Considering the circumstances, I would tell Egyptians: “be careful what you ask for“.
Many Egyptians never believed it possible. On Wednesday, ex-President Hosni Mubarak went on trial at the Cairo Police Academy which once bore his name. In the opening session, the former ruler pleaded “not guilty.”
Mubarak denied charges of murder and corruption which could carry the death penalty.
“All these charges, I deny them completely,” Mubarak said from his stretcher in the court room, contesting charges of fraud and of the premeditated murder of anti-regime protesters who toppled his regime.
Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal as well his former interior minister Habib al-Adli and six former security aides, who are facing similar charges in the same trial, also pleaded not guilty.
As the session came to an end, the presiding judge adjourned the court until August 15. Judge Ahmed Rafaat ruled that Mubarak and his sons would be required to attend the next session.
In the meantime, the former strongman must be held in a hospital on the outskirts of Cairo where he could receive full medical treatment.
Muslims waiting for sunset during Ramadan in Cairo. Image via Wikipedia
Respect to other faiths, Islamic style:
Wearing the veil for female public servants and fasting, including job loss if caught eating, are becoming compulsory in Indonesia. In some parts of the country, Ramadan has become a time of Islamisation with rules increasingly inspired by Sharia. For the authorities, fasting and praying have become compulsory, forcing Muslims to abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk.
On Madura Island (East Java Province), Pamekasan District chief Kusairi issued a directive whereby all female employees must wear the jilbab, or headscarf. In order to promote conformity with Islamic principles, women street vendors have to conform to the obligation. For Kusairi, this will strengthen Muslim women’s faith.Restaurants and nightclubs will also have to obey the rules. During Ramadan, such places must be closed during the day until dusk. Clubs, bars and places of nightly entertainment will close for the entire month.
Note that they will be closed TOO for non-Muslims.
Representatives of the extremist Islamic Defence Front (FPI) are out at night to strike against rule-breakers.
Respecting freedom of conscience…
In Bengkulu District (Sumatra), Mayor Ahmad Kanesi said that any municipal workers caught breaking the fast would be fired. He offered a 1 million rupiah (US$ 118) reward to anyone who caught a Bengkulu civil servant breaking the fast.
Italy moved closer to banning Islamic face veils in the country when a parliamentary panel approved Tuesday a measure making illegal the wearing of burqas, niqabs and other ethnic face covers.
The House Constitutional Affairs committee approved the bill backed by Premier Silvio Berlusconi‘s People of Freedom party and the right wing Northern League party, sending it for voting before the full House in September.
Under the draft law, violators will be fined $213 to $426 or community service. Those who force others to wear burqas will be penalized severely with a $14,200 fine and one-year imprisonment.
Silvio Berlusconi. Image via Wikipedia
Proponents of the bill have cited security concerns for endorsing the proposed burqa ban. A social survey also indicates that most Italians do not approve of wearing face veils in public because it degrades women.
Somedays ago, there was a poll saying that “60 percent, both male and female, think women should obey men, while 33 percent think women deserve to be beaten by their husbands if they do not obey – compared to 19 percent in 1996“. Here we see the results:
A majority of Dutch believe that Geert Wilders, the anti-immigration politician much admired by Norway\’s mass murderer, does not need to tone down his inflammatory anti-Islamic comments, a poll on Friday showed.
Wilders has been criticized for speaking out against Islam and immigration, with comments comparing Islam to Nazism. Last month, a Dutch court acquitted Wilders of inciting hatred of Muslims.
…Polling firm Maurice de Hond said on Friday that 52% of those surveyed thought Wilders did not need to moderate his stance on the supposed “Islamization of Europe” in the wake of the Norway killings, while 44% said Wilders should tone it down.
An Iranian woman blinded with acid by her suitor for turning down his marriage proposal spared him at the last minute from being blinded too as punishment for his crime, Iranian media reported on Sunday.
Ameneh Bahrami lost her sight in 2004 when Majid Mohavedi poured acid onto her face after she spurned his offers of marriage.
In 2008, a court sentenced Mohavedi to be blinded in both eyes for taking away Bahrami’s sight, using the principle of retribution permitted under Iran’s Islamic law.
“I have been trying for seven years to get the qisas (retribution) sentence, but today I decided to pardon him,” Ameneh was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
Ameneh said the international interest in the case was one reason for deciding to drop her demand for the sentence of retribution to be carried out.
“It seemed like the entire world was waiting to see what we did,” she said.
Rights group Amnesty International urged Iran not to inflict the punishment.
Two Muslim teenagers have admitted defacing advertising hoardings featuring scantily-clad models and painting a ‘burka’ over them because they offended their religious views.
Mohammed Hasnath and Muhammed Tahir, both 18, used black paint to cover up the picture of a female model on a hoarding advertising Lynx deodorant.
The duo proceeded to paint over the faces on several other advertisements around London’s East End, claiming it was a ‘sin’ for them to be uncovered.
