Hezbollah To Block Funding For UN Hariri Investigation

This story is loosely related to this story.

From the Jerusalem Post:
Hizbullah will use its position in government to try to block Lebanon's funding for the UN court investigating the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the group's spokesman said Wednesday.

Hizbullah's leader has said the tribunal looking into Hariri's death could indict some of the Iranian-backed group's members, fueling the country's worst political crisis in years. Hizbullah contends the tribunal has been poisoned by witnesses who have given false information.

The indictments could be issued as early as next month.

"You know our position on the tribunal, so we cannot agree to finance it," Hizbullah spokesman Ibrahim Moussawi told The Associated Press on Wednesday when asked if his party will try to block the funding in Lebanon's budget.

Lebanon pays 49 percent of the tribunal's costs, with other UN member states providing the remainder.

Hizbullah has a key role in the country's fragile national unity government, which is led by the slain leader's son — Prime Minister Saad Hariri — who heads a Western-backed coalition. The Cabinet has delayed discussions on the 2011 draft budget as lawmakers debate funding for the tribunal.

Hizbullah could unify the opposition to stop the funding. According to the resolution that created the tribunal, other countries would step in if Lebanon failed to provide its share. Still, such a decision would be a strong message that support for the tribunal is lagging.

Despite opposition to the court, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his supporters insist the tribunal will go forward.

The bombing that killed Rafik Hariri and 22 other people along Beirut's Mediterranean waterfront on Feb. 14, 2005, was one of the most dramatic political assassinations the Middle East has seen. A billionaire businessman, Hariri was Lebanon's most prominent politician after the 15-year civil war ended in 1990.

El-Gamal Says He Is Calling The Shots On Ground Zero Mega-Mosque, And Isn't Moving

From Jihad Watch:

The waiter-turned-millionaire developer (a transformation not yet satisfactorily explained) Sharif El-Gamal has said that "when you beat up someone physically you get exercise & stress relief," and he has a history of run-ins with the law. But now the mainstream media is in full-bore whitewash mode, even as he digs in his heels and continues to try to demonize the opponents of the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero. Pamela Geller has video of the Today's Show's love letter to El-Gamal, along with some choice observations from herself, here.

He may be insisting that he is calling the shots on the project because his partner Hisham Elzanaty recently said that he was.

"Mosque Developer Has No Plans to Move the Project," from NBC New York, September 29 (thanks to all who sent this in):

The developer behind a controversial proposal to build an Islamic center near ground zero says he's the one ultimately calling the shots on the project and there are no discussions about moving it.

Sharif El-Gamal, who is of Egyptian and Polish descent but was born in Brooklyn, spoke Wednesday on the "Today" show. "This has been very unexpected. It's been an eye-opener to see how my country, the United States, views my religion, Islam," Sharif El-Gamal, chairman of Manhattan-based real estate company Soho Properties, told Matt Lauer.

He added there are a lot of misperceptions about his Islamic faith. "We are peace-loving Americans. Fear makes people irrational, and our identity has been hijacked by the extremists."...

Building a mega-mosque at Ground Zero, and insisting on doing so in the teeth of enormous popular opposition, is sure doing wonders to dispel those misperceptions, eh, Sharif?

Egypt: Mother Of Christian Twins Seeks Intervention To Prevent Their Forced Conversion

This is an update on this story.

From the Daily News Egypt:
CAIRO: Kamelia Lotfy Gaballah, a mother of two 16-year-old twins — Andrew and Mario — whose father converted to Islam, requested that the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar issue her a fatwa that would prevent her children from forcibly converting to Islam.

Such a fatwa would eventually enable the twins to be registered as Christians on their national ID cards.

Gaballah presented a note to the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayyeb which asks him to issue a fatwa indicating that Sharia gives the right to children who have reached the age of 15 to choose which religion they believe and follow.

This fatwa is meant to support a different one that Gaballah previously managed to obtain from the Egyptian House of Jurisprudence, through which she won custody of her children in April 2009 after their Muslim-convert father claimed custody was his.

Gaballah told Daily News Egypt that she is supposed to meet with the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar soon, according to promises given by Al Azhar officials. Gaballah also confirmed that she met with many members of the Jurisprudence Committee of Al Azhar who have showed understanding in her case.

“The meeting was positive,” Gaballah said. “I was assured that Sharia is clear about this, because it is the kids' right at the age of 15 to choose their own religion regardless of the parents' religions.”

The case of Andrew and Mario raised controversy among human rights activists and religious scholars during the five-year custody battle.

The twins' secondary school stopped them both from attending religion classes due to an intervention made by the Minister of Education. The school had insisted that the twins must attend Islam classes rather than Christian classes since most of their documents identify the twins as Muslim.

Gaballah said that her kids know nothing about Islam, as they were born and raised as Christians.

Gaballah filed another lawsuit before the Administrative Court to change her twins' religion on their birth certificates, but the court refused to proceed with the lawsuit last March.

Later Gaballah appealed to the Higher Administrative Court, but the date for the hearing has not yet been scheduled.

The twins turned 16 last June and thus need to obtain their national ID cards. When a national ID card is issued, the religion listed on the ID is taken directly from the individual's birth certificate. As a result, Gaballah was advised to get a fatwa from Al Azhar for her two children.

“I just want to change their religion in the official papers to end their suffering, especially since they cannot take thanaweyya amma exams without their national ID cards,” Gaballah said.

According to Gaballah, the Department of Civil State Organization asked her to present either a court ruling that allows her children's religions to be changed, or some other official document that proves the twins are Christian. Without either of this documentation, they would be unable to issue the twins' national ID cards with their religion listed as Christian.

Gaballah's lawyer Alaa Fetyan told Daily News Egypt that they are merely trying to get the fatwa so that they may present it to the Department of Civil State Organization and get the twins' IDs issued.

“If we manage to get this fatwa, it will be presented to the Higher Administrative Court who will then ask the twins about their religion and the lawsuit will end,” Fetyan said.

Charges Dropped Against Dutch Cartoonist Arrested On Suspicion Of Insulting Muslims

From Jihad Watch:

That's right. The explanation when he was first arrested was: "We suspect him of insulting people."

Insulting whom? The Dutch Reformed Church? No, it wasn't his equal-opportunity insulting of other religions that got him hauled in. His cartoons poked fun at Islam, and at the time, the double standard kicked in with the full force of the law behind it. He was arrested in May of 2008, and it has taken this much time, effort, and legal wrangling to get the charges dropped.

"Prosecutor Drops Case against Dutch Cartoonist," by Katrine Winkel Holm for the International Free Press Society, September 25 (thanks to Gravenimage):

COPENHAGEN, September 25, 2010 - International solidarity works and sometimes the good people win. That is conclusion one may draw from the Dutch prosecutor's recent decision to drop all charges against the intrepid cartoonist who goes under the ominous pseudonym Gregorius Nekschot.
In a mail to the Danish Free Press Society's webzine Sappho.dk, Nekschot characterises the outcome as a "complete victory".
Nekschot goes on to say that "five years of expensive investigations, an arrest, legal procedures and consultation at the highest level have resulted in nothing. I think the prosecutor wanted to drop the whole thing because the case against Geert Wilders is due to begin. It's the same prosecutor, you know."
There is one fly in the ointment: Nekschot's website may no longer display the "discriminating" drawings he was being investigated for. However, they are still on the internet and Dutch newspapers are allowed to reprint them for "journalistic reasons", as stated by the prosecutor.

Did the Interdepartmental Working Group on Cartoons weigh in?

As Nekschot sees it, however, that is "a very, very small price to pay. I can carry on making caricatures, perhaps even more controversial ones, because I have been allowed to keep my anonymity."
The issue of continued anonymity has been Nekschot's biggest worry all along. A public trial would have forced him to show his face, and that would have been tantamount to a death sentence. He remembers all too well what happened to two other Dutchmen who dared to offend the tender sensibilities of the religion of peace, the politician Pym Fortuyn and the film-maker Theo van Gogh, who were murdered in 2002 and 2004.
During both of Gregorius Nekschot's visits to Denmark as a guest of the Free Press Society, he therefore chose to address the audience dressed in a burka.
In the midst of all the joy over the prosecutor's decision to drop the case against Nekschot, it should be remembered that the Dutch penal code still has its article 137c, which forbids incitement to hatred. This means that anyone not towing the line of multiculturalism and deference to Islam can still be hauled before a court whenever the state deems it expedient to do so.
In Nekschot's case, the ruling elite decided that criminal proceedings were counterproductive and the caricaturist has no doubt that international attention to his plight played a crucial role.
As he states in his mail to the Free Press Society: "I think your help, from abroad, has been extremely important! The Dutch government must have realized that a case against me could turn into an international and very damaging affair. Apart from Wilders' case, another headache - so to speak."...

