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Islamic World News ( 15 Sept 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Muntadhar al-Zeidi, Iraqi shoe thrower who attacked Bush, released

U.N. Finds Signs of War Crimes on Both Sides in Gaza by SHARON OTTERMAN

International Music Week would start in Baku this week

Obama Rejects Afghanistan-Vietnam Comparison

New York City Police Department 'clarifies' report on radical Islam

Iran Agrees to New Talks with 6 Global Powers

Al-Qaida target killed in US Somali strike

Afghan's presidential candidate calls for criminal enquiry

Are Islamic Financial Products Taxable In Nigeria?

Israel grants immunity to soldiers over misdeed

Sheikh-ul-Islam: We will not be able to take even 2000 people to Hajj

Trouser-woman’s case shows Arab violations

 KARACHI: Muslims urged to do more for Palestinians

ABU DHABI — Terror Funding Case verdict Likely on Oct. 12

Islamist legal warfare or "lawfare”: Libel tourism overshadowed threat to free and open discourse on radical Islam, terrorism, and its sources of funding By Aaron Eitan Meyer

Growing Islamophobia in London is dangerous By Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




Muntadhar al-Zeidi, Iraqi shoe thrower who attacked Bush, released; says he was tortured

By Brian Kates, Sep 15th 2009

The Iraqi reporter who hurled his shoes at then-President George W. Bush was released from prison Tuesday, saying he was tortured in jail and fears for his life.

"I was tortured with electric shocks, beaten with cables," Muntazer al-Zaidi told reporters shortly after his release.

He also said he endured water boarding, the controversial simulated-drowning technique some interrogators used on terror suspects.

"I will name later those involved in torturing me, among them high ranking officials in the government and the Army," Zaidi said.

Zaidi, 30, added that he fears American intelligence agencies would like to see him dead.

Zaidi had been behind bars since he shouted, "It is the farewell kiss, you dog," at Bush last Dec. 14, before throwing his size 10s.

Bush ducked the flying footwear and laughed off the attack. The incident caused massive embarrassment to both him and the Iraqi prime minister, who were at a press conference in Baghdad on what was Bush's farewell visit to Iraq prior to Barack Obama taking office.

Many viewers applauded Zaidi's bravery, and he was heralded as a cult hero in the Middle East. Venezuela's anti-American President Hugo Chavez called him courageous. Arab fathers have offered Muntazer their daughters as brides.

Zaidi was sentenced to three years for the attack, but his sentence was reduced to one year for good behavior.

He remained unrepentant.

"For me, it was a good response," he said of the shoe-toss. "What I wanted to do in throwing my shoes in the face of the criminal Bush was to express my rejection of his lies and of the occupation of my country.

"I am now free but my country is still captive. I am not a hero, but I have attitude and opinions. I feel humiliated to see my country suffer, my Baghdad burning, and my people killed."

Slurring his speech because of a missing tooth, Zaidi demanded an apology from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for his treatment.

The Iraqi government barred his the family from meeting him at the prison gates when he was released and instead escorted him to his family's Baghdad home.

Zaidi later arrived at the Al-Baghdadiya TV station where he works wrapped in an Iraqi flag and surrounded by guards. Station staff slaughtered at least three sheep in his honor.

"Thanks be to God that Muntazer has seen the light of day," his brother Uday said. "I wish Bush could see our happiness. When President Bush looks back and turns the pages of his life, he will see the shoes of Muntazer al Zaidi on every page."

Zaidi's boss atAl-Baghdadia, a small, privately-owned Cairo-based station, promised the previously little-known reporter a new home as a reward. He's rumored to have job offers from bigger Arab networks.

Zaidi said he wants to help Iraqi war victims.

"I am going to concentrate on humanitarian work and will occupy myself with widows and orphans," he said. With News Wire Services



U.N. Finds Signs of War Crimes on Both Sides in Gaza

By SHARON OTTERMAN, Sep 15, 2009

A United Nations fact-finding mission investigating the three-week war in Gaza issued a lengthy, scathing report on Tuesday that concluded that both the Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.

The four-member mission, led by Justice Richard Goldstone, a widely respected South African judge, also concluded that neither Israel nor the Palestinian groups had carried out any “credible investigations” into the alleged violations. If that did not change within six months, the United Nations Security Council should refer the situation to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for possible prosecution, the panel concluded.

