How to Work Out While Muslim — and Female
A website in France that sells "burqinis", swimsuits that cover most of the body.
Muslims divided on other faiths Some build ties; others see heresy BY YONAT SHIMRON
Mir Hossein Mousavi's wife led the way on women's rights in Iran Iran on the Edge Militarization of the Iranian Judiciary Signalled by New Appointment Jonathan Kay on Jund Ansar Allah and the intra-Islamist showdown in Gaza
Those 'other refugees' in Arab-Muslim lands
Muslim Leader Urges Peaceful Propagation of Islam
Arab scholars condemn 26/11 attacks, support India
Kuwaiti Islamic bank returns to investments in US
A true successor to Baba-i-Urdu By Rauf Parekh
Legal loopholes offer religious detainees a way out
Islamist Groups Fight Each Other in Gaza Strip By Patrick Goodenough
Egyptian pilgrims protest travel ban By Omar Sinan
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Modern Day Trojan Horse: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration
By Sam Solomon and Elias Al Maqdisi
Within the past few decades, mosques have increasingly dotted the landscapes of American and European cities and towns, with mega mosques often overshadowing adjacent, centuries-old churches in predominantly Christian regions. Islamic schools or academies and a host of Muslim organizations have become omnipresent across the West.
Meanwhile, Americans and Europeans have made countless accommodations to Muslim demands. They have included footbaths; high-decibel, five-times-daily calls to prayer; segregated male-female gym and swimming pool hours; halal food; workplace dispensations for handling pork products and for female head and face coverings; and special, public prayer rooms. Also, shari'ah-compliant financial transactions, the expunging of offensive likenesses of Mohammed or imagined depictions of Arabic characters that connote "Allah," official swearings-in on Korans in place of customary Bibles, the neutralizing of official descriptive language about Islamists and the jihad, the revision of so-called offensive content in movies and television programs, the removal of representations of pigs from the public sphere, and many other acculturations to Muslim entreaties have all been made in the service of respecting Muslim religious beliefs and practices.
To those in Western democracies, these accommodating actions appear, on the surface, to be little more than harmless civil gestures, respecting the needs of a growing religion in their midst and welcoming a new addition to their proud, multicultural tradition. Many Westerners pat themselves on the back for their liberal bent, their tolerance and their open-mindedness.
Little do they realize that this strategic pattern of demands is part of an insidious, 1,400-year-old proscription for Muslims that originates in the Koran and the Sunnah, the deeds of Mohammed. It is the Hijra or doctrine of immigration. Modeled by Mohammed's migration from Mecca to Medina, this immigration is not to a romanticized melting pot wherein newcomers gratefully search for opportunities for a better life in liberty and freely offer their talents and loyalty to benefit their new homeland. This is immigration for Islamic expansionism employing ethnic separatism to gain special status and privileges within the host country. Hijra is immigration designed to subvert and subdue non-Muslim societies and pave the way for eventual, total Islamization.
In their compelling book, "Modern Day Trojan Horse: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration," authors Sam Solomon, a former professor of shari'ah law and convert to Christianity, and Elias Al Maqdisi, an expert on Islamic teachings, explain the migration of Muslims to the Dar-al-Harb, the "land of war," as a religious edict with a basis in Islamic doctrine. They delineate the step-by-step process of this 1,400-year-old strategy of conquest. It is a transitional strategy which they characterize as the most important step in spreading Islam and preparing for jihad. From their carefully delineated treatise on Hijra, it is clear that migration in concert with military conquest comprise the bookends of Islamic expansionism.
Solomon and Al Maqdisi review the phases of the Hijra and its juristic or legal basis in Islamic doctrine. Under the cover of taquiya or deception, the step-by-step methodology of the migration process is designed to subdue, then, subjugate the host culture, culminating in implementation of shari'ah law.
Full report at:http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/the_hijra.html
How to Work Out While Muslim — and Female
By Azadeh Moaveni Sunday, 17 August 2009
A woman in France surfs a website that sells "burqinis", swimsuits that cover most of the body.
The first time I went jogging in Tehran, I nearly hyperventilated after four blocks, despite wearing the gauziest of head scarves and a decidedly immodest Nike capris. The fabric covering my ears and neck stoked my body temperature unbearably, and the pleasurable strain of running gave way to acute discomfort. "How am I going to stay fit here?" I wailed to my Iranian girlfriends, experts in the dilemma of balancing exercise with Islamic modesty codes. They offered me a rich store of advice, from head scarves with ear slits to calibrating outdoor exercise with the seasons to where to find women's only gyms.
