Afghanistan: Taliban is a London cab driver

We were asked to wait for the district chief in the house of a burly, bearded man who spoke passable English with a hint of a London accent. For most of the time he lived in east London, he said, but he came to Afghanistan for three months of the year to fight. He was a mullah and had the rank of a mid-level Taliban commander.

I work as a minicab driver there,” he said. “I make good money, you know. But these people are my friends and my family and it’s my duty to come to fight the jihad with them.

There are many people like me in London,” he added. “We collect money for the jihad all year and come and fight if we can.”

via The Taliban troop with an east London cab driver in its ranks | World news | The Guardian.

Solution? If we discover you’re jihading with your colleagues, better buy a one-way ticket, because you’re not going to enter this country again. Yes it’s difficult to prove that, but I’m sure there are patterns to discover the “covered” life these guys are having… You know, who would have allowed someone living in the US going to Germany to fight for the Nazis three months a year and then coming back to send them some money for their fight? 😯

Spanish debt problems

Two very interesting articles about the problems which Spain is facing now, after our Dear Leader the Allianzator of Civilizations has been leading us into disaster for 6 years now 🙄 . The first in English:

Spain’s debt to GDP ratio is expected to climb from 53.2 percent last year to 64.9 percent this year and 72.5 percent next year. But investors are particularly concerned about Spain’s gaping budget deficit, which at 11.3 percent of GDP is the third-largest in the euro zone, and which may exceed that of Greece this year, according to the European Commission.

In late May, the Spanish Parliament narrowly approved a €15 billion austerity plan to rein in the public deficit and ease fears of a Greek-style debt crisis. The measure, which is intended to reduce the deficit to 6 percent by 2011, includes cutting the pay of public sector employees by 5 percent and freezing that pay next year. The plan also calls for suspending automatic inflation-adjusted pensions and scrapping a payout parents get for the birth of new children.

Although these measures won Zapatero some respite from the markets, they also left his political future hanging in the balance. In the face of public strikes organized by Spain’s largest labor unions, as well as a more than 10-point decline in support for his Socialist Party, Zapatero put off other reforms. Now, with the crises in Ireland and Portugal, nervous investors are once again focusing on Spain’s public finances.

via Pajamas Media » Europe’s Future Lies, Ominously, with Spain.

The second one is in Spanish (though translated partially):

The rescue and even “reestructuration” of the Spanish public debt will be inevitable if the Government continues not doing anything about it. According to the U.S. entity in its “forecast about euro zone growth” report  issued on Tuesday, “Spain can still get by without external assistance” provided that no major negative surprises in the banking sector and whether it makes fiscal adjustment additional. And, at the end of 2011 the deficit will be 7.5% of GDP, well above the 6% target set by the Government, a target that, according to Citi, will be difficult to meet in 2012.

Continue reading

Egypt: Security Used Live Ammunition on Christian Coptic Protesters, 4 Killed

Egyptian police surroungs Talbiya Coptic church

Christian Copts worldwide were shocked and enraged at the use of live ammunition by Egyptian state security forces against unarmed Coptic protesters, causing the death of three Coptic young men. A four-year old child suffocated from tear gas thrown inside the chapel. Rights groups inside and outside of Egypt have condemned the use of excessive violence by security forces and the use of live ammunition against Coptic demonstrators.

Efforts by State Security to hide the use of firearms on unarmed protesters were in vain, as the rising death toll, hospital reports on those admitted, and video footage and eyewitness testimony have revealed the details of the incident. Coptic activists Sherif Ramzy and Ramy Kamel have conducted interviews with witnesses.

CSW Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston blamed the violence on “excessive” police tactics and expressed his sadness at the “unnecessary” loss of life and injuries.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said that the events are a serious escalation in the State’s treatment of its Christian citizens. “We’re not talking about social violence occasioned by the construction of a church, but rather security forces opening fire on protesters demanding their constitutional right to worship without arbitrary interference or discrimination,” said Hossam Bahgat, EIPR’s Executive Director. “Even assuming Copts in the area wanted to convert a services building into a church for worship, that does not justify this degree of police violence. Demonstrators should not be shot at for violating building codes“. EIPR called on the Public Prosecutor to prosecute the security personnel responsible for the deaths and injury of Christians.