“The prolonged situation of impunity has created a justice crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that warrants action,” the members said in their 574-page report on the war, during which some 1,300 Palestinians were killed, including at least several hundred civilians; as well as 13 Israelis: 10 soldiers and 3 civilians.

Israel reacted quickly, saying in a statement issued by its diplomatic mission in Geneva that it did not cooperate with the investigation but had opened many of its own. The statement said the mission’s mandate “was clearly one-sided and ignored the thousands of Hamas missile attacks on civilians in southern Israel that made the Gaza operation necessary.” But the statement added that Israel would “read the report carefully.”

The report found the Palestinians at fault for rocket fire into southern Israel, which “caused terror in the affected communities of southern Israel as well as loss of life and physical and mental injury to civilians and damage to private houses, religious buildings and property.”

There was no immediate Palestinian response.

The report, the bulk of which focused on the Israeli violations, said that during the war, Israeli forces engaged in a deliberate policy of collective punishment in furtherance of “an overall and continuing policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population” through blockades and the destruction of food, water and sanitation systems of its people.

In one case, armored bulldozers of the Israeli forces systematically flattened the chicken coops of a farm that reportedly supplied 10 percent of the Gazan egg market, killing all 31,000 chickens inside. In another, the forces carried out a strike on a sewage plant wall, sending 200,000 cubic meters of raw sewage into neighboring farmland, the report said. The panel did not find a justifiable reason for the Israelis’ actions in either case.

It also found that the Israeli forces used disproportionate force against the Palestinian civilian population. In a number of cases, it said, Israeli forces launched “direct attacks against civilians with lethal outcome,” even when the facts indicated no justifiable military objective. Based on the available evidence, some of those incidents, the report concluded, amounted to war crimes.

One such event took place in the Samouni neighbourhood in Gaza City, when Israel soldiers shelled a house where soldiers had forced Palestinian civilians to gather. In seven cases, the report found, “civilians were shot while they were trying to leave their homes to walk to a safer place, waving white flags and in some cases, following an injunction from the Israeli forces to do so.”

Israeli forces also intentionally attacked civilians in aiming a missile strike at a mosque during the early evening prayer, killing 15 people, and in firing antipersonnel flechette munitions, which release thousands of metal darts, on a crowd of family members and neighbours at a condolence tent, killing 5.

Israeli forces twice shelled civilian hospitals in Gaza, but in neither case was the attack justified, the report found. In the attack on Al Quds Hospital, the shelling of the building and an adjacent ambulance facility with white phosphorus shells caused fires that took a day to extinguish, and at no point was any warning given of an imminent strike, the report said. The panel found no evidence of the enemy fire that the Israeli military cited as rationale for its attack.

“These incidents indicate that the instructions given to the Israeli forces moving into Gaza provided for a low threshold for the use of lethal fire against the civilian population,” the report said. The conduct of the Israeli armed forces in these instances, it said, “constitute grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention” and as such, “give rise to individual criminal responsibility.”

Palestinian armed groups, the group found, fired repeated rockets and mortars into southern Israel. By failing to distinguish between military targets and the civilian population, those actions also “constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity,” the report said.

Responding to Israeli allegations that Palestinian fighters used civilians as human shields, the panel found that Palestinian armed groups did launch rockets from urban areas in Gaza, and that Palestinian armed groups “were not always dressed in a way that distinguished them from civilians.”

However, the mission found no evidence that Palestinian combatants “mingled with the civilian population with the intention of shielding themselves from attack,” the report said, nor did it find evidence to suggest that Palestinian armed groups “either directed civilians to areas where attacks were being launched or forced civilians to remain within the vicinity of the attacks.”

The mission was tasked by United Nations Human Rights Council in April to investigate all violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law that might have been committed during the conflict. As part of Israel’s refusal to cooperate, it banned the panel members from entering the country. The panel made two visits to Gaza, entering from Egypt, but conducted the bulk of their research from Geneva.

The panel conducted 188 interviews, reviewed 10,000 pages of documents, and viewed more than 1,000 photographs and videos before drawing its conclusions. The panel said that Israel did not respond to a comprehensive list of questions, but that Palestinian authorities in both Gaza and the West Bank cooperated.