There is more.

Picture of the Week: Mujahideen Sweatshirts In NYC

From the Religion of Peace:
Vendors at this year's Muslim Day parade in New York featured a children's 'Mujahideen' sweatshirt.

Iran Stoning Case Woman Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani To Be Hanged

This is an update on this story.

From the Herald Sun:
THE Iranian woman who became the centre of an international outcry after being sentenced to death by stoning for adultery will now be hanged for murdering her husband.

The new fate planned for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was announced by Iran’s national prosecutor general, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, at a news conference in Tehran today.

“According to the court’s ruling, she is convicted of murder and her death sentence has priority over her punishment [for committing adultery]”, the Tehran Times reported, citing Mohseni-Ejei.

The newspaper said that the prosecutor’s remarks mean Ashtiani - an illiterate 43-year-old Azeri mother of two whose husband was killed by her cousin - will not be stoned to death for committing adultery because she should first be executed for murder.

“The issue should not be politicised and the judiciary will not be influenced by the propaganda campaign launched by the Western media,” added Mohseni-Ejei, who also serves as the judiciary spokesman.

However the Iranian government today appeared to contradict Mohseni-Ejei's statements by claiming that no final decision had yet been taken in the case.

“The judicial process has not yet finished and the final judgement will be announced after the end of the process,” said foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast.

Ashtiani has spent years in prison under threat of being stoned for alleged adultery with her cousin.

She has been denied access to her family and lawyer, who were persecuted for publicising her case. The strength of the outcry in the West has been credited with delaying the sentence.

The Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was repeatedly tackled about Ashtiani’s case when he visited New York last week to address the United Nations.

In contradiction to his country’s judicial officials, Ahmadinejad denied that Ashtiani had ever been sentenced to death by stoning and suggested that the international outcry had been whipped up by Western media propaganda.

“There’s no stoning case here at all,” he told Larry King Live. “A person in Germany made this claim, which was untrue. Our judiciary also said it was untrue.”

On the day of Ahmadinejad’s address an open letter was released from Ashtiani’s son to Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general.

In it he begged him to intervene to save his mother’s life, dismissing the Islamic Republic’s professed commitment to human rights as an “absolute lie” and calling for an international ban on stoning.

Sajad Ghaderzade, 22, a bus driver from Tabriz, said that his mother had been acquitted of murdering her husband but sentenced to be stoned to death after being convicted, instead, of adultery.

The statement by the prosecutor general suggested that the courts have overturned their earlier judgment.

Mohseni-Ejei also threatened that the Iranian authorities were ready to prosecute the leaders of the Iranian opposition, Mahdi Karroubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi, if they did not stop criticising the regime.

“The leaders of sedition have undermined the interests of the nation and system. Undoubtedly, they will be tried if they don’t repent their actions and express their regret publicly,” he said.

Iranian-Canadian Blogger Sentenced To Nearly 20 Years In Jail

This is an update on this story.

From the New York Times:
Updated | 6:29 p.m. An Iranian news Web site reported on Tuesday that Hossein Derakhshan, an influential Iranian-Canadian blogger who was arrested two years ago when he returned from self-imposed exile to live in Iran, was sentenced to nearly two decades in prison by a court in Tehran.

As Cyrus Farivar, an Iranian-American journalist, noted on his blog, Iran’s Mashregh News reported on Tuesday that Mr. Derakhshan sentenced to 19.5 years in jail for “conspiring with hostile governments, spreading propaganda against the Islamic system, spreading propaganda in favor of counterrevolutionary groups, blasphemy, and creating and managing obscene Web sites.”

The pro-government site, which referred to Mr. Derakhshan as a “counter-revolutionary blogger,” added that the the court also banned him from taking part in politics or working in the media for five years and ordered him to forfeit what it called “received funds in the amount of 30,750 Euros, 2,900 U.S. Dollars and 200 British Pounds.”

On its Web site, The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported that a source close to Mr. Derakhshan’s family confirmed the news and added: “Neither the family nor the lawyer knew about the sentence, they read the news online.”

The human rights group said that Mr. Derakhshan’s family was “shocked” by the sentence, although, as noted in a prior Lede post on his trial, the prosecutor in the case had reportedly asked the court for the blogger’s execution.

Mr. Derakhshan was nicknamed Iran’s “Blogfather,” for his role in making it technically possible to blog in Persian and for his inspiring many young Iranians to take up the form.

But, as The Associated Press points out, Mr. Derakhshan “was a controversial figure among Iran’s blogging community.” As Ehsan Norouzi of Deutsche Welle explained recently, Mr. Derakhshan, who started blogging as a critic of Iran’s government during a self-imposed exile in Toronto, Paris and London, had apparently toned down his political rhetoric in the years before he elected to return to Iran in 2008....
Read the full article, and see video, here.

Chechnya Wants To Force "Islamic Dress" On Women

From the New York Times:
Women in Chechnya are under pressure to adopt Islamic dress, according to human rights activists and an Islamic fundamentalist video circulating on the Internet in the latest example of deteriorating women’s rights under Ramzan A. Kadyrov, the president of the restive southern Russian republic.

Activists in Chechnya, where Russia has waged two wars against separatists in the past 16 years, said intimidation reached a peak during the fasting month of Ramadan. There was also a crackdown on violations of Islamic law such as the sale of food before sundown and any sale of alcohol, they said.

The activists who spoke from Chechnya insisted on anonymity because they said they feared reprisals.

Threats tapered off, they said, as Ramadan ended in mid-September. Men in Islamic clothes had been approaching women whom they deemed unsuitably dressed to pull them by the arm, an offense according to Chechen custom.

A woman activist said that incidents she recorded in August included a woman being taken away by men in a jeep for wearing a skirt they regarded as see-through and no head scarf in Grozny, the Chechen capital. Other men handed out leaflets to women advising them how to dress, she said.

According to Chechen tradition, women should not wear sleeveless clothes; they usually wear a strip of headscarf more like a hairband than a hijab. Until recently, it was considered the prerogative of male family members to decide their style of dress, but Islamic activists, with support from Mr. Kadyrov, are calling for much fuller cover.

The run-up to Chechen Women’s Day, a holiday decreed by Mr. Kadyrov to honor 46 Chechen women who drowned rather than succumb to Russian soldiers in 19th century wars, featured fawning praise in the Chechen media of women as wives and mothers and calls to observe Islamic morals.

Chechen television reported on September 16 about a march in Grozny of female students of an Islamic university in Islamic dress. The event, organized by a club called “Ramzan” and a government agency responsible for “spiritual and moral education,” was dubbed “Beauty of the Chechen Woman.”

“Every person must strive to beauty, and a young woman who puts on a hijab looks beautiful, as befits the dictates of the Almighty,” Sado Meserbiyev, the chairman of “Ramzan,” said.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in August that women’s rights were being violated by efforts to impose an Islamic dress code. It said women without headscarves or in immodest dress had been attacked with paintball guns in Grozny.

Last week, Russia’s human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, asked the federal prosecutor general’s office to investigate the paintball incidents.

Tanya Lokshina, a researcher in Human Rights Watch’s Moscow office who travels regularly to Chechnya, said the situation of women had deteriorated under Mr. Kadyrov, 33, who succeeded his father, Akhmad Kadyrov, a former rebel leader and mufti who became a fervent Kremlin supporter before he was killed by an assassin’s bomb in 2004.

“Instructions were given that girls can’t go to school without scarves, or young women to university, and that it’s impossible to work without a scarf,” Ms. Lokshina said. “Pressure grew, through television programs and declarations, to control the morals of women.”

