Islam in the News

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Islam in the News
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'Islam in the News' contains worldwide news concerning Islam and its followers. Further news covering the persecution of minorities, free speech, and some other issues can be found via the hub page

Afghanistan: Security guard opens fire on Christian hospital he was protecting, kills 3

An Afghan security guard has opened fire on a group of foreign doctors at a Kabul hospital, killing three American physicians.

A US nurse was wounded in the attack, which took place at Cure International Hospital in the west of the Afghan capital.

Two of the three victims were a father and son who were visiting the facility; the third one was a doctor who had worked in Kabul for seven years, said Minister of Health Soraya Dalil.

A family member identified one of the victims as a paediatrician from Chicago who moved to Afghanistan in 2005.

Angie Schuitema told the AP news agency that her son-in-law Dr Jerry Umanos was among those killed in the shooting.

Dr Bruce Rowell, from Chicago's Lawndale Christian Health Center, where Dr Umanos worked for more than 25 years, said his former colleague was "for many of us on staff, the paediatrician for our very own children".

He added: "This loss is a great loss for his family, for those of us he worked with as well as for the people of Afghanistan. He was a loving and caring physician who served all of his patients with the utmost of respect."

The attacker was a member of the Afghan Public Protection Force assigned to guard the hospital, according to District Police Chief Hafiz Khan.

He said the man's motive was not yet clear.

The gunman, who was wounded, had surgery at the same hospital and was in recovery.

The man, who is kept under police custody, will be questioned later.

The 100-bed hospital specialises in children's and maternal care and is considered one of Afghanistan's leading hospitals. It is run by children's charity Cure International, based in Pennsylvania.

The group's chief financial officer Mark Knech told reporters outside its headquarters that the organisation "remains committed to serve the people of Afghanistan".

He also asked for prayers for "the families of the victims and those affected by the shooting, as well as the peace in Afghanistan".

The attack is the latest to target foreigners in the country.

Two Britons died in January when suicide attackers and gunmen killed a dozen people at a Kabul restaurant.

Nine people also died in March during an attack on an upmarket hotel restaurant in the city.

Earlier this month a man dressed as a policeman shot two Associated Press journalists, killing Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Anja Niedringhaus.

Uganda: Father beats his daughter to death with a blunt object because she left Islam

The 17-year-old daughter of a Muslim man in Uganda was able to attend one church service this month before he killed her for leaving Islam, sources said.

Abdul Hakim Ibanda of Kamuli town in eastern Uganda beat Nanvunani Shamimu and her 19-year-old sister, Nawudo Hasifa, with a blunt instrument after learning that they had attended the church service on April 6, Hasifa told Morning Star News.
. . .
Area Muslims who saw them enter the church building immediately reported it to their father, sources said. He gathered a group of 32 youths to attack the church, said pastor Musis James of United Believers Church.

“When we saw the rowdy youth approaching the church, the Christians made an alarm and we all left the service in readiness for any eventuality,” James said. “Some of the Muslims retreated, while a few came to where we were and warned us that the two girls should not worship with them, then they left.”

The two sisters arrived home that evening to find their father was furious.

“Our father did not even greet us, but immediately questioned us why we decided to attend the church,” Hasifa said. “We kept quiet. Our silence angered our father. He removed a blunt object and started beating us indiscriminately. My sister was hit somewhere near the neck. She fainted and became unconscious. My father got shocked and stopped beating me. He tried to wake up my sister, but there was no response. I knew she was gone.”

Ibanda wanted to kill her also, Hasifa said, but he was also overcome with fear and decided to perform Islamic ablution. He told her to fetch some water outside for the ritual cleansing. “When I got out of the house, I decided to slowly escape to the home of a nearby church elder, but I was feeling a lot of pain,” Hasifa said.

The church elder put her on a motorcycle and drove her to an undisclosed town where she sought refuge among Christians.

“She arrived at my house bleeding,” the pastor of the area church, undisclosed for security reasons, told Morning Star News. “Her left hand was also injured. We as a church have taken the responsibility of taking care of her.”

The pastor said that when he mentioned to Hasifa that they must report the case to police, she wept and said, “You people want my father to kill me the way he killed my sister?” At the same time, Hasifa granted permission for Morning Star News to publish her account of the attack.

“The girl is still traumatized as a result of the death of her sister and needs prayers and counseling,” said the pastor in the majority-Christian nation, which is 11.5 percent Muslim, according to Operation World. Hasifa told Morning Star News her father would not want her to return home. “I know I cannot go back to my father because I have become a Christian,” she said. “I am grateful to the church for welcoming me and taking me as their child. I now have a new home.”

Pakistan: Islamic seminary for women renames its library after Osama Bin Laden

An Islamic seminary for women in Pakistan's capital Islamabad has renamed its library after Osama Bin Laden, the former al-Qaeda chief.

The Jamia Hafsa Madrassa is linked to the Red Mosque, known for its alleged links with militants.

A paper sign on one of the doors proclaims Bin Laden a "Shahid" (martyr). Bin Laden was killed in a raid by US commandos in 2011.

Pakistani troops raided the mosque in 2007. Dozens died later in clashes.

The BBC's Shumaila Jaffrey in Islamabad says there are no chairs or any table in the library - just two computers on the floor.

The library is in a huge complex in the heart of Islamabad, part of which is still being built.

