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

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Saudi Child bride turned over to 80-year-old husband

Saudi Tribal Customs, Not Islam, Responsible for Male Guardianship Abuses

Mass wedding in Gaza weds 450 child brides

The Muslims American too loved Ted Kennedy (he was against war in Iraq)

Al Qaeda Video Calls On Muslims to Support Militants

Grim Milestone Nears for US in Afghan War

British Muslim leader kidnapped at knifepoint after a BNP hate campaign

Ayatollah Says U.S. and UK Aren't to Blame for Civil Unrest

Can a devout Muslim be a good American?

Are church leaders affirming Allah?

Defamation of Islam Imperils Relations Among Nations, Says OIC

An Underground Railroad for a Muslim Girl

Islamist Terrorism Suspect Arrested as German Case Widens

Ahmadinejad: Post-vote riot ring leaders should not be immune

Iran's Supreme Leader Says No Foreign Link To Leaders Of Unrest

MILF: Forces committed to peace during Ramadan

Texas Southern Baptists see conversion opportunities among Muslims

Indonesian President: Make Islam way of peace and harmony

Schools consider Muslim Holidays as fairness issue

Muslims should look for themselves, says scholar

Pakistan: Terrorism suspects sent on judicial remand

Syria recalls envoy to Iraq

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau




Saudi Child bride turned over to 80-year-old husband

Arab News, 27 Aug 2009

AL-LAITH, AUGUST 25 - A 10-year-old bride was returned last Sunday to her 80-year-old husband by her father who discovered her at the home of her aunt with whom she has been hiding for around 10 days. A Saudi local newspaper said the husband, who denies he is 80 in spite of claims by the girl's family, accused the aunt of meddling in his affairs. "My marriage is not against Shariah. It included the elements of acceptance and response by the father of the bride," he said. He added that he had been engaged to his wifés elder sister and that this broke off as she wanted to continue with her education. "In light of this, her father offered his younger daughter. I was allowed to have a look at her according to Shariah and found her acceptable," he said. Maatouq Al-Abdullah, a member of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), said there is no system in place regulating the marriage of young girls, something that he said results in adverse psychological, health and social effects. "Such marriages are considered a gross violation of charters on the rights of children, which the Kingdom has signed and which set the age of adulthood at 18," he added. (ANSAmed).


Mass wedding in Gaza weds 450 child brides

Palestinian grooms take part in a mass wedding in the Jabalia refugee camp

SHEIKH ZAYED CITY, Gaza Strip — Nearly a thousand Palestinians celebrated marriage on Thursday night in a ceremony organised by Hamas in the north of the Gaza Strip.

 Hamas dignitaries including Mahmud Zahar, one of the militant group's top leaders, were on hand to congratulate 450 grooms who took part in the carefully stage-managed event.

 "We are saying to the world and to America that you cannot deny us joy and happiness," Zahar told the men, all of whom were dressed in identical black suits and hailed from the nearby Jabalia refugee camp.

 Each groom received a present of 500 dollars from Hamas, which said its workers had also contributed five percent of their monthly salaries to add to the wedding gift. 

The 450 brides shared none of the glamour, taking seats among the audience of around 1,000 party guests: most couples had already taken part in religious ceremonies elsewhere, with more marriages planned for the next few days.

 "We are presenting this wedding as a gift to our people who stood firm in the face of the siege and the war," local Hamas strongman Ibrahim Salaf said in a speech….


Saudi Tribal Customs, Not Islam, Responsible for Male Guardianship Abuses

August 27, 2009

A battle is brewing among Saudi women over the touchy issue of male guardianship. Pressure from outside Saudi Arabia has been building to abolish guardianship laws, and a number of women who fashion themselves as activists have led the charge.

Perhaps the most visible is Wajeha Al-Huwaider, a Saudi who does a little showboating by being driven in a taxi to the border checkpoint to enter Bahrain without permission from a male guardian. She's always turned away by Saudi authorities and told to go home. She is the darling of Western conservatives who think this public demonstration will further the cause of Saudi women.

It's silly. Public acts of defiance are unseemly in Saudi society and few women want to give up their dignity when letter-writing and petition campaigns are more effective.

Additionally, advocating to completely abolish guardianship rules is not a productive means to deal with abuses in the system. The problem with some Saudi activists is that they want to make wholesale changes that are contrary to Islam, which requires a mahram for traveling women. If one wonders why great numbers of Saudi women don't join Al-Huwaider it's because they are asked to defy Islam. Al-Huwaider's all or nothing position undercuts her credibility.

Of course, there are a great many women who are abused and they are seeking to change the guardianship system. And these efforts have sparked a counter-campaign by women who want the system to remain the same.

Recently a campaign called "My Guardian Knows the Best for Me" was initiated in direct response to the anti-guardianship movement. I have mixed feelings about both movements, but I must say the guardianship supporters have me more worried.

The system currently in place is seriously flawed. Saudi authorities have abdicated their responsibility to see that laws are enforced in a fair and equitable manner. It has ceased being a religious issue and is more about patriarchal control.

Many families treat their wives, daughters and sisters with great respect and don't follow their every move. Permission to travel or to conduct business abroad is often granted carte blanche with a signed piece of paper from a mahram. Many women travel freely with this document and consult little with the men in their families about their movements.

But since there are no codified laws, most Saudi women traveling alone don't know from one day to the next whether their documents will pass scrutiny at the airport. And for every family that follows guardianship rules, there is another family that wields the law like a club. It's not a system ripe for abuse. It's already a system abused with regularity.

Guardianship opponents are waging a losing battle if they believe that Saudi authorities will abolish the law. The reality is that there is little incentive for the government to consider anything but maintaining the status quo.