Ms. Lokshina recalled that Natalya Estemirova, a Chechen human rights campaigner who was murdered last year, was subjected to a cascade of expletives when summoned by Mr. Kadyrov in March 2008. He was infuriated that Ms. Estemirova had said women were being forced to wear headscarves, a comment she made in an interview with REN-TV, a Russian television station,

In 2007, Mr. Kadyrov said that women employed by the government must cover their heads at work.

“In this case we’re talking about a real violation of women’s right to privacy, or freedom of conscience,” Ms. Lokshina said of the pressure to adhere to a dress code.

Ms. Lokshina forwarded a scanned brochure which she said was sent to her from Chechnya, showing how Islamists would like women to dress: in long loose coats and full head scarf.

The rule of the Kadyrovs has brought a tenuous peace to Chechnya. Grozny has been rebuilt and Mr. Kadyrov’s Web site praises Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin for having “given us everything.”

Yet attacks by insurgents who say they are true representatives of Islam continue, even as Mr. Kadyrov introduces measures that he says are meant to preserve peace and the purity of Islam.

“The Kremlin closes its eyes on everything that Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov does, giving him total carte blanche on actions that are against the law,” Ms. Lokshina said.

Footage on the Internet shows women in dresses with short sleeves and no headscarves being sprayed with paint from passing cars. Mr. Kadyrov told Chechen television in July that he approved of such action.

“Even if it was done with my permission, I wouldn’t be ashamed,” he said. “It turns out that the girls who were sprayed with paint had been warned several times previously. After such an incident, a girl should just disappear from the face of the earth, lock herself in the house and not go out because she behaved so inappropriately that such a thing happened to her.”

Mr. Kadyrov made similar comments after seven women were found shot and killed in Grozny in 2008. No official explanation of the deaths was ever offered, but Chechens speculated at the time that the women might have been victims of “honor killings” after they were accused of immoral behavior.

Dik Altemirov, a 76-year-old Chechen human rights activist and opponent of Islamic fundamentalism, said in a telephone interview that attacks on women could lead to blood feuds.

“I can authoritatively say that there is a very high price to pay here for touching a woman,” he said. “I don’t think that those who suffered from these excesses will forgive them.”

New Islamic Terror Threat Targets Germany, France, UK

From Jihad Watch:
More on this story. "'Credible But Not Specific' Threat of New Terrorist Attack," by Richard Esposito, Rhonda Schwartz, Matthew Cole and Anna Schecter for ABC News, September 28:
US and European officials said Tuesday they have detected a plot to carry out a major, coordinated series of new terror attacks in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and possibly the United States.

A senior US official said that while there is a "credible" threat, no specific time or place is known. President Obama has been briefed about the threat, say senior US officials.

Intelligence and law enforcement authorities in the US and Europe said the threat information is based on the interrogation of a suspected German terrorist allegedly captured on his way to Europe in late summer and now being held at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.

US law enforcement officials say they have been told the terrorists were planning a series of "Mumbai-style" commando raids on what were termed "economic or soft" targets in the countries.

In testimony before Congress last week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, "We are all seeing increased activity by a more diverse set of groups and a more diverse set of threats."

Bet there's a common thread.

The captured German reportedly said several teams of attackers, all with European passports, had been trained and dispatched from training camps in Waziristan and Pakistan. Officials say the German claimed the attack plan had been approved by Osama Bin Laden.

These attackers are in addition to the reported 90 or so combat-trained jihadists already reported to be in Germany last November.

US intelligence officials said they believed an attack on American soil was more likely to come from terrorists connected to the al Qaeda group in Yemen, known as AQAP, al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula.

In the last four years, dozens of German citizens have been recruited to train in al Qaeda-connected camps in Pakistan, according to US and German law enforcement officials.

"The American authorities are extremely nervous about what is going on, the Germans are extremely nervous about what's going on," said Guido Steinberg, a counter-terrorism analyst at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

"The advantage, of course, is the passport, because with the German passport it's a lot easier to travel," said Steinberg.

Travelers with German passports do not require a visa to enter the United States.

Steinberg said the Germans, many of Turkish and Uzbek descent, were recruited from mosques in Berlin, Bonn and Hamburg, including the same mosque in Hamburg where Mohammed Atta and other 9/11 hijackers gathered. German authorities shut down the Taiba mosque in Hamburg, previously known as the al Quds mosque, in August....

Multi-Attack Terror Plot On European Cities

From Sky News:
Intelligence agencies have intercepted a terror plot to launch Mumbai-style attacks on Britain and other European countries, according to Sky News sources.

Heavily-armed [Islamic] militants caused mayhem in Mumbai in 2008

Sky's foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall said militants based in Pakistan were planning simultaneous strikes on London and major cities in France and Germany.

He said the plan was in the advanced but not imminent stage and the plotters had been tracked by spy agencies "for some time".
Intelligence sources told Sky the planned attacks would have been similar to the commando-style raids carried out in Mumbai.

Then, Pakistan-based Islamist group Lashkar e Taiba killed 166 people in a series of gun and grenade attacks in the Indian city.
Marshall said the European plot had been "severely disrupted" following intelligence sharing between Britain, France, Germany and the US.

It is not known whether the attackers are already in Europe.

News of the planned strikes came as the Eiffel Tower in Paris was evacuated because of a bomb scare for the second time in two weeks.

"It doesn't necessarily mean it was a target, but it shows how nervous the French are," added Marshall.

When the terror plan came to light, the US military began helping its European allies by trying to kill the leaders behind the plot in Pakistan's Waziristan region.

There have been a record 20 missile attacks using drone aircraft there in the past 30 days.

"I am led to believe a number of these attacks were designed against the leadership of this particular plot, which had an al Qaeda and possibly some sort of Taliban connection projecting into Europe," Marshall added.

"And they have killed several of the leaders - which is why the terror threat has not risen."

Britain's terror threat level remains at "severe" following the underpants bomber's attempted attack on Detroit airport last Christmas.

Malaysian Government Threatens "Stern Action" For Criticism Of Islam

From Jihad Watch:

They want to "avoid any untoward incidence" -- i.e., Muslims going mad and murdering innocent people because of something this priest said. And so we see once again that terrorism and violent intimidation work, which will only ensure that we will see much more of both. "Insult On Islam: Government Will Not Keep Quiet - Dd Mashitah," from Bernama, September 27 (thanks to Twostellas):

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 27 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian government will not keep quiet to any form of insult against Islam in the country to avoid any untoward incidence.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Dr Mashitah Ibrahim said any form of insult against the religion should not be condoned and stern action should be taken against those who insulted Islam.

"I fear that something might happen if no stern action is taken," she told reporters at a Aidilfitri open house hosted by Yayasan Waqaf Malaysia here Monday.

She was commenting on several video-clips posted on the YouTube website of a priest giving a speech which insulted Islam.

A newspaper carried a report Monday which stated the protem president of the Muslim Bloggers Alliance, Zainol Abideen, as saying that the priest was Benjamin Stephen and that the speech was made in a church in Kuching, Sarawak (East Malaysia).

Dr Mashitah said she regretted that such a thing could happen and urged the Sarawak Islamic Religious Department to investigate.

Muslims Arrest Jewish Man Who Was In Quiet Prayer

This latest arrest is interesting. It comes despite Israeli accommodations during Islamic holidays. The Israeli military went as far as to ban eating near Muslims during Ramadan. Earlier this week Islamists in the West Bank area shot at traveling Israelis who were driving on a road. A woman in the car was pregnant. Palestinian terrorists have targeted pregnant Jewish women many times. Most notable was the case of the slaughtering of Tali Hatuel, who was eight months pregnant, and her daughters. In late August four people, including a pregnant woman, were also shot and murdered by Palestinian terrorists. Arresting a man who was quietly praying is small, but points to demands radical Muslims or Islamist governments place on societies and how much disrespect they have for others.

From Israel Today:
Jerusalem police on Sunday arrested a Jewish man who was suspected by Islamic authorities of saying a quiet prayer atop the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most holy site.

Other Israelis who were in the same group as the arrested man told Israel National News that they were accompanied by several police officers and Islamic monitors as they toured the compound, which is currently occupied by four mosques.

