Lal Masjid or Red Mosque (Pakistan)Image by varunshiv via Flickr
Because what the country needs is really more Islamism, more religious extremism and more persecution against non-Muslims:
The imam of Islamabad’s famous Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) has accused the government of “corrupting the country”. He has called on the “soldiers of Islam” to fight “to create an Islamic nation” where “Sharia laws can be enforced”. Mullah Abdul Aziz’s threats are raising concerns in a country where minorities are already victimised and the central government is hostage to fundamentalist fringes. In July 2007, the Lal Masjid was the scene of a gun battle between extremist militants and Pakistani soldiers that caused more than a hundred dead. Meanwhile, the Christian community is preparing for Minorities Day, tomorrow, which was established by the late Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic government minister murdered on 2 March.
The Red Mosque leader blames the Pakistani government for not imposing “Islamic laws in the country,” of polluting it “with corruption” and inviting “the wrath of Allah by allowing the Americans to continue the drone attacks” that “kill our Muslim brothers”.
“It`s time for us, the soldiers of Islam, to take a stand against this government and reclaim the Islamic Pakistan,” he said. For that purpose, “I already have over 5,000 students” and “we will use every means possible to make Pakistan an Islamic state” in which Sharia is enforced.
Yeah, soldiers of Islam, blablablablahhhh. This macho-soldier of Allah was captured, when the Lal Masjid’s revolt 4 years ago, fleeing the mosque in a burqa! These guys are so ridiculous, that if they didn’t cause so much trouble and death, they would serve for the perfect Marx brothers’ comedy…
The Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort. Image via Wikipedia
Twelve heavily armed suspected Taliban militants barged into the residence of an American national and kidnapped him in the wee hours today after overpowering his guards in Pakistan”s Punjab provincial capital.
About a dozen armed men entered the house of Warren Weinstein in Block J of Model Town neighbourhood at 3:30 am and took him away after overpowering his four guards, police spokesman Niyab Haider Naqvi told PTI.
The kidnappers bundled Weinstein into a vehicle and took him to an unknown location, Naqvi said.
Other officials, who did not want to be identified, said they suspected the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan was behind the abduction.
US Embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez confirmed that an American citizen had been kidnapped but declined to identify him.
“He was working for a private company. We are working with Pakistani authorities on the issue,” Rodriguez said.
Security guards at the American”s residence were preparing for ”sehri”, the pre-dawn meal in the Islamic holy month of Ramzan, when the kidnappers struck.
Edgar Hoover building - headquarters. Image via Wikipedia
The attorney for a Florida Muslim cleric accused of supporting terrorists wants to learn the identity of a key FBI informant in the case.
Evidence shows the informant recorded numerous conversations with the cleric, 76-year-old Hafiz Khan. Khan’s attorney says in court papers that learning the informant’s identity is critical in preparing his defense. The informant helped drive Khan to appointments and assisted him in dealing with government programs such as Medicare.
The FBI recordings form the backbone of the U.S. case against Khan and his two sons. They are each charged with four terrorism support-related crimes and have pleaded not guilty. The charges each carry potential 15-year sentences. Three others are still at large in Pakistan
Prosecutors say they funneled at least $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban terror group.
As they can’t deny the fact that Mr Bhatti was murdered, they are lying about why he was killed: because of his opposition to the Pakistani “blasphemy law”. But of course, that wouldn’t be convenient for Pakistani stablishment, would it?
The media in Pakistan are trying to explain the murder of a leading Catholic politician as the result of a family quarrel rather than a political assassination, according to a lawyer who is tracking the case.
Tahir Naveed, who is monitoring the investigation into the death of Shahbaz Bhatti, reports that media outlets are portraying the death of Pakistan’s former religious-affairs minister as the product of a personal dispute. That explanation is inadequate, Naveed says, because “Shahbaz had no personal enemies.”
Umar Patek, 40, who has a US bounty of $1 million on his head and is Indonesia‘s most wanted fugitive, was arrested by Pakistani security agencies who have said they are investigating him for links to militant groups in Pakistan.
A Pakistani official said: “Right now he is being interrogated. The Indonesians want access to him and they are coming.”
Kevin Rudd, Australian Foreign Minister, said: “For us it is clear that Patek has been arrested. Furthermore, it is our view that Patek’s arrest is potentially a major step forward in the fight against terrorism.