Hany el Gezeyri, head of Copts for Egypt, denounced the use of live ammunition, adding that he is concerned “whether the discrimination of the state against the Copts became an official persecution or is this a way to terrorize Copts so that they keep silent?

Attorney Maged Hanna said that apart from the Copts, he is not aware of any incident in Egypt where live ammunition was fired against unarmed protesters, adding “this is a State terrorizing its citizens.”

via Egyptian Security Used Live Ammunition on Christian Coptic Protesters, 4 Killed.

Background: Egypt: Islamists lay siege against Coptic church in Giza, 1 Christian killed.

Pakistan: Christian sentenced to 25 years in prison for blasphemy released

This could be good news, if he is not harrassed from now on (or killed…)

Munir Masih, a Pakistani Christian sentenced to 25 years in prison for blasphemy, has been released on bail by order of the Lahore High Court, which is expected to overturn the verdict. Masih was accused by his neighbor of touching the Qur’an with dirty hands— a charge he denies. Masih’s wife, also sentenced to 25 years in prison, is expected to be released soon as well.

Let’s hope he is not killed after being released.

Saudi Arabia: Spanish train will transport Muslims in their yearly peregrination

The mediation of King Juan Carlos I in his travel throughout Arab Emirates some days ago has been fruitful, because the Spanish Consortium, formed by RENFE, Adif and Talgo and most of the more important Spanish building firms, will have an active role in the construction of the so-called Mecca train. This train will transport Muslim believers from Mina’s Valley, in Western Saudi Arabia, to Mecca in the yearly peregrination, called Hajj. Mina is situated near Mecca (10 kilometers), the place, where, according to Islam, prophet Abraham got to fulfill God’s commandment to kill his own son before He sent him a ram.

The macro project of high-speed train linking Medina, Jeddah and Mecca is scheduled for commissioning by 2013. For now, these cities will be joined this year by a kind of light rail, which will be capable of moving only 175,000 people. It is estimated that when the construction of the Spanish Consortium’s train is finished, it will be able to carry up to half a million faithful every six hours. It is expected that this year about 3 million people comply with the so-called “hajj”, one of the five pillars of Islam which every Muslim must perform at least once in their life. With this influx of travelers, the economic success of the project seems almost assured.

via La mediaciĂłn del Rey Juan Carlos logra que el tren de La Meca vaya a manos españolas – Extraconfidencial.com.

(Translated by T&P).

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood threatens to sever Israel ties

We are totally unhappy with the illicit marriage between Cairo and Tel Aviv,” said Mohammed Badie, the leader of the group which spawned Hamas.

The London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Saturday that Badie threatened to “cause a stir in many values that have caused Egypt to hit rock bottom in recent years, during which the leading party has reigned“.

Leaders of the regime know that if we rise to power we will change many aspects of its policy, first and foremost relations with Israel, which have contributed significantly to the maladies that have ailed us,” Badie said.

We will not allow the Palestinians to die of hunger and close the door on them while opening it to Israelis who can enter Sinai whenever they so choose.”

via Muslim Brotherhood threatens to sever Israel ties – Israel News, Ynetnews.

According to journalist Tariq Hassan, who writes for Government supported daily Al-Ahram, Muslim Brotherhood wants to continue the path began by Hamas in Gaza:

The Brotherhood, as Hamas, doesn’t acknowledges any legitimization to the Parliament that ratified the peace treaty with Israel, nor to the state which ratified those agreements, because from their point of view, that state is a traitor which is working for the foreign interests and which doesn’t represent its people. From those statements, we conclude that the Hamas’ problem is not limited to Gaza only, but it’s also in Egypt, and that the Brotherhood has the same positions and uses the same ideas and statements, used by Hamas to give the coup d’Ă©tat against the government and to proclaim Gaza as a rebel region under their command.

Here in Egypt the Brotherhood brought the hooded militias to the Al-Azhar University, and in Gaza, Hamas used them. Here they changed Egyptian flag and removed the Republic’s eagle and there they removed the Palestinian flag and used the green flag of Hamas. What can we hope for?