A spokesman for the madrassa said the new name was a tribute to Bin Laden, who was "a hero".

The chief cleric there is Maulana Abdul Aziz. He warned that "if the government makes madrassas and mosques its target then Sharia (Islamic law) allows us to retaliate - if anyone will be harsh with us, they should not expect flowers in return".

He also uses the library as his office. It has about 2,000 books - all of them related to Islam.

There are books about Sharia, Jihad and interpretations of the Koran in Arabic, Urdu and English, our correspondent reports.

UK: Operation Trojan Horse expands to cover 25 schools possibly targeted by Muslim takeover plot

Thousands of schoolchildren's education could have been threatened by a hardline Muslim plot to force out moderate school governors and heads and replace them with extremists.

It emerged today that 25 Birmingham schools are now being investigated for links to the alleged radicalisation plot, and while Birmingham City Council has refused to name the schools, some of which have upwards of 600 students, it means that vast numbers of pupils could have been at risk.

The number of schools allegedly involved rose today from 15 to 25 as Education Secretary Michael Gove is said to have told Ofsted inspectors to fail any school 'where religious conservatism is getting in the way of learning and a balanced curriculum'.

This afternoon Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg backed the investigations, saying schools should not be allowed to become 'silos of segregation'.

As the scale of the alleged plot became apparent, Birmingham City Council appointed a new chief adviser, former head teacher Ian Kershaw, to handle at least 200 complaints received in relation to the 'Trojan Horse' alleged plot to take over primary, secondary, and community schools as well as academies in the city.

The unsigned and undated Trojan Horse letter claimed that a small but radical group of Muslims was pursuing its own agenda in the classrooms, with uncooperative headteachers and governors forced out.

It said that the plot had caused 'a great amount of organised disruption' in the city, crediting it with forcing a change of leadership at four schools.

At the centre of the scandal is Birmingham’s Park View Academy, where it is alleged that £70,000 was spent on loudspeakers to call pupils to Islamic prayers. Birmingham City Council's investigation will run beside a separate inquiry by the Department for Education (DfE), and will report back on 15 schools initially next month, with a fuller report due in July.

Headteachers and governors judged to be performing 'inadequately' in terms of pushing religious views to the detriment of children's education may be immediately dismissed.

Since the appearance of the letter in March, anonymous whistle-blowers including former staff have come forward, making claims that boys and girls were segregated in classrooms and assemblies, and sex education was banned.

It was also alleged that non-Muslim staff had been bullied, and in one case it was alleged that the teachings of a firebrand Al Qaeda-linked Muslim preacher praised to pupils.

Birmingham City Council today announced the six-month appointment of Mr Kershaw, managing director of Northern Education, to handle the investigation, and the council said it was also setting up a review group made up of MPs, councillors, police and faith groups.

The council's leader, Sir Albert Bore, said the investigation was slowed by the two-tier school system, which meant that academies, which are at the centre of the allegations, were answerable not to the local authority but to the DfE, calling the situation 'frustrating in the extreme'.

And Sir Albert suggested that the alleged Muslim extremist plot may extend beyond Birmingham, saying that his authority had spoken to councils in both Manchester and Bradford.

He said: 'There are certainly issues in Bradford which have similarities with the issues being spoken about in Birmingham.'

Fresh claims have emerged in Manchester and at Bradford's Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College and Carlton Bolling College.

An Ofsted spokesman said it had not begun inspections there, but did not rule it out.

Sir Albert also said that West Midlands Police, which has reopened a fraud inquiry into one of the schools caught up in the allegations, was still looking into the authorship of the Trojan Horse document, the authenticity of which is still unclear.

But a DfE official said yesterday: ‘Extreme religious conservatism often acts as an entry to later problems.

‘A child who is brought up age eight, nine, ten, believing that you should segregate the sexes and hand out Islamic textbooks is more likely to be radicalised in later life.’ David Cameron has promised ‘swift action’ to ensure schools are not used to spread terrorist ideology.

Birmingham city council froze appointments of any new school governors last week. But MPs said change should have come sooner.

Liam Byrne, Labour MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, which covers several of the schools, said the probe was moving at ‘glacial’ speed.

Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood said that the council has known of the claims for ‘eight years at least’ but had failed to act for fear of ‘appearing anti-Muslim’.

Turkey: Justice minister announces plans to build exclusive prisons for LGBT prisoners

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has announced that a project to build exclusive prisons for gays is underway, sparking concern that such a measure will lead to profiling and expose LGBT individuals to more discrimination.

Responding to a parliamentary question from Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Veli Ağbaba, Bozdağ said the new measure was intended at “protecting convicts” by separating them according to their sexual orientation.

He said convicts who stated that they are gay will not mix with other convicts in the communal area or during social activities in the new prison facilities.

CHP Malatya deputy Ağbaba, who submitted the question after visiting LGBT inmates, said their point of view must be taken into consideration before any new practice was enforced.

“What is most urgent for LGBT individuals is to improve current prison conditions and end their ‘isolation within isolation,’” Ağbaba said, warning against the new proposals.

“Such a measure will also mean revealing inmates’ sexual orientation. That’s why a thorough work is needed prior to this,” he added.
. . .

Meanwhile, A majority of the LGBT individuals are effectively being held in solitary confinement, and are not allowed to join activities with other prisoners, the Justice Ministry has revealed in a report on July 2013.