More worrisome is the women's pro-guardianship camp that is perfectly happy for men to control their lives. That's fine for them. They undoubtedly live in households of unquestioned male authority and are pleased with the arrangement. But what about the women abused by the guardian system?

It was reported recently that a Saudi woman protested that her father rejected several potential husbands because they did not belong to the family's tribe. The father confined her to the house as punishment and denied her outside employment. He even sent her to a mental institution when she continued her protests. She sued her father in court, but found herself at the wrong end of a tongue-lashing from the judge who said she did not respect her father. She now lives in a women's shelter.

Here is a clear instance of the Saudi judicial system failing to protect the woman and tacitly endorsing abuse of the guardianship system.

If men follow the spirit of guardianship as outlined in the Qur'an and recognize at the same time there is no place for tribal customs within the system, then a happy medium can be found. But if the Saudi courts fail to implement checks and balances to punish guardianship abusers and to protect the victims, then the laws are pointless.

Tribal customs should not usurp Sharia. Yet, to listen to the pro-guardianship camp, Saudi customs and traditions should indeed be a central part of the system. In effect, they are placing customs and traditions above Islam.

By waging a campaign fully supporting existing guardianship rules dooms thousands of Saudi women to being housebound servants to male family members.

A campaign to encourage guardianship, but also to demand that codified laws protect the abused, makes more sense. Such a system respects an independent woman's right to move about, attend university and marry whomever she pleases. It allows the family to determine a comfort level, but also imposes consequences on guardians who manipulate the laws to their own advantage.

The argument that women are not competent to handle their own affairs is not valid and never has been. More Saudi women than men attend universities in Saudi Arabia and abroad. Most of the money held in banks belongs to women.

How guardianship laws are followed must be a joint decision involving the family. But Saudi judges also need to summon the courage to cast aside customs and traditions when faced with abuse cases and make the right call to protect victims.



The Muslims American too loved Ted Kennedy (he was against war in Iraq)

27 Aug, 2009

The Islamic Society of North America released a statement on the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, focusing on his public service and advocacy toward workers, immigrants and the disabled.

With public service a focus of the Obama administration, Senator Kennedy's efforts to help marginalized people were recognized April 21 when President Obama signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. The president said it was fitting that the Serve America Act was named after Kennedy, whom he called a person who "never stopped asking what he could do for his country."

Senator Kennedy was one of the few U.S. senators to vote against the bill authorizing the war in Iraq.

To read more about the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, see "A Nation of Volunteers Enters a New Era of Service.

The Islamic Society of North America conveys its deepest condolences to the family of Senator Edward Kennedy who passed away on the evening of August 25, 2009. "To God we belong and to Him we return (Qur'an 2:156)."

Senator Kennedy's life is a testament to the possibility that dedicated public service can make a profound and positive impact on the people's lives. Senator Kennedy worked long hours to support, and often lead, the development of legislation to support the rights of workers, immigrants, the disabled, and other marginalized and historically oppressed people. Senator Kennedy was a relentless advocate for health care reform, first leading the successful development of S-CHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and continuing until the end of his life to advocate for health care for all Americans.

At the beginning of his Senate career Senator Kennedy denounced the war in Vietnam and forty years later, in 2002, voted against authorizing the war in Iraq. A strong advocate for peace and reconciliation in Ireland, a critic of South African apartheid and Chilean dictatorship, Senator Kennedy often set a high moral standard for US foreign policy.

According to the New York Times, after the tragic assassination of his brother Robert, Senator Kennedy said, "My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it." We believe these words to apply to our brother in humanity, Edward Kennedy.


Al Qaeda Video Calls On Muslims To Support Militants

Aug 28, 2009

Al Qaeda's second-in-command called on Pakistanis to back Islamic militants in the country's tribal areas against what he called an ongoing assault by American "crusaders" and the Pakistani army.

Punishment from God was promised for Muslims who did not follow the words of Ayman al-Zawahiri in a video that appeared on radical Islamist Web sites Thursday.

"The war in the tribal areas and Swat [Valley] is an inseparable part of the crusaders' assault on the Muslims the length and breadth of the Islamic world," al-Zawahiri said in the video, titled "Path of Doom."

"This is the battle, briefly and plainly; and this is why anyone who supports the Americans and Pakistan army -- under any pretext, ploy or lie -- is in fact standing with, backing and supporting the crusaders against Islam and Muslims."

The Pakistani military is fighting Taliban militants in the country's north, and missile attacks from suspected U.S. drones have targeted militant leaders -- one of them killing Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban.

Reports from the region suggest government troops have dislodged the Taliban from many areas of the North West Frontier Province, but militant attacks continue daily.

In the video, Al-Zawahiri suggested that the United States has wider goals in the region.

"They want to eliminate the Mujahedeen (Islamic militants) in the tribal areas so they can seek to smother the Jihad in Afghanistan," he said.

NATO-led forces are battling the Taliban across the border in Afghanistan as well. U.S. and British forces launched offensives in Helmand province this summer.

Al-Zawahiri warned Muslims that they have a religious duty to support the jihad, or struggle, or face punishment from God.

"No people abandons Jihad without Allah giving them a general punishment," he said, quoting the Quran.

Al-Zawahiri also prayed for the annihilation "the Americans and Jews" and anyone who might help them.


Grim Milestone Nears for US In Afghan War

Aug. 27, 2009

August Set to Become Deadliest Month for American Troops Since Invasion as 44th Death Confirmed by Military

(AP)  NATO says a U.S. service member has been killed in a militant attack involving a roadside bomb and gunfire.