International Music Week would start in Baku this week

15 Sep 2009

Azerbaijan to host a meeting of culture ministers of Islamic countries in October

Baku. Ulkar Gasimova – APA. Azerbaijan is expected to host a number of international events initiated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism by the end of the year. Azerbaijani Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfas Garayev told APA that the International Music Week would start in Baku this week on the occasion of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s birthday: “This event will be held within the framework of “Baku - Islamic Culture Capital 2009”. Famous Russian and Mexican conductors will take part in the music week. Exhibition of artifacts belonging to Islamic culture from “Victoria and Albert” museum will also be held by the end of the year”.

Abulfas Garayev also stated that the first building of Azerbaijan State Museum of Art would be commissioned by year’s end. He also noted that the conference of culture ministers of Islamic countries would be held in Baku on October 13-15. Culture ministers of over ten European countries will also be invited to the conference. Roundtable on “Intercultural dialogue” will be held between the member states of the Council of Europe and the Organization of Islamic Conference. The agenda of the conference has been prepared by ISESCO. Development, promotion, peace loving targets of Islamic culture will be discussed at the conference. The representatives of the participating countries will be informed about the monuments in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.



Obama Rejects Afghanistan-Vietnam Comparison


Sep 15, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama rejected comparisons on Monday between the war in Afghanistan and the conflict in Vietnam a generation ago, but he expressed concern about “the dangers of overreach” and pledged a full debate before making further decisions on strategy.

The president’s comments, in an interview at the White House with The New York Times and CNBC, appeared to be a response to rising unease within his own party in Congress about the possibility of the United States becoming bogged down in Afghanistan.

Asked whether he worried about repeating the fate of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who declined to seek re-election in 1968 as a result of the turmoil over Vietnam, Mr. Obama replied: “You have to learn lessons from history. On the other hand, each historical moment is different. You never step into the same river twice. And so Afghanistan is not Vietnam.”

But, he added, “The dangers of overreach and not having clear goals and not having strong support from the American people, those are all issues that I think about all the time.”

Full report at:


New York City Police Department 'clarifies' report on radical Islam

By Omar Sacirbey

The New York City Police Department has issued a "clarification" to a 2007 report about Islamic radicalism that critics said cast broad swaths of the Muslim population as potential terrorists.

Muslim-American advocacy groups welcomed the two-page clarification, but worried the new statement would go largely unnoticed, and remain concerned that the original report remains intact.

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"There was a lot of publicity surrounding the first report," said Faiza Ali, the community affairs director for the New York City chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "But when it comes to the clarification, there wasn't any attention brought to it."

Ali said she learned about the clarification in a casual conversation with an NYPD detective at a Ramadan dinner last week hosted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The detective told Ali the statement was added to the report between April and June.

"NYPD understands that it is a tiny minority of Muslims who subscribe to al-Qaeda's ideology of war and terror and that the NYPD's focus on al-Qaeda inspired terrorism should not be mistaken for any implicit or explicit justification for racial, religious or ethnic profiling," said the statement.

Full report at:


Iran Agrees to New Talks With 6 Global Powers

Tehran: Nuclear Program Not on Agenda

By Joby Warrick, September 15, 2009

VIENNA, Sept. 14 -- Iran, facing stiffening pressure over its nuclear program, has agreed to a new round of talks with global powers this fall but also repeated Monday its vow to fend off any attacks against its nuclear facilities.

European Union officials announced an Oct. 1 date for the new talks, which will include Iran's top nuclear negotiator and representatives of the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China. The discussion will be the first between Iran and the six world powers in more than a year.

Iran in recent days has appeared to rule out curbs on its atomic energy program, declaring its pursuit of nuclear power to be an "inalienable right." But U.S. and E.U. officials expressed hope Monday that the new talks could ultimately include Iran's nuclear ambitions.

This is an important first step," said Steven Chu, the U.S. energy secretary, who was attending a meeting at the Vienna headquarters of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In Tehran, a Foreign Ministry spokesman appeared to dampen expectations. "Talks will focus on disarmament and international concerns, not the Iranian rights enshrined by the Non-Proliferation Treaty," said spokesman Hassan Qashqavi, referring to Iran's claim of a legitimate right to seek peaceful nuclear power.

Qashqavi was quoted by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency as saying the talks would include a package of proposals intended to reduce tensions.