Firstly, Hamas is a branch from the Muslim brotherhood, so it’s not the least surprising they actually are using the same tactics. Secondly, this is just the result of making agreements regarding succession, isn’t it, Mr. Mubarak?

____

By the way, remember the “Coptic riots” following the illegal stop to the construction of a church near Giza? Well, as you would probably guess, there is only one responsible: the Mossad… Islamists have nothing to do with it… 🙄

Iraq: Terrorists behind attack on Baghdad church arrested, 6 tons of explosives found

Only lies, a superficial move” to make it appear to the public and the international community that the new Iraqi government is working to ensure the security of minority religious communities, while people are still forced to emigrate because of the lack security. From Baghdad to Mosul, this is the reaction of the Christian community to the arrest of a dozen terrorists responsible for the attack on the church of Our Lady of Salvation in the capital on October 31.

Last Nov. 27 it was announced that Iraqi security forces had captured an al-Qaeda leader and eleven of his men, involved in several attacks in the capital. He is Hudhaifa al-Battawi, military commander of al-Qaeda in Mansour, in western Baghdad. The news was reported by Iraqiya state television, quoting General Ahmed Abu Rgheif.

The operation, said the broadcaster, was conducted Nov. 24, although it was only made public three days later. The 12 arrested have admitted their responsibility for a series of attacks, including the hostage-taking in the Baghdad church which ended with the death of 57 people. Among other attacks attributed to the group there are those of the past month against the central bank, the offices of al-Arabiya satellite television and against some jewellery stores.

During the operation new plans were discovered to target four buildings with car bombs, landmines and explosive vests and six tons of explosives and some barrels of toxic substances were seized.

But news of the arrest has not reassured the Christian community, which has been seeking protection and justice from the central government. “It’s a sham, they had said that the terrorists were all killed during the raid to free hostages in the church!” Commented some Christians who have emigrated from the capital, after the latest escalation of violence against the minority community.

via IRAQ Terrorists behind attack on Baghdad church arrested – Asia News.

Background:

  1. Iraq: Gunmen take church-goers hostage after killing 2 at stock exchange.
  2. Iraq: 10 Catholics killed, 30 wounded after security forces stormed Baghdad church (UPD).
  3. Iraq: Pope Sends Message to Syriac Archbishop of Baghdad.
  4. Iraq: All Christians are targets, Al Qaeda says.
  5. Salim Mansur: “We have a deadly silence of the Muslim leadership”.
  6. Incipient genocide: the ethnic cleasing of the Assyrians of Iraq.
  7. Iraq: Five Christians killed and 20 wounded.
  8. Iraq’s Christians unimportant in global politics.
  9. Why hasn’t Obama addressed the Christian persecution in Muslim countries?
  10. Religious freedom: the ACN Report is released.

 

Tanzania: Two Church Buildings Torn Down in Muslim-dominated Zanzibar

Radical Islamists are suspected in the demolition of two church buildings on Tanzania’s semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar on Sunday (Nov. 21), as members of the congregations have since received death threats from Muslims.

The church buildings belonging to the Tanzania Assemblies of God (TAG) and the Evangelical Assemblies of God Zanzibar (EAGZ) in Masingini village, five kilometers (nearly three miles) from the center of Zanzibar city, were torn down at about 8 p.m., said Bishop Fabian Obeid of EAGZ. Mwera police received reports on the attacks on Monday morning (Nov. 22).

The latest in a string of violent acts aimed at frightening away Christians in the Muslim-dominated region, the destruction on the island off the coast of East Africa has raised fears that Muslim extremists could go to any length to limit the spread of Christianity, church leaders said.

“One Muslim was heard saying, ‘We have cleansed our area by destroying the two churches, and now we are on our mission to kill individual members of these two churches – we shall not allow the church to be built again,’” said one church member who requested anonymity.

….

Muslim extremists in Zanzibar, in concert with local government officials, have long limited the ability of Christians to obtain land for erecting worship buildings. In some cases they have destroyed existing buildings and put up mosques in their place.

