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…

Report: "Palestinians" rape female peace activists

Roni Aloni Sedovnik, a feminist activist, penned an article in News1 – an independent website run by respected investigative reporter Yoav Yitzchak – under the heading “The Left’s Betrayal of Female Peace Activists Who were Sexually Assaulted.”
“A nauseous atrocity has been going on for a long time behind the scenes at the leftists’ demonstration at Bil’in, Naalin and Sheikh Jarrah [Shimon HaTzaddik],” she writes. “A dark secret that threatens to smash the basic ideological values upon which the demand to end the occupation of the Territories rests.”
It turns out, she explains, that when female peace activists from Israel and abroad come out to Judea and Samaria and demonstrate against the Israeli “occupation,” they are assaulted sexually by the Arab men whom they have come to help. These are not isolated incidents, Aloni-Sedovnik stresses. Rather, this is an “ongoing and widespread” phenomenon that includes verbal and physical abuse. She accuses the ‘peace’ camp of purposely covering up the trend so as not to offend “the Palestinians and their heritage, which sees women as sexual objects.”

The feminists, the UN, the MSM, where are they?

Erdogan Calls Israel 'Principal Threat' to Middle East Peace

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey...

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Relations between Turkey and Israel, already at a low point, took a further battering Wednesday when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Israel as “the principal threat to peace” in the Middle East.

…Mr. Erdogan’s clashes with Israel and rapprochement with Iran and Syria have led some analysts to believe Turkey is making a fundamental foreign-policy shift away from its Cold War partners in the West, in particular the U.S., and toward Middle Eastern powers such as Iran. At a recent meeting of foreign-policy analysts in Istanbul held by the Turkish Policy Quarterly, Israeli and Turkish analysts agreed on one point—the alliance those two countries built on shared security concerns in the 1990s is probably unsalvageable.

But a 38-page report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group think tank on Turkey’s new role in the Middle East, released Wednesday, said the belief Turkey is turning away from the West is “incorrect.” The report noted that Turkey’s trade with Europe continues to outweigh its trade with the Middle East by a wide margin, and European Union membership remains its core goal. But the report also warned that Mr. Erdogan risks losing the trust of Western allies.

via Erdogan Calls Israel ‘Principal Threat’ to Middle East Peace – WSJ.com.

And… Turkey is going to raise the subject of the (alleged) Israeli nuclear arsenal on the next Washington meeting. We’ll see what happens…

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UN chief Ban Ki-Moon starts Mid-East peace push

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, B...

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After a Hamas rocket killed a Thai worker in Israel, while Baroness Aschton was visiting Gaza, and another rocket was fired to south Israel, UNSC first stopped in his official visit in Ramallah, then he will visit Israel:

The UN secretary general is meeting Palestinian leaders at the beginning of a mission to press for a resumption of talks between them and the Israelis.

Ban Ki-Moon‘s first stop was in the West Bank town of Ramallah, where he met PM Salam Fayyad. He is to see the Israeli president Shimon Peres later.

Israel’s controversial plan to build 1,600 more homes in East Jerusalem has provoked the latest round of activity.

via BBC News – UN chief Ban Ki-Moon starts Mid-East peace push.

So, what has Ban said?

The UN chief has said Israel’s blockade of Gaza is causing “unacceptable suffering,” during a Middle East visit to reinvigorate the peace process.

But I haven’t read any statement from Mr. Ban speaking about Hamas Minister Mr Jarbu’s words in which he considered Jews as bacteria and asked Allah to anhilate all of them.

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Middle East: Israel targeted by Gaza rockets as Ashton visits

Hamas
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The rocket was launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing a Thai agricultural worker, while Baroness Ashton was visiting the Hamas-controlled enclave.

It was the first strike from the territory to cause any fatalities since the end in January 2009 of Israel’s Gaza war.

An hour before the attack, the EU‘s top diplomat Catherine Ashton crossed into the Gaza Strip to tour UN facilities and see how the international funding was being used.

At a Gaza news conference after the attack, Baroness Ashton said: “I condemn any kind of violence, we have got to find a peaceful solution to the issues and problems.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also expressed his condemnation, saying in a statement: “All such acts of terror and violence against civilians are totally unacceptable and contrary to international law.”

via Israel targeted by Gaza rockets as Ashton visits – Telegraph.

I expect a condemnation of the ratings of Hamas’ minister Abdullah Jarbu, “Jews are bacteria“. How on earth there is going to be peace with guys who think like that?

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US: Suspect in recruit shooting claims links with AQ

Courtesy of FOXNews:

The man accused of killing one soldier and wounding another outside an Arkansas military recruiting center has asked a judge to change his plea to guilty, claiming ties to Al Qaeda.

Abdulhakim Muhammad’s attorney, Claiborne Ferguson, said Thursday night that his client sent a letter earlier this month to the judge in his case asking to change his plea to capital murder and attempted capital murder charges.

Muhammad has called the shootings justified retaliation for U.S. military action in the Middle East. He told The Associated Press in a telephone interview last year that he doesn’t believe he’s guilty.