The death brings to 44 the number of U.S. troops who have died in Afghanistan this month, tying August with July for the deadliest month of the eight-year war.

NATO says the American died in southern Afghanistan on Thursday when the troop's patrol responded to the gunfire attack.

With four days left in the month, August is likely to become the deadliest of the war. More than 60,000 U.S. troops are now in the country - a record number - to combat rising insurgent violence.

General: More Troops in Afghanistan Means Less Risk

Meanwhile, NATO and Afghan officials said Thursday that a U.S. helicopter had attacked a medical clinic in eastern Afghanistan after a wounded Taliban commander sought treatment there.

Officials said U.S. and Afghan forces clashed with insurgents at the clinic after militants put up resistance. The militant death toll from Wednesday's fight varied widely from none killed to 12 dead.

A U.S. statement said an AH-64 Apache helicopter fired rounds at the clinic after it was cleared of civilians. It said seven insurgents were detained.

Hamidullah Zhwak, spokesman for Paktika province's governor, said the attack began after a wounded Taliban commander went for treatment at the clinic. U.S. and Afghan forces were tipped off and fighting with some 20 militants lasted about five hours.

Zhwak said the Taliban commander was wounded Aug. 20, the day of the country's presidential election.

The latest violence comes as the war-torn country awaits results from that election. The lengthy vote count, coupled with ongoing accusations of fraud, threatens to undermine hopes that Afghans can put together a united front against the insurgency.


British Muslim leader kidnapped at knifepoint and ordered to stop community prayers after BNP leaflet campaign

27th August 2009

A Muslim community leader has been kidnapped from his home at knifepoint and ordered to stop his religious work after a BNP hate campaign against his prayer sessions.

Noor Ramjanally, 35, said he was abducted by two men, bundled into a car boot and driven to Epping Forest in Essex.

Mr Ramjanally, whose home in nearby Loughton was firebombed last month, feared he was about to be murdered when the car stopped and one of the kidnappers said: 'Let's do it here'. 

'I thought that my life was over, that I was going to get killed,' he said.

The pair marched him deep into the forest in silence before warning him: 'We don't want the Islamic group in Loughton'.

Mr Ramjanally said: 'I was scared. I feared for my life. They said, "If you don't stop, we'll come back".'

Since starting prayer sessions at a community centre in March, Mr Ramjanally has received hate mail threatening his family as well as the arson attack. 

The BNP has been accused of whipping up racial tensions in the area after it issued an inflammatory leaflet about Mr Ramjanally's Islamic community group the first in Loughton.

In the latest edition of the BNP's Epping Forest Patriot newsletter, delivered to many households in Loughton, it attacked Mr Ramjanally's hiring of a local hall on Friday afternoons for two hour Jumu'ah prayer sessions.

Under a picture of a union flag being eaten away by the Islamic moon and crescent, the leaflet said: 'In parts of neighbouring Redbridge and east London the Islamification process is almost complete. Cockney culture destroyed and East End community spirit just a fading memory.

'The BNP love Loughton and we'll do all in our power to prevent Islam creeping into our town.' 

The BNP, which has four councillors in the area, believes the Islamic group is a prelude to building a mosque.

Its leaflet is headed in capital letters: 'No mosques in Loughton.'

Essex Police have confirmed they are treating the kidnapping as a hate crime and are linking it to the two previous incidents and the group's use of Murray Hall.

The BNP strongly denies any responsibility for the crimes.

Married father-of-one Mr Ramjanally, who now fears for his life, said: 'The men did not say anything about the BNP or who they were.

'But it is only the BNP who want my Islamic group out of Loughton.

'I believe the BNP campaign has inspired the violence.'

Mr Ramjanally was at home alone in his flat fasting for Ramadan at 12.15pm on Monday when his doorbell rang repeatedly.

He said: 'I was expecting the council to come to fix my shed. But when I opened the door, two men just grabbed me by my wrists and pulled me outside.

'It was two white men. They put a knife upon my stomach and said: "Do what you are told or you will get hurt".

'I was in shock. I did not know what to do.'

After the men left Mr Ramjanally in the forest, he was able to borrow a passer-by's mobile phone to dial 999.

He said he and his family were terrified after being targeted three times but defiantly vowed to continue the prayer sessions.

'I am really shaken. These people know where I live,' Mr Ramjanally said.

'My family are not opening the door to anyone at all at the moment.

'We don't deserve to be going through all this stress. We just want somewhere to pray.

'The prayer sessions are no different to those taking place at other mosques and community halls up and down the country.

'We are a very peaceful, sincere group and we respect every other culture.'

He said if not for his prayer sessions, Muslims would have to travel four miles to South Woodford.

'I have got the whole UK Muslim community behind me know. I am not just on my own.'

The prayer sessions began on March 27 with nine people worshipping and now up to 80 people attend.

Full Report at:


Ayatollah Says U.S. and UK Aren't to Blame for Civil Unrest

by Moguldom

 August 27, 2009

According to Iran's state-run media, the nation's supreme leader said the U.S. and UK are not to blame for the post-election violence that took place after the election.

Ayatollah Khamenei told a group of University students "I don't accuse the leaders of the recent incidents of being affiliated with foreign countries, including the United States and Britain, since the issue has not been proven for me."

He added, "But there is no doubt that the events were planned, no matter whether their leaders knew it or not."

The current president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and other official leaders previously made claims that the United State and Britain were "meddling" in affairs that were not of their concern, for which Ahmadinejad threatened repercussive action.