For the pious Muslim woman, one of the greatest challenges of modern life is how to get a health-conscious work-out. In Iran, of course, the state mandates Islamic dress, so secular and faithful women alike must contend with religious codes that interfere with exercise. But the problem persists for individual Muslim women throughout the Islamic world and the West. It grabbed headlines this week when a Paris swimming pool refused entry to a young Muslim woman wearing a "burqini," a swim garment resembling a diving suit. In France the incident falls into a wider political debate over how to reconcile the country's Muslim immigrants to French secular values. And while the number of Muslim women in France — indeed throughout the world — who insist on such a severe covering as the burqa is small, the challenge of staying slim and Islamically proper is not. (Will France ban the burqa?)
So what is the faithful but health-conscious Muslim woman to do? There are many schools of thought addressing this practical problem, and often the answer boils down to comfort versus one's attachment to a particular sport. I am a runner by nature, keenly attached to the mind-slowing demands of setting pace and the sensation of my feet first thudding and then gliding over pavement. But my discomfort threshold is ridiculously low, and while living in Iran I gave up running in favor of hiking (in mountainous seclusion, no one frets if you tie a bandana over your hair instead of a proper veil). During snowy Tehran winters, I pushed myself to go skiing, since modesty ceases to be an issue when you're bundled in a ski-suit and hat. I did more yoga than I was accustomed to, since the Iranian middle-class is obsessed with yoga and classes are more ubiquitous than mosques in many neighborhoods. Perhaps my cardiovascular endurance plunged with all this varied exercise, but hey, I was cross training, out of the clutches of the morality police, and pretty comfortable. (Should a pious Muslim practice yoga?)
Many Muslim women are more devoted to their favorite form of exercise. If they are runners they must run, if they are swimmers they must swim. For these women, there are only two answers: a clever outfit that breathes, or sequestration in a same-sex exercise facility. The athletic veil, know as the "hijood," is made from high-tech fabric that's meant to wick sweat off the skin, and debuted when the Bahraini sprinter Rogaya Al Ghasara wore it while competing at the 2008 Olympics. While it takes a certain steely piety to wear the hijood — its slick ninja-esque style might be too assertively Muslim for some — the relative ease of sweating or swimming in something other than heavy cotton is pretty unbeatable. In certain situations, even the burqini might prove indispensable. A decade ago, when I regularly frequented Wild Wadi, Dubai's vast waterpark, mothers in sopping wet clothes gamely accompanied their children down spiralling slides and endless rivers. They must have been miserable to no end, but put up with it rather than refuse their kids the thrill of water rides. For pious moms on beach holidays with families — when women-only beaches or hours at waterparks are useless, since older boy children and dads must be left behind — the burqini is useful, not the joke it seems sometimes in the West.
Full report at:http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1916542,00.html
Muslims divided on other faiths: Some build ties; others see heresy
BY YONAT SHIMRON, 17 August 2009
RALEIGH -- A fissure in Raleigh's Muslim community emerged nearly a year ago, long before last month's indictments of eight men on federal charges that they conspired to commit terrorist acts.
It happened in early October when Hamdy Radwan got up to give the Friday afternoon sermon at the Islamic Association of Raleigh.
The Egyptian-born physical therapy professor and part-time prayer leader was known in the community for advocating stronger ties with non-Muslims.
On this particular Friday, he challenged Muslims to go a step further.
Using a verse from the Quran, Radwan said they must love their non-Muslim neighbors.
Midway into the sermon, Jude Kenan Mohammad, 20, now wanted by authorities for his supposed role in the terrorist plot, leaped up and yelled, "Kufr! Kufr!" using the Arabic word for "heresy."
Two other men then joined in and declared that Radwan had misinterpreted the meaning of the verse. They argued that God requires Muslims only to deal fairly with their neighbors, not to love them.
Suddenly the khutba, as the usually sedate Friday sermon is known, erupted into a shouting match. Within minutes, a team of mosque security men swooped in to bring the service back to order.
The incident, a minor one by most people's accounting, crystallized a struggle at the heart of this Muslim community: To what degree may Muslims form friendships and even show love to people of other faiths?
