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Archive for July, 2007

Shut during holidays

I’m just shutting the blog because of holidays. I don’t know if I could blog when I get back. But comments will be opened to anyone who wants to comment.

If someone wants to contact me, just leave a comment here.

I hope that the 8-year-old boy about whom Crispal asked for a prayer will get better and if not, that God comforts his family in this hour of need. 

Greetings for my four favourite bloggers Kate, Chaim, Enzo y Mike. 😀 Even if I’m not blogging when I return, I would try to read you four.

I will leave you with “Within Temptation” and “Stand my Ground“.

This is the American version song. The drawings are from Vampire Hunter D. [The differences between the two of them are not very much but the drawings are good, although a little bit dark for my taste… 😀 ]

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One of 23 South Koreans held hostage in Afghanistan by the Taliban has been killed, and militants have threatened to execute 14 others, a local official and a Taliban spokesman told CNN on Wednesday.

The covered body of a South Korean hostage is transported in a police truck in Afghanistan.

There had been conflicting reports on whether eight of the remaining 22 hostages had been released, but officials in Seoul believe the remaining 22 hostages are in Taliban custody.

Police in southeastern Ghazni province confirmed that the dead man’s bullet-riddled body was found in the Qara Bagh district, where the Koreans were kidnapped July 19.

The man was identified as Bae Hyng-Kyu, 42, a pastor at the church attended by the hostages and the leader of their group, according to a South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman.

We found a male dead body of a South Korean who has got 10 bullet holes in his body, bullet holes from head to toe,” said provincial police chief Gen. Ali Shah Ahmadzai.

Khawaja Mohammad Siddiqi, the district governor of Qara Bagh, told CNN the executed hostage had been very ill and could not be moved to a hospital.

Siddiqi said Taliban militants are holding the remaining Korean hostages — most of whom are women — in three different locations.

The 14 hostages could be executed by early Thursday if Taliban demands by aren’t met, Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousif Ahmadi said.

Taliban: One South Korean dead; more to follow if demands not met – CNN.com

According to Spanish press, one of the South Korean representatives in the negotiations said he was killed because “he was ill and unable to walk, so the Taliban shot him“. Another one said “he has died because of natural causes“. smile_sarcastic Of course, if they shoot anyone 10 times, you will be dead, that’s natural. But it is not to be shot ten times.

[Now, look at the photo above. Is it my eyes or this Afghan policeman is just laughing? Imagine what catastrophe would have happened if a US/UK/Western soldier in general would have been laughing while transporting a Muslim killed this way by Christian/Jewish/… terrorists…].

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From AP:

The 95-page survey found that surging economic growth in many developing countries has encouraged people in these countries to express satisfaction with their personal lives, family income and national conditions, said Andrew Kohut, the center’s director.

“It’s a pro-globalization set of findings,” Kohut said.

Most notably, the survey finds large and growing number of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere rejecting Islamic extremism. Ten mainly Muslim countries were surveyed along with the Palestinian territories, as well as five African nations with large Muslim populations.

For example, the percentage of Jordanian Muslims who have confidence in bin Laden as a world leader fell 36 percentage points to 20 percent since 2003 while the proportion who say suicide bombing is sometimes or always justified dropped 20 percent points to 23 percent. Other countries where support for bin Laden declined are Lebanon, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan and Kuwait.

The report said support for such bombings and terror tactics has dropped since 2002 in seven of the eight countries where data were available. In Lebanon, the proportion of Muslims who say suicide attacks are often or sometimes justified fell to 34 percent from 79 percent while just 9 percent of Pakistanis believe suicide bombings can be justified often or sometimes, down from 33 percent in 2002 and a high of 41 percent in 2004.

Palestinians the exception

But support for suicide bombings is widespread among Palestinians, the report said, with 41 percent saying such attacks are often justified while another 29 percent say they can sometimes be justified. It found that only six percent of Palestinians — the smallest in any Muslim public surveyed — say such attacks are never justified.

Amid continuing sectarian violence in Iraq, the survey found there is broad concern among Muslims that tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims are not limited to that country and represent a growing problem for the Muslim world more generally.

Eighty-eight percent of Lebanese and 73 percent of Kuwaitis — along with smaller majorities or pluralities of Muslims elsewhere in the Middle East — said Sunni-Shiite tensions represent a growing problem for the Muslim world, the report said.

Comment from JW:

“The 95-page survey found that surging economic growth in many developing countries has encouraged people in these countries to express satisfaction with their personal lives, family income and national conditions.” But after the Doctors Plot in Britain, and so many studies that have shown that jihad terrorists are better-educated and wealthier than their peers, I wonder how anyone can seriously maintain that “surging economic growth” will really eradicate jihadist sentiments. One wonders also how Osama bin Laden and other wealthy people (such as Zawahiri) could have been drawn to the jihad, if it is really a simple matter of economic deprivation.

So what does explain this polling data? Could be any number of things. Maybe Muslims are seeing that jihad terrorism isn’t getting them anywhere, although the results, particularly from the Palestinian Authority, suggest otherwise. Maybe they’re being convinced that jihadism doesn’t represent authentic Islam, although there are no significant initiatives afoot to convince them of this. Maybe they have just learned to tell Western pollsters what they want to hear.

Also, the poll deals with means — suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks — and not ends — the imposition of Sharia. The Turkish election shows that there is significant support for the latter, and that, after all, is what the jihadists are fighting for.

Comments from my friend Pastorius over at IBA:

The Pew Research Center does, to my mind, the most accurate polling of any polling company. Why?
Methodology, of course.
They use an automated system, which assures two important things;
1) they can poll a larger number of people,
and
2) each individual question and answer session is conducted in the exact same manner, therefore, eliminating the inddividual pollster’s bias from the process.
Therefore, if you agree with the questions Pew asks, then you would agree with the results.