Frustrated at obtaining government help to apprehend criminals, church leaders said they have little hope that the perpetrators of Monday’s attacks will ever be caught. In most cases the government sides with the attackers, delaying investigation out of fear of upsetting the majority Muslim population that opposes the spread of Christianity.

via Two Church Buildings Torn Down in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

I wouldn’t have copied the “anonymous” testimony if it weren’t for those two last paragraphs. It doesn’t happen ONLY in Zanzibar with a Muslim-majority population, but it happens in Sweden too, as we have known a few days ago.

USA: FBI thwarts terrorist bombing attempt at Portland holiday tree lighting, authorities say

There we go again:

The FBI thwarted an attempted terrorist bombing in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square before the city’s annual tree-lighting Friday night, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon.A Corvallis man, thinking he was going to ignite a bomb, drove a van to the corner of the square at Southwest Yamhill Street and Sixth Avenue and attempted to detonate it.

However, the supposed explosive was a dummy that FBI operatives supplied to him, according to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint signed Friday night by U.S. Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, a Somali-born U.S. citizen, was arrested at 5:42 p.m., 18 minutes before the tree lighting was to occur, on an accusation of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The arrest was the culmination of a long-term undercover operation, during which Mohamud had been monitored for months as his alleged bomb plot developed.

via FBI thwarts terrorist bombing attempt at Portland holiday tree lighting, authorities say | OregonLive.com.

Afghanistan: Military says it suspected Taliban imposter

Taliban flag

Authorities had long suspected that a self-described Taliban leader was an imposter, even as he engaged with Kabul over reconciliation, the top U.S. military officer said in comments released on Friday.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said he did not believe the imposter ever met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai — contradicting media reports.

“There were very early initial suspicions. And it took a little while to verify who he was or who he wasn’t. And, in fact, it turns out that he wasn’t the guy that he was claiming he should be,” Mullen said in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS due to air on Sunday.

“This was somebody that didn’t have a meeting with Karzai, as far as I know. He was meeting with his intermediaries,” Mullen said.

The New York Times reported this week that a man it had described as a “Taliban leader,” who it said had taken part in secret peace talks, was in fact an impostor. It said the man met Karzai and was given “a lot of money.

James Bond had several days free and chose to go on holiday.

No, seriously, secret agents are people, they surely err sometimes, but, as lives and money are involved, they should be extra-careful.

If not, the bad guys are not stopped and another 10 people have been killed. Another 10 had been wounded. The culprits are two suicide bombers. And the victims were policemen from an Afghan Police station which was the target of the attack.

Barack Obama’s grandmother ‘prays he converts to Islam’

Barack Obama with his grandmother in Kenya

Sarah Omar, 88, who was on hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, told the Al-Qatan Saudi daily: “I prayed for my grandson Barack to convert to Islam”.

The paper said that Ms Omar was in Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage along with her son, Mr Obama’s uncle Saeed Hussein Obama, and four of her grandchildren.

Ms Omar told the newspaper that she could only discuss hajj matters and would not comment on Mr Obama’s politics.

The bad thing is… MSM claimed she was a Christian some years ago….

Found.

PS: Did Ms Omar chanted “Death to US” too?

Photo: The Telegraph.

France plans to introduce new ‘Google tax’

As online advertising continues to grow rapidly throughout Europe, French senators this week approved a new tax law aimed at securing the government to a piece of the revenue pie.

Although the measure is popularly known as the “Google Tax“, it does not directly impact the Internet giant, which has based its advertising business offshore and out of reach of French tax collectors. Instead, the one-percent charge will be levied on all French-based companies purchasing online publicity services.

The measure is expected to become law in 2011 and generate between 10 and 20 million euros per year if it is passed by the National Assembly, as predicted.

Supporters of the tax say it will put online advertising on an equality footing with other media. Broadcast and print advertisements are already subject to taxation in France. Television advertising alone pumps roughly 70 million euros into government coffers annually.

But critics say the government’s plan fails to meet its original goal: to tax the French operations of internet giants such as Google, Microsoft, eBay and Amazon, which are located strategically in European countries with low corporate tax rates, such as Ireland and Luxembourg.

via France plans to introduce new ‘Google tax’ | Business | Deutsche Welle | 25.11.2010.