Near the end of the tour, one of the participants stood quietly to the side, a little ways away from the rest of the group. An Islamic official suspected the Jewish man was saying a quiet prayer, so rushed toward him demanding he stop. The Muslim called over Israeli police officers, who removed the Jewish man from the scene and took him for questioning.

The leader of the group, David Ha’ivri, executive director of the Samaria Liaison Office, noted that prior to entering the Temple Mount, the Jewish visitors were told by an Israeli officer the following:

“Do not pray. Do not tear a garment. Do not prostrate yourself. It is forbidden to take any action that the Muslims may see as a religious act.”

Unbelievably, this blatant violation of religious freedom is being ignored by the international community, as are Israeli cries that the policy is evidence that a Palestinian state will not be a place where people of all faiths can worship freely.

But the Temple Mount policy is far more egregious than the average restriction on religious freedom. The Temple Mount is without question the holiest site on earth to every Jew. And yet, they are not allowed to say even a silent prayer while visiting the site.

Iran's Foreign Minister: Islamic Countries Should Get More Seats On UN Security Council

From Jihad Watch:

As if the OIC didn't already largely control the UN. "More UNSC seats for Muslim states: Iran FM," from the Ahlul Bayt News Agency, September 27 (thanks to Twostellas):

Ahlul Bayt News Agency ; Iran's foreign minister has stressed the necessity of allocating more permanent and non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council to Islamic countries.

"In the past two decades the UN has faced important challenges and has lost its efficiency to effectively respond to the needs of the modern world," Manouchehr Mottaki said at the Organization of the Islamic Conferences (OIC) Foreign Ministers Annual Coordination Meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Sunday.

The OIC, which was established in 1969, is the second-largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations and has 57 member states spread over four continents.

"Therefore, continuing the process of revising the structure of this organization (the UNSC) with the aim of strengthening its capabilities and enhancing its capacities... is an unavoidable necessity," IRNA quoted Mottaki as saying.

The Iranian foreign minister added that the UN decision-making process should be more democratized and its activities more clear.

Mottaki referred to the mounting trend of Islamophobia as the Islamic world's main challenge in the West and called for the cooperation of all Muslim countries and the adoption of collective measure to effectively counter the phenomenon....

"Collective measure," that is, not including fighting against jihad terrorism.

Taliban Want To Swap Kidnapped British Aid Worker For Jihadist Aafia Siddiqui

From Jihad Watch:

Hoping to prove yet again that terrorism works. "Taliban 'want to swap kidnapped British aid worker for Pakistani scientist jailed in the U.S.,'" by Andrew Levy and Daniel Bates in the Daily Mail, September 27 (thanks to Mackie):

Militants claiming to have kidnapped a female British aid worker are believed to be demanding an exchange for the jailed Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui.

The doctor, who was working for a charity, was travelling with three Afghan men in a two-vehicle convoy when they were ambushed yesterday morning.

At first the Taliban said it was not responsible for the adbuction, but a local commander named as Mohammed Osman, today claimed he had taken the group.

Osman told the Afghan Islamic Press: 'We are lucky that we abducted this British woman so soon after the ruthless ruling by an American court on Aafia Siddiqui.

'We will demadn the release of Siddqui in exchange for her.'

Siddiqui, a 38-year-old mother-of-three neuroscientist, was jailed for 86 years last week by a New York court for the attempted murder of U.S. agents and soldiers who were trying to interrogate her in Afghanistan...

Disneyland Caves To Pressure, Bends Rules For Muslim Employee

This is an update on this story.

Work candidates are advised of dress codes and expectations, but Disneyland has been forced to cave into demands by a woman who suddenly decided she wants to wear a headscarf to work. A bonnet or another position wouldn't do. CAIR, an organization with links to terrorists, had to get involved like they always do. You can bet that, despite being told what the position entailed when she took the job, this woman will still sue with CAIR's help and look for a lofty settlement!

From the Los Angeles Times:
Disneyland has agreed to allow a company intern to wear her religious headscarf at work, according to a Muslim rights group that intervened after the woman was told she would have to work in the stockroom.

The Chicago woman was hired as a vacation planner after a phone interview. When she arrived in California for her internship orientation, she was asked by Disney representatives why she had not mentioned her hijab, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The woman was told she would have to take a position with less guest interaction, working in the stockroom until a "customized uniform" could be made, according to the group.

She was told that making the customized uniform would take about five months, approximately the length of her entire internship, according to CAIR.

The group intervened, and after a week Disney agreed to accommodate the woman in her original position as a vacation planner, it said.
Disney representatives could not be reached for comment Monday morning. CAIR is urging the company to implement a corporate-wide policy that protects its employees' right to wear religious attire.

[Updated at 11:13 a.m.: Suzi Brown, a spokeswoman for Disneyland Resort, said the employee would be allowed to wear a fitted blue head scarf with a beret-style hat worn over it.

Vacation planners are costumed employees, whose outfits include an optional baseball-style cap. Unlike other employees, the worker in question will not have the option to take off her hat while wearing her head scarf, Brown said. Vacation planners sell tickets in a box office.

"Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has a long history of accommodating a variety of religious requests from cast members of all faiths with more than 200 accommodations made over the last three years," Brown said. “And this instance was no different."]

The organization has received other complaints over the years from Muslim women who said they have been denied "front-stage jobs" with Disney because of their hijabs.

A Muslim woman who works as a hostess at a Disney-owned restaurant filed a discrimination complaint earlier this year, saying she has repeatedly been sent home without pay for refusing to remove her headscarf at work.

Imane Boudlal, a hostess at Storyteller's Cafe in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, said she was told she would have to remove her hijab or take a job working out of public view.

That case is ongoing, according to CAIR.

[Updated at 7:32 p.m. Disney officials said they in the process of accomodating the intern's religious requirement and had already come up with a design when CAIR became involved in the case.]

Two Girls’ Schools Blown Up In Peshawar

From the Daily Times (Pakistan):
PESHAWAR: The Taliban on Wednesday blew up two more girls’ schools in the provincial capital amid a security operation against the terrorists in the bordering area of FR Peshawar, police and locals said.

The Taliban bombed five schools in a week’s time in the capital, spreading terror in the school-going children and their parents. Badha Bair Police Station Muharrir Mukamil Shah told Daily Times that the Taliban blew up two girls’ schools at Sulmankhel village of Bada Bhair, a suburb area of Peshawar.

He said the Taliban bombed Girls High School Sulman Khel and Girls Primary School Sulman at around 1am and both schools were situated alongside each other. About the damage, he said six classrooms were destroyed in the girls’ high school and four classrooms were destroyed in the primary school.

Schools have been consistently targeted by the Taliban’s for the past five years and according to officials, the Taliban have bombed more than 1,000 schools, mostly in Swat.

Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) spokesman Adnan Khan said that the recently devastating floods damaged 900 schools in the province out of which 226 were totally destroyed and that the schools repair and reconstruction would cost Rs 5 billion.

Top UK Supermarkets Secretly Sell Halal

From the Daily Mail (UK):
Britain's biggest supermarket chains are selling halal lamb and chicken without telling unsuspecting shoppers.

Those stocking meat slaughtered according to Islamic law include Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Somerfield and the Co-op.

And a Mail on Sunday investigation has found that fast-food chains including Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, KFC, ­Nando’s and Subway are also using halal meat without ­telling customers.

But the UK’s second-biggest supermarket, Asda, has refused to confirm or deny whether it sells halal meat.

The Mail on Sunday contacted Asda on Tuesday, but by yesterday it had failed to answer any of our questions.

Initially, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco were reluctant to admit they sold halal meat. But later they confessed to selling Islamically slaughtered lamb. Tesco also admitted selling some halal chicken without labelling it as such.

Most lamb imported from New Zealand by British supermarkets has been slaughtered according to Muslim law, but this is not mentioned on packaging. Some lamb from British abattoirs is also halal.

Last night, Agriculture Minister Jim Paice said: ‘People should know what they’re buying in the shops or when they’re eating out and I will be discussing with the food industry the role labelling can play in giving consumers a choice.’

The supermarkets and fast-food outlets said they did not feel the need to tell customers that meat is halal because the slaughter conformed to Western standards, with animals stunned before being killed.