Well, this is good indeed -except about Palestinians-. I would like to see the amount of people who was interviewed, though. It would be interesting.

[NOTE: I posted some days ago a poll by World Public Opinion as I saw it in a newspaper. The original, whose link they left in my other blog, is here. The data are different from the ones we see here].

See more at Now public.com.

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 I don’t have time for a long post, but I have to repost this one from Kamagir. Just another proof of brutality, unjustice and cowardice in Iran

Meisam Lotfi  was reportedly executed for being a gang-image member. He is in fact a student activist. Shahrzad News, a reputable independent website, talked to his mother, before he was executed. 

It was 1am when they woke up with a knock on their door. The 25-year-old son tried to escape from the Police, but was shot at with 17 bullets, two of which hit his leg. He was then sentenced to execution. Before we managed to find and publish his pictures he was executed. image

Meisam spent six month in the infamous Evin Prison after the July 1999 student riots. His sister was also attacked by the Police and received 40 stitches. Meisam had spent 55 days in solitary confinement after he was accused of setting tires on imagefire during the protests which followed the fundamentalists raid to the dormitory of University of Tehran.

Kamangir (Archer) – ©E’F¯Ì1 » Blog Archive » Student Activist Executed as Gang-Member

Serendip has also the photo in the left.

Also see this video Kamagir has posted about an execution in Iran (Caution: it’s a strangulation and it’s very graphic).

It’s not rare then that most Iranians, acording to a poll, oppose the regime.

There has been another crackdown on “inmodesty“.

To see more photos, go to Kamangir.

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The other day my friend Chaim pointed me to one of his posts -that I don’t find now 🙂 – which linked to this one from Pamela @ Atlas Shrugs:

Believers in Jesus said to be nailed to crosses, tied with ropes, set ablaze

Christians in Iraq, including converts from Islam and people involved in mixed-faith marriages, are being crucified by Muslim terrorists, according to a Dutch member of Parliament studying the war-torn country.

Several Iraqi Christians “are nailed to a cross and their arms are tied up with ropes. The ropes are put on fire,Joel Voordewind told BosNewsLife, an online news agency focusing on Christians and Jews in difficult circumstances.

Today the Voice of the Martyrs website has reported about Muslims confessing a Church attack in Pakistan… and the Christians forgiving them:

Muslims have confessed and apologized for attacking a church in Pakistan’s Punjab region on June 17, but have offered no compensation for injuring Christians and damaging their church building.

According to Compass Direct News, seven Christians were wounded and Christian literature was destroyed at the Salvation Army church in Chak 248, a village 20 miles north of Faisalabad.

The perpetrators admitted that a Muslim resident had planned to burn a page of the Quran—punishable with life imprisonment under Pakistani law—and blame the Christian community.

Compass reports that a notarized affidavit from Faizur Rehman, one of the 41 Muslims originally accused in the attack stated, “We are sorry and promise that this will not happen in the future.”

The lawyer representing Christians told Compass both parties had dropped court cases which accused each other of violence. “The Christian people have forgiven them. This is called impunity,” he added.

Hmm, this is magnificent. The zenit of Christiano-phobia/hate. And have you seen it published? I haven’t… 😦

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 And the result of Turkish elections is:

Turkey’s ruling AK Party won a resounding election victory on Sunday, giving the pro-business, Islamist-rooted party a mandate for reform but risking fresh tensions with the secular elite.

The result is a moral triumph for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan who called early parliamentary polls after losing a battle with the establishment, including army generals, who did not want his ex-Islamist ally as head of state. With nearly all votes counted, his party won 47 percent, up some 13 points on 2002, but a more united opposition means it will get around 341 out of 550 seats, slightly fewer than now.

“This is the first time in 52 years that a party in power has increased its votes for a second term,” Erdogan told thousands of jubilant supporters outside his party’s plush new headquarters in the capital Ankara where fireworks lit the sky.

“We will continue to work with determination to achieve our European Union goal,” he said of strained efforts to join the bloc and anchor his country more firmly to the West. Only two other, secularist, parties crossed the 10 percent threshold into parliament — the nationalist-minded Republican People’s Party (CHP) on 21 percent and the far-right National Movement Party (MHP) on 14 percent.

Turkey’s ruling AKP wins vote – Yahoo! News

Business Week titles its article “Islamic pragmatists triumph in Turkey“:

It wasn’t just headscarf-clad women and devout moustached men who voted for the Justice and Development Party (AKP), as cliché would have it. Polling analysts said more than half its support came from people with a secular background who wanted Turkey to keep on reforming, to remain business-friendly and to continue to open itself up to Europe — goals shared by many religious voters as well. Erdogan’s AKP has done more in this regard than any of its predecessor governments, however secular.

I posted a link some weeks ago about the real agenda of Turkish moderate Islamists and Turkish entry on the EU. But EU leaders continue not to consider this: the EU has congratulated Erdogan about his triumph:

“It is essential that the new government will relaunch the legal and economic reforms with full determination and concrete results,” Mr Rehn (EU Enlargement Commissioner) said.

“We need to see concrete progress on such fundamental freedoms as the freedom of expression, the freedom of religion.”

The president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, also welcomed the victory, saying the vote came “at an important moment for the people of Turkey”.

The UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, said it was very important for Europe to “reach out” to the new government.

“A stable and secure political situation in Turkey is massively in our interest and we will certainly want to be taking forward our links with this very important country,” he added.

Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said everyone was interested in having a “modern, dynamic, successful Turkey as a partner”.