The question is particularly pressing in light of the July 27 arrests of seven Triangle-area men charged with conspiring to commit terrorist acts abroad. The arrests stunned many Muslims who had assumed the community was incapable of mounting such a conspiracy.
"I think there's a consensus that interfaith work is not only recommended -- it's required," said Ali Zelmat, a member of the Raleigh Muslim community.
But in light of the arrests, many Muslims are now wondering whether that viewpoint is widely shared. The question confronts other U.S. Muslim communities that have wrestled with allegations of homegrown terrorists.
Full report at:http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1649158.html
Mir Hossein Mousavi's wife led the way on women's rights in Iran
By Robert Tait and Noushin Hoseiny, 17 August 2009
He may have failed to wrest the presidency from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but Mir Hossein Mousavi at least has the satisfaction of knowing his wife has helped wring an unexpected political concession from his main rival.
Zahra Rahnavard's appearance at her husband's side throughout his campaign highlighted the issue of women's rights in Iran and wooed many female voters to Mousavi's side.
Never before in the Islamic republic's 30-year history had a woman played such a high-profile political role, prompting some to compare Rahnavard – a sculptor and respected academic – with Michelle Obama.
Now her lasting impact has galvanised Ahmadinejad into a radical move that risks alienating his most religiously devout supporters. In announcing his intention to appoint three women cabinet members – including Fatemeh Ajorlou as social welfare minister and Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi as health minister – Ahmadinejad trumped the campaign pledges of his two other election rivals, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohzen Rezai, who each said they would appoint the country's first female cabinet minister since the 1979 revolution.
But the social pressures prompting the appointments long pre-dated the election campaign. "These appointments are a result of the pressure that women's demands have imposed on the system," said Asiyeh Amini, a leading women's activist.
Female protesters played a prominent role in the unrest after the disputed election, as illustrated by the case of Neda Agha Soltan, the 26-year-old woman who became the symbol of the demonstrations after her death at the hands of a sniper was caught on film and beamed across the world.
Iran on the Edge Militarization of the Iranian Judiciary Signalled by New Appointment
By Mehdi Khalaji, 17 August 2009
Washington Institute correspondent
Public Execution in Iran
Widespread reports suggest that Sadeq Larijani, a young and inexperienced cleric with close ties to Iran's military and intelligence agencies, will officially replace Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi as head of the Iranian judiciary on August 16. This appointment is particularly significant, since the judiciary in Iran wields considerable power -- albeit through the approval of Iran's top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- and has a great deal of latitude to make decisions without reference to law or Islamic concepts, especially when "safeguarding the interests of the regime" is deemed necessary.
Who is Sadeq Larijani?
Born in 1960 in Najaf, Iraq, Sadeq Larijani is the son of Grand Ayatollah Hashem Amoli and the son-in-law of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Vahid Khorasani, currently one of the most widely followed marjas, "sources of emulation" whose rulings are regarded as binding by devout Shiite believers.
Larijani's two older and well-known brothers -- Ali Larijani, speaker of the Majlis (Iranian parliament) and former nuclear negotiator, and Mohammad Javad Larijani, the deputy head of the judiciary, former deputy foreign affairs minister, and mathematics graduate from the University of California, Berkeley -- are also married into respected clerical families: Ali is the son-in-law of the late Morteza Motahhari, an ideologue of the Islamic government, and Mohammad Javad is the son-in-law of Hassan Hassanzadeh, an ayatollah in Qom. Khamenei, at one point the supervisor of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), became intimate with the Larijani family during Ali's several-year post as deputy commander of the IRGC.
Sadeq justifies his lack of political experience in a short autobiography on his website. Because he "felt that the West's cultural invasion was no less important than a military invasion," he decided to prepare himself for "confronting the cultural invasion," in part by learning English. He used his new language skills to translate several philosophical works, such as an article by Karl Popper on the philosophy of science and G. J. Warnock's Contemporary Moral Philosophy, the latter of which he annotated and critiqued from the Islamic point of view. Sadeq first made a name for himself by criticizing religious intellectuals such as Abdulkarim Soroush and eventually became one of the main voices of the Islamic Republic. Larijani taught courses on Islamic ideology, both at the seminary in Qom and at various IRGC bases around the country.