“His arrest might offer some small comfort to the nearly 100 Australian families who lost loved ones in the Bali bombings way back in 2002. Of course, his arrest does not bring anyone back.”
A 38-year-old layman has been gunned down in Pakistan’s largest city.
Arnold Archie Dass was slain in front of dozens of onlookers in the oldest Christian neighborhood in Karachi. In the decades since property values have risen in the neighborhood, members of the “Muslim land mafia” have been harassing area Christians, the Pakistan Christian Post reported; the area is now predominantly Muslim.
The culprits of the massacre were acquitted, but two imams have apologized about it. The say that the attackers are misunderstanders of Islam, but what they don’t add is the reason why they were actually acquitted.
Two years after a mob of 1,000 Muslims attacked Christians in the northeastern Pakistani city of Gojra, leaders of a local madrassa and mosque have apologized and asked for pardon.
“Even though they weren’t in any way involved in what happened that day,” the two Muslim leaders “gave a full apology for what happened,” said Father Aftab James Paul, an official of the Diocese of Faisalabad. “They said that Islam as a religion does not condone killing. They went on to say that those responsible did not understand the spirit of Islam, and they condemned their actions.”
Madrassah pupils in Mauritania. Image via Wikipedia
Afghan parents who have sent their sons to schools in Pakistan say they\’re becoming increasing alarmed about the type of education their children are receiving.
Rather than serve as centers of learning, many fear that these schools and madrassas are designed primarily to turn out a never-ending supply of suicide bombers.
One father in Kapisa province, who asked that his name not be used because he was concerned about security, described the dramatic change his 18-year-old son had undergone after one year at a school in Pakistan. Continue reading →
Islamabad intends to reconstitute the department that protects religious minorities. Abolished recently in a federal framework of constitutional reform in Pakistan, the ministry was headed by Shahbaz Bhatti – assassinated in March by an extremist group – it will be called “Ministry of National Harmony“, and will be entrusted to the Catholic politician Akram Gill, with a federal portfolio and rank. Encountering a group of young people, the lawmaker has asked the new generations for “greater efforts” in building a peaceful world.
In recent days, the Pakistani government approved the creation of three different ministries: National Harmony, Human Resources and Development, Professional and Technical training. The decision seems to be linked to the protests of ministers, left without portfolios following the recent reform to promote decentralization. In particular, the Ministry of Harmony will benefit from six departments and will have the task of promoting peace, tolerance and greater solidarity within society, with particular attention to interfaith dialogue.
A group of conservative Islamic political and religious officials has condemned a meeting by the U.S. Embassy supporting gay rights in Pakistan as “cultural terrorism” against the country.
The group, which included the head of Pakistan’s largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, claimed the meeting — the first of its kind held by the embassy — was the second most dangerous attack by the U.S. against Pakistan, following missiles fired from unmanned drones.
The meeting on June 26 was hosted by the U.S. deputy ambassador, Richard Hoagland, and was meant to support the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Pakistan, said the embassy.
“Such people are the curse of society and social garbage,” said the statement issued by the Islamic officials on Sunday. “They don’t deserve to be Muslim or Pakistani, and the support and protection announced by the U.S. administration for them is the worst social and cultural terrorism against Pakistan.”
The lawmakers condemned the statement of the embassy that announced support for such persons in Pakistan, saying that GLBT activities were against the basic principles of Islam and the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and hence could not be allowed.
Well, at least this time they have been convicted:
Three Muslims convicted of killing Christian Rasheed Masih, in Pakistan’s Punjab Province for refusing to convert to Islam last year have been given life sentences, according to attorneys for the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) in Pakistan.
The Sessions Court in Mian Channu on July 7 convicted Ghulam Rasool, Amjad Iqbal and Kashir Saleem of torturing and killing Rasheed Masih on March 9, 2010, and sentenced them to life in prison, which in Pakistan is 25 years. The court also ordered each convict to pay 100,000 rupees (US$1,153) to Masih’s family. A fourth suspect, Muhammad Asif, was acquitted.