“We expect this government that has a good track record over the past years to continue with even more ambition,” she said.

More about Turkish situation here.

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I wrote about her brutal honor killing here. Now it looks like she was also brutally raped before being killed, while her uncle was supervising everything. Her two murderers laughed about her killing.

A Kurdish woman was brutally raped, stamped on and strangled by members of her family and their friends in an “honor killing” carried out at her London home because she had fallen in love with the wrong man.

Banaz Mahmod, 20, was subjected to the 2-1/2 hour ordeal before she was garroted with a bootlace. Her body was stuffed into a suitcase and taken about 100 miles to Birmingham where it was buried in the back garden of a house.

Her badly decomposed body was found in April 2006, three months after the killing.

Last month a jury found her father Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and his brother Ari Mahmod, 51, guilty of murder after a three-month trial. Their associate Mohamad Hama, 30, had earlier admitted killing her.

On Thursday at a pre-sentence hearing for Hama, the Old Bailey heard details about Banaz’s last moments.

Prosecutors said the three convicted men, along with two other suspects who are still at large, had carried out the killing fearing that the authorities were closing in on them.

They believed Banaz had brought shame on the family by leaving her husband, an Iraqi Kurd she had been forced to marry at 17, and falling in love with Rahmat Suleimani, an Iranian Kurd.

Her former unnamed partner had raped her as well as repeatedly beating her, the court heard.

Hama, who prosecutors said had been a ringleader in the murder, was caught by listening devices talking to a friend in prison about the murder.

In the recordings, transcripts of which were relayed to the court, Hama and his friend are hearing laughing as he described how she was killed with Banaz’s uncle “supervising“.

I was kicking and stamping on her neck to get the soul out. I saw her stark naked, only wearing pants or underwear,” Hama is recorded as saying.

Woman raped before honor killing: court | U.S. | Reuters

There are no words in Entish, Men’s Tongue or Elvish or any other language, which can describe this villany”.

Treebeard, The Two Towers, Lord of the Rings.

I have read few accounts which could be more depraved and horrible than this one.

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Today there are elections in Turkey, after some months of a very difficult situation, including the conflict between the Islamists and the secularists.

The role of religion here will be a key issue at the ballot box, and so will Turkey’s relations with the outside world, our correspondent adds.

Nationalist sentiment is running high, fed by bitter disappointment with the EU. Renewed fighting with separatist Kurds and talk of an incursion into northern Iraq will also influence the result, she says.

And it is right: the role of religion will be one of the key issues in the election. Acording to Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey and of a political phylosophy called kemalism (from his own name: Kemal), the Turkish republic should be laic, and as a result, any Islamic symbol was to be considered against the republic.

But things are changing and now h/t JW:

For 84 years, modern Turkey has been defined by a holy trinity — the army, the republic and its founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Each was linked inextricably to the others and all were beyond reproach.

But a deep transformation is under way in this nation of 73 million, and elections this Sunday may prove a watershed: liberal Turks, once supporters of the ruling secular elite and its main backer, the military, are turning their backs on them and pledging votes to religious politicians as well as a new array of independents.

They say that the rigid rules of the last century, which prohibit women from wearing Muslim head scarves in public buildings and forbid ethnic minorities to express their identities, need to be left behind.

Something to take into account is that this will be the first time when the elections to the Presidency will be held directly, not through Parliament. The Constitutional Tribunal accepted the reform, considered unconstitutional by both the Turkish President of the Republic and the opposition:

The move, a blow for the current president and the main opposition party, paves the way for Turkey to hold direct elections for the presidency.

Both the president and main opposition party had applied to the court to annul the reforms.

They had complained that the changes were adopted in haste and threatened the country’s stability.

The ruling AKP moved to introduce a direct presidential ballot to end the standoff caused when it tried to get its own candidate, Abdullah Gul, elected president through parliament.

For an approach to the change in the Turkish minds, read JW. An excerpt:

I can imagine the fury of a well-educated, secular Turk as he reads this article by the young Sabrina Tavernise. For it is so uncomprehending of Turkish history, and of all that it took to systematically constrain Islam so that the very possibility of some modicum of reasonableness, the very development of an educated secular class, the very class that Sabrina Tavernise and all other Westerners frequent and the only class with which they feel, quite rightly, fully comfortable, came about only because of Ataturk.

If Kemalism is on the ropes, it is not because the Kemalists have been too ruthless, but because they have not been nearly ruthless enough. They did not push, relentlessly, their program after the first few decades, and some of those who followed were content to pocket the benefits of Kemalism without systematically trying to change the minds of the masses — and the masses remained largely unaffected.

Since, in any society, the primitives will always and everywhere outweigh the others, it was important that those to whom, thanks to Kemalism, the freedom to think was granted, should never have taken those freedoms for granted. Now it may be too late. Make no mistake; there is a program by those who want more and more Islam. Its proponents are patient: look at the statements about waiting for the right moment by the sweet-reasonably sinister Mr. Gulen, waiting in his Washington-area exile, for the results of the election.

Jihad Watch: Fitzgerald: Turkey: Kemalism on the ropes

Il Corriere della Sera makes a very good summary of the situation:

ANKARA – Polls opened in Tirkey, where approx 42 millions have been called to vote to renew Parliament. The vote began at 7:00 a.m. (local time) in 32 provinces of the Oriental Anratolia. In the rest of the country, they have been opened one hour later. The party in the Government, the moderate Islamists of the Justice and Development party (Akp) can achieve an absolute majority in Parliament. The opposition is leadered by the Popular Republican Party (Chp) and the Party of the Nacionalist Movement (Mhp).
CAMPAIGN – The electoral campaign has been characterized by the confrontation between the laic establishment, which proclaims itself the heir of the Republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and the Islamist in the Government. The main opposition party has accused the Government’s President of being a menace to the lay character of modern Turkey, born from the disgregation of the Ottoman Empire. In the center of the political confrontation: the role of women in society: according to the critics of the Government, AKP is seeking to introduce laws according to the Islamic prescriptions.