Full report at:


Al-Qaida target killed in US Somali strike

PTI 15 Sep 2009

WASHINGTON: A top Al-Qaida operative who figures high on an FBI list of wanted terror suspects was killed in a US commando attack on a village in southern Somalia today, US media reported.

ABC news and Fox News quoting US officials reported that Kenyan-born Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan was killed in the attack in which at least one US helicopter fired on a convoy carrying suspected Al-Qaida targets in southern Somalia.

An American official told ABC that a US Navy ship had been nearby to monitor the situation and provide assistance if needed.

Somali elders and witnesses said foreign military forces onboard four helicopters had staged a raid on the village Monday opening fire on a vehicle and killing people inside.

The attack was said to have occurred in the small village of Erile, around 200 kilometers south of the capital Mogadishu, shortly after 1:30 pm (local time), the sources said.

The FBI's list seeking information in the war on terror suspects says that Nabhan is wanted for the 2002 attacks on Israeli targets in Mombasa in 2002.

Sources told ABC his body was now in US custody.

Full report at:


Afghan's presidential candidate calls for criminal enquiry

Accusing President Hamid Karzai of staging "state engineered fraud", his main challenger in Afghanistan's presidential elections Abdullah Abdullah has said that this amounted to worse than a crime.

"The massive vote rigging in last month's elections is worse than a crime, it's treason," Abdullah told The Times. "Karzai doesn't think about the country, he thinks only of himself. He has been caught red-handed," he said. Abdullah said, "what's at stake is Afghanistan, the future of this country. The country will die because of this sort of thing. Fraud is the extension of this corruption which prevailed in this system."

Abdullah, a former foreign minister, is trailing Karzai in partial results published by the Independent Elections Commission, an organisation that he claims is under the control of the President's supporters.

Full report at:


Are Islamic Financial Products Taxable In Nigeria?


With CBN Governor Sanusi’s advocacy for Islamic banking in the country, TAOFEEQ ABDULRAZAQ draws attention to the knotty tax issues that may arise and why it is imperative for the National Assembly or Finance Minister to be proactive

In recent times, there has been the move towards providing a framework for financial products in accordance with Islamic rules that will enable those who follow strict observance of Islam to obtain financial benefits according to their belief. The Central Bank of Nigeria issued a draft framework for the regulation and supervision of non-interest banks in March and the Governor of the Central Bank recently confirmed the need for this at the Movement for Islamic Culture and Awareness(MICA) Ramadan Symposium held in Kaduna on August 30, 2009.

Indeed, the Central Bank of Nigeria has asserted that the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act of 1991 as amended, in sections 9, 23 and 52 provides for the establishment of Islamic Banking in Nigeria.

The Koran forbids Muslims from the practice of “riba” which means the receipt or payment of interest. As a result, Sharia compliant products, the most popular of which is takaful (Islamic Insurance), is already available in the Nigerian market.

The establishment of an Islamic Bank is being advocated and is already being considered by the Central Bank. It is also not unlikely that the already established banks would soon join the band wagon and soon start devising and advertising many Sharia compliant financial products.

We can therefore, expect very soon in the market, financial structures such as “morabaha” (sale on deferred payment terms), “Modaraba” (providing finance to a venture in exchange for a share of the profits), “wakala” (a profit share agency) and “musharaka” (an assignment of diminishing shared ownership).

The Nigerian tax laws do not make provision for these words and the tendency is to believe that because they are religious products the profits derived from them would be tax exempt in accordance with section 23(c) of the Companies Income Tax Act of 2004 or section 19(1) and paragraph 13 of the Third Schedule of the Personal Income Tax Act 2004 both of which exempt from tax the income of any ecclesiastical venture provided such income is not derived from a trade or business.  This is far from the truth. The general principle tax approach is to identify the nearest equivalent in traditional western business practice to tax the outcome of the arrangement. This is the difference between the purchase price and the sale price on a “morabaha” (deferred sale contract) which is treated and taxable as interest. Similarly, where a profit share is paid, if it equates to interest, is taxable as interest.

Full report at:


Israel grants immunity to soldiers over misdeed

15 Sep 2009

The Israeli Knesset is working on a bill to grant more immunity to Israeli soldiers as the number of Palestinian lawsuits against the Israeli army hits a record high.