In a shocking incident, a Pakistani man has gunned down his six daughters on suspicion that two of them were in relationships with boys in the neighbourhood. Arif Mubashir called his teenage daughters to his room and shot them while the rest of the family, including their mother, watched. His wife Musarrat called the police after the incident, the Express Tribune daily reported today.
Mubashir, a resident of Punjab province, shot the girls after their brother said two of them were in a relationship. He told police officials that he had killed his daughters because they were “without honour”. The man said his daughters Sameena, 14, and Razia, 16, were in a relationship with college boys from the neighbourhood and the sisters had helped each other. “I should have been told immediately but the girls sided with each other. They were both corrupt,” Mubashir told Tandlianwala Police Inspector Javed Sial.
Police officials have taken Mubashir into custody and filed a case against him. “He does not regret what he did. He boasted that he would do it all over again if he had to,” Sial was quoted as saying.
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 →
A still of 2004 Osama Bin Laden video. Image via Wikipedia
Osama bin Laden was working to assemble a team of militants to attack the U.S. on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, according to communications Navy SEALs seized from his Pakistani hideout when they killed the al Qaeda leader this spring.
Bin Laden and his operations chief, Attiyah Abd al-Rahman, swapped views about the composition of the attack team, with bin Laden repeatedly rejecting names that Mr. Rahman suggested, according to U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence taken from the bin Laden compound.
…Plans for an anniversary attack were one of the few specific potential threats to emerge from the trove of documents and other materials taken from bin Laden’s residence in Abottabad, Pakistan, in the May 2 raid. An initial analysis of the evidence said al Qaeda hoped to attack trains in the U.S., possibly on the anniversary of Sept. 11.
This undated photo provided by Adnkronos news agency shows Pakistani journalist and Adnkronos International correspondent Syed Saleem Shahzad. The Pakistani journalist who investigated al-Qaida's alleged infiltration of the navy and told a rights activist he'd been threatened by the country's intelligence agencies was found dead in Islamabad Tuesday, May 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Cristiano Camera, Courtesy of Adnkronos) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES
New classified intelligence obtained before the May 29 disappearance of the journalist, Saleem Shahzad, 40, from the capital, Islamabad, and after the discovery of his mortally wounded body, showed that senior officials of the spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, directed the attack on him in an effort to silence criticism, two senior administration officials said.
The intelligence, which several administration officials said they believed was reliable and conclusive, showed that the actions of the ISI, as it is known, were “barbaric and unacceptable,” one of the officials said. They would not disclose further details about the intelligence.
But the disclosure of the information in itself could further aggravate the badly fractured relationship between the United States and Pakistan…
Back to the future… in this case a very realistic film:
The resurgence of Maulvi Faqir Mohammed — also one of the Pakistani Taliban’s top commanders — illustrates the resilience of militants fighting to topple the U.S.-allied Pakistani government and the growing problem of sanctuaries in eastern Afghanistan that allow fighters to elude the army’s grasp.
“We will return and enforce the golden system of Islam,” Mohammed said in a recent radio broadcast from his new base in Afghanistan. “All of those who have turned their backs on us — like we are gone for good — should seek forgiveness from Allah.”
Militants and their supporters in Pakistan have long used illegal FM radio stations to spread their message and incite violence against the government. The tactic is hard to counter because the equipment needed is cheap and easily transportable.
Shabhaz Bhatti was murdered by Islamic fanatics, and the Pakistani government is now pursuing the killers, according to the brother of the slain Catholic leader.
“The investigations into the murder of my brother Shabhaz are finally on the right track,” said Paul Bhatti, who is now a special adviser to the prime minister for religious-minority affairs. He said that the prime suspects are now in Dubai, and Pakistan’s justice minister has issued an international warrant for their arrest.
The killing was the work of an Al Qaida branch, led by a Pakistani Taliban leader, Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistani investigative commission has found.
A Muslim group tried to seize control of a hospital run by a Presbyterian missionary group in Pakistan, bringing charges that the hospital had been sold. The effort was foiled only after local police arrested hospital administrators at the prompting of the Muslim instigators.
The Christian Hospital of Taxila, outside Islamabad, was targeted by a team of Muslim financiers, who claimed to have purchased the property. After local officials began enforcing the claim, a stream of protest by Christian leaders—led by Bishp Rufin Anthony of Islamabad, prompted officials to investigate the claims, and find that the hospital had not been sold.