According to CNN, Iran's intelligence minister Gholam-Hosein Mohseni Ejei accused Western powers for sparking protests. He believes the British Embassy in Tehran "played a heavy role in the recent disturbances" and the U.S. led the endeavor.

"The fact that Iran is stable, calm and secure, they're upset with this," Ejei told Iran's Press TV.

Thousands of Iranian citizens took to the streets for two weeks after what was believed to be a fraudulent or fixed election of Ahmadinejad, who declared he won by a landslide.

Over 1,000 protestors were arrested and at least 30 people died in the post-election protests that often turned violent.

The current president's opponent challenged the election results, but were unsuccessful in their attempts to acquire a re-vote. In early August, Ahmadinejad was sworn in for his second term.

Iranian officials have gone after a several protesters and have initiated mass trial for the individual demonstrators, including two French and British embassy employees and a French citizen.

According to Iranian officials, a groups of defendant have admitted to helping

the United States instigate the civil upheaval.

On Wednesday, Khamenei said Iran's prosecutors should not use "rumors" as grounds for criminal implication, but should try them on hard evidence.

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Can a devout Muslim be a good American?

By Bryan Fischer

August 28, 2009

Can a devout Muslim be a good American? I submit that the answer to this extremely important question is "No."

This is simply because the values of Islam are fundamentally incompatible with the values of an America which has been formed and shaped by Judeo-Christian values.

First, America celebrates the free exercise of religion. Islam does not. The first fundamental liberty our Founders protected in the Bill of Rights is the freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. In Islam, you are only allowed, under penalty of death, to worship Allah according to the dictates of Mohammed's conscience.

It is still a capital crime in virtually all Muslim countries to convert from Islam to Christianity. In many Muslim countries, such as our main Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, it is a capital crime to worship Christ with other believers, even in clandestine settings.

Second, America reveres the God of the Bible, while Islam does not. Despite their differences, our Founders were united by a powerful and shared belief in the Creator revealed in the Judeo-Christian tradition. At the time of the founding, 99.8% of the population of the colonies identified with the Christian religion (the other 0.2% followed Judaism). Still today the vast majority of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Islam does not share with us this unifying faith, and worships a different god altogether.

America was founded on a reverence for the Judeo-Christian God, the source of all our inalienable rights. The Creator-God the Founders worshiped has an only-begotten Son. But devout Muslims worship a different god altogether, for, as banners all across the Muslim world declare, "Allah has no son."

The apostle Paul frequently refers to God in his letters as "the father of our Lord Jesus Christ" to distinguish him from the pagan gods. Those who lamely try to claim Christians and Muslims worship the same God are theologically illiterate.

Simply put, the Founders worshiped the God of the Bible, and Muslims do not.

Third, America, shaped by Christian thought, believes in the use of persuasion while Islam does not. This is true whether we are seeking to convince someone to share a religious or political point of view. But Islam teaches that its cause is to be advanced primarily at the point of the sword.

Both Christianity and Islam have global aims. But the driving energy in Christianity is to win the world through love and persuasion while Islam seeks to subdue the world through force. The only choices given to Christians under Islam are to convert, submit, or die.

Simply put, Christian America believes in persuasion, while Islam believes in raw power.

Fourth, Christian America cherishes liberty as a fundamental value while Islam does not. One of the mottos of the Founders in our battle with Britain was, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor. 3:17)." The mark of a Christian nation is a hunger for liberty and freedom inspired by the Spirit of liberty.

Where the spirit of Islam is, there is only darkness, repression and tyranny. In Islam, there is no political or religious liberty of any kind.

This is why, by the way, it is fundamentally misguided for Americans to think we can build nations in the Muslim world that love democracy and a republican form of government, for the simple reason that the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of liberty and freedom, can't be found in Islamic countries.

The spirit that is active in Islam is a heavy, malevolent and oppressive spirit which despises freedom and thinks of it as weakness.

Only a people whose values have been shaped by the Spirit of liberty will hunger for freedom, whether of the religious or political kind. Christianity values liberty while Islam values subjugation, control and domination.

Fifth, Christian America believes in the dignity and worth of women while Islam does not. While Christianity does teach that men and women have different but complementary roles in the home and in the church, Christianity believes that women are the full equal of men in worth, dignity and value.

Christianity teaches husbands to love their wives, as Christ loved his bride, the church. Just as Christ laid down his life for his bride, so Christian husbands are taught to lay down their very lives to protect and serve their brides.

Full Report at:


Are church leaders affirming Allah?

August 28, 2009

By Joe Schimmel

Has anyone noticed how hundreds of professing Christian leaders are compromising their faith by uniting with Muslims? Could it be that we are witnessing the formation of the prophesied one-world religion under the Antichrist? (Revelation 13:1-18)

For example, Brian McLaren, a prominent Emerging Church leader, announced plans to celebrate the Islamic holiday Ramadan, commemorating Muhammad's reception of the Quran. On the Fourth of July, when most Americans were celebrating the birth of our nation, Rick Warren, "America's Pastor," addressed the Islamic Society of North America, which, the Department of Justice categorized two years ago as a co-conspirator in financing a foreign terrorist group!

Another Emerging Church leader, Tony Campolo, a proponent of the so-called "evangelical left" claimed that "even if" Muslims "don't convert, they are God's people." Campolo further declared, "A theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam." ("Speaking My Mind," page 149). Campolo, like McLaren and Warren, has a habit of compromising biblical truth to forge unholy alliances with sworn enemies of the Gospel. Campolo admitted, "Consequently, anyone who accuses me of violating the biblical message is correct!" ("A Reasonable Faith," page 190)

Watch Joel Richardson explain the significance of Islam in last-days events with this 3-disc DVD set: "Islam and the End Times"

Even more chilling is the fact that over 300 prominent Christian leaders signed a letter issued by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture claiming that world peace is dependent on Muslims and Christians recognizing "Allah" and "Yahweh" as the same God. This letter, titled "Loving God and Neighbor Together," was written in response to a signed document by 138 Muslim leaders titled "A Common Word Between Us and You." McLaren, Warren, Robert Schuller and Bill Hybels were just several of the signatories to this outright betrayal of Christ!