Sweden: Pro-Israel blogger attacked for being a Jew

The Swedish press reports that On Monday evening a man was attacked in his apartment in central Norrköping, in eastern Sweden. According to the victim, two hooded perpetrators rang his doorbell and when he opened the door, they beat him on the head with a wine bottle. The man got treatment in hospital.

Swedish blog JIHAD I MALMÖ spoke with the victim, who says this was an antisemitic attack by Arabs. “The first words I heard was ‘Jewish pig’.” He was then beaten 4-5 times with a wine bottle as he lay on the floor.

A noise from a door in the stairwell caused them to run out and down the stairs, while one shouted ‘Yahood‘ (Arabic: Jew). When he came back from the hospital he discovered they had tried to tear out his mezuzah, but had only managed to take out one of the screws.

The police are not interested and the neighbors are afraid to testify, and so the victim is calling for help from anybody who might have seen the men or heard them talk about the attack.

He thinks the only reason he was ambushed is because he’s a pro-Israel blogger (writing under an assumed name).

via Islam in Europe: Sweden: Pro-Israel blogger attacked for being a Jew.

That part about the “police not interested and the neighbours too afraid to testify” is really worrying. Why is there is a police force if it isn’t interested in investigating violent attacks?

Iran: Court Sentences Converted Christian Pastor To Death By Hanging For Apostasy

This is an update of this story:

A detained pastor of a major network of Christian house churches in Iran will be executed by hanging for “apostasy”, or abandoning Islam, according to translated court documents seen by Worthy News Wednesday, November 24.The 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the province of Gilan said Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani had proved his “apostasy” by “organizing evangelistic meetings and inviting others to Christianity, establishing a house church, baptizing people, expressing his faith to others and, denying Islamic values.”

Nadarkhani is “an apostate [and] will be executed by being hung…Somehow his soul is taken from him,” the court wrote.

He was arrested after protesting against the enforced reading of the Koran, viewed as a holy book by Muslims, to Christian children including his own. His wife Fatemeh Passandideh was released October 11 by a court in Gilan province, after she was detained on similar apostasy charges, Christians said.

In comments accompanying the death sentence, the court claimed Nadarkhani confirmed he converted to Christianity from Islam, despite possible execution. “Even in his last defense…when he was asked [by the prosecutor] ‘from the age of puberty until the age of 19, what religion have you had?’, he replied… ‘Since I was born in a Muslim family I was Muslim until I converted to Christianity at the age of 19‘.”

via Holger Awakens: Iranian Court Sentences Converted Christian Pastor To Death By Hanging For Apostasy.

I hope Obama, Zapatero, Ban Ki-Moon at al will also raise their voices to protest this huge abuse of Human Rights.

Yeah, I know, it’s Iran. 🙄 I’m sure this is not the last man killed because of his faith in Iran. And this will be an example for other backwards bastards to sentence more people to death by this “crime”.

I’m sure the islamophiles that some times end up here, will say that, “well, this has nothing to do with Islam, this is just a very “conservative” country”. As if all conservatives would defend killing apostates.

There is no mention of death penalty for apostates in the Qu’ran, though there are several verses about “those who break their oaths in which something very similar is stated:

009.012
YUSUFALI: But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.
PICKTHAL: And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief – Lo! they have no binding oaths – in order that they may desist.
SHAKIR: And if they break their oaths after their agreement and (openly) revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief– surely their oaths are nothing– so that they may desist.

009.013
YUSUFALI: Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe!
PICKTHAL: Will ye not fight a folk who broke their solemn pledges, and purposed to drive out the messenger and did attack you first? What! Fear ye them? Now Allah hath more right that ye should fear Him, if ye are believers
SHAKIR: What! will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the Messenger, and they attacked you first; do you fear them? But Allah is most deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers.

009.014
YUSUFALI: Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the breasts of Believers,
PICKTHAL: Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them, and He will heal the breasts of folk who are believers.
SHAKIR: Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace, and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people.