Denmark: Afghan convert to Christianity attacked at an asylum center after leaving Islam

An asylum seeker has been attacked because he converted to Christianity. Now he fears more attacks at the center, writes Politiken.

A 48-year-old Afghan was attacked by another man in the kitchen at the asylum center Avnstrup.

The attack happened because the 48-year-old had converted from Islam to Christianity.

The attacker cut the Afghan in the back, arm and neck.

The 48-year-old knew that he was in danger of being attacked because of his new faith. So he had already received a panic alarm, but it did not work

Police have not found the perpetrator, therefore fear the 48-year-old Afghan may be attacked again.

Missionary Thomas Hoyer comes from the International Christian Centre to help Christian refugees in Denmark. He says to Politiken that the case is severe:

- I do not understand why the security is not better, says Thomas Hoyer.

In December, another convert was threatened several times by Chechen asylum seekers.

Malaysia: Country follows Indonesia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, bans new "Noah" movie

Malaysia has joined other Islamic countries in banning the Hollywood biblical epic "Noah" starring Russell Crowe, decrying it as irreligious and saying it violates Islamic law against depicting prophets.

A home ministry official confirmed that Paramount's latest big budget film, which has sparked an outcry among Muslim groups worldwide, will not be screened in predominantly Muslim Malaysia.

The film has already angered some Christian institutions in the United States over Crowe's reportedly unconventional portrayal of Noah, who is regarded as an important figure in both Christianity and Islam.

Malaysia's home ministry's Film Censorship Board unit chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid said a decision to ban the "Noah" film was made about two weeks ago.

"Yes, I can confirm that it has been banned by the board, the movie can cause quite a lot of anger and distress if it is shown in Malaysia," he was quoted as saying by The Malay Mail Online.

Abdul Halim said the main reason for the ban was the portrayal of Noah by Crowe, since Islam forbids visual depictions of any prophet.

Muslims make up 60 percent of multi-ethnic Malaysia's 30 million population, while Christians account for about nine percent.

Neighbouring Indonesia, Egypt and United Arab Emirates have banned the film because of scenes they say contradict Islam.

Malaysia has censored other movies on religious grounds in the past, including "Brokeback Mountain" and "The Passion of the Christ".

It has also occasionally pulled the plug on shows by foreign -- usually Western -- artists out of fear of angering conservative Muslims.

Conservatives cry foul over concerts by Western artists whom they accuse of promoting promiscuity, corrupting young people or offending religious sensitivities.

UK: Prime Minister faces embarrassment over links between adviser and Islamist group under investigation

David Cameron is facing embarrassment over the close links between a Government adviser on religion and an Islamist group placed under urgent investigation.

The Prime Minister last week ordered the security services to look into the Muslim Brotherhood amid fears its leaders, exiled from Egypt, are plotting terrorist attacks from London. He said the inquiry would establish ‘the complete picture’ of the Brotherhood including its possible involvement with ‘violent extremism’ and its ‘presence here in the UK’. But the investigation is likely to lead to red faces in Whitehall, as a scion of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founding family is a senior ministerial adviser. Tariq Ramadan is one of 14 members of the Foreign Office’s Advisory Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, chaired by Tory peer Baroness Warsi. He is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, and was a member of a taskforce set up by Tony Blair after 7/7. But Prof Ramadan, 51, is grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder Hassan al-Banna and his father Said Ramadan was a leading light. The Swiss citizen was for several years banned from the US for ‘providing material support to a terrorist organisation’ and only let in after a long legal battle in which he argued that no link with terrorism existed.

He was kept out of France in the 1990s over supposed links to Algerian terrorists. He lost two posts at Dutch universities for hosting a chat show on a TV channel backed by the Iranian regime and became notorious for refusing to say stoning to death should be banned outright, although calling for a moratorium.

Critics repeatedly accuse the smartly dressed, well-spoken scholar of seeming to be moderate when speaking to Western audiences but giving more extreme speeches in Arabic. Douglas Murray, associate director of the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, said: ‘David Cameron should be deeply embarrassed by this. Tariq Ramadan is extremely loyal to his father and grandfather and he does not, by any means, speak out against the Muslim Brotherhood.’ A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘Prof Ramadan has written and taught extensively on issues relating to Islam, and therefore has plenty of relevant experience to bring to the group.’

Prof Ramadan’s office in France declined to comment.

Malaysia: Non-Muslims told they have no right to oppose implementation of Shari'ah in Kelantan

Non-Muslims have no right to question the right of Muslims to implement shariah laws in the country, said non-governmental organisation Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma).

Its president Ustaz Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman (pic) said Malaysia has been a sovereign land for Islam and the Malay race since ages ago.

"Non-Muslims have their right to politics so they can speak up for the interest of their respective races.

"But there is a limit to that," he said in a statement posted on the Isma website today.

Abdullah was responding to the stand of non-Muslims in Kelantan who are opposing the implementation of hudud in the PAS-governed state.

He said non-Muslims should not be so greedy to the point that they want to interfere with the exclusive rights and interests of the Malays and Bumiputera, who are the original inhabitants of the country.

He said there is a price for the citizenship given to non-Muslims.

The price is acknowledging the sovereignty of Islam, the Malays and to give their loyalty to the King and the Federal Constitution.

Yesterday, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh criticised the Kelantan government for its plan to table a bill in Parliament to implement hudud in the state.

