Radical Islamists from a shut down Hamburg mosque linked to the September 11 attacks on the United States are now trying to infiltrate other mosques in and around the German city, according to officials and Muslim leaders.
Small groups of radicals have turned up at several mosques trying to establish a new meeting place since the Taiba Mosque, where the 9/11 leader Mohammad Atta once prayed, was raided and closed by police in August, they told Reuters.
With radicals no longer grouped around one mosque near the city’s main train station, security services have stepped up their observation of Islamists around the city and Muslim associations are on the lookout for suspicious newcomers.
“There are small groups of 3 to 5 people from the former Taiba Mosque who have gone to other mosques,” said Ralf Kunz, internal affairs spokesman for the city government.
Individual radicals have turned up “at lots of mosques, both in Hamburg and the surrounding region,” he said. “They have not been able to assemble at any mosque.”
Hamburg police shut down the Taiba Mosque, formerly known as the Al Quds Mosque, in August, saying it had links with armed Islamist groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
A so-called “Hamburg Travel Group” of 11 radicals linked to the mosque left Germany in March 2009 to fight against the U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Clearly NOT good. The law will be introduced in its moment and in any case, another citizen can’t go riping clothes off other people. This does more harm than good to the people who, like me, have supported the burqa ban, firstly on dignity grounds (no man is entitled to rape or make any sexual approach just because she is not veiled and no woman should walk along the streets with a carpet on her even if it has “holes to let the air pass“, as it hinders her own personal security) and secondly, on public security grounds (no one knows who is under the veil or what is that person carrying inside).
A female lawyer allegedly ripped another woman’s burka off in a clothes shop – and told her to ‘clear off to your own country‘.
The 26-year-old Muslim convert (so, is she a French woman too?) said the 60-year-old lawyer made ‘snide remarks‘ about her Islamic veil.
An argument followed during which the older woman is said to have ripped the veil off, before the Muslim woman allegedly punched her.
Both women were arrested.
The row happened in Trignac, near Nantes, France, as the country prepares to introduce a ban on the burka.
A police officer said: ‘The lawyer said she was not happy seeing a fellow shopper wearing a veil and wanted the ban introduced as soon as possible.’
At one point the lawyer, who was out with her daughter, is said to have likened the Muslim woman to Belphegor (left)- a horror demon character well known to French television viewers
The lawyer’s use of the name ‘Belphegor’ was particularly inflammatory, said police, because the demon was portrayed by classical writers as ‘Hell’s ambassador to France’.
A Canadian court issued a ruling today on whether Muslim women can be forced to remove their niqab while testifying and, lo and behold, both sides of the debate are happy. That’s because the Ontario Court of Appeal determined that a witness is allowed to refuse to bare her face unless — unless! — the fairness of the trial depends on it. The judges’ ruling reads in part:
There is no getting around the reality that in some cases, particularly those involving trial by jury where a witness’s credibility is central to the outcome, a judge will have a difficult decision to make. If, in the specific circumstances, the accused’s fair trial right can be honoured only by requiring the witness to remove the niqab, the niqab must be removed if the witness is to testify.
A 32-year-old Muslim woman, who accused her cousin and uncle of sexual abuse when she was a child, sparked the ruling when she refused to remove her veil on the stand. Her lawyer argued, “Really, it’s all about making people feel welcome in our judicial system at a time when they’re undergoing significant stress — for example, by being a complainant in a sexual assault case.” Indeed, a blanket courtroom ban on veiling could cause Muslim women to avoid the justice system altogether.
A would-be assassin failed to harm Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako during an Oct. 10 Mass celebrating the feast of St. Daniel Comboni. The knife-wielding suspect had reportedly tried to blend in with liturgical dancers.
Cardinal Wako, who is the Archbishop of Khartoum, was leading the Mass at the Comboni Playground in the capital city when Hamdan Mohamed Abdurrahman, a Misseriya Arab from Southern Kordofan state, infiltrated the crowd.