Furthermore, both of these documents affirmed Muhammed as a "Prophet" of God and declared that world peace was dependant on mutual affirmation of the "unity" of God. Dr. William Lane Craig, a leading Christian apologist and philosopher, correctly stated that by signing this document, Rick Warren and others were, in effect, signing up to become Muslims! This is because an affirmation of Allah as God is a denial of the Triune God revealed in Holy Scripture. Moreover, the Quran denies that Jesus is the Son of God no less than nine times.

The Islamic "Common Word" document, in effect, calls on Christians to affirm the Islamic understanding of the unity of God as a precondition to achieving world peace. Part and parcel of implementing Shariah law around the world is the imposition of the worship of Allah worldwide:

Believe in Allah and say not "Trinity." Cease! It is better for you! Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son. (Quran, Sura 4:171)

Incredibly, the very title of the Muslim document, "A Common Word Between Us and You," is actually taken from a Quranic verse that calls for Christian's ("people of the book") to deny the Trinity (so-called "partners") and to submit to Allah as the one true God:

O People of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah. (Quran, Sura 3:64)


Defamation Of Islam Imperils Relations Among Nations, Says Ihsanoglu

August 28, 2009

DUBAI, Aug 28 (Bernama) -- Defamation of Islam represents one of the most conspicuous demonstrations of contemporary racism and intolerance, said Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) secretary-general Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

He said it also constituted a threat to harmonious and cooperative relationship between and among nations.

"The campaign of Islamophobia has adversely impacted the image, the honour, the cultural identity and the self-esteem of Muslims the world over, eroding their fundamental human rights," he said.

He drove this point home at a conference dedicated to assessing the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action (DDPA) against the scourge of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

Ihsanoglu said the situation called for a frank and open discussion to consider the ultimate aim of those who were determined to pit one culture against another and disseminate discord and conflicts among peoples.

The secretary-general also said it was important to note that national laws alone could not stem the rising tide of discrimination against Muslims, on the basis of their religion.

"It's alarming to see this trend spreading to the grassroots communities. If we're to see a world free from discrimination and tension, we have to set up a framework to help us study the sources and root causes of this discrimination to deal with them promptly," he said.

There was a need, he said, to analyse national laws and check if they were compatible with the provisions of international laws, covenants and treaties.

"This could be compiled in a single 'universal document' as guidelines for legislation to counter discrimination and its root causes," Ihsanoglu added.


An Underground Railroad for a Muslim Girl

27 Aug, 2009

Frontpage Interview's guest today is Pamela Geller, founder, editor and publisher of the popular and award-winning weblog She has won acclaim for her interviews with internationally renowned figures, including John Bolton, Geert Wilders, Bat Ye'or, Natan Sharansky, and many others, and has broken numerous important stories -- notably the questionable sources of some of the financing of the Obama campaign. Her op-eds have been published in The Washington Times, The American Thinker, Israel National News, Frontpage Magazine, World Net Daily, and New Media Journal, among other publications.

FP: Tell us about the case of Rifqa Bary and where the situation stands at present.

Geller: Rifqa Bary, who recently turned seventeen, converted to Christianity from Islam -- bringing upon herself Islam's death sentence for those who leave Islam. When she was questioned by a news reporter, she spoke with the voice of every girl murdered in the name of Islamic "honor". You could hear Amina and Sarah, Aqsa and Rand. The bitter cries that no one heard. Rifqa pleads for herself but she cries for all Muslim girls who are oppressed and subjugated. "I was threatened by my dad," Rifqa cried. "When my dad found out" about her conversion to Christianity, "phone calls from the Muslim community started coming in with emails that confronted me. And I had a laptop and he took that laptop and waved it in the air and he was about to beat me with it, and he said, 'If you have this Jesus in your heart, you're dead to me. You're not my daughter.' And I refused to speak but he said, 'I will kill you. Tell me the truth.' In these words, bad words, cuss words. So I knew that I had to get away."

She ran away to Florida and escaped the fate her father had in mind for her. But now Rifqa is in the middle of a custody battle that could send her to her death. "They want me back home," she says. "I can't go back to Ohio, you guys don't understand. That community, they're like -- I will die within a week. My life is at stake."

"You guys don't understand," Rifqa said. "Islam is very different than you guys think. They have to kill me. My blood is now halal, which means that because I am now a Christian, I'm from a Muslim background, it's an honor. If they love God more than me, they have to do this."

Now her father is trying to regain custody of Rifqa, and he and the Islamic Society of Central Florida say she has been "kidnapped" and "brainwashed" by a "cult," and that she's a "rebel," a "troubled teen." "This is a cult group who kidnapped my daughter and took her away," claims Mohamed Bary, Rifqa's father.

She hitchhiked to the bus station and took a Greyhound from Ohio to Florida. How is that a kidnapping? Rifqa Bary's father is also claiming that she was "brainwashed" by the Pastor of the Global Revolution church in Orlando. But Rifqa's Myspace page, to which she last logged in two years ago, shows that she had already converted by 2007.

