“Hamas will never recognise the Israeli state”

Well, nothing really new in this:

Hamas would consider a “truce” with Israel, but will never recognise the Jewish state, senior leader Ismail Haniya said on Tuesday as thousands of Gazans celebrated the group’s 23rd anniversary.

Speaking before flag-waving Palestinians from across the Gaza Strip, Haniya said the Islamist group would never recognise its sworn enemy.

“Let it be understood far and near that after the war, the siege, the internal and external plots: we will not recognise Israel,” he told the cheering crowds.

“Our founder Sheikh (Ahmad) Yassin said: Liberate what you can of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, and where it cannot be liberated, declare a truce,” he said, referring to the group’s spiritual leader who was assassinated by Israel in 2004.

Ahead of its anniversary celebrations, Hamas reiterated its aim to recover all of historic Palestine from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.

“We will cede none of it, and we will not recognise the so-called state of Israel,” a statement said on Monday, adding that its aim was to make Jerusalem the “capital of the state of Palestine” and pledging to work against Israel’s “methods of Judaisation” in the Holy City.

The strident statements stood in sharp contrast Haniya’s remarks on December 1, when he suggested Hamas could accept a negotiated peace deal if the Palestinian population and diaspora approved it in a referendum.

Hamas “will respect the results of a referendum even if the results conflict with Hamas’s positions,” he told foreign journalists at the time.

“We accept a Palestinian state with full sovereignty on the land occupied in 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital and a solution to the issue of refugees.”

Meanwhile, we are sending more money to them through the Palestinian authority, and they are going to be very well off thanks to us.

The European Union continues his anti-Israeli stance and has “threatened” Israel with “recognising the Palestinian state” (which one?) if Israel continues building settlements, inside its borders. Although afterwards it seems that they have thought a little about that and have announced they will “wait for appropriate time” for recognizing it.

Pakistan: Teachers in the crosshairs in Baluchistan

Separatists and Islamic militants in southwest Pakistan are increasingly targeting teachers, college professors and other school officials, stunting development in the poorest corner of the country, an international rights group said Monday.

The Human Rights Watch report on Baluchistan province shows that education in Pakistan is under threat not just in the northwest, where Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants have long harassed teachers and attacked schools, especially those for girls.

Suspected militants murdered at least 22 educators in Baluchistan between January 2008 and October 2010, according to the report. The most prominent killing was that of Shafiq Ahmed, the provincial education minister, who was shot dead in October 2009.

Militant separatists have threatened teachers and school officials to stop teaching Pakistani history, flying the Pakistani flag, and singing of the national anthem. Partly as a result of the threats, bombs or other attacks, government schools in 2009 were open only 120 days — 100 days less than in the rest of the country.

Baluchistan is Pakistan’s largest province, covering 44 percent of the country and bordering Afghanistan and Iran. It also is the poorest of Pakistan’s four provinces and the most sparsely populated, with around 8 million people, or just 5 percent of the total population.

via FoxNews.com – Teachers in the crosshairs in southwest Pakistan.

Read it all.

Pakistan: Newspaper faked Wikileaks cables for propaganda war against India

The story was broken by The Guardian’s Declan Walsh, who discovered that none of the purported US assessments could be found on the WikiLeaks database. The Guardian, a British daily which has all the leaked WikiLeaks cables, could find no match for any of the claims made in the Pakistani press.

Now that’s hardly surprising. Whatever you may think about US State Department officials, on reading the WikiLeaked cables, you have to admit, as Roger Cohen put it in his New York Times op-ed, US diplomats write “clear, declarative English sentences”.

So if a US diplomat sends a cable calling a former Indian Army chief an “incompetent combat leader and rather a geek” with a “much far from reality” war doctrine of eliminating China and Pakistan, someone should have smelt a rat.

The stories were apparently generated by the Islamabad-based Online wire agency, that is known for its close links to the Pakistani intelligence services.

The Pakistani mainstream media’s willingness to toe the official military-intelligence line has been much noted, and is a subject worthy of discussion by other people – especially editors of international dailies such as the International Herald Tribune, whose Pakistani affiliate, Express Tribune, published the piece followed by a front-page retraction.

via Faking WikiLeak-ed Cables for Propaganda or How to Beat ‘The Onion’ at Farce | Les blogs.

Read it all.

PS: By the way, Assange has been freed on bail.

