Egypt: Clashes erupt outside court as Mubarak pleads “not guilty”

mubarak-trialConsidering 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.

via Clashes erupt outside court as Egypt\’s Mubarak pleads \’not guilty\’ | World | Deutsche Welle | 03.08.2011.

Indonesia: Mandatory veil and fasting as Indonesia is ‘Islamised’ during Ramadan

Muslims waiting for sunset during Ramadan in C...

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.

via INDONESIA Mandatory veil and fasting as Indonesia is ‘Islamised’ during Ramadan – Asia News.

Italy: panel okays bill banning face veils

Equality in dress, Islamic style

Equality in dress, Islamic style

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 in a meeting

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.

via Italian panel okays bill banning face veils | AHN.

More here.

The only thing I don’t like is seeing here a party called Lega Norte. A party one of whose members have supported ETA murders (“We welcome a firecracker or a bomb when if comes to defending freedom“) and some others have supported Anders Breivik’s ideas.

Turkey: 42% of women suffer abuse from husband or partner

Unofficial Turkish emblem (This is not the Tur...

Image via Wikipedia

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 study has found that 42 per cent of Turkish women suffer physical or sexual violence at the hands of their husband or partner, despite tough laws designed to protect them.But women’s advocate and researcher Gauri van Gulik says the laws are rarely enforced.
Our reporter Ashley Hall spoke to her from Berlin.
GAURI VAN GULIK: The main thing that I have to say about the abuse in Turkey is that the level is quite extreme. Now we see abuse everywhere we work but what we encountered in Turkey was really not just the daily beatings or just sexual abuse but also very severe kinds of abuse like poisoning, we encountered cases of stabbings, gunfights as well, horrible cases of abuse, very, very sickening frankly. And we encountered that throughout the country in different areas of the country.

via Nearly half of Turkey’s women suffer abuse « Dalit News from Kerala.

Survey: Wilders anti-Islamic rhetoric fine

Geert Wilders

Image via Wikipedia

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.

via Survey: Wilders anti-Islamic rhetoric fine – Israel News, Ynetnews.

Iran: acid victim spares attacker from retribution

ameneh bahramiAn 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.

via Iran acid victim spares attacker from retribution | Reuters.

She has undergone 17 surgeries in Spain, but is badly disfigured and totally blind.

UK: Muslim teenagers sprayed burka onto scantily-clad models because they offended their religion

linx posterTwo 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

Turkey: Top Military chiefs resign

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):

Kuleli Military High School

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: Travelers Warned To Beware Of Rapists And Not To Chew Gum

Ramadan lanterns, Souq el Maadi, Cairo, Egypt

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.”

via Travelers Warned To Beware Of Rapists And Not To Chew Gum During Ramadan « The Citizen\’s Report.

Norway: Any attempt to socialize people is successful at ending all violence instincts

The confusion of the Norwegians to the “drama in paradise” would be lower if they understood that the turnout is not an insurance against barbarism but may become one of its manifestations and that even the most conformist system of “socialization” can sublimate all instincts of violence. Set aside the sense of transcendence, there are few avenues of discontent. One is the contemplative path, pursued by Thomas Mann and focused on complacency and languid aesthetic identity for the decline. Another is the way of action fanatic, theorized by Georges Sorel and centered on the affirmation of the regenerative power of violence. In fact, those who seek to use the victims of Oslo as “martyrs” of multiculturalism, should note that Sorel comfortable drive with the Marxist discourse, anarchist and fascist: the fanaticism of violence, the ideology is merely circumstantial. That is why strengthening the system pressure by “educational socialization” announced by the Norwegian Prime Minister and supported by good conscience is a call for repetition of similar events. A cynic would say that this is its real purpose: criminals as Mr. Breivik serve to the useful purpose of dissipating the entropy accumulated by the “closed-system” of conformity and turn it into horror at the consequences of fanatical violence. Both ideas provide the ideal excuse for the continued advancement of the “vision” policy.

From Portuguese blog O Cachimbo de Magritte.

Related:

UK: Signs proclaiming Muslim “shariah” law zones show up on walls and lampposts

After Tower Hamlets, here comes Choudary’s “Sharia Law zones”:

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.

edlmacusesa11-09-2010-098952

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.

via Signs proclaiming Muslim “shariah” law zones go up in England – Beliefnet News.

Belgium: New Burqa Ban Challenged in Court

Muslim woman in Yemen.

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.”

via Belgium\’s New Burqa Ban Challenged in Court.

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… :roll:

Saudi Arabia: Cleric releases fatwa, allowing fathers to “marry their daughters even if they are in the craddle”

Small child brides

Image via Wikipedia

Well, this is one of the clerics who, clearly, doesn’t want a minimum age for marriage introduced by law:

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.”

Raymond Ibrahim h/t Christians under attack.

Iran: Authorities order the destruction of pre-Islamic symbols

Arash Archer Statue in Borujerd, Iran

Arash Kamangir, Borujerd. Image via Wikipedia

Religious motives appearto be behind the recent theft of several bronze statues of Iranian national heroes from public places.

In the northern city Sari, authorities ordered the destruction of 16 bronze statutes depicting the Iranian mythological hero and archer Arash Kamangir on chariots and with horses.

But Arash Kamangir has been not been the only object of the Mullah’s rage:

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.

Related:

Saudi Arabia: law to set minimum marriage age about to be introduced

Small child brides

Small child brides. Image via Wikipedia

With the rejection of “some scholars”:

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.

More here.

Norway: Oslo terrorist copied (almost word for word) “Unabomber” manifesto

Booking photo of Theodore Kaczynksi

Booking photo of "Unabomber". Image via Wikipedia

Yes, because he wasn’t intelligent enought to sum up his own ideas about why he wanted to go on a murder spree:

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.”

Malaysia: Muslims object to Christian use of word “Allah”

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]:

Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak

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.”

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Malaysian Muslims object to Christian use of word \’Allah\’.

Pew Global Poll: Muslims, Westerners retain stereotype views

Andrew Kohut at the Miller Center Forum
Andrew Kohut. Image by Miller_Center via Flickr

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.

via Muslims, Westerners retain stereotype views – ucanews.com.

Pakistan: mixed Christian-Muslim married couple flee death threats

The coat of arms of Pakistan displays the nati...

Image via Wikipedia

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.

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Pakistan: mixed Christian-Muslim married couple flee death threats.

Pakistan: Farah Hatim to stay with Muslim family

Montage of various Bahawalpur and its surround...
Bawhalpur. Image via Wikipedia

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