Full report at:http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=11526
A true successor to Baba-i-Urdu
By Rauf Parekh, 17 August 2009
Mumtaz Hasan shows the dictionary’s citation cards to Begum Shaista Ikramullah at the Urdu Dictionary Board as Dr Syed Abdullah
A sitting with a story writer
No language can truly be called a refined one unless it has a comprehensive dictionary, a well-written grammar and an authentic encyclopaedia.
As for Urdu, there have always been visionaries who knew of these prerequisites. Moulvi Abdul Haq, rightly known as Baba-i-Urdu, was one such visionary. He published Qavaid-i-Urdu, or a grammar of Urdu, in 1914 that was written with quite a different perspective, unlike the works of his predecessors who had tried to write Urdu grammar on the lines of Persian and Arabic grammar. Even though Farhang-i-Asifya had been published in four volumes, Abdul Haq began compiling a more comprehensive dictionary of Urdu, which is now nearing completion under the aegis of the Urdu Dictionary Board.
What Urdu lacked was an authentic encyclopaedia. Lahore’s Oriental College’s principal Prof Dr Moulvi Muhammad Shafi envisioned a comprehensive Islamic encyclopaedia in Urdu. He had before him the famous Encyclopaedia of Islam, published in Leiden, the Netherlands, as a model as it was considered the most authentic and most comprehensive one and was based on research work published in European languages as well as Arabic, Persian and Turkish.
Allama Iqbal, too, when asked for his advice by the Turkish authorities, had suggested that they benefit from Leiden’s Encyclopaedia of Islam for compiling an encyclopaedia in the Turkish language. In 1940, Dr Shafi asked his student Dr Syed Abdullah, then a lecturer at the Oriental College, to chalk out a plan. But, alas, the University of Punjab did not approve it, and the plan was shelved.
Syed Abdullah was a resilient soldier of Urdu and had been fighting for its cause for many years. After 1947, he realised that the time for the promotion and implementation of Urdu in every walk of life had arrived since Pakistan had come into being. He launched a massive campaign to win a status for Urdu in Pakistan that it deserved as the national language and a language that had played a vital role in the creation of the country.
His boisterous programme included running a movement for the approval of demands, such as Urdu being made the official language, Urdu being declared a medium of instruction, being declared a compulsory subject up to the intermediate level, and classes of MA in Urdu being taught.(Or the second)
Full report at:http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/metropolitan/16-a-true-successor-to-baba-i-urdu-hs-07
Those 'other refugees' in Arab-Muslim lands
By Ethel C. Fenig 17 August 2009
While "moderate" Fatah ended its convention with business as usual -- "Constant war against Israel," "No peace with Israel," mimicking its most "extreme" rival Hamas, and both of them moaning about the "refugees" of 61 years, the real refugees, the Jews in Arab lands living under Muslim oppression, are forced once again to run for their lives
The latest are the tiny remnant of Jews remaining in Yemen, fleeing after continuous oppression including forcible pressures to convert to Islam led to kidnappings and murders. After the latest murder, the remaining Jews are going to Israel the Yemeni new agency Sana admits. What Yemini news reports don't mention is, that unlike Arabs in Lebanon and other Arab lands, the fleeing Jews won't be refugees but welcomed as citizens of Israel.
Three relatives of the Jew killed late last year in northern Yemen have left the country for Israel, a departure which comes amid a mini-exodus triggered by alleged harassment.
Chief Rabbi in the district of Ridah, Amran, brother of the victim Moshe Yaish al-Nahari, Yahya Yaish said he was aware about the departure of the three sons of Moshe most recently, adding all Jews in the area are preparing to leave for Israel within the next days.
Harassment has been stepped up against Jews in the districts of Amran and Kharef, with some of the Jews killed and others kidnapped, he claimed.
So far this year, some Jewish families left for Israel, some of them secretly.
All behind the fleeing was fear of persecution.
After the latest murders a few months ago, the Jews relocated to a larger town in Yemen, leaving behind their few belongings; now they are being allowed to flee the country, again with nothing but their lives and the clothes on their backs.
This is a sad--but typical end for a Jewish community in an Arab/Muslim land. According to Mitchell Bard, writing in Jewish Virtual Library, the ancient Yeminite Jewish community numbered about 63,000 in 1948 but
In 1922, the government of Yemen reintroduced an ancient Islamic law requiring that Jewish orphans under age 12 be forcibly converted to Islam.