The New York Times, which first reported the letter on its Web site Thursday, said Muhammad described himself in the letter as a soldier in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and called the shooting "a Jihadi Attack." The group has claimed responsibility for the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound American airliner.

Jihadi attack, hein? And surely he will have a lawyer who will say that he has a cultural or mental problem because he doesn’t understand the culture in which he is living.

Vatican releases document on ME Christian persecution

Attacks on Christians in the Middle East and Islamic fundamentalism will be the focus of talks at the Vatican with Catholic bishops who serve in the region.

Catholic officials have stated in a report the growth of the Internet has helped spread radical groups and specifically points to countries such as Saudi Arabia.

It also expresses concern that more attacks will be launched against Christians in the Middle East.

The report goes on to say the growth of Islamism has led to an increase of violence against Christians "almost everywhere."

The document released today by the Vatican says the application of Sharia law,quote, "always constitutes discrimination and, therefore a violation of a person’s human rights".

Well said.

Riots will begin in 3, 2, 1…  Waiting

Related: Great Mufti of Syria: Christians and Jews are not Heretics – We should not kill them @ IBA.

Al-Qaeda: Al-Zawahiri calls for the destruction of Israel

He accused Obama of “supporting a Palestinian State that would do the bidding of the Israelis”. He added:

Israel is a crime that needs to be wiped out,” said al-Zawahiri, who likened the policies of the current U.S. president to those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. “The promises of the two states and ending the settlements were made by Bush, so what’s new? This is the continuation of the same Zionist crusader crime against Muslims since the end of World War II.”

Read the Islamic genocide Plan. No changes really.

AQ has also given Obama Conditions for Truce: “The minimum the mujahideen would accept (includes) … the exit of infidel troops from all of the land of Islam and an end to stealing Muslims’ wealth under the threat of military power.” Wow, how generous…

By the way, that part about stealing Muslim wealth “under the threat of military power”, can’t be really considered as what they do under the name of “Islamic jizya“?

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China: introducing Arabic TV Channel

China kisses Muslim butt with Arabic TV channel – Counter Jihad

Patriotic China Emoticon China Central Television (CCTV) launched an Arabic-language channel for the Middle East and Africa on Saturday as part of the government’s efforts to expand its relations with the Arab and Muslim world, the Chinese Embassy announced here.

The 24-hour channel will air in 22 Arabic-speaking countries, reaching a total population of nearly 300 million people, CCTV said in a statement at the launch of the new service. The new channel is available through Nilesat and Arabsat services for viewers in the Middle East.

“This is the fourth foreign-language channel we are introducing, after English, French and Spanish,” the official spokesman from the embassy told Arab News.

The contents will be censored, of course, and I’m sure that nothing about China being in the “Global Caliphate” would be accepted.

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Lebanon: Rafik Hariri's murder trial starts today

Deustche Welle:

An international tribunal set up to put on trial the suspected killers of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri is to hold its first session this Sunday in The Hague. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is opening its doors four years after al-Hariri and 22 others were killed in a suicide truck bombing in Beirut. It’s still not clear who will be indicted in connection with the assassination, but four pro-Syria generals are being held in custody in Lebanon. Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare will have 60 days from the opening of the tribunal to request the transfer of suspects and evidence from Lebanon. Syria has denied accusations that it might have been behind the murder.

It is curious they don’t mention at all Hizbullah’s being a part of Lebanese Government, something which is surely as bad for Lebanon as being under Syrian tutelage.

Blacksmith of Lebanon has the photo of the four generals arrested in connection with Hariri’s murder and also this article about the terrorist attack:

Assad never believed there would be a UN inquiry into Hariri’s murder and it was only after I revealed in the Independent that there would be, that an astonished President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt rushed to his presidential jet and flew to Syria to warn Assad that he might be in very hot water indeed. The first UN team was led by Irish Deputy Garda Commissioner Peter Fitzgerald, who discovered that the wreckage of Hariri’s six-car motorcade had ? incredibly ? been moved from the crime scene at midnight on the day of the killings and other materials not associated with the bomb placed in the massive crater. The man responsible for doing so was General Ali al-Hajj, director general of the (then Syrian-dominated) Lebanese Internal Security Forces and one of the four men now locked up in Roumieh awaiting his day in court. If there is a court.

Al-Hajj used to work for Hariri, as his bodyguard, but was removed from his personal retinue when Hariri discovered he was also working for Syrian intelligence. He actually ‘ had the nerve to turn up at the Hariri family palace in Beirut’s Koreitem district to offer his condolences on the day of the murder.

You also can read this post about the International Tribunal in charge of the process:

“Funding is important, but international support for the Special Tribunal is also important,” he said. “There will be additional needs in coming years. The UN Secretary General is attempting to secure support from other countries, and we secured a majority of the funds necessary for the first year. I received a warm welcome and aid from many member states of the UN.”