Karpal said the Islamic law is not suitable for the present time and age and argued that the passing of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Court Enactment II in the Kelantan state assembly in 1993 was unconstitutional in the first place.

He said the state assembly has no jurisdiction to pass the enactment and the Parliament cannot enforce an unconstitutional enactment passed by a state assembly.

"Hudud has very serious implications and consequences. Parliament will not, and cannot, pass laws of this category,” he said in a statement.

He also reiterated the DAP's stand against hudud, stressing that the party has made it clear time and again that its stand cannot be subjected to any compromise.

“It is fundamental to the party’s existence. The passing of such a law will not be in the national interest,” said the veteran MP and lawyer.

Karpal, who was formerly DAP national chairman, was reacting to Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob’s statement on Wednesday that the state will table a private member’s bill on the matter in Parliament later this year.

The state enactment provides for the implementation of hudud for crimes like theft, fornication, adultery and alcohol consumption.

The move by Kelantan is also objected by MCA with its publicity chief Datuk Chai Kim Sen reportedly taking the DAP to task for this latest development in the hudud issue.

He said all 38 DAP MPs must be held accountable as the party had defended PAS last year by claiming that the Islamic party has become more liberal and will respect the rights of non-Muslims.

Chai said this had caused many non-Muslim voters to throw their support behind PAS in last year's general election.

He said it was clear that PAS has never given up its intention to implement hudud and is still as conservative as before.

Australia: Muslim refugee causes tougher character tests for all asylum seekers

REFUGEES and other visa-holders face a tougher character test to stay in Australia after authorities were left struggling to remove a refugee convicted of child sex offences and accused of trying to kidnap a four-year-old girl.

The attempted kidnap charge against the Afghan man was dropped after a magistrate found that the “cultural differences” in his case could be a mitigating factor.

That decision and the fact that Ali Jaffari, 35, was only given a two-year community corrections order for indecent assault involving two boys, aged 12 and 13, means that the government is struggling to deport him.

This is despite the fact that he has also been listed on a sex offenders’ register.

The current character test requires a “substantial criminal record” including at least a 12-month jail term.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison last night vowed to toughen up visa cancellation powers amid concerns the current law failed to protect the community enough.

Mr Jaffari was awarded a permanent protection visa in early 2012 by the Gillard government upon arriving by boat.

He was convicted last August of charges of indecently assaulting and attempted indecent assault of children under the age of 16 relating to the incident involving the two boys at a Geelong beach. Witnesses to the November 2012 incident claimed Jaffari started grabbing and rubbing himself against them, cuddling and kissing them on the neck and telling one of the boys that he was “sexy”.

One of the victims said Jaffari followed them to the showers, cornered them and asked if he “wanted company”.

Despite police prosecutors demanding he be sent to jail for the offences, Jaffari was placed on a two-year community corrections order with 300 hours unpaid community work.

He was also listed on a sex offenders’ register.

In February, Jaffari had a child-stealing charge dropped against him in the Geelong Magistrates Court after the magistrate said if he was hearing the matter, he would have reasonable doubt about his guilt, citing “cultural differences” as one mitigating factor.

The case related to the alleged attempt by Jaffari last year to lead a four-year-old girl away from a sports oval while her father and brother played cricket.

Given the problems in cancelling Jaffari’s visa due to a lack of a custodial sentence, the government is instead examining whether it could be cancelled under a provision relating to him representing a danger to the community.

Mr Morrison said the task of cancelling his visa had been made more difficult because Jaffari had not received a custodial sentence and him being on a permanent protection visa rather than a temporary one.

“Granting of a permanent visa reduces the flexibility and opportunity to deal with these types of matters and the government is now considering the case under the character provisions of the Act,” he said.

“I am taking a close look at the character provisions under the Act and whether they afford the government the sort of authorities that are needed to provide the protections to the Australian community that they would rightly expect to exist under their laws.”

India: Madrasa teacher arrested for raping one student and molesting four others inside madrasa premises

Sangrur police on Thursday arrested the headmaster of a madrasa in Malerkotla on charge of raping a Class 5 student and molesting four other girls inside the madrasa premises.

SSP Sangrur Mandeep Singh Sidhu said, the 13-year-old girl alleged that Mohammad Amjad Khan, 25, in-charge of the madrasa, raped her on February 26 and March 17 inside a room in the madras premises during special classes held after school hours.

The girl alleged that Amjad Khan, a resident of Barkatpura village, also molest four girls of her age on the madrasa premises.

Tempers of parents of fifth class students of the school ran high when they learnt about the sexual assault .

France: Jew has nose broken, swastika drawn on chest, called a “Dirty Jew” and insulted in Arabic

A Jewish teacher from Paris told police that three men had assaulted and cursed him in Arabic before drawing a swastika on his chest.

The attack occurred on Thursday night, according to a report by the Drancy-based Bureau for National Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, a watchdog group known as BNVCA.

“They pressed him to the wall and hit his face, around the eyes and on his chest,” the report said. The blows broke his nose and deformed it, according to the report.

“One of the perpetrators opened the victim’s shirt and with a black marker drew a swastika on the man’s bare chest,” BNVCA president Sammy Ghozlan wrote in the BNVCA report.

The victim, who was wearing a kippah at the time of the attack, was identified as K. Richard. He was treated for a broken nose and lacerations on his face on Thursday night.