Full report at: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/08/those_other_refugees_in_arabmu.html
Muslim Leader Urges Peaceful Propagation of Islam
By PR Newswire, 17 August 2009
LONDON, August 17 /PRNewswire/ -- His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, a Muslim organisation with an estimated 80 million members in 192 countries, today concluded the three-day 34th Annual Convention at the Maimarkt, in Mannheim, Germany, by saying that Islam would be the unifying force through which peace would be brought to the world.
The Convention themed 'Islam Means Peace' was attended by more than 32,000 people from across the world. These included German Parliamentarians and dignitaries who on behalf of the German Parliament gave His Holiness a heartfelt welcome.
During the Conference, His Holiness spoke of the increasing dependence of non-Ahmadis on alcohol, drugs and other vices to achieve temporary but short lived pleasures and also the preservation of universal human rights.
Calling on all people to fulfil their duty to preserve human rights and serve humanity, His Holiness quoted the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on the issue of equality and rights saying:
"All men are equal... An Arab possesses no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab over an Arab. A white man is in no way superior to a black man nor for that matter is a black man superior to a white man"
His Holiness said that a small minority of so called Muslims had tarnished the name of Islam committing unrelenting acts of murder, even against women and children. Denouncing terrorism in the strongest terms, His Holiness rejected any association of such acts with Islam.
His Holiness used his closing address to say that Ahmadi Muslims did not believe in a bloody revolution, rather, they sought to end wars and bring salvation to the world through Islam's message of love, affection, harmony and welfare.
In a stark message to the Muslim world, His Holiness said that unless they altered their destructive current course and repented, they would not survive the wrath of Allah.
In a powerful conclusion, His Holiness said:
"To win the hearts of people, literature and knowledge is what must be used. This is more effective than a worldly sword. Literature is the best weapon which can never be blunted ... the beginning of the new century of Ahmadiyyat should be a landmark in history for the revival of the world."
Arab scholars condemn 26/11 attacks, support India
MUMBAI: Islamic scholars and clergymen, mainly from the Arab world, on Sunday supported India’s fight against terrorism asserting that people who engage in barbaric acts like terrorism have no place in Islam.
At a seminar, Unity, Love and Tolerance organized by Sahyog Cultural Society under the guidance by Fatimi International Organization, the experts condemned last years Mumbai terror attacks.
Dr. Mohammed Shahumi, who is an advisor to Col Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, said that terrorism needs to be condemned in all forms.
"We have to tackle terrorism in the strictest manner," Dr Shahumi said. What we have seen in Mumbai last November is actually a crime against humanity and todays world order would never tolerate it, he said.
Chairman, Sahyog Cultural Society, Sami Bubere said," In the Holy Koran, God begins to deal with the issue of terrorism by teaching Muslims never to become terrorists in the first place. Two of the very first verses of our Holy Book say that in the sight of Allah, persecution, or making people constantly fear for their lives, is much worse than killing."
"And also, There shall be no compulsion in religion, that is to say, that no one has the right to force others into complying with their demands or compelling others to follow their line of thinking," he said.
Besides Dr Shahumi, others who delivered lectures at the seminar include - Mohammed Refaat (President, Muhib Ahle Bait Association and General Secretary of Socialist Wifaaq Party, Egypt), Abdullah Hafizi (General Secretary, Al Adarisa International Association, Morocco), Mustafa bin Yusuf (Professor Morocco University), IAS Al Mufti (Vice President, Al Hashmi League, Jordon) and Khadija Al Sibahi (Women Leader of Al Ashraf's Adarisa).
"The incident of Mumbai shows the world the dangers of terrorism. We have to condemn terrorism in all forms. Islam does not tolerate terrorism," Rafaat said.
Kuwaiti Islamic bank returns to investments in US
By Diana Elias, 17 August 2009
KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait’s largest Islamic bank said Sunday it has signed a $450 million deal with a US real estate investment trust to buy high income residential real estate in major American major cities. The deal between Kuwait Finance House and Denver, Colorado-based apartment building owner UDR Inc. is the second major foreign investment by a rich Gulf nation in the past few days.
“The joint venture will seek to acquire high income residential real estate in major cities in the United States,” according to a statement posted on KFH’s Web site. Under the deal signed in London on Friday, KFH’s participation is 70 percent while UDR will shoulder a 30 percent share, the statement said.
