“Over a hundred of these fringe protest groups coalesced, as they so often do, into a confused mêlée of conflicting special interests,” reported Yiannopoulos. “They were united, however, in the sheer nastiness with which they expressed their views. To give but one example — as pilgrims sang “Hallelujah”, “Long Live the Pope!” and Benedicto!” demonstrators responded with shrieks of “Nazis!” and “Padophiles, watch out children!”
“So much for the inclusive tolerance trumpeted by the Left,” writes Yiannopolos. ”Here in Madrid was its real face: a sneering, violent mob of self-righteous bullies who thought it appropriate to hurl abuse at children for the crime of having pride in their faith and being excited about by a visit from the Holy Father.”
This week there will be no posts here at T&P. At home, we are preparing for Pope Benedict’s arrival in Madrid for the WYD 2011.
More than 1 million and a half are to arrive this week to celebrate this great event for all the Catholics. There are people from India, Yemen, Ethiopia, Poland, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Portugal, Chile, Mexico, etc, etc. The organization has even scheduled events regarding religious persecution with both a photo-exhibit and some speeches by people who have suffered persecution.
Just consider what would have been the international reaction if a Christian-majority country would have shown on TV ads aimed at non-Christians telling them what they should or shouldn’t do during religious celebrations. I guess even Ban Ki-Moon would have protested:
“While the station retracted the advertisements within 48 hours of first screening them and issued a public apology, this episode is telling of the dominant interpretation among members of the Malay bourgeoisie there about the value of Ramadan,” writes Bahrawi. “Ending each advertisement is a condescendingly moralizing message that puts the onus of betterment on the culturally ‘other’ when the focus should be an improvement of the self.
“In one, non-Muslims are explicitly told: “Do not be loud or obnoxious.”
“In another, it was: “Do not be greedy and eat in public.”
“More than spell out the exclusive nature of Islam, the advertisements are revelatory of the inability of Malaysia’s ultra-Malay elites to overcome ethnic tensions with the minority Chinese,” writes Bahrawi. “Ramadan or not, the advertisements suggest that their rose-tinted view of Malaysia is one colored by race-tinted glasses.”
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.
Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, when Mohammed was still living... Image via Wikipedia
A CONTROVERSIAL religious leader with close links to Ireland’s largest Muslim organisation has been banned from entering the country, the Irish Independent has learned.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service refused to approve an entry visa for Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric who has defended suicide bombing and advocated the death penalty for homosexuals.
Sheikh al-Qaradawi (84) is head of the European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR), a private Islamic foundation whose headquarters is in the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI) in Clonskeagh, Dublin.
Immigration officials are understood to have blocked his entry to the country after Mr Al-Qaradawi described suicide-bombing attacks on Israelis as “martyrdom in the name of God”.
The devices have been the insurgents’ preferred weapon for several years, but their use rose 14 per cent year-on-year, in the second quarter of 2011.
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) caused the majority of Nato casualties in 2010 and their indiscriminate use has been blamed by the United Nations for contributing to record civilian casualties.
From April to June, 3,845 exploded or were found, according to the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organisation (JIEDDO). Coaliton killed and wounded from the bombs rose 15 per cent yearly to 1,248 over the same period.
In June, use of roadside bombs was 25 per cent higher than average.
Most of the bombs are of homemade explosive, but attempts to block the import of ammonium nitrate fertiliser used in its manufacture have failed to stop the increase in devices.
Map of India, showing region of West Bengal. Image via Wikipedia
Alliance of Civilizations?
A gang of 50 Muslim extremists disrupted a prayer meeting at a Christian woman’s home in West Bengal, an Indian state that borders Bangladesh. Threatening to burn down the home, the group told Selina Bibi, a convert from Islam to Christianity, that she must leave the area or return to Islam.
The woman, who was baptized a Protestant in March, had been stripped and beaten by local Muslims following her conversion.
25% of West Bengal’s population is Muslim; nationwide, the figure is 13%.
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.
“They did many bad things to me,” she said, tears streaming down her eyes.Abducted on June 17, 2010, she was reunited with her family on July 10.“Several times I was warned that if I do not convert to Islam, then I risk losing my life,” she said. “The man who put me in his house on several occasions tortured me and threatened to kill me. He did not allow me to pray Christian prayers. He even insulted my family as a family of infidels.”
Hiba said that after a year of captivity, she had given the unidentified man who housed her enough of an impression that she had converted to Islam and accepted her fate that he left her unguarded. She was able to leave the house in the Soba Al Aradi area south of Khartoum and beg a motorist to take her to her home two hours away, she said.
“I had tried to escape three times before, but they captured me every time and beat me a lot,” she said, sobbing.
Her widowed mother, Ikhlas Omer Anglo, told Compass the kidnappers targeted them because they are Christians, members of Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Khartoum. The girl’s mother said that when she went to a police station to open a case, officers told her she must first leave Christianity for Islam.
Muslim radicals are making headway towards turning Egypt into an Islamic republic, according to Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.
The security situation in the Sinai Peninsula has deteriorated, with Islamists suspected of attacks like this one – a July 29 assault on an El Arish police station which left seven people dead. “If Egyptian authorities do not move quickly to crush the extremists and regain control, the Sinai Peninsula could soon become a separate Islamic emirate run by Salafis, Hamas and al-Qaida,” Abu Toameh writes in a column published by Hudson New York.