There is another worrying thing to say about Turkey, related to the Turkish Government’s menace to invade Iraq to pursue the Kurdish terrorists of PKK. It seems Turkey has 140,000 soldiers along the border with Iraq, prompting fears of another incursion against Kurdish guerillas:

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari an ethnic Kurd himself, said his government was against any breach of Iraqi sovereignty.

He called for talks with Ankara to solve the issue.

Turkey accuses Kurdish separatists of staging attacks from inside Iraq. It has often warned Baghdad that it is prepared to take military action.

Turkey has not commented on the figure of 140,000 quoted by Mr Zebari. If the figure is accurate, Turkey would have nearly as many soldiers along its border with Iraq as the 155,000 troops which the US has in the country.

In Washington, White House spokesman Tony Snow said the US shared Turkey’s concerns but that it was “important, we think, to recognise the territorial sovereignty of Iraq”.

Mr Zebari said he understood Turkey’s “legitimate security concerns”, but said the best way to address them was by reviving the tripartite military and security commission, which involves Iraq, Turkey and the US.

I figure Turkey is wainting for the results of today’s elections. And after…

[About the Kurds, read this interesting post by Plateau. It is from an Iranian perspective but it’s interesting nevertheless].

Lastly, about the relationship between Turkey and the European Union, read here.

Oops, I forgot to link something: Is Turkey tolerant of non-Muslim religions?

The Turkish government has long failed to tackle deep-rooted discrimination against religious minorities – by refusing to guarantee their position in law or to crack down on intolerance from officials, the media and in school curricula. This has left religious minorities dangerously exposed, argues Otmar Oehring of the German Catholic charity Missio. For, as Dr Oehring observes in this personal commentary for Forum 18, hostility to religious minorities is stoked by widespread xenophobia. Following the brutal murder of three Protestants in Malatya in April, attacks on and threats against religious minorities have only increased. Official “protection” for religious minority leaders and places of worship seems designed as much to control as to protect them.

Looks like a not very good prospect to me.

Others blogging about this: Winds of Jihad.

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As it is Saturday afternoon, I’m going to post something, I ought to have posted sometime ago.

As you know there are some Spanish expatriates in Saudi Arabia who are blogging. One of them, Equisese, wrote about an incident which happened in his office. I’m going to translate his post about the “tile that makes you sin” (it’s not a joke):

I have just lived, some minutes ago, one of the most surrealist and shocking adventures of all my life here in Saudi Arabia. I was working in the office when the office assistant has come to mi office to tell me that there were two Saudis there who wanted to see me for information. This is not normal here, the questions normally come by fax/e-mail. Today all of my bosses were out, so I had to receive them. These two freaks enter till the end of my office, so I have to let them in the meeting room. After my presentations in a very bad Arab, I take into account that they do not understand English, so the office’s secretary, who is an Egyptian, and speaks Arab fluently, comes over to see what’s’ happening.

They began to speak and I see how they pull a tile from a plastic bad and they paint something on with a pen. As I do not understand anything, I conclude they are builders/architects who are just complaining about a faulty consigment. When the Egyptian begins translating to me what they were saying, I couldn’t believe my ears: those guys were complaining about the tiles which were used for their bathroom. One day while one the guys was sat in the toilet he saw in the lines that the tile forms, the figure of a woman and of a man. The gentleman has gone to the Saudi Standards Association to say that how on earth this was permitted and, in the offices of SASO, they have sent them to my office. The man was very angry and said that “he did not want to see men and women in the walls each time he was having a shit (sic)”. The poor man spent some time pointing at the figures he was supposedly seeing in the tile. And as we were totally unable to see them, he just wrote in the tile “Woman’s photo, Man’s photo”.

Conclusiones (from Equisese):

  • In this country there are people who are really insane.
  • In this country the people are not busy enough.
  • In this building, security is very faulty, leaving two people with no identification enter it, and with a plastic bag in one hand.
  • Spain is trying to pervert the great Saudi nation with porn tiles.

Now for the photo of the alleged porn tile:

You can read more here, here and here.

There is another very good point though: the tile had been in the bathroom for ten years!!! So why does he complain now? Did he really see the bodies? Or did he just want a change in the tiles of all the bathroom -as he asked-?

This Saudis are foolish!! (or not).

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I haev read a very interesting post by excellent Italian blogger Paolo di Lautreamont which summarizes very well the situation lived today in Muslim countries:

The new Jihadi Islam’s limit is in Pakistan. The spring campaign in Afganistan was unsuccesful. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a Taliban’s ally War-lord and opium trafficker, has announced his decision of funding exclusively a new political party, Hezb-i-islami, similar to Batasuna in Basque Country, Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in Palestine.  

The attention of the wahhabi strategists is now focused in Pakistan, a country with nuclear weapons. All of the Sunni Muslims will have to counterbalance the nuclear challenge of Teheran, without being dependant from  Washington. As a result, Pakistan is one of the countries which are more at risk in the planet, with Iran and Russia, the latter considering itself the victim in a new reissue of the Cold War and considering as a second hand problem the conflict with the Islamic fundamentalism.

The detonators have been the “judicial revolt” and the problems with the Red Mosque. Yesterday 2 suicide terrorist attacks -in the south and in the north- have caused 32 victims, of which the greater part were policemen. Since the “battle” of the Mosque in Islamabad 140 people have been killed by terrorist attacks. The President Pervez Musharraf has proclaimed the Martial Law, after the attack against an office of the ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in exile in London, the only opposition leader who has supported the attack against Red Mosque.