Gulf countries and their sovereign wealth funds have been adopting an increasingly cautious approach to foreign investment as the global economic meltdown eroded demand and prices for crude oil, their main source of revenue, and hammered equity and credit markets.
But this deal, coupled with Qatar’s announcement Friday that it will buy a 10 percent stake in German sports car maker Porsche SE, as well as acquire 17 percent of Volkswagen AG’s ordinary shares, could indicate that the oil rich sovereign wealth funds are again looking abroad.
The Islamic bank said the joint venture will target class “A” assets with a minimum value of $20 million that are less than 7 years old, and the venture intends to be fully invested over a two-year period. The bank said it was targeting an internal return rate of 12 to 14 percent annually.
Legal loopholes offer religious detainees a way out
By Arif Newaz Farazi, 17 August 2009
Leaders and cadres of the banned Islamist outfit, Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), are reportedly reorganising themselves in remote char areas in the northern districts after getting out of jails through legal loopholes, sources in the intelligence agencies said.
They alleged that the remote char lands spreading over Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Pabna and Bogra districts have long been used to run training camps by the militant outfit.
The far-flung chars are considered a safe haven for the militants as it takes the law enforcers hours to reach there, thus allowing the terrorists time enough to evade a raid.
A high official of the Special Branch preferring anonymity told New Age, ‘During recent investigations we came to know that the militants who were released from jails are trying to reorganise.’
They also found significant evidence that some of these religious extremists were desperately trying to reorganise through merger of different groups, often by changing their organisation names.
Some observers were dismayed that the government was yet to start trial of the militants even after four years since the countrywide serial blasts on August 17, 2005 and when final reports of 24 cases among 275 cases have already been submitted.
An officer of the RAB intelligence wing speaking on condition of anonymity told New Age, ‘The former Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer of Habiganj district Maulana Saidur Rahman alias Mohammad Hanif alias Mohammad Kamal has been designated to be the chief of the outfit after the execution of six top JMB leaders on March 29, 2007.’
Law enforcers are yet to arrest him as most of the time he is reportedly staying in Bashirhat and Murshidabad in India after he fled the scene from his Mirpur hideout in the city just before a raid in November 2008, according to RAB sources.
Some 80 leaders and activists of the JMB militant outfit were arrested by RAB from October 2008 to July 31, 2009, it was learnt.
Among them the mastermind of the countrywide serial blasts Mainul Haque alias Rajib alias Iqbal was arrested from Pallabi in the city on June 22, this year.
Full report at:http://www.newagebd.com/2009/aug/17/front.html#2
Islamist Groups Fight Each Other in Gaza Strip
By Patrick Goodenough, 17 August 2009
(CNSNews.com) – Hamas announced on Sunday that it was fully in control of the Gaza Strip after another terrorist group declared an “Islamic emirate” in southern Gaza, triggering the deadliest internecine clashes since Hamas seized the territory in mid-2007.
But the second radical group, the reportedly al-Qaeda-inspired Jund Ansar Allah (“Warriors of the Companions of Allah”), hinted in an Internet posting at revenge attacks.
“We wash our hands of responsibility for any events that might take place in the next several days as a result ... Await our response,” it said in a posting translated and made available by the NEFA Foundation, a terrorism watchdog.
A battle between Hamas gunmen and followers of Jund Ansar Allah left at least 28 people dead, including the smaller group’s leader, Abdel Latif Moussa (aka Abu Abdullah) and a top Hamas terrorist, Mohammed al-Shamali.
Shamali was a leader of Hamas’ armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. The Israeli government held him responsible for the abduction inside Israel more than three years ago of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Two soldiers were killed in the cross-border assault, and Shalit is still missing.
Palestinian sources said that of the dead in the weekend fighting, six were affiliated with Hamas, 12 with Jund Ansar Allah, and six were civilians, three of them children.
Moussa in a sermon on Friday declared Rafah, the city at the southern base of the strip near the border with Egypt, an emirate under shari’a (Islamic law).
Hamas then blocked routes into Rafah, and Al-Qassam Brigades members stormed Moussa’s mosque, where about 100 followers were holed up.
Moussa was killed in an explosion early Saturday which Hamas spokesmen said was self-inflicted. Dozens of his supporters were arrested.
Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Saturday that Jund Ansar Allah had “worked against the [so-called Hamas] government, described it as unreligious and armed themselves in opposition,” the Palestinian news agency Maan reported.