…’They told them that the way the women had been photographed was against their religion and they said it was a sin in Islam for a male to look twice at a woman who is not covered. (So, if it’s a sin, don’t look at them!!!).
‘If a man looks at a woman the first time it could be accidental, but if they look again it is a sin and they did not want children and other people seeing the image of these woman who were not covered (let the rest of the people decide for themselves what they want to look at…). Continue reading →
Actually, this is not surprising at all. And so, the last secular Turkish bastion falls and now Erdogan can appoint someone who is more supportive of his view of democracy (1, 2):
Turkey’s top military officer stepped down from his post Friday, a surprise move that exposed growing tensions between the country’s military and Islamic-leaning government.
Gen. Isik Kosaner, Turkey’s chief of the general staff, retired a year ahead of schedule. His decision came as a shock in Turkey and rattled its currency.
Security analysts widely saw the move as a confirmation that Turkey’s military—the second-largest in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after the U.S.’s, and long seen as the country’s dominant power—has had its wings clipped amid a lengthy power struggle with the ruling Justice and Development Party. Continue reading →
Ramadan lanterns, Souq el Maadi, Cairo, Egypt by B. Simpson Cairocamels. Image via Wikipedia
Of course, this is only due to Western influence…
Britain and the United States have issued special travel warnings for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins next Monday, and even chewing gum may be a problem for tourists.
The U.S. State Department said there is a high potential for revenge of the death of al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden in May. It advised to take “extreme caution” when traveling by sea near the Horn of Africa or in the southern Red Sea “as there has been a notable increase in armed attacks, robberies and kidnappings for ransom by pirates.”
It also warned women to “take care when walking or traveling alone and use a reputable taxi company, particularly at night…. Drink spiking, known to be used in date rape, can also happen. Consular staff have noted an increase of drink spiking in night clubs in Dubai, resulting in sexual assaults on both men and women. Do not accept drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended, including non-alcoholic drinks. When in pubs and clubs, stay with your friends and avoid getting separated in the crowd.”
In Stratford, England, non-Muslim residents say they are feeling “threatened and intimidated” as posters declaring neighborhood under Islamic shariah law are showing up on walls and lampposts.
The bright yellow signs read “Shariah Controlled Zone” with “Islamic rules enforced” in smaller text — and are showing up all across England.
The British newspaper the Telegraph reports:In the past week, dozens of streets in the London boroughs of Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Newham have been targeted, raising fears that local residents may be intimidated or threatened for flouting “Islamic rules.”The posters have symbols declaring a ban on alcohol consumption, gambling, parties, loud music, “red light” districts, smoking or drugs, which are against Islamic law.
Image by sinister pictures via Flickr
One resident said: “They appeared a couple of days ago and quite a few people are talking about it and taking pictures.
Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary has claimed responsibility, saying he plans to flood specific communities around the United Kingdom and “put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term.”
Muslim woman wearing a niqab in Yemen. Image via Wikipedia
Two Muslim women who wear full veils decided Friday to challenge the ban in the country\’s constitutional court, Belgian media reported.
“We consider the law as a disproportionate intrusion into fundamental rights such as the freedom of religion and expression,” Ines Wouters, the women’s lawyer, was quoted as saying in the newspaper La Libre.
“This measure is discriminatory,” Wouters said.
…The Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner, Thomas Hammarberg, criticised burqa and niqab bans this week, saying such measures threaten to exclude women rather than liberating them.
“In fact, the banning may run counter to European human rights standards, in particular the right to respect for one’s private life and personal identity,” he said.
“The way the dress of a small number of women has been portrayed as a key problem requiring urgent discussion and legislation is a sad capitulation to the prejudices of the xenophobes.”
If this Mr. Hammarberg would be assaulted by someone dressed in a burqa, I’m sure he would like to know who was the culprit. Oh, well, that surely would make him a dangerous xenophobe wanting to go on a murderous spree…
Muslim “child-marriage”—euphemism for pedophilia—is making headlines again, at least in Arabic media: Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, a prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, just issued a fatwa asserting that there is no minimum age for marriage, and that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle.”…
The point of the Saudi fatwa, however, is not that girls as young as 9 can have sex, based on Muhammad’s example, but rather that there is no age limit whatsoever; the only question open to consideration is whether the girl is physically capable of handling her husband/rapist. Fawzan documents this point by quoting Ibn Batal’s authoritative exegesis of Sahih Bukhari:
The ulema [Islam's interpreters] have agreed that it is permissible for fathers to marry off their small daughters, even if they are in the cradle. But it is not permissible for their husbands to have sex with them unless they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men. And their capability in this regard varies based on their nature and capacity. Aisha was 6 when she married the prophet, but he had sex with her when she was 9 [i.e., when she was deemed capable].
Fawzan concludes his fatwa with a warning: “It behooves those who call for setting a minimum age for marriage to fear Allah and not contradict his Sharia, or try to legislate things Allah did not permit. For laws are Allah’s province; and legislation is his excusive right, to be shared by none other. And among these are the rules governing marriage.”