The family that is accusing her of lying and saying "she is free to practice her Christianity" is a devout Muslim family, and Islam calls for death for those who leave Islam. It was the members of the family's mosque who alerted Rifqa's father of her conversion to Christianity -- the devout family's mosque ratted Rifqa out. How can this girl be safe if she is forced to return to her family now?

FP: And our law came to her defense just recently right?

Geller. Yes. Rifqa triumphed in her jurisdiction hearing last Friday. The ruling was unexpected. The Islamists did not see that coming. They never expected Rifqa and the forces of good to prevail upon the powers that be in Florida. So now they are in overdrive. Just watch. They will try to tear this young girl to shreds and rip Christianity along with it. It was reported that CAIR officials has been handing out copies of the leftist, taqiya spouting Orlando Sentinel and instructing their "supporters" to push the meme that Christians have brainwashed and abducted this gullible teenage girl.

Full Report at:


Ahmadinejad: Post-vote riot ring leaders should not be immune

28 Aug, 2009

Tehran, Aug 28, IRNA – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here Friday called on the judiciary and security officials to deal strongly with main agents behind the post-10th Presidential Elections events, warning that the main elements behind the riots should not be immune while their inferiors are punished.

Delivering his pre-sermon address to this week's Friday prayers congregation, President Ahmadinejad said those organizing certain movements, making provocations and enforcing the enemy conspiracies, should be strongly confronted.

He added that however, those being deceived and the inferior elements in the riots should be treated with Islamic passion.

He then said those who wish to separate Islamic and republican features of the system should know that the two are not separable.

He said the 85 percent voter turnout in the elections and 25 million votes given to the president are turning point in Islamic Revolution's history.

The Chief Executive said storm(s) on Tehran University dorm and unethical moves taken place at Kahrizak detention camp were all parts of the enemy's scenarios.

"Attack on the university dorm and unethical measures taken place in the detention centers were parts of the enemy scenarios. The measures were carried out by those associated with the toppling movement," said President Ahmadinejad.

The President said that unfortunately, some people played a part in the enemy's scenario after the June 12 10th President Elections.

Calling the 10th Presidential Elections "healthiest" of their kind, President Ahmadinejad said those claiming existence of fraud in the elections did not present any evidence.

He said that in Iran elections there is no possibility for such an extent of fraud because those are people who run the elections.

He added that the June 12 Elections in Iran were genuine in their kind and thwarted enemy conspiracies.

"Elections in Iran are genuine in their kind. The June 12 (10th Presidential) Elections thwarted enemy plots and conspiracies," said the President.

President Ahmadinejad reiterated that all the world people do know that elections in Iran are genuine and are not something showy and a pre-meditated plan as are customary in the world's so-called democratic systems.

He then switched to his 21-member cabinet line-up, proposed to Majlis for confidence voting, and said the cabinet suggested to Majlis is "strong, integrated, specialized, healthy and public serving", calling on the parliament to vote to it.

"Majlis should lay the basis on trust," advised the president.

He hoped that Majlis will give highest number of votes to the proposed cabinet, thus allowing formation of a powerful and serving government so that it will stand enemies.


Iran's Supreme Leader Says No Foreign Link To Leaders Of Unrest

August 27, 2009

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he has not seen any proof that the leaders of opposition protests that broke out after the disputed June presidential election were working for foreign powers.

 (RFE/RL) -- Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has played down hard-line accusations that the leaders of the huge opposition protests that followed the disputed presidential election in June were working for foreign powers.

Speaking to students in Tehran on August 26, Khamenei said he had received no proof of those accusations.

He said anybody making allegations must be able to provide solid evidence, as the judiciary could not move forward on "guesswork" and "rumors."

But Khamenei repeated his view that the rioting -- which began after the announcement that President Mahmud Ahmadinejad had won reelection -- was planned in advance from outside, whether local opposition leaders were aware of that or not.

He said the authorities had expected trouble to be fomented by the enemies of Iran, but he was surprised by the Iranian personalities who turned out to be involved. This appeared to be an oblique reference to presidential candidates Mehdi Karrubi, Mir Hossein Musavi, and others who led the resistance to the June vote results.

Iranian affairs expert Abbas Milani of Stanford University says Khamenei is trying to calm the turmoil of the last six weeks by avoiding accusing the opposition of what is in effect treason.

"In my opinion, Khamenei's speech was an abrupt turnabout. He was backing off the hard-line speech he made at Friday Prayers a few weeks ago," Milani says.

"This earlier speech was the biggest political miscalculation in the supreme leader's career. However, the turnabout, in my opinion, is simply too little, too late."

Infighting Continues

The rift between the hard-liners and moderates in the Islamic republic continues to widen, with a scathing attack from Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri on Khamenei in particular and the hard-liners in general.

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri

Montazeri writes on his website that Khamenei is running a "despotic" dictatorship in the name of Islam, which has "trampled" on the rights of the Iranian people. The system is not Islamic at all, he says.

Montazeri has long been a critic of Khamenei, and spent five years under house arrest for saying that Khamenei was not qualified to be the supreme leader. Still, attacks of such ferocity on the supreme leader are rare.

Montazeri also described the ongoing trials in Tehran of more than a hundred senior opposition figures as having "ridiculed Islamic justice."

In the latest of these trials, veteran reformist Saeed Hajjarian on August 25 made a dramatic "confession" of his mistakes, recognized Khamenei's authority, and begged forgiveness.

Hajjarian had to be helped into the courtroom, because of injuries he sustained in an assassination attempt against him in 2000.

One of Iran's most senior reformers, Hajjarian had been detained for weeks at an undisclosed location after the postelection unrest.

His is one of a number of "confessions" at the present mass trials.

Former President Mohammad Khatami, a close ally of Hajjarian, condemned such confessions as invalid, saying they were coerced and consisted of "sheer lies."