He told police that the three men who attacked him appeared to be of North African descent and were in their twenties. They cornered him as he was exiting a kosher restaurant on Manin Street in Paris’ 19th arrondissement, near the Gare du Nord train station.

They shouted “Death to the Jews” and called him “Dirty Jew” in French and also shouted insults in Arabic which Richard did not understand, the BNVCA report said.

Richard’s cries for help drew the attention of a passerby. The perpetrators fled as he approached, the report read.

BNVCA has recorded a spate of anti-Semitic incidents in France in recent weeks.
. . .
On Wednesday, the two-year anniversary of the murder of four Jews in Toulouse, the president of the local Jewish community encouraged young Jews to leave France.

Arie Bensemhoun, the community’s president, said young Jews should leave Toulouse because they could not practice Judaism openly and without fear there.
. . .
On March 19, 2012, 23-year-old French-born Islamist Mohammed Merah arrived armed at the Ohr Hatorah Jewish day school in Toulouse, where he killed eight-year-old Miriam Monsonego along with Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and his two sons, Arieh and Gabriel.

Also Wednesday, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls called anti-Zionism “an invitation to anti-Semitism.” He was speaking at a rally in Paris commemorating the four Jews murdered in Toulouse.

Nigeria: Muslims attack Christian villages in 2 different States, killing more than 200 people

Officials say Fulani Muslim herders attacked three Christian villages and killed more than 100 civilians. Hundreds of thatched-roof huts were set ablaze.

Thousands have been killed in recent years in competition for land and water between mainly Muslim Fulani herdsmen and Christian farmers across Nigeria's Middle Belt. More than 100 people were killed in similar attacks in neighboring Katsina state last week.

Chenshyi village chief Nuhu Moses said Sunday that gunmen killed more than 50 people including the pastor's wife and children. He said the entire village in the southern part of Kaduna state was destroyed.

Local government acting chairman Daniel Anyip said about 100 people were killed in attacks on three villages Friday night.

Indonesia: Study finds that the implementation of Shari'ah does not lower corruption

A survey in three provinces found that young people’s level of understanding of corruption and their willingness to obey the law did not correlate with Shariah, poverty or living in a multicultural society.

A survey by Transparency International Indonesia found that an understanding of corruption in the Shariah-based Aceh province was lowest compared to East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and East Java.

“It shows that there was no correlation between the implementation of Shariah law, living in one of the poorest provinces, or living in a multicultural society, with the level of understanding of corruption and breaking the law. Young people in these provinces understand what corruption is, and they also have experience in bribing officials,” Transparency International Indonesia’s youth program coordinator, Lia Toriana, said in a discussion at the secretariat of Malang Corruption Watch (MCW) in Malang, East Java, on Thursday.

A survey conducted between July and December last year found that only 31 percent of respondents in Aceh had a high level of awareness of the negative effects of corruption on society, compared to 54 percent in East Java and 55 percent in NTT.

“Their level of understanding of the bad effects of corruption is a measure of their integrity, which means no lying, no cheating,” Lia said.

Saudi Arabia: Preacher who raped and killed 5-year-old daughter is set free due to Islamic law

A Saudi preacher accused of raping, torturing and killing his five-year-old daughter, has reportedly been released from custody after agreeing to pay "blood money".

Fayhan al-Ghamdi was sentenced to eight years in prison and 800 lashes in 2013.

The court also ordered al-Ghamdi to pay his ex-wife, the girl's mother, one million riyals ($270,000) in "blood money".

According to some reports, al-Ghamdi had suspected his daughter had lost her virginity and had tortured her accordingly.

Al-Ghamdi's daughter Lama suffered multiple injuries including a crushed skull, broken back, broken ribs, a broken left arm and extensive bruising and burns.

It was reported that al-Ghamdi had suspected his daughter of losing her virginity and had beaten her and molested her in response.

It was even suggested that he had raped her himself, although this was denied by Lama's mother.

The preacher - who is considered a celebrity in Saudi Arabia and often appears on Saudi television - admitted he used a cane and cables to inflict the injuries after doubting his five-year-old daughter's virginity and taking her to a doctor, according to the campaign group Women to Drive.

Lama died ten months later.

Al-Ghamdi, however, has now been released as "blood money and the time the defendant had served in prison since Lama's death suffices as punishment" a judge ruled, according to Albawaba News.

Al-Ghamdi served only a few months in jail before a judge ruled the prosecution could only seek blood money.

The money is considered compensation under Islamic law, although it is only half the amount that would have been paid if Lama had been a boy.

Despite the fact Saudi Arabia hands out sentences of capital punishment, fathers cannot be executed for murdering their children in the country, Women to Drive said.

Many activists were disappointed that al-Ghamdi did not receive a life sentence.

The Times reported sources in the Saudi capital Riyadh as saying the royal family has been outraged over the release, with senior members intervening to ensure a stricter punishment is given.

Turkey: Ruling party lawmaker says he would understand if Jews or atheists were behind graft probe

Turkish ruling party lawmaker and former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan has said he would understand if a Jew or an atheist were behind the Dec. 17 graft operation, questioning how a Muslim could undertake such an operation.