The use of religious structures as a military basis is -according to Daniel Pipes- a new way of war in Islam, after revolution, the cuop d’état and the civil war.L’utilizzo di strutture religiose come basi militari costituisce –sostiene Daniel Pipes- una nuova forma dell’islam di guerra, dopo la rivoluzione, il golpe e la guerra civile.

There are no differences between the guerrilla leaders which operate in Pakistan and the Taliban ideology. The Islam of the soul is dead after the assassination of the Afghan poet Sayd Bahodine Majrouh, in Peshawar on 1988. He was the author of « Songs of love and war » (Other press), which was dedicated to the pashtun women. For the people inside the Mosque, the Mussharraf’s attack is a shame which must be washed on blood. But the Pakistani Government defines the Taliban as “unbelievers“. And after the “liberation” of the Red Mosque, the effective chief of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has made a statemente against Musharraf. The president (no democrat, ça va sans dire) considered the mosque Lal Mashid as a “fortress which should be conquered by force”, and that was made with the support of the West and China (read L’Opinione of July 17th).

The Mosque of Islamabad, built in the 1980’s, is a part of the religious center built around the madrassa Jamia Hafsa. The Islamic school hosts 9000 students, most of which are women. The founder Maulana Abdullah was reveared because of his anti-Soviet preaching. Maulana Abdullah was murdered in 1998. His successors were his two sons Abdul Aziz and Rashid Ghazi: their ideology derives from the tradition of  Deoband, in India. It is and alternative verssion of the “British” Islam: their foundators were inspired in a return to the “simplicity of the Prophet“, similar to Salafism.

The deobandit school has formed Taliban monk-soldiers since december whose dream was ended on 2001.

According to Roland Jacquard: “Al-Qaeda’s target is to desestabilize Pakistan to obtain Pakistani nuclear arsenal.… Since 1997, bin Laden had already spent great sums to corrupt some nuclear engineer and obtain the complicity of the generals and other members of the Pakistani secret service”. The Intelligence Service is independent. Born in 1948, the ISI is controlled in a little part by Musharraf and has been one of the architects of the uncomprehensible tolerance towards the rise of the Pakistani madrassas. Musharraf hislef has flirted with the Pakistani pro-Al-Qaeda party, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA).

Aware of the explicit support of the MMA, and of the implicit one from ISI, the two sons of Maulana Abdullah have built (illegally) dozens of mosques and madrassas, have proceeded to give away books and videos, have closed businesses “deemed against Saria law“, have created the Brigades of the burqa, formed by veiled women and armed with bambou. Today Pakistan is divided in two.

By the way, the Chief Judge Iktifar Chaudry (right) which was expelled by Musharraf has been reinstated in his post. Musharraf has already said he respects the rulling and that he fully accepts it.

[As ever, if any Italian reader considers there is a fault in the translation, please leave a comment about it. Thanks.].

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The United Nations is investigating allegations of widespread sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers serving in Ivory Coast. The UN said a unit of its contingent in Bouake, a northern rebel stronghold, had been confined to base. It would not give the nationalities of those troops under investigation. [Why so much secrets about this?]

Claims of sexual abuse have been made against UN troops on various missions, prompting ex-UN chief Kofi Annan to declare a “zero tolerance” policy.

There have been crimes such as rape, paedophilia and human trafficking,” he said in December 2006, shortly before leaving office.

He said sexual exploitation and abuse were “utterly immoral” and at odds with the UN mission, and would be punished. Sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeeping personnel hit the headlines in 2004 after a UN report detailed widespread abuse in the DR Congo involving UN troops.

More than 300 members of UN peacekeeping missions around the world have been investigated for sexual exploitation and abuse since 2004, including some stationed in Congo, Cambodia and Haiti.

BBC NEWS | Africa | UN probes ‘abuse’ in Ivory Coast

You know, I am not going to say that every Un peacekeeper is an abuser -soemthing that a lo of people have said of the Catholic priests-.

But it would be good that, for a change, the same people who attack the Catholic Church about the children abuse, would also attack the UN about this. In the end, you only belong to the Catholic Church if you want, but all countries -and as a result their citizens- are contributing to UN missions, with money, material and, what is more important, with soldiers. The lack of information that has been provided is also a fault that could not be easily solved.

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We knew for some time that this moment was coming, although perhaps he is going to be luckier that it seemed before.

THE judicial trail is closing in on France’s former president, Jacques Chirac. On Thursday July 19th a judge investigating a fake jobs scheme that allegedly benefited members of the ruling party (during Mr Chirac’s time as mayor of Paris) interviewed him as a “material witness”, meaning he was allowed to have a lawyer present and that he could, at a later stage, become the subject of a formal investigation.

The fake-jobs case is being led by Alain Philibeaux, a judge in Nanterre. Alain Juppé, Mr Chirac’s right-hand man when he was mayor from 1977-95, was convicted of political corruption in the same case in 2004. On Thursday Mr Chirac wrote in Le Monde that he was “ready to testify…in good faith”, and that he would tell investigators that the legality of party financing had been unclear for much of the time that he ran Paris. Mr Chirac may also have to testify in another case, led by Xavière Simeoni, a judge in Paris, also concerning fake jobs at the Paris town hall.

Mr Chirac’s presidential immunity expired in June and he faces a plethora of legal headaches. His lawyer, Jean Veil, argues that France’s constitution states that “The president of the republic shall incur no liability by reason of acts carried out in this official capacity.” In other words, Mr Chirac will co-operate with judicial investigations into periods before he became president in 1995, but not after. This decision, Mr Veil said, was “absolutely definitive”.