But the RSPCA has raised concerns about the way chicken is killed in Islamic abattoirs because the birds are stunned with a weaker electric current, which does not guarantee unconsciousness during slaughter.

Our enquiries have found that ­Subway uses some Islamically slaughtered chicken that has not been stunned.

Our enquiries have found that ­Subway uses some Islamically slaughtered chicken that has not been stunned.

Non-Muslim religious leaders say that Christians, Hindus or Sikhs may find it offensive to eat meat slaughtered according to Islamic ritual. Jews are unlikely to be exposed to such meat because they eat kosher, or animals slaughtered according to Jewish law.

Last week The Mail on Sunday revealed how halal food was being served to unsuspecting people in hospitals, schools and pubs across the UK.

The country’s biggest hotel and restaurant group, Whitbread– which owns the Beefeater and Brewers Fayre chains – was also selling halal food, as were well-known sporting venues such as Ascot, Twicken­ham and Wembley.

Under Islamic law, an animal must be slaughtered by having its throat cut while it is conscious.

All its blood must drain out, otherwise Muslims regard it as impure. The person carrying out the killing has to recite an Arabic verse at the time.brings the practice in line with Western methods.

All Islamically slaughtered lamb and chicken sold in British supermarkets is stunned before being killed, but is not labelled as halal. Moderate Islamic groups allow animals to be stunned before slaughter, which brings the practice in line with Western methods.

Inayat Bunglawala, the chair of Muslims4UK, said: ‘Supermarkets should not be afraid of labelling their products as halal. Halal meat tastes just the same as non-halal meat.’

But Mike Judge, from the campaign group the Christian Institute, said: ‘The idea of having Islamic ritual said over meat would be objectionable to some Christians. I would find it objectionable, so it should be labelled as halal.’

Initially, Tesco and Waitrose were reluctant to admit they sold any halal meat....
Read it all here.

Muslims Demand Apology For New Zealand PM's Stoning Joke, But Where Is The Indignation About The Real Thing?

From Jihad Watch:

If only they would express that same indignation about actual stonings that have taken place or are pending in the Islamic world. Like this one, where you can see the practice Muhammad participated in and endorsed on full display. Or the sentence hanging over the head of Sakineh Ashtiani in Iran. Or the fate endured by the young couple in Afghanistan just a few weeks ago.

Rather than directing their outrage where it belongs, standard procedure suggests two simultaneous, contradictory steps: They will insist stoning is not an issue for Islam because it is not in the Qur'an (click here for more on why that hasn't made a difference for the Muslims who have upheld the practice over the centuries). And yet: they will try to divert or end the discussion rather than repudiating the practice itself.

"Muslims demand apology for New Zealand minister's joke," from Agence France-Presse, September 25 (thanks to all who sent this in):

WELLINGTON -- New Zealand's Islamic community has written to Prime Minister John Key demanding an apology for a joke one of his ministers made about Muslims, the Dominion Post newspaper reported Saturday.
The president of the Federation of Islamic Associations New Zealand, Anwar Ghani, said Muslims were "very upset" about the remarks made in a speech by Building Minister Maurice Williamson.
"We brought it to the notice of the PM saying that what was said was highly inappropriate and the minister should be reprimanded and apologise," Ghani told the newspaper.

They doth protest too much. Perhaps some element of truth rubbed them the wrong way.

Williamson cracked a joke about Muslims and the practice of stoning while giving a speech at a building industry awards ceremony last month.
Ghani said he did not think comments centred on religious intolerance were commonplace in New Zealand, but this issue was "a big problem because it was uttered by someone who is regarded as being responsible and a public figure".
A spokesman for the prime minister confirmed the letter had arrived and was being considered.

Coptic Pope Apologizes For Bishop's Questioning Of Qur'anic Verses

From Jihad Watch:

Pope Shenouda III is in a no-win situation. In a Muslim-dominated country, members of his flock may be murdered over the bishop's questioning the veracity of the Qur'an. It is his natural right to do so, but one that is suppressed and denied under Islamic domination. And they may end up dying anyway, at the hands of those who are not mollified by the apology. When you're stirred into a self-righteous rage, an excuse to kill for Allah is an excuse to kill for Allah.

Shenouda acknowledges it is not their country anymore: "we are the ones who are guests since Muslims are the majority." Not just "guests," but dhimmis under constant threat of the arbitrary end of Islamic "tolerance" if any one of them steps out of line.

We, on the other hand, still have a choice, and a right to say what we wish about Islam, and about Muhammad. Let us make frequent use of that right, protect it, and never surrender it.

"Egypt pope apologizes over bishop's Islam remarks," by Maggie Michael for the Associated Press, September 26:

CAIRO - Egypt's Coptic Christian leader Pope Shenouda III apologized in a television interview Sunday to any Muslims who were offended after his top bishop reportedly disputed the authenticity of some verses of the Quran.
The remarks come during a period of heightened tension in Egypt between the majority Muslims and a Christian minority that feels discriminated against.

Feelings? Nothing more than feelings? Let's see: repeated attacks at the slightest or even imagined provocation, abductions, coerced conversions to Islam and forced marriages. And the police just look the other way. Search our archives for much more.

Shenouda's apology comes a day after the premier institute of Islamic learning in the Sunni Muslim world, Al-Azhar, criticized Bishop Bishoy, the Coptic Church's No. 2, for provoking sectarian tension.
Bishoy was quoted in the Egyptian media for wondering about the time frame for the revelation of the Quranic verses disputing the divine nature of Jesus Christ. The bishop reportedly said these verses were inserted after the Prophet Muhammad's death by one of his successors.
Muslims believe that the prophet received all verses through the Archangel Gabriel during his lifetime and they are the immutable word of God.
Tensions between Muslims and Copts are on the rise over issues like the construction of new churches and bitter arguments over conversions. The two communities generally live in peace, though clashes and attacks have taken place.

The construction of new churches or fixing of old ones is forbidden under Islamic law. That is why it provokes violence from Egypt to Indonesia.

"Debating religious beliefs are a red line, a deep red line," Shenouda said in an interview aired on state-run TV. "Maybe they (Bishoy's address) thought this is for priests only and the remarks were not for publication."
"I am sorry if our Muslim brother's feelings were hurt," he added.
Bishoy also sparked outrage last week when he told Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper that "Muslims are only guests" in the country.
For this incident, Shenouda blamed the press for possibly misquoting Bishoy and said that "we are the ones who are guests since Muslims are the majority." Coptic Christians make up around 6 to 10 percent of the country's 80 million people. Prior to the 7th Century Arab invasion, Egypt was majority Christian.
Thousands of Muslims demonstrated on Friday against Bishoy's remarks and Al-Azhar's Islamic Research Center held an emergency meeting to condemn the bishop's statements.
"Such irresponsible statements threaten ... national unity at a time when it is vital to maintain it," said the statement.
The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood opposition group, Mohammed Badie, urged Muslims to "respond to whomever slanders the book of God or the prophet."
Shenouda appealed for calm.
"You don't extinguish fire by adding more fire, you need water," he said.
Seeking to cool the controversy, political parties and the journalists' association have urged their members to stay away from the debate....

Illinois Professor Says Chanting ‘USA’ Is Bellicose Propaganda

From STOP the ACLU:
Oh, you ignorant Americans with your venal patriotic chants of “USA, USA” at sporting events. Your bellicosity isn’t patriotism, it’s propaganda and lowly militarism… so says David Green, University Administrator and member of the University of Illinois Institute of Government & Public Affairs.

Green’s poisoned pen letter to American patriots was published by the Daily Illini, an “independent newspaper” at the U of I, and features every manner of attack on America.

Green’s vituperation covers the gamut of anti-Americanism: America is “imperialist,” she is unconcerned over the deaths of Muslims, America is”nativist,” and patriots are prone to “obnoxious, fake-macho, chicken-hawk” chants. In other words all that is wrong with the world is evinced in the United States of America.

The professor’s screed was short, but filled with hate for America:

The vast majority of 9/11 observances in this country cannot be seen as politically neutral events. Implicit in their nature are the notions that lives lost at the World Trade Center are more valuable than lives lost in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and elsewhere; that the motives of the 9/11 attackers had nothing to do with genuine grievances in the Islamic world regarding American imperialism; and that the U.S. has been justified in the subsequent killing of hundreds of thousands in so-called retaliation.

