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Archive for July 26th, 2007

 

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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