The bill --an amendment to the 1952 Civil Wrongs (Liability of the State) Law-- says Israel is not civilly responsible for damages incurred during a military operation launched in a situation of war, providing a broader defence for soldiers' actions in military operations.

Under the current law, soldiers must prove that their lives were in danger for their actions to be considered a military operation. But the new proposal calls for removal of the obligation on all Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and foreign countries since it assumes that the lives of soldiers operating outside Israel are inherently in danger, the Israeli publication, The Jerusalem Post, reported.

Another provision of the amendment allows the Israeli army to declare an area "hostile territory" whenever it likes, which absolves Tel Aviv of liability for damages sustained by residents of that area. Thus, whenever - and for as long as - a certain area of the West Bank, or the entire West Bank, is declared a "hostile territory", Palestinians do not have the right to sue the Israeli army for the incidents that occurred.

Full report at:


Sheikh-ul-Islam: We will not be able to take even 2000 people to Hajj due to various propagandas

5 Sep 2009

Baku. Elbrus Seyfullayev – APA. “About 800 people have applied for Hajj pilgrimage up to now.

We have paid for more people in advance. It seems that we will not be able to take even 2000 people to Hajj due to various propagandas,” chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office, Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazadeh said at the press conference, APA reports.

Pashazadeh said 8500 people from Azerbaijan may participate in Hajj pilgrimage. He said he can increase this figure by 11000 -12000 if necessary.

“Those who wish may go to Hajj. There is no concrete quota,” he said.

Allahshukur Pashazadeh said it is impossible that Hajj pilgrimage will not take place. “This happened only once. Prophet Muhammad was not allowed to approach Kaaba. Why shouldn’t we go to Hajj, if the neighboring countries do? No one can take this responsibility. We perform Hajj mission better than most countries do,” he said.



Trouser-woman’s case shows Arab violations

September 15, 2009

SUDANESE journalist Lubna Hussein's courage in challenging the absurdity of her trial, sentencing and imprisonment for wearing trousers has spotlighted the penal codes still in force in many Arab and Muslim states.

These not only violate the internationally recognised rights of women in several respects but also international laws against torture.

I still shudder when I remember the provisions of one Arab code that described the appropriate techniques to use with someone sentenced to crucifixion and how to position a person for flogging, using a chair.

What made it worse was that this was a revised code passed in 1994 and not some holdover from medieval times. The Sudanese criminal code under which Hussein was charged was passed in 1991.

Hard to believe though it is, most Arab states have signed the international Convention Against Torture. Then again, the US has too, and that did not stop its top officials from sanctioning torture.

Not all prohibitions against immodest behaviour in Arab penal codes have been as bizarrely applied as in Sudan.

However, too many Arab penal codes still directly violate women's rights in two major areas: leniency for those accused of "honour crimes" - generally males who kill female relatives accused of indecent behaviour - and waivers of charges against rapists who marry their victims.

The fact that men are able to kill their womenfolk for so-called honour crimes and get away with it is a scandal that takes place in Jordan, in the occupied Palestinian territories and in other Arab countries. In Jordan, despite active campaigns supported by the queen, the legal situation has been only slightly ameliorated.

Last month, the Jordanian Ministry of Justice responded to pressure from women's groups by saying it would establish special tribunals to hear honour crime cases. But a country where male relatives kill about 25 women and girls each year cries out for more forceful action.

At a minimum, the law must be changed - and rigorously enforced.

The penal codes are not the only laws that need reform in the Arab region: family and nationality codes and pension regulations are among the areas where women are still discriminated against and where legal change is slow and erratic. The irony is that in discriminating against women, the codes also penalise men and children.

When women cannot give their nationality to their foreign-born husbands and their children, the whole family suffers; men struggle to find work and children cannot benefit from public schooling.

There are bright spots. In Algeria, sustained pressure from women's groups has led to an egalitarian nationality code, and the codes have been ameliorated in several other countries.

To be sure, the Arab region is not the only one where laws need to be brought into line with international standards. Hussein's case is a forceful reminder that all countries must live up to their obligations, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon put it.

The UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights also issued a strong statement against the initial decision to flog Hussein, underscoring that this "cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment" is contrary to human rights standards.

Hussein was not flogged, although some other women arrested with her were. She spent only one night in jail because the journalists' syndicate paid her fine in spite of her wishes. Many in Sudan would like to consider her case "closed", as the syndicate's chairman put it, but the bright light her stand has shone on some of the conditions women face will not quickly fade away.