Iran: Iranian-born Saeed Malekpour sentenced to death on “Internet offences” charges

Saeed with his wife, back in Canada

An Iranian-born Canadian resident has been sentenced to death after spending two years in an Iranian prison, his supporters have learned. Supporters of Saeed Malekpour say the 35-year-old man has been tortured and forced to confess to “Internet offences” since he was arrested while visiting his ailing Iranian father in 2008.

via Celestial Junk: Behold the Peace of Islam.

Here is the letter he wrote to Iranian Judiciary about the torture he has endured. An excerpt:

While I remained blindfolded and handcuffed, several individuals armed with their fists, cables, and batons struck and punched me. At times, they would flog my head and neck. Such mistreatment was aimed at forcing me to write what the interrogators were dictating and to compel me to play a role in front of the camera based on their scenarios. Sometimes, they used extremely painful electrical shock that would paralyze me temporarily. Once in October 2008, the interrogators stripped me while I was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water.

Reat it all. It’s a miracle he is still alive.

More information here (only till Nov 1st, 2010), here.

PS: He is a Permanent Resident of Canada. Correction made.

Iraq: Suicide bomber kills 2 Shiite pilgrims

Another suicide terrorist in Iraq. While the former was against government buildings, this was against Shiite pilgrims.

An Iraqi official says a suicide bomber has killed two Shiite pilgrims north of Baghdad during an important religious ritual for the Muslim sect.Mohammed Maarouf, the mayor of Balad Ruz town in the northern Diyala province, says the bomber detonated an explosives belt during a body check and killed the policeman searching him and a woman standing nearby. Thirteen people were injured, Maarouf said.

More information here.

Sudan: woman flogged savagely on the street

Watched here.

I’m not even considering the causes for this brutality, carried out in the open and without anyone putting a stop on it. I can’t really express how I feel each time I see videos or images of violence carried out against unarmed citizens. We’ll see if the investigation they have promised to do will have any results or not.

Afghanistan: Australian dog declared MIA in Afghanistan returns home

Sarbi

An Australian special forces sniffer dog that went missing for almost 14 months after a battle in Afghanistan has finally returned home to Australia.

Sarbi arrived in Sydney on a flight from Dubai, where she had been in quarantine for the past six months.

She has now been moved to a quarantine facility, where she will undergo further veterinary examinations.

The 10-year-old bitch went missing in September 2008 after her patrol was ambushed in Uruzgan province.

Nine Australian soldiers, including Sarbi’s trainer, were wounded.

After the attack, there was no sign of the dog, and months of searching failed to find her. Sarbi was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

But in late October 2009, the dog was found by a US soldier in the care of a local Afghan man. She appeared to have been well cared for.

via BBC News – Australian dog declared MIA in Afghanistan returns home.

As I always post so depressing stories I thought this one was different. Specially because the man who took care of Sarbi was an Afghan man. That’s shocking,  due to Islam’s take on dogs.

Sudan: Men fined over indecent fashion show makeup

Louis Vuitton, Autumn-Winter 2008-2009, Paris

A Sudanese court convicted seven men of indecency on Wednesday after police accused them of wearing makeup during a fashion show in Khartoum, their lawyer said.

The men, amateur models at the “Sudanese Next Top Model Fashion Show” in June, were arrested by the public order police, a body known for its crackdowns on perceived indecent dress and drinking in the Muslim north, one defendant told Reuters.

All seven were found guilty on Wednesday and each fined 200 Sudanese pounds ($80), as was a woman who faced the same charge for applying the makeup, said lawyer Nabil Adib.

“The court thought that they were indecently dressed … The judge thought that wearing makeup could be offensive for men and allowing a woman to put makeup on men was against the law,” said Adib.

via Men fined over indecent fashion show makeup | Reuters.

Photo: El Correo Digital.

Iraq: Suicide Attacks Kill 13

A suicide car-bomber attacked a checkpoint near the government administrative building in Iraq’s Anbar province capital of Ramadi, killing and wounding dozens. Iraqi security forces are also on alert for threats before the Shi’ite Ashoura celebration this week in the south of the country.

Eyewitnesses say a suicide car-bomber detonated his vehicle at a checkpoint leading to government administrative buildings in Ramadi, causing numerous casualties.

A top Anbar province official, Jassem Mohammed al Hamed indicated the bomber was probably hoping to hit the government complex, but did not quite make it that far.

He says the bomber hit a checkpoint on the road leading up to the provincial government offices and the provincial council, but he was not able to get beyond it to reach the government buildings.

Police reports say at least six security force members manning the checkpoint were killed at the Ziyout round-about in central Ramadi.