Speaking during a public rally on Saturday, Çağlayan, who resigned after being implicated in a highly publicized corruption operation launched on Dec. 17, 2013, said in Mersin's Tarsus district that the primary target of the corruption investigation is to halt the settlement process aimed at ending decades-old conflict between the Turkish state and a terrorist organization.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and people around him have described the investigation as a "coup against an elected government" and have vowed to "bury the allegations in the ballot box" in the March 30 municipal elections.

The former minister said the local polls has become an "Independence War" and blamed the Hizmet movement for orchestrating the operation.

"The nation sees very well what kind of mentality we are fighting against. There are many things that I can tell you. But I would understand if a Jew, an atheist, a Zoroastrian would do all these things to us. Shame on them if these things are done by those who claim to be Muslim. How can a Muslim do this?" Çağlayan was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera Turk.

Netherlands: Anti-Islam politician converts to Islam and returns with anti-homosexual, pro-Islam party

A former PVV politician from The Hague who once helped produce a film depicting Islam as evil and extreme, Arnoud van Doorn sings a totally different tune these days.

In an interview with Algemeen Dagblad last week, he said that since quitting the anti-Islam party, he has now actually converted to the religion and started his own Islamic Party for Unity, with which he is contending for three seats during the municipal elections on March 19. His party is against the anti-Muslim atmosphere in The Hague and also against the pro-homosexuality tendencies. “They promote homosexuality. You don’t have to go out and promote how fantastic that lifestyle is,” he said about how much focus there is in the manifestos of GroenLinks, D66 and PvdA for equality for gays. Personally he would rather see an end to the municipal support for promotional campaigns and gay-events like Pink Saturday.

When AD asked him if what he thinks about two gays walking hand in hand in the city, he didn’t have an answer ready. “Let’s just say that people should be reserved about the affection they show each other in public. Don’t provoke with it. Keep your private life private,” he said. He explained that he does not discriminate gays. “We are against discrimination of gays as people. But we reject homosexual actions,” he said, adding that this comes from the Islamic ideologies his party is founded on.

“He stressed that his party should not be considered a “Muslim party”, but rather as a party with a Muslim ideology. “Our standpoints are based on the Islam. We come up for minorities and the welfare of animals,” he said.

“He explained that the intention is to represent the city’s Muslim community. “In a city with 100,000 to 150,000 Muslims, it is no more than logical that they also have political representation. A large part of our followers is Muslim, so of course we also come up for them,” he said.

“He asserted that PVV and the media help spur the fear that people have of Muslims. “That fear is created. PVV is doing it and the media are not very positive about Muslims either. And a government department like AIVD has interest in keeping the Muslims in a bad daylight. That’s how this department justifies its existence, because it is under political pressure to show results,” he said, adding that AIVD is also placing too much emphasis on the jihadists who returned after taking part in the fighting in Syria.

““Not all of them are dangerous. I know several of the guys who came back and yes, they are disillusioned, but they are not dangerous,” he said. He added that no one should judge the people who have been to Syria. “During the summer recess I am heading there as well, together with six to eight other people. We’re going to help in the refugee camps in Tunisia and Jordan. I would rather go to Syria, but that is bound to become a problem when I come back to the Netherlands,” he said.

Van Doorn wants to lay claim on two city council seats during the March 19 elections.

China: Terrorists target train station in knife attack, at least 29 dead and more than 130 injured

The attackers targeted commuters at a train station in the south-west city of Kunming yesterday evening at around local time (1:20pm GMT).

Witnesses told how the carnage unfolded as the group, who were dressed mostly in black, began stabbing and hacking at people at random.

Yang Haifei, who was buying a ticket when he saw the group rush in, said: "I saw a person come straight at me with a long knife and I ran away with everyone.”

He added that the attackers caught those who were slower, saying: "They just fell on the ground."

A parking attendant, who also witnessed the attack, said: "I saw five or six of them.

“They all had knives and they were stabbing people madly over by the first and second ticket offices.”

Police claim four of the attackers were shot dead and one has been detained.

It is believed around five are still on the run.

China today claimed the “organised, premeditated violent terrorist attack” was carried out by militants from Xinjiang - a heavily Muslim region in the west of the country which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan.

State news agency Xinhua said: "Evidence at the crime scene showed that the Kunming Railway Station terrorist attack was carried out by Xinjiang separatist forces.”
. . .
The far western region of Xinjiang is home to a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule by some members of the Muslim Uighur population, who resent Chinese restrictions on their culture and religion.

Unrest in Xinjiang has killed more than 100 people in the past year, prompting authorities to toughen their stance.

It is the first time people from the region have been blamed for carrying out such a large-scale attack so far from their homeland, and follows an incident in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October in which a car ploughed into tourists killing the three people in the vehicle and two bystanders.

South Africa: 10 year-old-boy gang-raped during a prayer service at a mosque in Lenasia

Johannesburg – An Islamic organisation has voiced its disgust on Friday after a 10 year-old-boy was assaulted and molested at mosque in Lenasia.

Earlier reports said the boy was assaulted at a church, but according to Jamiatul Ulama South Africa the incident happened at a mosque in Lenasia’s Extension 11.

Jamiatul Ulama South Africa general secretary Moulana E I Bham said the victim was molested by three teenagers and a 23-year-old man, who have since been arrested.
. . .
Police spokesperson Kay Makhubela said the crime happened on Wednesday during a prayer service when the suspects took the boy into an upstairs room away from the congregation.

