday in the central city of Zenica. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi reportedly paid for the weddings for the 20 couples and some 500 guests.

 “In this exceptional place, in the exceptional city of Zenica, we are witnessing a magnificent event,” Ceric said. “I hope this is only the beginning and that we will have many such occasions in the years to come,” he added.

Ceric is no stranger to controversy, and his pronouncements often trigger a heated reaction.

In May, while visiting a Muslim community in Serbia’s Muslim-majority Sandzak region bordering Montenegro, Ceric said "no force could separate" Muslims in Serbia from those in Bosnia, which he has described as a homeland for Muslims.

Strict Sharia law drastically reduces the rights of women, allows polygamy for men, forbids marrying non-Muslims and sanctions cruel penalties including stoning.

Full Report At:


Victorian terrorist Kent helped make jihadist video

By Milanda Rout 19 Aug, 2009

A VICTORIAN terrorist helped create an "unapologetic propaganda" Islamic jihad video featuring sermons from Osama bin Laden, tributes to martyrs and a graphic image of a dead young extremist.

Prosecutors told the Victorian Supreme Court plea hearing for Shane Kent that the video glorified the role of Muslim jihads and encouraged viewers to kill in the name of Islam and was placed on a website supporting al-Qa'ida.

The video, which was played to the court for the first time yesterday, had opening scenes of calming cascading water with the logo of extremist publisher At-Tibyan -- two AK-47 rifles crossed over the Koran -- before a tribute montage of "household names of terrorism".

According to prosecutors, the video was uploaded on the At-Tibyan website which "purported virtues and justification for jihad actions as practised by al-Qa'ida" and its seven-minute introduction was created by Kent.

The 32-year-old pleaded guilty last month to one count of being a member of a terrorist organisation and one reduced count of recklessly making a document -- the video -- connected with preparing a terrorist act. He was on the verge of a retrial after a jury last year was unable to reach a verdict on whether he belonged to a Melbourne terror cell.

Prosecutor Lesley Taylor told the court that Kent had a background in computers and had created the cascading water effect in the introduction of the video as well as the montage of martyrdom, which featured images of what the video called "martyred scholars" or "imprisoned scholars" with comments like, "we hope you have an eternally peaceful life".

Full report at:,25197,25950447-2702,00.html


The Challenge Of Muslim Immigration

by Gary Rosenblatt

The only thing surprising about the decision last week of a distinguished Ivy League university press to, in effect, censor a key element of a book about censorship is how predictable the result was.

The book, “The Cartoons That Shook the World,” by Jytte Klausen, a Danish-born professor of politics at Brandeis University, deals with the deadly controversy that erupted in 2006 after a Danish newspaper printed 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a satirical way. Muslims in the Mideast and Africa staged violent acts of protest, incensed over what they considered to be a blasphemous act, since Islam forbids images of the prophet. More than 200 people died as a result.

Fearful of causing further violence, Yale University Press, the book’s publisher, consulted with two dozen experts on Islam and counterterrorism as to whether or not the cartoons that set off the riots should be reproduced in the book. The unanimous response was “no,” and extended to other depictions of Muhammad, including a drawing for a children’s book, that were to be included.

One of the experts who was consulted, Ibrahim Gambari, special adviser to the secretary general of the United Nations and former foreign minister of Nigeria, asserted: “You can count on violence if any illustration of the prophet is published. It will cause riots, I predict, from Indonesia to Nigeria.”

How sad that we have come to this stage of cowering fear and self-censorship in the face of fundamentalist bullies. And that’s in the U.S., a country far less subject to Islamic fundamentalism than the European continent, and from Yale, whose university motto is the Hebrew “urim v’tumim,” meaning “light and truth.”

Some academics here like Reza Aslan, who writes on Islam, called the move by Yale University Press “frankly, idiotic” and beyond “academic cowardice.” But the fact is that outspoken critics of Islamic extremism have been murdered — most notably, Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was stabbed by a young Muslim man for making a film critical of how Islamic women are treated — or threatened with death, like Ayaan Hirsi, the Somali-born Dutch feminist and politician who fled to America.

Full report at:

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