That leaves him open to questioning over the earlier fake-jobs case. But the claimed immunity would probably prevent his being mired in investigations into a controversial and messy plot known as the “Clearstream affair” which concerns alleged attempts to smear certain politicians by claiming (falsely) that they profited illegally from an arms deal in 1991.

Although Mr Chirac may avoid the Clearstream investigation his last prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, has not been so lucky. He has been summoned to meet two investigating judges on July 27th who may put him under formal investigation.

French political scandal | Jacques in the box | Economist.com

According to Le Monde, Chirac’s lawyer has said his statement has been a “calm and polite” one:

“Vous avez observé que c’est une audition qui dans la pratique judiciaire est relativement courte, elle s’est passée dans la sérénité, la courtoisie, a déclaré son avocat Me Jean Veil. L’ancien président de la République a été entendu en tant que “témoin assisté”, intermédiaire entre le mis en examen et le simple témoin. Ce statut permet à une personne d’être assistée de son avocat mais n’implique pas de poursuites.

 What did they expect? That Chirac was going to bite his nails? To shout at Judges? To insult them? Of course not, that would have been nearly as admitting he was responsible.

Le Monde also publishes an article written by Chirac, about the parties’ financing in France. Basically he considers that the political parties have adapted themselves to the evolution from a system where no regulation existed about their financing to another one in which it is ruled by law. He considers that, being the man who wanted to break with the past and who wanted to guarantee the transparency of the public accounts, the accusations against him are not very rational. He also points out that the cases in which someone has taken public money for personal interests, have been not very common and have ended punished for that.

Saint Jacques Chirac, then.

Of course, and I am Muhammad Ali. The fact that there are very few sentenced does not mean the corruption is not great. Normally the politicians -and in general all corrupt people- are bright enough -or their lawyers- not to leave trails or, if they do that, normally is so vague is practically impossible to detect them.

Related posts:

The last French scandal.

Miterrand let the Rwandan genocide happen because he feared Anglo-Saxon influence! -Clearstream investigation goes on.

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 A month ago I linked to the Project of the Muslim Brotherhood, in which among other things, there is a:

flexible, multi-phased, long-term approach to the “cultural invasion” of the West. Calling for the utilization of various tactics, ranging from immigration, infiltration, surveillance, propaganda, protest, deception, political legitimacy and terrorism, The Project has served for more than two decades as the Muslim Brotherhood “master plan”. As can be seen in a number of examples throughout Europe – including the political recognition of parallel Islamist government organizations in Sweden, the recent “cartoon” jihad in Denmark, the Parisian car-burning intifada last November, and the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London – the plan outlined in The Project has been overwhelmingly successful.

Well, it looks like that this Project is also what has inspired Hamas coup in Gaza last June, and the liberation of BBC journalist Alan Johnston, after showing him in a “bomb vest” video.

Recent events in the Gaza Strip have pushed Hamas into a position of power which has been unprecedented since January 26, 2006 when election results were announced. Those elections saw the terrorist group officially becoming the head of the Palestinian parliament. Hamas evolved as the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood [NOTE: remember that Abbas’ franchise, that is, Fatah also was born from the Muslim Brotherhood]. The developments which have taken place since June 15 this year, when Hamas took the Gaza strip by force, have happened in line with the recommendations in a document entitled “The Project”.

The Project was the name given to a 14-page document in Arabic, which was discovered on November 7, 2001, at the Swiss home of Muslim Brotherhood member and terrorist financier Youssef Moustafa Nada of the Al Taqwa Bank. The “Project” document, which was dated December 1, 1982, contains 12 major points, detailing a strategy for conquest of the West. Youssef Nada claimed not to know who wrote the document, though it was widely suspected to be the handiwork of Said Ramadan, son-in-law of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

[…] The release of one journalist [it is speaking about BBC correspondent Alan Johnston], albeit a welcome measure in itself, was seen by some UK politicians to absolve Hamas of more than a decade of bloodshed against Israeli civilians. British MPs, exposed to the BBC’s uncritical coverage, were denying one certain fact – that Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader of the Palestinian authority, had been working to the same end since the time Johnston was captured. The Hamas publicity machine led to other politicians clamoring for the terrorist group to gain political legitimacy. The new Foreign Secretary in Gordon Brown’s cabinet, David Miliband, has offered praise to Hamas for its involvement in the release. In parliament Miliband “fully acknowledged the crucial role” of Hamas in securing Johnston’s freedom, and hinted at the prospect of future negotiations, provided Hamas recognized Israel’s legitimacy.

While politicians praised Hamas in the UK parliament, a similar reaction infected members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

[…] When Shalit was kidnapped by militants, when only 20 years old, both Hamas and the “Army of Islam” claimed responsibility. The “Army of Islam” – the same group that kidnapped Alan Johnston – later claimed that Hamas alone was responsible for detaining the Israeli soldier. Reuters claims Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees and the Army of Islam worked together to capture Corporal Shalit, whose health is now deteriorating.

So who is the Army of Islam, and were they really acting in defiance of Hamas’ leadership by kidnapping Alan Johnston? The “Army of Islam” has membership connected to a local clan from the Sabra district of Gaza, the Dogmush (Dughmush) family. Its leader is Mumtaz Dogmush. At the end of June, Hamas shot dead a member of the Dogmush clan, and in retaliation nine Hamas students were kidnapped by the Army of Islam. On July 2, the Army of Islam’s spokesman was kidnapped. On July 3, a day before Johnston’s release, Hamas flooded Sabra with gunmen, and the following day Mumtaz Dogmush had talks with Ahmad Jabari, leader of Hamas’ military wing. The nine Hamas students were released, and four Army of Islam hostages were also released by Hamas. Shortly after this, Johnston was freed.