The observance at Saturday’s football game was no different. A moment of silence was followed by a military airplane flyover; in between, Block-I students chanted “USA, USA.” This was neither patriotism nor remembrance in any justifiable sense, but politicization, militarism, propaganda and bellicosity. The University is a public institution that encompasses the political views of all, not just the most (falsely) “patriotic.” Athletic planners should cease such exploitation for political purposes. They might at least consider how most Muslim students, American or otherwise, would respond to this nativist display; or better, Muslims and others that live their lives under the threat of our planes, drones and soldiers.

The overwhelmingly white, privileged, Block-I students should be ashamed of their obnoxious, fake-macho, chicken-hawk chant, while poverty-drafted members of their cohort fight and die in illegal and immoral wars for the control of oil. University administrators need to eliminate from all events such “patriotic” observances, which in this country cannot be separated from implicit justifications for state-sponsored killing.

Looking at the comments section finds very little support for this anti-American and not everyone at the Daily Illini are in love with this hater as an October 11 entry from 2005 shows.

But this isn’t the first time that Green went down the path of hate for the west. Green has penned many anti-American, anti-Jewish screeds over the last decade. In 2005, for instance, Green wrote a review of one of Holocaust denier Norman Finkelstein’s books that proved that Green is a supporter of Palestine Liberation Organization and is critical of the so-called Holocaust industry.

Like a well-worn hat, Green tries on the old claim that the American’s actions at abu Ghraib and “Israeli torture” are materially the same as the Nazi-generated Holocaust. In his review Green intimates that Israel perpetrates “criminal behavior” that is little different than Hitler’s.

In March Green wrote a screed on the supposed iron-fisted Israel Lobby where he also says that the U.S. is motivated solely by imperialism in its war on terror.

Green is also a member of the Champaign/Urbana chapter of Anti-War, Anti-Racism Effort and is known as a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace which absorbed Not In My Name, the latter formerly based in Chicago.

It is infuriating that this man makes his living feeding off the taxpayers of the state of Illinois. According to the CollegiateTimes.com website, Green’s 2009 salary was $36,388 of Illinois tax dollars. This is the sort of anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-western “academic” that infests the American university system from north to south and east to west. These people are living off the taxpayers and spreading their hate every single day.

If you would like to contact Green and let him know how you feel, his office phone number is (217) 333-3231 and his email is dlgreen@illinois.edu.

New Fatwa: Muslims Can Read 'Photo-Free' Sex Matter

A fatwa is a religious opinion concerning Islamic law that issued by an Islamic scholar.

From Emirates 24/7:
Muslims can read photo-free sexual stuff if the aim is to improve their knowledge about such issues, according to a new Islamic edict (fatwa) published in the Arabic language daily 'Al Khaleej' on Sunday.

The Fatwa Centre at the Abu Dhabi General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments was replying to a question by the public on whether a Muslim can view stuff dealing with sexual matters.

“There is no objection to viewing such material provided it does not contain pictures and the purpose of viewing it is to improve one’s scientific knowledge,” the Centre said in its fatwa, according to the paper.

“This is allowed as long as there is a need to view such stuff as is the case in specialised persons who need to read these issues including such fields as general medicine, venereal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology.”

According to the fatwa, those who will get married can also read sex stuff to educate themselves about a “successful marriage life” as long as they select the “right scientific books” that deal with such issues.

“Reading these materials is not allowed if it will result in evil things such as stirring one’s lust and corrupting his thoughts especially for bachelors or those who live away from their families as the ban will ensure protection for them.”

Unidentified Muslim Men Attack Pentecostal Church In Karachi

From Continental News:
Another shocking attack against Pakistani Christians has taken place, this time by a group of unidentified Muslim men who attacked the Nasri Pentecostal Church in Shah Latif Town, Karachi.

The unprovoked violence took place at around midnight on Saturday, September 18, 2010, when a group of men cut the locks of the church and then, once inside, went on an orgy of violence.

They piled up Bibles, hymnals (including Books of the Psalms), and musical instruments and then set them on fire and fled the scene of their crime.

A case was registered against the unknown culprits at the nearby Shah Latif Town Police Station but , at the time of writing, they were still unidentified and at large.

The ASSIST News Service was told about the appalling desecration at the Pentecostal church by the Rev. Khadim Bhutto, a clergyman who works with the Gospel Vision Church Ministries (GVCM) and an activist with the Gawahi Mission Trust (GMT), a Christian human rights advocacy group.

ANS has since learned that the Rev. Shehzad Peter, pastor in charge of the Nasri Pentecostal Church, has registered a case at Shah Latif Town Police Station against the unidentified Muslim culprits.

The First Information Report (#676/2010) alleges that the culprits had set ablaze nine Holy Bibles, three crosses, musical Instruments used for praise and worship services, as well as numerous holy books of Holy Psalms and Sacred Hymns. The report goes on to claim that the thugs had put a table in the middle of the church building and then piled up various items on it and set them on fire.

The Rev. Bhutto told ANS that that “erupting smoke and the light of the fire had attracted the attention of several Christian men” who were nearby and they “rushed into the church and were able to save several more items from being completely destroyed in the blaze.”

Later, a delegation comprising of the Rev. Shehzad Peter, the Rev. Khadim Bhutto (and his fact-finding team) had approached Inspector Nasir Ahmed Tanoori, Station House Office (SHO) of the Shah Latif Police Station and, according to Bhutto, had “censured the desecration of the Nasri Pentecostal Church,” and they also had urged the police officer to bring the Muslim suspects “to book as soon as possible.”

he police inspector told them that he pledged to the church leaders that “very soon” the Muslim men who allegedly devised and carried out this sinister plan would be “litigated” as he believed that their actions were “repugnant” to the basic human rights of Pakistani people and was also “against the constitution of Pakistan.”

On Tuesday, September 21, 2010, a Christian rights defender group, the Human Rights Development Commission (HRDC), under the leadership of its Chairman William Sadiq, staged a protest rally against the torching of the church....
Read it all here.

Criticism Of Islam Is New Front In PC War, Media Expert Says

By Joshua Rhett Miller for Fox News:
The mere act of criticizing Islam has become an act of politically incorrect hate speech, a media analyst and free-speech advocate says, citing several incidents in recent weeks where people have been lambasted publicly for their remarks.

"We're living in a 'here and now' where no one's allowed to say anything bad about Islam, it seems," says Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture at the Media Research Center.

The most recent transgressor, he says, is Marty Peretz (pictured), the editor-in-chief of The New Republic and a former Harvard professor, who has come under attack for a Sept. 4 blog post in which he wrote: "Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims," and questioned whether Muslims deserved protection from the First Amendment.

Peretz apologized for the posting nine days later, saying he deeply regretted the statements and that he was genuinely embarrassed. But that did not stop Harvard students, faculty and alumni from writing an open letter to Harvard President Drew Faust in which they protested Peretz's appearance, scheduled for Saturday, at a Harvard anniversary ceremony.

Harvard has also drawn criticism for accepting an undergraduate research endowment fund created by relatives, former students and colleagues in Peretz's name. The fund's proposed amount has recently increased from $500,000 to $650,000, leading some social studies professors to interpret the increase as an indication of support for Peretz, Simon Sternin, a Harvard alum and an organizer of the petition, told the Harvard Crimson.
But Gainor says criticism of Peretz's comments has gotten out of hand.

"We're fighting a war against radical Islam," Gainor told FoxNews.com. "For radical Islam, life is cheap, both for their lives and our lives. The left has become so indoctrinaire that they're more concerned about being politically correct than they are about protecting our nation."

The media is complicit, too, Gainor said, accusing them of "zooming in on anybody who is saying anything critical of Islam."

To illustrate his point, Gainor recalled Derek Fenton, the New Jersey man who lost his job of 11 years at NJ Transit, the state's public transportation corporation, after he burned a Koran outside the site of the planned "Ground Zero Mosque" on Sept. 11. Fenton, 39, was not arrested, but he nevertheless lost his job because NJ Transit said his actions violated their code of ethics.