He said the group took advantage of young Palestinians and spread deviant ideas. Haniyeh also blamed Israeli policies for creating the conditions that fostered negative thinking among the youth.
Jund Ansar Allah, which was established late last year, issued a statement Sunday saying that Hamas’ response to the emirate announcement was “hasty.” The group said it had borne no ill will towards the people of Gaza or the Hamas administration.
In the message released by NEFA, the group went further, denying charges of deviant conduct – including accusations that its members were “takfiris” (Muslims who accuse other Muslims of unIslamic behavior).
Full report at:http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=52577
Egyptian pilgrims protest travel ban
By Omar Sinan, 17 august 2009
CAIRO: Hundreds of Egyptians staged a sit-in Sunday at Cairo airport after they were barred from traveling to Makkah to perform Umrah due to new restrictions to prevent the spread of swine flu, an airport security official said.
Airport authorities called in extra security to disperse the 300 protesters, who sat on the terminal floor and refused to leave, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
The restrictions took effect Sunday, prompting security to remove a number of passengers from flights after they had boarded. Under the restrictions, only travelers between the ages of 25 and 65 may journey to Makkah because that age group is less susceptible to the flu.
The travelers barred Sunday had intended to perform Umrah. The restrictions could affect a large number of people over the age of 65, because many save up their whole lives to make the trip.
Arab health ministers decided last month to exclude those most vulnerable to swine flu to reduce the possibility the disease will spread among the massive crowds during the pilgrimage.
Those prevented from traveling will be reimbursed for the airfare, said Egypt’s civil aviation minister, Ahmad Shafiq.
Jonathan Kay on Jund Ansar Allah and the intra-Islamist showdown in Gaza
By Jonathan Kay, 17 August 2009
Only in a place like Gaza could Hamas find an even crazier Islamist group to fight with.
This weekend — in one of those surreal maniac-on-maniac battles in which you wish both sides would annihilate each other — Hamas forces attacked the followers of Jund Ansar Allah (Soldiers of the Partisans of God), an al-Qaeda inspired ultra-ultra-ultra militant group (not to be confused with Hamas, which gets two ultras, and Fatah, which gets only one) led by your usual creepy old bearded Ahmed Yassin/Abu Hamza Al-Masri/Omar Abdel-Rahman type — one Sheikh Abu al-Nour al-Maqdessi. (Check out this photo of him — the guy looks like a Klingon.) Their agenda is the creation of an Islamic emirate in Gaza and the total destruction of Israel (It's a platform they share with Hamas, but they complain Hamas isn't doing it with enough gusto.)
Al-Maqdessi has now gone to his virgins: His house was blown up by Hamas security forces — this being after more than a dozen of al-Maqdessi's followers were gunned down at their mosque in Rafah. (What's that you ask? Doesn't blowing up the man's family home count as "collective punishment"? Oh, and apparently, one of the dead included an 11-year-old girl. So can we expect an investigation from the UN and all the other usual-suspect NGOs who launch 18 different inquiries every time Israel confronts Palestinian terrorists? Ha ha ha.)
This counts as good news ... I guess: After all, a fire-and-brimstone Islamist would-be terrorist leader has been removed from the earth. Then again, it feels weird to be cheering on Hamas in any context. I also note that in the firefight at the mosque, the KIA list included a senior Hamas leader who'd masterminded abductions of Israelis — which counts as good news, too. So one is left with the lingering feeling that — rather than getting wiped out so quickly — the Soldiers of the Partisans of God might have done the world more good by doing some more soldiering and taking out a few more Hamas terrorists.
But putting aside the crazy-versus-crazier surrealism of the whole episode, there's an important geopolitical lesson here. And it's this: For all the Muslims out there who say they want a "pure" Islamic state governed by Shariah law, such a project is impossible — and not just because the Koran is a religious document, not a blueprint for a modern, bureaucratic state. The basic problem faced by folks such as Hamas, the Taliban, and Iran's Mullahs is that their claim to political power is based not on the promise of sound governance, but on their fealty to the abstract idea of God's will — which means they're vulnerable to every two-bit al-Maqdessi-style maniac who claims he's got an even better, purer, less corrupt line on what God really wants.
Full report at: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/08/15/jonathan-kay-on-jund-ansar-allah-and-the-intra-islamist-showdown-in-gaza.aspx