That, at least, is the official version of events. An Islamic cleric had been called by Mumtaz Dogmush, and the cleric told both factions that kidnapping was “un-Islamic”. Behind the official account, there appear to have been deals which have been denied by both Hamas and the Army of Islam. It is alleged by Ma’an news agency that the Army of Islam was paid $5 million as part of the deal, and also they were given the right to keep their weaponry. According to Palestinian sources, it was further agreed by Hamas to give a million Kalashnikov bullets to the Army of Islam, and also a promise that their spokesman would be released.

[…] Hamas is on the brink of gaining political legitimacy with Britain at least, after a wilderness period of more than a year. If Britain can be persuaded to recognize Hamas, then the EU could be expected to follow suit, despite Hamas murdering 2,000 Israeli civilians and enacting a military coup in the Gaza Strip. But this analysis is too simplistic. Hamas has been operating a tighter long-term strategy, and despite the fawning reactions of some politicians, Alan Johnston was a mere pawn in a calculated game-plan. As the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas has acted in concordance with the codes laid out in the 12 “points of departure” described in the 14 page Brotherhood document known as “The Project”. In Part Two, I will describe these strategies in detail.

Hamas, Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood’s project | Daily Estimate

I am looking forward to the next dispatch…

Also read: War is ensured from Jihadi du jour:

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced on Wednesday that he was working toward holding early parliamentary and presidential elections and said there would be no dialogue with Hamas until the Islamist movement ended its violent “coup” in the Gaza Strip.

If Abbas were to allow things to continue on their present course the split within “Palestine” would continue to widen. By refusing to talk to Hamas and calling for early elections, Abbas is ensuring more murderous attacks. The situation he is in was started centuries ago and has only escalated at an increasing rate over the last 59 years. There is nothing he can do about it.

Even if Abbas calls early elections, it’s unlikely that the vote would also be held in the Gaza Strip. Hamas officials have made it clear that they won’t accept early elections under the current circumstances.

Israel may get a mild reprieve when Hamas declares it’s own state and continues to agitate in the West Bank. The “Palestinian” civil war has started. Abbas versus Mashaal is where we stand now. Who has the power, authority, and resolve to win this conflict? As of now the edge goes to Hamas. They have the finances from Syria and Iran as well as the arms and hatred to go with it.

Well, in fact, the Palestinian Civil War started a lot of time ago…

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I am copying partially this post by my friend Plateau, post which is really frightening about the degree of contempt these men are treated with, only by collecting signatures for a petition intended to ensure women’s equality. 13 activists have already been imprisoned by that crime.

Today at last Amir Yaghoubali (right) went to the judimagege and judge ruled that he has to be moved to the Evin prison. His sister asked the judge What is Amirs crime?! Is talking with people and gathering signatures illegal?  (referring to 1 million signatures campaign for gender equality and womens rights). He (the judge) asnwered Being Legal or Illegal is not the issue. The issue for me is the reason of doing this. He is man, so WHY he is active in these womens issues? He has to study and nothing more. And this man is our JUDGE! He has to learn that being a feminist or believing the equality of men and women is not dependent on being MAN or WOMAN. It depends on having a functioning mind.

Oh ! And one important point to mention. In Iran hijab is obligatory but we have two kind of Hijab; Manto and Chador. Chador is a big black scarf which reaches to the floor and Muslims wear it. But the Manto is a more moderated hijab just like a long shirt plus a scarf. This one is easier to wear and most of the Iranians wears that (or forced to wear that). Ive just learned that if you do not wear Chador (the long black scarf) you DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO ENTER ANY COURT! It means if you do not wear chador, you do not have the right to justice! Same thing applies to many hospitals and official offices. This is a shame: If you do not act as I say, you do not have any rights in this regime.

Updated (1) – Amir Yaghoubali Transfered to Section 209 of Evin Prison (Payvand News – excerpt) – After 5 days in detention, reports indicate that Amir Yaghoubali has been transferred to the 209th Section of Evin Prison. Instead of releasing Amir, as promised by Judge Jamshidi, family members were reportedly informed that Amir has been transferred to the 209th Section of Evin Prison. This order was apparently issued by Judge Hadad, in the security branch of the Revolutionary Courts.

Amir is one of a growing number of young men, involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign, and the womens movement. Through their growing activism on behalf of equal rights for women, these young men not only forgo the rights unjustifiably accorded to them by law, but take risks and face imprisonment in an effort to ensure that women in Iran are viewed as full human beings under the law. Their commitment to human rights and equality should be met with applause and encouragement, not imprisonment.

It should be noted that the act of collecting signatures for a petition intended for the Parliament is not defined as an illegal activity under Iranian law. To date 13 members of the One Million Signatures Campaign have been illegally arrested for involvement in this most civil and peaceful of activities.

Stoning, Hejab & Gender Equality (Update) « Plateau of Iran

More abuse on Iran, by Noggr:

One such case was the brothers Pourya and Pouya Fazlollahi, one an indoor football player for Paysa and the other a wrestling champion. Hardly an immodest pair, but their crime was that they used to hand out political flyers and articles to their friends, particularly those by the Reza Pahlavi.

Early in the morning on May 17th they heard their door broken open and masked men rushing in to the house. The brothers soon had a gun pointed to their head, handcuffed and then dragged out in to the street. The bruises tell us what happened afterwards.

Some days ago I wrote about the Iranian stoned man. Plateau has posted more about him:

Heinous and horrible crime what they have done with this man, only for marrying a woman, marriage which was declared void and both man and woman accused of adulterers. She has not been stoned… yet -That I know of-.

