Muslim Statistics (Free Speech)
In addition to a democracy divide, there is a dramatic freedom deficit between majority Islamic countries and the rest of the world. Of the states with an Islamic majority, only one, Mali, is rated Free. Eighteen are rated Partly Free, and 28 are considered Not Free. By contrast, in the non-Islamic world, 85 countries are Free, 40 are Partly Free, and 20 are Not Free.
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In the non-Islamic states of East-Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, there are 11 Free countries. There is not a single Free country among the countries in those regions with a majority Islamic population.
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Logging on to his computer, he greets his Facebook followers with a "good morning all" in English before posting links to 746 websites they have hacked in the last 48 hours along with his digital calling card: a half-skull, half-cyborg Guy Fawkes mask.
He calls himself Mauritania Attacker, after the remote Islamic republic in west Africa from which he leads a youthful group scattered across the Maghreb, southeast Asia and the West.
As jihadists battle regional governments from the deserts of southern Algeria to the scrubland of north Nigeria, Mauritania Attacker says the hacking collective which he founded, AnonGhost, is fighting for Islam using peaceful means.
"We're not extremists," he said, via a Facebook account which a cyber security expert identified as his. "AnonGhost is a team that hacks for a cause. We defend the dignity of Muslims."
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He represents a new generation of Western-style Islamists who promote religious conservatism and traditional values, and oppose those they see as backing Zionism and Western hegemony.
In April, AnonGhost launched a cyber attack dubbed OpIsrael that disrupted access to several Israeli government websites, attracting the attention of security experts worldwide.
"AnonGhost is considered one of the most active groups of hacktivists of the first quarter of 2013," said Pierluigi Paganini, security analyst and editor of Cyber Defense magazine.
An online archive of hacked Web sites, Hack DB, lists more than 10,400 domains AnonGhost defaced in the past seven months.
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Mauritania Attacker says his activities are split between cyber cafes and his home, punctuated by the five daily Muslim prayers.
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His cyber threats are often accented with smiley faces and programmer slang, and he posts links to dancefloor hits and amusing Youtube videos. But his message is a centuries-old Islamist call for return to religious purity.
"Today Islam is divisive and corrupt," he said in an online exchange. "We have abandoned the Koran."
Mauritanian Attacker aims to promote "correct Islam" by striking at servers hosted by countries they see as hostile to sharia law. "There is no Islam without sharia," he said.
Mauritania is renowned for its strict Islamic law. The sale of alcohol is forbidden and it is one of only a handful of states where homosexuality and atheism are punished by death.
The quality of Mauritania's religious scholars and koranic schools, or madrassas, attract students from around the world. Mauritanians have risen to prominent positions in regional jihadist groups, including al Qaeda's north African branch AQIM.
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He says he supports Islamists in Mauritania but opposes his government's support for the West, which sees the country as one of its main allies in its fight against al Qaeda in the region.
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Most of AnonGhost's campaigns have simply defaced Web sites, ranging from kosher dieting sites to American weapon aficionado blogs, with messages about Islam and anti-Zionism.
It has attacked servers, often hosting small business websites, located in the United States, Brazil, France, Israel and Germany among others.
Mauritania Attacker and the AnonGhost crew say these countries have "betrayed Muslims" by supporting Israel and by participating in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq."We are the new generation of Muslims and we are not stupid," read a message posted on the Web site of a party supply business in Italy. "We represent Islam. We fight together. We stand together. We die together."
So reads the finding of a survey by the American University of Beirut, that comes at a time when some Middle-East countries are threatening to block certain sites on BlackBerry smartphones.
Taking in more than 2,700 university and high-school students in Lebanon, Jordan and the Arab Emirates, the study, which features in a report in business weekly Arabian Business, shows that around 40% of students are in favour of increased levels of censorship of the Web. Added to these, are 8% who believe that access to web content should be "completely limited or banned".Despite the support shown for censorship by the survey, students have Western habits when it comes to illegally downloading music, games and films. Four out of five interviewees in fact admitted to never having paid for online content despite having downloaded at least one. 
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These are the results of an opinion poll that Capacent har conducted for DR from a sample of 523 Muslims.
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The survey, conducted from 2001 to March 2006, found 43.5 percent of respondents were ready to wage war on threatening non-Muslim groups, 40 percent would use violence against those blaspheming Islam and 14.7 percent would tear down churches without official permits.