“The Facebook folks who triggered the anti-Mubarak revolution have been replaced by Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood supporters,” he adds. “It is only a matter of time before Egypt turns into an Islamic Republic that is aligned with Iran, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.”
Last week, hundreds of thousands of pro-Salafist demonstrators gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in a massive show of force. The Salafists have established a political party called Al-Nour, (“The Light”) to run in Egypt’s next elections.
Alarmed that the Salafists or the Brotherhood might prevail, Egypt’s ruling military council has yet to set an election date. But it will not be able to postpone it indefinitely, and many Egyptians appear sympathetic to the Islamists, Abu Toameh writes.
…Abu Toameh contends that many Western analysts exaggerate the differences between the Salafists and the Brotherhood. Although they have doctrinal differences about the role of religion and politics, “both parties want to see an Islamic regime in Egypt – one where moderation and pragmatism are non-existent,” he writes.
Two roadside bombs, both of low power, exploded near Christian places of worship in the city of Jos, Nigeria, home to several Islamist sects’ leaders. The first exploded on the night of Saturday near a Baptist church which was no longer used, after being previously damaged by the Islamists. A second bomb exploded Sunday morning near two Protestant churches: the Church of Christ of Nigeria (COCIN) and a place of worship of the Assemblies of God. The areas where these temples are located, are now mostly inhabited by Muslims. Christians have fleed the area because of the insecurity that the Islamists have brought to the area and have recently killed five Christians. These acts of Islamic terrorism seems to attempt to “cleanse” these areas of any Christian presence.
The Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) today condemned arson attacks on three Christian churches earlier this week by mobs in Riau province in central Sumatra.
The coordinating body for 26 regional communions in the country also accused local governments and law enforcement agencies of doing nothing to prevent attacks on Christian places of worship.
“The PGI strongly condemns these attacks which add to a growing number of cases,” said PGI spokesman Reverend Jeiry Sumampauw.Lack of firm action by local governments, or law enforcement, are turning churches into targets,” he said.
One of the people I’m following on Twitter, Julia Quintana (@Banalia), is in hospital after being attacked last night. His daughter @Adritaty explained that the attack took place in Ceuta when Julia was returning home. She encountered two Muslims in the street and one went after the cross that hung from her neck, “Mom answered him back and started beating her and insulting her“, her daughter reports. The offender is arrested: “he was arrested by my own father,” she says. It was he who stopped the attack after getting to the door of the house when hearing his wife’s sreams. On the state of Julia, her daughter notes, she “has a broken rib, in a few hours, she will be at home” (UPD: she is already home, thank God!).
It so happens that Julia had decorated her Twitter account’s background with the campaign logo MasLibres.org, launched earlier this year by the citizen platform HazteOir.org to claim religious freedom. Attacks such as that suffered Julia, who has behaved like the brave woman she really is, show how necessary are these campaigns.
She considers that the boy who attacked her was on drugs and invites everyone to forgive and forget and to live in harmony. She has invited everyone to pray for her attacker for the Lord to enlighten him.
That I know of, this has not being published by ANY major MSM. If it wouldn’t have been because of the blogosphere, I would have never have known about it.
Germany‘s Central Council of Muslims said it was advising Islamic professional football players that they need not fast during Ramadan, ahead of the regular season resuming Friday.
“The professional player can make up the fasting days during periods when there is no match and in that way show his respect for God and the holy month of Ramadan,” council president Aiman Mazyek said in a statement.
During Ramadan, observant Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Several Bundesliga players are Muslim, including many players of Turkish origin and Bayern Munich‘s French international Franck Ribery.
A dispute over the issue in Germany began when the second-division team FSV Frankfurt gave three Muslim players an official warning in October 2009 for fasting during Ramadan and failing to inform their managers.
The German Football Federation (DFB) reached an agreement with Muslim leaders on fasting in 2010 allowing players to respect one of the five pillars of Islam while fulfilling their professional obligations.
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.”
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.
Madan Mohan Das had been teaching at the Dhanmondi Government Boys High School since 2010. On July 26, he allegedly made some insulting remarks at a teachers’ meeting where he commented on the Prophet’s pilgrimage and his numerous wives, which infuriated many teachers, students and parents.
The comments led to severe protests around the city. The protesters came around the school and ransacked the office building, broke flower pots and vandalized the garden. Mr. Das has also been accused of insulting Islam in previous occasions. He came to the school after he made such comments and mocking the other teachers by saying, “there is nothing you can do to me”.
The Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said while speaking to journalists,”When we heard the news, we contacted the school authority. I advised them to inform the Education Board. I also talked to Director General of the Education Board myself and asked him to get the situation under control as soon as possible”.
The school’s Vice Principal Ms. Rowshan Ara Akhter arrived right after the protesters gathered in the school premises and promised them that action would be taken. She said, “We have been receiving complaints about this teacher from colleagues, students and parents. We have asked the Education Minister, the Director General of the Education Board to take necessary steps to solve the problem.”
Immediately after making such comments, Mr. Das was transferred to a remote school in the country’s northern region as a punishment, but that did not calm the protesters down. They demanded immediate suspension and punishment. As a result the state education authorities had to take further action. Finally, Madan Mohan Das was suspended last Sunday.
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. 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.