Also read Serendip about Iran being Al-Qaeda’s lair.

One of two known Al Qaeda leadership councils meets regularly in eastern Iran, where the American intelligence community believes dozens of senior Al Qaeda leaders have reconstituted a good part of the terror conglomerate’s senior leadership structure.

Noggr posts Iran is also sending weapons to the Taliban, acording to UK and meddling in Iraq.

Read Kamagir on how Iranian mullahs are preparing to censor the movie “Titanic” (Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet starring):

the movie will not be more than 90 minutes long (out of the original 194 minutes), the piece goes on by asking what the relationship between Jack and Rose can be. “They can not be brother and sister, neither can they be any other family members”, Mehr adds. This rather weired sentence refers to the fact that “lover” is not a legitimate role in movies shown in the national television. Thus, Jack and Rose have to be a couple or siblings. Their passion makes both options impossible. Mehr lists other impossible concepts of the movie as “the scene on the deck, the drawing scene, dances and parties”. “The card-playing scene might however survive”, Mehr adds.

And the roles in a film cannot be stoned to death, hein?

Read also “Ayatollahs go Scientific“: Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi had called cloning “not creation of human beings or animals, as some exaggerate, but one of the mysteries of the world“. Help!! They want to clone themselves. Imagine 1000 Ahmadinejads in this world… Horrible.

A comenter in Kamangir’s blog writes:

If you get yourself cloned and your clone commits a crime like adultry, will you also be stoned?

Good question. I guess they are preparing clones (h/t Elentirto blame them after giving hands to beautiful brunettes. Oh no, I’m Khatami, and I’m respectful. It was my clone the one who perform that shameful act. Punish him.

:mrgreen:

If this people did not have so much power (and possibilities of harming others smile_baringteeth) they could be good sitcom actors…

About economic situation in Iran. h/t Barcepundit.

For a more amiable look of Iran, look at the photos Plateau has posted here. The photo of Khoy, where Iranian carpets are made is great!

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This is also a roundup, but a very important one -this is not funny at all-:

  1. About the Guadalajara’s fire (in which there were killed 11 firefighters): “The report, 110 sheets, made by an expert engineer, considers that the tragedy was a a very grave chain of negligences. In 13 points, it summs up the errors and the lack of coordination, before, during and after the tragedy: from the lack of preventive measures to the lapse of time (16 minutes) to activate the first firefighters’ equipements. The document considers that the firefighting in the area is faulty, irregular and chaotic and asks why the victims were sent to an area, totally unknown for them, in the worst moment and with the worst weather conditions”.”Also, there are new tapes which have been realeased from June 17th 2005 -where the fire happened-, in which it is shown the lack of extintion measures, the existing lack of coordination and the time (more than 10 hours) that the victims’ relatives had to wait for some kind of official communication of what had happened”.
  2. You know I have been writing about the Spanish UN peacekeepers/soldiers killed in Lebanon. Well, Zapatero (Spanish PM) told the father of the of the soldiers in the funeral: “What a pity! He had gone to Lebanon to buy himself a car, hadn’t he?“. Imagine the expression of the father’s soldier. And imagine mine when I read it.smile_baringteeth
  3.  The ex-Delegate of the Government in Catalonia -Eduard Planells, who has now a wonderful job at National Telecommunications Commision– has been detained in an operation against the Russian Mob in Spain. Also Eduard Figuerola, the General  Subdirector of Industrial Policy of the Generalitat (Catalan Government) has been fired after been discovered he had child porn.. From El Cerrajero. Don’t know if the latter was caught in the last “Against child porn operation”.
  4. Multinational Merck is going to change Barcelona for Madrid as its social address. This has enraged the Catalan nationalists who consider that Spain “is much too centralised“. Hehehe, imagine for example: Health care: EVERY DAMNED PART of it is a competence of the Autonomous Community. Education is also a competence -mainly- of the Auonomous Community -so you can see in the text books things like “Castilla y León had a relationship with the Romans“, when Castilla y León is a kingdom in the Reconquest and during Roman dominion it was under the same province: Lusitania, of the three that Romans made here (the other were Tarraconensis and Baetica). The Generalitat has passed a law creating a self-Tax Agency which will make in not a very distant future, everything related to taxes. Yeah, of course, very centralised. The problem is that a lot of people is beginning to leave Catalonia thanks to the pressure of the nationalists. And that hurts.
  5. After the invention of the Little Red Star -that only thinking about it, makes me shiver-, the young Spanish Socialists ask for the legalization of the euthanasia and the vote at 16 years-old. About euthanasia, I’m totally opposed: it cannot be undone. About the vote at 16: if we have so many idiot voters, just have some more, totally influenced by the Education for Citizenship -anti-militar, pro-homosexual -in the worst sense of the world-, pro-Socialist, pro-Alliance of Civilizations, etc-.
  6. Vice-President De La Vega has asked MSM not to informe about what they know if it has something to do with ETA. Yeah, it’s much better to have everything under the blanket, specially if we consider that French PM Sarkozy already has the ETA-Spanish Government negotiation’s papers. Oh and if someone thinks he is going to be a good guy and denounce PM Zapatero for the contents of those papers, just read this post by Mike -really good blogger 😀 – and then think again. No, he is just going to use it in the EU negotiations against Zapatero… sooo, against Spain.
  7. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas: inquired on corruption charges. They -and other famous people- have created a lot of societies
  8. to whiten funds from dubious procedence.

    About Ibiza I will write later, it’s very grave what it’s happening after the fuel from “Don Pedro” -a ship- began polluting all the sea.

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