Wikipedia says:

The medieval Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence were unanimous in holding that apostasy by a male Muslim is punishable by death, differing only on whether to execute the apostate immediately or grant the apostate an opportunity to repent and thus avoid penalty. They also differed on the punishment of a female apostate: death or imprisonment until repentance.[2] Abu-Hanifa and his followers like the jurist Sarakhsi refused death penalty for women[3] supporting jail for them till re-embracing islam. The four major Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence (Madh’hab) differentiate between harmful apostasy and harmless apostasy (also known as major and minor apostasy) in accepting repentance.[4]

In mainstream Islam, many contemporary scholars oppose any penalty for apostasy: Gamal Al-Banna (brother of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood),[5][6] Hamza Yusuf,[7] Yusuf Estes,[8] Jamal Badawi,[4] Javed Ahmad Ghamidi,[9] Hassan al-Turabi, Shafi`i Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa,[10][11] Shabir Ally,[12] and Maliki jurist Abu al-Walid al-Baji and Shi’a Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri,[13] They have either completely opposed any penalty for apostasy, or believe that penalty can only be applied when apostasy is coupled with attempts to harm Muslim society.[14][15][16][17]

So, not all of them oppose it. In this case, they can support it, because Nadarkhani was actually “harming Muslim society”, while he was preaching and speaking about Christianity and was, as the documents say, “denying Islamic values“.

PS: By the way., Montazeri‘s opinions are not important for the Ayatollah’s: he was a dissident, who was kept under arrest in his home till his death last year, after which there were severe riots, all over Iran.

Female genital mutilation is also an issue in Europe, activists say

Practiced in Africa as well as in certain countries in the Middle East and communities in Asia and Latin America, female genital mutilation is the internationally-acknowledged name for the practice of cutting women’s genitalia. Girls are subjected to FGM for a variety of reasons, explained Christine Loudes, director of the EndFGM campaign at Amnesty International.

FGM is performed for non-therapeutic reasons,” Loudes said. “It’s done in the name of tradition, in the name of aesthetics and sometimes in the name of religion.”

FGM involves partially or completely removing the external female genitalia, and the practice is usually performed under unhygienic conditions and without anaesthesia on girls from their birth to 15 years of age. FGM represents a severe violation of human rights.

“It constitutes torture and degrading treatment; it violates women’s rights, and it violates rights to physical integrity as well as to children’s rights, to name a few,” Loudes added.

Africa is the most notable perpetrator regarding FGM, with some 30 countries subjecting girls to the practice. But girls are threatened by the practice on other continents as well. According to the European Parliament, roughly 500,000 girls and women in Europe have already been subjected to FGM or are in danger of becoming victims. That number includes 75,000 girls and women in the UK, 65,000 in France and 30,000 in Germany. As Loudes explains, it’s difficult to prove that FGM is actually being carried out on the ground in Europe, but Amnesty International does not want to rule out the possibility.

via Female genital mutilation is also an issue in Europe, say activists | Environment & Development | Deutsche Welle | 25.11.2010.

Me neither. In fact, there have been reports of “parties” to practise it in the UK.

Sudan: Cardinal’s would-be assassin released from prison

Cardinal Zubeir Wako

A month after a man attempted to murder Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako of Khartoum during the celebration of Mass, police have released his would-be assassin. Hamdan Mohamed Abdurrahman was released because police have determined that he is mentally unstable, Sudan Catholic Radio reported.

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Cardinal’s would-be assassin released from prison.

So he is mentally unstable and is not secluded in a lunatic asylum or some other institution? Well, considering that Msgr. Wako has opposed with a lot of energy against Sudanese Islamist Government, I hope that this guy is not set loose to try it again.

Egypt: Islamists lay siege against Coptic church in Giza, 1 Christian killed

Copts and Egyptian security forces clashed on Sunday outside the Saints Mary and Michael Church in Talbiya, near the Pyramids, Giza. Police want to stop the church construction, which is in its final stage. This is the second time in ten days that security forces try to enter the religious compound, which is under 24-7 protection by priests and worshippers. The siege began at midnight, and lasted six hours. As of 9 pm, the church was full of worshippers praying, aware that security would try to move in.