Equally important, as a Muslim woman Hussein has laid claim to her own interpretation of her religion.

This is a real challenge to those in the religious establishment whose narrow interpretations of the texts circumscribe so many of the human rights of women - as is also done in Judaism and Christianity.

It is hard to see the current crop of penal codes as having anything to do with Islam. The Koran begins its chapters with: "In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful."

Nadia Hijab is an independent analyst and a senior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies.



KARACHI: Muslims urged to do more for Palestinians

By Gloria Caleb

15 Sep, 2009

KARACHI, Sept 14: Islamic scholars, academics and politicians at a conference on Palestine here on Monday severely criticised the Muslim World for not doing enough to highlight the issue.

The conference was organised by the Palestinian Liberation Front’s Pakistan chapter and attended by Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senator Mushahidullah Khan, Dr Huma Baqai, Prof Ghafoor Ahmed, Allama Aquil Anjum and Munawar Naqvi. Mushaid Hussian Syed, Secretary-General of the Pakistan Muslim League, highlighted the historic ties between Muslims of South Asia and the Palestinian people, saying that the relations dated back to the 1920s when the All India Muslim League sent aid to Palestinians.

He also recalled that there were two points stressed by the Quaid-i-Azam when the Pakistan Resolution was passed on March 23, 1940: the first was that the Muslims of South Asia should be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination, and the second was support the Palestinian cause.

In a letter dated Sept 29, 1946 and addressed to the then prime minister of Britain, Clement Attlee, the Quaid demanded a curb on Israeli settlements. Referring to the support extended by the Pakistan government to the Arabs in the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, Mr Sayed said this was not only the vision of the founder of Pakistan towards Palestine, but also of the PPP government headed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He said that two Pakistan Air Force pilots had been sent to assist the Palestinians in the war.

Full report at:


ABU DHABI —Terror Funding Case Verdict Likely on Oct. 12

(Adel Arafah), 15 September 2009

ABU DHABI — The Federal Supreme Court is expected to issue a verdict on October 12 in a case in which an American businessman of Lebanese origin is accused of funding the Taqaw Foundation, which is allegedly linked with the Al Qaeda network.

He is also charged with funding and abetting three terror organisations – Al Qaeda, Ansar Al Sunah and Arab Organisation in Iraq.

Defence counsel Dr Fahad Al Sabhan stated on Monday that the UAE’s law-enforcement authorities had arrested his 43-year-old client, after receiving information from foreign sources that he had direct links with these organisations through electronic modes of communications, by which he relayed critical information and news.

The defendant admitted to have done wrong, but he pleaded not guilty as he had unintentionally logged on to the web site of the Ansar Al Sunah group, an Iraqi rebel group with association with the Al Qaeda network, which claimed responsibility of a number of suicide bombings and kidnappings.

Al Sabhan told Khaleej Times that the verdict on October 12 will not be subject to challenge.

Monday’s hearing was attended by the defendant and his two advocates, Dr. Al Sabhan and Abdul Qadir Al Haithami, who told the court that the defendant had faced the same charges in Lebanon and was acquitted.

“His house and car were searched and no evidence to convict him was found,” he pointed out.

As for his donation of Dh2,000 to a terror organisation to help it fire two rockets at Israel, the advocates said the defendant offered the money to an orphanage through his brother-in-law. The meagre amount could not be considered as financing terrorism and launching of rockets at Israel, they maintained. —



Islamist legal warfare or "lawfare”

Libel tourism overshadowed threat to free and open discourse on radical Islam, terrorism, and its sources of funding

By Aaron Eitan Meyer on 9.15.09

On Tuesday, August 18, the Saudi Arabia-based Arab News reported that Khalid bin Mahfouz, the Saudi billionaire perhaps best known in the West as the "Libel Tourist" for his penchant for using U.K. connections to bring libel lawsuits against his critics had passed away.

However, the much-publicized phenomenon of 'libel tourism' -- that is, the practice of non-United Kingdom residents suing American researchers and authors for libel in the plaintiff-friendly U.K. -- had already effectively met its own demise over a year ago, date needed after Rachel Ehrenfeld's refusal to comply with a British court's default judgment in favour of bin Mahfouz against her led to the enactment of protective legislation in several U.S. states, and consideration of similar bills in Congress.