MILF: Forces committed to peace during Ramadan

28 Aug, 2009

Following the start of the Muslim holy Islamic month of Ramadan Saturday, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) assured the Philippine government that its forces will keep the peace.

The MILF's "assurance" came two weeks after the Aug. 12 clash in Basilan, where 23 soldiers and 31 MILF and Abu Sayyaf rebels were killed.

"Nagkaroon ng meeting ang commander namin throughout Mindanao. In-explain ko sa kanila ang SOMO at SOMA. Lahat ay committed na sumunod sa liderato ng MILF," said rebel spokesperson Eid Kabalu in an interview on dzXL radio.

 (We had a meeting with our commanders throughout Mindanao. I explained to them the government's suspension of offensive military operations, and the MILF's suspension of military action. All commanders are committed to follow the MILF leadership.)

Kabalu earlier said some of the MILF members in Basilan who came to the aid of the Abu Sayyaf during the August 12 clash may be related to the al-Qaeda-linked bandits.

He said that when he met with MILF commanders throughout Mindanao last weekend, all of them gave their commitment to observe the cease-fire both sides declared last July.

Presidential peace process adviser Avelino Razon Jr. said both sides are working on "agreements" in their last preparatory talks in Kuala Lumpur.

In a series of radio interviews Monday, Razon said these include suspension of military operations on both sides, protection of non-combatants and evacuees, and creating an international contact group that may include states and personalities that may boost the peace process.

"'Yang acts of terrorism at pagbobomba...ang nabibiktima civilian at ito ay dapat natin wakasan at tigilan para magkaroon ng kapayapaan. 'Yan ang mithiin ng mga kapatid nating Muslim. Ang Muslim religion is centered on peace kaya 'yan ang ating itutulak kasama sila para manumbalik ang katahimikan sa parte ng Mindanao," Razon said on dwIZ radio.

 (Those acts of terrorism and bombing of civilians should end if we are to have peace. The Muslim religion is centered on peace and that is what we will promote in Mindanao.) -


Texas Southern Baptists see conversion opportunities among Muslims

August 27th, 2009

The latest issue of Southern Baptist Texan to arrive in my mailbox has a front page story which caught my eye about a new evangelism drive aimed at the state's Muslim population. You can see their on-line report here.

 "The increasing presence of Muslims in Texas is an opportunity Texas Southern Baptists must not miss, says Bruno Molina, an SBTC ministry associate specializing in ethnic evangelism and outreach. To that end, a series of workshops—including one next month on engaging Muslim women with the gospel—and three printed resources aimed at helping Texas Southern Baptists understand Islamic beliefs, are planned for the fall and into 2010," it says.

 "We are praying for Muslims during a month (Ramadan) that they are seeking God and waging spiritual warfare on behalf of Muslims in the form of evangelistic prayer," Molina was quoted as saying.

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is the state's branch of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), America's largest evangelical denomination and one of its most conservative.

The SBC has recently been ringing the alarm bells of decline, an issue we blogged on in June. Its research arm LifeWay Research said then that its numbers, currently around 16 million, would fall nearly 50 percent by 2050 "unless the aging and predominantly white denomination reverses a 50-year trend and does more to strengthen evangelism, reach immigrants, and develop a broader ethnic base."

In Texas, the SBTC has put a lot of effort into reaching out to the state's fast-growing and predominantly Catholic Hispanic population — which is no doubt a good strategy for long-term demographic viability. (They would argue it is also a strategy to win over a large group for Christ).

But reaching out to Muslims this way — who do share with Christians the Abrahamic tradition of monotheism –seems a new take and one that involves even more cultural (and perhaps political) minefields. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life estimates that about 0.6 percent of the adult U.S. population is Muslim and in Texas about 0.5 percent, making it a very small group.

But Southern Baptists like other evangelical Christians are keen on "engaging Islam," which is not the same as various the inter-faith dialogue efforts being pursued by different groups across the span of religious beliefs. When U.S. evangelicals talk about "engaging Islam" they usually mean winning Muslim hearts, minds and (they would believe) souls for Christ.

Winning Islamic converts is no doubt seen as especially vital to some conservative American evangelicals who question the patriotism and loyalty of U.S. Muslims against the backdrop of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the "war on terror."

On Sept. 25-26, the SBTC will host a seminar in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine exclusively for women on reaching Muslim women, taught by Rockie Naser, a Jordanian-born American who became a Christian 11 years ago after she moved to Texas from Chicago.


Indonesian President : Make Islam way of peace and harmony

August 28, 2009

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on all parties to make Islamic religious teaching a way of peace and harmony among all people around the world.

Speaking at a fast-breaking function with media representatives, state institution chiefs and cabinet ministers at the State Palace here on Thursday evening, the president said Islamic religious teachings were a blessing and the way to a peaceful and harmonious life both on earth and afterward.

"Islamic values are universal and can be contributed to a peaceful, just, and prosperous world development," the president said.

On the occasion the head of state explained that in various scientific debates, the issue related to Islamic values and their implementation in daily life came up frequently.

The fast-breaking function which started at 5:15 p.m. was also attended by Vice President Jusuf Kalla and his wife Mufida Kalla.

Just like fast-breaking events in the past years, the program this time at the State Palace began with a religious lecture while waiting for the time to break the fast, followed by joint evening prayers.

Accompanied by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono on the occasion, President Yudohoyono said the participants of the fast breaking gathering at the State Palace would also be served with the study on Islam as a blessing for all people.

