Saudi Arabia: new anti-terror law crushes protests

Amnesty International

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Days ago, Amnesty International published a leaked draft of the new Saudi Anti-Terror law, which the organization described, in a statement, as a “law that would allow the authorities to prosecute peaceful dissents with harsh penalties as terrorist crime” adding that this law would punish questioning the integrity of the King or the Crown Prince with a minimum prison sentence of 10 years. Amnesty International (@amnesty) brought the news through Twitter, where many people have reacted with the hash tag #SaudiTerrorLaw:

@amnesty: Secret docs reveal new #SaudiArabia “Anti-Terror” law would crush peaceful dissent http://owl.li/5KS9Y

More on GVO.

Israel: Preaching the Gospel in a Muslim neighbourhood

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Holy Land Missions recently purchased a building in a Muslim neighborhood to use as a youth center. A week before the youth center opened, Khoury was summoned to the courthouse.

“Mr. Khoury, there are many complaints that you are going to begin outreaches in the youth center, and many people are afraid these outreaches will be noisy,” a government official told him. “A lot of trouble can come if you are active in that controversial neighborhood.”

Pastor Khoury promptly responded, “Well, it is very interesting that you have been warned about this because we have not even begun yet. So how will those that are concerned about our presence in the neighborhood know if we will cause trouble or noise?”

The government official agreed to let HLM begin its work in the neighborhood, but he warned Pastor Khoury that he expects to see him again.

The same week Pastor Khoury was summoned to the courthouse, a Muslim family threatened to harm HLM pastors and vandalized the center’s locks. The family said they would “break the legs” of anyone who enters the youth center’s gates. “You can break my legs, but you can’t break my faith,” responded the pastor’s son, Steven.

From Beliefnet.com.

Pew Global Poll: Muslims, Westerners retain stereotype views

Andrew Kohut at the Miller Center Forum
Andrew Kohut. Image by Miller_Center via Flickr

Westerners and Muslims continue to hold negative stereotypes of each other, although views of Muslims in the West appear to have improved marginally over the past five years, according to a new survey released by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, reports IPS.

The survey was based on in-depth interviews with respondents in six predominantly Christian and six predominantly Muslim countries, as well as in Israel and the Palestinian Territories (PT).

“Many in the West see Muslims as fanatical and violent …,” it concluded. At the same time, “Muslims in the Middle East and Asia generally see Westerners as selfish, immoral and greedy – as well as violent and fanatical.

”“The survey obviously gives evidence to those who think there is pretty much an intense and entrenched divide (between the two groups),” noted Andrew Kohut, the Project’s founder and director.

The survey found that majorities or pluralities of respondents in all but three of the countries surveyed said they believed “some religions are more prone to violence than others.”

Among Christian respondents who agreed with that assertion, overwhelming majorities said that Islam was the most violent.

Among respondents in predominantly Muslim countries, on the other hand, similar majorities named Judaism as the most violent. Turkey, however, was an exception: 45 percent pf respondents who said some religions were more violent than others named Christianity as the most violent; 41 percent chose Judaism.

via Muslims, Westerners retain stereotype views – ucanews.com.

Saudi Arabia: Indonesian maid escapes execution

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Just three weeks ago, Darsem binti Dawud Tawar was facing execution by beheading in Saudi Arabia for murder, which she claims was an act of self-defense. Now, finally back home in Indonesia, she is a free woman — after the Indonesian government paid more than $500,000 in “blood money.”

Holding her young son tightly, as she faced the glare of the media, Darsem was reunited with her family on Wednesday at the Indonesian Foreign Ministry in Jakarta. She first left her West Java hometown for a job as a maid in the Middle East in 2006, when her son was just a baby. Continue reading

Budget deficit on the West bank? No problem: just ask for more money

Absolutely disgusting and shameful: the West in a quite important economic crisis, and yet these guys are asking for more money.

Palestinian Authority governorates
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The Palestinian Authority is facing a budget crisis. It has reached its borrowing limit and has a 585 million dollar deficit. So naturally its leaders are asking the West for another handout.

Back in 2007, 7.4 billion dollars was pledged to keep the terrorist edifice of the Authority running. The PA claimed that it needed 3.9 billion for budgetary shortfalls alone. And after pissing away far more than that, the men who give the suicide bombers their marching orders are back passing around the plate.

Even as the Palestinian Authority pushes forward on a statehood bid at the UN, not only is it unable to pay its own bills, but its only real revenue stream is foreign aid. Few states can claim to have failed, before they are even declared– but the PA is on its way there.

But do “Palestinian People” really need billions more in aid? The World Bank report for 2011 found that only 16 percent of the West Bank under PA control was living below the poverty line.

How serious is a 16 percent poverty rate? It’s better than the poverty rate in Washington D.C. which hit 18.9 percent. That means that politicians in Washington D.C. are diverting money that could have been used to help needy Americans a few miles from their offices, to help the comparatively better off terrorist populations in the West Bank.

Contrary to the barrage of news stories on the suffering of the Palestinians, the poverty rate for America and the West Bank aren’t that far apart. The California poverty rate is at 15.3 percent. And the national average at 14.3 percent is hardly that much better.

via The Palestinian Muslim Money Hole | FrontPage Magazine.

UN Report: Iran was caught 10 times sending weapons to terrorists

Iran was caught 10 times in recent years, transferring weapons to terrorist groups in the Middle East. These illegal activities included sending in April a shipment of advanced missiles which was intercepted while it was being sent to the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to a United Nations report released by the Jerusalem Post.

The report, prepared by an independent panel of experts from the UN, which monitors compliance with UN sanctions imposed on Tehran, was elevated to the Security Council of the UN. The report was leaked to the Internet and picked up by Israeli defense analysts.

The report documents 10 cases of illegal shipment of weapons, including the cargo ship Victoria, who was arrested by the Israel Navy, earlier this year, with several containers full of weapons to Hamas.

More here.

Middle East: Hamas planning to impose new trade rules, companies say

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.

Source.

But the Jooz will still be blamed for this division…