Unbeknownst to the child's attackers, the crime was captured on CCTV.

Jordan: Authorities arrest ten gays and lesbians to "prevent a disturbance of the peace"

Jordanian authorities have arrested 10 “gays and lesbians” for holding a get-together at a party hall in east Amman, a security official said on Thursday

“The administrative governor of the Marka area, Adnan Qatarneh, ordered the arrest of the 10 gays and lesbians after they held a reception at a party hall on Wednesday to get to know each other,” he told AFP.

“The arrests were made to prevent a disturbance of the peace,” he added, without elaborating.

Homosexuality is not illegal in the conservative desert kingdom, although it is widely seen to be unacceptable.

“There are no laws in Jordan to deal with homosexuality cases,” another security official said. ”It is up to administrative governors to decide how to handle such issues, including any period of detention.”

In its latest human rights report on Jordan, the US State Department said gays face discrimination there.

“Legal and societal discrimination and harassment remained a problem for women, religious minorities, religious converts, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community,” the report said.

Syria: Islamic terrorists impose the rules of the Pact of Umar on Christians, force them to pay Jizyah

A jihadist group linked to al -Qaeda has released a set of rules of submission for Christians of Raqqa. These include a protection fee, the order to practice their faith in the privacy of their homes and a ban on wearing any obvious sign of Christianity.

The rules (termed "Agreement") were drawn up and are being imposed by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a group linked to al- Qaeda in Iraq and which aims to create a single caliphate that spans the Middle East, North Africa, Andalusia and southern Italy, the ancient Arab and Islamic lands.

Raqqa city in northern Syria had 300 thousand inhabitants before the start of the civil war in March 2011. Of these, 1% was Christian. Now many people have fled and the city is in the hands ISIL, which released the text of the Agreement on jihadist websites.

Under the threat of violence, Christians must pay a "jiziya", the ancient mandatory fee for non-Muslims.

Rich Christians have to pay a sum equal to the value of 13 grams of pure gold (half an ounce), those of the middle class half of the sum, and the poor a quarter.

Christians are banned from displaying crosses or symbols of their faith in areas frequented by Muslims and especially the market; they must not use loudspeakers for the call to prayer; they must perform their rituals behind closed doors in buildings of worship.

The group also demands that Christians comply with the rule for modest dressing that is imposed on all inhabitants.

Christians are forbidden to carry weapons and they are also forbidden to restore any of the churches or monasteries in the area that have been damaged. Those who does not adhere to these rules, will share in the destiny of those "people of war and rebellion", in short they will be killed .

Turkey: Minister dismisses artificial rain bombs to combat drought, suggests prayers for rain a more affordable option

As Western Turkey and Central Anatolia experience one of the driest winters in recent years, Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroglu has dismissed resorting to drastic methods such as artificial rain bombs, suggesting that prayers for rain are a more affordable option, as daily Hurriyet reports. "We are not considering using artificial rain bombs because this does not have a significant yield," Eroglu said, noting that the technique was tested in Istanbul at the beginning of the 1990s under former Mayor Nurettin Sozen, the predecessor to Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "In the end, it was us who paid the bill for the rain bombs that were been unsuccessful. So this is not an option. But we can still go for rain prayers, at least that does not have any cost," he added. Eroglu's statements came as the water levels in Istanbul's reservoirs continued to drop, at danger of dropping below 30% overall, the lowest level in 10 years, according to data from the Istanbul Waterworks Authority (ISKI). Data show that water levels in Istanbul have mostly stayed above 50%, except for a drop in 2009 to 30%. Experts have been warning that the lack of rain and snowfall in January and February could cause a significant water shortage in the summer if precautionary measures are not immediately implemented.

UK: Racist, unemployed Muslim who threatened to blow up "white infidel" police officers is jailed for almost 3 years

A racist Muslim who threatened to blow up police officers and cut off one's penis has been jailed for almost three years.

Haroon Rashid was chased by police officers after he punched a man in the face with a homemade kuckle duster.

Officers took off in pursuit of the 31-year-old following the road rage incident in July last year. When they caught up with Rashid he launched into a tirade, saying: "I am going to cut off your dick, you f***ing white infidels," Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

He also threatened to "blow them up".

Ten days later, Rashid then also threatened a member of staff at an an unemployment advice centre with knuckledusters, the court heard.

Uganda: Muslim community laud the nation's anti-gay bill, urge national support for the president

Uganda Muslims have welcomed the decision of President Yoweri Museveni to back an anti-gay bill that imposes life sentences for some homosexual acts, risking ties between western donors and the east African country.

“It takes a courageous leader to defy all the western powers who have gone as far a threatening to cut off aid to Uganda incase the president signs the anti-gay bill," said Hajji Nsereko Mutumba, the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) Public Relations Officer, in statement cited by Chimp reports on Wednesday, February 19.

Defying aid donors' threats who grant Uganda about $2 billion every year, President Museveni has signed the controversial anti-homosexuality bill that will punish gay sex with sentences up to life imprisonment.
. . .
Appreciating Museveni's decision, the Muslim Council has urged a national support for the president.

It is now the duty of all Ugandans to rally behind the President because “the coming days, weeks, months and years may not be easy for the country," UMSC's Public Relations Officer urged.

“Let us unite behind our leader, abide by the laws, fight corruption, give our children relevant skills, work hard and accumulate enough wealth that will make us economically more independent and therefore less dependent on aid from the western world.