Since the 1979 Islamic revolution however, the Islamic Republic has been hell bent on its anti-Iranian agenda. The regime fears all symbols of pre-Islamic Iran. In recent weeks, this anti-Iranian agenda has manifested itself in removing wall paintings that depicted the Epic stories of Shahnameh (Book of Kings) in Mashad, the removal of the statues of another Iranian legendary figure, Arash in Sari and now they want to remove the statue of Ariobarzanes in Yassuj.
Saudi Arabia intends to set a minimum age for girls allowed to marry under a new law intended to curb child marriages following a surge in such a phenomenon in the conservative Gulf Kingdom.
The ministry of justice is working on a regulation banning the marriage of female minors, most of which are forced by their fathers to marry much older men for dowry or other personal purposes, newspapers said.
Ministry sources, quoted by Almadina and other local newspapers, said the law would be issued soon despite what they described as stiff opposition by some scholars who believe such a ruling violates Islamic law.
Parts of the manifesto written by the suspect in Norway’s terrorist attack were taken almost word for word from the writings of “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski.
The passages copied by Anders Behring Breivik appear in the first few pages of Kaczynski’s manifesto. Breivik changed a Kaczynski screed on leftism and what he considered to be leftists’ “feelings of inferiority” – mainly by substituting the words “multiculturalism” or “cultural Marxism” for “leftism.”
For instance, Kaczynski wrote: “One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychology of leftism can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of modern society in general.”
Breivik’s manifesto reads: “One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is multiculturalism, so a discussion of the psychology of multiculturalists can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of Western Europe in general.”
Breivik did not cite Kaczynski, though he did for many other people whose writings he used in his 1,500-page manifesto.
He used at least one portion verbatim: “Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women are as strong and capable as men. Clearly they are nagged by a fear that women may NOT be as strong and as capable as men.”
Here we go again [the reason Christians use "Allah" to call God is simple: there is no other word to call God in Malaysian language]:
Image via Wikipedia
Muslim leaders in Malaysia are insisting that Christians must stop using the word “Allah” in reference to the Christian God.
The use of “Allah” as a translation of “God” in the Malay Bible “must be abandoned because it erroneously represents the two religions as equal,” said Mohd Sani Badron, a leading Islamic scholar.
Malaysia’s Catholic newspaper has won a decision in the nation’s supreme court, allowing the use of “Allah” in its pages to refer to God. But the paper is still unable to use that word, because government officials have appealed the decision. Christians explain that “Allah” has been used routinely as a word referring to the Supreme Being—not necessarily the Islamic deity. The renewed dispute comes during the same week when Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak met with Pope Benedict XVI and made a commitment to establish diplomatic ties with the Vatican. The Malaysian leader said that his visit to the Vatican shows that although the country is officially Islamic, “we are an inclusive government.” Speaking of the nation’s Christian minority, he said: “We accept them. We can engage with them. We can have dialogue with them because we want to uphold peace in this world.”
Westerners and Muslims continue to hold negative stereotypes of each other, although views of Muslims in the West appear to have improved marginally over the past five years, according to a new survey released by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, reports IPS.
The survey was based on in-depth interviews with respondents in six predominantly Christian and six predominantly Muslim countries, as well as in Israel and the Palestinian Territories (PT).
“Many in the West see Muslims as fanatical and violent …,” it concluded. At the same time, “Muslims in the Middle East and Asia generally see Westerners as selfish, immoral and greedy – as well as violent and fanatical.
”“The survey obviously gives evidence to those who think there is pretty much an intense and entrenched divide (between the two groups),” noted Andrew Kohut, the Project’s founder and director.
The survey found that majorities or pluralities of respondents in all but three of the countries surveyed said they believed “some religions are more prone to violence than others.”
Among Christian respondents who agreed with that assertion, overwhelming majorities said that Islam was the most violent.
Among respondents in predominantly Muslim countries, on the other hand, similar majorities named Judaism as the most violent. Turkey, however, was an exception: 45 percent pf respondents who said some religions were more violent than others named Christianity as the most violent; 41 percent chose Judaism.
A young Pakistani married couple has been forced into hiding because of death threats. Islamic leaders have condemned their marriage because the husband is Christian while the wife is Muslim.
Asthma Zubaida, a Muslim schoolteacher, married Basharat Mashi, a civil official in the town of Gujranwala, in September 2010. After receiving multiple death threats, they have fled the town. Their relatives report that they now have been threatened, and complain that local police have taken little interest in their safety.
A Pakistani girl who was allegedly kidnapped and forced to marry a Muslim man has told a high court that she will stay with him, said reports in the Vatican Insider and on Fides.
In tears, Farah Hatim appeared before the judge of the High Court of Punjab, Bahawalpur section. When the judge asked her the question “which family do you choose”, the girl, after an interminable silence, replied: “Both.” The Court argued that “this is impossible”, the question was repeated. At that point, Farah chose her new Muslim family. Continue reading →