Also present besides Vice President Jusuf Kalla were Vice Present-elect Boediono and his wife Herawati Boediono, House of Representatives Speaker Agung Laksono, and House Deputy Speaker Muhaimin Iskandar.

While from the United Indonesia Cabinet members were among others Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto, Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono, State Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs Adhyaksa Dault, State Minister for Environment Rachmat Witoelar, National Defense Forces (TNI) Chief Gen Djoko Santoso, National Police Chief Gen Bambantg Hendarso Danuri, Attorney General Hendarman Supandji, and Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) chairman MS Hidayat.

And from the press were among others Suryopratomo, Karni Ilyas, Toriq Hadad, Ahmad Mukhlis Yusuf, Asro Kamal Rokan, and Arief Suditomo.(*)


Schools consider Muslim Holidays as fairness issue

By Oregon Faith Report,

August 27, 2009

Should schools across the nation have two additional holidays? The debate over whether the two holiest days of the Muslim calendar should be reserved in New York City schools heated up this summer.  Currently, ten percent of the 1.1 million students are Muslim, according to a study published last year by the Teachers College at Columbia University.

Mesuka Akter, a Muslim senior at Long Island City High School in New York City, struggles to find balance between her studies and religion.  Luckily for Akt, she will not have to choose between missing school and the two holiest days on the Islamic calendar this year because they will likely fall during Thanksgiving.  "It feels great to know that I'll be home, hopefully, with my family," said Akter told Omar Sacirbey  of the Religion News Service, "But you also have to keep working to change things, because this will be a problem again next year."

New York City officials say they already accommodate students by excusing them from school for religious holidays without being penalized or having the absence appear on their record. "Students are allowed to take an excused day whenever they want," said Margie Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Education. "It's not as if a student who wants to take those days off will be impacted." Yet, Akter argues that when she missed school last year for Eid al-Fitr, the absence was on her record.

After three years of lobbying, the City Council passed a resolution in July to close schools for the two Muslim holidays.  New York's Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, responded negatively toward the resolution stating, "One of the problems you have with a diverse city is that if you close the schools for every singly holiday, there won't be any school."


Pakistan: Terrorism suspects sent on judicial remand

27 Aug, 2009

RAWALPINDI, Aug 26: An anti-terrorism court here on Wednesday sent two brothers held on the charge of terrorism to the Adiala Jail on judicial remand.

Anti-Terrorism Court-I Judge Malik Akram Awan sent Saifullah and Zahid Akram, both natives of Malsi in the Vehari district, on judicial remand till September 9 after the Secretariat police did not seek their further custody.

The suspects were arrested on August 17 by the Secretariat police for their alleged role in the suicide blast on Marriot Hotel on January 26, 2007.

Police claimed that Saifullah was the right-hand man of Tehrik-i-Talban Pakistan leader Baitullah Mehsud and got injured in the drone attack in South Waziristan. He was shifted to Islamabad for treatment by his brother.

Meanwhile, Anti-Terrorism Court-II Judge Baqir Ali Rana sought comments from the superintendent of Adiala Jail after a prisoner filed a petition for better facilities.

Dr Abdul Razzaq, charged with playing a role in the suicide attack that killed Surgeon General Mushtaq Baig last year, maintained that he was an educated citizen and a practicing doctor of medicine and should be given B class in accordance with the jail manual.

Separately, the Anti-Terrorism Court-II judge directed the R.A. Bazaar police to produce case record before the court on September 9 after a suspected terrorist sought deletion of terror charges against him.

Qari Sanaullah was booked by the police along with another man, Rizwan Abdul Qadir, for keeping explosive material and illegal weapons. The petitioner said he had falsely been implicated in the case.


Syria recalls envoy to Iraq

26 Aug, 2009

DAMASCUS, Aug 25: Damascus recalled its ambassador to Iraq on Tuesday after Baghdad ordered home its envoy and demanded the handover of two men alleged behind a deadly truck bombing last week, the foreign ministry said.

 "In response to the recalling by the Iraqi government of the Iraqi ambassador for consultation, Syria has decided to recall its ambassador to Baghdad," a foreign ministry statement said.

 "Syria categorically rejects the statement of the spokesman of the Iraqi government regarding the bloody attacks in Baghdad last Wednesday," it said, adding that, "Syria had forcefully denounced this terrorist act which left victims among the Iraqi people."

 "Syria has many times affirmed its commitment to the unity, independence, security and stability of Iraq and regrets that its relations with Iraq are dependent on domestic conflicts and, possibly, the agendas of foreigners." —AFP


Islamist Terrorism Suspect Arrested as German Case Widens

By Tony Czuczka

28 Aug, 2009

Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- German federal agents arrested a 24- year-old man suspected of supporting an Islamist group that allegedly plotted attacks on U.S. citizens in Germany, the federal prosecutor's office said.

Kadir T., who holds German and Turkish citizenship, is suspected of buying a video camera and night vision equipment for the Islamic Jihad Union under instructions from a man now on trial in Germany on charges he belonged to the group, the prosecution agency in Karlsruhe said in a statement on its Web site today. Kadir T. was arrested Aug. 26, the agency said.

The detained man's full last name was withheld under German privacy rules to protect suspects. He was arrested on his way to a training camp in the Afghan-Pakistani border area, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reported on its Web site, citing unnamed law-enforcement officials.

His contact in the group was identified as Adem Y., one of four defendants in Germany's biggest terror trial since a case involving Red Army Faction radicals three decades ago.

The four belonged to an Islamist cell that plotted attacks, targeting primarily Americans, which could have reached the scale of the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S., prosecutors have said. German security forces raided a house the cell had converted into a bomb-making lab in 2007, seizing drums of liquid explosives.