"The lack of media indignation on that one is astonishing," Gainor said. "Our media allegedly embraces free speech, but it doesn't. It only embraces free speech that doesn't possibly offend Islam. If he had been fired for burning a Bible, he would've been on every evening network news show. It's free speech. It's not something I would do, but it's still free speech."

Gainor also pointed to the case of Pastor Terry Jones, the Gainesville, Fla., minister who threatened to burn the Koran on Sept. 11 but changed his mind after a call from the White House. Jones' threat became global news, inciting protests and threats of reprisal in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

"Again, it shows how PC we've become," Gainor said. "Some idiot can burn a book anywhere in the country, but if you dare burn a Koran, it becomes an international incident."

Just last week, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said he's not prepared to conclude that the First Amendment condones burning the Koran.

"[Oliver Wendell] Holmes said it doesn't mean you can shout 'fire' in a crowded theater," Breyer told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. "Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is being trampled to death?"

The issue "will be answered over time in a series of cases," Breyer said.

Meanwhile, Ari Ravin-Havt, vice president of research and communications at Media Matters strongly disagreed with Gainor's assertion that "no one's allowed to say anything bad" about Islam.

"If that were true, bigots like [blogger] Pam Geller would not be consistently given a platform on television to spew their hate, and Marty Peretz wouldn't be editor-in-chief of The New Republic," Ravin-Havt said.

He said Peretz has the right to say "something incredibly offensive, inaccurate and wrong," by suggesting that Muslims are not entitled to the same constitutional protections as other Americans.

"And other people have the right to tell you that what you said was wrong, and to assemble with others to collectively send that message," he continued. "Our freedom of speech is our most important right and it works two ways."

Gainor also compared Peretz's case to that of Molly Norris, the Seattle-based cartoonist who has gone into hiding after declaring May 20 to be "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day!" and calling for people to draw caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. That led to death threats and the placement of Norris on an execution list by Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

Gainor said the fact that Norris has reportedly gone into hiding to protect herself from reprisal attacks is another example of political correctness gone awry when it pertains to Islam.

"The media is making it seem like Americans are the ones who are wrong and backwards," he said. "But it's the reaction that's wrong and backward."

Pakistan "Erupts" Over Jailing Of Female Jihadist, With Shouts Of "Death To America"

From Jihad Watch:

As ever, "eruptions" are awfully easy to come by there. An update on this story. "Pakistan erupts over jailing of scientist Aafia Siddiqui," from Agence France-Presse, September 24 (thanks to PRCS):

Pakistani police used tear gas to disperse protesters who shouted "Death to America" in outrage after a US court jailed a woman scientist for 86 years for attempting to murder US officers.
In a case that has been condemned across the nuclear-armed Muslim nation of 167 million, the government said it would petition Washington to secure the mother of three's repatriation on humanitarian grounds.
A New York court found Aafia Siddiqui, the once brilliant scientist dubbed "Lady Qaeda" by the US tabloids, guilty of the attempted murder of US military officers in Afghanistan in 2008 - five years after she disappeared.
In Karachi, Siddiqui's home town and Pakistan's largest city, police fired tear gas shells to prevent scores of people from marching on the US consulate at the behest of the youth wing of Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).
The protesters shouted "Death to America", "Allahu akbar" (God is greater), "Free Aafia Siddiqui" and "Down with the US system of justice".

The last one -- that's ultimately what it's all about, isn't it?

Hundreds more took to the streets in Pakistan's second largest city of Lahore. Cricket hero-turned-politician Imran Khan led a rally to condemn the verdict as "unethical and inhuman", an AFP reporter said.
They condemned President Asif Ali Zardari and Khan, who heads the party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (Pakistan Movement for Justice), warned that the verdict could fan anti-Americanism across Pakistan and the Muslim world.
Hundreds more rallied under the auspices of the JI in Lahore, shouting "Go America Go, Free Aafia Siddiqui".
"The judgement against Siddiqui is based on anti-Muslim policy of the US," said Liaqat Baluch, the senior JI leader who led the rally.
In Islamabad, police stopped dozens of Islamic students from marching on the US embassy to hand over a protest note. The crowd shouted "Crush America", "Siddiqui is our sister" and "We will bring her back".
Dozens of lawyers and activists blocked traffic in the central city of Multan, shouting "Down with America" and setting fire to an effigy of President Barack Obama and former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, an AFP reporter said....

Video Surfaces Of Taliban Stoning Woman In Northwest Pakistan

From Jihad Watch:

: The video above is graphic, and beyond disturbing. It is footage of a woman dying under a barrage of stones. But it must be exposed:

This is Sharia. This is an act Muhammad approved of and participated in, according to canonical Islamic sources including Sahih ("sound," "reliable") Bukhari.

This is Islam's "justice," "compassion," and "mercy" which apologists will not repudiate, attempting to dodge the issue by assuring the uninformed (and maybe even trying to make themselves believe) that it is not an issue because it is not prescribed in the Qur'an itself. Click here for why that does not make a difference to the Muslims who have continued the practice over the centuries.

And what was this woman's crime? Here is the back story. "Rare Video Shows Taliban Allegedly Stoning Woman to Death in Pakistan," by Megan Chuchmach for ABC News, September 24:

A rare video reportedly smuggled out of northwest Pakistan allegedly shows a woman being stoned to death by Taliban militants in the upper region of Orakzai.
Al Aan, a Dubai-based pan-Arab television channel that focuses on women's issues, said it had obtained cellphone footage that it says shows a woman being executed because she was seen out with a man. The killing reportedly took place two months ago and was smuggled out by a Taliban member who attended the stoning, according to Al Aan. ABC News could not independently confirm the cellphone video's authenticity.
The video, which seems to show a woman tethered to the ground as a group of men throw stones at her, is so graphic that ABC News cannot show it in its entirety. Parts of it air today on the 25th episode of "Brian Ross Investigates."
"It's difficult to know where and when it was shot," says Gayle Lemmon, deputy director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council of Foreign Relations, in an interview with Ross, "It is consistent with videos that have been coming from Taliban-controlled areas since the '90s."
Lemmon says that when women "stray outside the line" in Taliban-controlled areas, they may "face severe punishment."
"Women are respected as carriers of the family honor," says Lemmon, "but they also pay the price."...

Gee, what a great system: be "honored" or be killed!

The ABC link has its own video, including a mostly dismal interview with Lemmon, who hedges on whether this has anything to do with Islam.

But we know better.

U.S. Has Spent $1.39 Million on Study Surveying Married Tajik Migrant Workers in Moscow

From CNS News:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has spent $1.39 million over the last 3 years on a study that involves surveying a group of married Tajik migrant workers in Moscow, and interviewing some of them, their wives, girlfriends and prostitutes.

According to the description of the study on the NIH Web site, the research was developed in order to address “the major global health problem of HIV prevention amongst married male labor migrants in Central Asia and the public health risk for an AIDS epidemic in Tajikistan.”

“The study focuses on married men from Tajikistan working in Moscow and their risks for acquiring HIV through having sex with female sex workers and then transmitting the infection to their wives or female sexual partners,” the description said.

"The specific aims of this study," the NIH abstract for the grant says, "are: 1) To characterize how labor migration of married men under extreme conditions shapes masculine norms and schemas and HIV risk and preventive behaviors; 2) To characterize how women (wives, regular partners, sex workers) and their perceptions of HIV, femininity, and masculinity impact male migrants' HIV risk and preventive behaviors; 3) To assess the current and potential roles of the organizations involved with married male migrants in responding to HIV and in mitigating masculine norms impacting men's sexual behavior; 4) To build an empirically based model for preventing HIV amongst married male migrants that will help to develop programs and policies focused on heterosexual men and masculine norms.

In order to do this, according to the abstract, researchers would interview, among others, Tajik migrant workers in Moscow, their wives and "female partners" back in Tajikistan and "sex workers in Moscow."

"These aims will be accomplished." the abstract says, "by a survey of Tajik married male migrants in Moscow (n=400), ethnographic interviews and observations of the Tajik migrants in Moscow (n=40), their wives/regular female partners in Tajikistan (n=40) and Moscow (n=~30), sex workers in Moscow (n=30), and service providers (n=40) in organizations that are involved with migrants in Tajikistan and Moscow."