The man disguised himself and joined the liturgical dancers at the crowded stage where the altar had been set up, the Catholic Information Service of Africa (CISA) reports. He proceeded up to the stage amid the dancers and pretended to dance while waving a dagger.
The assassin was within four steps of the stage when Master of Ceremonies Barnaba Matuec Anei, seated next to the cardinal, spotted him. Matuec caught and disarmed the man before handing him over to the security guards.
Matuec told CISA that Hamdan might have infiltrated the area early enough to hide himself among the faithful. There was “very intense” security at the gates.
“We want to find out what was his mission in the Church was, and why he did carry a dagger with him. After that, we will see what to do next. We must know his background and identity. If he has people backing him to carry out such actions in the church, we would like to know,” he added.
Companies in the Palestinian West Bank say the Hamas group that controls the Gaza Strip are planning to impose new trade rules that will deepen economic and political abyss between the territories.
In recent months, firms based in the West Bank have begun to rediscover the market in the Gaza Strip, home to a third of the Palestinian people, because Israel has eased restrictions on entry of goods into the enclave.
But the companies say they are finding new clauses to Hamas, including an application to register their business, a move that could indicate that the Islamist group reportedly planning to collect new taxes on their operations.
A source close to the Hamas government, who declined to be identified, said he had asked a few companies who have registered. But he said “no steps have been taken to force them to do it.”
Complications faced by companies seeking market share in Gaza highlights the deep divide between the territories where Palestinians seek to establish their state.
Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv, summed up the significance of Ahmadinejad’s visit:
The important issue is that we see another step in the ‘Hezbollah-ization’ of Lebanon…Lebanon is further losing its independence and Hezbollah is taking over, with Ahmadinejad encouraging these forces and signaling to the whole Middle East that Lebanon is becoming an Iranian protectorate.
Buttressing the idea that Lebanon has become a virtual client state of Iran were remarks made by Ahmadinejad during the frenetic rally held in southern Lebanon in Bint Jbeil. Hezbollah has made that little town a “symbol of the resistance,” promoting the legend of Hezbollah’s victory during the 2006 war with Israel.
During his speech, Ahmadinejad jumped feet first into the crisis currently roiling politics in Lebanon; the so-called “false witnesses” issue relating to the UN’s Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). In a nutshell, the UN has been investigating the assassination in 2005 of Rafiq Hariri, former prime minister and father of current PM Said Hariri. The first report on the investigation issued in 2005 by then-prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, implicated high-level Syrian officials in the murders, including President Assad’s brother in law.
But over the years, some witnesses have recanted (they were clearly intimidated), others murdered, and the UN walked back from its initial findings of Syrian involvement. Also, four prominent Lebanese generals who had been jailed until last year, were released because of questionable eyewitness testimony. It is impossible to say at this point how much pressure was placed on key witnesses to change their testimony and whether there really were “false witnesses” in the case.
Violence against Christian girls is “unfortunately common” in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, according to Father Khalid Rashid Asi, vicar general of the Diocese of Faisalabad.
Lubna Masih, 12, was going to a store to buy milk when five Muslim young men forced her into a car and raped and murdered her, according to the Fides news agency. Terrified by the prospect of reprisals, her family has not pressed charges.
Kiran Nayyaz, 13, was working as a maid in a Muslim’s home when another Muslim employee raped her. Now pregnant, she is under the protection of the Diocese of Faisalabad. “The family is traumatized and the entire Catholic community fear reprisals,” said the diocesan vicar general. “But cases of violence such as these are unfortunately common.”
In July, according to Fides, three Muslims kidnapped, tortured, and raped a 16-year-old Christian girl in Punjab, and a group of Muslim students raped a 12-year-old Christian girl in Rawalpindi.
“Episodes of violence and abuse of Christian girls are part of daily life,” a Fides source said. “Those that make the news are just the tip of the iceberg.”