Again and again and again. How much hate some people have as to die killing others…

Pakistan: Two sisters murdered in honor

Police have registered a murder case of two sisters, murdered in honor killing, and handed over the bodies to the heirs after post-mortem.

… According to details, accused Mumtaz shot dead his two cousins 16-year-old Nadra and Khursheer, 18 in honor killing.

The police shifted the bodies to DHQ hospital for autopsy. Bodies remained outside post-mortem house for eight hours owing to absence of doctors and other paramedical staff.

Later, Kot Mubarak police handed over the bodies of the deceased to the heirs and registered a murder case against accused Mumtaz.

via Two sisters murdered in honor – GEO.tv.

Stop Honour Kilings and Pakistan News Blog also report on the issue but haven’t any other information.

Pakistan: assasination of Asia Bibi in prison, feared

Asia Bibi

The complaint by the Foundation is fully supported by Ansar Burney, renowned Pakistani Muslim intellectual and former Federal Minister for Human Rights in Pakistan. Burney sent a letter to President Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani asking to increase security measures for Asia Bibi and prosecute all those who have invited the militants to kill her. As it says in the letter, a copy of which was sent to Fides, Burney is very concerned that Asia Bibi (or other members of her family) could be killed in custody or during the appeal process. Burney strongly urges the government to stop “the elements that have openly announced their intention to kill her,” thereby committing a crime, and notes that “because of widespread lawlessness and the weakness of the Government, the extremists may very easily carry out summary executions outside the law in the name of Islam.” There are already 33 people, accused of blasphemy, who have been killed in jail or during the process,” records Burney, “as happened to two brothers, Rashid and Sajid Emmanuel, gunned down in front of the court in Faisalabad in July 2010 (see Fides 20 and 21/07/2010). 

The “Human Rights Commission of Pakistan”, a prestigious local NGO, also remarked in a statement to Fides on the International Day for Human Rights, that “the rise of militancy and religious intolerance is a threat to human rights in the Country.” Asia Bibi’s death sentence for blasphemy, the Commission notes, is evidence “of the threats faced by citizens, based on an unjust law, and the selective application of these laws.” Furthermore, putting out an offer for her head, “lacks legal action, incitement to murder notwithstanding.”

Background:

  1. Pakistan: Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.
  2. Pakistan: your signature to save Asia Bibi.
  3. Asia Bibi: Pope appeals for “full freedom“.
  4. Pakistan: Asia Bibi NOT pardoned, protests are announced in case she is.
  5. Pakistan: Both Minister of Minorities and Punjab Governor threatened by Islamists over Asia Bibi’s release.
  6. Pakistan: Taliban-linked cleric offers $5,800 reward for anyone who kills Asia Bibi.
  7. Pakistan: Taliban-linked cleric offers $5,800 reward for anyone who kills Asia Bibi (II).
  8. Pakistan: court orders government not to change blasphemy law.
  9. Pakistan: “If they don’t hang Asia Bibi, we will kill her”.

Searching for the end of terrorism

This book is not only about Jihadist terrorism but rather a book that studies the end of terrorism in general:

Cronin notes that what usually brings terrorists to the negotiating table are generally threats to the organization itself rather than to its putative political purpose. She finds that terrorist groups rarely abandon the armed struggle due to achieving their official political goals. This conclusion is expected given the fact that terrorist groups virtually never attain their given political aims, a point underscored in this reviewer’s 2006 study in International Security, which compared the abysmal success rate of terrorist campaigns to other forms of protest.[2] Her case studies do, however, bolster the thesis that terrorism is inherently politically counterproductive by hardening governments and discouraging them from making concessions. She sensibly focuses on the handful of terrorist groups in modern history that achieved their policy demands such as the African National Congress and shows that they did so “despite the use of violence against innocent civilians [rather] than because of it.” The author is quick to point out that this does not mean terrorism accomplishes nothing at all; as previous studies have shown, terrorist acts can undercut the organization’s professed political agenda while simultaneously boosting membership, morale, and cohesion.[3]

So how then does terrorism end? By provoking government repression, its perpetrators have occasionally been stamped out. In fact, Cronin observes that “it is difficult to find cases” where governments did not use repressive measures, digging in their political heels. This does not mean that she endorses a policy of outright repression, however, since this response risks backfiring by turning the local population against the government and ultimately invigorating the terrorist group. A more frequent way for terrorism to end is by alienating potential supporters.

via Review of How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns :: Middle East Quarterly.