I hope they are not blackmailed with the budget. Or forbidden to say who killed Hariri to maintain “regional stability”, stability that doesn’t exist really in the area. And the lack of condemnation of the people who ordered the killing will only make them stronger:

Eight months later, a report to the UN about Hariri’s assassination outlined a conspiracy of remarkable breadth and complexity. It revealed that three months before Hariri’s death, his security detail had been mysteriously reduced from 40 to eight; that six anonymously purchased mobile phones were used on the day of the attack to keep the bomber informed of Hariri’s movements and to provide intelligence on the three possible routes that Hariri could take from the parliament building to his home; that the suicide truck moved into position one minute and 49 seconds before Hariri’s convoy passed by; and that the truck itself had been stolen on October 12, 2004, in Sagamihara City, Japan. The killers appeared to be sophisticated, politically connected, and well-funded: clearly this was not the work of a lone extremist or a fringe group. It bore the hallmarks of a government-sponsored assassination.

(…) The ramifications of the Hariri case will extend well beyond justice and jail sentences. Many observers believe that the commission has been building a case against the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and his inner circle. Depending on how high up the charges go, the tribunal could have a major impact on the geostrategic map of the Middle East. An indictment of members of the Assad family and their closest allies, all members of Syria’s minority Alawite sect, could scuttle negotiations for a comprehensive peace deal between Syria and Israel. It could drive Assad further into the arms of Iran. It could even lead to a palace coup, or stir the country’s disenfranchised Sunni majority to revolt. “Imagine if the Syrian regime is proved to have planned and executed this assassination,” one Western diplomat with long experience in the region told me. “What will the Sunni majority in Syria think about a leadership that took out one of the major Sunni leaders of the Middle East?”

(…) Paul Salem, the director of the Carnegie Middle East Center, a Beirut-based think tank, went further: “Israel and the United States are not eager to see this regime collapse,” he told me from Qatar in mid-September. “They are afraid of the consequences.”

(…) As tensions between Syria and the U.S. increased, Hariri—along with Walid Jumblatt, the Lebanese Druze chieftain and one of Lebanon’s most powerful figures—allied himself with France and the United States, gambling successfully that the West would turn sharply against the Syrian regime and enable Lebanon to make a break. The Security Council resolution demanding Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon was an enormous blow to Assad. In Damascus, members of Assad’s inner circle began to worry not only about Hariri’s new course for Lebanon but about his reach inside Syria itself. “These guys saw Hariri as an immensely rich and powerful Sunni, and it exacerbated the paranoia of the minority regime,” says Nicholas Blanford, a Beirut-based British journalist and the author of Killing Mr. Lebanon, a book about Hariri’s murder.

Read it all.

UK: Brown to boost Islamic banking

The chancellor has given Muslim leaders private assurances that he wants to create a “level playing field” in the economy, so that more and more “sharia compliant” financial products can be offered to British Muslims.

To comply with sharia law, financial products must not charge or earn interest, which is regarded as usury.

Brown hopes his proposed changes would remove barriers to many British and foreign Muslims participating fully in the financial system. They would help make London the natural home for Islamic funds from around the world, and increase the inflow of investment from oil-rich Middle Eastern countries.

“Making the UK and London a centre for Islamic finance means putting in place the tax and legislative framework that is supportive of Islamic products,” said a senior Treasury official.

“On top of this, we’re also looking at promoting the City abroad as a centre for Islamic finance.”

via Brown to boost Islamic banking – Times Online. This article dates back to March, 2006, but it’s importance has not diminished. Because in the present situation of global economic crisis Western countries are having similar ideas: for exmple the US:

The Risk of Shariah Finance: While Americans are selling their positions in U.S. companies, Middle Easterners flush with petrodollars are aggressively gobbling up these stocks at fire sale prices. Moreover, as American financial institutions report the losses that forced them to deplete their cash reserves, CEOs are begging for loans from oil-rich Middle East nations that have benefited from the rise in oil prices in recent years from $30 to nearly $100 per barrel. As one former Wall Street executive lamented, U.S. business leaders are “lining up to kiss the ring.”. (…) How might this harm America? If any of these investors, or a bloc of investors, gains enough controlling shares of a company, they can exact a dangerous influence. This might include the insistence that a corporation’s activities are halal, which would mean jettisoning business interests that include: banks charging interest; firms that are either based in Israel or are working with the Jewish state; firms developing weaponry used in Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan or other Middle Eastern states; casinos and other gambling companies; businesses that involve pork products; alcohol distillers and bottlers; publishers that release books critical of Islam; and even entertainment companies that could offend Muslim sensibilities or appear incompatible with Muslim values.

Melanie Phillips h/t Shariah Finance Blog was very clear as to the extent of the dangers: [Western leaders] don’t understand that the spread of sharia banking in Britain and America is a significant part of the attempt to Islamise Britain and America. Acceptance of sharia finance furthers the Islamist objective of gradually legitimising Islamic sharia law more generally in the west. (…) The most important point to grasp is that Islam recognises no authority superior to sharia. Sharia banks will therefore not recognise the superior authority of the law of the land. When trillions of pounds and dollars are locked into them, who will argue with them?