Security forces surrounded the church compound and seized four concrete mixing vehicles on their way to the site. The concrete was spoiled.

At the same time, some 2,000 Copts joined those already in the church. Demonstrations and sit-ins took place in front of police.

Christian religious authorities said that the church would continue to be protected until the matter is not settled.

Naguib Ghobrial, president of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights, issued a statement calling for the dismissal of the head of the local government in Omraniya who ordered the security forces in.

“The Church has all the permits,” he said. “By this behaviour, the chief of the local authority is encouraging Islamists to fight with Christians because of the Church. This encourages sedition.”

via EGYPT Islamists lay siege to Coptic church near pyramids – Asia News.

A 19-year-old Christian was killed during the fight that followed this second siege. Christians, enraged, charged against the police with stones and other objects. After the news of his death were known, 3,000 Christians gathered outside the church to protest, chanting religious slogans and some against Muslims.

Religious Freedom: The ACN Report is released

The 2010 Report on Religious Freedom in the World by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) was released yesterday in Rome. It shows that the situation is serious in many parts of the world, particularly in Asia. In the Near East, Iraq represents an especially bad case where anti-Christian violence is taking on the form of systematic persecution, as the latest episodes indicate. In Egypt, despite the fact that it is a major tourist destination, there have been many acts of violence against the Christian minority in 2009-2010. Lebanon shows how difficult it is for foreign religious staff to enter the country. The situation of Christians in Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip is getting worse with episodes of explicit persecution.

In India, ethnic and religious violence is rising as well. The year 2009 clearly illustrated the problem. However, China is certainly among those nations where religious freedom is denied in all its facets. However, information about what happens in that nation remains limited and hard to obtain. The state is officially atheist and suppresses all form of religion through arrests and detention in concentration camps. The case of Mgr Julius Jia Zhiguo is one of the better known. The underground bishop of Zhengding (Hebei) was arrested by five police officers on 30 March 2009; he was eventually released 15 months later.

In Pakistan, the blasphemy law is used as weapon against religious minorities, especially Christians who are the victims of Muslim fundamentalism. In Afghanistan, the government is not able to ensure effective religious freedom. In Bangladesh, where Islam is also the state religion, several cases of discrimination and attacks against minorities have been recorded with security forces showing little interest in protecting them.

via ASIA The ACN Report on religious freedom in the world is released – Asia News.

When I find the report in English I will post the link here. It’s necessary that these facts are reported and really known outside those countries.

Afghanistan: Trial of convert to Christianity delayed

Sayed Mussa’s trial has been delayed… again. He still doesn’t know what he has been accused of:

The trial of an Afghan convert to Christianity was delayed from Sunday to possibly as early as sometime this week, depending on when officers figure out how to judge the case.

Under the Afghan constitution, there is no law that bans religious conversion. As a result, officers are currently deciding if Musa should be tried under sharia law.

Sharia or Islamic law says a convert from Islam can be punished by death.

via Afghan Convert’s Trial Delayed; Faces Possible Death Penalty | Christianpost.com.

Background:

  1. Afghanistan: former Muslim may get death penalty for conversion.
  2. Afghanistan: trial of convert to Christianity will be held next Sunday.

Terror: suspects arrested in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany

More terrorists threatening to bomb/attack sites in Europe:

Police in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have arrested at least 10 Islamists suspected of plotting an attack in Belgium. Another 15 were arrested for allegedly recruiting insurgents for Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Police in Belgium and neighboring countries carried out two separate anti-terror raids on Tuesday, arresting at least 25 people.

Federal prosecutors in Belgium first announced the arrests of at least 10 Islamists suspected of plotting an attack on an unknown target in Belgium.

Ten Belgian, Dutch, Moroccan and Russian nationals have been arrested,” a spokesman for the Belgian Prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday. The Russian nationals were of Chechen origin, he said.

One of those Russians has been detained in the western German city of Aachen, close to the Dutch border. The others were arrested in Belgium’s second city Antwerp and in the Dutch capital Amsterdam.

via Terror suspects arrested in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 23.11.2010.