In fact, bin Mahfouz's only newsworthy success came when he sued for libel over the book Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World, whose publisher, Cambridge University Press, capitulated  to him, abjectly apologizing publicly and even requesting that libraries pull copies off of shelves -- a request that American libraries categorically refused. However, unlike the Ehrenfeld case, bin Mahfouz's suit over Alms for Jihad, reprehensible and predatory though it was, was not a case of libel tourism, since Alms for Jihad was "Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge."

Yet, despite its brief and extremely limited existence, libel tourism has been allowed for too long to overshadow the real extent of the threat to free and open discourse on radical Islam, terrorism, and its sources of funding -- Islamist legal warfare, or "lawfare."

Unlike libel tourism, Islamist lawfare is not a mere tactic, but part of a grand strategy, and one that uses every legal opportunity possible to achieve its goals: including rewriting international human rights norms to comport with  Shari'a-based interpretation, attempts to globally criminalize manufactured and unsubstantiated assertions of "Islamophobia" or "defamation" of religion, claims of "hate speech" or "harassment," and promoting self-censorship by American publishers and media. Even as far as predatory libel lawsuits go, there have been many cases brought within the U.S. without the need to resort to British libel law, leaving bin Mahfouz's "libel tourism" as generally unnecessary.

Full report at:


Growing Islamophobia in London is dangerous

By Dr. Hamad Al-Majid, 15 Sept, 2009

"Stop Islamisation of Europe [SIOE] is a dangerous slogan. It was raised in front of London's large mosques last Friday by a fanatical racist British group calling itself "Stop the Islamisation of Europe" on the eighth anniversary of the 11 September events. In a cunning and deceitful manner, this group does not say that it is against British Muslims, but its slogans chanted by its members repeat "The Muslims are bombing our streets". Despite the limited presence of these racist bands, those concerned for the Muslim communities are deeply worried about the future stability of these communities in Europe. Racism is growing day after day and downplaying or minimizing its dangers may have catastrophic consequences.

In my opinion, the danger of these racist groups does not lie in their numbers at present. It lies in their tactics. These groups realize that public opinion in Europe is opposed to them and their ideas just as it is opposed to any racial discrimination. That is why these groups publicize their slogans, demonstrations, banners, speeches, and video clips by posting them on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. They resort to a provocative language primarily aimed at instigating the young enthusiasts of the Muslim community in Britain to counter-react in a violent manner. The western media is always ready to put the spotlight on and inflate negative Muslim reactions. Such violent reactions might broaden support for these racist groups by some sectors of the average European community. Unfortunately, this is what happened in front of the Harrow Mosque north of the British capital last Friday. After the supporters of "Stop the Islamisation of Europe" gathered raising their racist slogans, a similar number of zealous British Muslim youths also gathered in front of the mosque. Such gatherings or counter-gatherings are allowed by law. But the problem is when the situation gets out of control. The nearness of these two contradictory groups is like adding fuel to the fire. When voices rise and curses and swearwords are exchanged, the tension rises and everything becomes possible. Regrettably, some Muslim youths acted rashly. They pelted the British policemen with stones and this is exactly what the radical racist British group wants.

The other dangerous aspect that will increase the influence and support of this racist British group is that they discovered that they have common interests with the radical British right-wing and the soccer hooligans. Some sources have even referred to contacts and coordination among these high-strung groups. Although the British National Party claims that it keeps its distance from this fanatical gang, as the BBC site says, anti-racist groups have shown pictures of figures in the British National Party participating in the demonstrations stage by this gang. If this racist cooperation were to succeed, one can imagine its effect on British soil and on the Muslim community that is more than one million strong.

With all candor and regret we say that the behavior of a limited number of youths from the Muslim community and its Islamic centers can act as fuel to feed the racist groups opposed to Islam and the Muslims in Britain and all Europe. The Muslim community continues to suffer from the inflammatory and provocative statements made by Abu-Qatada, Abu-Hamzah, and Omar al-Bakri as well as by the Al-Qaeda sympathizers that bombed the subway in London and attacked the airport in Glasgow. These were seduced by the glamour of the British media without realizing (or perhaps realizing, God knows) the negative repercussions that their behavior and statements would have on the Muslim arena in all of Europe.