"Thank you very much President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for showing leadership,” he added.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and most African countries.

Besides life sentence, the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill calls for outlawing the promotion of homosexuality, including providing financial support to gays.

In the recent years, African leaders have been under mounting pressures from Western countries to recognize gay rights.

In 2011, British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to cut aid to countries that deny gay rights.

Yet, African leaders have been insisting that homosexuality is alien to their culture.

Saudi Arabia: Government shuns human rights, has deported more than a quarter-million migrants since November

Saudi Arabian authorities have deported more than 12,000 migrants held under "appalling conditions" back to their native Somalia, where many now face life-threatening situations, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

The New York-based rights group said in a statement that hundreds of women and children are among the migrants sent back to a country where hundreds of thousands live in dire conditions in camps in the capital, Mogadishu, after fleeing famine and violence elsewhere.

A number of the deportees are from parts of south-central Somalia where security has broken down and danger is rampant.

The deportations are part of a Saudi campaign to remove undocumented foreign workers after decades of lax immigration enforcement allowed migrants to take many low-wage jobs that the kingdom's own citizens shunned. Saudi authorities, grappling with high unemployment, now want those jobs for the kingdom's citizens.

The International Organization for Migration says the Somali government expects Saudi Arabia to deport another 30,000 people in the coming weeks. The United Nations refugee agency says its staff has been denied access by Saudi authorities to detained Somalis in the kingdom.
. . .
The Saudi government says it has deported more than a quarter-million migrants since the government began enforcing its crackdown in November. Around 170,000 of those are Ethiopians, most of whom never acquired visas, often taking perilous boat journeys across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen from where they cross illegally into the kingdom with the help of smugglers.

An additional one million migrant workers were forced to leave the kingdom, or face arrest and deportation, during an amnesty period ahead of the government crackdown. The majority of foreign workers in the kingdom are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as Egypt and Yemen.

US: Seattle gay club arsonist told a member of the Muslim community that "homosexuals should be exterminated"

A confidant of suspected arsonist Musab Masmari turned FBI informant said the motive behind the New Year’s Eve fire at popular Seattle gay club ’Neighbors’ stemmed from Masmari’s "distaste for homosexual people." Further, the informant was concerned that the suspect "may be planning terrorist activity." KIRO 7 reports:

Documents filed in King County Superior Court say that Masmari, 30, told a friend who is a member of the local Muslim community that "homosexuals should be exterminated." The friend-turned-informant contacted the FBI.

The unnamed informant first met Masmari shortly after the New Year’s Eve fire at Neighbours. In the short time that they were friends, the informant said the Masmari often expressed a "distaste for homosexual people," and that he (Masmari) had "obtained a rifle." The informant said concerns that Masmari potentially "may be planning some terrorist activity" because he spoke of "something he’s planning" drove him to contact the FBI.

Masmari was arrested Feb. 1 just before he planned to flee the United States with a one-way ticket to Turkey. According to Gay Star News, Musmari was carrying his Libyan passport and $342 in cash when he was arrested in Bellevue, Wash.

On Tuesday, Feb. 4, a King County judge set bail at $1 million saying Musmari is a flight risk and cited pending outcomes with recent troubles with the law.

China: 11 Islamic terrorists killed in Xinjiang, 8 are killed by police and 3 die by their own suicide bomb

Eleven "terrorists" were killed during an attack in China's far western region of Xinjiang on Friday, state news agency Xinhua said, in the latest violence to hit a part of the country with a large Muslim population.

A leading member of the ethnic Turkic Uighur community in exile said such attacks were a response to heavy-handed Chinese rule in the region and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, on a visit to Beijing, expressed concern over the state of human rights in Xinjiang, to the annoyance of his hosts.

"The terrorists, riding motorbikes and cars, attacked a team of police who were gathering before the gate of a park for routine patrol at around 4 p.m. in Wushi County in the Aksu Prefecture," Xinhua said in an English-language report.

"Police said the terrorists had (an) unknown number of LNG cylinders in their car which they had attempted to use as suicide bombs. Several terrorists were shot dead at the scene," it added.

Eight were killed by police and three died "by their own suicide bomb", Xinhua said.

Wushi lies close to China's border with Kyrgyzstan. Last month the Kyrgyz government said its border guards had killed 11 people believed to be members of a militant group of Uighurs.

Xinjiang, home to the ethnic Turkic, mainly Muslim Uighur people and strategically located on the borders of central Asia, has been dogged for years by violence, which Beijing blames on Islamist militants and separatists who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.

ISIL stone a young Syrian girl to death for membership to the Facebook social network, " tantamount to adultery"

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stoned to death a young Syrian girl for membership in Facebook social network.

The ISIL militants took the Syrian girl, Fatoum Al-Jassem, to Al-Reqqa religious court and the judge ruled that membership in Facebook is tantamount to adultery and sentenced her to death by stoning, the Arabic-language Al-Rai Al-Youm reported.

Also in the past 24 hours, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) announced that all foreign-backed militants who were stationed in Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Damascus have withdrawn from the camp.

“The terrorists groups of Al-Nusra Front and Ibn Timieh and Al-Sahaba Battalion have withdrawn from Al-Salasin Street which was their last bastion in Yarmouk camp,” PFLP-GC’s Politbureau Chief Hessam Arafat said.

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