Egypt: cleric bans Facebook

Sheikh Abd Al-Hamid Al-Atrash, former head of the fatwa council at the influential Al-Azhar Institution, based his ruling on a sociological study linking the use of Facebook and other forms of new media with moral corruption.

He called the site a destructive tool that helps form “forbidden relations.”

“When one side in a relationship is working hard, if the other side has lots of free time and hasn’t got much of a conscience, they form illegitimate relationships,” the cleric said.

…A study carried out by the National Center for Social and Criminological Research said that one in every five divorces in Egypt is caused by extra-marital affairs through the Internet.

The report on which Al-Atrash partly based his ruling, found that if one partner feels their life is boring or monotonous, Facebook helps them find someone else, outside the legitimate framework.

“One must not go into this website,” he said. “Moral corruption has spread among young men and women and it’s used to destroy homes and break down families, which could herald the end of Arab and Islamic societies.

“This website and other means of communication such as satellite television are a double-edged sword,” Al-Atrash continued. “They can be used for preaching about Allah and strengthening bonds of affection that Islam encourages, but it can also be used for forbidden love and illegitimate relationships.”

via Egyptian cleric bans Facebook.

But bloggers and opponents consider that this is just a new way to prevent people from having access to websites which are opposed to Mubarak’s regime.

It’s surprising though that this people blame the internet for “extra-marital” affairs. Do they really think that this people would not have those affairs if Internet was not functioning? That’s pretty ridicule, isn’t it?

Terrorism: Why does al-Qaida target planes?

A very interesting article in the Guardian. Here is an excerpt, but you should read it in its entirety:

We have no access to the reasoning of the perpetrators, but it seems safe to suppose that they want to cause as much havoc as possible to as many people and “infidel” countries as possible by the cheapest of means. Crashing a plane fits this double aim very well. International flights involve at least two countries, origin and destination, and the passengers nationalities typically draw in many more. The borderless nature of the target further encourages fearful inferences in more than just the countries directly involved – if they picked Amsterdam–Detroit, next time they could just as well pick Frankfurt–Miami or Dubai–London – which prompts the introduction of costly new security measures.

As for the means, a small amount of explosive can down a plane and just one person, with little or no military training, can carry out the attack. Attacking flights perfectly embodies the rationale of “martyrdom operations”, which – as Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Ladens deputy, once said – are “the most successful way of inflicting damage against the opponent and the least costly to the mujahideen in casualties”. It took four men to kill 57 people in the London underground attack of 7/7; if Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had succeeded on the flight he took, he would have killed 290 by himself. In the grim maximisation game of terror, that amounts to supreme efficiency.

via Why does al-Qaida target planes? | Diego Gambetta | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.