The study is being conducted by Dr. Stevan Merrill Weine, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The study, which is not scheduled to conclude until July of 2013, is being funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, a subdivision of the NIH. It received $479,394 in fiscal 2008, $450,102 in fiscal 2009, and $460,256 in fiscal 2010.

Weine did not grant CNSNews.com an interview.

The National Institutes of Health, however, did answer this question from CNSNews.com: “The Census Bureau says the median household income in the United States is $52,000. How would you explain to the average American mom and dad--who make $52,000 per year--that taxing them to pay for this grant was justified?”

In an e-mail statement, NIH said:

“The goal of such research is to understand the behaviors that contribute to increased health risks, as well as how these behaviors can be changed in real-world settings.”

The statement continued:

“In the case of HIV prevention, more than 20 million people worldwide have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Unsafe sex and substance abuse are contributing factors to contracting these diseases. Whether HIV research occurs in the United States or in an international setting, what we learn from these scientific studies often benefits Americans.”

According to the CIA factbook, as of 2007 only 0.3 percent of the 7 million people in Tajikistan--a predominantly Muslim nation in Cetral Asia near Afghanistan and Pakistan--had contracted HIV/AIDS, compared with 0.6 percent of the population of the United States.

It is estimated that nearly 1 million Tajiks are labor migrants and nearly half of those migrants work in either Russia or Kazakhstan.

Ahmadinejad Gives Hate Rant At UN General Assembly

From the New York Post:
Outraged US delegates walked out of the UN General Assembly yesterday when Iran's blowhard president said most of the world believes Americans were behind the 9/11 attacks in order to ensure the survival of Israel.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed, "The majority of the American people as well as most nations and politicians around the world agree" with the lunatic conspiracy theory.

The view, he explained in a 40-minute harangue, is "that some segments within the US government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy, and its grip on the Middle East, in order to save the Zionist regime."

The entire American delegation and representatives from more than 30 other countries stood up and left as Ahmadinejad called on the United Nations to create an "independent fact-finding group" to investigate 9/11.

His hateful rant came hours after President Obama told the General Assembly that he still wanted to open a dialogue with the nuke-hungry mullahs who run Iran.

Ahmadinejad shrugged off the overture and launched instead into a lecture about "colonialists and slave masters" of the West who were guilty of centuries of "mass murder."

The Iranian leader, who relished his annual opportunity to stand in front of the world's TV cameras, charged that after 9/11, "a propaganda machine came into full force" to justify the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

"It is said that 3,000 people died" in the terror attacks in 2001, he added, but "hundreds of thousands" were killed by NATO forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He said the people who "believe" al Qaeda planned and carried out the 9/11 atrocity are mainly US government officials.

Ahmadinejad added that it was possible the attacks were carried out by terrorists -- but in that case, the US exploited the situation.

He said the overwhelming evidence for al Qaeda being behind the crime actually amounts to "a few passports found in the huge volume of rubble and a video of an individual whose place of domicile was unknown but it was announced that he had been involved in oil deals with some American officials."

It wasn't immediately clear to whom he was referring.

He ridiculed the claim that "due to the explosion and fire, no trace of suicide attackers was found."

Earlier, Obama tried one more time to engage Tehran.

"The door remains open to diplomacy should Iran choose to walk through it," he said. "But the Iranian government must demonstrate a clear and credible commitment and confirm to the world the peaceful intent of its nuclear program."

When Ahmadinejad got his chance, he said Iran is willing to enter talks "based on respect and justice." But he repeatedly blamed the West for the world's ills, and accused it of anti-Muslim hatred.

At one point, he theatrically held up a copy of the Koran and declared, "The truth cannot be burned," alluding to a renegade Florida pastor's threat to burn the Islamic holy book.

He denounced the West for trying to maintain a monopoly on atomic weapons and said they had "used intimidation and [UN] sanctions" against Iran, destroying the remaining credibility of the Security Council."

Outside the United Nations, a few thousand demonstrators, many of them Iranian exiles, attended an anti-Ahmadinejad rally on Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani told them, "We must confront tyrants, oppressors, bullies and terrorists as early as possible."

Ahmadinejad's outburst overshadowed Obama's speech, which focused on the need for Mideast peace.

Obama mentioned "Palestine" five times and drew emphatic applause when he expressed hope that "when we come back here next year we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations -- an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel."

UK College Disallows Any Garment Or Item That Covers Faces

The first sentence of the Daily Mail story is exceedingly misleading. The college did not ban Muslims with veils, but anyone, student or visitor, who comes to campus with their face covered. That could mean a helmet or a costume-- or a veil. Since garments like the burka, which are not necessary in Islam, have been used to perpetrate crime, this is the rational thing to do.

From the Daily Mail:
A college has drawn criticism after it banned any Muslims on its premises from wearing veils for 'security reasons'.

Burnley College, in Lancashire, placed a notice from principal Hugh Bramwell at reception informing all students, staff and visitors they must remove items which cover their face on arrival.

But while bosses claim the move was necessary for security, the University of Central Lancashire, which runs courses from the same building, has not implemented the policy.
Burnley College, in Lancashire, has placed a notice at reception informing all students, staff and visitors they must remove items which cover their face

Burnley College, in Lancashire, has placed a notice at reception informing all students, staff and visitors they must remove items which cover their face

Critics have now hit out at the ban - which includes helmets - insisting it denies people the 'freedom to wear what they want.'

Councillor Wajid Khan, a course leader at the university, condemned the move.

'Personally I don't agree with the policy in the college,' he said.

Coun Khan, whose ward contains the college, added: 'Here at the university we don't have that policy. Everybody should be entitled to their individual freedom.

'It could affect parents coming to parents' evening but the college should let parents know of the policies and students should make sure they know the policies before they join.

'Any student in the University of Central Lancashire area can chose what they wear. But university students who wear the veil and walk through the college area must identify themselves to the security guards. There are only male security guards on the premises.'

Former Lancashire Council of Mosques chair Abdul Hamid Qureshi, who is still heavily involved with community cohesion work in Burnley, termed the policy 'a little excessive'.

'There are human rights issues, people have the right to wear what they want,' he said.

'Burnley College has one policy and the university has another. I think it is a little excessive. There should be a compromise.

'If security is an issue the person coming in the burka should show their face to the security guard.'

Burnley College. Bosses claim the ban was necessary for 'security reasons' but the University of Central Lancashire, which runs courses from the same building, has not implemented the policy

Burnley College. Bosses claim the ban was necessary for 'security reasons' but the University of Central Lancashire, which runs courses from the same building, has not implemented the policy

Last year the college, which describes itself as a provider of sixth form, university and adult education, turned away Shawana Bilqes, 19, when she tried to enroll.

Staff asked her to remove her burka - which covered everything but her eyes - for identity fraud purposes.

But she told them she could not because of her religious beliefs and was forced to abandon plans to sign up her course.

Shawana, from Burnley, Lancs, said: 'I am not surprised that the college has decided to ban veils completely after what happened to me.

'It is sad as it will force students to go elsewhere.'

The 19-year-old added: 'It is my choice to wear the veil.

'I live around the corner from the college in an area where there are so many practising Muslims. It was an ideal place for me to studyand that's why I chose it.

'I tried to compromise but the college wouldn't. They sent me a letter to say I could continue with my course if I stopped wearing the veil.

'We are in the 21st Century and we get people from all walks of life. I'm in the police cadets as well and yet it's not a problem wearing the veil there.'

Burnley College is in a new £81m development described as 'the most ambitious development of its kind in the country'. It boasts 7,500 sixth form students and a 100 per cent pass rate for the fifth year running.

Blackburn MP Jack Straw hit the headlines in late 2006 after making controversial comments about whether women should wear the veil.

Mr Straw, who is also on the governing body at Blackburn College, said: 'Institutions have to make their own judgements, but at Blackburn College we take a different view.

'Security can be checked in other ways. But I think they are barriers of communication'

A spokeswoman from the college said: 'The policy on our reception desk is a college policy which is displayed internally to staff, students and visitors.

'This policy is an internal document which is not designed to be used externally.'