Iranian officials have, for over three decades, been waging what they call a "battle against the invasion of Western culture."
This has led to blockades of "immoral" internet sites and banned Western music and movies. However, pirated versions of those are easily available on the black market.The country recently established a cyberpolice unit to better police the internet and even plans to introduce its own national internet, though this has been postponed several times.
In the same time period, Moroccan authorities applied pressure on Moroccan converts to Christianity through interrogations, searches and arrests.
Since 2001, at least 50 Christians have been killed after being accused of blasphemy, the NCJP said. The list of victims of Muslim extremists also includes members of other religious minorities as well as Muslims. The Ahmadi community—a Muslim group that does not view Muhammad as the final prophet and is thus deemed heretical by Sunnis and Shias—has lamented the loss of at least 12 of its members this year. Since 1984, 107 Ahmadis have been murdered and 719 arrested.
She denies claims she insulted the Prophet Muhammad during a row with Muslim women villagers about sharing water.
Although no-one convicted under the law has been executed, more than 30 accused have been killed by lynch mobs.Critics say that convictions under the law hinge on witness testimony, which is often linked to grudges.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) deemed 586 Urdu words and 1,109 English words offensive or pornographic, according to reports in local media.
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Included in the list are words such as "intercourse," "condom" and "breast," as well as seemingly ordinary words like "period," "hostage" and "flatulence."
According to the legal expert, who cannot be named for security reasons, in most cases the law is abused by people bent on carrying out a personal vendetta.
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The number of blasphemy-related incidents shot up during Zia’s rule, during which 80 cases were reported to the courts compared to only seven such cases reported during the British rule from 1851 to 1947.
This information was revealed in a report titled: ‘Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan; Historical Overview’ launched on Friday by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS).
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Since 1987, more than 247 blasphemy cases were registered or raised, directly affecting the lives of some 435 people.
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The bizarre claims are among 163 complaints about new dot-word gTLD applications that the Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission has filed with domain name gatekeeper ICANN over the last few days.
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The Saudi government has also objected to gTLD applications relating to alcohol and gambling – .wine, .vodka, .casino, .poker, .bar and .pub – on “moral” and health grounds.
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It also wants ICANN to rejects bids for gTLD strings potentially related to sex and romance: it's objected to .dating, .hot, .sex, .porn, .sexy and .gay.
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The group [International Press Institute] based its release on a report published by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE, that said 57 journalists are currently in prison in Turkey. As of December, Iran and China each had 34 journalists behind bars.
“While Iran and China topped lists in December by reportedly jailing some 34 journalists each, Turkey, a candidate for membership in the European Union, has nearly doubled that number five months later, raising questions about the country’s commitment to freedom of the press and the legitimacy of its democratic image,”
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The IPI also drew attention to the fact that there are between 700 and 1,000 ongoing cases in Turkey that could result in the imprisonment of more journalists.
A lawmaker from the opposition Republican People’s Party told the newspaper Milliyet: ‘our studies have shown that over 120,000 websites in the country will be closed’ [because of the measure].
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Existing sites containing the offending words will be ordered to close.
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According to the Journalists Union of Turkey, ninety-four reporters are currently imprisoned for doing their jobs. More than half are members of the Kurdish minority, which has been seeking greater freedoms since the Turkish republic was founded, in 1923. Many counts of arrested journalists go higher; the Friends of Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener, a group of reporters named for two imprisoned colleagues, has compiled a detailed list of a hundred and four journalists currently in prison there.
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14 people, including 10 journalists were facing imprisonment by reason of alleged "insult" during the report period. 10 journalists were judged by imprisonment of 28 years and monetary fines of TL 20,000 (€ 8,626) and the others were facing imprisonment of 6 years and TL 10,000 (€ 4,313).
7 journalists were sentenced to imprisonment of 9 months and monetary fines of TL 13,500 (€ 5,822), 6 people were sentenced to imprisonment of 2 years 2 months 20 days and monetary fines of TL 8,480 (€ 3,657) by reasons of alleged "insult", attacks on "personal rights" and compensation claims. A newspaper was sentenced to monetary fines of TL 4,000 (€ 1725).
During the time of the previous quarterly report, 4 people were judged by imprisonment of 77 years 3 months in total within the scope of alleged "insult" and 3 of them were sentenced to 11 months of imprisonment and monetary fines of TL 10,580 (€ 4563).
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In the first 3 months, Özgür Gündem, Atılım, Demokratik Vatan, Demokratik Ulus, Yeni Demokratik Yaşam newspapers seized, suspended and banned under allegations of "propaganda for an illegal organization". The Newroz poster of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and concert posters of Grup Yorum were banned confiscated. An investigation opened about 10 books published by Aram Publishing.
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78% of British Muslims want limits on free speech when it comes to criticizing religion.
Also concerning freedom of speech, as the NOP Research survey reports, "hardcore Islamists" constitute nine percent of the British Muslim population. A slightly more moderate group is composed of "staunch defenders of Islam." This second group comprises 29 percent of the British Muslim population. Individuals in this group aggressively defend their religion from internal and external threats, real or imagined.The scary reality is that only three percent of British Muslims "took a consistently pro-freedom of speech line on these questions."
- "New Study Details Islamic World's Democracy Deficit", Freedom House, December 18, 2001 (archived), http://www.freedomhouse.org/article/new-study-details-islamic-worlds-democracy-deficit.
- Elise Knutsen, "Insight: From remote Mauritania, hacker fights for Islam worldwide", Reuters, June 28, 2013 (archived), http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-mauritania-hacker-insight-20130628,0,1439697,full.story.
- Internet: Survey, half of Arab students favour censorship - ANSAmed, August 6, 2010
- Orla Borg - Muslimer i Danmark: Forbudt at kritisere religion - Jyllands-Posten, April 27, 2009
- For further details, see: Websites Censored by Islamic Governments
- Woman disables anti-Islam websites - Arab News, August 18, 2011
- Ridwan Max Sijabat - Survey reveals Muslim views on violence - The Jakarta Post, July 28, 2006
- Iranian cleric calls Facebook 'un-Islamic', membership a 'sin' - Haaretz, January 7, 2012
- Benjamin Weinthal - UN: Iran executes anti-Islam citizens - Jerusalem Post, March 14, 2012
- Moroccan Convert Serving 15 Years for His Faith- The Christian Post, September 18, 2010
- Blasphemy law: a long list of injustices (An overview) - AsiaNews, October 29, 2009
- Pakistan Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti shot dead - BBC News, March 2, 2011
- Pakistan bans 'monkey crotch', 'Jesus Christ' - MSNBC, November 18, 2011
- Population By Religion - Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan
- Eva-Maria Kolmann and John Pontifex - Pakistan: 95 percent of blasphemy charges are false - ACN News, December 6, 2011
- Jibran Khan - Pakistani Muslims: Disabled 11 yr-old Christian should be punished - AsiaNews, August 24, 2012
- 2,000 minorities girls converted to Islam forcibly: report - Daily Times, September 5, 2012
- Umer Nangiana - CRSS report: 52 murdered in two decades over blasphemy - The Express Tribune, September 8, 2012
- Kevin Murphy - Saudi royals seek ban on .virgin, .sex, .catholic, .wtf and 159 MORE - The Register, August 14, 2012
- Turkey 'world leader' in imprisoned journalists, IPI report says - Hürriyet Daily, April 8, 2011
- Now Turkey’s Islamist Government Censors Words From Internet! - Un:dhimmi, May 1, 2011 (via Vesti BG)
- Turkey: many violations of freedom of expression - ANSAmed, November 15, 2011
- Dexter Filkins - Turkey’s Jailed Journalists - The New Yorker (Daily Comment), March 9, 2012
- Emel Gülcan - ‘World Press Freedom Day’ with 100 Journalists in Prison! - BIA, May 2, 2012
- Bootie Cosgrove-Mather - Many British Muslims Put Islam First - CBS News, August 14, 2006
- New Polls throughout Muslim World: Humanitarian Leadership by US Remains Positive - Terror Free Tomorrow, June 14, 2006
- Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson - “Danish Queen Masterminded Muhammad Cartoon Affair” - The Brussels Journal, October 2, 2006
- Hver 10. danske muslim accepterer flagafbrænding - B.T. Nyheder, March 12, 2006 (English translation)
- Holdninger til integrasjon og internasjonal konflikter blant muslimer i Norge og den norske befolkningen generelt - TNS Gallup, April 2006, page 10 and 12 (Norwegian)